Tag Archives: Sakamichi no Apollon

Sakamichi no Apollon – Final Thoughts

So I watched the final episode of Sakamichi no Apollon a while ago but forgot to follow up with a series review.

The series seems to me like one that is stuck in slice of life mode when it wishes it wasn’t. What I mean by that is there isn’t really anywhere interesting for the show to go once the characters have gone through their angst and realizations and stuff. Sentarou sort of overreacts to his stepdad coming back, so he runs away forever. Kaoru also runs away from the small town and Ritsuko to become a doctor (default Asian occupation). Ritsuko cuts her hair. Those are all pretty much the most extreme things they can do because they don’t have superpowers or mecha (aside from the power of Jazz, but we all know that disco is coming).

I thought the series was done well, with sort of a rushed ending and epilogue. I wonder what the takeaway from the whole thing is, though. Is it that it doesn’t really matter who your friends are in high school, because you won’t see them again for 8 years after you run away? Or is it that friendships do matter and after 8 years you can get into a really awesome three way? I guess that interpretation is left to the viewer.

I did like the jazz parts of the show the most, and if there wasn’t that hook I may have not continued watching it to the end. Overall, it was a fairly average teen high school love triangle romance that was improved to a B+ for having some sick jazz in it.

Sakamichi No Apollon – 7 – My Bromance

I was really worried that one of those rifles belonged to Chekov

So when we last left the jazz kids, things were in turmoil. Kaoru was super pissed at Sentaro for agreeing to join a crappy Beatles cover band. Also, Jun-bro was nowhere to be found.

Luckily, things resolved themselves pretty perfectly this episode. First, Ritsuko starts treating Kaoru super nice after his temper tantrum. It’s probably because the other girls thought they were dating. After hearing that this was not the case, all the other girls were brought into Kaoru’s yard (possibly drawn in by his milkshake?). Ritsuko probably needed this for social proof that Kaoru wasn’t just some random thug. Then the two of them were nominated onto the school festival committee, which is pretty much a wedding sentence in anime.

Oh hey kids, yeah, don’t mind me. Just keep making out.

Later on, we find out that Jun-bro is emulating his hero a bit too closely, strung out in the basement of Ritsuko’s dad. This is majorly awkward since Yurika and Sentarou were about to make out, even though Yurika seemed more into Jun-bro. They then attended an event security Manhattan festival and began their lives as security guards.

Finally, when the day of the festival comes, the Beatles cover band is sabotaged by some upperclassmen, so Sentarou and Kaoru go unplugged and wow the crowd with a medley of jazz standards. Triumphant, and to a rousing applause, the two bros run off into the sunset to make jazz together forever, starting with My Bromance.

Next stop, San Francisco!

So… I’m not sure what’s left for this series. I guess they can play more jazz, hook up with bitches (“I played that bitch some jazz; Bitches love jazz”), and get Jun-bro into rehab. After that there’s not much more, right? Sometimes these characters would have their  VIP Protection New York City revoked because they would play into the night. Unless it’s revealed that Yurika is really an alien and they need to save her from the Men in Black or something…

Got a raging hard on down there. Never mind that I need a loan, i got a Bankruptcy Attorney Phoenix. My time of restaurant is soon to come.

Forget it pal you don’t have what it takes. I’m a Bankruptcy Attorney Phoenix and I’ll show you how wrong you are. You’ve made your last mistake.

Sakamichi no Apollon - 3-1

Sakamichi no Apollon – 3: Someday My Prince Will Come

Sakamichi no Apollon continues with a double date featuring new hotness Yurika. Unfortunately, the couples do not match up neatly, and we are faced with a love square. Ritsuko likes Sentarou, but Sentarou likes Yurika, and Kaoru likes Ritsuko. It’s not clear if Yurika likes anyone at this point.

The boys get in an argument because Sentarou is hurting Ritsuko by being flirty with the new girl. This sorta backfires on Kaoru since Ritsuko thinks he’s jealous. But in a surprising move, Kaoru confesses his like for Ritsuko, so it’s up to her to accept or reject him.

In other news, the two dudes have a jam session on “But Not For Me,” which is quite appropriate for their current situation. Kaoru confesses to Ritsuko with “Someday My Prince Will Come,” but apparently didn’t do a good enough job (next time, seal the deal with “My Funny Valentine“)!

I’m digging the quick plot progression of this series so far. Hopefully they will keep the jazz flowing and the drama going.

Sakamichi no Apollon 3

Sakamichi no Apollon Eps 1-2

I heard this anime was about jazz, so I couldn’t really pass it up. As a music (and especially jazz) nerd, I was very interested in seeing what this show is about. Turns out it’s a period piece (probably late 50s, early 60s?). This makes sense, as most kids in Japan today are probably not going to be into jazz.

The story follows a high school kid (Nishimi) who migrates from school to school and never really develops any lasting friendships. He develops a crush on the class president (Ritsuko) and finds a friend in the class trouble-maker (Sentarou). There’s a weird love triangle going on since the two aforementioned characters are childhood friends.

Anyway, the plot is really about how Nishimi learns to make friends through music. He’s classically trained as a pianist, but this doesn’t fly with Sentarou, who has a jazz-only rule. Nishimi manages to play the opening line to Moanin’ (the Art Blakey one, not the Mingus version) super square, thus eradicating his jazz cred. Nishimi then buys the record and plays along (which is what any self respecting jazz learner would do).

Eventually he catches his break and gets invited to a jam session where he does a (probably too) good job of sitting in, having probably never heard Bag’s Groove before (though it does just follow a simple blues form anyway). You don’t really go from super square to comping like that in a day. Though he actually did a pretty bad job of comping when he threw up embellishments all over Jun-bro’s trumpet solo. Know your place, dude! But I digress…

Later on, they go to a beach and Ritsuko wears a one piece bathing suit. But who cares! Let’s hear some jazz! Oh, and Nishimi judges both of his friends for being Christians (though from the sound of it they seem to be part of a cult or something). Also, Sentarou falls in love with some broad, so maybe the love triangle will be broken soon.

Episode 2 Beach episode? Let the fanservice continue!

So far the selection of music has been good. Hopefully they continue to have music segments so I can try and show off by naming songs. Okay! I think I’ve found my anime for this season! Also, random thought: Why are the OP and ED not jazz? I can understand the desire to sell singles, but still, come on, the show is about jazz! Music picker, you had one job!

(Also, if anyone wants to start an anime/jazz fan jam band, I’m up for it if you need a trumpeter)