Kids on the Slope, anime Recommendation of the Week!

Article at a glance:

  • The anime features relatable characters with deep, evolving arcs and a shocking plot twist.
  • Sakamichi no Apollon showcases the beauty of jazz music, leaving a lasting impression on viewers.
  • Despite being from 2012, the animation and soundtrack by Mappa are noteworthy, enhancing the overall experience.

The last article I did talked about different band anime and how much potential that sub-genre has made me recall this anime. I am personally not a fan of the “Kids on the Slope” localization lol, I prefer the Japanese name of this anime, Sakamichi no Apollon. But regardless of what name I prefer, I cannot deny the impression this anime has left on me. Heck, this anime opened my ears to Jazz. After watching this anime, I looked up famous Jazz songs; some are still on my playlist all these years later.

Even putting the music part aside, this anime had a really impactful story with a tragic end that is still stuck in my head to this day. So welcome back to another edition of our anime recommendation series! This week we are talking about Kids on the Slope! Let’s get started!


Sakamichi no Apollon or Kids on the Slope is based on the manga of the same name by Kodama Yuki. The manga was serialized in the monthly Flowers magazine from September 2007 to January 2012. It is 9 volumes or 45 chapters long. As for the anime, it is one of the first anime projects by Mappa. Who knew they’d become this big back then? The anime has 12 episodes and it aired in the spring season of 2012.


For the most part, the plot is nothing special. Kaoru has been forced to move around a lot because of his household circumstances and has given up on trying to fit in with new people. He just joined a high school in Kyushu and was prepared to spend another few years alone. But well, he soon met Sentarou. Sentarou’s love for Jazz moved Kaoru and soon he was into it as well. And that’s pretty much it, the whole story is based around these guys dealing with their circumstances while working on their music.

But, there is a very cruel plot twist at the end. I will not spoil it, but it truly comes out of nowhere and completely changes the tone of the story in one fell swoop.


Sentarou, Ritsuko, and Kaoru are all amazing characters. They feel like real people, all of them have their issues they have to deal with. And music is their motivation. Kaoru starts as reluctant to open up to others. Not because he doesn’t want to but because he thinks that what’s the point of trying to fit in if he’d move away in a while again anyway. But Sentarou drags him out of his shell and before he realizes, Kaworyu also starts to have fun playing Jazz with Sentarou.

Similarly, Sentarou and Ritsuko also have their own issues. And when everything seemed to be going great, when all of their character arcs were done and we thought we were in for a sweet climax, the ending struck like an RKO from Randy Orton. Well, this section is not about that though. But yeah, all main characters have influences on one another. For just being 12 episodes long, this anime gives them all great character arcs.

Animations and Soundtrack

Even back then, Mappa’s production was pretty good. Of course, the anime animations do look a bit dated by today’s standards but they’re still quite good. As for the soundtracks, you can probably imagine how good they were the moment I said that this anime taught me how cool jazz music can be. The soundtrack really understands Jazz and captures its vibe perfectly.

Summing Up

Here’s why you should watch Kids on the Slope:

  • Unexpected ending
  • Amazing characters
  • Great music

That is all for now! Check out my thoughts on Band Anime here and I will take my leave. See ya!

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