Friday, May 4, 2012

Sakamichi no Apollon 5: Called it

It's almost Christmas and Brother Jun has come home to announce that the Mukae informal jazz band has a gig at a local club that caters to American patrons. Kaoru also finds out that Sentarou's birthday falls on the same day. In school, Sentarou still moons over Yukari even as Ritsuko tries to avoid Kaoru. Sentarou finally reveals that what Kaoru saw that day was just him modeling for Yukari's painting, which he'll be doing for her for some time. Later, Kaoru goes shopping for Sentarou's birthday gift and has his heart set out on a pair of drumsticks. But Ritsuko, apparently with the same gift in mind, reaches for the same pair. She suggests that they split the gift themselves. On their way home, it begins to snow. Ritsuko couldn't control her excitement for this apparently rare weather disturbance while Kaoru couldn't stop himself from kissing the smile right off her face. After the kiss ends, Ritsuko is too shocked for words and instead bursts into tears right there in front of Kaoru. Sentarou's appearance doesn't help any and in anger, Kaoru turns on his friend, blaming him for seeming to have a loving family when all Kaoru has is a house filled with strangers. Then, throwing the drumsticks at Sentarou's feet, Kaoru runs off to mope by himself for a while. Sentarou soon joins him and later at Sentarou's home, he shows Kaoru a photo-album of when he was a kid. The photo is filled with pictures of chibi Ritsuko and some other kid with mixed blood. It's Sentarou! His mother had him with an American soldier before running away, leaving Sentarou in the care of a bitter old woman and a man who didn't know what to do with a child of mixed blood. In the end, Sentarou spent most of his growing up years at a Catholic orphanage where he apparently met Ritsuko. After hearing this story, Kaoru is in tears as he realizes his mistake. The two friends then make up over Bobby Timmons' "Moanin'" on the piano, which hearkens back to the first time the two of them played together at the Mukae shop. Their conflict resolved for the moment, Sentarou and Kaoru put all their efforts into practicing for their Christmas gig until the day arrives. Ritsuko has invited Yukari to the event and she arrives at the place just as Brother Jun does. Not knowing who she is, Brother Jun tries to discourage her from getting inside, calling her "ojou-sama" somewhat mockingly. Yukari will have none of it and their first meeting has a lot of friction. During the performance, Sentarou is so conscious of Yukari's presence he plays the drums rather stiffly until Kaoru gets him to "wake up." Their fun is interrupted, however, when a drunk American loudly tells them to stop playing black music and play for the white folks instead. This riles up Sentarou who is too angry to continue to play. Brother Jun plays it cool and asks Kaoru to play "Not For Me" while he jazzes it up with his trumpet and lounge vocals. In the audience, Yukari couldn't take her eyes off him. Kaoru is also realizing for the first time why Sentarou admires Brother Jun so much. Later that evening, Sentarou regrets not being able to play even half of what they practiced but seems in an overall good mood. Walking slightly behind the group, Brother Jun and Yukari quietly introduce themselves to each other and maybe fall in love along the way.

Ha! I totally called it. Of course, Yukari is going to fall for the guy. Who wouldn't in her position? Ah, but kudos again to my man, Kaoru! Yes! Way to go! Give it to her. Don't let her tears fool ya. She's a girl after all. Boy's got some spunk, you have to admit. Hehe. Honestly, I would feel very bad for Kaoru if Ritsuko doesn't end up falling for him instead. But also, is it wrong if I kinda ship Kaoru with Sentarou? LOLz I just love the bromance.
The music's great in this episode. I especially love the part where Kaoru and Sentarou play "Moanin'" together and how it all goes back to the very first episode. Smoothly done, show.
Sentarou's back story is interesting. So I guess the family he's been with is his foster family or whatever you call that. I wouldn't have guessed. So it's not only Kaoru who's got an absentee father but also Sentarou. My god these two are like mirror opposites.