Review: Kotoura-San
Kotoura-San Review Image


Other Names:
Comedy, Psychological, Romance
Anime (TV)

Kotoura-san is a high school girl who has transferred schools multiple times. It seems that no matter what school she goes to, people ignore her or bully her. The reason for this is that they all quickly realise that she is able to read their minds, often replying to things they have thought without her realizing that they hadn't been said. Needless to say, this has scared off many of her classmates, and those who do get close to her often find their lives are ruined by her divulging their secret thoughts, a fact that Kotoura has come to understand and now actively seeks to stay away from her peers. That is of course, until she transferred into her latest school where she is confronted by a rather perverted boy who does not seem to care that she can read his mind, and for some reason seems obsessed with following her.
Plagued by the troubles of her past and not wanting to make any close relationships, Kotoura is troubled by this boys want of attention.
Before long, Kotoura is found by the president of the schools ESP research club whose goal in life is to bring to light the true existence of Psychic abilities, forcing her to join the club followed by her perverted admirer.

In my many years of anime watching, I have rarely come across anime which can portray a mixture of romance, comedy and psychological torment in an effective and unforced manor. In fact, I would say that if you were to try to design an anime with such themes from the start, the chances of achieving it are so low that I might call you brave just for having the determination to carry it through.
Kotoura-san breaks this trend is a most spectacular way, the balance of all the characters personalities seem to mesh so well that you could hardly imagine them any other way, and the quick change overs from dark and tearful to the perverted comedy do not even feel ridiculous or unrealistic. Truly a masterpiece, Kotoura-san is sure to take the psychological-comedy genre to new heights as one of the best series that Japan has made so far.

Though Kotoura-san has a very loose plot meaning that the focus of the anime can change rather quickly. It does not portray that usual element of manicness that is often associated with anime of this nature. Predominantly the theme of this anime is the dark psychological damage of Kotoura who in her naivety as a child caused many problems even to the break up of her parents and her final abandonment on her grandfather from her mother who told her she wished she had never been born, a recurring event which portrays Kotoura's fear of relationships. This anime also features a strong romantic element between Kotoura and Manabe, as well as the past and problems for some of her fellow ESP members.

Though Kotoura has trouble with relationships, it is actually quite interesting to find that rather than being dark and withdrawn like Yuki Nagato from Haruhi Suzumiya, Kotoura actually maintains her rather child like and bubbly personality beneath her initial façade. A somewhat clumsy and gullible character, Kotoura is still more sensible and grown up than her love interest Manabe, often playing the Tsukkomi to Manabe's Boke. Though she is often blushing and wafting away his thought bubbles as he deliberately torments her by fantasizing dirty thoughts with her as the subject.

Over all, Kotoura is a wonderfully warm feel good comedy which excels in portraying its themes. However, as with all anime, there is always room for improvement. Though the overall flow of the anime is quite good, it is sometimes found that they certain aspects of the story feel rushed when looked back on. Thinking back, the probable reason for this was the use of multiple mini-plots which span a few episodes each due to the constraints on the anime length and I feel that they probably tried to fit a few too many stories into a 12 episode anime. However, the mini-plots are all important to the anime's and characters over all development so it would have been hard to cut back these plots without ruining the over all feel.

Kotoura-san is anime that I would personally recommend to anyone, however I feel that some discretion should be advised due to the rather perverted nature of Manabe's thoughts and the odd sexual innuendo. If you intend to show this anime to children, you should watch through this series to make sure it is suitable for the viewer.

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