• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.
  • The Politics forum has been nuked. Please do not bring political discussion to the rest of the site, or you will be removed. Thanks.

Kids on the Slope (Sakamichi no Apollon) |OT| Jazz was always there between us

Status
Not open for further replies.

petethepanda

Member
Oct 14, 2008
11,072
0
0
chicago
I'm really torn on the look of the music scenes. The ultra-smooth (I'm assuming rotoscoped) animation is awesome looking, but it looks so wildly different than the animation in the rest of the show that it winds up being pretty damn jarring.
 

duckroll

Member
Jun 7, 2004
114,734
5
0
39
For anyone curious, the soundtrack album released on April 25 managed to sell a grand 3,011 copies in its first week. Jazz may have always been there between us, but apparently not with the general public.

That's pretty disappointing. With such low numbers for the soundtrack, it is unlikely the BD/DVD release can do much better. We're probably looking at sub-3k sales for each volume, unless interest picks up. I guess we need a new title for the show. Killed on the Slope? Sakamichi no Apocalypse? Anime is not saved, etc etc.
 

DarknessTear

Banned
Sep 5, 2005
10,529
0
1,230
35
Ohio
It's kind of early for a soundtrack, don't you think? I mean, this might be common in Japan, I don't know, but I wouldn't dare listen to a soundtrack to a series until I actually finish the series first.
 

duckroll

Member
Jun 7, 2004
114,734
5
0
39
It's kind of early for a soundtrack, don't you think? I mean, this might be common in Japan, I don't know, but I wouldn't dare listen to a soundtrack to a series until I actually finish the series first.

This is an unusual release. Soundtracks are not usually released this early anywhere in the world. It is not common for Japan either.
 

Defuser

Member
Sep 23, 2006
22,387
1
0
Singapore
I guess we have to see BD/DVD sales before making a judgement. I wouldn't use it's soundtrack sales to judge although it may hint something.
 

Net_Wrecker

Member
Jul 16, 2009
32,836
2
0
Is this really the kind of series that will build a Bebop/Champloo audience though? The "cool factor" is nowhere as high, and the setting will immediately turn some people off. I'm just happy to be watching another series from DA GAWD Watanabe.
 

Jex

Member
Nov 16, 2009
34,460
1
0
The other day, Bebpo was telling me how he really wasn't feeling the last 5 minutes of episode 3. He said something felt off, and the entire thing seemed like a dream sequence with bad transitions. I disagreed, because KotS is awesome, etc, etc. Then I watched Ep1-3 again yesterday, and it struck me that there was a very valid point. They way the specific transitions happened made the passage of time confusing for the viewer, and has a direct impact on how the viewer might react to the climatic scene. The rest of this post will be spoiler tagged, with some spoiler-free images embedded, and some simply linked..



This is the scene after Kaoru leads the record shop and goes home thinking that he wants to play something for Ri-chan the next time. We see him in bed, and he's looking at a Bill Evans record. It is night time, so we can safely assume that he bought this record at the store after his session with Sentaro, and this is what he plans on playing for Ri-chan after he masters it.

Spoiler 01: http://i.imgur.com/QtZal.jpg

While looking at the record, he has a dream vision of him playing the song for Ri-chan. This sequence ends with a fade to white transition. A transition like this generally plays with the concepts of dreaming and state of mind. The vision does not fizzle back into "reality" but instead here it acts as a transition to...



An establishing shot of the school, right after Kaoru has his vision in bed at night. This suggests that this is the next day at school, and something is about to happen. But instead of it being a character scene which grounds the characters in an established scene, it transits to a half scene where Kaoru is for some reason in the art room (a place the show has never shown before or mentioned) and somehow manages to glimpse Sentaro and Yurika together. This appears to be a classic "misunderstanding" scene, just like many scenes in the other parts of this episode, but it seems to be inserted here without a narrative backing.



Next we are looking at an establishing shot to show that they're walking home after school. This suggests that after seeing whatever it is he saw, Kaoru didn't do anything about it, nor did he talk to anyone. That's not strange on it's own, but it just makes the scene kinda additionally pointless when the time could have been spent on establishing something more important to support the next scene, since up until this point we still expect that this is the day after.

Spoiler 02: http://i.imgur.com/smklC.jpg

Here Kaoru clearly implies that he HAS been practicing the song which he just bought, and the flashbacks which follow as he plays the song establishes that he has been doing this for a while. Which means that everything that's happening is maybe a week after the previous events, yet there is no clear communication to the audience that this has happened, leaving the entire sequence of scenes rather confusing and unnatural.

