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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  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:47 AM)
    I remember that same guy, during end of eva, pausing it over and over during that scene where asuka dies with all of those fast moving clips too.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:39 AM)
    I remember catching it also when I was young with a friend and we looked back on a fanservice scene with shinji and rei and he mentioned “You know if you think about it that scene is damn disturbing when you think she’s a clone of/modelled after you know who…”
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:36 AM)
    Before Eva, when I was 11 or so my image of a mech anime was Nadesico…then it was eva and then I was like…Whoah…whoah God halp! =O
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:34 AM)
    I suppose credit where I feel it due, the angel designs are excellent and I remember getting the shock of my life when shinji’s eva went nuts and then there was a bit with Bardiel infect Toji’s unit. I remember at least Masatos boyfriend being a likeable character.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:31 AM)
    I don’t think anyone was prepared for Eva, whether they liked the show or not, at 11 I can remember being horrified by end of eva and the series original ending as well as having my first moment of “Feck…theres a first…an anime that did something that scrambled my mind, I actually feel kind of thick now, this show is smarter than I am”.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:27 AM)
    It really wouldn’t have been that hard to put a satisfying ending to the original series, wrap up the threads nicely and put a pretty ribbon on the package to finish it off. But Anno and friends took a risk and went against the tide and end up becoming the trope-namer for the Gainax Endings. That took balls and made things unexpected and fresh, cuz god knows that ,good guys win the day ‘is tired and boring.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:26 AM)
    Requiem for a dream. I remember the guy who recommended that film saying to me “Even someone such as yourself who finds it hard to find/has high standards an emotionally investing film will get something out of requiem for a dream”
  • Bam
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:17 AM)
    @Emma: leaving a bad taste is pretty much the point of Eva, just as getting bummed out by Requiem For a Dream is the naturally intended effect. I don’t mind that you don’t enjoy Eva all that much Emma, l actually appreciate it over dishonest admiration. Just keep in mind that Eva deserves it’s special place in anime.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 01:32 AM)
    But Eva just left a bad taste in my mouth as a whole, I understand that Bam you are very passinette about it and thats fine, I wasn’t aiming to provoke. I just feel that its frustrating that like alot of certain anime, that I am not allowed to dislike it or have reason to.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 01:32 AM)
    If anything at least I found Ikuhara’s symbolism while obvious at least in utena and straightforward was at least visually interesting to look at.
    I love every David Lynch film and again I thought Lain was exceptional.

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