Lonely Kaoru Nishimi has lost count of how many times he has moved schools thanks to his father's naval career. Newly landed in Kyushu, he finds most of his classmates instantly antagonistic towards him and suspicious of his elite background. Only two other students seem not to mind who he is – the infamously abrasive Sentarou and the gentle Ritsuko. Unbeknownst to Kaoru they have a passion for jazz, and they're about to pull him out of his stiff, joyless world into theirs of loose, swinging self-expression. Through friendship and frustration, love and despair, Kaoru will learn that life has a wealth of experiences in store for him!
Hino Kahoko is a sophomore at a high school which caters to both general students, and the musically elite. On the first day of class, Hino meets a fairy named Lili and is entrusted with a magical violin; this violin has the ability to express the music in someone’s heart, even if they do not possess the talent for playing the instrument. With the violin in her care, Hino must now compete in a musical competition, but the guilt of not having true musical talent consumes her. Lili’s dream is to bring happiness to people with music, but Hino isn’t sure she has what it takes to be the one to do it. Can Hino perservere, or will she abandon Lili’s dream?
In both animes, there is a strong love for the music they make and play. In La Corda there is a focus on classical music and Sakamichi focuses on jazz, but they both depict music the same way. They both have plenty of romance and drama in them too. If you liked one, you'd like the other.
The studious and uptight Chiaki is well-known as the top pianist of his school, and dreams of becoming a world-class conductor like his idol, Viera; but his fear of flying (which makes studying abroad impossible) combined with a recent break-up and dismissal from his piano instructor causes that future to seem both bleak and unlikely. After collapsing outside of his apartment, drunk, Chiaki inadvertently meets a young woman named Nodame who, while quite talented at the piano, is unclean, clumsy, and haphazard. Despite being almost polar opposites, the two begin to grow closer and work, together, to overcome the obstacles in their careers.
Both series focus on two main things.
The main character both are talented with the piano and use music as a way to relate to the other characters.
The music involved in both aren't half bad either.
Miu is a young, talented pianist with a passion for playing music. Under the guidance of Shirakawa, her teacher, she decides to enter a recital, where she will play an emotional, self-written piece.Piano is a quiet story about first loves, friendship, and the challenges one must overcome to succeed.
Both Piano and Kids on the Slope are slice of life set around playing music that focuses on relationships between family, friends and falling in love along with the everyday problems life brings.
Mei Tachibana has had neither a friend nor a boyfriend in 16 years, and she doesn’t plan on ending that streak any time soon. The outcast learned years ago that social obligations only lead to pain, and has carefully guarded her heart to keep from getting hurt. However, the girl can’t stay withdrawn forever, especially after attracting the attention of the handsome Yamato, who finds her caustic personality interesting and strives to date her after she roundhouse kicks him down the stairs. But even the most earnest of romances can be crippled by jealousy and insecurity, and this pair has plenty of both. Can their feelings for each other overcome their own emotional weaknesses, or will this love perish before it even begins?
They both feature characters lots of people will be able to identify with and realistic love stories. In terms of tone/atmosphere, "Suki-tte Ii Na yo." feels more reassuring/positive while "Sakamichi no Apollon" can be a little painful/negative at times.
Third-year student and guitarist Haruki Kitahara wants nothing more than his Light Music Club to play at his upcoming, final school festival. But soon, the other members quit, and Haruki resigns himself to playing one last solo jam session in the now-empty practice room. As he strums the chords of his favorite song "White Album", Setsuna, the school idol with an amazing voice, and Touma, an extraordinarily talented pianist, suddenly join the performance from an adjacent classroom and atop the roof, and Haruki becomes determined to keep the club going. Though one of the girls would rather avoid the spotlight and the other is a loner, Haruki’s passion wins them over and they agree to join. Now, with the performance date fast approaching, the trio spends all of their time together practicing, learning the joys of friendship, and the heartache that comes from falling in love with the same person...
Both animes focus on the premise that music is an integral part of their lifestyle. This includes both animes cast members forming a band and the enjoyment of playing as a group. Romance and love triangles are also key factors during both shows tenures.