(From Wikipedia) Kaoru and the others start their second year of high school. Kaoru and Ri’ko are in the same class, but Sentaro is in a different class. Kaoru tries to keep Sentaro from talking to Yurika out of consideration for Ri’ko’s feelings. Kaoru and Sentaro run into Matsuoka Seiji at the art room. Sentaro asks Kaoru for advice on his upcoming date with Yurika, and Kaoru suggests that he not go. Sentaro goes out with Yurika anyways, but they just end up talking about Junichi. Matsuoka gives Sentaro a Beatles record to listen to. Matsuoka tells Sentaro that he wants to become a famous musician so he can support his family, and asks Sentaro to join his rock band. Sentaro invites Ri’ko and Kaoru to go to the beach with him, along with his siblings. Seiji shows up at the beach and is instantly popular with the kids, which causes Kaoru to feel like he’s being excluded. Sentaro agrees to join Matsuoka’s band for the school festival. Kaoru calls him a traitor, and runs off, saying he doesn’t need him anymore. Mr.Tsutomu goes to his regular bar and finds Jun there, drunk.
An awkward first date, the feeling of being excluded in a group, getting suddenly angry for petty reasons and knowing it all the while… this episode was incredibly relatable. I think this may be Sakamichi no Apollon’s biggest feat – it can remind you of your high school days without making you feel a tiring sense of déjà vu.
At the rate the story’s headed, everyone’s going to wind up with a broken heart. Kaoru already has one, and huge props to him for treating Ri’ko so well despite his heart twisting painfully inside him. It’s pretty obvious that Ri’ko won’t get anywhere trying to win Sentaro’s romantic affections. Sentaro should catch on with Yurika’s feelings for Jun soon, which will definitely hit him hard since all his toughness is in his muscles and not his heart. Jun seems like a mess, plus he hasn’t replied to Yurika’s letters, so Yurika will be crushed to realize Jun’s not the perfect Prince Charming she thinks he is. Wow, I really hope this anime doesn’t turn out to be a tragedy.
It’s also really interesting how Kaoru and Sentaro’s relationship has developed since episode 1. Remember when Sentaro seemed so powerful and domineering compared to Kaoru? Now, Kaoru comes up to Sentaro with a cool guy air and a mouthful of advice for love. They’ve got an interesting dynamic going.