…is what I really wanted to say. As much as I like this anime, I can’t help but feel a little disappointed at some of the developments in this episode. Kids on the Slope has lost some of the charm that the first episode had in favor of an indication of a more traditional love story. Far from a bad thing, mind you. For what it’s worth, the love story subplot seems to be one of the more interesting cases, far from any wish-fulfillment fantasies or hard pandering – this is based on an award-winning Josei manga after all.
My only problem with this is that I feel that all this romance can chip away at the real meat of this anime, which is teenagers getting together through their love for jazz – or at least, that’s what I think the story is about. It’s either they put more emphasis on the jazz or romance, or try to balance both. I would be happy with whatever path the story takes, but I would surely prefer a focus on jazz as it would really add more character to the show rather than being just another teenage drama show spiced up with jazz.
Speaking of jazz, this week’s jazz session is something that one can call perfection. The animation is seamless and unbelievably realistic, again, on par with the animation of Angel Beats’ GirlDeMo concerts. The way they animated the playing of the instruments – I’m just at a loss for words. This is almost KyoAni level animation, and that’s saying a lot since I think they are the best ones in the industry. Of course, the music is no less than superb as well.
General directing for the rest of the episode is pretty much standard. Well done, but nothing special – except maybe the fight scene. There’s a touch of silliness to it that makes it a bit better than others of its kind. I also commend this show for being very consistent with its art. So far, I haven’t seen any off-model drawings, and that can only be good.
To summarize, I don’t see any flaws worth being angry about in Kids on the Slope. If anything, I guess I’m just a little peeved at the sudden appearance of a love interest for Sentarou, and the shift to a more drama-centered feel, but that’s just me being a nitpicky twat. Direction, art, music and everything else in this anime is well and good.