First Impressions – Kotoura-san

Cuteness overload I think…

Psychic powers set in a high school romance comedy series? That certainly sounds like a very strange combination to me; however, I am really curious to see how everything gets balanced, usually I end up just watching these types of series rather than blogging them because I enjoy the comedy portions more than anything. So, for Kotoura-san I decided to challenge myself and try something new this season with a new solo style podcast reviews~

Epic voice talent

Kotoura-sanz (1)

Haruka-”I am going to love you forever de geso!”

Ever since Hisako Kanemoto got her start back in Sora no Woto as Kanata Sorami I had no idea that she would become one of my favorite voice actors. While I always favor her as the iconic Ika Musume! I know she has done several roles over the recent seasons that have tested her range like the bossy Asteria, bratty Grunhilde, yandere Curly and fanservice ninja Yuki! Those are some of her more interesting roles of the past; however in terms of the dramatic and emotional roles I enjoyed listening to Yui from Kokoro Connect during the emotional scenes even though she is a complete copy of Mahiru Inami from Working especially with the androphobia, but I rank her role as the hyper yet super shy Yayoi in Smile Precure as one of her best to date. During certain episodes of Smile Precure Yayoi has to go through several emotional scenes and yes believe it or not the Precure series as a whole contains some really fantastic drama even though in the end everything is resolved thanks to friendship.

So, what about her role in Kotoura-san? Personally I love listening to Hisako Kanemoto in the more serious roles as of late and just from one episode I can say she is going to do a fantastic job as Haruka! At least I certainly hope so, but I can’t completely forget that the ever popular Kana Hanazawa is also in this series somewhere. I just hope this series can maintain that balance of comedy, drama and romance and who knows maybe this will be a big hit? I certainly can’t get enough of it.

Fun with Kotoura-san

Kotoura FUN (2)

Prepare yourself to be royally owned!

Kotoura FUN (3)

Manabe for sexiest face in winter 2013…

Kotoura FUN (1)

Haruka no ecchi~

Kotoura FUN (4)

Why do you tempt us so!?

Kotoura FUN (5)

I WILL DO IT!

Kind of a short post because I think I talked about all the important parts of this first episode and after one episode I just can’t wait to see more hilarious interactions between Haruka and Manabe because damn those were some great scenes! Yeah for the most part he was acting really perverted to get the attention of Haruka; however, it was a great change of pace from the sad and emotional stuff that flooded the first half of the episode. Also one last thing to mention! THE MUSIC oh my god the music is just fantastic especially that dramatic scene with Haruka having a breakdown with the missing kitten she was taking care of? Yes it was heartbreaking watching her struggle with her feelings, but I am pleased that the OST is great even if the animation is not that amazing I still enjoyed it a lot. So what did you like about this episode that I might have missed? Also I am open to any suggestion as to my voice recording as in do you want me to include a guests or do you want more than just ten minutes? Thanks for reading!

Preview

Kotoura-sanz (3)

Haruka-”Fufufufuf this is the easiest job of all time.”

Haruka meets more oddball students~

About

Is huge anime fan from Florida! who loves to watch anime and also enjoys drawing and collecting pictures, my favorite genre of anime has to be Mecha, there is just something awesome about giant robots beating the crap out of each other! Other than that type of show, I love a good comedy or action series :D
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67 Responses to “First Impressions – Kotoura-san”

  1. skylion says:

    Kudo’s Fosh, good review.

    Lots of folks balked at the first ten minutes of this show. That cold open was rather bold. To be sure, it was made of some pretty heavy melodrama; every single character and event were just so to leverage maximum break the cutie effect. But no matter how heavy the beat, the scenes were well paced one to the next, and had great pay off.

    I mean, it’s not every day you come across a weird imagination like Manabe’s. That glass shattering effect was priceless.

    I have some high hopes for this show. I came in with little to expect, other than one more premiere episode to count off the list of things to watch this season.

    Wow, they hit us hard right out of the gate. This is stuff they save for episode seven or eight of a one cour show. We’ve seen some shows, recently, were the big event is the first event; Tonari with it’s confessions scenes comes to mind. But whereas that show fizzed a bit more than it should have, I think Kotoura-san has some push to go all the way to the end.

