Don't let the cutesy image mislead you, this time Kotoura-San the series with the bipolar disorder takes the spotlight
Disclaimer: This is part of a series of reviews of Anime which I think people should be more aware of. For that purpose I'm using the tag Ani-NOW, meaning Anime No One Watched, I'm tweaking the review format a little to adjust to the objective of the review series: Try to make people interested in watching the show without spoiling too much.
Summary: The story follows Haruka Kotoura, a fifteen-year old telepath who can't turn her ability off. As a child, she naively blurts out sensitive information and personal thought. This causes her to be unjustly labeled a compulsive liar; her friends and classmates reject and bully her; and her parents divorce because they cannot understand her special ability or how to deal with its repercussions. After years of persecution and ostracizing, she transfers to a new high school, where she meets Yoshihisa Manabe, a good-hearted boy who is transparent and honest and not scared of her ability
- The characters. Most of the time the show is focusing on only 5 characters. We have titular character Haruka Kotoura, Yoshihisa Manabe the pervy but honest guy, Yuriko Mifune president of the ESP (ExtraSensory Perception) research club that is hiding something more, the intelligent and perceptive ESP Research Club's vice president Daichi Muroto and Hiyori Moritani the bully turned best friend Karate girl. That gives a lot of time for developing every single character and make the chemistry between them to work in favor of the plot which is the highlight of the show. And we even get time to develop and care for 2 side-characters, the tsundere Mom, and the pervert Grandpa
- The first half of the first episode is dark and depressing as hell but then the Opening starts playing and it hits you in the face, and suddenly the series is a very light-hearted comedy, some may say it feels forced but still makes for a very good introduction and it showcases something that will become recurrent thing in the series; the mood swings. The show will make you want to give up on humanity one second, and laugh until your sides are hurting the next. Not many series can do that as well as Kotoura-san
- The series ends on a high note, and I have to admit it's pretty satisfying with a lot of character development and a nice wrap up for most of the problems presented during the series. Also this is probably one of the best First Episode-Last Episode pairs out there.
- The middle part. It seemed like the people directing this Anime didn't knew what to do with half of the series and you will notice this in the middle part. As I mentioned in the worthwhile section, the start of the Anime is good, and the conclusion is very nice and satisfying, but the middle part feels forced and pales in comparison. We still get some character development though, but you don't need that much airtime to do so.
- The premise is pretty interesting, and the first episode was very promising, but the truth is the series doesn't reach its full potential and at times it fells flat on its face, specially in the dramatic parts, which is a shame. Still above average I would say, but not by much.
- OK, I praised the mood swings, but sometimes it may go too far, specially everything that involves club activities. I mean you have this cute romantic comedy featuring the serious relationship of the two characters as they face through various adversities together thing going, but the club antics just try to make characters look funny, making the experience shallow for some.
In short: Honest and genuine series that really likes to go from depressing to hilarious at every chance, but falls short in execution, specially at the middle chapters. Still, the first and last episodes makes it worth it.
Also I think this is one of those weird series that you may enjoy more if you watch it along someone else
- This series is actually based on a 4-panel manga (yonkoma) which are normally pretty funny so no, that SAD, MESSED UP, AND DEPRESSING beginning is original to the Anime
- In Episode 2, we can see our Main Character Kotoura, trying to sneak away from Manabe hiding in a cardboard box, but since she's not Snake she fails.
- Yuriko's mother Chizuru Mifune was named after a Real Life clairvoyant, Chizuko Mifune, they even share the same fate.