I guess placing Sakamichi no Apollon on my priority watch list at the last minute was pretty good as well. Despite not being a fan of the music genre, I actually loved the first episode.
As an opening episode, it definitely made a great job in entertaining music-genre fans as well as regular slice of life fans, like me. I was actually a bit hesitant in picking this series up given that I've actually disliked music anime such as K-ON! And UtaPri but given that this has an entirely different atmosphere, the first episode made me love it.
Story-wise, it starts off normally with a new guy, Nishimi Kaoru (Kimura Ryohei), who usually transferrs school. He accidentally meets Kawabuchi Sentarou (Hosoya Yoshimasa) whom everyone in the class other than Mukae Ritsuko (Nanri Yuuka) is scared of. I like how the two of them actually became comfortable (is it?) with each other easily that by the end of the episode, Kaoru is more than willing to show Sentarou how good he is in piano by playing Sentarou's type of jazz. I really love how this episode turned out. Could this be the start of my love for the music genre or am I just really looking for something inspirational to watch? OR is this even going there? I think so.
As for the characters, there aren't really anything special with them as of now but as I have mentioned I like the relationship between Kaoru and Sentarou. I'm seeing a lasting friendship in here which I would like to see every week. A rich and smart boy who got a little bullied in the first half of the series with his geeky-ness in piano is going to be an interesting character to see and be developed further. Also, this entitled bully by the class who likes going to the roof and plays the drums is someone I'm going to look out for in this series as well. As for the heroine of the series, Ritsuko, isn't really my type right now. She's plain and typical and doesn't standout or anything. With how she is now, I'm hoping that there'll be more in her character for me to like and notice.
Music? Do I ever need to explain. This is a music genre anime so it's pretty natural for it to have that really good BGM and all. There was one BGM that really stood out for me, the one that they used for the PV. It was really catchy. It also reminds me of DURARARA!! 'cause there was this BGM in DURARARA!! that has the same sound - yeah I can clearly remember it because I have the OST and I listen to it all the time. Anyway, I'm definitely looking forward to more of those piano pieces by Kaoru. That classical piece he played in the morning, I've never heard of it until now but I liked it. Also, I really loved Sentarou's drumming in the beginning. It's really catchy + that piano piece he was playing when he was showing off with Kaoru :3
|Kaoru's "creative" imagination :3|
As for the art and animation, I have to seriously admit that it didn't please me in any way. I don't really want to complain in detailed but the character designs has got to be my biggest let down. OR it could be the overall feel of the art. It looks a little bit old or whatever. BUT it does seem old. The character design isn't anything fancy, catchy or likeable (to me). I've never heard of Tezuka Productions and after making that quick look, I know why. I've never watched any of their previous series and well… they all look so old school. As for Yuuki Nobuteru who's responsible for the character design, I have to say that this is his style. Now I now why Ozuma also looks old school. HAHA. Oh well, I can get pass the art as long as the story can keep me up AND I'm pretty positive that it can(:
Overall, Sakamichi no Apollon has lived its name up for the expectations that are being thrown at it. Despite the art, that I honestly disliked, the story seems to be heading to something I can enjoy together with the music genre that I'm not a fan of. The story and characters are wonderful and on the looks of things, I'll be looking forward to this series every week. With 11 episodes, I'm pretty positive that this series can at least make my top 10 (out of 19 series that I'm planning to watch) for this season.
For more screenshots, click here.