Section23's been on a licensing-announcement roll this past couple of weeks. The big news this time around is the street date for a couple of properties that have been hotly anticipated since last year: Kids on the Slope, shown here (one of the best dramatic anime in a long time, for my money), plus K-ON! The Movie, and a few more.
Here's the rundown:
Kids on the Slope (BD/DVD)
This gorgeously-animated and brilliantly-conceived coming-of-age story is set in roughly the same time period as Studio Ghibli's upcoming Up On Poppy Hill -- the mid-Sixties, when Japan was enjoying unprecedented growth and rejuvenation in the wake of World War II, when life seemed a bit simpler, and when the last thing a kid being trained to play classical music should find a furtive interest in is ... jazz. Especially when he becomes part of a band where one of the school's most notorious thugs is the drummer, and he himself is the pianist.
I couldn't find enough good things to say about this show when it premiered as a streaming-only item last year.
K-ON! The Movie (BD/DVD)
K-ON! the series was a fluffy bit of fun, about four (eventually, five) girls who start their own band in high school via the music club. The movie explores what happens after graduation, and whisks them off to England for an adventure therein; it sounds like fans of the show will continue to be satisfied.
Colorful: The Motion Picture (BD/DVD)
Not to be confused with another, earlier, raunchier anime of the same name, Colorful already has quite a pedigree behind it (winner: 34th Japanese Academy Prize for Excellence in Animation). As for a description, I'll quote Sentai's own press material:
There is a train station on the other side of death, yet not all who arrive on the platform will be judged ready for passage onwards. For one unready soul, there will be both a test and a second chance. Rather than be reborn, this soul will awake in the body of 14-year-old suicide Makoto Kobayashi, where it must not only find a way to fit into Makoto's existence, but also unravel two mysteries. What is the secret of the great sin it committed in its own previous life and what were the reasons that led to Makoto's suicide? While some may believe the truth to be as plain to see as black and white, Makoto soon finds that the real world is overlaid with so many shades of grey and rainbows of colors that even the most obvious of "facts" are not what they seem. With the soul's time in Makoto's body quickly running out, the answers to all life's mysteries await discovery...
An English-subbed trailer can be found on YouTube here. This looks like a real prize of a release.
Phi-Brain: Season 1: Collection 2 (BD/DVD)
I missed the boat with this series when it first came out, about a fellow named Kaito who's a puzzle-solving genius and is drafted into solving puzzles of increasing difficulty, complexity, and life-threatening cruelty. My first impression was that it sounded like the original iteration of Yu-Gi-Oh! crossed with the rogue-genius antics of someone like L from Death Note.
Image: Kids on the Slope © Yuki Kodama, Shogakukan / KIDS ON THE SLOPE Committee. Image courtesy Crunchyroll.