English: Kodocha: Sana's Stage
Synonyms: Kodocha, Child's Toy
Published: Jul 2, 1994 to Oct 3, 1998
Authors: Obana, Miho (Story & Art)
Serialization: Ribon Magazine
Score: 8.431 (scored by 4493 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top manga page.
Popular Tagscomedy drama romance shoujo
Jan 16, 2008
Story: So the story is about Sana Kurata, a famous child actress, and her relationship with Hayama Akito. At first she hates him because he is a trouble maker and cold, but over the course of the manga their relationship grows into a really deep conection. The story itself is a romantic comedy, with drama mixed in. It moves quickly but nothing feels left out or missing. There are many unexpected twists and turns that make it really exciting. It's really one of the best shoujo stories since it's not in any way a typical shoujo or idol manga. One of the reasons I loved this manga was because it stands out from others of the same genre.
Art: I am a huge fan of Miho Obana's art. Her art style is very "shoujo" so many characters do infact have the same style of eyes. However, she does a great job of expressing the emotions of the characters. I am bothered by the lack of definition in arms and legs (they're just like sticks), but that's not really unusual for the style, also they arent adults so it makes sense. For a manga of its time the art is very good, and of course the art gets better as the manga progresses, well.. a little bit.
Character: The characters are what make the story. Each character has a distinctive trait that makes him/her special. Sana is really hyper and says the weirdest things. Hayama is cold, says what's on his mind, and never ever smiles. Tsuyoshi is sweet and a pacifist, until he snaps and throws desks all over the room. Mama, Sana's mother, has crazy hairstyles and a squirell lives in it. I could keep going. However, aside from their quirky personalities, the character development over the manga series is great. No one is perfect, and this manga shows how a lot of the individuals may not be who everyone thinks they are. Sana is also not your typical heroine. She is not a crybaby who relies on her love interest. Instead she is hyper, dense, and always wants to do the right thing. The fact that the characters aren't extreme shoujo stereotypes made the story interesting.
Enjoyment: Yeah, if you can't tell by now I really enjoyed this series. There are lots of funny moments that made me laugh. But there are also really series moments that really surprised me! It's hard to put into words exactly why I enjoyed it, but I was not bored a single moment in this manga, even though I had seen the anime beforehand.
Overall: If you're a shoujo fan, you have got to read this manga. It's one of the most unique mangas I've read and it really is a great story. I would like to say that non-shoujo lovers would be able to enjoy it as well, because it's not all "lovey-dovey" like most. The romantic drama is secondary and is defenitely not the main focus. I highly encourage everyone to try it out. read more
Jul 11, 2010
The story revolves around Sana, a quite successful child actor, and how her relationship develops with fellow classmate, Akito. The beginning is quite typical, Sana immediately hating Akito and arguing endlessly over each other's attitudes. The beginning is the most surrealistic part of the manga. Unless you find an elementary classroom completely ruled by a group of boys to be normal. However, it is much more realistic than most series. As the story progresses, things become more realistic and the relationship between Akito and Sana develop. The only real complain I have over the storyline is the last arc, where the problem stems from something which I personally find silly and it just seemed to be the manga-ka's attempt to add one more volume to the series. Overall, though, it is very good.
The art was so-so. Backgrounds were quite plain and sometimes it felt like the manga-ka just didn't feel like adding details. The character's limbs were all stick-thin and some characters were very similar to one another. However, while the art lacks in overall details, it shines in the expressions of the characters. Obana Miho knows what she's doing when she draws facial expressions.
While some supporting characters were stereotypical, the main cast is rather nice and stems away from the annoying stereotypes. Sana, our main little gal, is rather out-going and actually has a backbone. Akito is a rather socially awkward guy whom also isn't the ideal romantic hottie. Other characters, such as Sana's mom, Tsuyoshi-kun, Rei, and Kamura had their individual quirks to set them apart from the others. They're given a fair amount of background story and development.
The chapters seemed to disappear with how fast I was reading them! Except for the last arc which irked me, every other chapter was a nice and enjoyable ride through Sana's life.
Frankly, I think the fact that the main couple were kids made everything more enjoyable. It made things steer away from your typical Teenage romance series to a children's awkward journey into a relationship. Kodocha is a cute story of two kids, but not to the point it's too childish for older people to enjoy :) read more
Jul 19, 2012
The story starts with 12 year old Sana Kurata, a soon to be big TV star who goes through ordinary girl problems that any girl faces. If you call, "facing-her-classroom-of-crazy-monkey-boys" normal. They ruin class for the girls and there Sana meets her arch-nemesis Akito Hayama. With that being said, these two hit it off like a battle to the death! (not really lol but it's funny how they settle things) And of course, once they set their differences aside and going through thick and thin together, they find themselves to be the closest of friends, then one of them starts to have feelings for the other. (hmmm guess who)
The comedy and romance are a great mix between the two in this manga, especially one that deals with young kids. Despite their age, you could feel the sweet and innocent love and really feel the awareness each one gets when they learn the ways of love. It's sure not easy for these two. (so much happens...) And the drama isn't something overwhelming though there will be times when it seem like it. It only shows that no matter how young you are, there will be times when you feel like a child again in a adult like situation and you have to face it head on.
