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Sakamichi no Apollon  
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Nishimi Kaoru has moved from city to city and school to school because of his fatherís job, so having his first day at a new school was just routine for him. Being intellectual in addition to being a transfer student all the time, he has always been seen as an outcast. All he has had to do was bear it as usual until the next time he moved.

But things were slightly different this time. First, he started to get close to the class president, Mukae Ritsuko, and secondly, unlikely as it seemed, he grew closer to Kawabuchi Sentaro. Sentaro was infamous for getting into fights, skipping class and was an overall bad boy. Strangely enough, the three of them find common ground in music, namely jazz, and Kaoru finds himself actually enjoying the new town.

This series won the 57th Shogakukan Manga Award for general manga.

***Volume 10 is a side story.


Related Series

Associated Names
Упрямый Аполлон
언덕길의 아폴론
Apollon On The Slope
Giai điệu trên triền dốc
Kids on the Slope

Groups Scanlating

Latest Release(s)
v.9 c.1-5 (end) by sukikatte (851d ago)
v.8 c.1-5 by sukikatte (865d ago)
v.7 c.1-5 by sukikatte (872d ago)
Search for all releases of this series

Status in Country of Origin
9 Volumes + 1 Volume Extra (Complete)

Completely Scanlated?

Anime Start/End Chapter
Starts at Volume 1, Chapter 1
Ends at Volume 9, Chapter 45

User Reviews


User Rating
Average: 9 / 10.0 (440 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.84 / 10.0
 45% (200 votes)
 26% (113 votes)
 19% (82 votes)
 5% (21 votes)
 2% (10 votes)
 1% (3 votes)
 0% (1 votes)
 1% (5 votes)
 0% (1 votes)
 1% (4 votes)

Last Updated
July 28th 2014, 12:25pm PST



Category Recommendations





Original Publisher

Serialized In (magazine)
Flowers (Shogakukan)

Licensed (in English)

English Publisher

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #429 decreased(-4)
Monthly Pos #494 decreased(-65)
3 Month Pos #392 decreased(-28)
6 Month Pos #343 decreased(-10)

List Stats
On 740 reading lists
On 873 wish lists
On 993 completed lists
On 23 unfinished lists
On 358 custom lists

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User Comments [ Order by usefulness ]

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Rating: 9.5 / 10.0
by great_k
October 13th, 2014, 1:12pm
This manga has interesting characters, character dynamics, good pacing and a fresh feel to it.
There is nothing major I can criticize this manga about.
Only wish that the anime had not tried to adapt the series into just 12 episodes. As a result a lot of the detail to the Riku x Kaoru moments were sacrificed (amongst other scenes). Would rather they sacrificed screen time from the Junichi and Yurika storyline since Kaoru, Riku and Sentarou are the heart beat of this series. All this means is that I like the manga a lot more than the anime.
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Friendship through and through   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by Stickerhappy04
July 26th, 2014, 2:41pm
Romance is usually the driving point of most manga, but friendship is the core element of Sakamichi No Apollon. Others may find the concept of friends enjoying jazz in a 60s backdrop boring, but they'd have to know the characters to find out that this is truly a touching coming-of-age story. Both female and male readers would enjoy reading this. I just hope that some won't mistake Sen and Bon's close bond as something more than friendship. This manga shows that intimate friendships are not a matter of gender or age.
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So much love for this manga...<3   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by ariminty
July 8th, 2014, 7:29am
I usually have this thing against any manga that in any context othe than that of the 21st century, but that stuff doesn't even matter when you hold it up against this manga. It all seems insignificant when you have a manga this as close to perfection as this manga is. It is so so very rare that I don't have a problem with the ending of a manga as I didn't with this manga. It had me wanting more, but, at the same time, I felt happy that it ended there. It gave me a nice and fuzzy feeling. However, it's not much of an issue, but
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
I thought that Sentarou's disappearance towards the end was pretty generic.
Yet, at the same time,
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
it shows the depth of the emotions that he was hiding, I guess.

I would write more, but I think the other comments sum it up far better than I could. Just read this, no matter what obstacles you may face.

... Last updated on July 8th, 2014, 7:41am
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True Perfection: Drama x Romance x Friendship   
Rating: 9.9 / 10.0
by Fantasier
October 2nd, 2013, 10:20am
I had already watched the anime when I decided to read this, yet I still absolutely appreciate it. I finished it in one sitting, and came here to review right away.

