[KnB Challenge] Day 29 | Favorite Quote

ONE MORE DAY left! AHH!!

Today’s prompt for the [KnB Challenge] is my favorite quote from the series. Now, if you were following me around this time last year when I did the 30 Day Anime Challenge then this quote will probably look familiar. Yes, I’m bringing it back (so I can use the same image I created. ROFL, I’m kinda lazy)

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Kagami says it best, There is no such thing as useless effort. This is the mantra I’m using to get me through my exams. I just got to keep putting in the work and the effort, and I’ll reach my goals in no time. Making an effort is better than no effort, so yeah, it’s not useless to better yourself no matter how hopeless things might appear to be!


What was your guys’ favorite quote from a character? Let me know your thoughts! 😀

ahh!! Tomorrow’s the final day! D:

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[Kids on the Slope]: Episode 12 | All Blues

note: WE’VE REACHED THE END!!!  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! LAST REQUEST! I’LL BE DOING AN OVERALL REVIEW/FINAL THOUGHS OF THE SERIES AND WOULD LOVE FOR THOSE THAT PARTICIAPATED TO PLEASE TELL ME YOUR FAVORITE SCENES FROM THE SERIES SO THAT I MAY INCORPORATE IT INTO MY POST! Looking forward to what you guys submit!


Sentaro’s disappearance has taken a toll on Kaoru and Ri-chan. While the two have expressed their reciprocated feelings they’re left at a standstill. Kaoru says some things he hadn’t meant to say and leaves shortly after graduation without fully clearing the air between him and Ri-chan. A time-skip of 8 years brings us to Kaoru as a doctor in Tokyo where he runs into Yurika by chance who shows him a photo of  a familiar face. Next thing you know Kaoru is up and running towards the person in the photo. Will he find Sen and reconnect? Will they all get a happy ending? 

I can’t believe we’ve reached the end! This episode had me feeling a gamut of emotions, and also saying “omg omg” a lot. I wouldn’t say I was fangirling, but gosh darn…well I’ll get into that later.  Let’s talk about some key moments in this episode. Continue reading

[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

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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

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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

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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! 🙂 

 

[Kids on the Slope]: Episode 10 | In a Sentimental Mood

note:  We’re in the final stretch of Kids on the Slope!! 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!


Spring is around the corner. Spring expresses a sense of change in our trio’s lives. A blossoming love for the future, and the past coming back to the present. How well will our trio deal with these changes?

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Ah young love! Kaoru struggled this episode with accepting the fact that finally Ri-chan has realized her own feelings for him even though she doesn’t outright say it. It’s implied with the knitted gloves; but he can’t shake the feeling that deep down in her heart she’ll always like Sen more. It probably doesn’t help him when Ri-chan does make comments in regards to Sen a lot; but she had a point when she lectured him about having confidence in himself. With their feelings reciprocated; I wonder if it’s public knowledge.

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Sen actually helped play matchmaker a bit this episode. I wonder if he picked up on the the two’s mutual feelings for one another just because Ri-chan was playing “Someday my Prince Will Come” or if it’s because he was surprised that Ri-chan hadn’t told her Dad about Kaoru being sick. Either way, I’m glad he was the bridge that closed the gap between Ri-chan and Kaoru because it eventually led up to them mutually expressing their interest.

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With the news of Sen’s step-father coming home, Sen looks a bit worried, with his Sister Sa-chan equally worried about the dynamics of the family once their Dad is back in the picture. After working hard to pass exams and start the new school year alongside Kaoru and even planning to be in the School Festival again with a new medley; he’s lied to Kaoru and is planning to run away. This caused my jaw to drop; Sen had done so well hiding his feelings that I was not prepared for him to really think about leaving!

Overall, this episode picked up a bit and I’m really excited for the last two episodes and what’s in store for us in the finale! 🙂

This episode’s title is based on the jazz song of the same name, as performed by Duke Ellington and John Coltrane. It definitely does have a sentimental melancholic feel to it.  Give it a listen and let me know your thoughts on the song.


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

 

[Kids on the Slope]: Episode 9 | Love Me or Leave Me

note:  We’re in the final stretch of Kids on the Slope!! 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!


Another Christmas has come and gone and a lot has happened within that year. Ri-chan has finally realized her feelings for Kaoru and is hesitant to act. After Sen confronts her and apologizes for not seeing it sooner they reaffirm that in the end they are family and nothing more. Jun announces that he’s leaving for good and wants to leave Yurika behind, but can he really?