To sum everything up, story is a 9. Though it seems very childish at first the story really picks up as the characters grow and it's interesting and enjoyable to read. No fillers or anything. Art is a 9, since most can seem to find this type of style but either way the author does a great job depicting each character with her own style that you'll just love. It matches the story completely. Characters I give a 10, since they're very lovable and unique to me. You can't help but cheer them on and see them as great characters. Enjoyment and overall view is a 10, since of course this was the very first thing I ever read. (not super hero comics sadly lol) But I hope this manga finds it's way to your "mangas-to-read list" and that you too will find something great about it. I know I do.
~Thanks for reading!
***If you read the manga, then watch the anime, you'll find that the anime is really extremely different!!! lol but don't let that stop you from watching it cause it's still funny and enjoyable to watch. In fact maybe more humorous? Either way I liked it. Check it out! read more
Jul 1, 2009
i really got into this manga.
because , of the entertainment.
& the romance it has. :)
the manga is very different from the anime.
the storylines are different.
i think the manga is better with the storyline ,
but the anime is still good.
i recommend it for anyone who likes a cute little love story.
Feb 25, 2012
If you happened to watch the anime first, I recommend going back and reading the manga. Though the anime is ok on its own, the manga is far better. The anime is funny and endearing, but there is a bit more focus when it comes to the manga.
Strengths: good balance of humor, drama, romance; great characters; though they are kids, they are mature and deal with issues instead of becoming cliche; plot keeps things moving along
Weaknesses: art isn't the best, but it's not that distracting either; if you're looking for something quick to read, this might not be it because there are a lot of subtexts and in-depth conversations read more
Aug 3, 2012
I say strange because 1.) This series was going out of print at the time and 2.) Nobody realized it existed except for the friend who introduced it to me (and I am forever thankful...)
Anyway, Kodocha is a one-of-a-kind shoujo manga. Why? Well here's the breakdown:
1.) It was written by the eccentric but hilarious Miho Obana. In one of the printed volumes, she mentions how each character is like an extension of herself. Considering the cast, her true nature is pretty obvious. In any case, not only does she provide the manga with plenty of humor but she also gives it a dark edge by implementing themes such as underage pregnancy, suicide, death, and depression.
2.) This manga stars 6th grade elementary school students who eventually grow up and go into middle school (marking the beginning of the second half of the story)
...Yes, this is a shoujo manga that depicts love between two elementary/middle school students. Sounds unbelievable but it is pulled off really well. Their romance is actually more heartfelt and believeable than many manga depictions of high school romance.
3.) Sana and Akito. Seriously, on their own, they are awesome but together, they have the ability to make my heart swell and overflow with happiness. Their personalities, though clashing at times, really compliment each other and both bring out the best in each other.
Unfortunately, some may find them annoying, especially in the second half because of all the unsaid feelings and misunderstandings that go on (sounds like alot but not really) but I feel that their actions were justified in one way or another.
4.) The artwork has a nice old-school feel to it. When reading Kodocha for the first time, I was immediately in love with how the characters were drawn. In particular, I was attracted to their eyes XD So sparkly!
If anything, don't ignore this manga. Give it a try, or at least make plans to read it in the future. You just might be surprised.
Thanks for reading!
P.S.-If you're interested, there is an anime adaption of this manga that is 102 episodes long. It's enjoyable but I suggest reading the manga first and then watching the anime because the manga is waay better. The anime should be seen as additional material that can help satisfy your Kodocha cravings lol
Sep 2, 2010
Sana is a child actress. Right there the unbelievably factor should kick in. It seems like when a shoujo takes place in the entertainment business it gets dragged down by pretty idols and too much focus on unrealistic plots in the 'idol' world.
Despite the profession of Sana the story line focuses more away from the show biz side. Most takes place in fact in the classroom and the 'real world'. However Sana's busy life as budding actress catches up with her, and gives the realistic view on how it takes a toll on her normal school life.
The main aspect of Kodocha is children growing up too fast, and romance. Sana and Akito's love-hate relationship is a blast to watch. You really see them grow to their feelings in a way that doesn't feel forced. And it’s hilarious. Both give as good as they get in their ‘spats’.
The other plot of Kodocha is the troubled Akito, and the looming past of Sana. They are evidently more mature than other kids their age (though Sana still knows how to have fun with her age), but growing up isn't the best when your growing up too fast.
The title of 'Child's Play' fits this series extremely well.
Standard for shoujo. Not fantastic but not unbearable with out of proportion bodies. It's also not over stylised where is becomes too much of a fashion show to take seriously.
Sana and Akito are not only a brilliant couple but brilliant characters that stand well apart from each other.
There are side characters that have plots dedicated to them; however none match the characterisation of the two leads. Apart from Sana's mum whose quirks are hilarious.
