Sakamichi no Apollon Episodes 3 + 4: Life is Like Jazz

This show…is a work of art.



Kaoru helps Sentarou out with his intentions on asking out Yurika, however he panics and claims that Kaoru is the one interested in taking Yurika out. Along with Ricchan on a double date, complications and misunderstandings ensue.

After Kaoru confesses to Ricchan, life continues on as normal for them, until Christmas when Junichi suggests that the quartet play to an audience for the first time. When Kaoru unexpectedly kisses Ricchan at Christmas, things start to get awkward between them, with Sentarou’s revelation of his past making Kaoru realize that he’s not the only one that has it tough. When a drunk white guy bashes black jazz during their concert, it’s up to Kaoru and Junichi to save the day with a mellower jazz number, But Not for Me.

Episode 3 Impression

Just some small comments on last week’s episode, since I thought I was safe from having to analyse a deep episode like that one xD First off, I have reason to believe that the entire mess occurred from Sentarou’s first mistake, which was to ask Kaoru to help him out with talking to Yurika and asking her out, then claiming that it’s actually Kaoru who is interested in her. Alarm bells should already have been going off by that point. Ricchan’s various reactions were quite subtle at first, but it got pretty obvious later on that she was not exactly happy with the situation during the double date – with Sentarou hanging around Yurika all the time when she believes that it’s Kaoru asking her out.

Then comes the bit which absolutely broke my heart – Ricchan being all blunt and talking about “rehearsals” and generally describing herself as a test subject; a trial of sorts, which turns out to be all that she’s thought about Kaoru’s advances towards her. That’s…so painful, guys. I can’t imagine how many emotions she must have felt when she thinks she’s being led along all this time, then BAM, Kaoru confesses and drops the bomb (which, if I may say, was an amazing confession scene).

Add that to Kaoru and Sentarou not being on the best of terms, Kaoru walking into Sentarou and Yurika doing some questionable stuff, and you’ve got an emotionally amazing episode. I mean, it’s like…a love square. Kaoru –> Ritsuko –> Sentarou –> Yurika who I’m presuming is interested in Kaoru, as she thinks he’s the one asking her out. Argh, my emotions…

Episode 4 Impression

Oh god, this was just so amazing I don’t even know where to start…takes deep breaths Okay, from the top!

Though it’s true Kaoru is giving Ricchan some time to think and accept everything, I think he’s being a bit too daring considering he knows her feelings for Sentarou – kissing her outright was totally surprising for me, and while it may have worked in other cliché anime series in the past, it’s evident that Ricchan didn’t take too well to that, which is just another example of how life doesn’t always work out the way you want it to. Noticeably there weren’t any more Kaoru + Ricchan interactions, which would be another warning shot that things aren’t going too well. On the Sentarou side, Yurika’s now clearly going after Junichi, who might actually be interested – could this be the first mutual love scenario in Sakamichi no Apollon?

I knew there was some deep meaning behind the rosary Sentarou wears (Moka wore hers too in Rosario Vampire) but never did I think for a moment that Sentarou would have such a sad, horrible past. He’s evidently the result of racial segregation even at the hands of his own family, and instead of time healing this it just split himself up from his dad – all he has is his younger siblings, and I really respect him for not folding to any pressure and still managing to stay cheerful and upbeat.

I won’t debate over which person’s past was worse, but similarly, you can see how Kaoru’s slowly buckling under a society he clearly doesn’t belong in, one that is obsessed over perfect grades and being talented in everything. Something would have snapped eventually down the line had he not been introduced to jazz, another thing which brings Kaoru and Sentarou to become yet even closer friends.

Junichi is pretty handy at knowing how to play to the crowd’s likes – you’d think that playing white jazz might have suited the tastes of the Americans slightly better, but I guess experiencing that first hand is all part of life. The vocals Junichi sang and the drunk guy should have been from a proper Japanese cast instead of specially brought in dubs – I could be wrong, but if it was, that’s some pretty impressive English compared to Symphogear xD

Everyone was at their best during that concert, and to end I’d just like to say that the white guy who interrupted it is a racist cunt that has no appreciation for music ^^ I’m not too familiar with jazz musicians (other than the really famous ones like Davis, Coltrane or Evans) but I’ve played my fair share of jazz standards scripted for piano, and stuff like Fats Waller is a section of music literature that is offensive to just ignore. You want stuff that sounds like “a jumble of noise”? Go listen to some Schoenberg. ducks shots fired by serialist fans

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