Sakamichi no apollon isn't the most amazing anime in my opinion.
the story plays mostly in the 60's (I know because john coltrane died in 67 and it's mentioned) so you can see that the classrooms are mostly wood colored and old fashioned. the story is decent and gave a 'this could actually happen to someone' feeling that a lot of anime really don't give. there were some funny bits, some embarrasing, some emotional but most of it is slice-of-life stuff. and even though towards the end it seems like things won't end well they manage to get a happy ending, which in my opinion was the best part of this anime.
the animation isn't done very well, one of the main characters, Ri-chan (a girl), definitely has the face of a boy. (if you don't believe me then get a frame where you can clearly see her from the front and block the tails on both sides of her head). I also always pay attention to the eyes they use for anime and though I have seen worse than what was used here I've also definitely seen a whole lot better. also in one of the episodes a lot of students were runing but kinda weird as if their feet were going too quickly and they're bodies had tocatch up.
about the sound, overall it was alright but seeing as I'm not a jazzfan most of their sessions just sounded like noise. there were still a few nice pieces being used that even I could appreciate though.
apart from Ri-chan having the face of a boy and some characters I really didn't like, they did manage to get a wide range of personalities in the story. they were wel done and felt realistic compared to other anime.
I gave it 3 stars, which I would translate to say: 'At least try to watch it. I didn't think it was the best but I enjoyed it and I'm sure most people would.'
I love jazz. Some of my favorite memories of my time living in Florida have to be going downtown to listen to the local jazz festival. Sitting in front of that gazebo and getting into the spirit of the musicians is something you can only experience if you listen to jazz. It’s so different from any other musical genre and I was excited as hell to get to watch an anime centered around this amazing style of music.
The problem is Sakamichi no Apollon isn’t as much about jazz as it is about lame characters. There’s jazz in the series, and it definitely plays a part, but it doesn’t play as large a part as I wish it would. This seems to be the theme of music-based anime, not paying attention to the music as much as the boring lives of the characters. Jazz is frantic, it changes with the mood. There are a lot of things about jazz that could have been played out in Sakamichi no Apollon that aren’t. That heart and soul of jazz are only seen during the portions where the characters play music. Other than that, the series falls flat.
Kaoru is a guy. He goes to high school. He’s a bookworm.
Sentarou is a guy. He goes to high school. He fights a lot.
Ritsuko is a girl. She goes to high school. I can’t discern her character besides “love interest”.
Together they are the three main characters of our little drama. Kaoru goes to high school as the new kid. He meets Sentarou who is a pretty violent guy who skips classes (the delinquent). Sentarou is a drummer who plays jazz with Ritsuko’s father and a guy named Jun. Kaoru, who can play the piano, joins in on the fun and learns how to evolve from his classical roots into the realm of jazz.
There are, of course, some bumps on the road. A couple of love triangles (those are the main plague that infest this anime), Sentarou’s problems with his father, and Jun’s becoming a good-for-nothing. The plot is really not that exciting. You’re watching this for the music more than likely, not the duo of love triangles that seem to give way to more of a bromance at the end than anything else.
This is where the plot becomes especially painful. The series plot is loose, and by that I mean nothing is consequential or matters. It’s there to hold the series together and give it a reason for being, but it’s mediocre at best. By the end, nothing really matters and the series goes back to square one.
“BUT RATCHET! WHAT ABOUT THE MUSIC?”
What music? There’s a little bit of music going around, but for a music based anime there’s not enough. As I said in the beginning of the review, there’s not a lot of music going on. There are a few songs here and there, but not enough to warrant being considered as "musically focused". It’s more just a school life anime than anything else and suffers because of the fact it tries to be something it is not.
“BUT AT LEAST IS HAS GOOD CHARACTERS!”
All the characters were generic at best. While Sentarou was a decent character, I grew to hate Kaoru more and more as the series progressed. It reached the pinnacle when he nearly raped Ritsuko. Ritsuko wasn’t a bad character, but she didn’t actually have a lot of character there. She was just there as a love interest and a plot point more so than anything. Jun was okay, but he also had some issues that made him dislikable. His girlfriend, Yurika, was okay.
I wasn’t really impressed by anything that concerned the plot. I was impressed with some of the music (the little that there was) and the animation was especially good during jam sessions and concerts, unbelievably so.
I’m unable to say too much about Sakamichi no Apollon because it’s so average. It’s the definition of average. Good music and good animation, mediocre characters and plot, and an overall disappointment. If the series had been longer I feel that perhaps the plot and characters would have been more entertaining. But as it is, Sakamichi no Apollon is merely adequate. The last episode feels especially rushed and I assumed I was meant to feel emotions of some sort, but was left not really caring. And when, by the end, I could care less what happens, then I know that I’m not watching anything special.
