Sound of Love (Part 13) – On Endings

Sound of Love (Part 13) – On Endings

Way back at the start of this series, I described the many gears Hibike! established in order to keep the story moving in an entertaining and meaningful way. Now we’ve reached the end of that story (sort of…) and can see where those gears have led us. As we take a look at the end of Season 1, we’ll see how Hibike! resolves (most of) its remaining conflicts and shuts the door on a successful season.

h13p1

Naturally, the entirety of Episode 13 is a build-up to the band’s performance and consequential success or failure. I think Hibike! spent the whole season getting us invested in its characters and this performance, but the show goes the extra mile to ensure we’re glued to the edges of our seats. How does it do so? By removing the very subject of our anticipation: sound and music.Read More »

Advertisements

Sound of Love (Part 5) – On Steps

Sound of Love (Part 5) – On Steps

Episode 5 provides the perfect opportunity to discuss one of Hibike Euphonium’s most prominent motifs: steps. Steps and feet. Although we never see or hear of marching band again after this episode, the importance of steps and feet only builds throughout the series. We should establish some background on the topic, and there’s no better place to do so than an episode about marching band—an activity based on steps. Moving forward, let’s figure out what movement can convey in Episode 5 of Hibike Euphonium.

h5p1

As the band practices marching together, the camera shoots from a low angle where the band members’ feet constantly pass through the foreground. This draws our attention to two ideas: one that enhances our understanding of marching band, and one that hones the focus of the episode as a whole. The ever-passing feet, combined with Kumiko’s explanation of marching, inform us that the focus of marching band is ultimately on the feet. For the band to stay coordinated and in line, they must match each other’s feet. Additionally, or by proxy, this focuses the episode as a whole on feet and steps.Read More »

Sound of Love (Part 3) – On Romance

Sound of Love (Part 3) – On Romance

Come Episode 3, we can finally begin to explore some of Hibike’s more interesting and intricate qualities. Primarily, this episode reveals the series to be a Romantic one (as in my Spice and Wolf essay, this is not necessarily lower-case romance—though we’ll get to that…) and crafts some complexity into Kumiko and Reina. The overarching conflict of the season is finally explained, and with perfect timing considering how the tone of the show begins to shift this episode. Let’s figure out how exactly these changes in story and statement work together.

h3p1

Hibike’s Romantic side first shows in its background music. In particular, the track “Sprouting of Senses” accompanies any moment Kumiko and the viewer contemplate what concert band and playing an instrument means for a high schooler. We hear this track in Episode 1 when Kumiko thinks back on Reina’s middle school frustration. Kumiko acts out a conversation between her and Reina, wherein she attempts to explain her feelings about band. In Episode 3, the song plays again as Kumiko and friends pick out their instruments. The three first years see themselves in their instruments—quite literally, they see their reflections—and their instruments look back at them.Read More »

2015 Retrospective

2015 Retrospective

There are spoilers ahead. If you see a show title you haven’t watched yet, you might want to skip it until you have.

I tend to stay away from stuff like this because the Internet is suffering enough as it is. Are my opinions really so important that I need to piss them into the polluted waters of the Anime Review Lake? Probably not. Not to mention, most people are too lazy to take enough screenshots to form an analysis article, so the competition stays relatively low on that side of things. It’s way easier to just Google ‘anime memes’ and paste the first K-On/pop-culture crossover you find. Plus Print-screen is in such an awkward spot on the keyboard—who has time for that?

This was going to be a meme but they hurt my soul, so have a Kyoko instead.

Yet, a new year is approaching, and I’ve decided it’s time to put that pessimism behind me. It’s time to subject you to my opinions. Out of the many shows of this past year, I chose five that best represented 2015 for me. This is by no means a top five for the year (it is absolutely not a top five), but simply the five shows I felt I’d remember the most after this year—for better or worse. I chose to exclude shows with seasons that aired prior to 2015 from my list (i.e. Haikyuu, Shirobako, Owarimonogatari,etc. were not considered).

Enjoy.

Read More »