[Nine] “I want to improve!”

kumiko oumae i want to improve! crying, kumiko sound euphonium crying "i want to improve!" kumiko running and crying in sound! euphonium, euphonium anime, kumiko hibike! euphonium episode 12

“I want to be better than everyone!”

A surprisingly nuanced take on the teenage experience and being part of something – in this case, concert band – presumably greater than one’s self, Sound! Euphonium resonated with a lot of viewers for many reasons.

For me, personally, I resonated with the feeling of failure.

Sound! Euphonium is the rare series that shows – primarily through the character of Kaori Nakaseko – that even if you work incredibly hard, and try your absolute best, there still may be someone else who is better than you.

Working hard isn’t always enough. Natural talent isn’t always enough. Even when combining both, it still may not be enough for you to become the best.

I want to improve.

Over and over, Kumiko shouts this until the words blend together while running and crying. She cries not because she’s said, but because she’s angry. She’s not angry at her teacher who, by omission, told her not to play her instrument, she’s angry at herself for not being good enough.

I want to improve.

I can understand this a thousand times over. The running, the crying, the anger, and above all, wanting to be the best.

One comment

  1. Kumiko’s struggle is what rocketed her to the top of my favorite characters for the year. Her raw frustration and desire were so tangible, even more so because of my own experiences in music. Lovely choice!

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