I really do like this anime, but the pacing of the episodes in terms of time is really throwing me off. Maybe I need to watch this all in one go to get a better feel for it. But literally a year as passed in a span of 3 episodes. When Kaoru mentions Sen’s birthday is around the corner and I’m thinking didn’t he just have one a few months ago? Not realizing that it was indeed Christmas time again.

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I’m glad that Ri-chan has realized her feelings for Kaoru and has found the courage to try to do something about it versus letting her feelings linger for so long like they did with Sen. However, I have a bit of a problem with how Ri-chan addressed Sen when he was trying to confront her about her feelings. Was she still trying to protect her relationship with Sen by telling him he was misunderstanding the situation? Did she think it was a lost cause that didn’t need to be discussed since she knew they would forever be like family to one another? She could’ve come clean and said she HAD felt that way, but she accepts that they’re nothing more than family to one another versus letting Sen believe that he was imagining things.

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This episode was a bit of a jaw-dropper in terms of Jun and Yurika. As touching as the scene on the platform was, I wished that the development of this relationship had been explored a little more leading up to it. I didn’t expect Jun to cave in so easily at the idea of Yurika not being apart of his world anymore when he’d been somewhat cold to her all along.  Will we see more of these two in the next few episodes? Or will their story die here? I hope we see some kind of follow-up. This episode’s title is definitely an embodiment of that final scene. Love me or Leave me is what Yurika is conveying to Jun, and he does exactly what she wants: love her.

Music makes it’s way back into this episode when Sen and Jun duke it out. The song they use to challenge one another is “Four” by Miles Davis. It was definitely the highlight of this episode. The featured jazz pieces in all of he episodes have always been solid pieces of work throughout the series. I’ve actually picked up on listening to a bit more jazz while I work these days. I can definitely thank Kids on the Slope for that.


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

 

[Kids on the Slope]: Episode 8 | These Foolish Things

note: guys, I apologize for having gone MIA on this watch-along and from the blog in general.  Last few weeks have been a bit rough; always felt exhausted with little to no energy after work and feeling under the weather, plus a busy family weekend followed by a con. I just felt like I needed a bit of a break..but I’ll be more in depth about what’s been going on on Sunday’s post.

a HUGE thank you to weekendotaku has been helping me a great deal by participating and creating these banners!


Kaoru’s popularity has risen exponentially since the performace at the festival. Instead of approaching him the girls decided to go through Ritsuko who is starting to question her feelings for both Kaoru and Sentaro.  Junichi tries to scare Yurika away, but her feelings remain steadfast while Sentaro is heartbroken upon witnessing Jun and Yurika together.

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Ri-chan is surrounded by fangirls of Sen and Kaoru; her heart seems to be wavering as her thoughts seem to be consumed with Kaoru over Sentaro; and she tries to convince herself that Sentaro is the one for her and there’s no way she’s jealous of the popularity that Kaoru is experiencing.

Sen agonizes over the discovery of Jun and Yurika, and uses the drums to express his frustration and disappointment. We’re shown another example of how music transcends words as Sen’s erratic drum playing signals Kaoru to also play erratically and strangely on piano in response. It becomes clear something is amiss and Kaoru picks up on it from the get go. I think it’s courageous of Kaoru to be able to put his feelings aside for Ri-chan and let Sen know that there is someone that does care about him; he just hasn’t noticed yet. Sen completely oblivious to whom it is but comes to the slow realization.  Does Sen know how Kaoru feels? Kaoru has never expressed his interest in Ri-chan to Sen himself so I’m wondering how Sen feels about it.

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I don’t know what to think of this episode to be honest. We got a lot of screen time for Jun and Yurika, but I still don’t know what draws Yurika to Jun so strongly and on top of that the drive to completely change who she is for him (she chops off her hair for goodness sake).  At least we know something DID happen in that basement and that his spiral into depression is not linked to her but with how he was drawn into a politics and then disowned by his Father for not listening or rather, being the ideal son. Overall, this episode left me feeling a bit confused and it felt a bit more disjointed compared to previous ones. I think its because of Jun and Yurikia’s storyline; I don’t have a sense of attachment to them as I do with our main trio.

I guess we have to stay tuned for episode 9! We’re down to the final stretch!


