Archive for category Sakamichi no Apollon

Sakamichi no Apollon – 12 (Finale)

In an era where ambiguous and open-ended finales are the norm, an unspoken prayer for the chance of a fiscally-successful sequel in the unforeseen future, an anime receiving proper and satisfying closure has become an rare indulgence.  Conclusions such as these leave the audience with a sense of gratification and completeness, as we like to believe we just watched the tale of a beautiful story rather than 12 half-hour segments of some manga/light novel advertisement that cuts off at whatever rushed or broken point seemed to be the best in the pre-planning stages.  No, what Sakamichi no Apollon was able to do with its story, its characters, and its themes is truly refreshing and rewarding.  It’s a shame not every anime can end the way Apollon did.

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Sakamichi no Apollon – 11

At the center of Sakamichi no Apollon is the essence of drama.  From here, the story has been able to structure itself on this basic foundation and incorporate the various elements of romance, jazz, and growth that have allowed this anime to flourish as it had.  However, when there are faults and cracks within the drama that is the establishment for this series, then the story, characters, and anime overall begin to suffer as a result.  And that’s exactly what happened with the poorly manufactured drama that occurred in the scenes following the traffic accident in the eleventh episode of Sakamichi no Apollon.

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Sakamichi no Apollon – 10

With the audience’s eyes becoming increasingly fixated on the resolution of the last remaining love triangle, another relationship is approaching its own significant and satisfying conclusion.  With attention and focus being drawn to whomever wins Ritsuko in the end, the friendship between Kaoru and Sentarou is slowly becoming inconsequential and neglected in the eyes of the viewers, almost like it is second-tier to romance in Sakamichi no Apollon.  But in reality, the relationship between Kaoru and Sentarou is the greatest feature of the series as it heads into its finale next week.  It’s time to refocus our interest and give the best relationship in Sakamichi no Apollon the attention and recognition it deserves.

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Sakamichi no Apollon – 9

With one relationship virtually resolved at this point, what remains are three potential lovers vying for the final romance in Sakamichi no Apollon.  Conventional wisdom and basic arithmetic would immediately suggest that one heartfelt Romeo will be left without his Juliet and be thrust into demoralizing loneliness and the remnants of his fragmented dreams.  But is such a tragic fate already the decisive outcome for this unfortunate trio?  It all depends on how the final scenes and dramas in Apollon play out and even then, depending on your interpretation, there may or may not be a luckless loser when the final curtains close.

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Sakamichi no Apollon – 8

Of the five characters tangled in these unstable and perplexing romances, Yurika is the only one to achieve any success.  Among the chaos, discomfort, and pain, Yurika has remained true to her original ambition while others have faltered or collapsed under pressure. Unwavering from her plan and courageously facing all hardships and adversity, Yurika has persevered and found the only romantic happiness in Sakamichi no Apollon.  The reason for such an accomplishment is the mere fact that she has yet to redirect her feelings from one potential lover to another.  This dedicated direction, or perhaps more fittingly acceleration, is responsible for the first successful romance in this anime.

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Sakamichi no Apollon – 7

The seventh episode of Sakamichi no Apollon presented enough evidence to materialize a subtle theme during the concert at the end.  No, it was not the latter musical performance, the one composed of equal parts outstanding, phenomenal, and influential, but the former one, the performance that proves that high schoolers have always had a terrible taste in music.  Upon learning that Seiji’s motivations to becoming a rock icon are grounded in his belief that it is a means to support his impoverished family, the ever-present but habitually disregarded theme of delusion revealed itself again and stronger than ever before.  While delusion is an unremarkable subject in anime, especially considering that Apollon deals with high schoolers, it is worth noting it’s ubiquitous throughout the main cast and to virtually every character in the series.  Though common and simple on its own, the sheer amount of delusion in this anime adds up to make it a rather noticeable theme.  But what, if any, does this really mean for Sakamichi no Apollon?

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Sakamichi no Apollon – 6

Assuming the primary cast of Sakamichi no Apollon is limited to Kaoru, Sentarou, Ritsuko, Yurika, and Jun, then presently, each lead character is confronting their own personal challenges.  The sixth episode reiterated, magnified, or illuminated all the problems that each character is currently facing.  It has been staged in a way so that these issues have now become the forefront of the anime, surpassing previous themes and other storylines.  The effect has been the reshaping of how Sakamichi no Apollon presents and narrates its story and represents its characters.  But no single problem has been responsible for this drastic and fundamental change.  Every character and their distinctive challenges have been integral in this restructuring of Sakamichi no Apollon.

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