Hibike Euphonium 02-05 — A Mostly Accurate Portrayal of Trombones

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Given my relentless pursuit of truth and justice for the accurate portrayal of trombones in anime, I had to pick up Hibike Euphonium. And I can indeed confirm, Hibike Euphonium is the savior of anime. Look at that trombone. Look at it. Those beautiful curves in the bell, that well-oiled F trigger, that beautiful silver mouthpiece. This is what a a trombone should look like. (Well, okay, the lack of any mold in the mouthpiece is a bit unusual, as is the lack of any dents. And I can’t wait for the episode with cute girls opening spit valves on each other.)

But— still, a beautiful portrayal of trombones. Ok, there was a major slip in episode five.

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It started out okay.

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But nooo what are you doing!!! That’s not how you hold a trombone!

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Ugh. Fuck you, blue girl.

Aside from that slip, though, Hibike Euphonium has run true with my own band experience. This show is bringing back so many memories for me.

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It has a completely accurate portrayal of trombone players. Yep, we seem to be the biggest slackers, in pretty much any band. Not sure why it works that way.

Also, an accurate portrayal of euphonium players:

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Eat me, kwoo.

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And an accurate portrayal of lower brass playing the trumpet. I don’t understand how anyone can play those things.

I also liked the part where they were playing the lip slurs. Hands down the most useful exercise for me.

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Another accurate portrayal of brass players. *Cries* I haven’t played my trombone in five months… Stupid neighbors…

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And an accurate portrayal of the competitions, about which approximately half the band does not give up a single fuck. I, as a trombone player, was a proud member of the half of the band that didn’t give a fuck. The trombones were always the ringleaders in not caring. I remember we pissed off the band directors so much one time they nearly left us behind at the football game…

Anyway, I’m with Green, who didn’t even want to enter the competition. The show kind of villainizes these people, as being lazy and not trying hard. Which is true! And I’m not ashamed of it at all. Why the hell should anybody care about some high school marching band competition? Everyone in my band would cry over these things and get frustrated. I was willing to work hard to make good music, sure, but I didn’t care if I won the competition. And now, ten years later, I can say with confidence that I was right. I don’t even remember if we won any of the competitions. I barely even remember which ones I entered. But I do remember the time I spent with my friends in the band as some of the most fun I’ve had in my entire life.

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I think their teacher kind of sucks. I guess they’re trying to say that he’s just being harsh to motivate them. But come on, the guy completely ignores them, doesn’t let them practice together, and expects them to play a piece together on the first try. When they fail he has no one blame but himself.

The part that frustrates me the most, I think, is that he expects people who have never played an instrument before to be playing perfectly as part of a band in a few months. This is completely impossible and shortchanges the people who put effort into playing a musical instrument. There is no way anybody who has been practicing an instrument for less than a year will not sound like crap. In the show they try hard for two weeks and they’re suddenly great at their instrument. It doesn’t work like that. You have to try hard for years and years. And even then you’ll probably still suck. (I know I do, and I’ve been playing trombone for 16 years now. Although I’ve only been getting worse for the past 8…)

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But, the anime way is, if you fail it’s because you didn’t try hard enough. If they’d all just tried a little harder everything would have been fine! I’ve commented before on how inane and stupid this philosophy is. And here is a perfect example. Nope, it was completely impossible to play that piece well for total beginners who’d only played their instruments for a week or two! No matter how hard you tried you would have failed! Life isn’t that easy, so stop blaming yourselves when anything goes wrong!

Best Girl

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*Dies*

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Tuba-kun!!!! SHIP! SHIP! SHIP! SHIP!

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Oh god….

Further Thoughts

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The missed opportunities to have a gay guy blow that fagott…

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Not sure how a tuner is going to help when the entire band is playing…

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I loved this scene where they glanced at each other from across the room. Poor Trumpet-chan doesn’t have any friends but wishes she did. 🙁 Such great character development without the uttering of a single word. There were a number of similar examples. I wish more anime would learn to do this.

 

10 thoughts on “Hibike Euphonium 02-05 — A Mostly Accurate Portrayal of Trombones

  1. The new people don’t play with the band yet. They are always sitting in their chairs, not holding instruments when they played together as a band.

    Look at the second to last pic you posted. The girls in the clarinet row, to the front left of the pic. Third girl in the flute row, next to the piccolo player. The red ties show they’re freshmen, so they’re new. None of them have instruments.

    1. Oh! I never even realized that! Suddenly everything makes more sense!

      But then wow, that means the upperclassmen really suck if they failed that easy song by themselves that badly haha.

  2. Oh dear, you were one of THOSE SLACKERS?! 😉

    I’m a huge supporter of sectionals when things aren’t going well with the whole group. It’s a great way to really pinpoint the weaknesses in each group without embarrassing them in front of others or wasting other people’s time. And to me it looked like the teacher changed up his approach with each group depending on their level and desire.

    Also, isn’t this a club, not a class? As in, I wonder if the teacher is even really required to “teach” in the same sense as if this were an actual class for enrollment. If I were him, I, too, would be annoyed to find that students weren’t practicing but expected to compete and have the same experiences as those who did practice. Why should I teach if it isn’t a real class and the students don’t really want to learn?

    1. Yep! Slackers are the best!

      Sectionals can be useful, but sectionals by themselves aren’t going to let people succeed playing as an entire group.

      I feel like he volunteered to lead the club, so he should do it regardless of whether he’s required to. And without the leadership leading, there’s no way a group of 50+ people will all stay motivated.
      As the leader his job is to make the students learn, or kick them out if they aren’t even trying.

  3. I feel you. I and some friends founded a musical society some time ago, after we started singing just for fun. And it’s so damn fun to just do it as a way to hang out and get some laughs together! But then there’s all those people who want to get all ambitious and competitive and shit and we started preparing shows and suddenly it becomes 10x more tiring and the shame of completely sucking that you didn’t feel at all when it was just fun falls on you like a ton of rocks. Why do we need to do that to ourselves? What’s wrong with just doing something for FUN and keep sucking at it if that’s the case? We already have school/university/work for performance anxiety, thank you very much.

    That is to say, I’m with you on Team Slacker, Draggle. Forever Team Slacker.

    1. Exactly! You join the band for fun, not to make a living. Of the many people I knew who took band or orchestra super seriously, it has become the profession of approximately two.

  4. Maybe KyoAni take note from C3-Bu: The Line that portray the over-competitive nature as hindrance to have fun, and seeing how unsuccessful that show is, they decide to go the other direction (that is typical sport series where ‘competitive=good, not competitive-bad’)?

    Or maybe KyoAni wish to make their anti-K-ON which arguably focus on having fun and less on go to national? Though seeing how popular K-ON is, I kinda doubt they want to stray away from winning formula, unless KyoAni find the viewer now more interested in the more-serious-yet-still-moe kind of series (which arguably what GuP is about and look how successful that series is)?

    Well, I am enjoying it so far, so whatever it is, go KyoAni!
    Make Kumiko X Reina a reality!

    1. Kumiko X Reina more or less became a reality.. although they’re going to pretend otherwise. 🙁

      I do think this strayed quite a bit from the K-On formula, they are much more competitive and the characters are growing much more, rather than hanging out and having tea all the time.

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