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Kotoura-san – 02 »

Kotoura-san – 01

OP Sequence

Kotoura san   OP   01 Kotoura san   OP   02 Kotoura san   OP   03
Kotoura san   OP   04 Kotoura san   OP   05 Kotoura san   OP   06

OP: 「そんなこと裏のまた裏話でしょ?」 (Sonna Koto Ura no Mata Urabanashi Desho?) by 中島 愛 (Nakajima Megumi)

Kotoura san   01   01 Kotoura san   01   02 Kotoura san   01   03
Kotoura san   01   04 Kotoura san   01   05 Kotoura san   01   06
Kotoura san   01   07 Kotoura san   01   08 Kotoura san   01   09
Kotoura san   01   10 Kotoura san   01   11 Kotoura san   01   12
Kotoura san   01   13 Kotoura san   01   14 Kotoura san   01   15
Kotoura san   01   16 Kotoura san   01   17 Kotoura san   01   18
Kotoura san   01   19 Kotoura san   01   20 Kotoura san   01   21
Kotoura san   01   22 Kotoura san   01   23 Kotoura san   01   24
Kotoura san   01   25 Kotoura san   01   26 Kotoura san   01   27
Kotoura san   01   28 Kotoura san   01   29 Kotoura san   01   30
Kotoura san   01   31 Kotoura san   01   32 Kotoura san   01   33
Kotoura san   01   34 Kotoura san   01   35 Kotoura san   01   36
Kotoura san   01   37 Kotoura san   01   38 Kotoura san   01   39
Kotoura san   01   40 Kotoura san   01   41 Kotoura san   01   42
Kotoura san   01   43 Kotoura san   01   44 Kotoura san   01   45

「琴浦さんと真鍋くん」 (Kotoura-san to Manabe-kun)
“Kotoura-san and Manabe-kun”

Romantic love comedy my ass. In a good way of course.

Damn. Hot damn. Going into this, there were mentions about Kotoura’s struggles, yet I was expecting that to be a slight side-plot, where the dominant theme would be comedy and cheerful antics. The character designs and color palette suggested nothing too serious, and all the promotional videos suggested nothing beyond happy happy happy! I knew that ESP and mind-reading were going to be the “hook”", so I decided to pick this up to intro looking for some good supernatural shenanigans.

Yet, as soon as I finished the episode…my image of this cheerful comedy is suddenly shattered.

Immediately, for a good half of the episode, we are taken through Kotoura Haruka’s (Kanemoto Hisako) terrible life. When we are asked as kids what superpower we would like to have, I’m sure we’ve heard the answer ‘mind reading’ to be on that list. Kotoura would stomp on that answer, blank her eyes, and cry. The privacy of our own minds and, more importantly, the peace we have from other people’s minds, gives us an important barrier that allows us to filter our thoughts from leaking into our actions. It allows us to be civil despite the terrible feelings we may harbor. When that barrier is willfully broken…while it might be cool for trivial things, such a breach can go wrong oh so very fast.

The world that Kotoura-san paints in the first 10 minutes, I’ll admit, is a bit exaggerated. Doesn’t it seem that Japanese schools are places where 99% of people are cruel, fake, and speak in obnoxiously loud whispers? However, I must concede that, even as an optimist, I have to agree with the general idea portrayed. The mind is a private place where we are allowed to be our worst–when the worst bits slip out…shit happens. Kotoura suddenly makes all attempts at controlling one’s demeanor, one’s terrible mind, useless. Politeness, self-control, all of that crumbles as Kotoura is able to literally speak other people’s minds. No one can fool her and as such, must face the brute truth inside of them…something that not many of us are willing to face.

People who refuse to face their problems disassociate themselves with her and call her a liar to cover up their own mistakes. Social norms are constantly violated, where people are suddenly faced with information they were not prepared (if ever) to face. Upon watching this, I found myself reinforcing the idea that much of our contemporary social interaction heavily relies on our self-control, whether apparent or not. Even the most outspoken and vocal people have thoughts that they do not wish to be heard by anyone. Proper self-constraint allows us to avoid unnecessary hurt towards ourselves and others, especially for resisting the erratic thoughts of the mind. This is 100% torture for Kotoura, especially growing up as a child, unable to understand how people who say one thing in their mind could possibly say something else.

