[Kids on the Slope]: Episode 11 | Left Alone

 note: One more episode left!! HUGE thank you to weekendotaku has been helping me a great deal by participating and creating these banners, and thank you to everyone that’s been keeping up with the series!


Kaoru manages to get Sentaro to stay! But after a practice runs late, Sen decides to chase after Kaoru to give him something he already forgot which leads him and his sister Sachiko to get into an accident. 

Emotions run really high in this episode! I’m going to talk about 3 scenes that stood out to me overall in this episode, and honestly they’re all Sen-centric!

Don’t be a Coward

ep11_sen_runs_away

Sen tries to run away from home to save himself the trouble of having to face his (step?/foster?) Father. Kaoru is there waiting outside, I was half expecting that he’d pick up on the fact that Sen was acting a bit weird the previous night. They get into a bit of a tussle since Sen is trying to escape; but his plan is foiled as they are caught in the middle of their fight. This is the first time the two have gotten physical with one another, even though it’s a bit of an accident – you see Sen feel bad about Kaoru getting hurt for a split second. But Kaoru reminds Sen that “nothing good comes from being afraid” and he shouldn’t run away from his problems. This was exactly what Sen needed to hear, and he changes his mind and ends up wanting to stay and face his challenge head on.

Welcome Home

ep11_sen_prayer

This was a big scene for Sen! His feelings of insecurity with having his Father back is causing a lot of tension in the house. After seeing all his siblings receive presents I’m sure the feeling of tension was heightened; but he still did his duty as a son, carried his suitcase in to help him get situated. Sen sits at the table across from his Father while the kids play with their new toys, and he passes Sen a small box- a gift for him, a fountain pen. I was secretly hoping they were drumsticks but alas, I was wrong. Sen believes an expensive gift is wasted on him and his dad says:

“A child doesn’t go turning down a present from his parent

Sen so shocked leaves the room to admire the gift he received. Reiterating the words “child” and “parent” the two things that he had wanted most, acceptance and acknowledgement from his father. This is where the first of two motif’s (i’m stealing this word from weekendotaku’s posts on YLiA) of prayer that shows up in this episode. Sen holds the pen close to his heart and bows his head down, something we often do in church to offer our thanks go God. Not only is Sen thankful for such a beautiful gift, but is also thankful that his prayer had been answered. It seems that the delay in Sen running away ended up being a positive in repairing the relationship between him and his Father.

It’s Okay to Cry

ep11_sen_kaoru_cry

Gah, this scene hit me right in the feels. It was a great tie in to the first time they met on the roof in episode one. From the moment that Kaoru opened the doors to the roof and the scene was filled with light before focusing on the sky before panning down to the roof which cued the ethereal music track with the heavy guitar paired with choral singing…had me enthralled – kind of moved with emotion.  This entire scene, the framing, of everything was just…I don’t know surreal? Magical? When Sen started referring to Kaoru as an Angel he’d met before (the tie-back to episode 1) and started to describe what he was feeling, I was a bit shocked to see Sen so openly talk about it, because we rarely saw his inner thoughts about a lot of things. Honestly, like I said the framing of a lot of this scene was well done.

Maybe the roof was was the place where Sen went because it brought him closer to God; hence this scene framed the sky first and then panned down to the roof. Sen was clutching his rosary, in prayer for his sister, under the sheet. Maybe the sheet represented a layer of protection, which leads me to the last piece of symbolism in this scene. Once Kaoru steps onto the roof, he’s surrounded by all the laundry blowing in the wind; I felt like this represented the layers that Sen built up over the years of not letting anyone else in outside of Ri-chan. Kaoru runs through the laundry symbolically breaking breaking through all of these layers, and finally had reached the last layer. Kaoru physically pulling the last layer off of Sen himself and seeing Sen in his most vulnerable state. Fully understanding that Sen had locked away all these emotions and feelings of guilt bottled up and offered Sen a piece of solace; that it was okay to cry; that it was okay to let it out once in awhile and most importantly, he wasn’t alone anymore. I’ve watched this scene 10 times already and I have to say it’s a top contender for my favorite scene of the series.

As we all saw, in the end, Sen runs away right after his crying session with Kaoru. Causing a ripple effect in the relationships. On the bridge when Ri-chan and Kaoru discuss Sen’s disappearance and the effect it’s having on Ri-chan. The gap of space inbetween them already indicating the absence of  Sen’s big presence both physically and more spiritually. And when the priest at the church explains the rosary’s meaning in Sen’s life brings me back to the scene on the roof. He wore the rosary as a type of protection for himself because he felt so alone. But ever since Kaoru appeared in his life, he no longer felt that way and was able to let go of the rosary. It’s as if Kaoru really was an angel to Sen; having saved him from what he felt as misunderstood loneliness; but Sen should’ve realized that it was a two-way street. Their friendship had saved both of them; yet he left everything and everyone without a word. Kaoru is especially troubled by it since he has long held that fear of losing friends; and more importantly Sen’s friendship a few episodes back. Kaoru crying at the thought of never seeing Sen again, never playing jazz with him again was really sad. I’m seriously heartbroken by the situation too! I hope there’s a good ending to this all!!

As usual, the series links the title of the episode with it’s jazz counterpart as shown here:


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

 

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3 thoughts on “[Kids on the Slope]: Episode 11 | Left Alone

  1. raistlin0903 says:

    This has been my favorite episode of the series by far. It had a lot of emotion in it, abd I could not agree with you more about the scene on the roof. It was really heartbreaking but also incredibly beautiful. That said, this episode also nearly gave me a heartattack with the accident. I really thought it was game over for Sentaro, which I’m glad it wasn’t. With only 1 more episode now, I look forward to seeing how it is all going to end. Hopefully we get closure and don’t end up with lose ends. Loved your post fir this episode, but then again the entire series of posts have been very entertaining to say the least. Great work 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  2. WeekendOtaku says:

    Have to agree with Raistlin, the format for this post was really nice and you did a great job of highlighting what made this one special. Your analysis of that rooftop scene was very cool too, and I think could be a post all on its own (see my “What’s in a Scene?” posts).

    If I had to gripe about something, it’s understanding Sen’s feelings. It wasn’t clear to me why he dreaded his father’s return so much. I recall the scene where his father offered him little comfort after mos mother’s death, but was there more to that? What complicates this is that he seemed to accept him after his father gives him that fountain pen, yet he decides to leave anyway, with only a cryptic statement about hurting the people close to him.

    In any case, the emotional journey that these three characters went on through the course of this series was depicted very well in this episode. Sen kind of felt like the third wheel among Kaoru and Ritsuko at different times, but his departure is already starting to show just how much he was holding everything together, whether he realized it or not.

    Like

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