Hibike Euphorium: Unlikeable Characters No?

Hibike!.Euphonium

Maybe I’m used to likeable characters from days of K-ON! or any other club-centric anime, which explains why watching Hibike! Euphorium can be a little hard. From the first episode until now, I couldn’t find myself invest in any of the characters. My definition of invest as in like, support, cheer, etc. For example, I thought it was fun to watch Hirasawa Yui explore music and learning to have fun playing guitar. Or how I would cheer for Kuroko and his team in all of their basketball games.

In Hibike! Euphorium, I don’t find such characters. I don’t find this feeling. Watching the series at this point is only to find out how far the club will go and grow out from their very messed up state. As the matter of fact, I hated Kumiko at the start of the series.


Kumiko

Oumae Kumiko

I don’t hate Kumiko now. But at first, I find her unbearable. Her behavior, her selfish thoughts, her super indecisiveness makes it hard to watch. After all, she’s the main character! If a main character is so unlikeable, I’m pretty sure it makes it that much harder to continue watching the series.

Kumiko is the kind of character easily gets dragged into the flow of things largely due to her indecisiveness. She wanted to fresh start in high school but end up doing the very things she didn’t want to do. When that happens, she likes to whine and complain.

Thankfully that’s changed since. I’m still trying to figure Kumiko out and hopefully will see even more positive traits coming out of her.

Reina

Kousaka Reina

While Reina is quite an interesting character, her individualism makes it harder to relate. Her reactions to subpar achievements or performances may come off as a little distant due to her pursuit of perfection and something grander. She has higher hopes than her peers. And therefore, she also worked harder than most peers. A perfectionist is not the kind of character everyone can relate to, unfortunately.

It’s not to say Reina is a bad character, it’s just that she’s marches to the beat of her own drum. And personally, that makes her quite a difficult character to follow. She leaves a lot of question marks in my head…

Asuka

Tanaka Asuka

When the first years join the club, I thought Asuka is this highly energetic senior that can be annoying in some cases. Turns out, I don’t find her annoying because she likes to tease her juniors in a playful manner. I find her annoying because of her I-don’t-care-and-I-don’t-know attitude in critical times. Her blank expressions or skillfully maintaining neutrality whenever asked for opinions is something I wish she would at least reconsider.

Some may find that okay, but given her role as a respected senior, I’d thought she’d be more proactive in sorting out the internal politics of the club. Instead, she chose to ignore every other chaotic situations there is in the poor club and either waited other members to sort things out or let the situation work out itself.

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Yoshikawa Yuuko

This girl really gets on my nerve. Perhaps what I don’t understand is what’s it gotta to do with her whether or not her beloved senpai, Kaori, gets to play the trumpet solo part? Why does she have to poke her nose into problems that are not hers? And while doing so, she’s disturbing the newly founded trust among the teacher and students in the already fragile club.

Her dramatic attitude over Reina’s solo part made me think she’s a little too obsessed with Kaori. Plus, she’s a brat. The funniest thing I find is how she confronted Reina about the second audition. Perhaps if she’s a little bit bitchier, I wouldn’t question what’s her deal.

hibike-euphonium

Now, what about the rest, you may ask. I don’t know. I thought given the premise, the series would focus around Kumiko, Reina, Hazuki and Midori. Turns out, Hazuki and Midori are not that important. Yet. Eleven episodes in, they’re more like supporting characters alongside Kumiko and Reina rather than the main characters they’re painted to be. Furthermore, a concert band club has quite a lot of members so the minor characters may not get as much “screen time” as the ones I already mentioned above.

At the moment, if I have to choose, I’d say the most likeable character is Nakagawa Natsuki. Despite her initial nonchalant attitude towards the club, she’s actually a hardworking, calm, easygoing, understanding person. But I have a sneaking suspicion that she’s a forgettable character.

I understand that at the point of writing this post there are officially only eleven episodes aired so it can be a very premature piece. Things may change after passing the half way point. In fact, they should change. However, given the fact that Hibike! Euphorium has already come this far, not having a single memorable character is a little worrying.

Let me be clear though: I don’t hate Hibike! Euphorium. The series isn’t bad and the story is picking up. We are seeing changes week after week. A proper competitive concert band is slowly formed. Just that at this point in time, in my opinion, the characters are pretty screwed up. Correct me if I’m wrong!

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17 thoughts on “Hibike Euphorium: Unlikeable Characters No?

  1. Haha nice topic, I can get mean now, can I ? The characters really are a mess now, I also can’t really like anyone but one in this show. They are all so uncheerful and grumpy. Kumiko is super weird, although I like parts of her behavior, but she’s crazy. I hated Reina at first until episode 8 where she finally could shine.

    I like Hazuki the most with her spirit that reminds me of K-ON, but she has no big role.

    I feel a bit betrayed by the Asuka character, of course on first impression she was beautiful, funny and friendly, with the later episodes, this first impression fees like a fake, she’s apparently self centered.

    Overall, it’s a totally strange show, the topic is strange, a orchestra club!?
    but also the execution of everything is a partially lackluster drama.

    on a personal note I would have never chosen such a painful club, work, work and a bad mood.
    I always thought this anime would show us the appeal of wind instruments at one point.
    It nearly appears like the author wants to rehabilitate his highschool trauma 😄

    • Haha, of course you can be mean now! Permission granted! Not that you need mine anyway >.<.

      Yes, I find Kumiko's character weird and hard to like at first. At least, I think she's okay right now, but when I started watching the show, I was like…why is the main character so unlikeable?! Then, I realize the same applies to a lot of the show's characters…

      Hazuki would seem like your favorite character of the bunch. She's your type, I'd say. Haha. But yeah, like Midori, Hazuki seems to have very little role. I actually thought she's one of the main characters!

