Posted by psgels on 17 May 2012 with categories: Sakamichi no Apollon

Yeah, with this it’s yet again apparent that this show is a step above most other shows about teenagers. The bond between Sentarou and Kaoru is unique. This episode was quiet, but chock full of touches that bring tension to their relationship. It’s hard to describe, but most series with relationships like this have very clear borders between how characters behave: first they’re bickering for a while, then they are laughing for a while, and then comes a moment of being heart-warming. The changes in mood are all very simple. Here though, the tone that these guys use towards each other changes constantly. One moment they’re having fun, the other Kaoru’s jealousy plays up again. There are so many subtly different sides to how they act toward each other.

Including things I can’t recall having ever seen before. Like the point where Sentarou sternly lectures Kaoru talking down on that new kid with the mushroom haircut. That really hit me in a way that I don’t think anime has reached before. It’s also a scene that said so much about the two of them, which eventually culminated into the ending. I love how Kaoru was portrayed there and how he knew very well that he acted really childish, not knowing how to really get along with people due to the way he was brought up.

The rest of the cast also changed. Aside from perhaps the three new characters, but they were a great catalyst for change as well, even though they were a bit weird at first. The Jun subplot really got interesting at the end of the episode with that cliff-hanger, while Ritsuko is also visibly changing constantly after what happened to Kaoru with her.

Overall, at this point it really looks like Apollon is Noitamina’s big hitter of 2012. It has such a refinement that is unmatched and I doubt will even be matched by the shows that will follow this year, only if Matsuo Kou manages to surpass himself with Natsuyuki this can perhaps be changed.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

18 Responses

  1. Scruffy says:

    This show is a bit like the Chihayafuru of the season for me. It’s all about the characters and how they interact, rather than the situation itself. Such a wonderful show that manages to use its pauses so well. Simply awesome.

  2. Oroboros says:

    I agree w PsGels here.The interactions btw the characters are multifaceted and constantly flowing & ebbing to the point where big moments resonate deeply. Moreover we could sympathize with Kaoru’s selfish reaction even though it was wrong.

    Apollon is one of the best of ’12 so far, up there with Fate/Zero and Chihayafuru.

  3. Jack says:

    Eh, this episode was a big letdown for me… The main reason being the annoying beatles brat. In a series that’s about the realistic portrayal of teenagers, such an effeminate and cliched character (A FANG, REALLY?) popping out of nowhere felt really off-putting. Now, this guy wouldn’t have been out of place in Tsuritama, but here he managed to ruin every single scene he was in. Hopefully they’ll scale back the fujoshi pandering before it ruins this series.

    The main character acting like a child is also getting old fast – first, his reaction to Ritsuko’s rejection was completely innapropriate, and now his hissy-fit over Sentaro’s decision to play on the brat’s rock band was laughable. Kaoru feels to much like a frail, “precious snowflake” sort of character that it seems like if this series took place in the present instead of the sixties, he’d be just another emo douche.

    • martin says:

      The ‘beatles brat’ did feel a bit out of place for me too(and I didn’t like his fang too).

      Regardless, I still thought the episode was well done.

    • Scruffy says:

      While I might agree with you a little with the ‘Beatles Brat’, I certainly don’t about Kaoru and how he responded to Ritsuko’s rejection. She told him what he did (his kiss) was unforgivable and of course he’s going to avoid her for a while because of that. Eventually he grew up with Sentaro’s help and has been getting on with her.

      As to this ep, yes he behaved like a child and he knew it. He’s someone who has moved around alot (which would be rare in those times) and has never developed friendships before and when he perceived a threat to that he acted like an idiot.

    • Scruffy says:

      BTW .. how in any way is the Beatles Brat ‘fujoshi pandering’? If anything the two male leads, especially Sen are fujoshi bate.

      • dean says:

        What’s the meaning of Fujoshi.

      • kero says:

        agreed, don’t need that new guy. we just had kaoru confessing that it scared him to be apart from Sen.

        New guy seems a bit like a stereotype, but at the same time, isn’t? Is he a nice guy or not? I can’t tell yet.

