Anime of Tomorrow
Kids on the Slope Ep. 1
Initial impression – significantly underwhelming
Spring 2012 (12 episodes) (Japanese title – Sakamichi no Apollon) (more info)
I know this is a weird, random thing to complain about, but I don’t think the people in Kids on the Slope are very good looking… When I think about the works of Shinichiro Watanabe I have an image of bursting out of the starting gates with something big, flashy and tone setting. So being left hanging on the easygoing pace set by the first episode is a bit of a letdown to say the least. But what really shocked me about the beginning of this series is the absence of any tone-defining music courtesy of Yoko Kanno. Aside from one teensy fight scene, there was absolutely no atmospheric mood that is typically indicative of her work (think Escaflowne, Ghost in the Shell, RahXephon, and Macross Frontier). If the series lacks her strong music style I’m losing optimism fast and I can’t help but say aloud that the duo that made Cowboy Bebop one of the best anime of all time is not living up to their potential. Additionally this sort of “serious music” story that’s superficially reminiscent of snooze-inducing shows like Nodame Cantabile doesn’t thrill me whatsoever. Given the talent that lies with this anime’s staff I intend to continue watching for a while longer to see how it progresses, but I’ve not been wowed by the relaxed pace Kids on the Slope exhibits in its first episode.