    Cheers, mate.

    • Foshizzel says:

      Kukuku thank you Skylion! I was trying to figure out a new way to blog this season xD

      Oh man the first 10 mins where something special even though it was really sad and depressing I enjoyed it and you are right the payoff was worth it <3

      Yeah that glass shatter effect was quite cool~

      I hope it can maintain that level of drama moments and happy elements! We just have to see how everything gets balanced~

      I agree the dramatic moments like that usually get saved for the the middle of a 26 epi series or around 6 or so when things are starting to get dull and boring, but high five to Kotoura-san’s director for trying something NEW.

      Thanks again!

  2. KLACMAN says:

    i’m just stun in all ways like pull biggest curve ball ever on it really no one saw this coming in any form til we just seen it oh my why this happen?!

    my words it went to combine of Break the Cutie & The Woobie in ways we did not see this coming.

    really hope this series get well in weeks to come.

    • Foshizzel says:

      Hahaha yeah I was shocked to see how the first episode went down, but it was surprising to see how things went down~

      Yep I need more~

      • BlackBriar says:

        Yeah, it’s something you’d expect to see about halfway through from an angsty, depressed teenage character with no faith in humanity while here, Haruka still shows signs of hope for acceptance despite sometimes having that dark, soulless look in her eyes.

        • Foshizzel says:

          The scene with Haruka and the missing cat in the rain felt like a shounen thing! I was waiting for Haruka’s power to explode and destroy the area, but of course this is not Shin Sekai Yori…that and I could see more of that happening maybe around episode six after something like her mom appearing again? I know when Haruka thought about her mother her eyes went back to dead mode.

  3. Highway says:

    I don’t know how you could not watch that open. Such a bold move, pulling a Break the Cutie from the very beginning. We’re almost never given a situation like that, usually it’s either done throughout the series, or we start with the broken cutie. The art shift was something you barely noticed from the happy bright colors of Haruka being born through the darker tones of school and then home, all the way through her last transfer into the new school. And then to see it smash like that was just tremendous.

    It’ll be hard for this show to top that opening, and from here they just wouldn’t appear to have the same amount of emotional depth available. But they’ve set the stage well with showing the ranges of despair that Haruka’s gone through.

    (And it has to be said that Haruka is not a blameless victim here. The hardest thing to swallow in this show is that a girl like that wouldn’t learn quickly to keep her mouth shut. But perhaps it doesn’t take much, or she’s just not good at keeping secrets, since she doesn’t see anyone else having a secret.)

    • Foshizzel says:

      Bold indeed! Like Skylion said you don’t usually see drama this hard hitting and emotional till the middle of any 12 or 26 episode series so high five to them for trying something new at least it was “new” for me.

      Yeah while the first episode was cool it will be very hard for them to top that later on, but they have me wanting more just to see how Haruka deals with getting friends.

      Now that you mention that I can see that as well, but at the same time I don’t think she had any close friends or knew how to restrain herself? Course with her having those esp powers maybe she figured it was normal? Either way it wasn’t bad~

  4. Cholisose says:

    I’m not that surprised by some of the backlash for the first half of the episode, since that happens with every story that aims to create particularly sad drama (e.g. Ano Hana, ef: Tale of Memories, anything by Key, etc, will always have some people that find the depressing events “hilarious” and give “how can anyone with two brain cells to rub together take this seriously” comments). It just won’t work for some people, and for others it will work great (like all genres, I suppose).

    In the case of Kotoura-san though, I find it intriguing that it lays all the depressing stuff right at the beginning, rather than slowly building up to the reveal. (It achieves different things, really.) Based on the second half of this first episode, I imagine the focus of the series will be on a more lighthearted atmosphere, and on stories where Kotoura gradually builds friendships despite the problems her ability may cause. I’ll be curious to see if the premise will hold up in the next couple episodes.

    • Highway says:

      It does give an interesting perspective to the rebuilding of Haruka’s psyche that we’ve seen her as low as you’d think she can possibly go (although I’m sure that the possibility of losing a better friend like Manabe-kun will come up, threatening to sink her into greater despair than before).