      • kero says:

        Loved this episode. I really sympathise for Kaoru, having moved around a lot as a kid, i understand that awkwardness and that fear of losing friends thing a lot. I can understand why he acted out.

    • meow says:

      such an effeminate and cliched character

      I’m not sure. I think we might have run into this series’ first antagonist. He looks like a liar and a manipulator. The things he was saying about Ritsuko talking about Sentaro’s date don’t ring true, given what we know about her feelings for Jun. I have a feeling that his story about being from a poor background may be fabricated too. He may have just done his homework and used the story to develop a bond with Sentaro to rope him into his band.

      first, his reaction to Ritsuko’s rejection was completely innapropriate

      Hm, I don’t know about appropriateness but it definitely felt real. I think Kaoru crossed the line stealing that kiss from her in the first place, when he knew she was thinking about another man and didn’t think of him that way. I’m surprised she didn’t slap him on the spot. Actually, I’m surprised Kaoru even did it. I would imagine Japanese back then were pretty conservative. A kiss is a pretty huge step.

      I think Kaoru is trying to be considerate to Ritsuko’s wishes and do his best to kill off his feelings for her as soon as possible so he doesn’t hurt her that way again. That means keeping space between him and her. Not sure how successful he’ll be. Something like that can stay with you for the rest of your life, especially a serious, straight-laced type like Kaoru but I think he’s trying to take responsibility for what he did. And it looks like he’s trying to help Ritsuko get Sentaro, even to go so far as to run interference for her against Yurika. Unfortunately, keeping that space means Kaoru is intentionally desensitizing himself to Ritsuko’s feelings so he’ll wind up hurting her a little trying to keep that space and maybe missing chances to score points with her. He has no reason to expect Ritsuko to develop feelings for him now.

    • Synkronized says:

      And the gentle giant but tough guy isn’t a cliche?

      The effeminate kid’s a part of school life. That kid vividly remains me of a fellow from my high school (the dude from my school floated into the pretentious ass zone though) in almost every aspect. People like that exist and I’m curious to see how the show handles this fellow.

      That scene near the end hints at a more conniving aspect to his character but perhaps we’ll see something more nuanced as standard for Sakamichi.

      • Anca says:

        It’s the stereotype Kurt covers in Glee, I think?

        I had a friend like that too, but in college. He was an awesome guy, but half the time I couldn’t stand him.

  4. Kaiser Eoghan says:

    I think you might be forgetting something Jack, these guys in apollon are all fifteen year kids and kids tend to act in an immature manner.
    I’ll agree with fujoshi bait on the characters though even if they are genuine and well portrayed.
    Theres no shounen-ai and I acknowledge such pairings could be unplausable here I know but my mind goes places so perhaps that why I’m agreeing its fanbait.

  5. Reverse says:

    Kaoru overreaction toward Sen seem off, it logical if you were hoping toward Kaoru X Sentaro

    • meow says:

      I don’t know. Notice the flashbacks? It looks like Kaoru lost a friend in a very similar manner when he was a kid and it’s haunted him ever since. He seems terrified of building bonds with others out of fear that he’ll wind up hurt again. Sentaro may be his first friend in a long time but now it looks like the past is about to repeat itself and he’s panicking.

  6. Anca says:

    This episode really hit me hard emotionally.

    Kaoru seems to be swinging between being unable to form attachments and forming them too fast, too hard – he obviously dislikes this about himself, but I imagine he thought something along the lines of ‘If it’s Sentaro, it’s safe, he won’t leave me’. This is probably due to his upbringing, because he couldn’t form a close relationship to his parents, as children are wont to do; I imagine he sought those relationships, in a different form, in other people and friendships with them, but this failed because the meaning was different. Most friendships are somewhat shallow by nature – if they aren’t, they tend to develop into either something called ‘romantic friendship’ or outright relationships – Kaoru will never be able to get the closeness he needs out of them, but he doesn’t realise this yet; my prediction is that he’ll have to learn that he can’t selfishly hog someone over the course of the series – the other logical path would be that he stops trying to form attachments altogether, but I doubt this will the case.

