Literature / Sound! Euphonium

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Aim for Nationals.

Sound! Euphonium (original title Hibike! Euphonium, and note that "Sound"/"Hibike" here is an imperative verb, not a noun) is a Japanese novel by Ayano Takeda, published on December 5, 2013 by Takarajimasha. The story takes place in Uji, Kyoto, and focuses on the Kitauji High School Music Club, which is steadily improving thanks to the newly appointed adviser's strict instruction. A manga adaptation illustrated by Hami began serialization on the Kono Manga ga Sugoi! Web website on November 28, 2014. An anime adaptation, produced by Kyoto Animation began airing in Japan on April 7, 2015. The anime is directed by Tatsuya Ishihara and written by Jukki Hanada, with Shoko Ikeda serving as character designer and chief animation director, and Naoko Yamada serving as the series technical director.

Sound! Euphonium begins when Kumiko Oumae, a former euphonium player from Kita Middle School, visits her high school's brass band club as a first year. Kumiko's classmates Hazuki and Sapphire decide to join the club, but Kumiko sees her old classmate Reina Kosaka there and hesitates, recalling a poignant incident she had with Reina at a brass band club competition in middle school, where they had just narrowly lost their shot at competing in nationals. Still weak to peer pressure, Kumiko ends up joining anyway, and despite her best efforts to at least switch instruments, ends up playing the euph again.

The real adventure begins when the new club advisor, Taki-sensei, brings up the goal of going to nationals. Kumiko worries that it will end up a pipe dream once more.

A recap film of the first season, titled Hibike! Euphonium: Kitauji Koukou Suisougaku-bu e Youkoso, premiered in Japan on April 23, 2016. A second season for the anime premiered in the Fall 2016 Anime season, and covers the two sequel novels.


Sound! Euphonium provides examples of:

  • The Ace: Vice President Asuka is a very skilled player who commands pretty much everyone's respect without even really trying and manages to stay above the various internal squabbles of the band. This, however, hides tha fact that she's actually rather the Broken Ace and uses her overachieving to shield herself from the problems she experiences.
  • A-Cup Angst: Kumiko is rather conscious of her breast-size, though she does take some comfort in the fact that her friends are even flatter than she is... and then she's floored by a view of Asuka.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: The general consensus for the anime's redesigns compared to the original novel and the manga adaptation. Here's a comparison chart.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Quite a bit, as the book series is still relatively young, and hasn't even gotten past five volumes (as of this edit).
    • Since Kyo Ani once again chose to adapt a single book from an ongoing series, this has to happen. Of particular note is Reina's increased role and importance in the narrative, particularly with regards to Kumiko, which actually changes much of the Les Yay between them. By comparison, Kumiko wasn't as fixated on Reina, and indeed the first time they really had a chance to interact on a meaningful level was at the Agata festival. In this way, Reina has been Promoted to Love Interest.
    • There's a lot of focus on Reina's attraction towards Taki-sensei in the second season, specifically what it means to her own goals for being a musician. Compared this to how it was handled in the books, where it seemed to have been mentioned off-hand in book one just to prove that Reina wasn't a lesbian, then quietly forgotten afterward.
  • A House Divided:
    • In the previous year at the high school, there was a huge rift among the band members, with the freshmen who wanted to play seriously, and the seniors who had a culture of mediocrity & seniority. Consequently, many of the newer members quit, and also caused Haruka, a junior at the time and the club president, not to be too antagonistic lest she scare off new members. This event is referenced numerous times when Kumiko and her friends join the next year.
    • There is seldom deep conversation among Kumiko's family, mostly due to the fact that her sister is attending a university that doesn't have a good reputation and everyone in the household questioning her life choices (even herself).
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Asuka's mother is overbearing and demanding of the school staff to make them bend to her whims in relation to her daughter. After slapping Asuka across the face, the girl has to lead her out of the teachers' lounge without flinching, indicating that this is not the first time something similar has happened between them.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Kumiko, in the last episode. To Asuka.