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

 

[Kids on the Slope]: Episode 7 |Now’s the Time

note: a HUGE thank you to weekendotaku has been helping me a great deal by participating and creating these banners!

Also, I’m a day behind on the series! I have to apologize a bit for that; I’ve been feeling pretty exhausted lately and just absolutely had no energy for anything blog related yesterday. 😦


Kaoru has started avoiding Sen ever since the incident at the beach and has been volunteered by his classmates to be on the executive committee of the school festival alongside Ri-chan. Sen’s joined up as a drummer for “The Olympus” for the festival, but the day of the performance ends up a disaster which Kaoru sucks it up and comes in to save the day. 

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The episode opens up with Kaoru walking up the slope again like in the first episode; signifying he’s starting back at square one struggling with his isolation. Ri-chan tries to rectify the awkward situation but Kaoru is bent on keeping his distance, but that doesn’t go as planned.

ep7_sen_yurika.pngSentaro trying to make a move on Yurika after maybe a slight hint of who she’s really into after seeing what record she picks up seems like an act of desperation or an act of frustration? He ends up hitting Jun for getting in the way as it’s pretty clear something has probably happened between them for Yurika to run off crying.  Big Brother Jun is back and in pretty bad shape.

Ah, the last half..of this episode. This scene is what drew me into watch this series to begin with. The clip showcased this medley alone with no context; and the performance was so amazing that I just HAD to watch this show. I absolutely LOVED this half, and is probably my favorite episode so far.

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After realizing his mistake Kaoru decides to save the day by playing some piano after hearing Sen say, “I’m keeping my important partner waiting.” I couldn’t help but go “aww” and that scene of Kaoru finding a letter in the mailbox upon hearing that was really heartwarming. He comes out to bring the crowd back with piano, choosing the last song they played together in hopes Sen will respond with his drumming. It’s clear that the two of them are not the best communicators verbally, but through jazz where it almost sounds like a conversation between people you can really tell they’re reconnecting with one another again.

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Kaoru says, “Can we get it all back?”, a key moment at the beginning of their duet medley as this is the first conversation with one another since the fight. They can both express their feelings, and frustrations with their music. It was the best way for these two to make-up. I also couldn’t help but notice that Ri-chan’s having flashbacks of the songs that Kaoru plays because the songs he’s choosing to play in this medley are also the songs he used to express his feelings for Ri-chan. The duo’s performance practically moves her to tears, while leaving the entire audience stunned and speechless. Ah, I can’t get over this scene!!!

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After the end of the performance, Sen goes for a high-five but ends up grabbing Kaoru’s hand and dragging him out of school and down the slope. Kaoru remarks that he feels that he’s been born again and that he feels light on his feet. Is this the feeling that Sen feels when he runs down that slope? The feeling and the sight that Kaoru wishes to see from Sen’s eyes? Their relationship is so great. Unspoken words between friends with a mutual understanding of just how the other one feels. Seriously, probably one of the best bromances I’ve come to witness! That’s coming a lot from someone that’s obsessed with the sports genre and the bromances that definitely arise from there. I’m really glad that these two made up!!

Can I just point out another observation that I’ve made about these two! I’m almost gushing about this bromance; but you can’t help but notice that these two have changed one another for the better! First we have Kaoru, the new kid that everyone thinks is a little too serious and unapproachable. But, after clearing the air for Ri-chan when they tease her about the status of their relationship, they realize their initial impression of Kaoru is wrong, that’s he actually kind and soft-spoken. Usually the amount of attention he garners makes him nauseous; but surprisingly he’s not; could this be due to the friendship’s he’s cultivated with Sen and Ri-chan. They’ve helped him adjust tremendously and have also drawn him out of his shell quite a bit.  But the same could be said about Sen; the school bully. No one really knows what he’s up to and he’s huge delinquent at school. But after Sen stands up for Seiji against third years Maruo makes a comment about how nice Sen actually is; another misconception the classmates have. These two were labeled by their classmates without really having the chance to really get to know them. They were so intent on staying isolated because of their past experiences that they just accepted that they would always be the outsiders. That final scene of them running down the slope with the world turning more colorful. I can’t help but reminisce about one of Your Lie in April‘s theme of one’s world taking on color and sparkling. I know, I know, it’s referring to falling in love. But looking back at what Tsubaki said in the opening episode, ““The moment I met [her], my life changed. Everything I saw, heard and felt. All the scenery around me started to take on color. The whole world began to sparkle.” She didn’t say it was about love, but it is implied given the story, but….can’t that be said about the special people that touch our lives that aren’t love interests? I brought this up with my “brother” (quotes because he’s really not related to me; but he’s my best guy friend that’s like my bro.) and he’s been watching a long with me as well, and we have discussions about Sen and Kaoru. Since he’s also a huge YLiA fan, he knew what I was referring to. So when I asked if the same thing could be said about Kaoru and Sen, he responded with, “A relationship that transcends the boundaries of romance and genuine admiration. It’s also a mutual partnership that’s not easily defined. It’s easy to box their relationship into a category, but that’s just surface work. Can one have genuine admiration and desire for someone else in the absence of any romantic attraction?” I would have to agree, I think anyone that could have significant impact on us can make our whole world sparkle. That’s indeed how I feel about my bestie who is my total opposite, and how I feel about my “bro”. I may be on entirely off on a tangent, but I wanted to get those thoughts out there….lol.

