Sakamichi no Apollon – Music as a Form of Expression

We had certainly heard of famous musicians and singers, expressing their emotions in the songs they made, entailling about the experiences of their life. Through lyrics, it is easier, however, through instruments alone would prove to be a bit difficult, as I’m sure only a selected few musicians would be able to achieve the latter. However, that’s where anime comes in, where all the impossible becomes possible.

And if there is one thing which pulls me into the world of Sakamichi no Apollon, it’s the music; their concept of Jazz music itself, and the way the characters express themselves through music.

“Don’t think you need to do anything complicated at first.
All you really have to do is hit the keys.”

~Katsuragi Junichi

As depicted by Juinichi, Jazz isn’t a really uptight genre of music, it’s actually very freewill and aims at one thing, making music fun, entertaining and relaxing. It is unlike classical music which obviously focuses more on precise notes and accurate timing. Because it’s so freewill, it’s like the music they played are coming directly from their hearts, these makes them expressing their emotions more naturally. It is also noteworthy that the anime doesn’t necessarily focus on practicing or live concerts only. Actually, there are almost none of the latter, and a good part of the anime deals with human relationships and character backstories, which may or may not be related to their musical backgrounds. The subtle musical depictions of the anime provides the freewill outlet of Jazz music perfectly.

In the anime, there were already countless ways the characters relied on music instead of words for communication. Impressions, confessions, farewells; music unambiguously speaks better then a thousand words in all respective cases.

Though ironically, in order to achieve such accomplishment where you can “speak” through music, one must have legendary skills, and it’s subtly hilarious that some of these people who had reached such a peak were just high school students. Then again, it’s anime; even 16-years-olds can become Beethoven. We had seen Chiaki playing piano like Mozart, and we had seen Azunyan jamming on her guitar like Jimi Hendrix. It’s anime, where everything goes, even in the world of music.

Sakamichi no Apollon shows us an intruiging world where the characters had reached a point where they can “speak” with music. In fact, it’s music which evokes true empathy between them. There is no need to confesss your feelings nervously, and there is no need trying to say goodbye while breaking down in tears; just jam and let your feelings run wild.

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This entry was posted by Kai.

14 thoughts on “Sakamichi no Apollon – Music as a Form of Expression

  1. Music has only recently been an important part of me but I know full well how music can portray our feelings depending on whatever we’re jamming, how we’re displaying that piece to our intended audience and everything else you’ve mentioned Kai! ^^

    I totally agree that for Sakamichi Apollon, it’s the jazz which makes this show worthwhile to listen to. Sitting back and listening to them jamming is really relaxing and because of how much we know of these characters and what they go through, it really does express through their music. It’s really what music is about. Evoking emotion within a person. It’s because of Sakamichi Apollon that I love Jazz so much now. There doesn’t need to be lyrics, there only needs to be instruments <3

    You've really nailed it Kai ;D Keep up the good work!

    • That’s only for skilled musicians, I had heard of famous mainstream singers confessing their love through singing during their high school days, and they always end up awkwardly unsuccessful xD

      Honestly, I didn’t even care much for Jazz music until I watched Sakamichi no Apollon, the music is fun and relaxing and most of all, the characters in the anime looks like they have a really fun time jamming together. their emotions does easily show through during their performance, and indeed indeed. In fact, I prefer instrumentals music much more then ones with vocals recently :D

      • I can imagine how awkward it’d be ^^;

        Though I’m on the same boat as you. I only got into Jazz because of Sakamichi. Beforehand, I was into the usual anime music :3 but found myself liking a lot of canadian punk. My friend got me into metal a bit then came Jazz ;D

        Do you know any good Jazz players?

        • Before Sakamichi, I’m into the usual anime and game soundtracks and before furhter that, I’m into kpop and jpop and beefoooore further that, I’m into cpop. My music history runs deep :D

          I’m afraid no, like I said, I only got into Jazz recently so I’m afraid I don’t know any good Jazz music or players D:

  2. This show made me smile at the beginning because of how well the feelings sipped into music and touched my heart (oh, that Moaning and its medley with My favorite things~~). Lately though I feel it has lost it’s way a bit? Dialogues and narrative have steeped down in terms of quality, or is it just me? Not much music sessions either… :/

    • The feelings poured into the music are pretty genuine indeed. I love the medley they did during the school festival :D Well there’s less music for sure, which is pretty unique since the anime, even though it’s musically themed, it doesn’t necessarily focus on music only but on human relationships and developments. I don’t feel the dialogues and narratives degrading though.. it’s still as great :D

  3. There is one limitation in communicating through music; both party must know music very well. I suspect that I have been talked to through music once or twice but I was literally deaf in that department x_x

    • Yes but they don’t necessarily need to actually learn music to the point of mastery in order to understand them. Aww that’s pretty sad D:

  4. The whole thing with making up through music was a bit corny, but it was nice. Given that the series was advertised as focusing on music, I actually expected more of that stuff. Unfortunately, Jazz is probably the genre of music I understand the least.

    • Doing this in real life would be even more corny and weirdly enough, I didn’t feel anything like that while watching the anime. Yes true. it isn’t particular focused on music but that’s what make Sakamichi is so awesome.

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