By the end of it all, without that filter to ignore the darkness of others, Kotoura reaches the brink of despair and insanity, with her power to delve into a person’s most intimate consciousness ending up ironically stripping her of any intimate relations with anyone. Her parents’ unstable marriage collapsed at an accelerated rate due to her honesty, which ends up mentally unscrewing her mother. Her school shuns her for being a weirdo and liar, causing her to transfer schools. The only person she could find sympathy with–her grandfather–cannot be with her as she transfers to a new district presumably too far to travel with.

Thus in the end, she is alone, both physically and emotionally. That is, until someone with the most random and perverse of thoughts, Manabe Yoshisha (Fukushima Jun), shines with his honesty, where his thoughts and his speech do not clash…most of the time. He is apparently the only sane person on this show to immediately think that mind reading is cool beans instead of shunning Kotoura like an animal. Of course he’s got the adolescent hots for Kotoura, yet he’s being honest and genuinely caring for who Kotoura is: another person, rather than a troublesome and malicious creature. It is here that the OP plays, where expectations are finally met again, where we sigh and say…”I was NOT expecting that.” We then end the show feeling uplifted and variably relieved–while we were absolutely expecting a savior to come (it would be WAY too depressing if one didn’t), the cliche was a warm welcome to contrast the first half. Manabe is a funny guy and I appreciate his transparency–the combination of honesty and empathy is one of the pairs of traits I adore in people.

Kotoura-san, I can say right now, is the dark horse of the season. It’s by no means perfect, that’s for sure though. If you look at the show from a hardlined angle, it can be reasonable to conclude how this was forced melodrama. Kotoura does not show self-constraint when she probably should have earlier in life, the asshole-meter definitely was put on max for maximum rage, and Manabe is just too convenient a character to save Kotoura. However, the premise still rings hard in my ears, loud enough to drown out the flaws sufficiently. The bravery of the show to transform this premise from a 4-koma to something entirely different is an amazing move that not many could have predicted.

If you were looking for a comedy to cheer up your day, turn back now. With the direction this is heading, I already predict that plot will play a heavy part in Kotoura-san, though comedy will of course stay a part of the show. If you found either the comedy or the character designs of Mitsudomoe, Yuru Yuri, or Minami-ke to be enjoyable, you’ll find those aspects here as well, intermixed with the inevitable drama to come ahead. Overall, I was thoroughly impressed with the surprise the show presented, though the drama may not work for everyone and those honestly looking for a pure comedy may not be as receptive.

This opens huge doors for the world of Kotoura-san to explore, now that the show has shown that it can and it will employ the tremendous potential in examining human interaction with this plot device. That is the reason why I will continue to blog this show a bit longer since I’m still on vacation, in order to continue facilitating discussion about this surprising show, even if it’s only for two weeks or so. Even if it’s for a short while, I am in your care, and I hope we can watch this and expect a great deal of emotion and honesty to come from this unexpected show…a show that I now consider my favorite of the season.

Edit: I’m covering this show now! The schedule gods have spoken!

Full-length images: 5, 23, 27, 29, ed 1.

 

ED Sequence

Kotoura san   ED   01 Kotoura san   ED   02 Kotoura san   ED   03

ED: 「希望の花」

Preview

Kotoura san   01   Preview 01 Kotoura san   01   Preview 02 Kotoura san   01   Preview 03
January 10, 2013 at 9:02 pm
88 comments »
  • January 10, 2013 at 9:21 pmlivevoid

    That first episode totally blew away my expectations. I almost thought that the cutesy-looking comedy in the previews was going to turn into Higurashi. Great first ep.

    • January 10, 2013 at 10:43 pmZanibas

      Watch all 3 of the CMs, get prepped for what looks like a comedy.

      Watch the episode, realize you got trolled…perhaps in a good way :P.

    • January 11, 2013 at 5:18 amsadakups

      It doesn’t help that Haruka looks like Rena, and that both girls had problems with their parents. And those eyes, not to mention almost going batshit crazy.

      Although I wouldn’t expect this show to go psycho like that show. I was not looking forward to any show for the winter season, but the pilot of this one blew me away. I guess having that dark start did it for me. Now I’m curious on how this mind-reading plot device will drive this show.

    • January 11, 2013 at 6:55 ampokpok

      after the cat’s missing and Koutoura go hyouka(i scream) I was like oh and then Makishi or The Emperor Charle came to her and said we should destroy this world full of lie and create honest world together and uwahahah higurashi rena slaughter style. just kidding but so depressing 1st half That LV5 mind manipulate girl, Hitagi-sama and Taiga are probably have this horrible childhood life so we need someone strong like Ryuji and perverted like araragi to cheer her up lol NIce anime indeed

    • January 11, 2013 at 12:32 pmqwert

      This show was at the bottom of my watch list.

