What They Say:
Will Kaoru and Ritsuko ever be honest with each other about their feelings? Will Sen flunk his second year of high school? And finally, how will Sen react when he gets the news that his stepfather is coming home.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the story of Sentaro’s brother dealt with at this stage, the series is able to shift its focus back to the core characters a bit more. Sentaro made out fairly well through that story since it dealt with his interest in Yurika and the truth of what was going on there, but it also spent a lot of good time with Jun and the fallout from it. It was a useful story since it helped to redirect Sentaro in the end, change his path a bit and give him a new reason to move forward. And for Kaoru, it was a chance to see and help his friend through some hurt which has helped to build their friendship and bond a bit more. But with that done, it’s time to shift things back more towards Kaoru for a bit, which is good since I do like his stories.
Kaoru’s problems aren’t big or complicated, but they dominate his world to be sure as he continues to be infatuated with Ristuko and she’s still very interested in Sentaro. And with her now getting the clear path towards Sentaro since Yurika is out of the picture, she’s getting ready to make a move on Mister Oblivious. His oblivious nature is even more so at this point though because he’s having a lot of trouble in school, to the point where he may have to repeat his second year at a time when everyone is starting to figure out their future plans for college and more. There are some really good boys will be boys moments here with a snowball fight, but seeing the way Kaoru tries to rally Sentaro to study and helps him with it is just as much fun and engaging to watch.
While these two have some very good scenes here, there’s also a growing bit of material between Kaoru and Ritsuko. It’s hard to tell where he head really is at since there’s an obvious interest in Sentaro, but Sentaro always pushes her towards Kaoru at this point and doesn’t have a direct interest in her. And she’s realizing that Kaoru really does, which is starting to shift her heart a bit. And it happens at a time that he’s bedridden at that from a cold that has taken him down pretty hard. Kaoru’s rather amusing through all of this, blame it on the sickness if you must, as he does his best to make it clear to her how he feels. It may be a bit manipulative, though not intentional to be sure, but it’s just comical to watch him finally make a big, bold play for her at a time that she’s actually receptive to it.
Kids on the Slope works through some good character issues here in a lot of ways with the things the core trio has going on. Sentaro’s shift to a post-Yurika living is pretty good since he’s doing his best with his school work and understanding that he can’t afford to repeat it for his family. This gives us some wonderful material between Sen and Kaoru which really continues to make me like them a lot, though I do wish we had more performance material between the two. They seem to really inspire and push each other a lot when in that arena, but it’s also good to see this side of them as well. And the whole story regarding Ritsuko and Kaoru is finally dealt with well here in some not so surprising but realistic ways that leaves you wanting more and more. The series continues to hit a lot of high notes for me and makes me smile a hell of a lot.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70″ LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.