Funny and charming, with both a realistic and over the top approach to the romantic comedy genre. Not too serious, but not too ridiculous. Almost always great entertainment for those who are taken with the genre.
It's a short read with 10 volumes, which highlights the other praise it deserves. It never drags on and becomes dull. It never has a useless arc where characters and the plot don't grow and develop. It never gets old. read more
Sep 19, 2013
If you watched this anime or read the manga before, the first few volumes may feel really boring. I guess this is of one of those stories that you cannot read twice (at least for me anyway). However, the first few volumes did go by really fast. I tolerated most of it because it was still interesting and funny. Plus, I still believe that the elementary arcs were the best because the mangaka incorporated humor and drama at the same time.
However, when the middle school arc started, we kept getting clichés after clichés. It’s done really well so I do give it props for that. But at the same time, it kind of took away the reason why I wanted to read the series in the first place.
Lastly, when it looked like the show was about to end because the drama subsided and the comedy was released… BANG! BANG! BANG! Another set of drama began! The emotional roller coaster never ends. I thought the last arc was brilliant in its own right. However, I did not feel that it was needed for this manga. It felt like the mangaka was milking the cow dry for all the money it could bring. I would have appreciated that arc more if it was a separate manga.
1) Since this does deal with children, some of the clichés seem fitting. If these were high school students, I probably would have dropped this series because there are so many of them out there
2) Parents do play an important role in the development of their children.
3) It incorporates the element of fiction and realism all at once. There was a moment when someone fell off a cliff, and nothing really happened to the person (don’t worry, that’s not really a spoiler). It was used as a comedy moment. Then there were moments when something happened to other characters, and all hell broke loose.
4) The emotions are raw. You can really feel what the characters went through, and what they are going through.
5) This series talks about abandonment, bullying, pregnancy, parental love, friendship, suicide, growing up, and even sex in a very lighthearted way. What I mean by this is that the topic wasn’t overbearing. The message comes across really well for kids that are facing it (although there was one part I wouldn’t recommend kids reading, but that’s life).
1) Clichés after clichés. We already knew who the main character was going to end up with, but there are these repetitive storylines used that I just couldn’t take. After the first real arc, everything starts off as unoriginal.
2) Love triangle/ love square. Some parts were interesting, but I didn’t like it all.
3) The storyline for the last two volumes. Drama began when the drama already ended.
4) I don’t think there was anything wrong with this con, but I do believe this series was not specifically targeted for kids (they do have some very serious topics) but maybe of preadolescence/ teenagers? Some of you guys might disagree with me on that.
If you cannot stand hyperactive girls, I suggest you don’t read this because that is exactly the word that defines Sana. Personally, it was bearable knowing that she was really young, and that this personality matched exactly how some children are at that age.
Akito appeared to be insensitive (stiff), but that’s only because he didn’t express himself through his facial expression. He is also your typical anime character, but I enjoyed his character development, his background, and his loyalty to people.
Asides the two main characters, someone who stood out to ME was mama. I loved the way she disciplined her child. In the manga, there was a huge emphasis on what a decent parent acts like. There was so much realism in her attitude that she became my favorite character in the entire series. (This is mainly due to the fact that in Shojo manga, parents are nowhere to be found when their children are being stupid… even in the house.)
This is your classic 90’s shojou art style. Some might find it unbearable to look at (it’s an acquired thing), and others might feel nostalgic.
Overall feelings: 7.5 = 8
I don’t really know how I felt about it. There are moments when I enjoyed it, and there were moments I couldn’t take it.
Would I recommends this?
Not to everyone. I know there will be people who will dislike it completely. I do recommended it to people who loves seeing some twist in storylines, are obsessed with shojou and its clichés, loves a mixture of comedy and drama, doesn’t mind love triangle/square, and can appreciate the good even when there are some huge flaws. read more
Jun 30, 2012
orginally i began reading this because of the art..then i saw how they kinda resemble natsume and mikan
its funny and romantic in its own way..i like how its got likeable characters,,that is, you'd love everybody..
there's also substance in the story..like how the story progresses,,at first i thought it's gonna be shallow since the main characters were kids..but heck..i was totally wrong..
this is really amazing..words aren't really enough..so for those who haven't tried reading this..i hope you will..it really moved me.. ^.^
Mar 15, 2012
Kodocha starts off as a typical gag manga with stereotypical characters. The atmosphere that Miho Obana gives the readers in the first couple of chapters is very childlike and immature, even ridiculous at times. However, as the story progresses, the main character (Sana) starts to grow up and the story begins to take a very serious psychological turn. The situations that the main characters have to deal with gets deeper and more complex as they grow up.
Miho Obana does a great job with character development. The story is very realistic (despite the craziness in the beginning), and you’ll love and get to know every one of her characters (even the antagonists). Although the art is just okay (in my taste) the story and characters make up for it, so please give this manga a try if you love romantic comedies with a serious dramatic twist.
Also, please note that: The anime for Kodocha does not do the manga justice at all. So if you saw the anime and you hated all 102 episodes of it, please give the manga a chance. read more