WIN! Kids on the Slope

NB: Some of my earliest blogs no longer have their accompanying images but enjoy the copy!

I am totally in love with ‘Kids on the Slope’ and it is, hands down, the best thing I have seen in months! So, what better way for a blogger to share something they love than with a giveaway?

Entry details

For your chance to win one of two, yes, two, copies of ‘Kids on the Slope’ (one blu-ray and one DVD) and an A4 print of the show, simply like MVM Entertainment on Facebook and post a comment below this blog post, saying which kind of DVD you would like! Entries will close at 10pm Friday 14th June and two winners will be drawn at random and emailed for their postal address. You must live in the UK to enter!

OK, I know the thing you’d most want to know about was how to enter. With that done, here’s a first look at ‘Kids on the Slope’, available in the UK from MVM Entertainment 24th June.

I love this show!

There are six reasons why ‘Kids on the Slope’ has quickly become my new favourite anime:

1) Smooth jazz, lots of smooth jazz. Yoko Kanno is responsible for the OST, so you know it’s got to be good

2) Romance. Not usually something I go for in films or books, but the story is so charming

3) Bromance. Who doesn’t love bromance?

4) Amazing animation. The jamming sessions are extremely well done

5) Sentaro. Best anime badboy I’ve encountered in a long time

6) Universal appeal. I could easily show this to my mum, or anyone else who had a low opinion of what anime is, and she would love it too!

‘Kids on the Slope’ is set in a small seaside town in Kyushu, 1966. Kaoru Nishimi, an aloof and gifted student has moved to live with his relatives as his father is away in the navy. His family situation means that he does not stay at one school for too long, and so he refrains from making friends and instead plays classical piano. Everything changes when he makes an unlikely friendship with the notorious bad boy Sentaro, who nicknames him “Richie”, and introduces him to the world of jazz. “Richie” soon becomes the member of a rag-tag jazz group, jamming in the basement of a record store.

I had high hopes for this anime as soon as I came across it. The story was relatively simple but it was charming and the unusual jazz element set it apart from a lot of the other TV shows, let alone anime, that have come out in the last few years.

The director behind this series is no other than Shinchiro Watanabe, who is responsible for brilliant action-packed series such as ‘Cowboy Bebop’ and ‘Samurai Champloo’, so ‘Kids on the Slope’ is a rather different genre of anime for him to get behind. The music is also second to none, especially those amazing jazz medleys, thanks to Yoko Kanno, who has worked on ‘Cowboy Bebop’, ‘Ghost in the Shell: Standalone Complex’ and ‘Honey and Clover’. If you needed even more convincing, the opening song, “Sakamichi no Melody” is sung by YUKI.

Of course, if you’re not big on your anime and have no idea who any of these people are, that doesn’t mean this show can’t be appreciated for what it is: charming, funny, emotional and an all-round enjoyable watch. There are no explosions, robots or magical girls here, so there’s nothing to distract you from the relationships between characters and smooth jazz. Don’t forget that smooth jazz. The only thing that could improve this series for me would be a whole episode dedicated to the jam sessions.

Right, so we’ve got the smooth jazz covered pretty thoroughly. What about the romance? Let’s look at our four main characters: Kaoru, Sentaro, Ritsuko and Yurika. I obviously don’t want to spoil too much about how things progress, but let’s just say “A fancies B but thinks B fancies C, but C actually loves D. And B’s pretty dim and loveable throughout the whole thing. Then along comes E and we’ve gone from a love triangle to love square to love pentagon”.

There’s no shortage of romance anime out there, and I’m usually not particularly partial to it. However, the story for ‘Kids on the Slope’ just… it just works! I don’t even know how to explain it. I made a lot of sad faces and weird ‘noooo!’ noises with the end of each episode but I genuinely liked all of the characters and wanted to see how it all ended. I guess you can’t make jazz sessions stretch into 12 episodes, after all…

Of course, with romance comes bromance. Kaoru and Sentaro are a brilliant male duo and far from two-dimensional, so don’t let the pictures fool you. As the story develops, so do the characters and there’s a lot more to these guys than “one of them picks fights, and the other is a prissy nerd”. I can’t say much more without spoiling it so will resort to internet slang: “right in the feels!”

I realise this review is unusually long but I just have so much I love about it! I’ve already said that the animation is wonderful – just watch the trailer and I’m sure you’ll agree – so I think that just about covers it. ‘Kids on the Slope’ has quickly become my new favourite anime. By the opening sequence I was hooked, and rushed through the series in three nights, and would happily watch it again. To put it simply, this is just a lovely series and I really can’t fault it. If you’re a fan of anime and have a parent, friend or significant other who simply thinks it’s far too weird for them to comprehend, sit them down and watch ‘Kids on the Slope’ together. I’m getting teary just thinking about it.