      When I had first heard about it the concept seemed so shallow I’d figured it would be a bland 3 minute show.

      Never have I been so wrong.

  • January 10, 2013 at 9:22 pmWanderer

    I haven’t watched this. I don’t know if I dare, as I’m… overly sensitive to the suffering of characters I’m seeing. I do wonder though, after hearing descriptions, is it possible that, now that the beginning has set up how bad things were for her, the rest of the show will never return to it and instead will spend the whole time on the comedy parts?

    Admittedly that would feel like something of a waste. Even if the horror of Kotoura’s early life would be too much for me, the unexpectedly grimdark nature of that portrayal is what really made this episode stand out to people. As much as it may alienate folks like me who can’t take it, it would be a shame to waste what they’ve gotten out of it so far.

    • January 10, 2013 at 9:49 pmZanibas

      In response to this and J-Luke–I honestly don’t know. They went from a 4-koma to this…who knows what could happen. People are saying this is going to be typical rom com from here on out, I think it’ll oscillate and form a comedy-drama hybrid. No matter what the end result is, those possibilities, the fact that they exist, that’s what excites me. I have hopes for this show…which didn’t exist hours ago.

      • January 10, 2013 at 10:54 pmWanderer

        In a way this feels like kind of the reverse of some of Stilts’ comments on GJ-bu. He pointed out there that if you go into everything hoping for uniqueness you can miss out on the fact that series don’t have to be unique to be good. Here people went into this series expecting a fairly typical romance-comedy 4-koma adaptation, and instead got… well… something very different. There would have been nothing wrong with a traditional rom-com series: people would still have watched it, after all. They know what to expect. But getting something unique like this instead, suddenly people are talking about it. It provokes conversation and attracts attention that it never would have managed had it just been what it seemed beforehand.

        I honestly don’t know if I’ll be willing to give this series a try myself. I’ll probably have to wait until I hear more about how it turns out. But even if I end up deciding in the end that it’s not for me, I can still respect them for being willing to do this kind of twist.

    • January 10, 2013 at 9:54 pmAex

      From next episode’s preview and the mother in the OP and ED, I think it’s safe to say the mental drama isn’t going to just disappear. Next episode looks like the girl with the crush on Manabe will do some bullying, then turn friend, and the OP and ED suggest the mother will get brought back in at some point and hopefully beaten with a rubber chicken until she pulls her head out of her ass. Overall, I’ll guess 85% romcom, 15% mental drama.

    • January 12, 2013 at 12:16 pmRJCarter

      I’m not sure where they plan on taking this anime, but I will admit that my thought process behind where they’re going with it is as follows:

      It appears that they won’t completely leave the mental side of things, and that looks to be a large driving force of the anime. It looks as though Moritani might pick on Kotoura a little bit, at least in the next episode, before they ever become friends. It also seems as though Kotoura’s mother might come back, at least in one episode, based off of the opening credits. That, in itself, could lead to some major drama happening in the anime.

      On the other hand, I also believe that they will focus more on comedy, in between drama scenes. It seems as though the anime might focus on Kotoura learning how to make friends (since she was ostracized almost her entire life). There are many scenes that could develop, both sad and funny, from situations along those lines.

      It also seems as though the creators are planning on trying to give us funny reliefs, such as the second half of episode one, and therefore might be planning on creating the rest of the episodes with that strange combination, where it is both dramatic and comedic.

  • January 10, 2013 at 9:24 pmChaybe

    This is definitely my favorite anime of the season so far. I was left in tears, and then happiness. Something that rarely happens for a first episode.

    • January 11, 2013 at 4:34 pmJounouchi

      I will admit, I’m a grown ass man and I cried like a baby….. Oh! You meant figuratively…. then forget what I said. Awkward.

  • January 10, 2013 at 9:30 pmRuly

    Truly wonderful episode, those first 10 minutes were the most depressing minutes i’ve ever seen in an anime series and i’ve been watching anime for the past 8 years :P , truly an amazing start this could become my favorite series of the season :) .

    • January 11, 2013 at 8:44 ampimpollesca

      You have to see clannad after story.

  • January 10, 2013 at 9:32 pmAll Fiction

    What horrible parents. Breaking the cutie was done exceptionally well. Except for the cat part.

