It’s hard to tell where Sakamichi no Apollon 5 is going at first. We get a few scenes where the coincidences distract from their purpose. Kaoru just happens to be playing telephone-on-a-string with Sachiko, bringing up the fact that Ritsuko now hates him, when she passes by and takes the can from Sachiko. Sentarou just happens to be passing by while she talks to Kaoru about the boy she likes. Oh, and Ritsuko just happens to meet Yurika in the cake shop. All these scenes do something, it’s just a clumsy way to go about it. Other moments make up for it, like Sentarou coming to Sentarou’s bedroom via tree, and that brief bit between Yurika and Jun, with the odd reaction to the name on the bakery bag. Then the story takes us to a place we didn’t expect.
Kaoru’s father is home, and brings a letter from a former housekeeper which contains his estranged mother’s address in Tokyo. Kaoru goes. Sentarou invites himself along, for no other that I can see plot-wise than forcing him to go through with it, oh, and to provide a scene where they get drunk with two of Jun’s buddies. Kaoru’s mother had never really entered the picture, she’s barely talked about and Kaoru has few memories of her, but to my surprise they hit it off immediately. When she hits the nail on the head that he’s had his heart broken, he can only be upset for a second before he’s laughing along with her. For once Kaoru allows something powerful and possibly painful to come into his life, and the result is something he desperately needed. It all feels like a side trip for the story, but it was a good one.
Nazo no Kanojo 5 brought up something I had never thought about anime beach episodes. I didn’t really enjoy the scenes very much, or the episode, and I think one of the reasons was there were only the two of them. You knew what the scenes would cover, more or less: Tsubaki would see Urabe in a swimsuit and get excited. They threw in a scissors tan line (in a close-up) to heighten the effect. But apart from Tsubaki ogling her, nothing happens. Normally these scenes have a whole group of people and that adds exponentially to the potential interactions. Boy would ogle girl, another girl would be pissed off about it, while other characters provide counterpoint by flailing away at watermelons or playing volleyball. Maybe it’s a sign that the series at this point is at an empasse. Our weird lovebirds are in a holding pattern; unless something in their relationship changes or they make more use of Ueno and Oka, the series will stagnate. Next episode promises to do just that.
Not much to say about Kimi to Boku 2 6. An sad but amusing situation Yuuki finds himself in: the lunchlady he’s in love with is leaving. Their one connection is collectable stickers. He doesn’t go to the cafeteria and see her on her last week because he’s eating convenience store food to collect the stickers to give her a goodbye gift. Other than that it’s another hopeless unrequited love story. Sweet, but the usual.
And I have nothing to say about Nyaruko-San, except this episode, part of a story arc, isn’t up to its usual standards.