I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Akito Matsuda -- Mikazuki no Mai (三日月の舞)

(from 4:12)

Yes, "Hibike! Euphonium 2"(響け! ユーフォニアム2)finished up its run more or less triumphantly in the last week of 2016, and by all accounts, it seems like the anime has finished for good at 2 seasons. I've yet to see the final two episodes since my anime buddy has been enjoying the Holidays in Japan (he returns tomorrow) but I already did catch the final scene on YouTube, and it's a bit of a switch considering all the shipping that had gone on in the past. However, the reaction from the overseas fandom has been mostly overwhelmingly positive from what I've read online. For myself, I didn't think the second season was a home run but more of a solid running triple. There was just a little too much melodrama in the middle of the show for my liking, but it looks like things ended pretty well.

Aside from the successful arrangements for concert band of "Rydeen" in Season 1 and "Takarajima"(宝島)for Season 2, the Kitauji High School Band has become known for its orchestral pop theme song, "Mikazuki no Mai" (Crescent Moon Dance) that it played to success at the end of the first season. At first, I thought it had been created long ago by some American composer but it was actually composed by Akito Matsuda(松田彬人)who was in charge for the soundtrack for "Hibike! Euphonium". In-universe, the credit for the piece has gone to Namie Horikawa(堀川奈美恵).

Listening to it in full, I couldn't help but feel that there was some tribute to the Gershwins' "Rhapsody in Blue" in that I felt a certain early 20th-century hustle and bustle of urban living. According to the write-up for "Hibike! Euphonium" on J-Wiki, excerpts from British composer Nigel Hess' "East Coast Pictures" was also used in the show, and after listening to the 2nd and 3rd movements of "The Catskills" and "New York" respectively, I could also imagine that there was some influence from them as well.

In any case, it will be interesting talking with my anime buddy when he does come back about "Hibike! Euphonium". I have a feeling though that he will be much more praising of it than I am but that's cool. I don't think there will be any more sequels to the franchise aside from a condensed cinematic version of Season 2 but it might be interesting to have a spin-off based on the complicated character of Asuka.

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