    • January 11, 2013 at 6:57 ampokpok

      you miss hyouka?!(i scream) if author leave the sound, this anime will turn into Higurashi with Paradice crumble

  • January 10, 2013 at 9:35 pmJ-Luke

    It was an unexpected first episode indeed. I guess they wanted to deal with the unpleasantries as soon as possible, partly to move on to the lighter stuff, but also to get maximum sympathy for Kotoura from the start. If they did this somewhere halfway the series I think the effect would have been signifigantly less.

  • January 10, 2013 at 9:50 pmAex

    Damn, that first ten minutes… DAMN!! It was like everyone got so ugly around her, it was hard to believe at points. The father was your typical jackhole, sure, and the elementary school kids were believable, but middle school and high school too? Did Kotoura have no decent people in her life besides her grandfather and the priest? That’s how it’s played, and I find that very exaggerated, and very cruel.

    Then again, it just made Manabe’s entrance all the better. Here’s a guy that just doesn’t care. “You know what I’m thinking? Oh no, I gotta watch my mental porn now!!” XD He isn’t ashamed of who he is, so he doesn’t have anything to fear from Kotoura. I get the feeling that accepting who you are will be a big theme in this show… which seems to be an especially popular theme in anime lately. Huh.

  • January 10, 2013 at 9:51 pmMomo

    Came into it thinking it would be all comedy and fuwafuwa… was I ever so wrong T_T

    While the some things in the first half seemed forced and over-the-top, it looks like they’re actually going to add a good dose of plot/drama. At the very least they grabbed my attention and piqued my curiosity enough to want to watch more.

    Well played, Kotoura-san.

  • January 10, 2013 at 9:56 pmLightnDark

    I came for comedy.
    I saw drama.

    Still expecting the later episodes to take a more light-hearted approach but damn this premiere is going to blow just about every unsuspecting viewer out of their seats. In a good way.

  • January 10, 2013 at 9:59 pmAnimesetsuna

    This is really an interesting anime. Not just comedy but also drama.

  • January 10, 2013 at 10:01 pmLuxor

    …I think my expectations gave me whiplash here :P

  • January 10, 2013 at 10:04 pmGenesis

    I didn’t even know this existed like an hour ago, and now I’m desperately trying to fit it into my blogging schedule for the season. I don’t think I’ve ever cried for a premiere episode before, but the best part was when the darkness was literally blown away and the bright colors came in. Talk about visual symbolism.

    • January 16, 2013 at 11:45 amVincent

      Cross Game hit me harder for a first episode, but this was up there for sure.

  • January 10, 2013 at 10:14 pmxephx

    What did I just watch. I was expecting comedy cliches not the back story to Silent hill. I have never teared up at the first episode of any anime before, I was unprepared, I didn’t know I needed to put up my shields when I went into this and so I was blind sighted. Well anyway I already really care about Haruka and I really want her to end up happy so I guess they made it so I will not drop this show.

  • January 10, 2013 at 10:54 pmKuro

    The first 10 minutes was harsh for Kotoura. I felt bad for her. I wished she used her power to gain control of humanity and take over the world! She could of easily done it. I would of if I can read minds like her. Hahahaha…

  • January 10, 2013 at 11:03 pmYasuri

    I did my best to have no preconceived notions about this anime before hitting the play button. Being told to watch something because “it’s something you’d probably like” leaves room for a lot of questions but I simply wrote it off as something that at the very least would make me smile. I was in no way wrong but to think that Kotoura-san would have such a profound effect on me is an understatement. All I knew going in was that this was labeled a romantic comedy and while that certainly doesn’t prevent the possibility of drama, this show shattered my perception of what I had hoped it might be. In a positive light, of course.

    It was an unexpected pleasure to have my heartstrings pulled at in such a way and then have that pain alleviated with the arrival of Manabe-kun. I believe there’s definitely a formula for success here if utilized properly. Between the lighthearted tone of the second half of the episode and the ED (showing Haruka’s mother), it definitely seems like we’re in for quite a ride.

  • January 10, 2013 at 11:13 pmdimasok

    The anime was awesome. Despite how ESP was portrayed here, I would be ecstatic to have it!

  • January 10, 2013 at 11:18 pmdeathtogenericshows

    I wrote this under winter schedule post as I wasn’t sure when this would post, but I’ll repost this here. It seems like I am not the only one who was impressed by the first 12 min of the show:

    My gawd…. What’s with this new show, Kotoura-san?? I’m actually mighty impressed with this absolutely brutal, brutal angst for the 1st half of the show. I recoil from dreadful pseudo-teenage angst in comedic dramas all the day long, but this 1st half angst is something else! Out of this world, in a totally different league. I actually liked it as it was so over the top. I don’t think I’ve seen such angst before… Not sure if it’s M or S (or both) in me that resonate on this. Here I was, expecting yet another silly and fun comedy show since the character looks awfully similar to Mitsudomoe, but my gawd~~~. That awesome angst came out of nowhere.

