Oh dear God. He’s back. In a toga. What is going on here?!
Episode 9 was a whirlwind of wonderfulness. There’s just so much going on in this episode, it almost doesn’t seem possible. But not only does episode 9 cover a lot of various developments, but it juggles them fairly well and doesn’t short change any of them. And what’s great was that they were all weaved together. It all cascades naturally from one event to the other. From Kaoru’s chance encounter with Ristuko to Yurika pulled onto the train with Jun, everything was a delight to watch. The pacing and characters were amazing and nothing about this felt forced or staged or anything. I honestly cannot think of anything to criticize because everything went so smoothly.
The lucid nature of each of the plot threads in this one was a definite strong point and something that needs to be highlighted, if nothing else than because of the story. I’m really enjoying Ritsuko a lot, especially on how her relationship and feelings toward Kaoru develops. There’s a lot of subtlety there, from voices to expressions and a lot that I didn’t really consciously pick up. Also super glad that Sen didn’t make it a huge deal with Ritsuko. The defusion of that specific aspect of their relationship was quick, relatively painless, and minimal. No over-the-top acting, no obvious pining. Just clean and simple.
The Jun-Yurika relationship on the other hand is rife with drama. That’s what works for their dynamic and it works really really well. The conflict there really lends itself to a more grandiose interpretation of events, what with her being a runaway and him being an budding activist. This one is equally great as Kaoru and Ritsuko, but with the added romantic flair of societal class division. Both of the relationships right now in Sakamichi no Apollon play to their strengths and everything about both of them just click. I am somewhat concerned with the fact that Sen’s and Kaoru’s bromance is on the back burner for now, but with the performance that was episode 7, I’m not overtly worried about it. I’m confident that it’ll come back eventually.
Ever since the school festival episode, there’s been an implied promise of payoff and that’s all I really need to be patient. The story’s good if you’re willing to enjoy it and it’ll definitely be worth it in the end. With only a couple episodes left, that that end will be is a mystery, but I’m banking on it being really good.
GO Rating: 4/5