Posted by psgels on 2 February 2010 with categories: Kobato



PL notified me of something interesting yesterday, which I had not realized yet: Kobato has grown more on me than I had realized. I was surprised when I first read that, but after watching this episode I’m sure of it: I’ve given this show way too little credit thus far. Kobato shows that you can achieve depth with simplicity, and you don’t need world-changing or epicness to deliver great characters. Thank GOD we finally have another show to remind ourselves of this.

I guess it was impatience that lead me to condemn this series early on, and opt not to blog it. After all, this series had nothing to set itself apart in the beginning. I really thought that it would end up as another one of those series with just shallow characters, where 24 episodes would just pass without anything happened. At this point, I’m not sure what was up with me: here we have a show that for once is scheduled for 24 episodes right from the start. It’s produced by Clamp, who after Tsubasa Chronicles know better than any other manga creators how to keep track of their series’ adaptations, so this series is planned in perfectly inside its time-frame, as opposed to those tons of other series that are just way too short.

My guess that it’s my pessimism that turned me off at the start. Around three years ago I probably would have jumped on this series, but ever since I’ve been disappointed a bit too often by series that started of slow and simple… and never really went anywhere in the end. I think the most recent example at the time of Kobato’s debut was Saki: I basically gave it a bit of a chance because I was hoping for that same development, but the show just turned into a huge disappointment for me. And then there are all those romantic comedies out there that thrive on showing cute girls. And really, I’ve tried to give them a chance for the past few years, but I hardly ever found one I really liked. Kobato reminds me of El Cazador de la Bruja. I’ve seen it constantly criticised for its simple story and bad action. But who cares?! The characters were damn awesome! Seriously though, especially in its second half when the characters came together it turned into a very memorable series for me.

In any case, this episode of Kobato really showed me its character-development. Would it have worked to anyone who hasn’t seen the rest of the series? Probably not. It’s all about showing not exactly how Kobato has matured, but instead how her desire to protect the kindergarten has grown and how she does everything in her power to help out. Would she have done the same at the start of the series? I doubt that. And yet her development feels natural and it doesn’t look like she just changed character. Same with just about5 everyone else: they all have gotten a passion to protect that kindergarten.

My big dilemma right now is how to recognize series like Kobato from random shows that never get anywhere. At the time of this series’ debut, I was beginning to think that I’ve gotten pretty good at evaluating the potential of a series based on its first episode, and this was a good wake-up call. There are of course those series that are obviously going to be awesome (Aoi Bungaku) or erm… not to my tastes (Ladies Versus Butlers), but what about Kiddy Girl-And? Looking back I’m glad to have dropped it, hearing the stories about it, but what if it did turn out good? Was I also wrong in dropping Railgun?
Rating: ** (Excellent)

12 Responses

  1. Topspin says:

    Railgun? Nah. It feels like they had 13 episodes of slightly-above-average content but decided to stretch it out to 24. There are moments of neat action and comedy, but I don’t remember feeling as bored while watching Index.

    Still, compared to the likes of LadyBut of course Railgun comes out on top. Just don’t worry that you are missing anything special, because you aren’t.

  2. Sinisgood says:

    I have to agree with Topspin. You really aren’t missing anything with Railgun. It’s fun, but by no means deep.

    But thats why I’m willing to watch anything. There just might be a gem in there.

  3. Firechick says:

    Your taste in anime is always so complex yet so intriguing. There are many anime that I’d love to try out but I don’t have time for them as of now. Heck, I got into shows like Nabari no Ou, 07-Ghost, Now And Then Here And There and Haibane Renmei quite late, the latter two being from your good reviews from it. And I am SO GLAD I SAW THOSE SERIES. They’ve shown me so many things. Plus, there’s one anime that’s always won my heart: Shounen Onmyouji! Yeah, I know you dropped it because it started off cliche at first (wanting to be the best, yada yada yada), but when the second half of the series comes, it isn’t about the main character wanting to be the best anymore. Plus there’s so many plot twists that just grabbed the heck outta me! Heck, check out the review it got on ANN here.

    http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/review/shonen-onmyouji/dvd-complete-collection

    I’m not forcing you to watch it. It’s just a suggestion/recommendation is all. Nothing big, really. Sometimes we tend to just blow off an anime series without watching it and seeing what it really is. Heck, I was hesitant in watching Amuri in Star Ocean at first because I heard people say that there was fan-serivce in it, but curiosity got the best of me and I saw it…and then, it suddenly won my heart! I recognize the themes of Amuri and the messages it’s trying to give out. Plus, psgels, when you made your first post on Mahou Shoujotai, you said you found it by accident but even that didn’t stop you from getting hooked! Some anime are pure gems that we don’t seem to notice until later, and some are just horrid ones that people seem to rave about for the wrong reasons.

    And yeah, you were right to miss out on Railgun. Too much dumb stuff in it. And Ladies Vs Butlers. Avoid that at all costs.

