Well, this show has always been an interesting one to talk about. It is easy to call it a cute girls doing cute things kind of show and in some ways that is what it is but in some ways it’s not. You can almost call this a special kind of sports show because this is about a group of kids, band students, working together to win wind ensemble competitions. While Hibike has those characters that play out the basic moe tropes, it also has a sense of drama to it that most shows in that genre can’t fill. This season has gone a different direction, but that is necessary to keep the show interesting.
What drama is going on you mask. Well, the drama of a band either wanting to win a competition or just playing for fun. An event happened before our protagonist, Kumiko, arrived on the scene that caused a rift between different band students and caused many students to drop out of the band club. While this shift of players was mentioned first season, that story arc was about Kumiko finding her love for playing the Euphonium again. Now, while the band is having a literal band camp (say that one line in the comments and I will find you) to practice to death for the next competition, that rift of the year before has reared its ugly head again and Kumiko and the gang are right in the middle of it. It’s going to be interesting to see how this one ends.
So the one thing I’m slightly cautious of, because this seems to be a trend compared to last season, is the fanservice. While that hasn’t gone up a high degree at all, it’s still highly noticeable. I doubt that this will be a problem in the coming episodes because it’s so low key and doesn’t take away from anything, but I am just a cautious kind of person. Also, the not so subtle yuri shipping is still there, but toned down a bit compared to the first season.
Yuri on Ice
Describing this show isn’t that difficult. Seriously, it’s about a guy named Yuri who ice skates. Okay, so there are more details then that. Yuri is a 23-year-old who recently graduated college and has hit a slump in his ice skating career. After not placing well in the finals, he moved back home to rethink where he wants to go in his life. After he imitated a famous skater, Victor’s, routine and had this accidently posted on the internet, Victor immediately moved to Yuri’s town to train him. The Russian Yuri, not wanting to be outdone, chased after Victor because of a promise. That’s just a little bit of the first episode and if you can tell, this is a very fast paced show. Still, it’s easy to follow what is going on because all the details are presented to the viewer in a clear and well executed manner.
Another set of strengths that the show has are it’s the characters, the animation, and the art. It’s crazy to say that Yuri has more character development in three episodes then most characters have in an entire season run, but it’s true. From being a shy kid, he found his own confidence and that’s rare. Also, the animation and still. There are so many great and highly detailed backgrounds. I mean, when a skater goes around the rink, trails are put into the ground caused by the blades themselves. Most of the animation is goofy cartoon styles, but the ice skating scenes are something else. They are show in such a way that makes them so realistic feeling. It’s so weird to think that the mixture being cartooniness and realistic merges so well, but it does somehow.
The last thing I want to talk about is the shipping. It feels like this show is designed for it. Between the way that Victor showed up and the feeling, phrasing, and wording of conversations between characters, it’s obvious there. They aren’t hiding it. Still, this doesn’t really bother me because It’s just a solid watch. I should also mention the male fanservice, because that’s still a thing. After years and years of anime that have had terrible female fanservice, it’s only fair. This aspect doesn’t over the story and characters, but it’s still there. If these aspects turn some people away from the show and that’s okay. Just don’t complain on the internet about it. It’s kind of pointless.