Although much of the anime that gets theatrical distribution on these shores is notable for its diversity, representing genres from fantasy to sci-fi, samurai folk tales, domestic drama, and war stories, in Japan a large share of the anime market is dedicated to stories about nubile schoolgirls. Tatsuya Ishihara directed this latest spin-off of the popular TV series Sound! Euphonium, based on the characters in Ayano Takeda’s novels and manga about the Kitauji High School Music Club in Uji, Kyoto. The opening scene alludes to a potential romance for the heroine, Kumiko Oumae, who plays the euphonium in the school band, but boys are tangential in what follows, most likely because the male teens (and adults) who make up the target audience would rather watch girls in miniskirt uniforms, knee socks, and thigh-high stockings—fetishistic images that have global currency. But aside from hints at same-sex crushes, the movie is not erotic, focusing instead on the subtleties of Japanese etiquette and protocol and the pressures to excel; it’s really about high school as preparation for Japan’s complex business culture. The character renderings, particularly some of the close-ups, are skillful, but the most alluring visuals are the painterly backdrops: lush yet delicate, like watercolor washes, they add layers of melancholy and nostalgia to this take on high school and its rites of passage. In Japanese with subtitles (7/11); English dubbed version (7/15).