[Kids on the Slope]: Episode 1 | Moanin’

Hey hey everyone! And welcome to the premiere of Archi-Anime’s Watch-Along for Kids on the Slope! Pretty stoked to start this one; especially after watching the first episode. So, let’s get into it!

We meet our protagotnist Kaoru Nishimi a new transfer to the local highschool of Kyushu; indifferent about being the new kid because he’s been through it so many times he just doesn’t seem to care. Or so we think; underneath the false bravado he’s a nervous wreck and starts to feel nauseous when he hears about a delinquent classmate named Sentaro Kawabuchi.

KotS_1

This touching scene between Sentaro and Kaoru made me laugh because of how awkwardly intimate it was considering the way it was animated. Which, by the way, was beautifully animated in slow-motion, and not to mention that wonderful lighting with the reveal of a half asleep Sentaro. If I were in Kaoru’s position, it might have been love at first sight for me. Anyways, I  couldn’t help but think, who could Sentaro expect to come and find him? Which leads me to this scene in the nurse’s office; which I’ll come back to later.

Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 11.12.46 PM

My favorite scene is Kaoru taking the key to the roof from Sentaro. Running away hoping to get a piece of mind; and all of a sudden Sentaro is following him because he seems interesting. Unfortunately Kaoru just wants to stand on the roof in silence to regain his bearings, which Sentaro finds boring.  I think Kaoru lightens up a little after showering in the rain. I think Sentaro sees that Kaoru is wound a little too tight, and enjoys messing with him to see him get even more riled up.

Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 11.16.06 PM.png

When Ritsuko sees Kaoru without his glasses and compliments him on being very “pretty” or handsome. Sentaro interrupts them by messing with Kaoru and ruining the moment. This gets me to think about what I said earlier about Sentaro thinking someone found him. Is it possible it was Ritsuko? She seems to dote on Sentaro a lot! Is this the childhood friend trope that we all know so well (a la Tsubaki and Kousei?)

Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 11.17.57 PMScreen Shot 2017-04-28 at 11.18.16 PM

We see that the piano holds a special place for Kaoru as it ties him to his Father. Karou plays to escape loneliness. When he plays for the first time in Kyushu it’s Claire De Lune by Debussy. Clair de Lune is often noted to evoke a number of emotions as it progresses through it’s suite. To me it’s a melancholy kind of nostalgic piece, and I wonder if Kaoru plays it because he’s reminiscing over his memories with his father whom he misses so much.

Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 11.54.18 PM.png

Sentaro’s drum solo was jaw-dropping and incredibly dynamic. I wasn’t expecting that at all! Much like his drum solo Sentaro has got this bright brash personality, and you can’t help but get caught up in it. I think Kaoru is also curious about Sentaro’s carefree personality. The whole interaction in the basements summarizes their relationship thus far; clashing tastes in music and in personalities. Much like jazz not following a formal structure; they’ll eventually come to a point where it just works and melds together; creating a push and pull type of relationship. Honestly it’s interesting to have both the nostalgic piano piece really show the kind of personality Kaoru has compared to Sentaro’s overpowering drums. How will they work together I wonder?

Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 11.27.32 PM.png

A few other things of note: I’ve never really had the “new kid at school” experience, but man those kids are real brutal to Kaoru on his first day, just because he’s a bit of a city boy (apparently Yokosuka is close enough to Tokyo); and don’t get me started on his cousin! Begged him to play piano and then when he got in trouble for if she left him high and dry! He definitely doesn’t have it easy, no wonder he’s such an introvert!

Here’s the song Sentaro was playing on the piano, and the album Karou decided to pick up after Sentaro made a big deal of him not having a “jazz sense”. By the way, this has been on repeat for me on Spotify.

 

So far, so good for the first episode! I absolutely love the fact that these episodes are titled based on jazz songs! It’s the start of a journey into jazz, a blossoming friendship and …a possible love triangle?


What did you guys think of Episode 1? Can’t wait to see what your guys’ thoughts were!