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Sound! Euphonium 2 is supposed to be about a high school concert band trying to win the regionals. So why am I feeling pangs of PHSSD (post-high school stress disorder) kicking in when I watch it? It’s a concert band, not drama class.

Note: This article contains spoilers for Sound! Euphonium 2.

In the original Sound! Euphonium, the story involved a high school concert band where, in the previous year, a large group of students had quit in protest at the senior students’ lack of motivation. But with a new teacher to lead and a bunch of new members, the band managed to shed its carefree, “Responsibility? What’s that?” attitude, knuckle down, and become a serious united group. As a result, they manage to win the Kyoto sectionals. The next step, regionals.

Unfortunately, things get tricky as one of the students who quit the previous year, Nozomi Kasaki (We’ll call her “A“), expresses a wish to return to the band. Specifically, she asks for permission to return from another student: Asuka Tanaka (We’ll call her “B“), who is essentially the backbone of the concert band. And here’s where things get messy…*deep breath*

A enlists the aid of her friend, Natsuki Nakagawa (We’ll call her “C“), to convince B to let A return. However, B flatly refuses, despite not telling either A or C what her reasons are.

The series protagonist, Kumiko Oumae (We’ll call her “D“) gets involved when she runs into A. D feels that A is sincere in her wish to return, regardless of whether A will be able to play in the regionals or not. D promises A that she will find out why B won’t let A return to the band…

…And it only gets more complicated from there.

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I thought I’d left this sort of drama back at school. Back where students would wail that their classmates were “out to destroy them” and the right clothes were a matter of life and death.

Granted, Sound! Euphonium 2 is a story of high school, but it still manages to capture the complexity and atmosphere of such high school drama so well. The way that people would have these “epic feuds” over the slightest things–like favorite actors/actresses or even favorite foods (yes, this has happened). There is the rivalry and backstabbing–and the teenage “I’ve lived a sixth of my life so I know literally everything there is to know” attitude.

Every single issue had apocalyptic consequences. A single bump in the road of life meant the end of the world and woe befall anyone who doesn’t take everything as seriously as the person it’s supposedly happening to…

While it’s interesting to be exposed to such adolescent drama via proxy every now and then, I’m an adult now (I think), so I’m glad I’ve moved past such things (I hope). Watching the show, I find myself transported back to the youth that I once was. It’s a mixed feeling that’s making me enjoy the series even more.

Sound! Euphonium 2 can be viewed with English subtitles on Crunchyroll.

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