It's time for another school year to begin after their summer adventures, but it seems that Kaoru and Sentarou aren't going to be able to enjoy one another's company in class this time around - while Ritsuko and Kaoru continue to share the same class, Sentarou is moved to a different class on account of his... "energetic" personality.
This may be new territory for Sentarou, who has always shared a class with Ritsuko, but for the most part nothing has changed - Sentarou still gets himself into fights and coos over Yurika, while recent events have given Kaoru a more laid-back outlook on his feelings towards Ritsuko, to the point where he shifts his attentions towards pushing her towards Sentarou while simultaneously trying to keep him away from Yurika.
So much for that idea of course, as Sentarou is still both smitten with her and completely oblivious to her obsession with the errant Jun. This isn't Kaoru's only concern however, as his jealousy quickly bubbles up as a new classmate of Sentarou's, Matsuoka, threatens to woo him with the toxic combination of telling people what they like to hear and lending them Beatles records. Is Sentarou's head really going to be turned by the Fab Four? It's this concern which leads Kaoru to needlessly lose his head, as his past experiences with lost friends cause him to over-react when Sentarou offers to drum for Matsuoka's makeshift band for the school festival.
Although it didn't do as much to mark itself out in terms of comedy or (until its final scenes) drama compared to previous instalments, this was still another hugely enjoyable episode of Kids on the Slope. By this point, the main characters are so well-established that you get the feeling they effectively write themselves, and the chemistry between them certainly helps to carry the show even when it doesn't seem to have all that much to say. When it comes to the crunch and the time for drama however, the series still knows what it's doing - Kaoru's childish tantrum is a perfect example of a teenager who thinks he's grown-up but is still hampered by his immature outlook on certain aspects of life, and it's another strong point in a show which somehow always manages to remain believable no matter how hard it has to work to drum up (with every pun intended) some dramatic tension. Is this still my show of the season? There are a few seeking to stake that claim, but Kids on the Slope is certainly very much amongst them.