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.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

TRUE -- Dream Solister

It hasn't happened to me all that often in the past few years of watching anime, but once in a while, there is a WOW! moment when I watch a show and I realize that this particular piece of Japanimation (yep, I'm using that hoary expression) may be going places..or at the very least, will be generating conversation. That moment for me came on that anime about the high school band that could, "Hibike! Euphonium"(響け! ユーフォニアム)over the past summer. Seeing the Kitauji High School Band perform YMO's "Rydeen" was enough to drop my lower jaw, and even enough to devote some "Kayo Kyoku Plus" space to it.

But "Hibike! Euphonium" was one of those likable anime that didn't have magical super powers or flesh-eating giants. And nor was it just a slice-of-life show with some of those whimsically humourous vignettes. It was about a band of high school students with their own talents and weaknesses led by a nice-if-deceptively harsh teacher with his own lessons to learn for his career, who over the course of a typical cour, handle their relationships through rough and smooth while practicing and improving their way to Regionals. Sounds somewhat like "Glee". After finishing the triumphant finale, both my anime buddy and I agreed that we would be looking for a potential sequel next year.

Until that announcement comes out, I will also enjoy the triumphant opening theme to the show, "Dream Solister" by TRUE, aka Miho Karasawa(唐沢美帆)from Tokyo. It's not quite the earworm...there is none of that onomatopoeia which has enabled some of those other themes to burrow into my brain. But it's a band-assisted ode to joy was written by Karasawa and composed by Yusuke Kato(加藤裕介)that has grown on me over the weeks as that happy introductory theme which manages to keep things optimistic even following the latest dramatic cliffhanger from the previous episode.
(karaoke version)

When I first saw the title, I slightly scoffed at the word "solister", thinking it was another one of those invented Japlish words on the level of classics such as "pokeberu" and "purikura".  Well, as it turns out, it actually comes from Norwegian and is the indefinite plural form for "solist" meaning "soloist". My apologies to TRUE on this and thanks to Wiktionary.

As for my own band experience, I didn't quite go through as amazing or as dramatic an experience as the kids at Kitauji High did. But I did do my three years of junior high band, notably playing the theme from "MASH" on clarinet. It wasn't any walk in the park but I certainly preferred that instrument over my first attempts on the French horn. Now, that was truly Hell on Earth!

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