May 22, 2013
SeitenSoushi (All reviews)
Kotoura-san is a series that exceeded my initial expectations. Please read on to find out why:

Story: 8
I started getting Sankarea vibes after a couple of episodes, since Kotoura-san began with somewhat heavy drama before turning into more of a romantic comedy (with some occasional drama), but I did enjoy the show very much, just like I did Sankarea. Other than that, I guess these two series are rather different so don't read too much into my comparison.
We have a fairly unique premise (I don't personally remember many other anime about psychics, especially portrayed as they are here), and I think that the story was sufficiently interesting to follow in the end.
Being adapted from a yonkoma, I expected comedy and I wasn't disappointed. Though Manabe's pervertedness (if that's a word) did get a bit overdone, I still found it funny to watch, especially seeing Kotoura's reactions to said pervertedness. The more dramatic elements were also generally well done and I appreciate that the show went beyond the usual cute slice-of-life story that I initially envisaged.

Art/Animation: 8
The character designs aren't particularly detailed, but are attractive nonetheless.
The one thing I didn't really understand was Muroto's lips, and then when I saw his sleeping eyes... I thought it was a funny aesthetic idiosyncrasy to include.
Anyhow, the backgrounds were decent and animation generally consistent. So all in all, no complaints here.

Sound: 8
Ah, I will forever be awed by Kanemoto Hisako's ability to sound so effortlessly cute (at least, imo). She does a good job at playing Kotoura here, and I think really suits the role well. I haven't really heard her in many other series so I keep being reminded of Ika Musume when she speaks. (It's not just me, is it?)
Fukushima Jun is competent in giving us the slightly silly tone of Manabe. It's basically the first time I've heard his voice acting and I think he did great.
Hanazawa Kana sounds rather different than most roles I've heard her in, but is still pleasant and engaging to listen to, portraying Mifune's enthusiasm very well.
When listening to Shimono Hiro as Muroto, I am again reminded of another character, this time Keima (from Kaminomi).
As for Moritani (voiced by Kubo Yurika), she was nice in general, but I liked her the most when she would become easily upset over little things.
I liked the OP song from Nakajima Megumi, and I thought the main ED, by Chisuga Haruka, was even better. The other EDs are ... amusing, to say the least. The background music was also fitting and well-made, so altogether Kotoura-san has a solid soundtrack.

Characters: 9
Manabe is a funny and generally idiotic sort of character, but underneath he's a genuine nice guy and does care very much for Kotoura, so I liked him.
Kotoura's character has a really tragic past; it's hard not to sympathise with her. However, things do improve as she becomes more cheerful upon meeting the rest of the ESP Research Club (which belies the fact that they're really just there to hang out together), particularly Manabe. I don't remember other psychics' childhoods being explored in this way so the show gets some plus points for that.
Moritani was initially a complete jerk and I still think that the sudden change in her personality was rather unexpected and abrupt, but I eventually grew to like her too.
As for Mifune and Muroto, I found the dynamic between them fairly interesting, and I wish they'd have developed their relationship further or given us more backstory, though I guess with the main focus on Kotoura and Manabe, there wasn't really time for that.

Enjoyment: 8
Those who like this kind of comedic style will enjoy watching the perverted antics of Manabe. An entertaining and individualistic series, Kotoura-san looks just like another school-based romantic comedy but her rather dark past and the added dramatic elements make for a great overall package.
In summary, definitely a very enjoyable show.

Overall: 8
For anyone looking for a good heartwarming anime with a little romance, I'd recommend Kotoura-san. It's nothing groundbreaking but does a good job at mixing comedy and drama and is a very decent watch.

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