Whether you’re an anime fanatic or someone who has never watched it in your life, this show is a winner. I challenge you to watch ‘Kids on the Slope’ and not love it!

So, what are you doing? Enter the competition now!

Photo sources: tv-france-japon librairiegribouille weeabooswithcontrollers indiewire

44 thoughts on “WIN! Kids on the Slope

  1. I’m a massive fan of this show, by far my fave from last year. I will take regular DVD if possible, that way I can watch it ANYWHERE and not need to worry about ahving a blu ray player!

    much love of jazz!

  2. Dude, this show looks incredible and I have loved Yoko Kanno ever since I first heard the song “Strangers” in Wolf’s Rain. I would be over the moon with either bluray or DVD, although I’m tempted to go for bluray just for the sheer quality, and I think animation is stunning as this looks probably deserves to be seen in the best quality it can be!

  3. This looks pretty amazing so far and I’m in severe need of something engaging to watch. I would prefer normal DVD but I have a PS3 so the Bluray shouldnt provide too much of a problem :3

  4. This looks fun! Been interested in this anime for a while but never had the chance to see it. The regular DVD would be brilliant!

  5. I have watched Japanese animation since a was kid in my country. But back then, we did not have fancy stuff like Manga or anyone who distributed anime by legal means. There were some guys that bought tapes and laser discs from Japan and America, made their own subtitles and organized screening with a rusty projector in an unsanitary hall. They charged a symbolic ticket (one pound), that allowed them to buy more films. There I saw Macross Plus, Ranma and Cowboy Bebop. Immediately I was in love with the music and the direction that winked Clint Eastwood old west trilogy, Ennio Morricone’s scores, and jazz sessions of the early 20’s. The whole thing was just brilliant!!!
    Some copies of these came to me after a dozen of generations, but I enjoyed them anyway.
    After almost fifteen years, I moved to the UK thanks to my British girlfriend who forced to see what I was missing. And she was right. Making a life here gave me the chance to see enormous quantity of films, series and OVAs.
    DVDs, and now Blu ray, deliver those shows in the quality that they meant to be, HD. I am waiting for the release of Cowboy Bebop in July.
    But I definitively want to watch the kids on the slope, and revive those lovely memories of watching something new for first time. Shinchiro Watanabe would do what he does better.
    Yeah, that’s why I reckon I deserve that box set.

  6. I would like to own either one of the copies, Blu-ray or DVD. However if I really had to choose I would go with Blu-ray.

  7. Big fan of Shinichiro Watanabe. Met him last week on the MCM London ComiCon. Either format is fine but I would prefer blu-ray because I want to watch it in high-def.

  8. I love Kids on the Slope, it is definitely one of my all time favourite anime! I’d rate it 9.5/10! I first watched it last year when it was a simulcast at Crunchyroll. It was one of the first simulcasts I followed and it encouraged me to watch more. It was so frustrating having to wait a week for a new episode but worth it! I recommend that all anime fans give Kids on the Slope a watch!
    I’d love to be able to marathon it over and over on my TV instead of my old, slow laptop. 🙂 A DVD would be absolutely brilliant, thank you!

  9. This looks like a very interesting series, would be very cool to own and my preferred choice would be blu ray but dvd is fine too thanks 🙂

  10. Watched on fansub and loved this. The characters & story are superb!.
    Guess it will be years till it’s a ‘deal of the week’ so I’d love a Bluray copy!.

  11. Great review! I’m ashamed to say I’ve never heard of the show before but I really would like to see it. You had me at jazz! I don’t mind dvd or bluray. (^ ^)

  12. My daughter loves anime as much as me & even likes to do her own anime animations! I think this would be a good stepping stone on from the Studio Ghibli that she’s currently into. Not sure what you mean by ‘kind of dvd’, but just regular or blu ray is fine, if that’s what you mean! :0)

  13. Sounds sick, i’m a fan of most things MVM put out so i would love to give this a try, music anime is an old favourite of mine, so Blu-ray if at all possible 🙂 Great blog btw.

  14. This looks awesome! i’m usually a fan of stuff MVM puts out so il be sure to check this one out too! Plus music anime has always been an old favourite of mine! Blu-ray would be preferred if at all possible 🙂 Nice blog !

  15. I love this series. I wish there were more based on music. I’ve watched it in Japanese, but as Mr Patton is voicing in it, I need to try the dub, or he wont forgive me >.<. Also the opening song was fantastic. Highly recommend this series.
    DVD would be fantastic, but have Blu-ray in laptop!

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