Apparently, making nationals in a concert band competition is serious business.
I have to admit that while I was watching this episode, I pretty much had a nostalgia trip since I was part of a concert band from middle school to high school. In fact, I played a clarinet (which I eventually upgraded to one that is made of wood). While I didn’t advance any further than second chair, I have played some fairly difficult pieces since our concert band teacher wants to challenge us and strive to have the best performing band. Of course, it doesn’t sound nearly as bad compared to the one at Kumiko’s new school, although we had some slackers.
On the other hand, I can understand why Reina got upset over Kumiko’s reaction on making gold for the fact that it’s not actually gold. While I don’t recall any of the results of the concert band competitions since it’s years ago, I do remember the results of my only year of participating in the school’s marching band and of course, we were ranked pretty high and got silver (top 10) in a competition against 100 bands in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.
Basically, getting a dud gold is actually worse than receiving a bronze or a silver. It’s just like saying that your band was good, but not good enough to compete with the big fish. At least with a bronze or silver, you know that you won’t advance to the next round. Because of this, it’s understandable why Reina got upset over Kumiko being simply happy with gold without advancing. Hopefully, she will mend her relationship with her now that she changed her mind and decided to join the school’s concert band.
Since I don’t want this post be all about my concert band experiences since I will probably share more later on, I have to say that Kyoto Animation outdid themselves this time around since this show focuses more about music rather than going overboard on the comedy. Sure, there were a few comedic moments with Asuka playing tricks on the newcomers, but considering that Kumiko, her friends and Reina wants another shot at nationals while trying to improve the sad state the concert band is in, I don’t think anyone is going to slack off and spend most of their time drinking tea and eating cake.
Overall, the first episode of Hibike! Euphonium is off to a great start. Hopefully it will continue at the same pace as the girls decide on what instrument to play after they officially join. Aside from that, I have to admit that Kumiko looked pretty cute in a ponytail even though she looks better with her hair down. Still, I wonder how bad the concert band will perform once they start perfecting the songs for the competition. I can’t wait! ¶