Critical Recommendations · Filmcritic

Kids on the slope & Her Granddaughter review

Heyaaaa people!

Day 2 of the blogging month challenge!

Without further a-due, let’s hop on today’s article. Nothing fancy but I’ve promised it for so long it keeps on haunting me, truth be told. Remember that a while ago, I did another of those mangas favorites of the month? (Quick note: I currently have over 250 mangas on-going on an app, right now, so do brace yourselves as lots and lots more of “favorites” will appear) In the latter blog post, I spoke about an unusual fact: I, Elissa, actually watched an anime and a drama… and liked it enough to review it! God gracious, what was happening on this earth?

Yes, let me be honest. I’m quite often getting offended and (maybe even) judgmental looks when I say that I quite dislike animes. Unlike mangas, where you get to view the scene as you please, voice the characters as you like, animes are played and thus give this feeling of “too-much” that I can’t bear. Of course, I’d be letting out laughs while watching OHSHC, excruciating a bit as Free! swimmers make their ways on my TV, but I’ll mostly get irritated by the dramatic add-ons to the already-sufficiently dramatic scenes. My own imagination and interpretation suits me quite enough, thank you very much.

This said, there are few situations in which I end up watching an anime. First case, I’m really short-handed on things to read and would rather enjoy some animated thing. This is quite rare, let’s be fair. Second case – when music is involved. I quite enjoy reading music-related mangas, and sometimes it can be saddening not to have the musical background that comes with it. Thus, I gave a chance to one of said music-related animes :

Kids on the slope

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Sakamichi no Apollon

(I recently found out that it’s actually available on Netflix, for those who have it – otherwise, internet is your best friend)

Here’s the plot (creds to myanimelist) Introverted classical pianist and top student Kaoru Nishimi has just arrived in Kyushu for his first year of high school. Having constantly moved from place to place since his childhood, he abandons all hope of fitting in, preparing himself for another lonely, meaningless year. That is, until he encounters the notorious delinquent Sentarou Kawabuchi. Sentarou’s immeasurable love for jazz music inspires Kaoru to learn more about the genre, and as a result, he slowly starts to break out of his shell, making his very first friend.

It immediately caught my interest: I was in my jazzy period, and fancied something about the matter. I never say no to some love/friendship backstory, and in those, this anime sounded perfect. If I recall correctly, it’s some 16 episodes long – I ended up watching only 10, and skipped to the two final ones. Patience is not my best, anime-related. Why this fast forward? Well, truthfully, music wasn’t as important as I thought it was. All in all, it focused much more on the relationships between characters, and whilst I quite enjoy that as I read them, I was hoping for something else when watching Kids on the slope. Well, the fact that I still watched this many episodes is a sign that I still decently appreciated my viewing. The characters are touching, quite easily identifiable and overall, you get a lovely feeling. Some actions make you want to take the protagonists by the shoulder and shake them up while some others indulge you in an ocean of love. Some musical scenes are also lovely, and I ended up listening to some more jazz after I finished watching it. When I got bored of the anime, I searched for the manga version and read it, with the appropriate music as background sound. Let’s be honest: I still prefer the readable version, having an obvious fondness for this genre. I ended up watching the anime’s ending, to compare it, and for once, I don’t really know which of them both I enjoy the most (one’s more detailed, the other one leaves a bit more to the imagination). Honestly, you’d enjoy both, if I was able to take pleasure into watching an anime. (Yes, I have that much a priori against them. Shame, shame, I know.)

Now then, the other matter of this blog post is, this time, a drama.

Don’t get me wrong – I did start by reading it as a manga, you can’t change me. But, unfortunately, I ended up without scans for the remaining bit, and as I really hate stopping a manga without having the final word, I thought I’d give the drama a go.

Her Granddaughter 

otoko_no_isshou-p1
Otoko no Isshou

The plot (creds to asianwiki): Tsunami Dozono works at a large electronics company in Tokyo. She likes to spend long vacations at her grandmother’s house in the countryside. One day, her grandmother passes away and Tsugumi Dozono decides to live in her grandmother’s house while working from home. She finds a strange middle-aged man in the house. The man’s name is Jun Kaieda. Jun Kaieda tells Tsugumi that he is her grandmother’s ex-student and her grandmother gave him a key to the annex house. Tsugumi, who does not know the exact relationship between her grandmother and Jun, begins to live with him. 

I haven’t watch enough dramas to say either it’s a good one or not, but it’s quite reputed, if I believe my search. As compared to the manga scans I was able to read, the drama is quite similar – I could only deplore a lead actress a bit more timid than she appears in the manga, but she’s so lovely that we end up forgiving her completely. Their relationship is growing up bit by bit, as she slowly gives him her trust. A particular scene left me quite speechless and a bit laughing, as I wondered about the filming conditions and the fetishes of Japanese – but, well, some might enjoy it. What I particularly liked about this drama is the weird atmosphere that surrounds it, going well with the weirdness both the characters feel as well. We get tensed, stressed, laughing and loving as they share those emotions with us – and well, what more could we ask from a movie?

I watched it in Japanese with subtitles, so I can’t vouch for the english voices, though.

This drama grabbed me by the shoulder and made me fall in the bottomless hole of “need-to-watch-more” phenomenon that happens after you get enthralled with something. I have a lot of movies pinned in my bookmarks that I definitely want to give a go to, but if you have any good suggestions, please comment below. Sometimes following Google’s advice of what’s a good Japanese movie might not be the best solution, right? Be more helpful than that guy, if you please!

Well then, that’s all for today!

I’ll see you tomorrow, lads!

Lots of lil’kisses from a

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