Sakamichi no Apollon is the ultimate series, meaning you CANNOT ask for anything better in its kind.

I'm not exaggerating. The story started well. Developments between characters are amazing. Things continue to go on and on exhilaratingly non-stop; there is almost no point of 'stopping' like other series and it is still able to make it not too tiresome. Characters are real; they are alive; their thoughts are realistic. And being so real in a fictional story, in this case, is highly beneficial.

Thousands of series try hard to tell readers about 'love' and 'friendship', and have protagonists keeping talking about them, but can't make the readers feel. This series makes the difference by showing what they actually mean through the story; you can really feel the strong emotions of characters towards those words. The 'rhythm' of its storytelling is at the supreme level of excellence. Every single issue is put in its right place and time of the story. Things are revealed just about the time they should be. Changes take place everywhere appropriate for them on the timeline.

I realise I should mention jazz too. That part is probably the only thing that the anime does better job, because it has sound. Still, you can appreciate the music through silence of reading--not joking. You simply get the idea and concept of jazz through reading. It is also the primary element of pulling things in the story together.

Prepare for an emotional wave of stories hitting you one after another, with deeper and deeper impact on your heart as the story progresses. And before you know it, you will reach the emotionally beautiful ending.

The art is warm, suited the tone of the story and actually beautiful. It's not oh-so-freaking-special, but does that really matter? I usually say that a great manga of its kind usually suits its own style of art perfectly. The same goes for this series.

In brief, Sakamichi no Apollon is the greatest combination of drama, romance and friendship with all wide range in size of emotional impacts. You MUSTN'T miss it.

Crap, I even lowered my lastest 'favourite' Bartender in order to make this the one (of the two) instead! Let me repeat, it's a freaking masterpiece. I wish my country's publisher just had a license on this already that I would definitely not hesitate to buy.

Ah, and if you doubt--it's even better than the anime.

... Last updated on October 4th, 2013, 6:32am
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I really didn't see that coming..   
Rating: N/A
by rainerflame
September 27th, 2013, 12:51am
its first time I read such a beautiful story.
where life is sometimes comes unexpected but if you hold on what you really love, its always happiness in the end.
Maybe if you haven't read it think its lame, but if you've gone to high school you can relate to the story..
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Essence of what a Slice of Life/Romance Manga Should Be   
Rating: 9.9 / 10.0
by bull3thole
September 25th, 2013, 10:58pm
All the comments that are said already is what I wanted to say about this manga. This is what a manga should be like for it's genre. I love the relationship between the three friends. You see the character development and growth between the main character and his friends. I loved that it was well paced and there wasn't one of those typical characters who couldn't decide what to do. What I also love was that the story took place in the 1960s to the 1970s and how they love jazz. You get to see what it was like when computers, cell phones, etc. didn't exist yet.

I'm giving this manga a 9.9/10 because I kind of wanted the ending to be different. I loved the ending, but some things don't go the way you want it to in real life. Especially in this time period, where it was especially hard to find people. I thought that it would have been a more realistic story if that happened like "5 centimeter per second."

I would give this a 10/10, but in my opinion mangas with a 10 should be perfect. I try to nit-pick every little thing so it tells you I don't give out high ratings often. So pick this up and read it if you love slice of life/romance mangas.

... Last updated on September 25th, 2013, 10:59pm
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Absolutely Love!!   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by born2shop
January 30th, 2013, 8:42pm
I have to admit that at first I wasn't going to read this. I just thought that it was be a little blah. But after reading one of the comments (which totally made me cry before starting the series lol) I decided to give it a chance. This has to be one of the best mangas I have ever read. I usually go for the mushy girly stuff, so I was pleasantly surprised by how much I really enjoyed this.