    I submit to you all that it’s one of the best angst ever in the recent memories. And that alone should be worth while to watch for 12 min even if you don’t plan to watch the rest and on. Admittedly the brutal angst was shattered in the mid-point and the show turned to more of a predictable show with slight edges (I didn’t care too much about the pseudo-teenage angst scene towards the end though. Yes, it was justifiable, but the tone had changed. What’s with the soft music to milk the emotions? Ditto for the shouting and crying routine in a manner that I can only describe as “Japanese anime pseudo-teenage angst scene”) And this second half is what I expect this show to be going forward, but hot damn. That first half was something else!! Mighty impressed I am.

  • January 10, 2013 at 11:59 pmSora no Kaze

    BEST FIRST EPISODES EVER!!!! This will linger in my mind for days. Even if it stays light hearted for the rest of the season, I’ll constantly return to this episode alone. It was well done and quite beautiful. Especially the way they color her world until she meets Manabe. Heck her eyes, it was beautifully done. Of course, you could say self restraint, but as a kid? Can you really? Especially when you get abandon by your parents, and then your friends. Literary, at that point, any sort of thinking about self restraining your powers go out the window. Knowing you can’t trust anyone, and with that mind set that no one will truly be able to get close to you, you might as well shun everyone away. I think the most powerful was the fact that even the cat, which in a sense was a lighter way of representing of her pretending infront of someone not to have any ESP powers, only for it to be taken away, whether if it was betrayal, or simply removing the cat away, crushed her completely. That no one would “accept” her for who she is and be seen as a monster.

    The upbeat on the 2nd half truly touched my heart, and made me laugh too. Her distrust, is at least somewhat cracked at the end of the episode. Especially when Manabe tells her off asking her that isn’t she hurt too. What about her feelings in the mess. I can’t wait to see the plot that follows up with her mother and how Kotoura and her love, as well as soon to be new found friends manage to get over that hill.

  • January 11, 2013 at 12:13 amBanana Furikake

    Holy fark.

    “If you have yet to watch Kotoura-san, I highly recommend doing so before reading this post.”

    Soooo glad I took your advice. Your intro made me take a look at a series that I wasn’t even planning on considering. Bravo.

    And thank you.

  • January 11, 2013 at 12:14 amwhee

    hot damn.
    so i barely remembered the preview or the synopsis of this thing and tossed it away.
    and i got so bored today, i decided to watch this.

    and then the first few minutes were…
    well, it made me think i must be either watching the wrong anime or read the preview wrong.

    i was getting really into it and also depressed :< …until dat western desert alien dancing stuff.
    literally, my confusion shattered like it was shown in the ep and i fully realized what this show was about, again.

    oh man, well played first ep xD

  • January 11, 2013 at 12:21 amohhh

    oh yeah, i didn’t think anything in the first bit was “exaggerated”. If anything, I thought it was pretty on-the-mark. I guess my childhood wasn’t too good either if I can relate to that -_-

    if anything was exaggerated, it’s obv the fact that no neurologists discovered kotoura, or the fact that no one like manabe ever showed up in her life until now xD
    i guess the parent part was a bit over the norm tho… or it was just too fast.

  • January 11, 2013 at 12:35 amNekomimimeido

    I literally cried at the end! That’s ages ago since I did that while watching anime. Wonderful first Ep! Sleeper’s hit!

    • January 11, 2013 at 1:48 amZanibas

      Fun fact: only 4% of people placed Kotoura-san on the top five shows they were anticipating for this season when we had the poll up.

      Those 4% either love their rom coms or are predictive geniuses :P.

  • January 11, 2013 at 1:48 amDvalinn

    I wasn’t all that impressed with the drama myself. It started out fine, but it got more and more over the top as time went by and when that kitty was introduced only to be taken away moments later, it felt like the writer was just trying to be a dick to her. What kind of 4-koma is this, Nana’s Everyday Life?

    Luckily, it did set the foundation for the second half, which I liked a lot more. The interactions between Kotoura and Manabe are just really fun to watch, and I’m definitely going to see how their relationship develops.

    • January 11, 2013 at 1:58 amZanibas

      Love the reference to Clone.Manga and by extension, Elfen Lied!

