Kodocha User Reviews

Kodocha is an anime series in the Kodocha franchise
Write a Review 2 user reviews Average score of 8.7 / 10 for Kodocha
A touching, fun and manic mid-1990s romantic dramedy. Reviewed by Dream on April 14, 2011. Dream has written 157 reviews. His/her last review was for Parasyte -the maxim-. 317 out of 332 users recommend his reviews. 1 out of 1 user found this review helpful.
I had first heard of Kodocha over five years ago while I was still a college student and it was a series I wanted to see for quite some time. Before I comment on my thoughts of the series, I have to admit that it was quite the challenge for me to find a means of even watching the show in its entirety the past several years. While a college student frequently torrenting fansubs, the series was too large to fit on my computer as I only had a 25 GB hard drive with the series hogging about 20-30 GB for all torrents of the series I could find online at the time. After graduating, a dial-up connection was my only means of Internet I could get out in my rural hometown. When I got wireless Internet months later, I learned torrenting was a no-go from my ISP which shot down my option to torrent anime and I had to go to enough lengths to find streaming and direct downloading sites to use as alternatives to watch anime since I could no longer torrent. Further complicating things in my hunt for Kodocha was that most sites I came across only had the more commonly known, latest and popular anime titles; Funimation was tightening up on its hunt to kill online distribution of their licensed titles; and Funi chose not to release the second half of Kodocha on DVD due to low sales. So whatever legal and illegal options I had on me would not allow me to easily see Miho Obana's shoujo hit series...

...until now.

Thanks to a site I came across that had the entire series fansubbed that I could DDL and Netflix (which helped me get through trough some messed up fansubbed episodes via rental), I was able to finally get through the series I had long wanted to see for so long. While I did read the manga adaptation of the series long before I could see the anime, I have to admit that the anime take on the series was quite different from the more grounded manga adaptation made by Obana-sensei.

The anime made quite a number of add-ons to the material from the manga. Other than Sana being way more hyperactive than she was in the manga, the girl and other prominent characters are able to pull off antics you could find in a Looney Tunes cartoon. The show quite often breaks the fourth wall with cameo appearances from any J-pop bands responsible for the show's music, Miho Obana with her occasional appearances and the anime-only narrator Babbit poking fun of events taking place in the series as the show's narrator and often interacting with the show's cast. In other words, the comedy for Kodocha is way more unpredictable and nutty than you would find in the manga.

But is this a bad thing? I'd say not really as this does allow the show to stand out more from the formulaic romp of shoujo romantic melodramas that were popular in the mid-1990s like Hana Yori Dango. While Kodocha does have its moments of melodrama, the comedy helps alleviate things to keep the series from being too depressing or overly dramatic. The series does do well at fleshing out all its prominent characters and delving into some touchy subject matter for younger viewers to know about like child abuse, abandonment, divorce and teen pregnancy. Besides the more manic comedy, the anime also created some additional storylines that were effectively blended into the material taken from the manga, as well as altering elements to the plot taken from later volumes of the manga. In particular, the anime allows Sana to meet her birth father and there is an entire America arc to the series that allowed more light to be shed on Naozumi's past that was never explored in the manga.

Perhaps the major highlight of the series for me though had to be the chemistry of Sana and Hayama. Both these two are completely different in character from one another with Sana being lively, optimistic to help others, energetic and dense while Hayama is reserved, aloof, blunt, observant and smart. While the two like to get on each others nerves at points, they are quite independent for their young ages and support one another during any issues they face. Hayama is quick to fall for Sana once his character softens from her influence and the complications in their relationship that come about do create both touching and comical moments with the two.

I didn't find my watch of the series to be all perfect though. The series does at points toss around filler and recap episodes in between major plot arcs of the series which while funny and often quite bizarre (Hayama moth chase, a game show episode, music prohibition, etc...), they don't really offer anything new to develop the characters or advance the plot. Even after going through the entire show, I still found Hayama's seiyuu to be a bit too reserved with the character as the voice didn't seem to emote all that well. In addition, the series ends without providing a proper resolution to Sana and Akito's relationship thanks in part to the situation getting too dragged out thanks to filler episodes and a final story arc in the later episodes.

Despite my nitpicks, Kodocha was a long due and worthwhile anime for me to check out special thanks to the effective mix of comedy and drama and chemistry between Sana and Hayama. The additional content added for the anime allowed more exploration of the characters and a manic presentation of the everyday life faced by Sana and her loved ones, along side the fourth wall-breaking Babbit. I'm finally glad to have watched the anime adaptation of this series.
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