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
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Dec 18. 2014 09:59 PM)
    @Bam, Visionary? Ain’t exactly seeing anything new here. fanservice is bad, anime is making people mindless drones. Been there done that.
    You are giving Anno too much credit man. I honestly think he just fires this shit out and laughs as fans try to find an “interpretation”
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Dec 18. 2014 09:57 PM)
    It took me a little longer to start shaking my head a Mika’s role in the series in comparison to other viewers and I thought there may have been something salvagable, but no such luck there.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Dec 18. 2014 09:55 PM)
    At the beginning I saw some potential in this sequel, although it was kind of slow going at first. Initially I was able to get behind the silly gore as dumb entertainment, at the start I liked kamui more than Makishima and I liked the way they had Akane as a stronger character too here.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Dec 18. 2014 09:51 PM)
    And Kamui’s final moment, that shot was pure fujoshi baiting I don’t care what anyone says, add to his last stand being fairly underwhelming. Another unmistakable Mika moment too later on in this episode. This is the kind of thing that leaves me depressed at it whereas previous episodes I could just laugh, raise an eyebrow or stop caring.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Dec 18. 2014 09:51 PM)
    Really Togane, is this all you come down to and amount to, an oedipus complex mess, the last nail in the coffin after you spend the show dragging out the buildup around him and killing the intrigue around him. Then giving him those silly flashbacks, now in this episode giving him a ridiculously cartoonish performance.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Dec 18. 2014 09:01 PM)
    @Bam: Well put together it is and I actually like the music, the last three minutes stood out for me particularly.
    I also noticed the Eva reference slipped into the video.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Dec 18. 2014 02:14 PM)
    This is the gratuitous fan-service done for a purpose that people argued for Kill la Kill, which quite frankly just wasn’t there, but there is no denying that even in this music video some value of the fan-service is sheerly the eye-candy.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Dec 18. 2014 02:07 PM)
    I am genuinely surprised that ME!ME!ME! hasn’t been brought up to my attention up until now. Meta and tongue-in-cheek criticisms of the Otaku culture aside, Anno has exhibited once again that he is a true visionary. The animation is done by a great team of new talent and the music fits like a glove.
    http://animatorexpo.com/mememe/
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Dec 18. 2014 08:18 AM)
    Other than that I’ve been hearing some pretty unnerving things being thrown around by people, trying to tie sociopathy and autism together, hearing people mistaking autism for sociopathy aswell =<
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Dec 18. 2014 08:12 AM)
    And so Hidan no Aria gets a second season, a spin off, I read the manga adaptation, it was terrible, couldn’t even make fun of it like I did with the first season. Time to bring out the old stashed away dismembering equipment and hunt whose responsible lol

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Recommendation corner 02 – Light novels #1

Its very easy to disregard the light novel genre completely as it is responsible for the creation of quite a number of unoriginal, bad and shameless pandering anime in recent years. However there still are worthwhile stories within the genre. They are just a little less known.   Mushoku Tensei Description: A 34-year-old NEET otaku […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 10

Very nice start to the beginning of the episode with the Unlimited Bladeworks chant. Sure, it has been parodied to kingdom come but I still love it and all it’s broken engrish glory. But now I can say it with certainty. This series is not suitable for being watched weekly. In watching this episode I […]

Nanatsu no Taizai – 10

Fights blew past fast this episode. We had four fights in one episode so my previous fears of this getting dragged look to be untrue.  Notables being the fight between a mystery girl and a holy knight whose head is so disproportionate from his body that you could swear someone took the head of a […]

Gugure! Kokkuri-San- 06-10

So I’ve been gone for a while partially because of work, school, and my political activities, but also because I wanted to try approaching how I review in a (hopefully) interesting way. I’d be interested in hearing your feedback on this, as I am trying to inject more of my own personality into the way […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 09

The pattern continues with another building up episode. Admittedly I find this somewhat disappointing. I feel that this show would be better marathoned than watched weekly as the wait for what is a essentially a build up to the next episode can hamper the experience a bit. As I said before, this show would work […]

Nanatsu no Taizai – 09

The fight between explosives girl and the sins was ended quicker than I thought. When King entered the fight it was settled almost immediately.  King made short work of her as Elaine provided some supposedly badass exposition saying how King is originally known as the king of the fairies, harlequin. I say supposedly because it […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 08

Another episode has come and gone. This episode marking the first casualty of the holy grail war. Looks like Rider is out of the running. It is a bit sad to see her go so unceremoniously and even defeated off screen. Well, we shall see you again in the upcoming heavens feel movie, where you […]

Nanatsu no Taizai – 08

There was a few questionable things here this episode. The episode starts with the new villain quite literally killing herself to enter the kingdom of the dead. Which is a big risk considering it was based on one sentence from a child she was threatening. True being a shounen show there’s likely some magical biology […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 07

As expected, this week we have another action filled episode. Queue the pretty explosions and fast paced fighting. It felt too short despite the episode length being just the same as the others. I often find that with a good episode of anime it makes you lose the concept of time as you watch. Making […]

Latest Reviews

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. […]

Clipboard05

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet Review – 81/100

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet tells the storyline of a planet that is completely submerged, with only giant ships residing on the surface, while one of those ships gets visited by this guy and his AI-mecha from this very technologically advanced civilization. Yes, this show is about world building. What this show managed to do […]