Sakamichi no Apollon – 06

A new school year begins, and Sentaro is in a different class than Ritsuko and Kaoru. Sentaro asks Ritsuko to look after him more. Kaoru tells Yurika about Jun being missing, and then she asks Sentaro on a date to get him a gift for modelling for her. Art Club member Matsuoka Seiji wants to recruit Sentaro for his rock band during the school festival, lending him a Beatles album. While on the beach clamming with Kaoru and Ritsuko, he finally asks, and Sentaro agrees. Feeling betrayed, Kaoru storms off. Ritsuko’s dad finds Jun drunk in a bar.

Kaoru tried reminding her estranged son not to fret over one rejection, and that he’s in the heydey of his youth, but enjoying said youth is easier said than done, especially with someone as cerebral and introspective as Kaoru. Sentaro and Ritsuko are his first real, good friends, and he fears losing them even as he pines for Ritsuko’s heart. A new character threatens the status quo, and he doesn’t like it. About this Seiji fellow: he’s very friendly and even a little effeminate, and rubs Kaoru the wrong way. But he’s not really a threat until he seduces Sentaro into drumming in his -gasp- rock band. ‘Who needs rock, especially early Beatles pop rock, when you have jazz?’, Kaoru must be wondering.

What Kaoru doesn’t understand is that Sentaro and Seiji have more in common than meets the eye: both are poor with big families, and hope to support those families in the future. But the way Sentaro tries to comfort him makes him remember when he was little, and was told the same stuff by other friends, only to be alone in the end. Kaoru lashes out like a little kid, and even better, knows he’s acting like a little kid, and almost instantly regrets it, but then thinks about how he’s never been a social creature, and continues on the bus route of isolation and lonliness, which he apparently believes to be his natural state. It will be interesting to see where he’ll go from here…not to mention what the heck is up with Jun.

Rating: 7 (Very Good)