  • Apathetic Teacher: Taki-sensei swings from this to Stern Teacher and back again. He tells the club they are aiming for Nationals, then decides not to when the students look worried, then lets them to decide on for fun or for nationals being the goal. When the club votes on being for nationals, he then tells them not to bother him until they can play as an ensemble. When the club plays an ensemble for him in episode three, he basically says they suck and forbids them from playing in a concert until they can play well as an ensemble. He does all this with the same mildly bored but kind expression. It's pretty clear later in the series that acting like this trope was all an act to motivate the class to show him up, though.
  • Artistic License – Music: In minute instances. In spite of being faithful to the intricacies of ensemble music, former band players can still pick out minor things like clarinet players emphatically bobbing their heads while playing, which doesn't quite happen because the instruments are more restrictive than they appear, or even Mizore's over-handling of her oboe mouthpiece, which is very sharp and can cut her lips. A more nitpicky example of the liberties taken by the adaptation can be watched here.
  • Beneath the Mask:
    • Discussed. Aoi explains that despite the band not being very good and lacking the attitude to practice, a majority of the members chose to go to nationals in Taki-sensei's vote for reasons like avoiding conflict or not wanting to seem lazy.
    • Reina tells Kumiko that she feel that under Kumiko's nice girl mask is someone who is a lot like Reina herself, a person who is distant and somewhat cold. She brings up Kumiko's habit of being insensitive when not thinking, as proof that she isn't nearly as nice as she pretends to be. Oddly though Reina loves that hidden Kumiko because it's a person Reina can relate to.
    • Plenty of her fellow students are certain that Asuka's demeanor is a mask for something, but it's so thick that they can never tell what, or when she's being real. Season 2 shows that she just plays Stepford Smiler really well — in reality she has a lot of tension with her Education Mama and longing for the dad she never really knew thanks to the very same mom.
    • The scene where Kumiko and Asuka rip into each other's respective facades is arguably the most emotionally charged in the whole story.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Sapphire's eyebrows are rather thick.
  • Blunt "Yes": In the last episode, Asuka teasingly asks Kumiko if she came to her for relationship advice. This is Kumiko's response.
  • Bookends: The anime starts and ends with the regional competition, with Reina in tears. The difference is they're Tears of Joy in the end.
  • Breather Episode: Episode 6 focuses on Hazuki getting better with the tuba and sits right between the culmination of the SunFes arc and the episode where Aoi quits the band.
  • Brick Joke:
    • In episode 1, Hazuki overhears Kumiko's thoughts on the band (being that they suck) but she doesn't hear who or what she's referring to. It's only at the end of the episode, after they visit the band in question, that she figures out it was them Kumiko was talking about.
    • Kumiko expresses disappointment as there isn't a toy mascot for the euphonium, and has had to settle with Tuba-kun as compensation. At the end of Episode 12, Kumiko finally finds a Eupho-kun.
  • Broken Ace: Asuka's bubbly and ditzy facade actually hides a difficult home life and a lot of psychological problems, which made her quite hypocritical; and her overachieving is actually a way to shield herself from these problems.
  • Call Back:
    • At the show's start, Taki-sensei asks the band to vote whether or not to go for nationals. Everyone except Kumiko votes, as Kumiko is indecisive. Come Episode 11, when Taki-sensei again asks for a vote, this time, determining who should play the trumpet solo; Kumiko immediately supports Reina without any hesitation, and it's almost everyone else who can't decide.
    • In the same pep-talk she gave Reina, Kumiko also calls back two other instances — her meeting with Reina in episode 4, where she was afraid that the former would literally murder her at the back of the school, and their hike up the mountain in episode 8. This time around, she now no longer minds if Reina does "murder" her, and returns her "confession of love" as well.
    • A callback to the first episode occurs in Episode 12, after Kumiko is forced to sit out of practice for a difficult part in the concert piece. Kumiko says, "I'm so upset! I'm so upset I could die," the very words Reina said to her in middle school.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Despite feeling the need to do so, Kumiko initially has a lot of trouble bringing up the incident in middle school to Reina (and by extension, has difficulty even talking to her). This is partially because she doesn't believe she's at fault, especially since she never meant anything bad. Eventually, Kumiko decides it's okay if she doesn't.
