Kids on a Slope

I finished watching the anime series Kids on the slope today. It’s directed by Shinichiro Watanabe and the music is by Yoko Kanno, both of whom worked in the same positions on Cowboy Bebop. But only Kanno really delivers here.

The series itself is about 3 Japanese highschool kids and their cringeworthy melodramatic hyper-repressed feelings. While the animation is great, the only fun parts are when they play Jazz together. Kanno’s hand is obvious here and many a fine music tip is dropped when they sample old Jazz records.

Otherwise it is as clichéd and conservative as it gets. I can’t count how often I sat there and yelled “Oh my god! Just talk to each other!”. But of course they keep guessing each others motivations - usually wrong - and slapping people when they should be hugging.

But it gets worse. There’s an attempted rape which is only averted when the girl provides an explanation of why the the guy is trying to rape her. This is painted as awfully romantic. Then there’s a side character who is clearly marked as gay and of course he’s flamboyant, shallow, scheming and annoying.

At least they avoided a happy end. But still: WTF Watanabe? You used to be cool.