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
    (Saturday, Aug 1. 2015 09:47 PM)
    @Aidan: I would recommend downloading it rather than browser-playing it as my browser kept crashing when I tried to.
    Its quite short but it gives a great teaser and introduction to the game, that gets me excited for it.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Aug 1. 2015 09:45 PM)
    @Aidan: Mangagamer have released the demo for kara no shoujo 2, they’ve also confirmed a release for Autumn. Its probably better to call this demo more of a prologue/compliment to the game with content exclusive to it.
    Demo/prologue here: http://mangagamer.org/kns2/
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Aug 1. 2015 02:14 PM)
    @invicableGod, Yep that comment was spam. Should have got rid of it first time I saw it.
  • Wicked
    (Saturday, Aug 1. 2015 01:10 AM)
    well, this place changed a lot. Gotta say, I’m not a fan of how they adapted GATE into an anime. It feels too decompressed. Manga did a better job at keeping the tension taut
  • ;(
    (Saturday, Aug 1. 2015 01:08 AM)
    Also I am not the blog, I’m just a poster… I really hope you have enough sense to tell the difference…
  • ;(
    (Saturday, Aug 1. 2015 01:07 AM)
    @Emo: you’re saying all that like that doesn’t fit your description to a T. Kinda sad actually…
    Well I guess now at least I gave you one more thing to get angry about so your day seems just a bit more active than your last.
  • ;(
    (Saturday, Aug 1. 2015 01:03 AM)
    I don’t think people are really expected to read it from the start anymore. I mean that’s probably why it stays popular in Japan considering people would have to be in their 20s at least to keep up from the start without reading hundreds of chapters just to keep up.
  • ;(
    (Saturday, Aug 1. 2015 01:00 AM)
    Well admittly comics don’t seem to be that easy to follow (don’t actually read comics despite liking a lot of DC and marvel media), but anyway it’s not like the other long-running shounens in terms of continuity and more like the long-running comedies like say Kochikoma.
  • ;(
    (Saturday, Aug 1. 2015 12:56 AM)
    If you don’t like it, it’s cool.
    If you don’t feel like watching a thing that still airs weekly that’s also cool.
    If you leave it because it’s long or far from ending, you’re really missing out for little reason. One Piece is like western comics, the characters and setting has been around for years but each saga comes as a standalone story and for the most part is directed at both veterans and newcomers.
  • jerkocaust
    (Saturday, Aug 1. 2015 12:35 AM)
    ;( tell me more about this world, oh anonymous anime fan on some minor anime blog who spends his days rotting at home watching anime, tell me more about this world you must know from the window of your computer monitor

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought There! – 04

Not much to talk about this episode as it was mainly set up to the next. The army’s reputation looks to have risen after driving off a dragon and looks to have caught the attention of our new female character. I was about to sigh when I saw the old anime staple of a bath […]

Gakkou Gurashi! – 03

Here it is, a flashback to the beginning of the outbreak. In a market as over saturated with zombie media as ours it’s rather hard to do this kind of story without treading on old ground. The start of the outbreak is the focal point of every beginning for a zombie movie. Rarely is it […]

Gangsta. – 04

I have said it before but these twilight characters rub me the wrong way. This group of superhuman individuals just sticks out like a sore thumb in a grounded setting such as this. They are a Shounen element in a otherwise Seinien show so when they come out and start leaping on rooftops this just […]

Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought There! – 03

This episode introduces what looks to be the main trio of girls for the cast. A elf girl, a mage girl and a Goth lolita girl with a giant axe. The Goth lolita, otherwise know as the Apostle of a death god, Rory is so far the most interesting of the bunch. Though mainly because […]

Gangsta. – 03

I really don’t understand Mangalobe’s thinking on this changes, for you see this episode was an adaption of the second chapter in the manga. I don’t see the reason why they felt that they needed to mix around the order of these episodes but I suppose it’s no harm done. To be honest I found […]

Gakkou Gurashi! – 02

  So despite saying I would cover Chaos Dragon in my summer preview, I have decided to cover this instead. The reasons for this is simple, the obvious one being that Chaos Dragon is a poorly written, badly animated and jarring mess of an anime. But the main reason is that after the second episode […]

Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought There! – 02

This episode was certainly stronger than the first as Itami’s otaku tendencies were cut down and the focus was more on the conflict. The fight itself was brilliantly portrayed as we saw it mainly from the side of the other world. In the beginning when they were marching towards the army they were assured of […]

Gangsta. – 02

As this show continues the Black Lagoon vibes only get stronger but this episode did present an issue. Namely the supernaturally strong dog tag soldiers which can jump ten feet into the air and pull out road signs. In a series that at least started fairly set in reality these elements are somewhat odd though […]

Knights of Sidonia S2: Battle for Planet Nine review – 73/100

The second season of Sidonia makes a number of mistakes that a lot of second seasons do. That namely being that the anime slows down and introduces characters and conflicts that are often resolved in a undetermined to exist, third season. A new antagonist is introduced, whom does very little in the season and only […]

Latest Reviews

Little Witch Academia The Enchanted Parade – 81/100

I wonder when it was that a film being childish became a flaw. As a medium grows it takes steps to aim to mature itself and seek a more intellectual level of presenting entertainment. Animation did it as Anime aimed to explore terrontry that cartoons refuse to explore and video games only recently broke away […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks Review – 85/100

For a long time now this adaption has been the dreams of many a Fate fan with many believing it would never come to pass, but now that it is here is it everything that we dreamed? Short answer to this is no, long answer is nearly. I feel this show will have many divided […]

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: […]