      Yes, it was quite maximal on the dicks everywhere (I HATE YOU FOR LOVING THIS CAT), and uh…no defense really for that. It is nice that at least the other half resonated for you, which hopefully will be the part that warms the heart as they shenanigan and cry together.

  • January 11, 2013 at 1:49 amtaiakun

    I rate the first episode as one of the better ones this season, but now knowing that the material was based off a 4-koma…I’m definitely impressed with what they have managed to do with it. The first 10 minutes, although a bit forced, was probably the strongest 10 minutes I have seen from any series airing this season thus far. I’m glad Crunchyroll took this up!

  • January 11, 2013 at 2:00 amHakumeiJin

    This episode really was unexpected in a good way. The dark atmosphere that had somehow started in the middle of the first part made the latter interactions with Manabe even better. Although I do think that it was pretty forced I’ve already gotten through it without feeling annoyed, so as long as they don’t keep doing it this will be and interesting start to a romantic comedy.

    Also I have to say: Damn you Manabe you lucky bastard! I’m sure many of us wouldn’t care at all about having our minds read if they could be near Kotoura.

  • January 11, 2013 at 2:34 am†Croos†

    I came in for comedy, I came out…wow. I can’t say anymore. If you have yet to watch Kotoura-san, I highly recommend doing so before reading this post.

    T_T
    Sorry Zanibas. I’m a bad boy. I open your post before watching it.

    • January 16, 2013 at 8:16 amd-LaN

      *high5* me too, Zanibas T_T

  • January 11, 2013 at 2:53 amZannafar

    Great first episode. This show was already on my radar as one of the possibly better shows this season, but damn did they exceed my expectations!

    The first half and it’s drama reminded me of Brigadoon Marin to Melan (one of the best but also most obscure anime I’ve ever seen) and that show has some of the cruelest drama I know.

    The second half then had the comedy I expected, but they didn’t get lost in the crazy antics of Manabe and forgot about the plot. Even his perverted fantasies were used to advance the story.

    The only part I think was badly executed was the opening in the middle of the episode. Sure, it came after Manabe (literally) broke the heavy atmosphere, but the difference to the previous drama was a bit extreme. I think it would have been better to leave it out of the first episode.

  • January 11, 2013 at 3:25 amPierceTheHeaven

    I was about to skip this anime after skimming its premise. I mean generic rom-com with blobby art? No thanks.

    But then I saw Guardian Enzo praising it which didn’t click in my head so I decided to give a shot. And damn am I glad that I did.

    I probably won’t enjoy the series as much in the future if it reverts back to 100% comedy, but I’m definitely going to follow this some more.

    • January 11, 2013 at 3:35 amZanibas

      Both of us are doing our part in the blogosphere to bring light onto this great start to a series. I actually hope this doesn’t get too buried underneathe the rest of the more popular premieres before attracting enough attention, but hey, Thursday/Fridays are PACKED!

      I’m with you that I will be letdown if the comedy is pure from here on out, but I trust the director not to spoil such potential…at least for now. Three episode rule DEFINITELY applies here.

  • January 11, 2013 at 3:25 amCatsRofl

    Dat weird ass dream… uh ANYWAY, I didn’t even know this show was coming out so no expectations I guess but DAMN, that first half (yes beating a dead horse at this point) was like… wow dude…assholes! :(
    As much as I wanted to smack her parents primarily her mother, that lady at the park deserves a decent beating as well. But as with the shattering glass half way through it
    , it became a something happy go lucky(yay!). Glad it did. Will continue to follow this because I am now also interested in what they are gonna do with it.

  • January 11, 2013 at 4:23 amDude

    It’s not just the darkness of others being uncapped with mind-reading, but the person doing the mind-reading would no doubt drown in the dark side as well.

    If I grew up with that kind of power, and I think I can speak for plenty of people, getting bitter and jaded and abusing that power would be a path I’d be walking down now.

    Now I know this show probably will continue to show the protagonist growing up to be a good person and all, and I guess that’s fine, but a part of me will resent this for not showing what to me is a logical conclusion of growing up with this power.

  • January 11, 2013 at 4:56 amgrav

    i’m just stun in all ways like pull biggest curve ball ever on it really no one saw this coming in any form til we just seen it oh my why this happen?!

    meet Haruka Kotoura who one time life for her was good til everything went to Break the Cutie in all worst ways.

    because she can read minds cause she lost everything from being bullied in school to even own parents don’t want her anymore.

    cause of suffer that Haruka carryover til now & then all change when she meet Manabe who bit perv & yet wow amaze at Haruka cause she save him from truck.

    yet after learning bit of Haruka’s past Manabe going side with her to be her friend.

