It was only after I started watching episode twelve of Kids on the slope that I realised things seemed to be coming to a rather rapid conclusion. I quickly paused and looked to see what the deal was, and as I suspected, the series is only twelve episodes long.
For anyone who needs a quick rundown on the show, you can check out my first impressions: https://rowango.wordpress.com/2012/05/29/2012-a-good-year-for-anime/
So overall, how is it?
I have to say it’s really good. It’s the one show recently where I grabbed and devoured each episode as it came out and still felt really hungry for more. It’s good to see Shinchiro Watanabe back in the directors seat after such a long break. Each episode is really packed full of drama without feeling rushed, and the characters develop nicely over eleven episodes. The music is fantastic (as is almost always the case with Yoko Kanno), and anyone who is a fan of jazz will love this show, even if they aren’t into anime. The animation style was also quite unique, and a lot of effort was put into showing the characters correctly playing each of their instruments.
The ending? I’m really in two minds about it. Part of me wonders why this wasn’t split into two short seasons of twelve or thirteen episodes. There really is a lot they could do with the show from episode eleven. Instead episode twelve leaves things very open ended in the first first half, before doing a huge time skip (eight years) in the second half and wrapping things up a little too neatly. If I had written this, I would have taken things a bit slower with episode twelve, and kept the finale open ended. Then time skip into a second season and pick things up from there. Instead, it feels a bit like there is a whole chunk of story missing between the first and second half of the final episode.
END MINOR SPOILERS
This is not to say the finale is bad. It’s relatively satisfying and quite sweet. I just would have done things differently.
Anime rating: A great return to form for Shinchiro Watanabe of Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo fame. Really though, this show had so much potential and could have been developed into something even greater!
Apparently this is based on a manga, where things are fleshed out in more detail (as they usually are in books). Looks like I’ll have to pick it up at some point. If this post has peaked your interest, check out the trailer and a couple of tracks from the soundtrack below: