Writing a review for the second season of Hibike was not an easy task to do. Maybe because I'm a musician, this get even more emotional and hard to express in words. But all I can feel for this anime is love. I have the most deep and fond love for this whole story. So, please, don't expect a totally unbiased review, I really can't talk about it without showing how awesome for a musician is to see a music genre anime like that and not talk about it with passion and even excuse some minor failures. Specially because here I'm talking more as musician than as an anime fan. Even more specially when there are so few animes about concert music.
One of the things that enchants me the most in this anime without a doubt is the art: the typical trait from Kyoto Animation purely amazes me. You can lose yourself in the small details of the eyes of the characters, the lights in the landscapes, all the random background scenarios... They're all beautiful. But, do not fool yourself, despite the delicacy of the traits, the plot is a little more deeper than the vast majority of this genre from KyoAni, especially K-on!, that is probably more known and relatable to Hibike.
I also want to make it clear that I simply admire a lot the work of a studio that is bound to make an anime of this kind with such dedication and offer the viewers an outcome in which hardly are found visual and aesthetic defects. This enables us to pay more attention to details, let's say, "more important" as the details of the plot. Still, the art is absolutely seductive.
Throughout the story all the characters and especially Kumiko had a lot of developing, maturing and growing both intra and interpersonally. It's a fun and interesting process to watch and sometimes this get really exciting, especially for those who like to keep up with musical improvements and friendship strengthening. Also, there is something about each character that gives you the feeling that there aren't really just one main character and some other few supporters. They are all important, they all have background stories, they all matter somehow. The same thing happens when you see an orchestra: all musicians are important, all of them makes a difference and all of them have their special solo moments of shining bright. Then you get lost in the stories and personalities of every one of them, even the annoying and cliché ones. Nevertheless, some shine enough so you'll probably forget the most boring ones. I had a quite funny time paying attention to some characters in particular, though my favorite character, which is Reina, end up stealing this attention several times. There are some characteristics in her personality that blend in me sensations that I feel and some that I really wanted to feel.
In fact, talking about the story, Hibike is very focused on relationship issues. You see the characters having all kinds of relationships: lost love, platonic love, unrequited love and pure love. And despite KyoAni appeal, unfortunately there's some fanservice when it comes to love relationship among girls, especially between Kumiko and Reina. All the scenes that they were together saying suggestive things about their relationship made me very happy and cheering for them, so it's a pitty that is seemingly something that only will be there for fanservice. This is why I don't give the story the maximum rate. Forget about fanservice, KyoAni, please. We had enough of it. Also, the pace. Gosh, don't kill me with that slow pace. I can handle drama quite well, just make it fast and end it up okay, for goodness sake.
Now, to talk about the sound part is my favorite thing ever in Hibike. That's the part that makes my body shiver from emotion. The first thing I want to say is that if you guys like this kind of music and never been into an orchestra concert before, I strongly recommend that. Because then you can fully understand the feeling of being in a musical presentation and lose yourself in each musical movement of the piece. Only then you can comprehend how it is for a musician being pressured to impress, to touch and reach the heart of the audience. That all the effort until there was worth it. And believe me, it's A LOT of effort.
Second thing I want to say is that I'm envious. I really wanted that kind of club when I were at school. Because that kind of effort is really something, to get so far in musical competitions IS a big deal, and to see that this is being taken seriously by students that probably won't all become musicians, you know, seeing non-musicians liking music that much is a heartwarming thing to see.
Third thing: the OST is amazing. Really beautiful. The choices they made for the songs for the band to play are incredibly invigorating and astonishing. Matsuda Akito did a wonderful job here, I became a huge fan of him and I'm going to listen to the soundtrack whenever I can. Also, the choices of female characters playing instruments that aren't common or expected to the gender was something that made me very very happy. Seeing girls playing brass and percussion instruments was something inspiring.
Finally, I wanted to say that episode five, in especial, brought me to tears. And, of course, made me happy for being a musician and gave me more strength to keep on doing what I love. It's absolutely wonderful to be encouraged to do what you love by something else that you also love.
So, Hibike is an anime about the burning desire to make your seemingly impossible ambitions come to life. And that's why I like it so much, and also that's why I was super anxious for this new season. I wanted to feel all of those emotions again. Even though I probably haven't been able to fully explain as well as I would like and demonstrate to you guys how beautiful I found this animation, I really hope each of you, who read this wall-text to the end, can give it a look and be surprised yourselves. read more
This is the first time I've ever written a review on this site, mainly because I'm honestly angered with how this season of Hibike is turning out, and I absolutely loved the first one, being my most liked show since Hyouka.
First off, compared to season 1 the pacing is slower and more focused, though for the worst... I don't know how to write this without spoilers so I apologize if one slips out, my gripes so far are threefold:
1. The way things are being exposed. Flashbacks and more flashbacks, Kumiko is getting info-dumped left and right about this “huge” drama that happened a year ago, which mainly involves a couple of girls. She is kind of being dragged and has no role expect for being the viewer’s vessel, which is fine, it happened in season 1 once or twice, her personality lends itself to be the kind of girl whom everyone sounds off, she’s a good listener but not really someone who could give you any kind of advice, this season is going overboard with it though. There’s nothing organic about Kumiko’s involvement in this particular drama, she just happens to conveniently be at the right time, in the right place to either eavesdrop on a conversation in the middle of the night or find one of the parties involved about to throw up from a PTSD attack.
2. Literal ‘forced drama’. I hate this phrase, but I don’t know how else to explain what went on during the first 4 episodes of the show. I can’t get into much detail without spoiling the whole buildup and “climax” of this arc, but there were some plotholes and issues with characterization involving these two girls, Mizore and Nozomi, of which the drama revolves around. Too many coincidences and probably black magic was involved in order for the bubble to not burst earlier.
3. Mediocre production quality for KyoAni standards. KyoAni is known for having top notch visuals and consistent animation, but so far we’ve gotten very little eye candy compared to season 1. Full body character animation during wide angle shots feels stiff and sloppy, a few compositing mistakes during episode 1, episode 3 consists mostly of camera pans, and they are being very conservative with the frame composition as well, utilizing medium and close up shots for most scenes, very uncreative and bland, except for maybe episode 2. If it wasn’t for all the subtle character expressions and detailed eye designs, I wouldn’t even know I was watching a KyoAni show at all. I can only assume that with Koe no Katachi and Kobayashi-san overlapping in their schedule, they had to cut corners, and since they do most of the production in-house, this year must’ve been tough. But still, I find it unacceptable for this particular studio which I hold in very high regards.
S2 has been attempting to pull along with making the drama between two underdeveloped characters a complete mystery and lazily dropping hints throughout the episodes. The build up wasn't handled perfectly and while the conclusion was nice, it didn't come close to what it was trying to achieve.
Not everything is bad though, characterization and development for Kumiko, Reina, Yuuko and Asuka has been top notch. You can see how Kumiko and Reina have grown as characters and how comfortable they are with each other now, compared to the awkward Kumiko and silent, almost unapproachable Reina of season 1. Their progression feels very natural, I especially like how Kumiko keeps casually teasing her, these cute little moments alone are enough for me to keep watching, and here’s hoping that the next few arcs can turn things around, I’m hopeful and I really want to know what’s going on with Asuka and Mamiko as well. read more
I really like this anime so far, the characters are very well written, each with their own instrument and personality. The story is a bit wonky, *Mini spolier ahead* I really wanted the main characters (Kumiko And Reina) to get together, seeing as they kind of like eachother, but they haven't (as of EP 3) but it's still an outstanding story
Story: 10- Very good storyline to the anime
Art: 10- Very good animation here, no complaints.
Sound: 9 - Very amazing music and sound, but the characters mumble a lot, I know they are suppose to but it's very hard to hear them, despite subtitles.
Character:9 - They kind of resolve their problems a lot easier than they should, but they really worked on personality here, I like that
Enjoyment: 10 - I really loved this anime, despite the main characters not being together :( But you know, it's good
Overall: 9 I HIGHLY recommend this anime to you, if you like music; even better! And so far, this season isn't better than season 1,thought, but still, very nice anime.read more
As a man who listen to many genre of music ranging from classic to hardcore metal, I can strongly state that this anime series has much more potential than many other music anime.
Created and produced by Kyoto Animation, the series already covered itself in a vibrant colored-atmosphere and neatly drawn background with a great choice of color and camera view. Since forever the character design of this studio have not changed much during these several year, but that is a greatness in my point of view.
The story continues from the previous season where the school of main character has just won the competition and stepped forward for a bigger stage. I have to admit that the plot of this anime is the weakest point since it is too generic and straight forward. There are some part that many people could not understand the decision of the characters.
However, the plot is not everything. The way this series create and bond their characters are just great and fun to watch, especially our main character (Kumiko). Kumiko is not the most beautiful drawn character, not the most talented, not a very nice person, and most importantly, not an "ideal" main character. It is one the spices that make this show so good, realistic and relatable to viewers. The way this series portray MC is little bit different from others, where they focus mostly on a matter of main characters. Here, we can see other characters from a point of view of our MC. This perspective gradually show our MC mindset and thought, and build a stronger relationship with viewers. There are almost 40 individual in the anime and yet I can not take an eye off anyone of them.
I am not the one who enjoy the OP/ED of anime much but Hibike first season's OP gave me an expectation for the second one. It is sad that the OP that contain so many orchestral instruments only showed up in the first season and leave this season a normal tune tv size feel.
However, the most vital part of sound is Back Ground Music. KyoAni shows us that they can use the right sound, tone and instruments to create the mood and smoothly express a feeling of every character.
Overall, I have enjoyed my weekend waiting and watching this show a lot. As a pianist and even joined the concert band in my youth, I am very excite on every second watching this anime. The way they portray life of a band student, the song, the part, and the drama, everything seems like it was happened to me yesterday.
If you like music and anime this anime will not disappoint you.read more
Sometimes when you look at a new season you find yourself despairing because all you see are a bunch of sequels to anime you've never seen. However I'm here to tell you that you should view this as a fantastic opportunity to catch up on all these anime you haven't seen before the new season begins!