  • January 11, 2013 at 6:58 amsinkingmist

    It seems rather unbelievable that absolutely no adult managed to:
    1) Guess it was mind-reading.
    2) Teach Kotoura to try to hide her mind-reading, so she doesn’t freak people out (and in turn protects herself).

    But hey, it’s necessary to set-up the story so I’ll have to let it slide.

    • January 11, 2013 at 8:38 amZannafar

      Rather than not guessing it, I think the problem that it was more that admitting the fact that Kotoura can read minds would be admitting that what she said is true and therefore acknowledge their own flaws/ reveal their secrets.
      That nobody taught her to hide it was kind of a side-effect of that.

      • January 11, 2013 at 3:46 pmsinkingmist

        If she’s only revealing deep dark secrets, then sure.
        But since she was blurting out almost anything…

  • January 11, 2013 at 7:05 amjigglehpoof

    I came into this series expecting something like Haruhi or K-ON, where friends form a club and bubbly-ness occurs. But the first ten minutes I found myself cringing because of how bad Kotoura had (unintentionally) messed up her life. You see a slow transition from a happy mother giving birth to a beautiful child, and end with a girl tearing up as she knows her life is more than over. She is alone in this large and cruel world. She even has the dead eyes. But when she meets Manabe, you see her begin to light up again. The show is now what we expected, and came in wanting: a bubbly, happy romcom. And honestly, I think the first episode was great. Kotoura proved she was lovely person and I think Manabe is hilarious. I’m anticipating the next episode with excitement.

  • January 11, 2013 at 7:06 amBenigmatica

    I hope you can blog this… But hey, I hope the ESP Club can help Kotoura-san!

  • January 11, 2013 at 9:25 amMM99

    Does anyone else think that the characters in this show remind one of Toradora?
    Blonde, short (Taiga) – Female lead
    Somewhat stupid, tall(Ryuuji)- Male lead
    Redhead (Minori) – That redhead
    Blue hair girl(Ami) – That blue haired girl
    Glasses (Kitamura) – That glasses guy

    • January 11, 2013 at 9:44 amAex

      If you really want it, every show with five main characters can remind you of Toradora.

  • January 11, 2013 at 9:26 amName (required)

    BLOG THIS SHOW PLEASE

  • January 11, 2013 at 10:28 amHighway

    That was a great first episode. I hadn’t known anything about the show, so I didn’t suffer any whiplash from the opening, but the transformation of the show itself was glorious to behold. It’s rare to break the cutie right from the beginning. Yes, Haruka was complicit in her own troubles, never learning to keep her mouth shut about other people’s thoughts. But her trauma still seemed authentic, her tribulations the fault of other people.

    I thought it interesting that the show is gonna touch so much on the selfish thoughts of everyday people (like the truck driver not caring that the light is red). That really seemed like something that they could go with for the rest of the show, and I hope they continue with it.

  • January 11, 2013 at 11:09 amskylion

    This gets props for showing us her troubles, upfront, rather than telling us much later in a typical narrated flashback. It calls on our sympathy to be foremost. Yeah the melodrama is forced, but they force it in the right direction; the beats are heavy handed, but not off.

  • January 11, 2013 at 11:17 amdangerism

    That was one of the most brilliantly engaging start to an anime I have seen in a while. Mad props to the producers for managing to pull it off.

  • January 11, 2013 at 12:35 pmqwert

    Never before have I wanted to hug a character and never let them go after just watching not even the first half of the first episode of a show.

    My heart strings have been tugged so hard they’re dragging on the floor behind me.

  • January 11, 2013 at 12:51 pmDmonHiro

    So… yeah… the comedy…

    I need a hug.

    • January 11, 2013 at 1:18 pmZanibas

      *hug*

  • January 11, 2013 at 2:01 pmCytrus

    Just getting this out there, but apparently Kotoura can’t distinguish between hearing people’s thoughts and their voices (except when people think in images), making it extremely difficult for her to just hide or ignore her ability. [Courtesy of the Japanese wiki]. I suppose she can be sure which is which if she keeps looking at your face as you speak (to confirm whether you’re producing any sounds or not), but it’s all too easy for her to slip up at some point.

  • January 11, 2013 at 2:12 pmJ_the_Man

    I’m not much of an expert on anime, though I do fully enjoy it. I may be ignorant since I started watching lots of anime, but dang that was good.

    Show Spoiler ▼

  • January 11, 2013 at 2:30 pmrockmanjoe

    Poor Kotoura… But the show got so enjoyable once Manabe showed up! Loved this episode a lot, can’t wait for the next!