  • Cathartic Scream: Reina finds a nice, isolated place to let one out after hearing news that just confirms the band's lack of initiative for real practice.
  • Childhood Friends: Kumiko, Shuichi, and Aoi.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Asuka is pretty out there, and often has to be brought under control by Haruka.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The scarves on the female students' Sailor Fuku are different colors depending on what year they're in; first-years have red scarves (though they're pink for the summer uniforms), second-years wear blue, and third-years wear green. Their tracksuits and indoor shoes are also similarly colored.
  • Commuting on a Bus: Hazuki gets a lot less screen time after she fails the audition.
  • Companion Cube: Sapphire affectionately refers to her bass as George-kun and believes they locked eyes the moment she unzipped him from his bag.
  • Conveniently Seated: As usual, Kumiko sits next to the windows, second from the back. Hazuki is behind her and Sapphire is at the front of the row next to her.
  • Creepy Crows: Accompany Kumiko and Reina to the back of the school while Kumiko is under that impression that Reina will kill her.
  • Cry Cute:
    • Yuko in episode 11 after Kaori decides not to play the trumpet solo at the concert. This after all of making a mountain out of a molehill about it.
    • Kumiko in episode 12 after she's unable to play a tough part in the music. Taki-sensei doesn't say anything about it. Rather, he just tells Asuka to play that part by herself. It's here that she also has a revelation on how Reina felt back in middle school when their band didn't win.
  • Did I Say That Out Loud: Kumiko and her thoughts on the lackluster performance of her new school's band.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Kumiko and Reina's relationship plays with this.
    • The trope is played straight when it comes to Reina, though Kumiko's effort to defrost her only goes as far as "try to make her not hate me" before Reina starts making her own effort to open up.
    • In Reina's perspective, Kumiko is an inverse of this trope, as she wants to get close to Kumiko to make Kumiko be her actual, cold and distant self instead of always putting up a friendly front. Since Reina, even post-defrosting, still distances herself from anyone else, she finds that part of Kumiko to be someone she can relate to and be herself with.
  • Demoted to Extra: Reina, Hazuki, and Midori are still present but take a back seat to the character development and issues Asuka goes through in Season 2.
  • Duet Bonding: Reina's idea of a festival date with Kumiko consists of them climbing up Mt. Daikichi for a trumpet-euphonium duet without an audience.
  • Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: Asuka displays some in episode 9 after they lose some practice time due to Midori suffering a Heroic B.S.O.D. and not playing well as a result.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Kawashima's given name is Sapphire, which is a typical example of a "kira-kira name" with a pronunciation that is hard to guess from the Japanese kanji (緑輝, meaning Green/Shining). It causes Sapphire endless embarrassment, so she insists on being called Midori, which is the pronunciation of the first kanji in her name.
  • Eye Catch: Featuring members of the band according to their instruments.
  • Film the Hand: Natsuki in the second season opening.
  • First-Name Basis:
    • Kumiko, Shuichi and Aoi, though Kumiko and Shuichi refer to Aoi more formally in public since she's two years older.
    • Hazuki does this with Kumiko and Sapphire from the start, even introducing Kumiko that way. Kumiko is taken aback at this.
    • Kumiko and Reina upgrade to this in episode 8.
  • Flat Joy: After a club member praises her trumpeting skill, Reina says she's "delighted" with little to no tonal variation and a straight face.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Hazuki decides that as a complete beginner, her first year of playing the tuba is a basically a write-off. She reasons that she'll have other chances to fully participate in her second and third year. Asuka scares her into taking practice seriously by warning her that more talented first years may join the school, and overshadow Hazuki. Come Episode 11, we learn that this is what has happened to Kaori in her final year.
    • Asuka mentioning that she wish that the summer would never end during the performance in the final episodes. In the novels, it's revealed that Asuka can't stay in Kitauji for the whole school year it would take for the school to qualify for the National finals.
