I now am adding two more anime to the recommended titles listings. Both directed by Watanabe Shinichiro, one with arrangements and original music by Kanno Yoko.
When I sat down to watch Kids on the Slope last week I had my dinner and planned to only view the first episode. After the eighth episode I decided it was time to get to bed. This is an interesting drama about three high school students and set in Kyushu. You really don't know when as the show starts but there are clues set throughout the series, things that are there and things that are not there. For Japanese some of these would be obvious but for non-Japanese they are not, eventually you see a calendar. Don't worry too much about the time period, just enjoy the series and the great music.
When I first heard of Samurai Champloo being a samurai story mixed with hip hop my first thought was "What a stupid idea." However presentation and story quality are separate from that basic idea. An associate dropped by at one of my potlucks with the first DVD and insisted we watch it. After the first episode I said "I'M BUYING THIS SERIES."
OK that does it. From now on if Watanabe Shinichiro is directing something I am buying it.