More than anything I loved the relationship between friends rather than the romantic aspects of this series. When you have true friendships, nothing can beat that happiness. I loved seeing the growth and the developments between the characters. I swear I have been on a roller coaster of emotions since I've started. [color=blue]I've been angry and sad and crying then happy from one chapter to the next. One moment I love this character then the next I'm going that bitch!! haha

I think that the art completely fits this series. And though it's not what I'm usually attracted to, the story is so good and so well written that I don't mind it. It's simple and clean so it goes with the flow. I absolutely loved the ending. It so wasn't rushed. The time skips made a whole lot of sense due to the circumstances of what happened. But I'm extremely happy with this. There are only a few mangas that have made me cry like this haha

... Last updated on January 31st, 2013, 5:12pm
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Love it!   
Rating: N/A
by LilyMinjee
November 16th, 2012, 10:52pm
I just wrote a really long review just now but my cat stepped on my keyboards and somehow I LOST the text. ALL of it. So, to keep my words short. Read it! You won't be disappointed. It's a heartwarming story (which for me, make me feel like I was in a roller coaster). I like it how in this story where everything started to crumble down, and a friend would show up and save your day. It had me tasted of many kind of emotions whenever an event happened. (my English sucks and I don't know how to put it into words). I have never seen a friendship manga that is as worth reading as this.

p.s. I can't get out this Moanin' song out of my head now. >.< Gotta check out the anime, I guess.
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Put some jazz, read it and travel with the characters to the beginning of japanese summer in 1966.   
Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
by dalek
August 20th, 2012, 4:39pm
While I write this review, the intro of Moanin' by Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers is playing inside my head. Not just that, for two weeks, all I could hear was pure and awesome jazz songs. Of course it's Sakamichi no Apollon's fault.

Music. Do you know how powerful can it be? C'mon, I bet music changed your life or your day, at least once. Now, jazz songs. Jazz is contagious, you hear it and starts tapping your fingers, moving your shoulders or doing weird footsteps under the table. It's magical! In the end, you're smiling and you don't even know how that happened. You're just smiling, even if you got some problems here and there... And this is what this manga is talking about.

In the late 60s, we got a freshman high school student Kaoru, who not so coincidentally looks like a American jazz pianist, Bill Evans, in the early days. He's our honor student kind of character and just moved to Kyushu to live with relatives. In school, he's not the most social guy, but destiny brings two new friends, Sentarou and Ritsuko. Sen introduces him to jazz music and after being told he can't play other music style, 'cause he's a "piano-classic-songs boy", Kaoru accepts the challenge and try to learn how to play jazz, without knowing he'll not only change his music style, but change inside, change himself.

The story goes by. New characters appear, revelations, some little plot twists that make you feel a tightness in the heart. It's a slice of life, don't expect action or explosions, don't expect the answer to the Universe. This is simple and pure slice of life. Their lives, their thoughts, their feelings (oh, their feelings!) and their problems. That kind of manga you read and say: "oh man, I'm this character" (hey, Kaoru, I'm with you!). The characters aren't ORIGINAL, you have seen a lot of characters like them, "big brother mentor", "childhood friends", "delinquent", "cute girl" and "megane". Yes, they aren't original, but they're UNIQUE. Little details makes you love them... I like how things happen, isn't your "oh, let's put 60 chapters and solve things, I don't know, in the 59th chapter". It's your "Oh my, is this really happening? But it's only chapter 14... Oh, oh, go for it! But wait, oh my" (I'm sorry, that's my inner self talking).

So, you ask me: "Why should I read this manga?" Because it's good. It has quality! Doesn't matter if it isn't the most original one, it's unique. Introduces you to a Japan in the 60s with culture and costumes being corrupted. We got japanese christian, which it's the first time I see it in a manga. We got a imaginary triangule and "love hurts" from a new perspective, not your shoujo-type "He hates me, sniff sniff, I want to die". This is Josei, people are dealing with their problems, they're facing past issues, changing little by little. The art is a little retro too and I like the artist style. The music recommendations are the best too! So, please, give it a try. If you don't like it, I'm sorry, but I'm in love with this story.

... Last updated on August 20th, 2012, 4:40pm
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Simple yet beautiful.   
Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
by SolarDarkStar
July 1st, 2012, 8:42am
I find this manga very endearing due to it's character development, their daily life experiences with school, love, personal issues and how it explores them little by little. In my opinion I particularly think that the art is suitable for this manga, I applaud it's simplicity and clean style.

The only issue I do have is near the end, where I feel it is rushed, and could've given better explanations to about Sentarou's reasons. However, the rest of the ending was enjoyable and a fresh out take from the usual stories. I do highly recommend reading this manga sometime if you haven't.

An enjoyable reading experience for me.

... Last updated on July 1st, 2012, 8:43am
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