  • Funny Background Event: In Episode 12, Natsuki can be seen in the background while Reina is speaking to Kaori and Yuko. Upon seeing Yuko, Natsuki proceeds to prance off-screen and pull a Stealth Hi/Bye of sorts on her.
  • Genki Girl: Hazuki makes up for her lack of skill with enthusiasm.
  • Gratuitous English: Natsuki and Yuko's t-shirts in season 2 episode 2 respectively read "Cement Addiction" and "My Staple Food Is Love".
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: Asuka engages in this from time to time; it's mostly English, but she has also used Spanish and French on different occasions.
  • Gray Rain of Depression: The rain on the day Aoi leaves the band continues to the day afterward, where Kumiko and Haruka deal with their feelings toward the event.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: Kumiko engages in a brief one with Shuichi in episode 12, with both of them yelling at each other that they want to improve their instrument playing. They shout because they're across the street from each other.
  • Hand Gagging: People do this to Kumiko a few times (including Kumiko to herself) to cut her off from saying things she probably shouldn't.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works:
    • Discussed in the show, and mostly played straight. There are some who have practiced for years, only to be shown up by a younger freshman during the auditions. However, it's mostly justified due to the fact that said freshmen have played for a long time prior to high school, so have more overall experience than someone who started practicing for the first time in high school, such as Kumiko who's played the euphonium for seven years by the time she enters high school, contrasted with Hazuki, who just started playing the tuba.
    • It's further discussed in the second season regarding the nature of concert band competitions. It's argued that unlike sports competitions, music competitions are entirely subjective to the judges' personal tastes regardless of how well the band performs. Even the possibility of picking a song that the judges dislike might serve to hamper whatever efforts the band put into practice. This is also lampshaded earlier on the first season too, when the bass section first listens to Crescent Moon Dance as the piece that Mr. Taki selected for competition, and then mentioning that it's an equally strong and ambitious endeavor to play it for competition, meaning that Taki is serious about his intentions with the concert band, implying that it's going to take a great effort to be able to play it as an ensemble.
  • Hate Sink: It's suggested that Taki-sensei invoked this to unify the music club's efforts in episode 4. It works, as they do learn to play together fairly quickly because of that.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: A few happen throughout the show:
    • Haruka suffers one in episode 7 and misses school after Aoi quits to focus more on studying.
    • Midori goes through one in episode 9, having felt responsible for what happened in episode 8, when she kept egging Hazuki on to give a Love Confession to Shuichi. Though he rejects her, and Hazuki gets over it rather quickly, Midori can't help but feel she might've screwed things up by making her friend rush her confession like that.
    • The entire band suffers one in episode 10 after Yuko accuses Taki-sensei of playing favorites and picking Reina for the trumpet solo because they knew each other prior to the club. When he confirms it the prior relationship, that only seems to confirm the rumor. Consequently they all lose morale and don't perform very well as a result.
    • Kumiko suffers a brief one in episode 12 after failing to play a tough part good enough during practice. Taki-sensei then criticizes her indirectly when he just asks Asuka to play that part by herself.
  • Hide Your Lesbians: Those only familiar with how the anime portrays the relationship between Kumiko and Reina should be very wary in bringing that perception when reading the original novels. While the atmosphere between them gets very sexually charged at times the two remain, at best, only close friends, if mutual artistic inspirations for each other. Reina openly professes her attraction for Taki-sensei, and come the latter books, Kumiko herself settles for Shuichi.
  • Hime Cut: Reina.
  • Hot Teacher: Taki-sensei is pretty good-looking, and Hazuki doesn't hesitate to point that out to Kumiko not long after he's introduced to the club.
  • Imagine Spot:
    • Before she tries to confront Reina, Kumiko imagines how it would ideally go: Kumiko brings middle school up and says to be friends anyway, Reina agrees, then they shake hands and hug. The reality ends up being that Kumiko can hardly say Reina's name.
    • Asuka tries to prompt Hazuki into taking audition practice seriously by saying that a tuba player from a prestigious school like Seijo (Sapphire's old school) might one-up her next year. Hazuki then pictures appropriately-named Palette Swaps of Sapphire arriving and immediately starting a tuba duet.
