Last week, I mentioned the fact that without Haruhi Suzumiya, I wouldn’t be here today. And without 2009’s and Disappearance’s director, Yasuhiro Takemoto, Sound! Euphonium season 2 episode 2 wouldn’t have been storyboarded. This is very important to me, as Takemoto has a sense of style that I can really get behind.
From the start of the episode you can tell it was storyboarded by Takemoto. From how he walks you through the school in consecutive shots, and finishing the sequences on Noboru’s arm in the air, using the bands music the entire way. This is Takemoto through and through.
This is also notable in the first scene transition. As the characters were discussing where they were planning to go for the Bon holiday, the match cut (I thought) was the perfect way to segue from Kumiko in class to Reina on train, to a wide shot watching the girls on a train, in a fast pace. This technique is another favourite of Takemoto and can be seen in a lot in his older works, especially in Haruhi‘s Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody.
Sound! Euphonium‘s Beach Episode
The theme around this episode is maturity, which permeates throughout the cast in varying degrees. Whether it’s Kumiko discussing the size of Reina’s chest compared to hers, or whether a certain vice-president has to look past what happened a year ago.
I was apprehensive on how to explain the ‘beach episode’. Sometimes the pool episode is used as fan-service, in other times it’s used to push sexy figures, but here it’s neither of those things. Sound! Euphonium uses the pool as a way to push the overall plot forward, while intertwining the themes of the episode in the most obvious way possible. (Hint: It’s breast sizes).
I could explain how Japan views sexuality differently than western audiences, but I’m not qualified enough to do that. Watching a bunch of anime and Japanese television doesn’t make me an expert on Japanese society, shocking! What I can say from my computer chair is that most of Sound! Euphonium is created by females, at Kyoto Animation, which has a higher female to male ratio of staff, and the main novel, was written by a female! Clearly there was more motive behind this pool scene than getting a rise out of males. Moving forward from my rant…
I love the cinematic look of the above screenshot, Takemoto does it again.
Takemoto isn’t the only person working on Sound! Euphonium
Saying Takemoto was the sole reason this episode sone brightly is unfair to the rest of the team that worked on the episode, including it’s episode director, Taichi Ishidate. While kVin over at Sakugabooru pointed out that Takemoto’s was one that brought this episode to life. Ishidate’s post-processing knowledge on the episode helped craft it into what it was.
The star of the episode though is Nobuaki Maruki, the animation director. You might remember him from his work on episode 6 of Beyond the Boundary. He’s known for his wonderful art which just litters this episode, making sleeping Kumiko look like the best Kumiko.
Finally, I just want to mention the work of the Kyoto Animation Digital Team and their use of the 3D space. In both the first season’s OP and the new OP, there’s a 3D shot showcasing stages, which is used in a different way in this episode. It was used to showcase the training room and includes a few traditionally animated characters. A feat not easily achievable at this scale.
Mainly what I’m saying is that these types of shots are typically reserved for crane/dollys done in live action. These are nearly perfectly replicated in a traditionally animated space. A feat usually reserved for Kyoto Animation and Ufotable series.
In any case, thanks for reading another episode review. I’m sorry they’re late, I have no excuse, other than I was worried about talking about the beach section. Which I really shouldn’t have been. Oh well, onto episode three!