      Hmmm…like I mentioned in Twitter, the show has its good times and bad times. Well, it's not something I'd recommend, that's for sure!

      • To be fair, I’ve wrote this comment with 3 episodes behind.
        It got rather good in the last 12th episode, when Kumiko accepted her role and also confessed to love her instrument ;D In the episodes before, I really missed that the students had fun in this club and showed some dedication torwards playing at all. My mayor complain is that the “prison atmosphere” was dragged too long. It’s nearly over now and not much was accomplished.

        Haha, yeah Hazuki is my type (⁄ ⁄^⁄ᗨ⁄^⁄ ⁄)
        No, really, she is fun and an honest friendly girl, also rather cute.

        Yoshikawa Yuuko wasn’t really necessary, actually she appears too well nutured for such an act.

        • I agree with you. It’s what I felt initially when watching the series. The club members didn’t seem all that much interested in making the nationals and were just going with the flow and that affected some serious club members and the whole political thingy began. These periods were tough to watch.

          I finished the last episode several days ago and thought the ending was pretty anticlimactic. It wasn’t bad, but it lack the atmosphere of a real competition. Perhaps I’m missing the point of the series. Sigh.

          • Me again!
            Oh what a bad final, I could feel nothing about them making gold, even worse, I barely liked 4 characters. The scene with the good luck charms also felt awkward, there never was “team spirit ” in this band before and then this. Also they totally ignored any competition elements in it..
            The show in review is actually not so good, outstanding animations, yuri vibes and drama don’t make a good anime by default, for some point 1 and 2 are enough, but I expected something better.

            • 100% agree. Like I said, not sure if I’m missing the whole point of the series, but to me, this is not a series I’ll re-watch or recommend. The mere mention of its name will not bring back fond memories, lol.

  2. I would say. Hibike is quite unconventional for a Kyoto Animation title. While the cast would seemingly try to present the same aura as most Kyoto Animation characters have in the past, it just feels very different. Too different even.

    I agree Kumiko got in my nerves the first few episodes. She was too bland as a KyoAni protagonist. That was before however. I’m now confident enough to tell you that Kumiko is in fact one of my favorite characters of the series.

    The drama feels misplaced. If you’d notice, the drama was more centered on the minor characters and this annoys a bit. I mean, there’re only 13 episodes in the anime. When do we get to see something?! (aside Hazuki’s confession debacle)

    The series is fine overall. Props to you for liking Natsuki /highfive

    • Given the slow development of the series, I thought this anime is scheduled for two season or 24 episodes. When I learned that there are only 13 episodes, that’s when I know to give up on the series. As in, not to expect too much. It’s very disappointing because there’s certainly potential for the series. You know, high school, club-centric, slice of life, etc…Sigh. Major disappointment.

      Going at this rate, I don’t even know if we get to see a proper ending. My definition of proper ending for this series would be at least they get the final result of the upcoming competition, whether they win or not.

  3. Oh, so many of us also get the impression that Hazuki and Midori are more like supporting characters than MCs along with Kumiko and Reina. I think, though, that the way the four are painted as the “banner image” of the anime is as if for Kyoani to seemingly continue to tradition of featuring high school girls in a club. If we look at it from this perspective, it’s actually kind of a bait. KyoAni has good ‘marketing’ schemes, even if they have to initially fool everyone to thinking that this is just your usual KyoAni show. In the end, it really doesn’t compare to the past high-school-girls-shows they made in the past.

    • Then I fell for the bait, haha. I really thought it’s the usual four girls high school anime that was once so popular (And then the four guys high school anime sort of pick up speed as well.). The club part was just a bonus.

      Yes, I agree. KyoAni has way better shows than this one.

      • Yep, but even before the series aired, I felt that it would be a bit different from the likes of K-ON!. The novels are highly acclaimed and the trailer just had that unconventional-for-Kyoani vibe in it that I couldn’t explain. Oh wells, seems like the anime, as it turned out, didn’t exactly follow the novels. So its charm can’t only be attributed to the well-written source material. It’s KyoAnified, but at the same time didn’t really feel like something KyoAni would normally make.

        That said, I think highly of this show, and now it’s probably one of my top favorites from the studio. It made me feel a wide array of emotions in every episode. And it’s absolutely visually stunning. I get where you’re coming from for not liking this that much, though.

        • I didn’t watch the trailer or read the novels. I used to watch trailers before an anime season starts, but I’m a little short on time these days. For this one, I picked up based on hunch and the synopsis I read, lol. But that’s okay. If it’s so bad, I would’ve dropped it halfway, anyway.

          Different anime fans have different tastes. That’s why we’re spoiled for choices!

          • Same here. I don’t really watch PVs nowadays, and even rarely read the firsthand information on any upcoming series. But KyoAni shows always get my attention, and I admit I’m biased for KyoAni, the studio, and not necessarily for everything they make. (Though everything has been audio-visually well-crafted–the stories are, well, another ‘story’)

            • For me, I have a soft spot for P.A. Works. Quality production in terms of artwork and animation. But after Glasslip, I no longer just watch an anime for the sake of beautiful scenes. Glad that made it up in Shirobako though.

              • Seems like nobody is going to forget the abomination that was Glasslip. That series just destroyed the track record of P.A. Works for me (and, I guess for you and a lot of fans). Lesson learned the hard way. I actually can’t believe it now that I really survived those 12 (or was it 13?) weeks of nothingness.

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