    • On learning that she might be in a Love Triangle with Hazuki and Shuichi, Kumiko considers what would happen if it were revealed: Hazuki would cry on Sapphire's shoulder, Sapphire would accuse Kumiko of lying about her feelings, and Shuichi would make an ill-timed attempt to defend Kumiko's reputation, to Kumiko's chagrin.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Kumiko in the prologue, which ends up being the reason she's initially so jumpy around Reina:
    Reina: Why are people happy when we didn't even make it? Weren't we shooting for nationals?
    Kumiko: Did you really think we could make it to nationals?
  • Irony:
    • The band introduces the newcomers to the various instruments they can pick up, and after Gotou's less-than-stellar intro about the tuba, Hazuki mutters, "No tuba for me." When the time to pick an instrument comes...
    • When Reina leads Kumiko to the back of the school in episode 4, the atmosphere makes Kumiko think Reina is about to kill her. Come four episodes of Character Development, Kumiko becomes so entranced by how Reina looks during the festival that she thinks she wouldn't mind if she died right then.
    • Kumiko's Innocently Insensitive remark in the prologue is the reason Reina is drawn to her.
  • It's All About Me: Asuka's mother shrieks that her child is clearly playing in band against her wishes just to vex her. It's later revealed that this is because Asuka's father, who her mother divorced, is a famous euphonium player and her mother likely doesn't want to be reminded of him.
  • Kansai Regional Accent:
    • Used extensively in the novel due to its setting. Kumiko is one of the few characters who don't speak the dialect, due to having spent part of her childhood in Tokyo.
    • The anime sticks to Kyoto Animation's tradition of shows with real life Kansai backgrounds with hardly any Kansai dialect to be heard, even though, unlike Haruhi Suzumiya and K-On!, this show states outright where it's set. The scene in episode 3 where Asuka speaks on behalf of Kumiko's new euphonium using a Kansai dialect and Kumiko wonders why the euph would speak with an accent might seem jarring, but it makes sense considering that Asuka used the old-fashioned honorific "han" and first person pronoun "wai" (a variant of "washi"), both pretty uncommon in modern Kansai.
  • Karma Houdini: Asuka's mother, who forces her to quit the band after an embarrassing scene in the faculty room involving slapping her as detailed in Why Did You Make Me Hit You? all implicitly to prevent her from performing for her own father. Much of the tension in the latter half of the second season is because of her, but the closest to comeuppance she gets is that Asuka uses her fantastic mock-exam scores as leverage to get back into the band in time.
  • Kissing Discretion Shot: This is teased at in Episode 9 before the audition, when Reina steps right up to Kumiko and does something that gets a muffled sound out of her. The camera is focused on their feet, making it seem as though they're kissing, but cutting back to head height reveals that Reina is actually squishing Kumiko's face with her hands.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Well, it is about a concert band after all. The members of the band total up to over 60, each with their own consistent design and relationships with other band members, which aren't focused on but evident in the background.
  • Lonely Together: The crux of Kumiko and Reina's relationship is how they both naturally drift away from others. "Lonely" in this case doesn't have the usual sad connotation. See Defrosting Ice Queen above.
  • Love Confession:
    • Hazuki gives one to Shuichi. She gets rejected.
    • Reina gives two to Taki, the last of which right before Nationals.
    • And then there's the scene in the very last episode during which Kumiko gives one to Asuka, of all people.
  • Meganekko: Vice President Asuka.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • In episode 2, Kumiko attempts to steer away from picking the euphonium, as she wanted to play something different despite Asuka's insistence. However, Aoi, a childhood friend of hers, accidentally reveals that Kumiko knew how to play it, and gets dragged back to the instrument by Asuka.
    • In episode 10, Yuko is angry that Kaori didn't get the trumpet solo part. She then drags out a rumor she heard that Taki-sensei knew Reina prior to the club, and that he played favorites. This causes a lot of strife within the band, and none of them can perform well, nor do they seem to listen to Taki-sensei much. He decides to fix it by holding a second audition between Reina and Kaori, this time in front of the entire band, and to have them vote on who they feel deserves that spot.
