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
  • Badesh
    (Saturday, Jul 30. 2016 02:11 AM)
    Nice! Looking forward to the reviews. Some nice fighting scenes besides the build up of the story. I just hope they don’t play just this one tune all the time ;)
  • afgm
    (Saturday, Jul 30. 2016 02:10 AM)
    @Aidan: Too bad you’re giving up on Berserk. You’re missing ooouut.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Jul 29. 2016 02:09 PM)
    @Bam, sent you the details. Give me a heads up on here if you send a message back. My yahoo.ie mail is so clogged up with spam that I rarely check it.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Jul 29. 2016 12:49 PM)
    @Aidan: for sure. Might as well put this one up before the next episode is out, and I’ll brush up on my WordPress and handle the next one on. Thx.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Jul 29. 2016 12:35 PM)
    @bam, I got it but it would be a pain to check my yahoo.ie address for every post. So I am just gonna create an account and send you the details on how to log in. Then you can put this up yourself.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Jul 29. 2016 05:51 AM)
    @Aidan: did you get it?
  • Bam
    (Friday, Jul 29. 2016 03:55 AM)
    @Aidan: already sent.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 01:51 PM)
    Creating a account on the site is easy but I am not sure if you need a WordPress account to access it. Though if you email me the thing I can grab screenshots for you to save you the trouble.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 01:14 PM)
    @Aidan: I believe I have your email from the time I gave you the Black Desert Online Pass. Whichever way is easier for you is fine with me.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 01:10 PM)
    @bam, Sounds fine to me. Do you happen to have any of our emails? If you have a MAL account I could send you my email through there. Or I could create an Account for you on here?
    @Mario, Silly Mario. Don’t call me mister. It’s Lord Aidan, you filthy mongrel.

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

EVA 02c

Neon Genesis Evangelion – 02

Turns out that our boy Shinji is after all THE ONE, akin to Neo in the Matrix or every main mecha hero for that matter. He has been chosen, he must therefore use such strength and heart and wits as he has. Sound like I’m complaining, right? Well, I’m not because I think this is […]

Fate Kaleid Liner PRISMA ILLYA 3rei!! - 04 2

Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya 3rei – 04

Well after a decisive defeat after assaulting the enemy headquarters, Illya and her newly united crew decide to hang around the school. The main bulk of the episode was dedicated to a fight between Chloe and Illya while other parts were mainly the characters clarifying the situation. The main reason behind the fight was Chloe […]

Mob Psycho 100 - 03 3

Mob Psycho 100 – 02/03

This may be a surprise to some so I better start this with an explanation. As you know I originally planned to cover Berserk this season and have put up reviews of the last two episodes. However due to Berserks rather disappointing quality, my desire to cover it has vanished. I doubt anyone wants to […]

orange 04c

orange – 04

Orange takes it very slowly this week, even slower than its standard. Indeed, we can summarize the plot of the first 15 minutes just by one sentence: After Kakeru dating with another girl, Naho feels brokenhearted and avoids Kakeru like a plague. Which actually makes sense. After all, the guy already had a girlfriend so […]

Thunderbolt Fantasy 03d

Thunderbolt Fantasy – 03

With this episode we basically get an idea where the show will head for the rest of the series and I pretty much enjoy the direction they taking so far. Of course it makes sense that in order to get past those obstacles, the band needs to ally with others who are most suitable for […]

Fate Kaleid Liner PRISMA ILLYA 3rei!! - 03 2

Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya 3rei – 03

Plenty of action this week as we have faceoffs between Beatrice and Illya with Gil and Angelica firing legendary weapons back and forth. I wish there was a bit more fight animation here as while it was the same in the manga, it’s still a shame to have the scene cut away just when the […]

91 Days - 03 4

91 Days – 03

Seeing as things didn’t quite go to plan for Avilio last episode, it’s now time for him to prove his innocence to Nero. Avilio is playing his cards right and things would have gone to plan if it wasn’t for the man who lead them to Fango before. He states out of curiosity that he […]

Re Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu - 17 4

Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World – 17

While I did enjoy this episode and think that some interesting things have been brought up, I must admit that even my patience is starting to run out. I blame this mostly on the fact that I am watching this weekly instead of binge watching it all as the progression in these episodes has slowed […]

EVA 01b

Neon Genesis Evangelion – 01

Truth be told, I’ve never seen any of the EVA franchise, and it’s not normal since EVA is a must for any anime viewer. I don’t really know the reason why I keep myself from watching it, maybe both because mecha is not my favorite genre, and the hype of EVA is just overwhelming that […]

Latest Reviews

The Murder Case of Hana & Alice a

The Murder Case of Hana & Alice (2015) Movie Review – 85/100

Welcome to the third installment of World Animation section, but this time we head back to Japan for my favorite anime movie out of last year. If anything, I have always wanted those reviews to be a recommendation if you want to look for something different. So if there is anyone who would check out […]

Untitled-1

Legend of Legacy Review – 80/100

Oh Square Enix, this is the kind of avant-garde work you need to do. Developed by Furyu with the people behind SaGa, and written by Masato Kato of Chrono Trigger, I knew I was in for a unique game right from the start. But its gameplay is certainly divisive and for good reason, as this […]

My Life as a Courgette a

My Life as a Courgette (2016) Movie Review – 82/100

It’s never easy to make a good family’s animation. For movies aim at adults, the filmmakers can easily get themselves loose, go crazy and the audience can still get it. But for kids, these movies might be one of the first movies they’ve ever seen and that’s a huge responsibility. They have to aware of […]

Red Turtle a

The Red Turtle Review – 93.5/100

Welcome to my first movie review on World Animation section, the column where I wholly dedicated to indie/ art-house animated features around the world that hardly got coverage anywhere really (but rest assure our since sometimes I will review anime movies as well). And what’s a better way to start this section by reviewing one of […]

Flying witch 09d

Flying witch Review – 86/100

As I mentioned in one of my weekly posts, most of the reason why a slice-of-life anime show don’t work well is not because there’s nothing happen, but more because the cast isn’t interesting enough or the show tends to repeat the things that we already know. I’m happy to say that this is not […]

Bungou Stray Dogs 12a

Bungou Stray Dogs Review – 62/100

Well, we don’t usually give a review on the first cour of anime show, given the fact that the second part will air next autumn season. But since I’m not certain I would cover its second half, plus I don’t think this series will improve itself, I might as well give Bungou Stray Dogs a […]

Kiznaiver - 12 1

Kiznaiver Review – 60/100

Kiznaiver is a very different faire from Studio Triggers other works in that it takes a more serious tone and has a writer who tends to go more for the melodramatic. This is a tale about a group of very different people gathered together and have their pain linked to one another. In an effort […]

Joker Game - 12 2

Joker Game Review – 50/100

When experiencing the wave of new anime each season it can get rather tiresome to notice all the teenagers fighting supernatural forces while gathering a harem through seer luck or similarly tired concepts. So when something like Joker game comes along and takes a road less traveled with it’s story, naturally I am well on […]

mayoiga 07b

Mayoiga Review – 78/100

Mayoiga has to be one of the most misunderstood shows in recent years. On a surface, the premise alone has a lot of potential. The idea behind putting 30 people, each of them has very different set of personalities, together in a bus to a mysterious lost village, in order to start over new life […]