It’s time to talk about the third (technically 4th) movie in the series. The first two movies were recaps with some extra scenes. Liz and the Blue Bird was a (excellent) side-story. This movie is set after the 2nd season, basically the 2nd/3rd years of Kumiko and the rest of our favorite band geeks. There are new 1st years as well. Let us take a look at Hibike! Euphonium: Chikai no Finale.
Note: Once the red paragraphs start I will enter spoiler territory so the interested can stop reading before the warning.
- Sound! Euphonium The Movie: Oath’s Finale
- Sound! Euphonium The Movie: Our Promise. A Brand New Day
Genres: Drama, Music, School
Themes: Band Club, Brass Band
Length: 100 Minutes
G-Rating: 8/10 (Personal), 7/10 (Overall)
Plot Summary: Kumiko and the rest of the band club are coming to their second or third years of high school. With many of the previous third years having graduated the club is in need of new members. Fortunately their performance in the previous tournament got plenty of aspiring new members to apply. Of all the new members four of them will get the spotlight. Thus begins Kumiko’s second year with both familiar and new challenges.
Before we get to the review allow me to address the elephant in the room by saying readers need not worry. The trailer (along with the first few minutes of the movie) teased there being trouble in paradise but rest assured it ends favorably for us.
To sum up the movie. Think of all the big events and moments in the 1st and 2nd seasons revisited. For example, the club must again participate in a marching competition and the climax is a performance to qualify for the Nationals. Same beats, different approaches, drama and resolutions. Some would think 100 minutes is not enough to cover 2 seasons worth of content but it is. Since the events are familiar all writers had to change was the struggles the characters went through, both old and new, which they did well in my opinion. Kumiko, Reina, Sapphire, Hazuki and other veterans continue their journeys whilst the four newcomers must face and try to overcome their pasts with the help from their senpai. Reina being Reina did not take an advisory role.
Kumiko and her fellow veterans focus on putting on a better performance than last time along with their futures after graduating. Some already know whereas others continue struggling with. Kumiko for example. Speaking of, Kumiko somehow ends up becoming the mentor of the important first years (The three girls).
Speaking of the first years (There is a boy but he is of little concern. Not a bad boy but he was just there to me) let us briefly describe them.
Mirei is an anti-social giant.
Satsuki is her friend from middle school. She is very social. It annoys Mirei…or does it?
Mirei and Satsuki both have Suzuki as their surnames but to quote Buster and Babs Bunny, “No relation”.
Next is the one who is pretty much the secondary protagonist of the movie, Kanade. One other character best describes her personality because they are nearly identical.
Readers wondering if the two Blue Bird couples get to shine in the movie may be a bit disappointed. Natsuki X Yuuko, especially the former, have stuff to do while the our heroines Nozomi X Mizore can be seen every now and then. More so Mizore. I did not mind much because they already had their own movie to shine as bright as the sun. Another Blue Bird star shows up too as seen in the above screen grab. Speaking of pay attention to the title of the band’s qualifier performance.
Not much to say about the presentation. It is the anime but in cinematic format It is excellent as always. I think Liz and the Blue Bird was better because it felt like they got more creative but like most other Kyoto Animation shows it looks and sounds so very good.
Now we come to the main reason the movie is an 8/10 for me. Readers who know where I stand about a certain couple can guess what it is. Without giving away anything with everything else going on “What’s his name” is the last thing on Kumiko’s mind. In fact, when not thinking about the band, the first years, her future or other duties there is only one person who repeatedly comes up…
Overall Euphonium Movie 3 treads familiar ground but has enough differences to make it a worthwhile viewing. “So far, so good”. Hopefully they keep up the good work whenever “Kumiko’s 3rd Year” premieres, be it a 3rd season or another movie. You are almost there boys and girls. Do NOT screw it up at the last second because of peer pressure or some other asinine reason.
PS: There is an after credits scene.
That is the review. Spoilers coming up next.
Like I hinted in the G-View the “What’s his name” getting an out of nowhere push to the main event worries were thankfully unwarranted. Sure he confessed to Kumiko and once a full moon she thought about him (Mostly when he saw in school or he was brought up in conversations, which was rarely) but there were so many other things going on (including someone I will get to in a bit) she did not have time or interest. When he tried going for 2nd base she was caught off guard but near the end she was like “I have way too much going on and can’t think about this relationship. Tell you what, if around graduation I consider giving ‘this’ a go I’ll let you know”. He was like “I get it. (Guess that’s a no). Let’s do our best to get into the Nationals this time”. Fist bump, done (Hopefully for good). Once again I asked myself, “If ‘What’s his name’ were cut from the series would anything important be lost?” I again say “NO”. The ONLY contribution to his existence is that maybe Kumiko is bisexual but leans more toward girls. In the end he got a Jinder Mahal push over a JBL one. Good.
Not much to go in depth about Mirei and Satsuki. They along with Kanade are wonderful newcomers. As for the new boy, other than his possible infatuation with Sapphire he was just there. Naturally I ship the Suzukis.
Seriously? They won the gold but did not qualify for the Nationals, instead the band Kumiko described as “Eh. They’re decent” ended getting the last spot over them? That is some cruel foreshadowing yo. Not cool. That and I REALLY hope whatever Natsuki had to care of before the performance will not separate her from Yuuko. DO NOT SPLIT UP THE NIBUDEKO OF THE SHOW! The couples are all cute but those two share a special kind of cuteness.
Kumiko and Reina had another moment at the hill. While not as heart pounding to me as last time it was good. As a fellow Euphonium intellectual said, “Reina has feelings for Kumiko despite her preferring Sensei schlong. Kumiko will always treasure her as her #1 BFF but there is only one person she wishes to spend the rest of her life with deep down”.
So then. When not focused on school, band, kouhai, her peers or the future…Asuka was her top priority. The Euphonium she plays along with the song. Viewers who remember S2, especially the season finale will know their significance. Kumiko has not forgotten. Before the qualifiers her heart skipped a beat when she was greeted by a familiar voice. Their reunion was brief but it went something like this:
Kumiko: How’s college?
Asuka: Whoa. Why ask about that now? Awwww, do you miss meeeee?
Asuka: Well then…Here’s a magical card just for you.
Translation: “Congratulations on figuring me out! But I’m not ready to give you my heart just yet Kumiko. I have a bonus puzzle for you. If you can solve it before you graduate, I’m yours.”
At least that is what I am understood and that is what I am going with. Period.
Like I said, so far, so good. Almost there. Do the right thing and this series will be historic. Fingers crossed when Kumiko’s 3rd Year eventually gets made. This has been building up since S1. While I would not mind Reina winning it would feel like the writers gave in to fanboy and fangirl peer pressure. If they have her go back to “What’s his name” then that can only be described as a complete waste of time.