  • No Antagonist: Most of the conflicts in the story come from the flaws within the characters and situations around the band as a whole. Even Taki, who is notorious within the band, is one of the main forces that helps them toward Nationals.
  • Out of Focus: Literally any student who isn't one of the most prominent four, Kaori, Asuka, Haruka, Aoi, Natsuki, or Goto. Shuichi fares rather well all things considered, but he still counts when compared to other major characters and being Demoted to Extra compared to his novel counterpart.
  • Punny Name: Hazuki's "Tubacabra".
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Reina learning about Taki's dead spouse was handled differently in the book and the anime. In the book, Taki straight up tells her himself, but he's confused as to why she didn't know so before as he told Kumiko about it. In the anime, Kumiko tells Reina about it as precedent for her having a chance to get with Taki later.
  • Put on a Bus: After Aoi leaves the band, she completely vanishes from the plot. She briefly appears again in Episode 12, though, and then sporadically throughout season 2.
  • Real Place Background: Kyoto Animation again lives up to its reputation of faithfully depicting locations in or around Kyoto. This time it's the town of Uji (which coincidentally also is home to Kyo Ani's headquarters).
  • Reality Ensues: You can be the best musician around, and completely motivated to become even better, but it don't mean jack if the rest of the ensemble isn't even half as serious as you are.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Kumiko and Asuka end up ripping into each other in Season 2 episode 10, finally exposing the true faces they've been hiding the whole time.
  • Recognizable by Sound: Kumiko is able to distinguish Reina's style of trumpet playing from across campus.
  • Red String of Fate: The ED shows Kumiko and Reina tied by one.
  • Role Called: Kumiko is at the story's center and her instrument in the band is euphonium. She's been playing it for seven years, with several fruitless attempts in the past to weasel out and switch to something else. One such attempt is foiled at the story beginning.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Episode 12 is full of it. A particular subtle one (and easy to miss) is shown in the part where Kumiko gets back her phone, and calls Reina, all the while looking at the night sky. Notice something? Explanation 
    • This can be noticed throughout the series if you pay attention, particularly during the duet in Episode 8. In this case, reality provides the symbolism, as if you'd stepped outside the night those episodes aired, you would have seen the same thing.
  • Running Gag:
    • Asuka not using Sapphire's nickname and Sapphire's reminder going unheard.
    • Asuka going off on a passionate spiel about something related to music and not finishing it.
    • In the anime adaptation, Kumiko always greets Shuichi with a dismissive "oh, it's you".
  • Sailor Fuku: The school uniforms worn by female students at Kitauji. Initially, the only reason Kumiko chooses to go there is because it's one of the few high schools that still have them (since in Real Life, Sailor Fuku are being phased out as high school uniforms and are more often worn by middle school students).
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: Asuka every now and then, though usually for comedic effect.
    • Happens for a moment to Taki-sensei in Episode 12.
  • Sequel Hook: The final episode has lots of these, all of them nods to book 2 of the novels. Particularly, we see Nozomi in the audience, who plays a major part in the second book, as a flutist who quit the previous year who wants to rejoin the brass band now that it's serious about competing.
  • Ship Tease: Gotou & Riko, as they are both the only second year tuba players and are frequently seen together. Confirmed in Episode 8 as they've been going steady for quite some time.
    • Katou & Shuichi as of episode 6, especially with her giving him longing looks. He turns her down, though.
    • Kumiko and Reina, of course, which still persists in Season 2. After Asuka's issues are brought more into the forefront, she gets a lot with Kumiko as well.
    • Season 2 brought out Reina's crush on Taki-sensei, as she shyly gives him back his keys and nearly falls over after he takes them from her hands.
  • Shrinking Violet: Several different characters have different elements of this trope.
    • Kumiko bows to pressure pretty easily, and gets very nervous about having certain conversations with people.
    • Sapphire wishes she didn't have such an unusual name.
