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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Kobato Rating and Review

Series: Kobato.
Animation Studio: Madhouse
Original Run: 24 Episodes
English Licensor: N/A
Adaptation of: CLAMP's manga "Kobato."

Summary: Meet Kobato Hanato, a very chipper and sweet girl who is out on a mission to collect the scarred hearts of people. The story begins as we are introduced to a mysterious girl who just seems to fall right out of the sky and is determined to have a wish fulfilled. In order to have this wish granted, she must heal and collect the pained hearts of people she encounters, until she fills her magic glass bottle. This girl is Kobato. Now this might not seem to be a very hard task but, she isn't exactly "street-smart" as she has an innocent and naive character. Luckily she isn't on this mission alone.
Accomponing her is a powerful spirit, who is in the form of a cute little plush dog. His name is Ioryogi, and despite his cute form, he actually has quite a nasty temper and is constantly breathing fire at Kobato whenever she does or says something "air-headed". But in defense of the homicidal plush, he has a good reason for his "abuse" and his ridiculous form. Ioryogi is serving under punishment for some trouble he and his friends had caused and in order to lift this punishment, he must ensure that Kobato completes her mission of filling the bottle and gets her wish. So with that in mind, he keeps Kobato focused and guides her. Unfortuneatly for him, Kobato is a little too "fluffy" thus making her very simple minded, making his job all the more difficult.

After a rough start in Japan, Kobato manages to find a place to work and board thanks to the kindness of strangers. Kobato begins to work at a local kindergarden hoping to help heal the prinicpal's heart-ache, along with healing the hearts of those around town. Sadly, the principal's (aka Sayaka's) problems aren't as simple as prior people, leaving Kobato troubled and having the need to do everything she can to help. The school is facing major debts and is constantly being harassed by shady debt collectors, which isn't helping Sayaka's condition at all. However, Koabto isn't supporting Sayaka alone. Kiyokazu Fujimoto, is her co-worker but he isn't exactly the warmest person on earth. Fujimoto is a college student trying to get a degree in law and become a lawyer to help Sayaka, but due to the debts he's been taking on several part-time jobs and holding off on his college education. Despite his deep concern for Sayaka, he is rather cold and blunt to Kobato in the beginning. The two constantly butt heads with each other and that doesn't help when they live next door to each other. Yet, as the series progesses, he slowly warms up to her and starts to become protective of her.

But Kobato is faced with trouble when she also realizes that Fujimoto is also holding some pain in his heart. Why is this a problem, you ask? Answer is, Kobato has certain rules she must abide by when she is collecting and healing hearts. She must fill her bottle ASAP but in doing so, she absolutely cannot fall in love with anyone whose heart she heals, and the problem of it all is she begins to fall for Fujimoto.

 A.I.'s Rating: 9.8/10

A.I.'s Review: Alright, for the boys, I apologize as this series probably won't be of any interest to you but fear not, my other post for this week will be a "guy" series. "Kobato." is obvioulsy a series that is geared more towards the female population with the romance, and the pretty art. But the series does have comedic parts and I found the series to be absolutely adorable. "Kobato." is a series that is from the brilliant minds of CLAMP which also helped in advertising this anime. CLAMP is known for thier titles like, "Cardcaptor Sakura" aka "Cardcaptors", "Chobits", "Wish", "Tsubasa", "xXxHoLic", etc. And fans of CLAMP will be pleasantly surprised when several characters from thier other series make cameo appearances in "Kobato.". (This was one small detail I enjoyed.)

"Kobato."'s story itself isn't like most "shojo" (aka young girl series) animes as it isn't completely about romance and drama. I say that because I feel as if the story acts as a reminder to the little happinesses in life and as a result, leaves a warm and fuzzy feeling inside of one's heart. I felt, at times, the show was telling me, "We're only human, and it is better to have someone to help us through our pain rather than to go at it alone."

I gave this series a pretty high score based off of story, and art. I cut some points off because of those few "filler episodes" and the pace is a bit "slow" for some people, but other than that, the series is beautiful. The screenshots really don't do the show its justice as the animation is amazing. Below is a clip of a scene from the first episode where Kobato sings to a baby in a park and several passer by-ers, including Fujimoto, overhear. (NOTE: There is a reference to an angel named "Kohaku" in this clip)

I could probably rave about this series to no end but I will stop myself~! Check it out if you have the time! See you next time~

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