54 of 54 chapters read
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
10 of ? episodes seen
Well, simply put, everything about this anime feels very authentic. Real. There is no sense of false pretense. And above all, it gives off a very contagious sense of hope and optimism. A sense that your dreams ARE reachable, and that there is no such thing as bad luck; it's all about making your own luck.
I'm sure everyone has had their share of disappointments and somewhere along the line, has felt bitter about the way their life turned out. I'm also sure that everyone has had their share of dreams that had to be abandoned for one reason or another.
However, don't let your cynicism taint your enjoyment of this hidden gem. As a matter of fact, let yourself be infected by the optimism of this show...
Moving on, the plot centers around two brothers, Mutta and Hibito, who have wanted to become astronauts since they were kids. However, Hibito, the younger of the two, was the one to actually make his dream come true, while Mutta leaves his dream behind to pursue a more reachable profession. After losing his long-time job and being blacklisted in that field, Mutta tries to pick himself back up by working small, part-time jobs. But with a huge amount of encouragement from his parents and especially Hibito, Mutta aims to become an astronaut again.
As you can see, the plot is basic and straightforward, but the entertainment lies in the characters and how they persist through the situations they're thrown in.
For the sake of not writing so much (lol), I'll just discuss the two brothers: Mutta and Hibito, although the entire cast is well-rounded and likable as well.
To start off, Mutta is a fantastic protagonist. He's highly sympathetic, hilarious in unexpected ways, completely honest, and so charismatic that you can't help but cheer him on. I honestly believe that his charisma largely comes from the way his voice actor, Hiroaki Hirata, performs the role with complete ease. It's so enjoyable and so natural that Mutta seems like a real person rather than some made-up character in some anime.
What I enjoy most about Mutta's character is that he represents two sides: disappointment and hope. Many, many times during his journey to becoming an astronaut, Mutta loses faith in himself and says "I give up, there's no way I can do this." (Something I'm sure everyone can relate to) However, like any other great protagonist, he holds an inner spark of hope that drives him to persist through the challenges that are thrown at him, in spite of what he says to himself. All in all, he is the reason why I believe this show is contagiously optimistic and hopeful. Mutta, despite being an adult who has experienced a fair amount of disappointment, still retains the optimistic enthusiasm of his younger self while taking steps in achieving his long-time dream.
His brother, Hibito, is equally great as a character. Although, he seems like a one-dimensional stereotype of the perfect younger brother, he gets his fair share of development that makes him much more. I personally think Hibito shines brightest as a character whenever he is interacting with his brother Mutta. There's a real sense of love and affection that is mutual on both ends. The frequent flashbacks of their childhood helps to illustrate this fact, as well as their present interactions. Also, as brothers, their natural rivalry with each other is what encourages them to do their best, rather than drive each other away.
Their relationship, which is at the center of this show, is one of the many refreshing things about this anime. Though their relationship is somewhat similar to that of Cain and Abel from the Bible, there is no hate involved. While Mutta is jealous of the success of his younger brother, he doesn't hate him for it. Instead, he's proud to have such a brother. If anything, as the older brother, he wishes that he wasn't so pitiful in comparison, in looks and in luck.
The humor is certainly another refreshing point of this anime. The opening sequence should quickly point out that the humor isn't mainstream, but at the same time, its charming because of how odd and unconventional it is at times. I also enjoy the fact that this anime likes to poke fun at everyday behavior.
The music and overall scene direction leaves me breathless. Its quality is reminescent of American films made in the 90's (at least to me...) so I often get fits of nostalgia while watching this anime lol. While I find the style appealing (especially the music), it does come across as cheesy so heads up!
Art is highly debatable since it doesn't appeal to those who prefer more attractive designs. (Poor Mutta, he's probably the ugliest character in the show XD) However, in my opinion, the realistic character designs help ground this anime into a sense of reality, which helps me appreciate the real-life references that are thrown in.
