After watching all eight episodes that are currently out in the series, I've decided Hibike! Euphonium is indeed a great anime. There are four episodes of anime to go, and it looks like they'll stop after covering just the first light novel of source content, even though there are three volumes already out.
As Kyoto Animation is notorious for never making sequels to its old shows, realistically speaking this is all we'll ever get. But it's enough. There isn't a single weak moment, line, character, or drawing in this whole show. It's beautiful, realistic, appealing and full of subtle characterization and wise words. For some reason, this story keeps a very even keel and doesn't draw out strong emotions from the audience. I think this is intentional, in the sense that everyday life just doesn't tend to be highly emotionally charged, and we have to work within the parameters of the real world because this is a very realistic drama. Instead, it piles on quality like a snowstorm that buries your house under ten feet of silent, slow snow and it's taken your soul away before you know it.
There's a good deal of humor in Hibike! Euphonium, but there are no clowns. There are no stupid comic relief sidekicks. The humor comes from the real world just being the way it really is, and people noticing that and accommodating themselves to it as they live through it. That's a sign of a really well written story.
Hibike! Euphonium merits entry into my rankings, but that doesn't mean it's going to shoot up to a high spot in them. Alongside Kyoukai no Rinne, it's fine if it just sits at the bottom of the rankings from here on. At just twelve episodes, and with such a subdued theme of normal high school life in a brass instrument band, it would be difficult to compete with stories as epic as Akame ga Kill or Yuuki Yuuna that struggle with life and death issues from start to finish. Just being a uniquely good series is praise enough for this show. Greatness isn't relative, it's about meeting criteria to rise to a certain level of worth that can no longer be ignored. In that sense, Hibike! has arrived to the golden land just by reaching #172.
Both Hibike and Danmachi's authors are entering my good books rankings. The competition for light novel author slots is weaker than the competition for great anime spots, so they easily found themselves outcompeting the people who were previously there, the authors of Moshidora and Asobi ni Iku yo. Hopefully someday I'll find better authors than Oregairu and Noucome as well, but for now this is a satisfying improvement to the overall worth of my light novel section.
Green Lantern was a surprisingly good movie. I don't know why the critics were so angry with it. I hope the 2020 reboot isn't just so they can feature that stupid black green lantern ripoff found in the animated series. Ugh.
Despite all the filler nonsense, I still like season 5 of Game of Thrones. It's more or less still following the plot, and the acting, costumes and scenery make up for the rest. The ending of the Flash tv season is very disappointing. Couldn't they have just let Zoom go back to the future like he asked? What a bunch of jerks. I'm interested in what happens next so I'll continue watching the show, but the last ep really brought my hype down a peg.