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.