Overall, I'm obviously enjoying the heck out of this anime. Reason why I haven't watched any further is because, so far, there's only 17 episodes out and I need a back-up for whenever Hunter x Hunter goes on a break lol. (Although I feel like I'm going to cave in very soon...)
Anyway, I hope this review helped!
(If not, constructive criticism is highly appreciated!)
37 of ? episodes seen
Ah, where to begin? Well I guess I should begin by mentioning that I have seen all of the original anime except for the last two episodes of the final OVA (I couldn't bear to see it end!), read some of the manga, and have watched and will continue to watch each and every episode of the this anime adaptation...except maybe those darn recap episodes...
Anyway, this is a GREAT anime to get into when you've reached the point of "every anime nowdays feels stale and contains nothing but fanservice."
In my opinion, Hunter x Hunter (2011) sets itself apart because it presents itself in classic shounen fashion rather than trying to be "different", "edgy", and "daring."
Compared to many current anime shows out there, Hunter x Hunter's opening sequence of mystical lands and treasures coupled with the opening song Departure! is rather plain in comparison. However, it gives off a huge amount of charm (in my opinion) because it holds the power of nostalgia. First time I saw the opening, I was pleasantly surprised because I felt like a kid again, waking up at 8 AM just to catch my favorite show.
However, its important to note that Hunter x Hunter is NOT a kids show despite the opening, the bright colors, the adventurous music, etc. This show actually has a darker nature and deals with mature themes that are at odds with its cheery appearance. Hunter x Hunter is largely based in psychology as a result.
Also, despite its shounen premise, there are only a few fights that deal with pure fighting. Many of the fights occur in the minds of the characters, (though this isn't the focus of the series at all) and even if there is a fight going on, it is largely based on strategy and intelligence rather than pure physical strength and ability.
...And guess what? I still have MORE to talk about!!
If anything else won't get you hooked onto this series, the characters definitely will. In the end, its the characters of Hunter x Hunter that drives the series forward and not the plot. (Honestly, reread the plot synopsis. It's simple and unimpressive, considering how many other stories do it...)
The characters and their interactions with each other are unique, even though you've seen these characters many times before: The simplistic hero, the cool and intelligent rival/friend, the pretty boy who is more than a pretty face, and the buffoon. These pretty much describe the four main heroes: Gon, Killua, Kurapika, and Leorio.
However, they all manage to move beyond their stereotypes because their actions and reactions depend on their morals. And the morals which all the characters, except for Leorio, hold in high regard are gray in nature. As a matter of fact, if there is something they want to accompish, Gon, Killua, and Kurapika will do whatever is in THEIR best interest in order to accomplish that goal.
All in all, Hunter x Hunter (2011) is a solid show with facinating characters and situations at every turn. Overall 10
Story: (10)- Decievingly simple. More than what meets the eye.
Art: (10)- Clean and crisp. Beautifull backgrounds. Consistent animation quality. Unique character desgins. (Designs are closer to manga style than previous adaptation)
Sound: (9)- Soundtrack features many different instruments and styles that sound fantastic on their own but feels misused or overused at times. Voice actors are very suitable for characters.
Characters: (9)- Main cast is well-rounded but side characters feel one-demensional.
Enjoyment: (10)- I LOVE THIS SERIES IN ANY SHAPE OR FORM CAUSE ITS HUNTER X HUNTER BABY!
Other things to consider:
- The faithfulness of this adaptation to the manga is about 90%. There is a minimal amount of filler added in to compliment the manga material. However, this adaptation cut out what motivated Gon to find his father in the first place.
- Violence is there but not nearly as much gore and violence found in the manga.
-No romance or annoying female characters. Each female serves a purpose and is cool in their own way.
- Hisoka. If you are scared of pedophiles or serial killer clowns, beware of Hisoka cause he's all that. (And more...)
- Gon and Killua's friendship is one of the cutest friendships I have ever seen. A definite highlight (*cough* that easily replaces romance *cough*)
-I know this was a very long review but I did this in hopes that you could understand not only why I love this series so much, but why you should start watching this series right now. Thanks for reading this far! You are awesome!!