To be honest, Episode 1 of Sakamichi no Apollon started off a little slow for me.
We have a protagonist, Nishimi Kaoru, who’s the new kid at school, which in itself is already hard enough, but to add onto his troubles, he feels the need to run away to the rooftop whenever he’s nervous. Though this does sound a bit similar to another anime of this season, Tsuritama, which also has a new-kid protagonist who reacts strongly when nervous, let me make it clear that the similarities between these two animes stop right here. While Tsuritama’s palette is bright and colorful, Sakamichi no Apollon sticks with soft, muted colors that suit it quite well as the protagonist himself is a little negative and gloomy.
It also had a slow, somewhat dragged-out pacing. Watching the first three quarters of this anime took me a little patience, as the events unfolded just a bit slower than I would have preferred, but when the three main characters (Kaoru, Kawabuchi Sentaro, and Mukae Ritsuko) gathered in the basement of the Mukae family’s record shop and Kaoru found a surprising appeal in Sentaro’s jazz music, it ended the episode on an interesting note that makes me curious to see how their friendship develops and what it will lead them to do.