Sakamichi no Apollon – 01: two words – WATCH IT.

There’s always something in a first episode that insinuates greatness in an anime. It’s difficult to describe, but it’s akin to a sliver of pain and happiness that touches the heart. I felt that from the very first minute I tuned in to Sakamichi no Apollon. Perhaps it’s because it’s been years since I heard YUKI in an anime series; perhaps because it’s been years since I’ve seen Shinichiro Watanabe direct an anime, or perhaps it is because of a multitude of factors combined.

I had been touting Sakamichi no Apollon as probably going to be the year’s best even before I saw one episode of it because of its staff, and after the first episode, it seems that I’m not wrong. Although quite unlike Watanabe’s previous two series in that it’s not rooted in action and violence, the characters and the dialogue remain to be sparkling yet minimalistic at the same time, approximating Hemingway’s works. It’s beautiful, in every sense of the word, from its fluid ‘action’ scenes to its character build-up.

It’s so good that to even attempt to summarize it would be to do it a disservice as words cannot, at least for me, express how beautiful it coalesced the characters and the plot together. But if one were to watch only one series this year, I suggest one watch this. I doubt that Watanabe would let up with his excellence, as he had never done so with his two previous masterpieces.

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4 Responses to “Sakamichi no Apollon – 01: two words – WATCH IT.”

  1. JC Says:

    AGREED. TO ALL OF THIS.

  2. Ryan A Says:

    Yes, this first episode shows how brilliant direction and composition in anime can be. I mentioned that the cinematography was fairly standard, but it works well for the material. And I didn’t realize Wikipedia lists the manga as josei, very nice.

  3. Hana Says:

    Very polished, but also very passionate. While some of the themes and camera shots were not particularly new/ edgy, I was also really pleased with how consistent and engaging I found the whole thing. And, yes, beautiful character build up so far. Overall, looks very promising indeed. ^ ^

  4. Angelus Says:

    I’d give this 11/10, but I’m afraid the rather lacklustre OP and ED force me to mark it down to only 10/10.

    Seriously, though, what WAS she thinking? The composer of some of the most wonderful, haunting theme songs in the industry, and she comes out with THIS. Still, I’m glad I forced myself to sit through the OP (although it was a near thing, believe me). As for the rest of it, sheer, unadulterated brilliance. Except for the loudspeakers in the record shop – far too modern (but then, I’m the guy who stopped watching Aoi Bungaku because the urinals were anachronistic).

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