To top it off, after the confession, the scene again immediately transits to a dreamy sequence of Kaoru looking out of the classroom window, and seeing Ri-chan looking towards the roof where Sentaro is standing. This could be any other day after the confession, but it also brings into question two things:

- If Kaoru is already in class, why is Ri-chan only entering the school then?
- Since when did Kaoru sit by the window? What's he even doing there?

These two points don't make a lot of immediate logic based on what we know about the characters' classroom behaviors, so it creates an even more dream like feeling for the entire sequence of scenes.

Do yeah, I think there is an actual issue here, but it's not a huge deal since it kinda works itself out. It would be silly not to acknowledge that it could have been handled better though.
That really wasn't the impression I got based on how I interpreted the film language during that sequence. I a, not going to argue that it's perfect, or that it couldn't have been done better, but it didn't bother me as I was watching it (and I am generally paying attention to that stuff).

Here's why:
The most important divergence between how I viewed the sequence and how you viewed the sequence centre's around the 'fade to white' used when Karou was looking at the record he had just purchased. I interpreted that to mean the next scene was going to to take place sometime later (e.g. not just the next day) because fades to white can be used to signify a passage of time. This means I never thought that the following scene was the 'next day' and I was never confused as to the representation of time passing.

Therefore when we got a shot of the school I didn't think that it was the 'next day'. I assumed it was sometime after, by an unspecified amount. This was confirmed later in the 'performance' scene where Karou flashes back to the time he spent mastering the piece.

Further evidence that it's unlikely to be a dream sequence comes from these flash-backs. For example, when Karou is walking with 'Rit-Chan' he remembers seeing Sentarou in the art-room, forming a logical connection in time between these events. There's clear continuity. This sense of continuity is continued when Karou flashes back to his piano practice. In dreams you rarely get 'flash backs' to stuff that happened earlier. This is why I never considered any of the scenes to be 'like a dream'.

The editing for the 'art room' sequence is odd, I will admit. It could well be an effort to condense the material down. Alternatively, that sequence might be designed to feel jarring and confusing, mirroring Karou's reaction to what he's witnessing. Arguably it could have done with another sequence beforehand where Karou is sent in that direction for some reason, but I personally didn't need it.

Finally, the last sequence of shots is definitely off. When are they set? Is Karou remembering something, or visualising something, or have they taken place after the performance? I can certainly agree that those are troubled.
 

Ultimadrago

Member
Jan 19, 2012
26,682
73
790
Kids on the Slope 4


So much
NTR
And it's all for me!

Seriously though, this episode delves into
Sentarou's past and how it compares to that of Karou, due to an early loss of positive figureheads in their lives leaving them in a sometimes alien environment called "home." The piano dual-playing as youngster's part was a nice transition after Karou's realization that both are in the same boat carrying separate oars.

This episode also added on Karou still
left wondering about Ri's true feelings about him and wondering if he is just outplayed by Sentarou for her heart.

Meanwhile Sentarou's crush is starting to
get eyes for smooth Jun!

By the end of this all, Sentarou and
Karou will be together because they'll only have each other left!
Haha!

I liked the episode, but these kids are really running down this slope! Here's hoping they don't fall down and scrape their knees.
 

duckroll

Member
Jun 7, 2004
114,734
5
0
39
Episode 4

This episode feels like a significant step forward in terms of the relationship between the main characters, but I wish there is more room to breath for everyone else. There's an event in the episode which would have been much more significant if only the show were paced in a way which allows the audience to follow the daily lives of the characters more closely. Instead it is starting to feel like "highlights of their best moments" as the show goes at a breakneck speed covering months of their lives in just four episodes.

I really liked the interactions between Kaoru and Sentaro this week, and the additional backgrounds for the characters being fleshed out is pretty interesting. But aside from the two leads, I'm honestly starting to wonder how the other characters feel about certain things, but get frustrated when I see scenes move so quickly without giving any of that development any space at all. Two steps forward, one step back.
 

Kettch

Member
Jun 7, 2004
5,375
0
0
Meh, so how long until Jun falls in love with Kaoru now? Was hoping for a plot that I haven't seen in half the anime out there. The show is quite good otherwise, if they'd just dump the generic love web.
 

Imm0rt4l

Member
Jun 27, 2007
28,776
1
0
Las Vegas, NV
episode 4 was awesome. It was great getting to see a bit of Sentarous background, his similarities that he has with richie, and the rapport they've developed. It was also interesting seeing how sentarou lost his shit after being heckled and brother jun just playing cool despite the annoyance.
 

