Title: Kids on the Slope / Sakamichi no Apollon
Genre: Drama / Romance / Music
Length: 24 minutes x 12 episodes
Official Site: http://www.noitamina-apollon.com/index_en.html
Official Stream: http://www.crunchyroll.com/kids-on-the-slope
Trailer 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFuO_2kBwlQ
Trailer 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8owoGJntHJw
Yuki Kodama’s Kids on the Slope (serialized in Shogakukan’s Monthly Flowers) is set in the 1960s against the backdrop of burgeoning modern jazz and freshly explores the friendship, love, and music shared by its high school student main characters. This series has the distinction of winning #1 in 2009’s This Manga is Awesome!, women’s comics division and though it is indeed a “girls’ comic”, male readers have also been won over by the male bonding and coming-of-age aspects of the story. The comic series is supported by a broad base of readers that has high expectations of the anime version.
On January 23rd, 2012, as Kids on the Slope had its biggest exposure yet as a winner of a Shogakukan Manga Award (general audience division), it was announced that the anime production was underway!
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. Set against the backdrop of a seaside town with a scent of American culture, this series is a drama about young people coming into their own, crossing each other’s paths, and finding friendship, love, and music!
The much-anticipated dream team of Shinichiro Watanabe (director) and Yoko Kanno (music) is back!
Director Shinichiro Watanabe (Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo) is helming the anime version of Yuki Kodama’s comic series, Kids on the Slope (serialized in Shogakukan’s Monthly Flowers), a vibrant coming-of-age tale about the friendship of two young men and their mutual love of jazz music. Moreover, Yoko Kanno is in charge of the music. Watanabe and Kanno’s collaboration on Cowboy Bebop drew attention and accolades in the past, and now this dream team is together again! Various jazz masterpieces will accompany images of the sparkling springtime of the characters’ lives.
Watch out for a number of classical jazz pieces and performance scenes too!
The story of Kids on the Slope really starts rolling when the classical piano-trained Kaoru encounters Sentaro and falls head-over-heels in love with jazz. One thing to look out for is the performance scene of an excellent jazz piece in every episode. Up-and-coming young jazz musicians are employed here, with Takashi Matsunaga (Kaoru) on piano and Shun Ishiwaka (Sentaro) on drums. Yoko Kanno produces the sessions, which are then used directly for the anime.
Jazz standards like “Moanin’”, “My Favorite Things”, and “Someday My Prince Will Come” are played along with improvisational performances that reflect the mood of the characters at the time, whether they’re in high spirits, or feel lonely, confused, angry, and so on. How these occasional performances and feelings are portrayed and directed is one more highlight of the show. Director Watanabe’s “sessions” are a mix of images and music, so innovative and exciting visual expressions should be expected.
Director: Shinichirou Watanabe (Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo)
Script: Ayako Kato, Yuuko Kakihara (Stitch TV series, Chihayafuru)
Character Design: Nobuteru Yuuki (Vision of Escaflowne, Chrono Cross)
Supervising Animation Director: Yoshimitsu Yamashita (House of Five Leaves)
Music: Yoko Kanno (Cowboy Bebop, Macross Plus)
Animation Production: MAPPA / Tezuka Productions
Kaoru Nishimi: Ryohei Kimura
Sentarō Kawabuchi: Yoshimasa Hosoya
Yurika Fukahori: Aya Endo
Junichi Katsuragi: Junichi Suwabe
Ritsuko Mukae: Yuuka Nanri
Mariko: Amina Satou
Shigetora Maruo: Ayumu Murasae
Seiji Matsuoka: Nobuhiko Okamoto
Mukai: Zenki Kitajima
Streaming and Broadcast
The show will broadcast in Japan on FujiTV every Thursday night on the noitaminA slot at 12:45 AM, starting April 12 2012. The Japanese title is Sakamichi no Apollon. More information can be found here: http://www.noitamina-apollon.com
For those outside of Japan, Kids on the Slope is set to stream on Crunchyroll starting Thursday, April 12 at 9:30am PDT in the following territories: U.S.A, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. More information can be found on the official site here: http://www.crunchyroll.com/
The first OST for Apollon will be out on April 25, for 3,059yen.
1 KIDS ON THE SLOPE
2 Chick's Diner
4 Bag's Groove
5 Blowin' The Blues Away
6 Satin Doll
12 But not for me
13 My Favorite Things
15 A Piece Of Blue
16 Lullaby Of Birdland
17 Jazz For Button
19 Easy Waltz
22 Apollon Blue
23 Kaoru & Sentaro Duo in BUNKASAI (Medley “My Favorite Things~Someday My Prince Will Come~Moanin'")
24 Someday My Prince Will Come
Song Performance Staff:
Producer - Yoko Kanno
Piano - Takashi Matsunaga
Drums - Shun Ishikawa
Guest Vocalists - Aoi Teshima, Masayoshi Furukawa, Yuuka Nanri
Composer - Yoko Kanno
The second OST for Apollon will be out on June 6, for 3,059yen. This is the "Outtakes Collection" which includes BGM and alternate performance takes not included in the previous soundtrack.