[Kids on the Slope]: Episode 4 | But Not for Me

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Jun invites Kaoru and Sen to play an actual gig for Christmas; which also happens to be Sen’s birthday. Kaoru runs into Ri-chan while shopping for a gift and end up purchasing a joint one. Due to an unexpected turn of events, Kaoru ends up lashing out at Sentaro out of jealousy; which causes Sentaro to open up about his past. 

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Picking up from where we last left off in Episode 3, Kaoru’s expressed his interest in Ri-chan with no response just yet. This appears to have a slight effect on Kaoru’s performance as he seems to not be able to play the piano as freely during their jazz sessions.

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Okay, this might be my second favorite scene in this episode. Still the new kid at school, and quite the opposite of Sen, the classmates see the duo as an oddity as they wonder what kind of person Kaoru really is if he’s able to hang out with Sen and also be the one to tease and make fun of the latter which no one would dare to do. They probably think he could be a bigger bully than Sen himself.

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Kaoru learns of Sen’s birthday and decides to buy him a pair of drumsticks. You know I’m curious what drove Kaoru to make a move on Ri-chan so suddenly, I feel like it’s still a mystery how much Kaoru is drawn to her. Is it her friendliness? The fact that she was the first person to approach him at school on his first day? I’m curious to see what it is about her that has him feel so compelled! After the incident he encounters Sen, and my insight from previous episode of jealousy comes to a head when Kaoru lashes out at Sen for having the family environment he could only dream of.

ep4_kaoru_sen_organ_playing

Kaoru’s outburst forces Sen to share his past, because despite what Kaoru thinks, Sen’s life was also filled with the same loneliness and feeling of being an outsider and being cast aside. This leads to my favorite scene so far the image of them playing at the organ like two kids. Both struggled with the loss of their mother abandoning them and their Father’s trying to cope with the reality of having to raise their kid on their own; eventually leaving them in the care of others to lead their own lives. They’re two people cut from the same cloth. Them playing the organ as children is impactful as it signifies the loneliness they both experienced, and realizing they’re not alone. I think this starts to solidify their friendship a little bit more.

And lastly, the gig. Ah, what a fun little interaction although it was cut short because of a drunkard and Sen losing his cool. Kaoru and Sen again show us that the music they play is expressive of their emotions. Sen is timid because Yurika has shown up, so he’s not his usual boisterous self. Kaoru notices it right away, and decided the best course of action is to rouse Sentaro’s playfulness but taking the lead. Him taking the lead catches everyone in the room off guard except for Sen. He acknowledges the challenge and decides to up the ante.

“Sometimes life is like jazz and goes in an unexpected direction”

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That’s all that needs to be said about this final scene in a nutshell. Another twist in this story. I have to admit I am liking the parallel of jazz music to the story. I don’t remember when it occurred to me..but I had thought about the idea that because jazz doesn’t have structure and can be played however one wants to play it, that there would be a lot of unexpected things happening in the storyline. So far a lot has happened that caught me off guard. I’m so curious what happens now! Yurika had the same “love at first sight” that Sen had; but for Jun. It’s an interesting chain of who is looking at who:

Kaoru -> Ritsuko -> Sentaro -> Yurika <–> Jun

With the last two being the only ones to show a reciprocated interest so far. All the relationships are getting a bit more complicated!

But, if I were to be completely honest. The blossoming friendship between Kaoru and Sentaro is much more compelling to me than the pursuit of their romantic interests.  But who knows, this thought could change as I continue to watch; but so far the bromance that’s happening is certainly the most heartwarming and charming part of the story. As I said earlier they are both similar yet different: while Sen had expressed his loneliness outwardly by fighting also through his eccentric drumming; Kaoru internalized his loneliness and used classical piano and what seems to be more somber melancholy songs as his way to express it.

Gotta admit, I really enjoyed Jun’s rendition of “But Not for Me”. I didn’t anticipate him to be a crooner!


What did you guys think of this episode? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂

 

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8 thoughts on “[Kids on the Slope]: Episode 4 | But Not for Me

  1. raistlin0903 says:

    Another good episode, but I agree with what you wrote about Kaoru’s move on Ri-Chan. It came pretty much out of nowhere and I was quite surprised by it. There so far has not really been a true reason for Kaoru to act on this way, besides Ri-chan’s kindness. But if you were to put the moves on every girl that is kind to you, I think you would find yourself in jail very soon 😂
    That said the story about Sentaro’s past was at times pretty heartbreaking and also explained quite a few things. I also agree that the scenes between Kaoru and Sentaro are definitely the best part of this anime. I really still have no idea where this series is heading for, but I am still enjoying it a lot. The atmosphere for this series is also one of it’s many good points. It really feels like one those feel good movies of the past. Onwards to episode 5! Great post as always 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • weekendotaku says:

      I kind of get Kaoru’s feelings. Probably at the other schools he went to no one was as welcoming as Ritsuko. More than being kind, she goes the extra mile to get him to open up. This kind of effort towards his happiness is so foreign to him that Ritsuko seems like someone very special indeed.

      Liked by 1 person

      • raistlin0903 says:

        Honestly, I had not thought of it in this way, but that is a really interesting point of view. And I think you are spot in that assesment. This series sonar has been a lot of fun. Glad you are also along for the ride 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  2. weekendotaku says:

    Looks like you were spot on with Kaoru’s jealousy. I like how it was all framed too, since so often when people start developing a gripe, so many things seem to snowball into it. Sentarou has Yurika’s affection, a family that loves him, and Ritsuko’s unrequited love. When he noticed one, he noticed all the others, and suddenly Sen’s side of the fence look unfairly greener than Kaoru’s.

    What was interesting about this though is how open Sen was about his past. He hushed Ritusko when she tried to explain the rosary before, but now seeing how hurt Kaoru was about his family, Sen likely felt an empathic urge to try to comfort him. Along with this, their playfulness during gym class and their battling onstage shows that this is becoming the strongest bond of the series and it’s a joy to watch.

    I also figured Jun would be stealing someone’s girlfriend eventually. I just didn’t know whose. He’s just too smooth.

    Like

  3. KimmieKawaii says:

    I agree with you Zel that the friendship between Kaoru and Sentaro is way more compelling and the budding romance is the backdrop for some dramatic moments. It is starting to feel more like “The Wonder Years” for me (does anyone remember that show?) With the romance and friendships all culminating to form a bigger picture of growing up.

    My favorite scene was also the duo playing the piano together. It reminds viewers that although they grew up completely different, they share the same feelings; as Zel pointed out they are “cut from the same cloth.”

    I also found the scene interesting where the drunk man comments on the type of jazz music the group was playing. It is as if who is behind the music is equally as crucial as what is being played. The best example I can give of this is a Japanese song being sung by native Japanese singers is weighted as ‘more authentic’ than if sung by a foreigner. While it doesn’t make it inherently better, people will judge it all the same.

    Liked by 1 person

    • heyitszel says:

      Yes, that scene! Really resonated with me! 🙂 Although you wrote it more eloquently that I could process it in my head. LOL.

      Ah, yeah the foreigner complaining about the type of jazz being played did stick out to me, but again I couldn’t formulate what I wanted to say correctly so I just glided past it.

      I really do like the friendship between Bon and Sen! I may end up buying the DVD after the series! I’m highly enjoyiong it!

      Liked by 1 person

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