Haly

One day I realized that sadness is just another word for not enough coffee.
Oct 10, 2006
58,446
0
1,345
Episode 4 is definitive proof that there is no love polygon in this show, only the deepest of bromances.

Anyone saying otherwise is deluded.
 
Dec 5, 2009
21,895
0
0
The other day, Bebpo was telling me how he really wasn't feeling the last 5 minutes of episode 3. He said something felt off, and the entire thing seemed like a dream sequence with bad transitions. I disagreed, because KotS is awesome, etc, etc. Then I watched Ep1-3 again yesterday, and it struck me that there was a very valid point. They way the specific transitions happened made the passage of time confusing for the viewer, and has a direct impact on how the viewer might react to the climatic scene. The rest of this post will be spoiler tagged, with some spoiler-free images embedded, and some simply linked..

Just watched this part, and here's what I would have done instead:
The art room scene should have just been cut entirely; I don't see what it added. Go from Kaoru looking at the record to a montage of his attempts to practice it, then transition at the end into his performance for Ri-chan. That would have indicated the passage of time in a clear manner, especially the performance started more awkwardly and gradually became more confident. After the confession, Ri-chan apologizes and walks away shaken, then freeze on Kaoru's face and melt the background to school where Kaoru narrates while looking at Ri-chan, who's pointedly looking at Sentarou, who's looking out the window into the distance, camera draws back and pulls into the sky - To Be Continued.
 

duckroll

Member
Jun 7, 2004
114,734
5
0
39
http://www.oricon.co.jp/news/movie/2008951/full/

Oricon has an article on the performances in the show. The two lead musicians performing for the characters perform the actual scenes, and as the music is recorded there are also 10 video cameras capturing the entire performance from various angles. The footage is then edited together to create the scenes which are used as reference footage for the animation.



 

Typographenia

Member
Mar 17, 2010
9,825
0
820
Kids on the Slope: Episode 03



You mean they're going to get the love tri/quadrangle out of the way this soon? AWESOME!
Love the setting more and more each episode. Also, that jam session... just great. They could have the entire show be the characters playing, and I would keep watching.
 
May 22, 2010
8,115
0
580
Episode 04

Can somebody better explain Sentaro's family make-up to me please?
Initially we have the grandmother who lives with her son and daughter, Yasuko, who would go on to give birth to Sentaro.
When Yasuko flees and after the Grandmother has her 'accident' we're left with the son/brother who is Sentaro's uncle though seemingly acts as his father.
When the uncle/'father' leaves to find work in another town after becoming a drunkard, who is the woman who we'd previously presumed to be Sentaro's mother?
Also who/whose are the numerous children?
I assume they are the uncle's children and the woman is his partner, which is why the children call Sentaro "big brother," making his 'parents' his uncle and auntie-in-law, which is why he feels he doesn't belong in 'their' home.
Is this correct?

I feel like I'm missing something.....
 

Erigu

Member
Sep 4, 2009
9,009
0
0
who/whose are the numerous children?
I assume they are the uncle's children and the woman is his partner, which is why the children call Sentaro "big brother," making his 'parents' his uncle and auntie-in-law, which is why he feels he doesn't belong in 'their' home.
Is this correct?
I believe it is.
 
Aug 4, 2006
28,481
1
0
37
The pacing is definetly a bit too fast. I thought it was summer time but all of a sudden it's Christmas and they are just now talking about the art room thing whaaaaaa
 

suzu

Member
Sep 24, 2007
8,269
0
0
NYC
twitter.com
Episode 04

Can somebody better explain Sentaro's family make-up to me please?
Initially we have the grandmother who lives with her son and daughter, Yasuko, who would go on to give birth to Sentaro.
When Yasuko flees and after the Grandmother has her 'accident' we're left with the son/brother who is Sentaro's uncle though seemingly acts as his father.
When the uncle/'father' leaves to find work in another town after becoming a drunkard, who is the woman who we'd previously presumed to be Sentaro's mother?
Also who/whose are the numerous children?
I assume they are the uncle's children and the woman is his partner, which is why the children call Sentaro "big brother," making his 'parents' his uncle and auntie-in-law, which is why he feels he doesn't belong in 'their' home.
Is this correct?

I feel like I'm missing something.....

Yeah. Basically his uncle adopted him after his bio parents disappeared.
 
May 22, 2010
8,115
0
580
I believe it is.

Yeah. Basically his uncle adopted him after his bio parents disappeared.

Thanks. I did think that's what was going on but something felt off...


