Everyone’s favourite yuri band is back for more. This time we have new characters, the finals and the over-looming feeling that the third years will be leaving soon. The series picks up pretty much right where season one left off with the Katauji band in full force practicing in hopes of taking home gold.
The first arc of the anime follows two new girls (to the show) Mizore Yoroizuka and Nozomi Kasaki who were both background characters last season. Mizore plays the oboe and Nozomi the flute. Nozomi has quit but she decides now she wants to rejoin. Only problem: she wants Asuka’s permission to rejoin and Asuka won’t give it to her. As Kumiko suffers main character syndrome it’s up to her to figure out why Asuka won’t let Nozomi come back and try and convince her to change her mind. The arc had a nice climax and due to its context gave a lot of backstory about the issues with the current 2nd years from their 1st year that we heard a lot about last season. I felt the core was fairly weak. Yuko was fairly major last season (especially relating to who got the solo between Reina and Kaori) and is close friends with Mizore so why did Mizore barely show up? Nozomi makes sense as she wasn’t in the band at the time.
The second arc is a lot stronger combining both Asuka and Mamiko (Kumiko’s sister)’s family issues of wanting to do something their family doesn’t approve of. Since Kumiko is of course our main character and is close to both she’ll work through to help each. The reason I like this arc so much more is Kumiko is able to use information she learns about Asuka to help her sister and vise-versa. In the first she wasn’t close to Mizore and didn’t even know Nozomi so it felt awkward with her involvement while here she’s known Asuka pretty much since stepping on the school grounds and her sister since she was born.
The season had a number of concert scenes which actually had them play an entire piece. Two of the three even stayed mostly on the band while the third was during a good-bye party and showed scenes of major characters (mainly third years) from the 26 episodes. This was actually quite interesting as most music shows I’ve seen won’t spend that much time unless it’s something like K-On! or Love Live! that they can sell a CD for.
It’s Kyoto Animation so you can expect the animation to be top notch and that’s exactly what we get here. I noticed there wasn’t as many showcase scenes like last season though. There were certainly some sprinkled through and the show was consistently above average looking but not much like Reina flicking her hair at night with the lights behind her like season one (although they did do a similar scene with Kumiko it didn’t have the same impact)
The voice actors all return and continue doing a great job. Kumiko continues her interesting noises which is always good. The music also continues being top notch which is good.