◇◆◇ Summer Anime Column ◇◆◇
Hot days continue, and summer is right around the corner! This year, the shorter summer vacation, canceled opening of the beaches, etc., make it difficult to fully enjoy the summer season.
So, here at Anime!Anime!, we have picked out our favorite 【Summer Anime】! The editorial department and writers will introduce them in serialized articles. We hope you enjoy the different sides of “Summer”!
And the work that Cho-Animedia chief editor Nakasuji Kei chooses as Vol.4 is…
【No.4】Sound! Euphonium: The Movie – Our Promise: A Brand New Day
Kitauji High School brass band club is full of new ups and downs.
The “Sound! Euphonium” series gains support from many people for its human drama of the daily life at a high school brass band club and the delicate yet dynamic performance. In “Sound! Euphonium: The Movie – Our Promise: A Brand New Day”, which was released in Apr. 2019, the main character Oumae Kumiko (voiced by Kurosawa Tomoyo) advances to 2nd grade and her “Kouhais” join the brass band club.
What does Kumiko gain from her difficult relationships with her kouhais?
To me, my youth was hard and frustrating, but fun.
“We will begin the ensemble. Let's start from the beginning through!”
Mid-July. The temperature goes over 40 degrees Celsius, and nearly 50 people get together to play music in an old, mysterious building… Their goal is to participate in the brass band competition held by the prefecture. They devote themselves to music in this heat. This was my youth as a member of my highschool's brass band club, and is my best memory of my high school days. For me, “Sound! Euphonium”, a story set in the brass band club, is an amazing 【Summer Anime】 that brings back the hard and difficult, yet fun days of that summer, and makes my heart hurt.
The TV series and the other film that depicts the 1st year of Kumiko in high school is also great, but I chose “Our Promise: A Brand New Day” because I was a “Lousy Senpai” back then.
Many of the students of my age only started to play an instrument from high school, and were more about enjoying the fun community like typical students. I loved them all. However, our kouhais were not only experienced but many of them came from a strong local junior high school. I was told after graduating that their club supervisor from junior high told them somewhere in the lines of “Go and change the brass band club of that school.”
When the kouhais first joined our club, we had a rather good relationship with them since we were easy to talk to. (At least I thought so.) But once we started practicing together, our relationship started to deteriorate. We senpais were late, took days off without notification, couldn't recover from being lovesick, etc. I will never forget the kouhais' faces looking at us, listening to our performance, and thinking, “This is not a brass band club.”
The 1st-grader Hisaishi Kanade (voiced by Amamiya Sora) from “Our Promise: A Brand New Day” slacks off on purpose during the audition to choose the members for the competition in order to give the seat to the 3rd-grader Nakagawa Natsuki (voiced by Fujimura Konomi). It aroused a quarrel and Kanade says, “Being a lousy senpai is a sin in itself.”
To me, who was a “lousy senpai”, these words were harsh and heavy, making me want to cover my ears. But that's why I could sympathize with Natsuki getting angry for being given the position at the audition. And I could also understand why Kanade, who has the skills and worked hard, would say those words. Because I saw that look in my kouhais' eyes, that mixture of anger and sadness…
Many times I struggled with the thought of it being too painful and wanting to disappear. But I couldn't quit the club because I loved music and the feeling I got when the ensemble went well was so overwhelming. As those difficult days went on, slowly but gradually, the gap between us and our kouhai began to close. I'm sure it was because everyone in our grade was determined to practice properly and the kouhais were there to support us.
I think we were inspired by our kouhais. Also, the frustration of not being able to perform in the prefectural competition in 2nd grade strongly motivated us. I know this sounds cheesy, but watching everyone perform from the front as the conductor, I felt their feelings of wanting to “get better” and “have fun” merged together, and their performance became one.
We advanced to 3rd grade. With new kouhais joining us, the 50 of us made finally made it to our goal, the prefectural competition. Our results weren't even close to that of Kumiko and her team, but we finished the competition with smiles on our faces. Those kouhais with sharp eyes are now good friends of mine who I hang out with every year. And I still love the brass band.
I've been talking about myself from the very beginning to the end, but that's how well “Sound! Euphonium” depicts not only the glorious side of our youth, but also the relationships that can go wrong. Whether you enjoyed your summer in the brass band club or not, I highly recommend watching the girls' story this summer. I'm sure there will be lines that stick in your mind. I had it bad, haha. But I also want to remember that I'm what I am because I overcame these hardships. I try not to be a “senpai whose existence itself is a sin” as an adult.
(C)Takeda Ayano, Takarajimasha / “Sound!” Production Committee