Sakamichi no Apollon is a hesitant pass for me. It's overhyped, and that hype is probably why you decided to jump on the bandwagon and check this anime out. There are some qualities that are enjoyable, but taken as a whole, it’s merely adequate in satiating the thirst for jazz, as well as the search for a good music anime.
This anime is not overranked!
I Must say this is far one of the best anime i've watched. It has it all! I love the plot is about this boy having a tough time with life. Im a sucker for these kinds of main characters! Then he starts to make friends and experience feelings he never have experience before.
Though I will say that if you're not a fan of music, this might not be for you. Since Im myself is a piano player, I love that the music is getting them together.
The anime have a great distribution with friendship, life story, love and obstacles. Its really fit for a 10/10 rating!
It is really worth trying!
The story takes place in the 60'es, or at least thats my guess. Im actually not sure. But they love Jazz, their outfits and the way they act, the surronding tecknology is all saying that this takes place somewhere after WWII.. (Just checked it up on Wokipedia, 1966, I was right!)
Even though Im not a fan of historical animes i must say this one took away my heart. Im head over heels inlove with this, even though its having so many parts to it, that i normally would avoid. There is nothing to complain about in this anime, its not slow paced at any rate, I wasn't borred at anytime. There is really not a single episode that made me wanna skip it. I simply love the story... I love the ending as well.. You NEED to watch this!
This is just a pre-review
the show is great, with a great soundtrack. Good legnth and a really enjoyable series.
Secret Santa Review
This is my review for Monthly Marathon Club's December event, where I was recommend (by Bluntjoker) three shows to finish by the end of Christmas. I picked this one because it was done by the same person who did Cowboy Bebop, one of my favorite anime, and I've been meaning to watch it since it came out.
As a heads up, I'm not a great writer.
There are a few spoilers in this review (story section)
The story, or lack there-of, was very simple. The new transfer student, Kaoru, becomes friends with a delinquent (Sentarou) and his childhood friend (Ritsuko), and discovers they love jazz music. Although his background is in classical music, he learns to play jazz on the piano to impress them. This leads to one of the sub-plots: Jazz! Definatly the more interesting half of the show, I loved every moment when characters sat down to play jazz music. At the US bar, the school festival, or just in Ritsuko's basement, these moments really stood out, and I image they'll be the only thing I remember about the show in a few weeks. I wish there were more occasions where their 'band' could have played together and that music was more of a focus during the show.
The second part of the story was the love triangle between Sentarou, Kaoru, and Ritsuko. I'm not a huge romance fan so this got old very fast, especially since it was overly-simple. Does she like me, or him? Does he like me, or him? Very annoying misunderstands that could be easily avoided if everyone just told their true feelings. During the last episode, all this effort is thrown out the window when the three end up being only good friends.
There are a few sub plots thrown in as well to make the show slightly more intersting, none of which are very interesting. The exception being the school festival which was saved by the music conclusion.
During the last two episode, I wondered how they were going to end the show, although I guess it would involve finding Sentarou. What I didn't expect was the compeltely beautiful final scene. At this point, with my memory of the show already starting to fade, I can tell this scene will define my memory of the show (so chances are, I'll remember the show being better than it was).
Overall, there was too little story. The love triangle was re-used and moved too slow, but the final episode almost saves it. I feel like the show could have used an overall goal to focus on, although for a slice of life it could have been worse.
To fit the genre and setting, the animation is simple, realistic, and has bland colors. The exception is Sentarou's shit and his drums, whose red stands out in a sea of black, white, and brown. The character designs were also bland, but in the end I guess they fit the setting so they're alright.
Opening was beautiful.
Sound is the best part about this anime. The jazz scenes and soundtrack really stand out and I'd recommend the show for those scenes alone. However, I only wish the music was more common throughout the show.
Opening theme was perfect, especially the trumpet near the end.
The characters were one of the weakest parts of this series. Most of characters were not very likeable, interesting, or original. Sentarou is the only exception. I started to like him immediately, because I'm a fan of 'delinquent' characters, but even after the writers totally forgot he was a delinquent, his personality and family made him the most fun. It almost feels like the show was build around him (and not the trio of friends) because he stands out so much. Everyone is is totally forgetable.
Overall, I really did like this show. Parts of the plot and simple characters slowed it down a bit too much for my tastes, but it's simplicity was still enjoyable. The jazz music was the heart of the show and I loved every time they played music. The first jam session they had had me ranting to my boyfriend about how amazing the show was, if only it was consistantly important to the show I might have rated this anime higher. Still, for all my complaints, it's a great show that I would recommend to people who don't mind slow-paced shows.