Kids on the Slope is Overrated

There, I said it.

Nice Mode:

To be perfectly honest, I think Kids on the Slope is a very well-rounded, well-directed and well-produced show. Animation is top notch, voice acting is good and the 60’s feel that the show is going for is done perfectly. Humor is placed at exactly the right moments to either alleviate tension or simply keep the audience entertained, and the drama is done in a way that it’s not totally overbearing. Oh, and did I mention that it has fantastic music? Simply put, it’s an objectively good show.

But here’s the problem. Though production values are high, the anime still boils down to this: an anime about teen romance and angst. Not really a bad thing per se, but for an anime that uses jazz as a hook, they seldom use it to spice up the story. The parts of Kids on the slope that I was really enjoying were the times that they actually play music – but then I realized that I could get the same experience by watching old YouTube videos of Bill Evans or similar people. I’m a fan of jazz, not angsty teen romance – so for all intents and purposes, I will no longer continue watching Kids on the Slope.

PS: Kids on the Slope is my 100th dropped anime with a personal MAL score of 5. Now THAT’S a milestone!

Prick Mode:

Kids on the Slope is a crappy J-Drama that pretends to be about jazz. It’s trite, overdone and downright generic if you remove the “jazz theme” from it. Besides, the damn show doesn’t even use jazz to it’s advantage. It’s just there to… uhhh… what is it even doing here? I could replace jazz with something entirely different and it would just be the same – boring love polygon thingy that lacks any real value. Kids on the Slope is overrated. Get over your pretentious selves and see the show for what it really is.

Bottom line:

Kids on the Slope: DROPPED

Aside: Sorry for being extra mean today. It’s a nice change of pace from the usually overly polite @fkeroge, right?

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17 Responses to Kids on the Slope is Overrated

  1. CPAnime says:

    The three things no one wants to talk about – Soccer, Jazz, and Infidelity. I agree with your post completely. I watched the first two episodes and it seemed like a generic show wrapped up in a flashy premise.

  2. glothelegend says:

    I enjoy prick mode most. And I’m glad you wrote this post, because it means that I don’t have to pick this show up in order to write this post.

    • @fkeroge says:

      Hmmm… perhaps I should write on two modes from now on. Or I can just go on perpetual prick mode. You should also notice that what I said both in Nice Mode and Prick Mode are basically the same.

  3. anaaga says:

    This maannn.Thiiissss. Everything was all good until they decided to drop the love polygon bomb and shifts its focus from jazz to some angsty teenager drama. I’m fine with the teen drama, but I don’t like how they try to cover it up-, er, relate it with jazz to give the “this is a jazz anime!” vibe.

    And they’re treating classical music with little respect. F that.

    • @fkeroge says:

      And they’re treating classical music with little respect. F that.

      I really hate it when anime doesn’t respect classical music too, except when it’s necessary to the story.

      They don’t even make an effort to relate the story to jazz at all. People need to see that jazz here is just an excuse to have a different premise for a stupid story. It’s times like these that I appreciate K-On!! dropping its pretending to be a music show to concentrate on what it’s good at – pandering.

  4. Mira says:

    I’m not going to disagree that Sakamichi no Apollon has certainly been overrated, but I don’t know if it’s actually bad enough to warrant a drop. But then I’ve read the manga, knew what was going to happen and didn’t have any real expectations. Speaking of crappy J-drama, there’s no way this wouldn’ve translated that well to one. I love my J-dramas but man, some of it is just– NO.

    • @fkeroge says:

      Well, I’m known to have pretty demanding standards when it comes to anime – my MAL rating mean is 4.62/10, which is very low. Sakamichi got a 5, so…

      I’ve seen my fair share of J-Drama as well: Liar Game, Mirai Nikki, Hana Yori Dango, Hanazakari no Kimitachi he, Gokusen, Ichi Liter no Namida, Nodame Cantabile and others that I might have forgotten, but so far, only Gokusen was able to satisfy me out of the ones I mentioned. As I’ve said in an earlier post, Sakamichi no Apollon would work better as a live action drama than an anime. I watch anime for something different from what I get from Philippine TV, not to make me relive vile moments from those mainstream telenovelas on TV.

