A tale of friendship woven together by music. Let the unforgettable melody of the Japanese manga-turned-anime series, Kids on the Slope, ring into your heart with its live-action movie adaptation coming out in 2018!
Kids on the Slope, or Sakamichi no Apollon (坂道のアポロン), is a manga series by Yuki Kodama. It ran in Shogakukan’s monthly josei magazine “Flowers” from 2007 to 2012. The manga was also published in tankobon format with a total of nine volumes which was released from 2008 to 2012.
The series then won the 57th Shogakukan Manga Awards for the General Category in 2012. In the same year, Kids on the Slope got an anime adaptation by animation studio MAPPA and Tezuka Productions which aired on Fuji TV from April 2012 to June 2012 with 12 episodes.
Set in the 1960s, the story begins in Sasebo, Kyushu where Kaoru Nishimi moves to live with his relatives. Due to his father’s occupation, Kaoru kept transferring schools and has been unable to make lasting friendships until he meets class delinquent Sentaro Kawabuchi and his childhood friend Ritsuko Mukae. Kaoru eventually stumbles upon the Mukae shop’s basement where Sentaro challenges him to learn to play the piece “Moanin’.” With Kaoru on the piano and Sentaro on the drums, this encounter leads to countless jam sessions and a growing friendship.
Hey! Say! JUMP! member Yuri Chinen (知念 侑李) stars this live-action adaptation as the protagonist, Kaoru Nishimi. His first lead role was in the Japanese drama series, Sprout, which aired in 2012. He also has previously appeared in various drama series such as Yukan Club, Scrap Teacher: Kyoushi Saisei, and Saiko no Jinsei no Owarikata: Ending Planner among many others. Yuri Chinen has been into music as a singer and is part of the Hey! Say! JUMP! idol group and the (no longer active) NYC Boys. He has also written songs such as “Smile Song” and “Boku to Keito” which he wrote with fellow Hey! Say! JUMP! member Keito Okamoto for their “DEAR” album. Yuri Chinen also started taking piano lessons for this role.
Actor Taishi Nakagawa (中川大志) takes the role of Sentaro Kawabuchi. He has acted and taken lead roles in several dramas such as Prison School and Minami-kun no Koibito. He also starred in the live-action film adaptations of the manga series Kyo no Kira-kun and ReLIFE which were both released in 2017.
Actress and model Nana Komatsu (小松 菜奈) plays Ritsuko Mukae. She has previously starred in the films Drowning Love and Tomorrow I Will Date With Yesterday’s You, and the drama series To Give a Dream and Thrill!.
Also joining the cast are Erina Mano as Yurika Fukahori, Dean Fujioka as Junichi Katsuragi, and Baijaku Nakamura as Tsutomu Mukae. Takahiro Miki directs the film penned by Izumi Takahashi.
Look forward to the jazz pieces that were featured in the series such as Bobby Timmons’ “Moanin’,” which Kaoru and Sentaro first played together, and George Gershwin’s “But Not For Me,” which will highlight Junichi and his trumpet. Other pieces to expect are Bill Evans’ “Someday My Prince Will Come” and Richard Rodgers’ “My Favorite Things.”
Kids on the Slope is slated to screen in Japanese cinemas starting March 10, 2018. Discover the slope that Kaoru and Sentaro have taken together in this beautiful coming-of-age story and jam with them as they play the music of their lives!
Kids on the Slope Live-Action Movie Website *Japanese only