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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  • Emma
    (Saturday, Apr 25. 2015 03:28 AM)
    @Bam: In any case Richard Kelly shows himself to be both a left wing and very clever filmaker =)
    I loved it =)
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Apr 25. 2015 02:58 AM)
    @Bam:It was creative and twisty and had a bit of everything and I liked that about its plot. But I haven’t decided whether its better than Donnie darko or not. Interesting to see Sarah Michelle Gellar in role that isn’t buffy.
    Haven’t seen Box yet, but should do so.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Apr 25. 2015 02:57 AM)
    @Bam: I just completed watching southland tales in full. Another used on here had mentioned this to me ages ago, but you talking about it got me off the fence to finally get round to it. Though I felt it perhaps excessively long, a bit padded in places, this was a very underrated film with a biting satire, great ideas and a good, very funny at times dark sense of humour.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Apr 25. 2015 02:52 AM)
    @Bam: I think the only thing arslan’s manga had going for it was some alright fight scenes here and there.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Apr 25. 2015 12:13 AM)
    Ep03 of Arslan was weak. The only reason I’m still excited for the next episode is Narsus. Hopefully Arakawa’s portrayal is as cynically delightful as Tanaka’s.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Apr 25. 2015 12:10 AM)
    @Emma: yeah I liked that. Uses the same digital rotoscoping that was used in A Scanner Darkly. I enjoyed reading ASD more than the movie. Philip K. Dick has a literary style that really doesn’t lend itself to the screen. Interestingly enough Southlake Tales is also heavily inspired by Dick’s novels.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Apr 24. 2015 11:35 PM)
    @Bam: I’ve only partially seen it but seems like theres noticeable dark humour there.
    I saw a trippy movie about lucid dreams lately called waking life.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Apr 24. 2015 07:31 PM)
    Love it or hate it, everyone agreed that it’s certainly an interesting watch and a tantalizing and magnetic film that even if you despise it you would still badly want to watch it to the end. Dwayne Johnson, Justin Timberlake, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Sean William Scott are just the tip of the iceberg in this weird list of celebrities who all play a strange and out-of-character role in Southlake Tales. The movie was ambitious if nothing else.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Apr 24. 2015 07:23 PM)
    I just recently watched Southland Tales for the first time: I gotta say I enjoyed it. This was Richard Kelly’s next big project after Donnie Darko. Not considering The Box this is pretty much the only thing he’s done since and it’s extremely polarizing with the audience; although most people hated it. It’s a satirical dystopian apocalypse story and might be one of the weirder films that strangely never became a cult classic.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Apr 24. 2015 07:18 PM)
    @Emma: Vinland is one of those that stresses me every time I hear its name since I badly need to catch up with it. I also watch Vikings, pretty solid show. It premiered on the History Channel of all channels, mostly known now for the entertaining but laughable Ancient Aliens. I think I might’ve seen Angel a while ago, and Holy Motors just sounds so strange; so I might give it a go actually.

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