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.

Though there have been conflicts, struggles, and frequent arguments between the two main characters of Sakamichi no Apollon, the friendship between Kaoru and Sentarou is the foundation for which the series builds itself off of.  Without this dynamic, the anime would just not be the same and the events that we’ve witnessed might never have occurred.  From beginning to end, the friendship between Kaoru and Sentarou has influences or affected just about everything we’ve seen in the series, including initiating and resolving all the romances and providing individual healings, like curing the social anxiety that Kaoru suffered from and elevating Sentarou from intimidating delinquent to amiable acquaintance.  Everything that has happened thus far in Sakamichi no Apollon can be traced back to this relationship as, in one way or another, it is the origin of virtually everything in this anime.

Beyond that, the nature of the relationship has also been the best in Apollon.  Considering the romances, no one ever seem to be honest or forthcoming with their feelings or emotions which have led to numerous awkward moments, misunderstandings, heartbreak, and pain.  To contrast this, the relationship between the two men has been authentic and straightforward with their emotions constantly present in their faces or expressed through their love of jazz.  And when a conflict arises, they eventually work together to see it settled and experience a deepening of bonds and a more robust friendship.  Due to truthful nature of this relationship, we’ve seen Kaoru and Sentarou go through many more experiences and emotions than what we’ve seen through these silly romances.  And with the conclusion drawing near and the two men readying up a jazz concert certain to excite, the audience should turn their respects toward these two as they deserve it given how their relationship has endured and succeeded.

And when compared to the final romance in Apollon, the friendship between Kaoru and Sentarou offers an advantage that makes it more appealing or agreeable than the resolution of the romance.  Given that there won’t be a loser in the friendship means the conclusion between these two will be gratifying and generally acceptable with little room for argument or dissatisfaction.  Though the love triangle does not necessarily require there to be a loser, it appears the anime is heading toward an ending where one man will be with Ritsuko and one will not, a conclusion that is certain to delight some fans and irritate others.  And though this may seem exciting to some, it has the potential to irk many fans of the anime and leave them with a bitter experience as the series draws toward its conclusion.  With the friendship between Kaoru and Sentarou in the position it is, its certain to leave a rewarding and satisfying experience for its conclusion.

With that expressed, I am hoping that more people turn their attention toward and appreciate the friendship between Kaoru and Sentarou in the finale of Sakamichi no Apollon.  As thrilling or sensational as the romance has been or will be in the finale, I do want people to look back at the simpler, more fundamental, and more enjoyable relationship in the series.  Really, this friendship has been with us since the beginning of the anime but has never really received the recognition I felt it deserves given how much it has done and what it has been able to do.  After the spontaneous jazz session at the end of the seventh episode, I truly began to appreciate their dynamic together and what they’ve done for this series.  It is my hope that everyone who watches the finale to this anime next week spends a little time trying to understand the impact this relationship has had on the series and enjoy it for how wonderful and influential it has been.  Let’s make sure this relationship gets the attention it deserves before the series comes to a close in less than a week.

Why is it always that people lose their manners, become absent-minded, or just plain stupid around baths?  Seriously, if you know someone is already in the bath that they’ll be naked, so why not respect their privacy and not open the door when you’re right outside the door?  How hard is it for someone to knock first and then call out to them from beyond the door rather than needing to open it and barge in on whoever is cleaning themselves?  I can understand if they were entering the bath to give themselves a proper wash, but Ritsuko has no such excuse for opening the door on Kaoru.  Even though she didn’t know, she was going to barge in on some poor naked soul in the bath.  And it’s not just this anime but anyone who wants to take a cheap shot at simple fanservice will pull this stunt.  And while it works for getting a few frames of a naked character in full view of the opposite sex, it comes across as completely ridiculous and inconsiderate.  And yes, it doesn’t matter if it were some moe chick with a conveniently placed towel or soap bubbles covering her nipples, it irks me every time something like this happens in an anime.  Perhaps it troubles me the most that it happens in something like Sakamichi no Apollon, an anime that doesn’t rely or employ any measurable amount of fanservice.  For an anime I respect to pull a stunt like this, I can’t help but make a slight fuss about it given that this was the one true weakness in a fabulous episode like this.

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