    • Foshizzel says:

      I can see where people would have issues with this first episode pulling a AnoHana on us or any key anime that is heavy on the drama…

      It was strange to see this kind of drama with just only one episode so far, but I am curious just like you to see how it holds up for the rest of the series xD

  5. Highway says:

    Fosh, I also wanted to second what you said about the background music. Usually I don’t notice the background music unless it’s really wrong, or really right. And that scene with Haruka broken in the rain, mind blown, wailing to an uncaring world, the music was tremendous, and far more impactful than hearing her actual despair (crying usually sounds too fake in anime to me).

    • skylion says:

      +1 to this comment

      • Foshizzel says:

        +2 to this comment

        • BlackBriar says:

          Anyone else want to dogpile on this? +3 to this comment.

          • Foshizzel says:

            +4 (I can do this all night guhuhuhu)

          • Highway says:

            And skylion has +’d his way to over 1000 comments! Congrats!

            • BlackBriar says:

              Oh c’mon, Highway!! You forgot to give a cigar. You always give cigars to the new members of the 1000 comment Club. Shame on you. LOL.

            • Foshizzel says:

              Whoa Skylion getting up there!

            • skylion says:

              I did what I did…there ain’t no stoppin’

            • BlackBriar says:

              @Skylion: Congratulations on your new milestone. Tofu better watch his back with you and Highway and his tail. But for now, reclaim your former glory. Go! go! go!

            • skylion says:

              @BlackBriar. I am in good company. I don’t need to pass Highway. I mean, it’s not like I wanted him to pass me any way ::tsun tsun::

            • BlackBriar says:

              @Skylion: A tsundere Motherfoshing Gandalf. Niiice.

            • skylion says:

              I have to admit, I am more deredere than tsun. But, I will be tsun. Tsun will happen.

              To salute the dere, I give you, if Gravatar catches up, my new favorite girl. Love for Tamako, y’all.

            • Foshizzel says:

              @Skylion it really is teh best moe avatar

            • Highway says:

              I don’t smoke, so I never think of cigars, sorry. No diminishment of any accomplishment intended.

            • skylion says:

              I really wanted that cigar….::sad face::

    • Foshizzel says:

      I want to make a longer version of this track! I was like whoa…that BGM was epic, but at the same time it set the up the heartbreak moment very well.

      LOL Crying in anime results in turning down the volume really fast especially if it is an intense crying scene…like that final episode of AnoHana? Yeah I don’t need to hear MEEENNNMAAA that loudly xD

      • skylion says:

        Music is meant to hold us, direct us, and cherish our feelings. It comes from nowhere, but pervades everywhere.

        Good selection, this. At one point I thought it overmuch, but am now reconsidering that notion. At first, I thought no music whatsoever would have had more punch; giving us nothing at all to cling to, thus feeling more in line with the character. But that would have been to harsh, wouldn’t it?

        • Foshizzel says:

          Interesting idea with using no music in that scene! It would have been kind of crazy but I could see it working quite well or would it become more disturbing? LOL

        • Highway says:

          I don’t think it would have been as good if it was silent. I thought the music did a great job of replacing (what I imagine was) her wailing, railing against the horridness of the universe.

          The other place where the music really worked, it actually was quiet: The buildup with Kumiko, fancy hat and all, saying she was leaving, and Haruka begging her not to go, promising to never make her mad again, and the music swelling only to *STOP* abruptly and completely with that shove.

          • Foshizzel says:

            True Highway without the music it wouldn’t work for me…I took screencaps and had the audio muted and I felt nothing! With the music = goosebumps and feels activated! xD

            I NEED THIS OST NAOWWWWW

            • Highway says:

              Man, listening to that rip you made of that part, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to listen to that without tearing up.

            • Foshizzel says:

              D’awww yeah I need to learn the in and outs of Audacity so I can make long tracks xD

  6. JoeAnimated says:

    This show kinda surprised me at the start. The depressing opening was a sharp contrast to the shows conclusion. While I initially blew the show off, I’m now actually interested in seeing where it goes. The fact that she’s the only unique one will make this very interesting. And if the OST continues to be good (as other commentors have noticed) this show just may be one of the better ones this season.