Anyway I think this episode was pretty awful and was easily the worst of the bunch.
Having a lot of ground to cover cannot excuse the dreadfully lazy and uninspired writing.
I know it's staying faithful to a source which is very decidedly of its genre, but that still didn't stop the majority of decisions as coming off as bad during the course of the episode.

- Kaoru and Ritsuko having the same idea, being in the same place and reaching for the exact same set of drumsticks at the exact same time.

- "I think it's going to snow."..... *cue snow*

- "It's like we're children playing on an organ."..... *cue shot of them as children*

- 'hey I'm going to tell you about my past where I suffered with discrimination. Oh look, here's a man at our first live concert being discriminatory!'

Most offensive was probably Sentaro just happening to cross paths with Ritsuko and Kaoru mere seconds after their kiss, purely by chance of course :-/

A lack of subtlety is a bugbear of mine at the best of times, but here scenes were staged in a clumsy and amateurish fashion throughout which made the whole extremely disappointing.
 

Hot Coldman

Banned
Oct 1, 2009
64,329
1
0
West Philadelphia, born and raised
Caught up, and I still like this show, although it's not entirely what I was expecting. I'm in it for scenes like the jazz performance at the end of Ep4, not the love triangle stuff. Ah well, it's not terrible but it's very high schooly so far- hopefully BROTHER JUN <3 ~~ will spice things up.
 

DarkKyo

Member
Apr 4, 2007
15,579
3
0
Just finished episode 4. I'm loving it.
Jun singing in smooth English was such a surprise! He even appeased the racist douche. A lot of anime seems to struggle when they throw in some English but this episode really showed it can be done right(on both the part of the asshole American and Jun singing). Also, had it already been revealed that Sentarou was half-white?
 

suzu

Member
Sep 24, 2007
8,269
0
0
NYC
twitter.com
Just finished episode 4. I'm loving it.
Jun singing in smooth English was such a surprise! He even appeased the racist douche. A lot of anime seems to struggle when they throw in some English but this episode really showed it can be done right(on both the part of the asshole American and Jun singing). Also, had it already been revealed that Sentarou was half-white?

They've only brought it up in this episode.
 

duckroll

Member
Jun 7, 2004
114,734
5
0
39
Episode 5

Pretty solid episode. I liked the flow this week a lot, since it was far more focused. The series is still moving extremely fast though, which is both a good and bad thing. I think the show works best when it is focused entirely on the two main leads, since that's where the bulk of the development is going towards anyway, and this week it really shows how great it can be just watching bros be bros.

Ep6 preview: http://www.noitamina-apollon.com/02story/index.html

Looks like next week is going to be a SERIOUS BUSINESS episode though. It should be fitting, since it's the mid-point of the entire series. Can't wait. :D
 

Branduil

Member
Sep 20, 2006
64,603
2
0
Excellent Eriador
Kids on the Train 5

This show is so amazing, not even CG trains can ruin it.



Jun's bread>Rick's bread. Nine out of ten '50s schoolgirls agree.


The characterization for Kaoru is so rich, he's such a three-dimensional character compared to most anime protagonists- and I'm not just talking about how he's shaded. In this episode alone we saw his friendliness to children, his
guilt over what he did to Ritsuko, his painful non-relationship with his mother, and how much he cares for his friend Sentaro.
That's more characterization in one episode than some protagonists get in an entire series.

Of course, it also has to be well-executed, but there's no worries there as the direction continues to be excellent. In particular I thought this episode had great cinematography and lighting. The shading style is growing on me and I thought they really used it well this time.



This scene in particular was amazing, despite the obviousness of the imagery.



Actually, as CG trains go, this is one of the better ones I've seen. They can be so much worse, and they usually are.

I really loved the art direction for
Jun's
boarding house. You could almost smell the old, musty floorboards.



I remember this scene from Hanasaku Iroha. Japanese kids can't hold their non-alcoholic, government-approved drinks!


I believe this is what they call "thematic dialogue."


I also really liked some of the shots choices when
Kaoru met his mother. Especially the one from underneath the table.
But that's not surprising given this show's attention to using body language to communicate feelings.

And I loved the lighting and use of multiple planes during the last scene.

http://i.minus.com/i6OHRGJdV8OL0.jpg
 

wonzo

Banned
Sep 10, 2006
19,995
0
0
Kids on the Slope 5


As others have already mentioned, this was yet another fantastic episode.
I wonder what that stuff about Brother Jun and the faction was all about.
 

Net_Wrecker

Member
Jul 16, 2009
32,836
2
0
Heh, the love geometric shape is getting out of control, bromance has been turned up a notch, Brother Jun's dripping swag everywhere he goes, and Kaoru + Sen got mad family issues, yo. Not all what I expected, but I'm still enjoying this.