    • Haruka sometimes struggles with her role as club president, worrying that she's not a natural leader and that someone like Asuka would be better suited.
    • In season 2, we learn that Mizore the oboist is a very nearly Emotionless Girl who hardly speaks to anyone.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Rikka High school, the school in the city for Kitauji to beat if they want to have even a chance at competing at the Nationals, is based on real-life Kyoto Tachibana High School, who are famous for their international-level marching band. For double bonus points, Kyoto Tachibana has been nicknamed "The Orange Demons", whereas Rikka is called "the Blue Devils" in-story.
      • The Blue Devils are also, in real life, a drum and bugle corps based out of Concord, CA, who are famed for being one of the best.
    • Kitauji's piece for the SunFes in the anime is Rydeen by YMO, considered a cult classic among synthpop enthusiasts. In the book however it's an arrangement of "Can't Buy Me Love" by The Beatles.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • The show has put a lot of effort in showing the intricacies of how a concert band works, particularly the instruments, but also the complex web of interpersonal relationships (and conflicts) that form when one tries to make fifty or more teenagers work together as a harmonious whole. Many viewers with experience playing in a competitive musical ensemble especially appreciated the latter.
    • The show also happens in "real time", marching in step with the same timeframe in the real world, enough to count as Viewers Are Geniuses at times. For example, in a brief scene in episode 12, we are shown a shot of the night sky, which coincides with an actual astronomical event during that time period. Explanation 
  • Spoiler Opening: The opening lays out who makes the cut and who doesn't for the band competition, albeit in a Freeze-Frame Bonus manner: neither Natsuki nor Hazuki are shown, and episode 9 eventually shows that they fail the audition.
  • Stern Teacher: Matsumoto-sensei, especially when it comes to dress code. When she leaves a room expect sighs of relief to follow.
    • Taki-sensei becomes this, but gives the club the option of being for fun, or for nationals. After the vote decides the club will be for nationals, he enters Stern Teacher mode.
  • Stupidest Thing I've Ever Heard: Kumiko's reaction to Asuka's claims of an instrument and player being bound by fate, though she's cut off with a 'Shut up!' and Hazuki believed it anyway.
  • Stylistic Suck: The band's performances at the start of the series.
  • Surrogate Soliloquy: Kumiko practices talking to Reina for the first time in front of her cactus.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Between Kumiko and Reina. It's fairly subtle at first, but then gets throttled to new heights in episode 8, significantly increasing the Les Yay between the two.
  • Title Drop: "Sound! Euphonium" is the title of book 3's final chapter (not including the epilogue), and of season 2 episode 9. The epilogue itself also reveals that this was the title of the euphonium piece that Asuka liked to play when on her own, which was composed by her father.
  • Title-Only Opening: Episode 13 does this.
  • Triang Relations: In the original novels, Hazuki and Kumiko both crushed on Shuichi, who only reciprocated Kumiko's feelings. One of the differences the anime has from the novels is that Kumiko isn't romantically interested in Shuichi, or is at least better at denying it.
  • Wham Line: Two are said in episode 7:
    • Aoi delivers one during the middle of a practice. Due to studying for college, she can't devote as much time to band practice as she'd like, so she ends up quitting while everything seemed to be going well.
    • Hazuki asks Kumiko if she's dating Shuichi at the end of the episode, having developed a crush on him recently and curious due to him spending so much time with her.
  • Why Did You Make Me Hit You?: Asuka's mother pulls this on her in front of the teachers. It has the standard effect: the victim placating the attacker and instantly forgiving them. At least, on the surface.
  • Woman Scorned: Asuka's mother hasn't gotten over her divorce from her husband and the girl's father. She has made every possible effort to keep them separated, making Asuka's playing of the euphonium a bitter reminder of him (as he is a famed euphonium player himself). She is especially resentful of the fact that the instrument that he mailed to Asuka has utterly dominated her everyday life since day one, making a lasting impression on the girl with relatively little effort.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Taki-sensei does this for Kumiko near the end of episode 12.

Alternative Title(s): Hibike Euphonium

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Literature/SoundEuphonium