    • Foshizzel says:

      Same I was expecting more of a comedy versus something dramatic like that opening and with it being the first episode? It was a very interesting move.

      OST so far is amazing! Course we have to see more episodes and yeah I hope everyone gives Kotoura-san a test run, but I can understand that the first few minutes are tough to get through.

  7. BlackBriar says:

    A good review and a surprise anime for Winter 2013. This makes another entry on the watch list. Thanks, Fosh.

    Whoa, man, the first half of the episode was rough and depressing. Haruka got the exact same treatment Naruto and Gaara did for something they weren’t aware of and it was too sad to watch either of them suffer like that. It’s because of being victimized like that is why they would lash out at people later on.

    Luckily, the second half was almost a huge contrast to first giving Haruka some much needed hope despite her nearly all consuming despair of making a friend who truly understands her even if he’s as ditzy and perverse as they come. And good thing Manabe doesn’t look like the peer pressure, backstabbing type. What would have put Haruka in even more grave despair was the hope that she’d find an exception person but he’d turn out to be a fraud.

    • Foshizzel says:

      Ahahah thanks! Yeah I was quite pleased with trying something different, but of course since it has both Hanazawa Kana and Hisako Kanemoto! I have high hopes for Kotoura-san to leave an impression on us in 2013.

      OOoooh you know what? You are right on the money! Haruka was p much pushed to the side just like Naruto after everyone discovered his powers…interesting thought!

      True Manabe is the generic perverted high school dude isn’t he? Just like countless other leads throughout other anime, but who knows maybe he is the right guy to help Haruka open up towards the others? I am curious to see how she adapts to having friends for the first time in her life.

      • Highway says:

        I dunno, Manabe definitely seems a lot more sincere. That’s why he works with Haruka so well, because he’s not saying one thing and thinking another. He’s saying one thing and thinking something perverted.

        Oh, by the way, when will someone do a realistic kiss zoom? Maybe me and my wife do it wrong (always a possibility), but what I’m seeing isn’t her lips as we’re that close, cause she’s not kissing my eyeballs. Although maybe this goes in with the figure-8 shaped masking when someone looks through binoculars…

        • Foshizzel says:

          I really like the pairing of Haruka and Manabe! They work so well together even if he is thinking something perverted 90% of the time I am curious to see these two get closer.

          Hahahah I have no idea xD

        • skylion says:

          True perverts are much more in contact with the feels.

        • BlackBriar says:

          The honest thoughts of a healthy everyday male. He’s simply following the natural order. I salute you, Manabe.

          • skylion says:

            And I think it’s going to work for this show. As the level’s of cordiality, intimacy, and general nature of our relationships get explore, surely the horn dog nature of a teenage boy needs to be in the mix. Learning curves are fun. They have all the curves.

          • skylion says:

            Yes to all of this.

            And…we get more cute girls next episode. Who ain’t the winnah! Dat’s right, we all the winnah!

          • Highway says:

            The setup is actually a lot like Dakara Boku ha, H ga Dekinai was, except instead of the pervy guy saying his thoughts out loud, the girl can read them inside his head.

            And I wonder if the real shock to Haruka in this case isn’t that there’s a boy around her thinking pervy thoughts. It’s that there’s a boy there thinking pervy thoughts with HER in them. She’s always been the outcast, the monster, the shunned, she probably never had a boy thinking about her in bed, or with D-cup breasts, or anything like that. And that’s what the most shocking part to her could be.

            • Foshizzel says:

              Ahhh yeah now that you mention Dakara I can see that! Minus all the topless girls running around, but the idea around Manabe works 100%

              Hahaha yeah the thoughts of her in his pervy dreams are so damn funny and at the same time very shocking for her I can only imagine xD

  8. Liza says:

    I was very surprised by how much I loved this episode. I wasn’t expecting the first half to be so sad and depressing(with it being a romantic comedy and all). It just broke my heart to see Haruka’s life rip apart. The second half, right was so sweet especially when she was trying to push Manabe away and he wouldn’t have it. I think I actually started tearing up a bit(what have I become!? Stupid Clannad…) Very excited for the next episode for more comedy and for Haruka to finally make some friends. ^_^

    • Foshizzel says:

      Yep first half was heartbreak and sadness for Haruka, but thankfully for the second half it was going for laughs! I can’t wait to see how this series balances everything in future episodes.

