Thursday, 7 June 2012

Kids on the Slope - Episode 9

The times, they are a-changin', and they're changing decidedly fast for the characters of Kids on the Slope as we had inexorably towards the climax of the series.

As if Jun and Yurika's relationship isn't fraught enough already, the former has now received an offer to return to Tokyo to word for a former friend and comrade's publishing company - an offer he has no intention of refusing, no matter the ramifications for those close to him right now.  This development naturally becomes a major part of this week's episode, not just for Yurika (right the way through to the stupendous finale brought forth by her and Jun's "goodbye" scene) but also for Sentarou, who faces up to saying goodbye to his "big brother" in his own inimitable style.

With this particular storyline effectively put to bed by the end of this instalment, we're left to keep an eye on the other major romantic development to come from the series, that being the love triangle between Kaoru, Sentarou and Ristuko.  While Kaoru is absolutely determined to stay well out of the way of what he sees as a budding relationship between his two other friends, little does he seem to realise that he's actually alienating Ritsuko just at the point when her own feelings have begun to sway.  Thus, Sentarou finds his own burgeoning feelings shot down as Ritsuko's own objectives shift, perhaps bringing us a little closer to the core of her character into the bargain.

All of this builds up to another excellent episode of Kids on the Slope - it may not be breaking new ground or anything like that, but it's still chock-full of utterly compelling human drama that words incredibly well with the characters available to it, ensuring that you care about each and every one of them and find yourself suitably invested in their personal (and indeed inter-personal) journeys.  It's that alone which continues to mark Kids on the Slope as one of this season's best, although with most of its major issues seemingly resolved at this point I hope it still has enough left in the tank to do more than simply cruise through to its resolution.

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