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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  • Nyangoro
    (Sunday, Jan 25. 2015 09:33 AM)
    But hey, a step in the right direction is still a step. And I’ll take it. I also like that we’ve learned both can go to the same place, instead of either or.
  • Nyangoro
    (Sunday, Jan 25. 2015 09:32 AM)
    Watched Death Parade’s third episode. Easily the best so far. Significantly better execution, felt a lot less forced. The weight of their situation actually added something to their story, giving the Queen Decim gimmick more purpose. That said, the game itself was still heavily underutilized beyond tangential connection to their living selves. And the setting still needs attention if we’re meant to care about it in and of itself.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Jan 25. 2015 07:32 AM)
    Regarding isuca’s female protagonist, whatever anyone or I thinks or not of her character or design/situations involving her its another case of me wanting to beat her to death with a baseball bat. Not a good sign…
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Jan 25. 2015 06:27 AM)
    *while the series took me a bit to get into
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Jan 25. 2015 06:15 AM)
    Despite the fairly rubbish turn, twist this last chapter of shinigami and 4 girlfriends took and while it took me a bit to get into and felt it could have been funnier, it doesn’t ruin the manga for me, but this could have if it had gone on been better than the world God only knows.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Jan 25. 2015 05:53 AM)
    I really don’t know…don’t know why I bother checking out these bottom of the barrel LN style trash knowing I’ll hate them…
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Jan 25. 2015 05:51 AM)
    Oh Arms if only you could go back to your Genshiken, Elfen lied I”s days, you made three good anime.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Jan 25. 2015 05:49 AM)
    *Delightfully mad
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Jan 25. 2015 05:48 AM)
    I’ve seen a fair bit of stuff associated with Go Nagai now and theres an insane, mad mind at work there whether it be in the action, violence or humour, Isuca having a Go Nagai style monster is an insult.
  • Nyangoro
    (Sunday, Jan 25. 2015 05:18 AM)
    And the way they just trick you with that first scene. Go Nagai-like, grotesque monster, a mysterious girl saving the guy and then vanishing. It’s not top shelf, but at least looks like something you could work with. And then the rest of the episode happened.

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