      I know right? Damn Clannad…

    • Highway says:

      I’ll cry at anything, and this definitely got some tears flowing. I really can’t get that look Haruka had out of my head.

    • BlackBriar says:

      Only a heartless person wouldn’t show any kind sympathy to a scene like the first half. It was a real tear jerker seeing her suffer like that.

  9. Highway says:

    I think I’ve watched this first episode 6 times now, and in what I think is a good omen for me for the rest of the show, my favorite parts are becoming Manabe’s reactions and interactions with Haruka, rather than the pathos displayed in the first half of the show. It was a great way to set it up, but moving on from that will be the real key to the show.

    • Foshizzel says:

      hahah nice man! I can’t wait to see more from this series and I agree the moments with Haruka and Manabe are really the best thing about this episode and I look forward to more hilarious things happening between them <3

  10. Jrow says:

    I liked the first half a lot, really got me into the episode. Great progression of that part also from happy family to mom turning into a drunk that hates her own child’s existence. And then Manabe comes in the second half with a comedic barrage that I really enjoyed. Haruka’s just gonna have to deal with Manabe’s fantasies, cause those aren’t going away. XD

    • Highway says:

      And it could be argued that Manabe’s fantasies, both the ones that include Haruka and the ones that don’t, are the best thing that could happen for her, getting away from the darkness that inhabits other people’s minds, especially when they are near her / interacting with her.

    • Foshizzel says:

      Manabe for best male lead character of winter 2013!

  11. Gecko says:

    I thought the first half was good as an intro to Haruka and what she’s been through. The way they did the colors from super happy bright to dark, muted colors and then all of a sudden back was really good for the mood. I had felt the sadness but hadn’t seen the color change as much, which is pretty rare for me. And her silent screaming with just the OST in the background was well done. They made the right choice in not having her scream for us to hear. That leaves it up to the imagination.
    I do think there will be more drama, but comedy will prevail as Haruka adjusts to Manabe and his dirty thoughts. I’m assuming the mom is coming back as she is in the OP, and Haruka will learn to stand up to people without using her mind-reading or will learn to not always react to what she sees. At least, I hope she learns to shut up sometime. I mean, wow, dense.

    • Foshizzel says:

      Yeah loving the OST so far and I hope we have not seen the last of the drama because for a series I had no real desire to watch turned out to be great! Now we have to wait and see how they balance comedy and drama later on.

      Yeah I assume Haruka’s mom will return which will bring up all the bad memories! I know when she thought about her mom her eyes shifted back to dead mode…

  12. anaaga says:

    I’m one of the few people who think that the first half was actually good. It’s rare to see such a depressing start, and I’d say it was pretty brave of the director to do that. The sudden transition from drama to comedy was really sudden and unexpected, but I like that part too. The animation and artwork is not the best, but I’m liking how they’re playing around with color from the first until the end. I think Kotoura-san and Manabu charmed me already.

    • Foshizzel says:

      Ooooh nope! There are plenty of people out there on twitter and the ani blogs that loved it and personally I liked it because hey they were trying something DIFFERENT! Most of the time we see this kind of thing near the middle or end of any drama anime and for that they get a thumbs up from me.

      Comedy side of things I am curious to see how they do on that, but with such high drama moments it makes you wonder if they can still have that pop up? I can’t wait!

      D’awww I like the pairing too <3

  13. akagami says:

    Hm hm hm, I didn’t even notice the background music. The first time through, I only noticed that the way her posture was when she was screaming, I was half expecting an alien to burst out of her mouth or something. Now that I re-watched that scene, the BG was pretty nice.

    This was a surprise for me, because I was going in expecting not to like this based on the character designs. Not bad, not bad at all. Didn’t know this was AIC.

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