  4. Tess says:

    I’ve been enjoying kiddy girl and minus the filler episodes. I like it more than kiddy grade at least.

  5. Azule says:

    I’ve been following Railgun, and it honestly isn’t worth the whole series for what’s been three decent action episodes.

  6. gunslinger says:

    Dont worry railgun has absolutely no point other than to show some cheap fan service and it hardly delivers on the action as well.They make such a whole big deal of this “level” thing kinda reminds me of dbz

  7. Stormflux says:

    Railgun is a good anime. Unfortunately there is nothing that goes on worth blogging. Also, I doubt it would suit your tastes.

    Therefore, is it worth watching? Yes
    Is it worth blogging/analyzing? Hell No.

    Ladies Vs Butlers is slightly entertaining at best, no need to blog ecchi series anyways. Nobody expects any progress of any kind from that show.

  8. kyon says:

    i think the anime of railgun in the first half was very interesting with good plot and action but in the ultimate episodes railgun only haved fillers but these fillers aren’t shit they are enjoyable but when you compare them with the history of the manga , they are lees interesting , the manga of railgun is very good and intriguing but the anime only follow the manga in the first episodes and i don’t know why they produced fillers in the last episodes in conclusion the fillers of rail are enjoyable they are for the character development of side characters , but the history in the manga is better

  9. kyuzo says:

    at first i thought the whole series is gonna be kobato going from one place to another, meddling with other people’s lives to help them so she could fill her jar. i thought after a couple of days at the nursery, she’d be able to help them out and move on. I’M SO GLAD THAT DIDN’T HAPPEN! im not sure, but i think it was that episode where she wanted to save the tree so bad that pulled me back into the series.

  10. Shippoyasha says:

    I actually like Railgun, Ladies vs Butlers and Kiddy Girl-and for just being light, fun entertainment.

    There’s actually some touching moments here and there with Railgun and Kiddy Girl-and feels like the lighthearted, almost totally aimless sci-fi anime of the 80’s.

    It’s just light entertainment. I love deep anime as much as anyone, but for these shows, it’s like eating popcorn. Useless, but it’s fun to experience. lol

  11. raywiper says:

    Railgun – no (although i kinda enjoy it), Toradora – could be.

  12. inkka says:

    I hate fanservice and don’t like yuri so much. so..I didn’t watch something like Ladies Versus Butlers Kiddy Girl-And or railgun at all.
    Instead I watch something like Fullmetal alchemist,Durarara!,Cross game and Sora no oto.It has nice character design and the story is more better and more creative.

    About kobato,when I see you return to blogging this.I’m surprised(It’s very rare for you right?)
    But in the same time..I very glad because I think This is the series that in the one of your style.(My style too haha+).Charming. make you smile or cry. real life emotion and good character development. but has interesting setting that make you want to watch more!

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  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 22. 2014 06:02 AM)
    Although given that the the Japanese film industry is steadily improving, this still would’ve worked much better as a big Hollywood flick, mainly because it’s just an over-the-top story with big action sequences, but also because pretty much all the cast (with the exception of Mikasa) have western features.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 22. 2014 05:55 AM)
    Well it looks like the Japanese have taken it upon themselves to make a live-action Attack on Titan movie, which sounds like a pretty bad idea:
    http://www.otakuusamagazine.com/LatestNews/News1/Liveaction-Attack-on-Titan-Visuals-Revealed-6057.aspx
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Nov 22. 2014 02:51 AM)
    I mean I’ve watched some awful stuff like hidan no Aria to take the piss out of it and infinite stratos might as well get to continuing Ass-ange/crass-ange.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 22. 2014 02:34 AM)
    *Ange
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 22. 2014 02:34 AM)
    @Emma: and that’s why you should watch Cross Ante.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 22. 2014 02:33 AM)
    @Emma: you know what? I’ve been trying to find a good version of X for a few years now, but nobody seems to be seeding the torrent anymore =/
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Nov 22. 2014 02:33 AM)
    Sometimes I’m pretty glad I have the ability to get guilty pleasure/so bad its good/funny enjoyment out of genuinely awful things and sometimes end up enjoying them more than actually good series.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Nov 22. 2014 02:18 AM)
    One other good example of an old ova I loved was the X/1999 movie, I didn’t overly care for the manga or second anime adaptation nearly as much by comparison. Yes the voice acting is terrible, the character development was cut out but the fact is I never really cared all that much for Xs characters/drama to begin with and the voice acting makes the final scene laugh out loud hilarious. Beyond that I just enjoyed sitting back and watching the gore play out.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 22. 2014 01:12 AM)
    I also miss the days where incest was reserved for the villains in anime.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Nov 22. 2014 01:09 AM)
    @Bam: I remember giving John dies at the end three out of five and deciding that it was never a poor film but never an excellent one.

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