|Cute, Charming and Heartwarming - My 2010's 2009 Best Anime||3 out of 3 users found this review helpful.|
The scene embedded above is of Kobato Hanato singing a song which is utilized as a motif throughout this series. I wanted to share it as an introduction to my review because it demonstrates the high level of quality put into this lighthearted, dreamy series. It is representative of Kobato's refined simplicity and is one of many serene, memorable moments.
Kobato is an elegantly simple CLAMP manga-based anime series following the enigmatic titular young lady whose objective, bestowed upon by heaven itself, is to heal the wounded hearts of others in hopes that one day she will have healed enough hearts to be granted a wish.
Unfortunately, heaven has not blessed her with the awareness and intuition to be able to carry out her mission with ease. She is barely even able to survive her first few days in modern Japan. To help her out, she is accompanied by a spirit in the form of a stuffed animal, Ioryogi, who is there to both guide and assess her. Despite her vivacious and clumsy personality causing Ioryogi to grade her poorly much of the time, her good nature is golden and allows her to heal even the most severely scarred hearts, winning over his favor and support.
Despite her early inability to adjust to her environment, her sincere kindness heals many wounded hearts she encounters on the spot. At the end of this streak, she ultimately finds work at a local kindergarten and is let an apartment by a friend of the generous lady responsible over the kindergarten. Finally being able to settle down, Kobato is able to focus her efforts at healing hearts, collecting the “candy” she receives from doing so and gradually filling a bottle full of them in order to complete her mission and have her wish granted.
Being simple makes this anime easy to follow and appreciate. Even with its simplicity, it is not necessarily predictable – her encounters with those whose hearts are wounded are written consistently well and have a subtle associated tension building up to their satisfying conclusions. While there’s nothing groundbreaking, it is engaging and more than adequate for this anime. I especially appreciated the overall plot resolution – it nearly moved me to tears!
Those familiar with CLAMP-based works might already be too familiarized with this approach to storytelling to appreciate it as much as I did. However, I would still recommend this anime to them – it is that much appealing on its own.
Characters & Voice Acting: [5/5]
Beautiful, amiable and, as a whole, well-developed over the course of the series, this is probably one of my all-time favorite casts! I also cannot stress enough how perfectly Kana Hanazawa was cast as Kobato – she does an outstanding job not only voicing Kobato’s dialogue, but her song – a very important motif to this series.
Animation & Aesthetic: [5/5]
Madhouse does an exceptional job at not only retaining the beautiful character designs of CLAMP, but also putting them in motion. The characters are gracefully animated with stunningly vivid scenes behind them. The aesthetic fit this anime perfectly!
I’d recommend this anime to everyone looking for an appealing anime encompassing elements of drama, fantasy and a little slice-of-life. As I’ve mentioned, it is also my personal 2010’s 2009 Best Anime. While I admit that it certainly isn't anything new to those already familiar with anime based on the wonderful works of CLAMP, this was my first taste of it and one of my most pleasing experiences with an anime series ever.I have never since been so charmed and emotionally engaged by an anime as I was with Kobato.