Kids on the Slope is another anime that is featuring in noitaminA for Spring 2012, besides Tsuritama. It is a show that was setup in the year 1966 which is refreshing given that you won't see female students wearing mini skirts to school, and there are no fancy school uniforms. It is all back to basic.
Lets take a walk into the past, ladies and gentlewomen.
Since I have watched Tsuritama, I can't help but noticed the similarities between the two shows of noitaminA this season. They both deal with the protagonist having trouble adjusting to new school even though both are used to transferring from one school to the other, both has issues with panic attack and then making new friends through something that they have in common. In this show's case, it is music. Specifically jazz music.
But it doesn't necessarily means that it is a bad thing though because the way these two executed their story are very different indeed. While everything is bizarre in Tsuritama, it is quite the opposite for Sakamichi no Apollon. There is restrain and subtlety involved as they delved deeper in the bond that they are creating for these characters. It is more heart-felt in a way.
There is obviously connection made between Kaoru Nishimi and Sentarou Kawabuchi. You can already tell that much by their first encounter. It was too obvious to not notice the chemistry between these two. Sure, Nishimi went all red whenever Ritsuko said something cute but it wasn't her that cure him from having seizures/panic attack. Like he said, what kind of magic is that?
Nishimi keeps transferring school because his dad is a Marine officer and isn't around much so he has to stay with his relatives from time to time. He sorta looks up to his father and adores him. He plays the piano to fill in the emptiness in his heart whenever he missed his dad. His mom left them both which kinda affected Nishimi a little, if not much and the absent of his father doesn't help much either.
Kawabuchi is the class delinquent. Everyone is afraid of him except Ritsuko who knows him since they were children. He isn't bad, he is just misunderstood by his peers and the people around him. For example, just look at the way he treated Nishimi. He might be rough but that is just his style. He is good with drums and I have a weakness for the person behind the drums. I mean, I fell for Ritsu, didn't I? Just like Nishimi, I too was very impressed with the way he plays the drum. I can't wait to see him and Nishimi start playing jazz together.
I have to say that I am loving the old style art and animation which of course fits perfectly with this show. I have never heard of Tezuka Production before but I have to give credits to them for making everything about this show so good from the arts, animation to the seiyuu and most importantly the story itself. Kudos to Shinichiro Watanabe for the excellent directing as well. Those angles and camera shots during Kawabuchi's fight and Kawabuchi playing the drums... well, suffice to say that it made me fapped. Then again, this is to be expected. He is the same director that directed Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo after all... and those are masterpieces.
I who usually don't give a shit about the OP and ED, is certainly giving a shit now, especially with that ED. For some reason it touches my heart and believe it or not, I shed tears the first time I listened to it. For a foreign song that I don't know the meaning of the words are to do just that... brilliant indeed.
noitaminA has certainly made up for what they were lacking for the past couple of seasons. I couldn't be more grateful and this show is definitely getting my approval. I don't care how fucking busy I am, I will make sure that I won't be missing these two shows from noitaminA.
art & animation 10/10