I can’t stop watching the Medley so, I’m including the clip that originally hooked me into this anime!

 


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

 

[Kids on the Slope]: Episode 6 | You Don’t Know What Love Is

note: a HUGE thank you to weekendotaku has been helping me a great deal by participating and creating these banners!

ALSO, we’re half way through the series!!


A new school year is upon our trio, and for the first time Sen is separated into another class without friends. Kaoru is still trying to keep his composure in front of Ri-chan but ends up fumbling things up between him and Sen instead; what will happen between the two?

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Ah, I can’t even begin to express how beautiful the spring season is depicted. Which also causes me to wonder, with a new spring, can a new love start to bloom? Ri-chan has been pretty observant of Kaoru who is trying his hardest to keep his feelings in check, even offering up time alone between the two childhood friends. As hard as he is trying to keep things somewhat normal I cant help but notice that Ri-chan is starting to look Kaoru’s way. Is it because she’s still worried after the rejection she gave? Or is it possible she could see him in a new light?

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Kaoru’s a bit harsh when it comes to telling Sen to not go out with Yurika in hopes to spare him some heartbreak since her heart belongs to someone else. With the topic of Jun having been brought up on that date and him having been the sole thing they talk about; he realizes the date has gone bad. I wonder if Sen realizes it went bad because HE himself talked about Jun too much, or if he’s starting to realize that because of her piqued interest in Jun that he’d see that she’s more interested in him.  Unfortunately, I think Sen would be too dense to see the latter since he doesn’t even realize his childhood bestie is in love with him.

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The beach scene trigged a memory I hadn’t thought about and some feelings that I’m currently dealing with.  But, I know exactly how Kaoru felt when he started having those fears creep up inside him as he saw Seiji and Sen become friends. He felt like he was an outsider, slowly being replaced by this new kid and that he was being isolated in such a big group. I started tearing up as Kaoru ran away and told himself that he’s scared of being separated from Sen and that he was better off alone anyways. That sense of insecurity is something that really cut me deep. I’ve cut ties with people in fear of that inevitable situation a lot over the years to spare myself pain. However, while Kaoru knows his problem is rooted from moving around and being disappointed by empty promises; I’m not sure where my fear of abandonment comes from. You would think that I wouldn’t have issues with being alone considering I’m an only child; but I’ve always tended to keep people at arm’s length and really guard myself. Trying to cope and deal with it is a struggle, but it hasn’t gotten to bad to the point I completely shut people out; to be honest I think the blog and the friends I’ve made through this have somewhat helped me with those negative feelings.

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Gah, Kaoru, you triggered me immensely in this episode, and now I’m being really melancholy and contemplative about things. I wasn’t ready for a show to such a chord within me. Okay, I appologize for going off on such a randomly personal downer  of a tangent, but I really felt the connection to this and had to share.

I don’t like this new Seiji kid, I think he’s up to no good. Like Kaoru I just get a bad feeling about him.

This week’s episode features the song “You Don’t Know What Love Is”. Listening to the lyric’s I can feel it’s ties to this episode. Despite the comedic elements there were a lot of somber moments. Ri-chan’s reaction to Sen asking her to the beach to help with the kids. Sen’s feeling of the bad date with Yurika, and Kaoru’s recurring heartbreak the more he spends time with Ri-chan.


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

 

[Kids on the Slope]: Episode 5 | Lullabies of Birdland

note: a HUGE thank you to weekendotaku has been helping me a great deal by participating and creating these banners!