So the music scenes aren't rotoscoped in any way? Kinda nuts.
 

Ultimadrago

Member
Jan 19, 2012
26,682
73
790
Kids on the Slope 5


Yo dun goofed, bro!


A nice shot of "Tug o' War" here.


The string (medium through channeling of self) drops as the line and
emotions of Kaoru
drop

Pardon the listing, some of the first-half's cinematography just caught my eye during this episode. The
intrusion from Sentarou
seemed a bit "convenient" in order for the character to get yet another link of understanding towards Kaoru. However, it will probably add to the depth between them later on.

Warning: CG trains.

The scene where Kaoru
laughs with his mother over getting rejected.
It truly is the best medicine.

Nice episode, I'll try not to watch the next one so late.
 

Haly

One day I realized that sadness is just another word for not enough coffee.
Oct 10, 2006
58,446
0
1,345
Kids on the Herpaderp 5:
Fuck this stupid romance shit.
 
Nov 16, 2007
16,625
4
0
33
The show has been great the way it is. I'm loving the character focus and drama. It's exactly what I tuned in for, and it's the strength of the series.
 

ZoddGutts

Member
Jul 18, 2009
9,227
3
685
Los Angeles
Same here. I was looking forward to the boys touring Japan with their own jazz band and groupies and shit. Lame.

Having check out the manga. Well, it's very shoujo like. Which is what turn me off from watching this series anymore, it got really stupid with the romance.
 

Ultimadrago

Member
Jan 19, 2012
26,682
73
790
Kids on the Slope 6


Yo, can a "Monocle" here inform me as to whether this scene hold more connotation besides Karou being
overly sensitive towards autonomy between Ri-chan because of the ""situation" between them?

That would be great, thaaanks.

Anyways,
Yurika's painting and the off key piano made me chuckle.
Shit was uggs, yo. The
main two ideal-from-guy-perspective "couples" switch places for some one-on-one.


A single "tear" shared between Sentaro and Yurika.

Sometimes being a bro gets messy.
Karou's words on "Player Jun" sting Yurika.


"Faaaabulous!"

And lastly
NTR! NTR! NTR! This is the NTR song!

This episode came off uuuuuh, strange in its additional (unwelcome) drama. So, what element exactly would bring about such
violent separartion again? A fang-boy bringing a record and asking for Sentaro in a band?

wut.
 

duckroll

Member
Jun 7, 2004
114,734
5
0
39
Episode 6

This is the most off-tone episode in the series so far. I don't even really want to talk that much about it because I'm still pretty upset with how strange the developments got. The leads felt rather out of character this week and there are events which feel extremely forced and unnatural. The introduction of the new character is meant to upset the balance for drama, but he just comes off as being annoying and totally unsuitable for the sort of tone the series has had so far. I'm not a fan of the developments at all, and while the production values remain polished, the narrative took a serious hit this week.
 

wonzo

Banned
Sep 10, 2006
19,995
0
0
Kids on the Slope 6


BROMANCE IS OVER!
Yeah, I didn't really have any issues with the new fang dude.
I don't think he, let alone anyone expected Kaoru to flip the fuck out like that and I don't really see any issue with scouting for band members or introducing anyone to the motherfuckin' Beatles! I'm guessing that was Brother Jun at the end of the counter.
 

pirata

Member
Sep 21, 2009
3,081
0
595
I'm with you guys in that the episode kind of rubbed me the wrong way, and kinda felt homophobic at times. Still, I want to hear more of that "My Favorite Things" mash-up.
 
Oct 11, 2008
9,412
1
0
The end of the world
Episode 6

This is the most off-tone episode in the series so far. I don't even really want to talk that much about it because I'm still pretty upset with how strange the developments got. The leads felt rather out of character this week and there are events which feel extremely forced and unnatural. The introduction of the new character is meant to upset the balance for drama, but he just comes off as being annoying and totally unsuitable for the sort of tone the series has had so far. I'm not a fan of the developments at all, and while the production values remain polished, the narrative took a serious hit this week.

Glad someone said it cause... yeah... I'm not feeling this episode... AT ALL :/ The ending with
Kaoru and Sentaro parting ways
felt completely off. Seiji also seems to have waltzed straight out of Ouran, he feels totally out of place :l
 

DarknessTear

Banned
Sep 5, 2005
10,529
0
1,230
35
Ohio
Episode 6 was terrible. The pacing was really bad. It was full of poorly done drama. I don't know if I'm going to continue watching it anymore.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.