    It doesn’t help that Sentaro can’t interpret emotional cues.

    And Kaoru running away – god, how often have I ruined friendships with that exact behavior and mindset. Running away not because of fear of the pain of rejection, but because those signs indicate that the rejection already happened and I was just too slow to realise this. Without understanding that that was not was was meant. Without admitting the possibility of a misunderstanding to myself, because in that moment everything is so clear.

  7. Ishimaru says:

    Kaiser is right on the money. This show is about high school Children. I think most shows that have a high school backdrop use it for kneesocks and BURUMA not for the interesting and unique character types.

    They’re the age where they’re young enough to act immature but old enough to be aware of it. Now that makes for an interesting point of view. This show is nothing if not completely genuine and I’m loving every moment of it. Not to jinx it, but so far it’s been a titan of a show. Easily the best this season and of ’12 so far.

Leave a Reply

Shoutbox

Name:
Email:
For:  
Mail will not be published
  • Emma
    (Thursday, May 28. 2015 05:33 PM)
    @Wyatt: My head I reckon goes into an automatic defense thing sometimes I think.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, May 28. 2015 05:32 PM)
    @Wyatt: I wouldn’t personally get off on it particularly either but if I was to be completely honest while I could tell you I thought/knew it was wrong/messed/etc etc it wouldn’t change either way that my response on an emotional level amounts to little more than feeling indifferent/un-affected/unphased.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, May 28. 2015 05:21 PM)
    Finally got round to rewatching Yuasa’s Kemonozume series. This was something I dropped nearly halfway through when I was a teenager because I think I was at a stage where I couldn’t appreciate it, but on a rewatch I think very very highly of it and am genuine impressed with/by it, has pretty much all I’d want in an anime series.
  • WyattX
    (Thursday, May 28. 2015 08:18 AM)
    F’ing hell, now this is a form of hentai I am not okay with. I love gore, & I don’t mind loli, but put those two together and I have an issue. http://pururin.com/gallery/17789/0210564801.html
    As messed up as I am, at least I don’t get off to this, lol.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, May 26. 2015 02:17 AM)
    I’m going crazy waiting on that new ghost in the shell movie and those two new ovas…
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, May 26. 2015 01:43 AM)
    https://www.livechart.me/fall-2015/all
    Heres a look at the fall season ^
  • AidanAK47
    (Tuesday, May 26. 2015 01:42 AM)
    Better start writing it up. As well as catching up with Arslan though I am not sure if there is a point to that anymore
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, May 26. 2015 01:42 AM)
    Cool, new devilman’s a movie, less worry about censorship then, awesome.
  • AidanAK47
    (Tuesday, May 26. 2015 01:41 AM)
    Ah crap I am gonna have to do a new preview post soon.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, May 26. 2015 01:38 AM)
    That Aria follow up might be anime original content, having enjoyed the manga years ago, I’m up for more.
    I don’t really know if I care about Ks second season or not I probably won’t watch it.

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Khights of Sidonia S2 – 7

Moral of the story, if you build a death star planet destroying ray then you better make sure that it’s not sentient. Though it seems that the dangers of using such weaponry are lost on Kobayashi as even one wiping out the testing facility and a hefty number of people isn’t enough of a red […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 20

This episode wasn’t quite what I expected. It is true that I didn’t get the big fight I was looking for, though there were clashes going on. However this still was a very good episode. So on the matters of Kirei, Rin, Lancer and Shinji it was all done perfectly. Well there was this weird […]

Knights of Sidonia S2 – 3-6

So far the focus has been pretty heavily on Tsumugi, the chimera. Who is strangely moefied. Its really odd to see what is essentially a giant  tentacled monster display the characteristics of a innocent cutsy little girl. Still she is to me one of the better characters of the show. Untainted by the negative aspects […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 19

Oh my god, I can’t believe that Archer is the future Shirou Emiya!….said no one who watched this episode. But yes the cat is out of the bag. Archer is Shirou turned cynical and jaded after playing executioner for a couple of decades. There was a small bit showing how he contracted with the world […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 18