      • Mira says:

        I can’t say I’m lenient or anything like that, maybe it’s because as I said, I didn’t expect anything from the show other than what I’ve seen from the manga. And the anime even improves on the source material. That isn’t to say that this show is amazing or anything, it has its shortcomings but I’m fine with it. Right now, I’d say it was about time Sakamichi no Apollon suffered from hype backlash.

        I’ve seen Filipino dramas on TV (We have Pinoy Channel over here at the UAE), I feel your pain. Jdrama adaptations of manga or anime are just– bad. Gokusen might be an exception, but the sequels were so repetitive. I did however, enjoy Hana Yori Dango and 1 Litre of Tears though. But I my favorites were My Boss, My Hero, Maou, Sekai Chuushin De Ai Wo Sakebu and Last Friends.

        • @fkeroge says:

          Right now, I’d say it was about time Sakamichi no Apollon suffered from hype backlash.

          This.

          While I said that most Filipino drama shows are bad, they were pretty good back in the early 2000s when they actually put real effort into their shows. I think the people watching endless rehashes are the ones to blame here. Also, you’re from the UAE? Nice.

  5. Aelysium says:

    I’m not sure I really follow your argument. Sakamichi is supposedly “supposed” to be about Jazz but whoever actually said it was? It makes no such statements and neither is the show intrinsically about such things. Despite what people say, you can’t just make a show about Jazz, or just episodes of them playing. There needs to be something else.

    That something else just happens to be teen drama, romance and emotional conflict. If you don’t like it fine, thats up to you. But the idea that it is “using” jazz, is simply mistaken. It doesn’t use Jazz anymore than it uses school. Jazz is just a part of the characters lives – they aren’t jazz musicians, they’re kids with interests in Jazz. You could listen to a jazz track, but it would most definitely not sound the same. No one came to Sakamichi to learn about Jazz, they came for a story involving Jazz. That is all Sakamichi has tried to be.

    As for not respecting classical music? What does that even mean? They haven’t bashed it or mocked it or made any mockery of it. Jazz =/= classical anyway. You appreciate K-ON! because it didn’t “pretend” yet all K-ON! did was pretend to be about a band – which never played music! Sakamichi actually plays music and very well. Sakamichi isn’t a jazz show neither did it ever say it was all about Jazz, it just has an original angle which hooks people. If you look at its genre listing, romance is listed.

    Meh, if you don’t like it, fair enough. But making random assertions about things the show never claimed or did is rather un-fair. Tastes differ fine, people can respect that, but at least factual reasons why.

    • @fkeroge says:

      I agree that there needs to be something else for jazz to work in the anime, but I think they could have at least made an effort to integrate jazz into the story, as many people wanted to see an anime about jazz, myself included. What they did was use jazz as a facade for what it really is: a crappy J-Drama. This is why I said that the anime pretends to be about jazz.

      About not respecting classical music, I never agreed to Anaaga’s argument that Sakamichi may have disgraced classical, I just agree that I also hate anime that don’t respect classical music. As you can see from my avatar, I played and enjoyed G-Senjou no Maou, a visual novel that uses revised classical music.

      Indeed, K-On!’s firs season pretended to be about a band making it to the budoukan, but you should notice that they slowly went away from that in its second season and just used the music for fanservice.

      I think my reasons for not liking the show are highly subjective, but it is fact that the way Sakamichi was advertised pre-season made it seem like an anime focused on jazz, so it’s kind of their fault if people misunderstand.

    • anaaga says:

      Sentarou, a main character, did make fun of Kaoru when he found out that Kaoru plays only classical at that time. While he did that only once, it didn’t change the fact that he showed little respect on classical.

      • Aelysium says:

        Hold on. So because 1 character in the show made fun of 1 character because he had an inherent jazz bias, makes the show disrespectful to Classical? Wut?

        Jazz is fundamentally based on Classical. Kaoru puts a lot of effort into detailing about Classical. Heck, just because 1 character in the show doesn’t like Classical doesn’t mean the show is Classic-phobic. If that were the case, anime would be a pretty disrespectful medium considering the variety of characters we get.

        • anaaga says:

          Point taken, though Sentarou’s comment on classical was still unnecessary. I shall go to him and scold him instead of bashing the whole show.

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  7. someone says:

    Too bad you dropped it, there’s a really awesome jazz performance in episode 7, definitely the highlight of the entire show so far (it’s on YouTube).

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