Posted by psgels on 25 May 2012 with categories: Sakamichi no Apollon

And from out of nowhere…. the big concert scene of this series. And really: that was just amazing. On paper it could have been an incredibly cheesy episode, but those animators… they did an incredible job of bringing that performance of Kaoru and Sentarou to life. And Yoko Kanno, you are awesome. Everything just came together in this episode and it managed to surpass itself.

Awkwardness and being unable to talk to each other has been done before. Heck, it has caused a lot of annoyances in the past when characters just flat-out refused to talk to each other. This however; this was the best example of how being unable to talk should be done right. It should be incredibly uncomfortable. It should make the characters feel really uneasy. But at the same time it shouldn’t drag on for bloody ages as a way to pad out more romance. Yes, I’m looking at you, Kimi ni Todoke. The awkwardness in this series however changes constantly: it’s full of character-development and not just meant for the characters to overcome their fears at the end of the episode.

The characters: they all stepped out of their own roles. Sentarou got much more mature (he actually didn’t think about fighting at all; usually punks like him are shown as always easily ticked off. Kaoru meanwhile became more social, edged on by his classmates of all people, resulting in that wonderful performance at the end and Ritsuko felt more like an ordinary high school girl than any other episode so far. And there are still four episodes left.
Rating: ***+ (Amazing)

21 Responses

  1. Loz says:

    Out of curiosity Psgels. Your scale of rating so far goes poor, enjoyable, good, great, exellent, awesome, amazing & fantastic. So out of curiosity what are you going to mark a 4+ as or even a 5 star when you eventually dish one out? Spectacular? Exquisite? Unbelievable? Or havnt you thought about it yet?

    Anyway. Brilliant episode as usual from this show.

  2. Alec says:

    Easily my favorite episode of the series. Not to mention 2 of my fav soundtrack of the OST was being played here xD

  3. Taara535 says:

    This was AMAZING. It was just scene after scene of brilliance, from the scene with Jun to the openness with Kaoru and his classmates to the awkwardness between Kaoru and Sen to the concert at the end. Any one of the scenes would make for an excellent episode. All four in the same episode – remarkable!

  4. Litho says:

    Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious episode!!

  5. martin says:

    i almost wanted to cry on how awesome this episode was. instead i had grin throughout.

  6. Alael says:

    HOLY SHIT. What an amazing episode. And the soundtrack… The Sound of Music was an excellent choice!

  7. Reverse says:

    great music performance, nice episode

    also with ending like that Kaoru X Sentaro is indeed canon pairing, haha

  8. Who says:

    Correction, there are five more episodes remaning. It’s ending a week after Tsuritama.

  9. aline says:

    can you tell me what animation technique they used when all the students started running to the concert? That was the most realistic-looking scene I have ever encountered in anime. Just amazing.

    • Cytl says:

      They looked realistic because they were real performances by actors, painted over with the characters. Its called rotoscophy, and it’s always a debate whether this technique is actual animation or not.

    • Reverse says:

      what animation technique they used when all the students started running to the concert?

      I doubt the guy who make know the answer, lol. that sequence being done by bahi Jd, u can go ask him. http://bahijd.tumblr.com/

      they only rotoscope the instrument Cytl, other part isnt…. for now

      • Cytl says:

        Some running parts really looked like rotoscophy to me, but I guess the same look can be made with traditional technique. Nice info about Bahi JD, btw.

  10. esmeralda31 says:

    Oh Yeah! Your comment is perfect. This is one of the most beautiful anime in years.

  11. RABUJOI says:

    Whatever superlative you choose to use, this episode is deserving of it. So many emotional highs and lows, so much character growth, and the most spine-tinglingly awesome jam session-as-catharsis, and in front of the whole damn school to boot? Pure anime excellence.

    Also impressed with the very ending: rather than standing up on the stage triumphantly and soaking in the applause, Kaoru and Sentaro simply run down the slope, revelling in the weight lifted from their shoulders.

  12. LifeCarrier says:

    Good write up psgels, you really got the gist of what made this episode great and stand off among similar episodes and plots from other shows.

    Too bad anime like this does not do good in japan, it’s the only kind that really interests me anymore, I guess anime is not really meant for adults there is it?

  13. anime102 says:

    this was absolutely the best just the best episode. I’m so glad i read your review this morning just watched it and you were so right this is by far one of my favorite animes this season.

  14. ojisan says:

    What I liked best: COLTRANE!
    That the shop owner was in mourning for him. And that Kaoru does an AMAZING version of one of Coltrane’s signature pieces “My Favourite Things”, which is one of my personal Favourite Things in the world.

    It’s really telling how Kaoru and Sentaro are playing the piano & drum parts (respectively McCoy Tyner & Elvin Jones in the original) but of course there’s no saxophone to fill in the middle – because Coltrane died that day.

    Then into Ritsuko’s theme, “Someday My Prince Will Come, and THEN into Sentaro’s favourite “Moanin”. It’s like a medley that ties the main characters together. I totally choked up.

  15. Jzar says:

    everyone said what I was going to say…..

  16. kero says:

    This episode was so beautiful!

    From start to end it was filled with great scenes.

    What to point out?

    How Kaoru wouldn’t listen to Sentarou’s words, but stopped to listen to his drums. How Sentarou looked like he was expressing everything he felt in his playing.

    Jun-ni he only said a few words.. but it really got through how he’d dropped his charming facade. I’m assuming there was something rude about the way he spoke that made it so offensive?

    The medley. holy damn, I loved the glances amongst the two, and just the joy that bubbled up, and I loved how the songs moved backwards, my favourite things, to someday my prince will come, to the jazz song that got them together – linked in with the idea of starting over and rebirth.

    I was watching it, and it really made me feel so many emotions, and the music was brilliant.

    IT HAS TO BE JAZZ AFTER ALL <3 <3 <3

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  • lieo
    (Saturday, Dec 20. 2014 05:42 AM)
    Did they make a session 2 of star draver
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Dec 20. 2014 04:35 AM)
    Though its time to just get down to properly watching and continuing it now that my brother kept going on about it and now Aidan you are too.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Dec 20. 2014 04:31 AM)
    Props then to Charlie Brooker then for that.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Dec 20. 2014 04:30 AM)
    Honestly even I was pretty effected by black mirror and felt it was dark dark stuff and I’ve had a hard time watching beyond the first episode.
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Dec 20. 2014 03:29 AM)
    Damn…Black mirrors Christmas special was pretty chilling. Hope there’s a lot more episodes. 3 episodes per season is far too little an amount.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Dec 20. 2014 02:38 AM)
    For those that are in a hurry to see it, heres a flawed but understandable I think subtitled release of expelled from paradise, might as well give it a look if you are an Urobuchi fan: http://www.nyaa.se/?page=view&tid=636163
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Dec 20. 2014 02:33 AM)
    I think its important to remember, for those enjoying log horizon and parasyte, both of those are two cour so you can all still have those to follow next season so its not all bad.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Dec 20. 2014 02:19 AM)
    @Anna: I believe psgels is working on it. The other authors might chime in or make a separate one as well. All-in-all not the most exciting of seasons.
  • anna
    (Saturday, Dec 20. 2014 01:23 AM)
    Are we getting a season preview, or is that feature gone now?
  • Bam
    (Friday, Dec 19. 2014 03:46 AM)
    And yet again at the end of the day Akane failed to do what’s the most important ethical thing to do and left people to possibly die instead of judging Sybil herself. I think the reason her psycho pass is clear might be out of stupidity.

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