Well here it is. The name drop. The very thing the route is called after. And its….its…kinda bad. Of all the places to make the first visual blunder, why did it have to be here? Well Archers reality marble/noble phantasm Unlimited Blade Works was unleashed and Ufotable thought the best treatment would be to render […]

Knights of Sidonia S2 – 1-2

Even after a long break its nice to see that Sidonia hasn’t lost its edge. The story is still engaging and CG robot battles dynamic. However…was the CG this bad before? I remember it took some time to get used to the CG animation of the last season but this seems especially stiff. The easy […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 16

So at the start of this episode featured the big moment of Gilgamesh ripping out Illya’s heart and it was surprisingly underwhelming. It is true that in context this makes more sense and fits his character better. But it is a little disappointing. Strangely this wasn’t how it was in the visual novel and this […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 15

The word that encompasses this episode in a nutshell would be brutal. Whether you love her or hate her, I say few would believe that Illya deserved this fate. The tragedy is ever more pungent if you know the full details of her past. Anime only viewers may not get the most out of this […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 14

As a reader of the Fate/stay night visual novel I can confirm that the majority of this episode was anime original content. However instead of being about castors history like I thought, it’s of his backstory with her first master. In all honestly making the episode be about her history with Jason would have been […]

Latest Reviews

Shirobako Review – 80/100

When you see a harem anime and sigh as the breasts of the female lead jiggle with every step and wind that can flip a skirt it’s easy to forget that somewhere in Japan a group of people worked hard to get that jiggle right and draw each frame of animation. The hardships of the […]

Clipboard06

Nerawareta Gakuen Review – 84/100

Let me talk a bit about Ryousuke Nakamura. For a long time, this guy was my hero. He started off as an assistant director to Monster, in my opinion a big reason why that series got such a ridiculously solid adaptation, and then in 2008 he came with the groundbreaking Mouryou no Hako. No TV-series […]

Clipboard03

Kick Heart

Okay, so I didn’t want to exit 2013 without having seen Masaaki Yuasa’s Kick Heart. It’s only twelve minutes anyway, and I consider him to be one of the best anime directors out there. The story here is pretty silly and mostly serves as a backdrop, so I mostly want to talk about the nature […]

Clipboard01

Kyousogiga Review – 90/100

Everyone’s taste is different, and that’s a wonderful thing because that allows us to have so many different forms of media that all aim toward their own niche. My blog is obviously written from the perspective of my own taste, and even when a show doesn’t cater to it (which is nearly always), I love […]

Clipboard04

Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Lovecome o Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru Review – 80/100

Noucome! You do not want to know how long I have been waiting for a series like this. More than half a decade, at the very least. Finally a series comes along and puts the incredibly overused harem genre in its place. And it actually does it well. Thank you! So to elaborate: the harem […]

Clipboard01

Pokemon: The Origin Review – 75/100

Normally I try to avoid spoilers with these reviews, but screw it, it’s Pokemon. Pokemon The Origin is a bomb of nostalgia. If you haven’t played Pokemon Red, Blue or Green, then you will not enjoy this one slight bit. This really is made as pure undilluted fanservice for the fans of the first games. […]

Clipboard08

Tamayura – More Aggressive Review – 75/100

I’m not going to dedicate a post for my impression for the final three episodes of this series. It was just too boring to write much about. I guess that that gives a pretty accurate indication of what I think about this series. Right at the start of Tamayura’s second season, I asked one question: […]

Clipboard04

Silver Spoon Review – 86/100

When Noitamina started airing two series per season, it was amazing. It’s a timeslot that on average tends to be aimed at a much older audience than usual, and having two series with the same mentality definitely helped to bring more diversity to anime overall. Unfortunately it’s a schedule that could not be kept up […]

Clipboard07

Yondemasuyo, Azazel-San Z Review – 82,5/100

Reviewing a comedy sequel usually is quite simple: in most cases it just drops the bomb and runs out of inspiration, and in rare cases it actually manages to stay hilarious. The tricky thing with these kinds of series is that you need to remain funny, and you need to have the inspiration for that. […]