Things are awkward for Kaoru and Ritsuko and Sentaro tries to help mediate the situation after accidentally eavesdropping in on their conversation. Kaoru’s Dad is back and delivers some unexpected news about his Mother. The duo head to Tokyo to see his mom and try to meet up with Jun Oni-chan; what awaits them there?

So this post’s flow of discussion is not in sequence of the scenes; but an overall look of what happens throughout the episode because there’s a lot of references to tie each other to.

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Kaoru can’t seem to concentrate with things being awkward between Ritsuko and he. He decides he can no longer go to back to the record shop after she gives him her answer due to heartbreak. Kaoru had made so much progress stepping out of his shell; but this blow has caused him to retreat along with shutting out Sentaro and Ritsuko in the process. I also thought that in a previous episode, that Kaoru had resolved to stand by his feelings despite Ri-chan’s answer since he knew her feelings resided elsewhere, so I was a little taken aback by his retreat; but my memory could be wrong. Also, even though Ri-chan had to tell Kaoru the truth of her own feelings, she feels really bad that she may have just caused a rift in everyone’s relationship to Kaoru overall and is actually really worried for Kaoru overall afterwards. I love that Sentaro really tries to get Karou to get out of his slump. Despite Kaoru’s gloominess he really does view him as a really good friend and like any friend would they try to get you out of your slump and cheer you up. Sentaro isn’t really pushing Kaoru 100% and isn’t really trying to drag him along like he usually does. I think he has the sensibility to know that sometimes there are things that need a bit more finesse. I seriously thought Sentaro was going to hear that Ri-chan was in love with him; but I also think he’s genuinely concerned that Ri-chan is really torn up by what’s going on with Kaoru.

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The trip to Tokyo was a bit emotional for me. I didn’t expect my emotions to be pulled out with the reunion of Kaoru and his Mom. I didn’t expect the mom to be so forthcoming in seeing her son again; I was under the impression that she abandoned him and never looked back. Again another similarity between Kaoru and Sentaro; Sentaro pushes Kaoru to see his mother since the opportunity has arisen. I’m sure if he had the chance he would without a doubt take it, that’s Sentaro’s type of personality.  I feel like there’s something missing in the story of Kaoru’s parents; and I really hope this somehow gets resolved in later episodes. I had hoped that he would ask her why she left but the topic never came up. I teared up when the mom was crying over their shared meal as well as the goodbye at the train track. However, I’m curious about the reaction that both Sentaro and Kaoru had when they found his Mother’s place of work. Kaoru looked highly embarassed by it. Was it a like a burlesque show type? A seedy bar?

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As for Jun being missing for over a month, and the letters from Yurika that Kaoru painfully tries to hide from Sentaro is an interesting turn of events. The dorm mate suggests that he’s in hiding after getting into some altercation or that he could just be shacking up with some girl. I think the latter half of the statement may ring some truth to it; but I have a bit of a theory so just hear me out. As we all know the attraction between Yurika and Jun was there from the moment they met; however I get the feeling I may have been wrong in my previous post when I said that the attraction between Yurika and Jun was mutual. In the basement of the jazz store, Yurika and Jun have a short conversation about his parents store and her having shopped there for awhile. He makes a comment, “The coincidences keep coming…even the names are similar.” Maybe his attraction to Yurika isn’t because of who she is but because she reminds him of someone he used to love perhaps? I don’t know, that’s the feeling I get. What do you guys think?

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This scene was indeed my favorite of this episode; because I said something similar in my previous post about the friendship between Sentaro and Kaoru to be more compelling than their love interests! And I wholeheartedly agree with the statement in the scene. To find friends you can truly be silly and goofy with are so rare to find; especially the ones that you can really let your guard down with little regard to what they make think because really they just accept you for who you are no matter what.

We found out that Kaoru’s Mom used to sing while the Dad would play piano. It seems like music was what brought the two of them together; but unfortunate that Kaoru has no recollection of such a happy memory. When he left, he said he’d promise to visit again and gave her a record to learn to sing to. I thought it was very sweet and endearing that he wants to re-live that memory his mom seemed to cherish and create a new one in which he would play and she would sing.

The jazz song featured in this episode is “Lullaby to Birdland”. It’s considered a jazz standard. I’m curious as to why Kaoru chose this particular song to share with his Mom.


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

 

[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.

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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! 🙂