Friday, April 20, 2012

Sakamichi no Apollon 2: Jazz Fallin'

Kaoru spends most of his free time practicing jazz piano, using the record he bought earlier as reference. He is mostly motivated by his wanting to one-up Sentarou, who earlier declared that Kaoru doesn't have swing in his piano.One day, while hurrying home from school, he is waylaid by some bullies who drag him off to an old shrine away from witnesses. Fortunately, Ritsuko sees them and gets Sentarou to help. While Sentarou beats up the bullies, Kaoru joins in the fight, partly to save face in front of Ritsuko. Afterwards, Ritsuko inspects both boys' injuries but Sentarou is more worried over Kaoru's hands. Next, the three head on to the Mukae Record Shop where they have a surprise visitor in the form of Brother Jun, a Tokyo University student who often hangs at the shop. Leaving Ritsuko to watch the store, her Dad joins Sentarou, Brother Jun and, after some hesitation, Kaoru, in a live session. Later, Kaoru asks Ritsuko on a study date and she agrees, telling him to meet her at the Church on Sunday morning. On said day, Kaoru is surprised to find that Ritsuko and Sentarou are both Christians, but not as surprised as he is when he realizes that Sentarou is coming along on their "date." It's Sentarou's idea that instead of going to the library, all three of them head off to the beach, spending a lazy but fun day of boating and swimming. On their way back, they find a group of thugs bothering a woman, prompting Sentarou to butt in. The thugs turn out to be kids from another school who have all heard of Sentarou's bad reputation. They flee soon after that and as the woman turns to thank Sentarou, he sees her face for the first time and falls head over heels in love.

Sakamichi no Apollon and Lupin III: Mine Fujiko to Iu Ona are two shows that I'm watching this season with jazz as a theme. I can't make up my mind which one I like better. They are two completely different shows, of course, even though Watanabe-sensei is significantly involved in both. Lupin III is more about characters and random events they're involved in. Apollon has a more overarching plot, which is beginning to look like a romantic coming-of-age story. I like them both.

more screencaps from episode 2: