Sound! Euphonium – Episode 12

Another standout episode of Euphonium this week, one which probably won’t turn as many heads as eight, but which was very nearly as good in its own way. This one all came down to absurdly consistent tricks of framing and execution, as the episode pulled as close into Kumiko’s head as possible for one more intimate episode before the big performance. More reflections, more visual framing of distance, smart use of light and shadow, strong sound design, beautiful animation… this one just had it all. Kyoto Animation are really going all-out with this little show.

My full ANN post is here. You can check out my notes below!

Sound! Euphonium

“As soon as summer break started, we practiced from morning to night. Yet, as long as it was, everyone felt the time was too short.”

Title: My Euphonium

Kumiko’s being asked to play another part

Comedic timing again. So many shows seem to think “bigger/louder/longer is better” when it comes to jokes, but KyoAni understands the opposite is true

Kumiko’s first attempt at the part is damn lousy. “I’m going to go practice by myself”

The lighting as she goes into the shadow to practice is so good! And these quick but beautiful jump cuts!

A great sense of atmosphere in this episode again. No music but the cicadas and Kumiko’s own breath and euphonium. The great saturated lighting, excellent use of shadow

And these claustrophobic closeups, emphasizing her sweat

Her looking over as Kousaka arrives

“I want to become special like you.” “Then I’ll become even more special.” These two

More great use of light and shadow, Kumiko split in half as she practices

Wow, the introduction of the blood drop, nicely understated sequence

Her friends commenting on how she has so much more drive now

“I don’t know if I’m intense or detached. I don’t even know how I used to be before.”

So Kousaka’s performance gave her a drive to improve

The river conveying the distance between her and her old dude friend. Nice touch

“Taki-sensei for the win” damnit Aoi-chan

Kumiko asks her if she regrets quitting, highlighted beneath the spotlight. Aoi looks back, and says she doesn’t regret it at all. There are more lights up along the way

Kumiko feels briefly downtrodden because her sister’s home, but then plays proudly. She has her reasons to play

These empty shots of the school contrasted against the lively band rehearsal. No one else is working, everyone else has different lives, but they charge forward in their practice

Kumiko gets called out in practice

“I can hear the sound I want in my head”

She can hear the sound she wants, but can’t reach it

A shot with Kousaka beside her, mirroring her first entry into her practice corner

Kousaka and Kaori make up. Kousaka actually being humble and communicative for once

Drill Sergeant Taki-Sensei takes Kumiko off the part entirely

Great match cut of the butterfly in its web to Kumiko fondly handling her euphonium

Hoooly crap this running sequence. KyoAni reaaaally know how to make these gorgeous little personal moments. The animation is beautiful, and the contrast between light on one side and dark on the other works perfectly for this episode

Kumiko and childhood friend again separated, this time by the road

“That’s when I realized how much it hurt”

Her sister comments on the heat as she enters her room. Kumiko has been surrounded by the heat this episode

“What’s the point of continuing band if you’re not even going to music school?” “There is a point. I like the euphonium!”

Something she finally admits to herself, as to her sister. Looking in the mirror

Taki’s father did his own exact job, ten years ago. Echoes of Kumiko and her sister

“You really only need to like something, right?”

“Practice that part” YEAH TAKI

A Eupho-kun appears!

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