What’s it about ?
No, this isn’t KyoAni revisiting their past glory of K-On!. After all, instead of a slapstick 4-panel manga, it adapts a novel featuring what looks like a “save our club” dramatic storyline.
Kumiko, our heroine, used to play the euphonium (a sort of smaller tuba) in her middle-school’s brass band club, but she’s more ambivalent about it right now. For one, she’s clearly trying a bit too hard to reinvent herself for her high-school debut. For two, this school’s band club sucks. And for three, she kinda wants to avoid the likes of…
Reina (trumpet), one of the most serious members of her middle school’s brass band club, and the one most broken up by the club narrowly failing to qualify for the national gold prize. Things got a bit awkward between her and Kumiko after the latter blurted out the wrong thing while trying to console the former. Anyway, for some reason she’s in this mediocre high school too (despite Kumiko thinking she could have aimed for better), and she joined the band club in a heartbeat.
That Shuuichi (trombone), Kumiko’s childhood friend with whom she just had a nasty break-up (despite him trying to play it like nothing happened), also joined the club doesn’t help. She really doesn’t want to revisit that drama.
What changes her mind are her new friends :
Sapphire Midori (contrabass), who hates her embarrassing name, and Hazuki (an enthusiastic newbie who’s apparently going to take up playing the tuba). Both of them manage to remind her enough of her initial enthusiasm at playing an instrument to convince her to give the band club a try.
There’s a dude wandering awkwardly while listening to music in a few scenes that have no connection with anything else (aside from him having the same taste in music as Kumiko) ; I presume he’s going to be the club’s new advisor or something.
It’s KyoAni ; of course it looks gorgeous, with impressive attention to detail. No shortcuts while showing people playing music here. And hey, brass band music is awesome.
Well, it’s the tried and true “Save Our Club” formula, mixed with a strong narrative focus on Kumiko herself. There’s nothing wrong with that, and she does come off as having some hidden depths, but it’s not exactly earth-shaking either. It’s perfectly okay and watchable, but that’s it.
On the other hand, I like this kind of music, and it’s not like there’s anything else to watch on Tuesdays, so I’m probably going to stick with it.