Sound! Euphonium Season 3 Review – A wonderful conclusion to Kumiko’s orchestral and dramatic endeavors!

Season 3

Episode Guide

Episode 1: New Euphonium -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 2: Triangle Syncopation -|Review Score – 4/5
Episode 3: Blue Prelude -|Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 4: Etude With You -|Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 5: Twilight for Two -|Review Score – 4/5
Episode 6: Wavering Dissonance -|Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 7: Summer Fermata -|Review Score – 4/5
Episode 8: Melancholy Ostinato -|Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 9: Dissonant Tuning -|Review Score – 4/5
Episode 10: Expressing Appregios -|Review Score – 4/5
Episode 11: Orchestra of the Future -|Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 12: The Last Soloist -|Review Score – 5/5
Episode 13: Connecting Melodies -|Review Score – 4.5/5


If there’s one animation studio, besides Ghibli Studios, known for bringing anime fans emotionally-rich works of art, it’s Kyoto Animation Studios. While not all of Kyoto Animation Studio’s best anime will make fans swim in a pool of tears, this company is known for bringing their A-game to every manga, light novel, etc. that they touch. This new anime season saw the return of one of their best adaptations, Sound! Euphonium (or Hibike! Euphonium).

Sound! Euphonium Season 1 didn’t hit the ground running in the beginning. It took time for the story to immerse audiences in Kumiko and her friends’ beautiful, music-centric universe. But while Sound! Euphonium Season 3 has its troublesome instances, Kyoto Animation Studios can safely add this one to their list of fabulous anime offerings. 

Sound! Euphonium Season 3 picks up where the Sound! Euphonium: The Ensemble Concert Arc film left off. It continues exploring the musical and occasionally tense affairs of Kumiko and her Kitauji High School concert bandmates. After becoming her high school’s president, Kumiko must assist her bandmates with their problems. Additionally, Kumiko must help Kitauji High School earn gold at the National Competition (Nationals).

Season 3 delivers a tale that’s a huge improvement over its sequel films. This season carries strong tension, endearing slice-of-life scenarios, compelling themes, and wonderful musical performances. The drama is on par with the series’s seasonal outings.

Season 3’s smooth pacing allows audiences to immerse themselves in the new and returning cast’s dilemmas. From the first-year students’ difficulties with Kousaka’s harsh training methods to Mayu’s overarching quarrels with Kumiko and Kitauji, fans will find this season’s slew of dramatic storylines gripping. Although Kumiko has her work cut out for her in Season 3, she too, has problems that plague her progress. From stressing over career and college choices to struggling to maintain order in the band, fans can relate to and understand Kumiko’s frustrations here. 

On that note, Season 3 touches upon concepts like loneliness, talent, work ethic, adulthood, and acceptance to incredible effect. Mayu’s character arc in Season 3 is a great example of three of these. Season 3 excellently foreshadows her feelings of isolation, exceptional instrument skills, and desire for acceptance gradually throughout the narrative.

This season also offers a nice mix of comedic and peaceful story segments. From entertaining festival activities to snarky conversations at school, fans will thank the series’s creator, Ayano Takeda, for implementing her cast in grounded situations that’ll strike a core with them.

Season 3 offers small touches of music appreciation and focus. Most performances are tied directly to Season 3’s dramatic story beats, helping these performances feel important. 

This season also presents the usual musical terms, strategies, events, and songs that’ll entertain any music enthusiast. But while the narrative’s nearly flawless, it has its problems. First, Season 3 doesn’t give audiences much to watch on the music front. Some events like SunFes, the Prefectural Competition, the Kansai Competition, and others are skipped over in favor of other things. 

While some won’t mind that, others, especially those who grew to admire this anime for its musical performances, will be slightly disappointed. Next, some character-focused dilemmas weren’t tackled as well as others. Two examples include Motomu’s problem with his grandfather and Kousaka and Kumiko’s “broken friendship” near the season’s endpoint. 

The former’s situation suffers from feeling slightly forced and having a subpar resolution. Many will argue the showrunners should’ve focused on Motomu’s conflict with his grandfather more in the Sound! Euphonium: The Movie – Our Promise: A Brand New Day movie. As for the other drama segment, Kousaka and Kumiko resolved their issues faster than many would’ve liked.

Although the outcome is favorable, more time should’ve been dedicated to exploring that break-up. It would’ve made their decision to reconcile afterward in episode 10 feel more touching, meaningful, and realistic. Next, some chapters didn’t handle the concept of time properly. Episode 10 is a great example of that. It had moments where it was difficult to follow our characters’ actions because they’d hop from one scenario to another. This wasn’t a concurrent issue throughout all the chapters, but it’d be wrong not to highlight this outlier.

Lastly, Season 3’s conclusion may spark controversy over a particular outcome that unfolds before Nationals. This is regarding Kyoto Animation Studios’s team committing a risky move. They went against the source material and changed a certain dilemma’s result. While this decision did receive the green light from Takeda herself, many fans won’t adore the outcome behind our females’ audition duel.

Nevertheless, Season 3’s tale wreaks love and passion, and we’re glad to say the characters are just as wonderful. Kumiko’s come a long way since her first-year forays at Kitauji High School. She demonstrates the qualities one would want from a leader. Despite her leadership skills, Season 3 reminds folks that Kumiko is a human, capable of making mistakes and decisions that’ll go against the green. It’s these flaws that make her feel rounded, relatable, and authentic to the public eye.

Additionally, the returning cast is equally entertaining. From Kousaka’s problems with the first-year students to Taki’s questionable decision-making habits, the returning cast has moments of triumph and stress many audiences can get behind. The new additions are fine for the most part. But besides Sari and Mayu, the others lack significant impact or serve as comic relief stand-ins. Nonetheless, Season 3’s cast was remarkable and fans will enjoy seeing what type of dramatic, joyous, and amusing situations they stumble into.

“Absolute cinema” is a phrase today’s generation would use to describe Season 3’s visuals and animation. From its casual scenarios to those where our characters are drenched in tears, many will argue the visuals are on par with 2023’s Spider-Man: Across the Spiderverse and The Boy and the Heron.

The level of detail and polish given to the characters’ designs during the series’s tense moments are out of this world. For retro gamers, it’ll make them relive the excitement of seeing Mario go from a pixelated gentleman in Super Mario Bros. to a 3D polygonal being in Super Mario 64. The imagery is spectacular and the animation team deserves praise for going beyond the call of duty. 

Musically, Season 3 delivers exceptional music, at least with what we receive of it. Although Season 3 prioritized its drama over the music, the melodies inserted in it will please audiences. From the background OST to the grand orchestral performances, it all sounds lovely to the ear. The voice acting is superb, with a few actresses and actors giving it their all during the show’s climatic developments. 

Despite Kyoto Animation Studios facing a tragic loss in 2019, many questioned if the studio could make a proficient comeback in the 2020s. Like other sequels released during the Spring of 2024 anime season, Sound! Euphonium Season 3 came and went, with many diehard fans tuning into it to see how Kumiko’s final adventure would unfold.

Although this tale is riddled with issues, this dramatic and music-driven anime deserves a gold star!  

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  • Verdict - 9/10