Friday, April 27, 2012

Preview: Kids on the Slope (Sakamichi no Apollon)

I've written a review for this series. You can read it here.

Kids on the Slope is a much antecipated anime because it's the first time Yoko Kanno and Shinichiro Watanabe work together since the famous Cowboy Bebop. Let's start with the synopsis from wikipedia:

The beginning of summer, 1966. Because of his father's job situation, freshman high school student Kaoru Nishimi moves by himself from Yokosuka to Kyushu to live with relatives. Until then, Kaoru was an honor roll student who tended to keep to himself, but meeting notorious bad boy Sentaro Kawabuchi starts to change him. Through his devil-may-care classmate, Kaoru learns the attractions of jazz and finds the first person he can call a “friend.” He also discovers how much fun it is to play music with a pal. Other characters include Sentaro's kind childhood chum, Ritsuko, who is the daughter of a record shop owner; the mysterious upperclassman, Yurika; and Brother Jun, the much-admired leader among their peers.

The visual part of the anime is excellent. The backgrounds and the animation... Everything is good. This is clearly visible in the parts in which they play the instruments. You can see the animation quality there. The use of 3D in Kaoru's hand whil he plays the piano is very good and they did a perfect job joining that with the his drawn body. The soundtrack is composed of songs played in the piano and some jazz for the normal scenes. There are also the jazz songs they play. All according to the quality expected of Kanno.

I've written I review for this series. You can read it here.

Kaoru was born in a rich family and he spent his life moving from one place to another, making him grow up without friends. At first he gave me the impression that he was a character like Holden from Catcher in the Rye (or Kyon from Haruhi, to the otaku). But he stops being boring and cynical pretty fast and ends up being a very reasonable and sensible guy. Sentaro has that classic bad boy personality, but he's not very mature emotionally. Ritsuku is that super nice childhood friend that takes care of the troublemaking protagonists.

The anime has a development similar to Beck's. It shows the main character making friends through music. It also has romance and it'll probably show some of the situatuations people of that age go through. Being made by those two, if the anime keeps going in this direction, it'll probably become a classic.

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