Sound! Euphonium The Movie – Our Promise: A Brand New Day aka A Reading by John Moschitta Jr.

hisui_icon_4040_round Sound! Euphonium has been an interesting ride as a series. The first season seemed like it could go either way but turned out fairly strong with some really strong character moments with a nice mix of drama and comedy. Kumiko and Reina’s growth is compelling and heartwarming and the supporting cast rarely overstays their welcome. Sapphire and Hazuki are particularity adorable supporting characters. There are some flaws but overall it was compelling.

The second season was a bit more of a mixed bag. When they focused on the characters from the first season everything went along swimmingly. Digging into fan-favorite characters like Asuka Tanaka provided some greater depth to the cast. When the story centered around Mizore and Nozomi everything seemed to be moving through molasses with Kumiko mostly being an observer until the end. If anything the main problem seemed to be when the series got hung up on minor characters it always dragged things down. Overall the main story-line triumphed even if the more tedious parts made it weaker than the first season. The second season ended at a place would easily have concluded the series but also left it open for more adventures.

The thing about the Mizore and Nozomi is it almost felt like a back door pilot for a series about them. Considering that the Liz and the Blue Bird movie is all about them it might have been an attempt at creating a side series. I did not watch that movie but considering it is a companion piece to the main movie I will probably seek it out if and when it comes to home video. In retrospect, considering how much I felt that their arc dragged in the TV series it might have , been a better medium to have their story in a more compact form like a movie. I guess they just burned me enough that I did not even think about that.

So now with the Liz and the Blue Bird parts are taken out of the story of Kumiko and Reina adventures I was curious to see how well Kyoto Animation could fit a new year of the saga of the Kitauji High School Concert Band Club into a single movie.

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I Want Chicken I Want Liver / Mao Mix Mao Mix / Please Deliver

hisui_icon_4040_round I’m going to talk about my impression of Rumiko Takahashi’s newest manga MAO in a bit but if you would indulge me I want to give everyone a bit of context. If I am known for anything it is as the dude who REALLY likes Type-Moon which truth be told is a fairly reasonable reputation. That said my closest friend will tell you I have an extreme fondness for Rumiko Takahashi. Her work was some of my first expose to anime, it was her series that seriously got me into fandom, and Maison Ikkoku is still my favorite manga. So anything Rumiko Takahashi is rather personal to me.

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After Hours: Refreshingly Unexpected

hisui_icon_4040_round Libraries can be a great place for discovery of new titles. There is enough new manga coming out that it is very easy to miss all but the most high profile titles. It does not help that since I dropped off of social media my chances for finding under the radar titles has gotten a bit slim. While bookstores can help I have found they are not the greatest way to dig into new titles. I know several Barnes and Nobles that still work to subtlety chase people away from the manga section due to manga cows. I can take a intriguing new book home from the library and read the whole thing at my leisure whereas I’m working on a bit of a ticking clock even for quick overview with a bookstore.

The manga that recently caught my attention at the library was After Hours by Yuhta Nishio. I was picking up the copy of Witch Hat Atelier that I had on reserve and went to see if there was anything else that tickled my fancy in the manga section before I checked out. The title caught my eye and it was not based on an anime that I knew of. It then saw it was published by Viz which explained why I had never heard of it. I have complained about this before but for the breadth and depth of Viz’s catalog they are utterly rubbish at promoting anything but there A-tier material.

The title is fairly solid but parts of it really stood out it in ways that made me very eager to talk about it. I know several people who would eat this series up. Patz from the Cockpit Podcast and Kevin from the OSMcast! come to mind. Also since the Manga of the Month is currently on hiatus I feel some obligation to talk about manga that is not Type-Moon related.

I’m going to spoil the first chapter of After Hours but I basically have to in order to show what is different about this series. I don’t think it is a big deal but I figured I would warn people.

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