All that Jazz

Suffice it to say, so far I am impressed with Sakamichi no Apollon (Kids on the Slope). Now the OP could be a little better; not sure why there is a pop song opening for a show that’s partly about jazz. I say partly because so far it’s coming across as a love story. A love triangle to be specific. I was hoping a love triangle would be avoided but with the last episode, it doesn’t appear that will be the case. With a show who’s main characters are teenagers (anime seems to be obsessed with youth), there is teenage angst. There is love at first sight, misunderstandings, jealousy, broken hearts, and fisticuffs. Then there is the struggle of Kaoru Nishimi (dude with the glasses) trying to understand this musical genre called jazz. He’s taking a classical and studious approach to it; writing the musical notes to understand; which is impressive in itself. Yet, when he plays with Sentarō Kawabuchi, the viewer watches him loosen up and let it flow. Jazz is not something you try to understand which is how I see life.

What are my expectations of this show? I’m hoping everything doesn’t tie up into a pretty little bow in the end because its unrealistic. I would love to see growth in the characters especially Sentarō. He’s almost a male tsundere but not completely. He shows love and affection to his family easily; he just has a bit of a temper. He does appear to be carrying a heavy load. From what we have seen so far, he comes from a poor family, looks to be a single mother home, and there are a number of children for her to care for. He is the oldest so as big brother he must help take care of his younger siblings. He also seems to lack social skills with his first response usually being of a violent nature. The show has not delved into his background before this period of time besides alluding to the fact that he is constantly in facts. However, I wonder if he was taunted as a child due to being poor and this led him to be the physically aggressive person he is now.

Another character I would like to see evolve is Ritsuko Mukae. We got a glimpse of a personality in the most recent episode. She showed a little bit more than her catering to others side. That was refreshing because I was becoming concerned about her being a bland character. What I have noticed that while she works at the music store with her father and he as well as Sentarō and Kaoru have played instruments, she hasn’t. I am curious to know if she has a musical talent such as playing an instrument or singing.  This show has the potential to be boring but it also has the potential to be a charming series. Although I don’t exactly associate the director, Shinichirō Watanabe, with charming when you consider Samurai Champloo and Cowboy Bebop. Are you watching this show? What do you think of it? What do you think is going to happen?

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5 Comments

  1. I’m really enjoying this show. Depending on how it plays out, it has the potential to be a favorite this season. We’ll see. I dislike love triangles, too, but it would appear that they’re going to handle it well. I can hope, anyway. I love the music. It’s fun to watch Kaoru adapt to the jazz style. I also liked how, in the most recent episode, Kaoru and Sentarou seemed to make up through music after their spat. I look forward to seeing more on Thursday.

    I like the OP. It might not be jazz, but it still fits well. The whole tone of it seems right to me.

    • Hi Annalyn, I agree. If this show plays out right, it will definitely be a favorite. And honestly, I have really no idea in which direction its going to go! I think that is part of why I am enjoying it. The love triangle aspect does appear to be being handled well but I do think there will be an additional person added in. We’ve been introduced to him already. It is a show I have been looking forward to each week and I’m happy about that.

  2. Amazing show. Amazing, amazing, amazing. I think we’re watching something special here, maybe something once-in-a-decade amazing. To me, at least, it could crack that score I try to rarely give to anime on my Anime Planet viewing list – a 10.

    • You’ve got one word to describe it and that’s amazing! Haha. You see it as an instant classic it seems which is definitely conceivable if it doesn’t derail. It may very well redeem modern anime.

  3. I’m enjoying the show. I wish it could be a little longer than it is, but it has got an elegance and appeal that most other anime hardly manage to pull off so quickly and with such aplomb. It makes making a good show look effortless.

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