While last week piled on the homolust like it was movie night at the YMCA, this week we see some of the seeds of romance being sown
onto the fertile fields of Ritsuko’s chest. But seeing as this is SnA and a review wouldn’t be complete about a gay joke or two, I’ll make sure to add one in here or there.
In episode two, Kaoru continues his alarming trend of being a pussy, getting beat up (and pants’d), getting carsick, and failing utterly at rowing a boat. No wonder Ritsuko doesn’t see him as a man.
The episode starts off with Kaoru attempting (key word: attempt) to learn the jazz piece “Moanin’”. After daydreaming through his day at school, he is rudely accosted by a guy with a crick in his neck and his lackies. Kaoru is then tied up to a lion statue and terrible things are done to him.
Luckily, Ritsuko sees him being
sucked dragged off and calls in the cavalry (i.e. Sentaro), and the two manage to save Kaoru from his cruel fate. So not only does Kaoru fail at impressing Ritsuko, he has to be saved by her too. Though later on he does manage to ask Ritsuko out on a study date. Too bad Sentaro decides to tag along too, the cockblocking cunt.
No studying is done though (because seriously, who’d want to watch an anime about studying during exam season?), and the trio instead head to an island. A wonder, magical island full of splendor, because here we get to see Ritsuko in her one-piece swimsuit.
Due to Kaoru’s failure at rowing (a second-rate seaman, that one), the trio end up upon a strange beach, where Sentaro saves a mysterious ojou-sama from being dragged off into a car by delinquents. Fate?!? Who know, but with that chance meeting we close the book on volume 1 and begin sailing towards dangerous drama territory.
THOUGHTS AND FEELS (lots and lots of adolescent feels)
In his post, forouGAR already touched on a lot of my thoughts regarding the aesthetics and production values of this show, so instead I’ll stick to talking about the romance angle. This episode can be seen as sort of a watershed moment, because we are explicitly shown how hard Kaoru and Sentaro have fallen for each of their respective love interests.
Snide comments aside, the above two quotes are precisely the reason why I love this anime.
While you can deride them as trite or overly sentimental quotes, the reason why it works so well in this show is because it’s honest. It casts these feelings without any sort of pretentiousness. Unlike so many romance shows out there today, Sakamichi no Apollon offers a pure and innocent (and arguably nostalgic) view on what it’s like to fall in love for the first time, and to care so much for that one person’s happiness. Kaoru falls for Ritsuko almost immediately after he meets her. And what’s not to like? She’s cute, bright, and kind, and easy to befriend. The more Kaoru hangs out with her, the more he likes her. The first quote exemplifies love at it’s most basic: by making the one you love happy, you are also happy. Kaoru manages to achieve this state of mind, so I suppose I should cut him some slack for all of his other personal shortcomings.
In Sentaro’s case, you get more of a sense of a boy falling in love for the first time. Prior to the arrival of Kaoru, Sentaro’s only friend in class is Ritsuko. He’s a bit of a delinquent, speaks to nobody else in the class, and gives off a very unapproachable feeling. You get the sense that he’s never really been in love with a girl prior to that chance meeting on the beach. Kaoru’s observation upon seeing the effect Yurika has on Sentaro, that “falling in love does not require reason or time”, is one that has been around through the ages. Hell, even Shakespeare, in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, writes that “reason and love keep little company together”.
In any case, this episode appears to have set the stage for some POSSIBLE DORAMA in the near future. My guess is that this show will end up focusing on these interpersonal relationships, and how they affect the dynamics between Kaoru, Sentaro, and Ritsuko. And maybe something about the pain of first love and all that sort of jazz (teehee). And of course, this being Japan, everybody will end up alone.
Oh god I can’t wait for episode 3.