Blood-C received a lot of stick when it aired. Upon announcement of the sequel film Blood-C: The Last Dark, the series was labelled as a nothing more than a twelve episode trailer. It's not entirely unjustified when taken on a plodding, twelve week schedule; in aggregate though the series' strong points shine through safe in the knowledge of the next episode's position on your playlist.
Sunday is all about putting your feet up, turning the volume up and queuing some music to get wholly lost in. During the week music always seems to accompany doing something: programming, walking, writing, pretending you can't hear the other people in the office talking about you. It seems somewhat of a lost past-time to simply sit and listen.
What better way to celebrate this than the release of the Kids on the Slope soundtrack? Any Yoko Kanno release is a cause for celebration; that this has jazz ensembles from Takashi Matsunaga, a noted master of the genre, as well as vocal tracks from well-known artists such as Aoi Teshima is a special treat. I can't claim to know the first thing about jazz or how to approach it for a better appreciation, but as the adage goes, I know what I like. It's still on heavy rotation so my final opinion is still gestating but the tracks effortlessly blend easy listening and jazz sessions with Kanno's signature background melodies - unique but not overpowering.
Nostalgia for the carefree days of school is a staple of anime, the future was brighter when one didn't have to worry about careers or significant others or the multitude other thralls of adulthood. If this spring season of anime is anything to go by, it's also full of banal whinging.
Hyouka and Kids on the Slope kick this off with the protagonist of the former trapped in chronic apathy ("energy conservation" in his parlance, like a self-conscious battery) while the latter's Kaoru bemoans climbing a gnarly looking hill to get to school. Such hardships. The two series share a similar affection for oversaturated amber sunsets and a slow, measured pace; the polar opposite of A Summer Coloured Miracle which is all cerulean skies and the constant background cry of cicadas.
[EXT. Idyllic port]
- Flying pirate ship: PEW PEW PEW!
- Hapless villagers: Why is she attacking us with potassium chloride?!
- Dandy pirate: *evil cackle*
- Hapless villagers: That outfit does not look conducive to piracy!
- Skeletons: RARGH!
- Animators: Who knew skeletons were so hard to animate?
Accel World owes a lot to Serial Experiments Lain. The script may not be penned by Chiaki J. Konaka and has yet to deal with digital deities but a great many of this new series' ideas can be traced back to it.