Every so often an anime comes along that completely defies expectations. I watch a little bit of everything for this reason. I am always on the lookout for that one show that will slip past if I stop searching. I spend countless hours each new season, testing each show that might be interesting. The longer I do it the more I find that some stuff is just pointless. Perhaps this is an obvious statement but there are some things that I am not going to care about simply because I would never care about the original. 4-Koma adaptations are particularly adept at this.
Never say never. This season the number one show I've come to anticipate each week is Kotoura-san, an anime made by the not so prestigious AIC Classic. Kotoura-san is an adaptation of a 4-koma that I nearly didn't watch. The story follows a young mind-reader who has given up on having normal human interactions. It starts with her childhood and gives a very convincing testimony to how difficult such a power would be for a child and the people around her. She has been ostracized and bullied for as long as she can remember, but when she transfers to a new school she meets a boy who is unashamedly honest with himself. This boy befriends her and promises to stay by her side.
If you are going to pick on his girl, you better remember the heart.
Should you read this and think that Kotoura-san sounds awful.. well I can't really blame you for that. I read the premise and thought the same thing. Romantic comedy 4-koma? Pffft not worth the time of a single episode. Those were my exact thoughts. What the premise doesn't convey is just how touching this story actually is. Soul crushing drama is not something I would have ever expected from 4-koma. While it is true that Kotoura-san is funny to say that it is a comedy is only half of the truth. Kotoura-san manages to pull at the emotions in a way that every drama hopes to achieve. It does it in a way that feels both human and distinctly original. Sure there are plenty of action oriented shows with mind-readers. Playing cops and robbers with mind-readers is common place. Even in comedy you can find them easily enough. How often have we taken a serious look at just how difficult it would be to be born capable of reading the thoughts of everyone around you as if they were words? It's a refreshingly different take for this to be taken seriously without giving the girl a super villain to prove her worth against.
You know that feeling when your doing your thing, fortune-telling, when someone has thoughts about you that are so vile you throw up? I don't but I still felt sick watching this.
Manabe is the second surprise of this story. He is a young high school student who accepts Kotoura-sans abilities, befriending her without hesitation. It takes two great characters to make a good romance and that is exactly what he provides. He is a bit of a pervert and most of his running gags involve Kotoura seeing his fantasies, as well as the many other odd things that go on in his head; however, that is put to good use in a way you will need to experience for yourself to really believe. He is not ashamed of his fantasies which is what allows him to get close to Kotoura-san. He is constantly saying and doing things that make him both surprising as an anime character and endearing for the way he defends Kotoura-san. It is a cute dynamic the two have going. This is one show I hope to convince a few people to check out. Everything about this anime works better than it looks or sounds like it will. Three episodes in and my emotions have been pulled on more skilfully than Little Busters
has managed in sixteen episodes. The jokes feel original enough that they won't grow old any time soon. Perhaps the drama is not quite on the level of Sakurasou
just yet, but it pulls at the heartstrings effectively. Most importantly this anime comes with a real human side. It stings in a way that I would never expect from a show about a mind-reader. It may not be the prettiest anime of the season but it is doing so much with what it has. This is one that all anime fans on the lookout for hidden gems should check out. Even if your not so inclined, Kotoura-san
is likely worthy of your time. Give it a shot, I do not think you will be disappointed with what you see.Photo Gallery: (3 images)
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