With the new season shows shooting up one after another, akin to zombies in a zombie apocalypse, all sorts of varieties have popped up. But for me, so far, Kotoura-san is the first “dark and deep” anime of the season. Surprisingly, this involves no gore and blood, yet comes out as a bitter, yet sweet anime that I will definitely watch to the end.
The premise is a new one. Kotoura, the main girl, is born with ESP (is an esper) and can read people’s minds and this seems all happy and nice but the folks at AIC decided to give this a spin for the depressing and gave a really interesting insight to the whole esper fantasy. By insight, they destroyed it. Completely different from other shows which has espers like Haruhi or Railgun and it’s a refreshing feel. Though depressing all the same. But the mood brightens up as we go along.
Her mind reading powers get mixed with childish innocence along with the fact she’s unable to control her powers and lacking the EQ at her age to know the right time to say certain things. Stuff happens. Everything horrible that can happen to a 6(?) year old girl happened. Parents divorced, no friends and stuff gets worse and worse. Then she managed to meet Manabe who not only makes her life brighter, but manages to single handedly change the mood of the entire episode to that of a light hearted one. But more on that later.
So blame it on bad luck or misfortune, Kotoura still has to live her life, which she chooses to do so by completely ignoring and pushing people away. And it takes a real idiot to be willing to befriend her. Hence Manabe. That guy is an idiot. I mean almost every time Kotoura calls him “Baka~!” (in a really cute way) I can’t help but agree with her. However, that naivety in Manabe is exactly what she needs. So from here on I expect some romance, more characters and a little lighter mood from here on out.
What do I love about this show so far? For a start, the way her powers were explained were creative form the way they “showed” not “told” and well, they tackled the theme of espers so creatively that I had to take a break in the middle of the episode to go out for a while to clear up my mind. Where in this cruel mundane world where people will not accept people having special powers as something special. So a poor girl has to fend for herself, since no one really bothers to have the capacity to accept her. Not even her own parents. If you think about it, the chances of a person with ESP being accepted as a genius compared to that of a freak are about 50-50. I mean if I did met her IRL, I would be scared for a moment before getting excited.
Plus there is Manabe. If the entire first half of a show was to show how dark having special powers would be, Manabe would be to show all the amazing things powers can bring. Albeit some application of mind reading can be a little bit awkward though. But at the bare minimum, that guy’s fantasies allow us to see how adorable the kuudere Kotoura can be. (I love kuuderes by the way)
As you watch the show, the vulnerability of Kotoura also makes her much easier for you to like her. You understand why she doesn’t want to make friends or interact with others. You feel like you died a little bit when her mum shoved her and of course, you get all warm and fuzzy inside when she accepted Manabe. So great play on the feelings too.
The style of the animation is creative as well and I personally loved the part where the entire dark mood was shattered from the presence of Manabe, it really adds to the whole mood changing perfectly. Plus the opening theme is hilariously cute.
So how much will I rate this show on the watcha-bility? I give it a solid 10/10. This show has potential and I want to be there when the potential is released. I mean, the show feels refreshing. While you might want to stick to what you’re used to, I feel this show is worth the god. Plus oh mah gaaaawd…. Kotoura has to be the most adorable girl of the season! I mean you don’t get that good kuuderes as her! I say big potential for this show and may the people rage if this show fails the first episode. Oh and thanks to Rylgun for the screen shots. My computer died on me twice in a role so it was a real pain.