  • January 11, 2013 at 3:36 pmmac65

    Sometimes the way she’s drawn reminds me of Chi (Chobits). There’s a soft elegance about her
    that really draws you into her character. Good choices on both voice actors for the lead roles.

    To be honest, though, the missing cat pretty much did me in. The writers did an excellent job
    setting things up and showing the depth of her pain. And I like the ecchi comedy with Manabe,
    and Kotoura has a strong character to survive so long. Having said that, and with the great
    work the writing has set the stage for her character, I hope/pray that her meeting Manabe doesn’t
    suddenly fix everything in her like and suddenly all of her pain and uncertainty is healed.

    There’s a lot of potential in where this series could go. I know at the clinical level, this is just ‘Another
    defective girl series (Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! and Sankarea and many others) and,
    like those series, I hope this plays out just as well.

    Great 1st episode!

  • January 11, 2013 at 5:14 pmahomine

    at first the color scheme was dark but when she met manabe, the screen shattered changing the color scheme to bright colors
    so symbolic
    how meeting him changed her life LITERALLY >_<

  • January 11, 2013 at 8:22 pmvrr4141

    Watching the 1st episode done, end up with tears. Reading this review done, still with tears. Thumbing up most of the comments done, still with tears.

  • January 11, 2013 at 9:05 pmncc1664

    It was that crazy great dramatic music that just made this story work out as great as it does. I think that’s where people were starting to cry the most. Very heavy and serious tone anime for a plot concept that seemed a-typical anime fare(but I still wanted to watch the first ep of it to see how funny it could be). This is an anime, like Madoka before it, that forces you to take it seriously. If this level of storytelling continues, I’ll be watching every ep for sure.

  • January 11, 2013 at 9:44 pmMutare

    I am left utterly speechless. Still. Pretty. Speechless. I had a lump in my throat throughout that first half. Just. Wow. I think I’m hooked.

    • January 18, 2013 at 10:03 amHD

      speechless & motionless. was completely hooked to the direction of the pilot & the change of genre after the OP. a great episode as I didn’t realize 20 minutes passed by easily. If in Manabe’s shoes, probably would persuade an understanding from Kotoura that dirty thoughts will emerge unconditionally.

  • January 11, 2013 at 10:12 pmZhinvu

    Good thing you put that warning on the main page Zanibas, or else I would have already expected that painful first half, and really it was painful to watch Haruka go through all that. Definitely gonna be following this, but I can’t say that I’m looking forward to seeing Haruka’s mom reappear, seeing that she’s featured a couple of times in the opening animation, unless maybe there’s a major redeeming quality somewhere in her. At the moment though after what she did, I see none. As for Haruka, with all the gloom she was showing, she looked so nice near the ending where she almost laughed at Manabe’s antics.

  • January 12, 2013 at 6:39 amFawriel

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA I dearly hope you are correct. This first episode really struck a chord with me. But if all that was just a cynical attempt to paint the image of a broken girl to turn into the focal point of moecrap fantasies, I will go outside in the rain and scream a silent scream.

    There’s hints pointing both ways. The fact that Manabe is actually ashamed of his perverted thoughts is good because it might lead to some interesting character development down the line, the fact that the title is “Kotoura-san” rather than “Haruka-chan” or something, the fact that the mother will apparently play a role again at some point…

    Aauuugh, I found this blog while I was looking for more material on the manga because I just need to know more about Haruka and this whole thing, and I guess I kinda want to know if I can dare to hope or if I should just keep this series at a distance before people get hurt and I’ll be all alone again. (I can keep going with these references, just try me.)

    From what I gather, though, all the drama is completely original to the anime, so no one can possibly tell so far what the future of the series will look like, eh? Oh, uncertainty. You will forever be the death of me.

  • January 12, 2013 at 6:47 amFawriel

    Oh another thing! It’s nothing big, but I have yet to see anyone point out how relevant the premise of this series is, with Kotoura being hated for revealing how people really think. Society, but particularly Japanese society, is all about putting forth the expected image, rather than your true feelings. “Tatemae” rather than “honne”. There’s actual words for these concepts, that’s how ingrained they are!

  • January 12, 2013 at 10:08 amMatroid

    Uncontrollable power is never a good thing. Out of the worst situation, the story turns for the better by introducing an airhead as the friend of a mind-reader. This combination is just something I can’t miss for this season.

  • January 12, 2013 at 3:43 pmknight

    this show better this a must see tragic romance comedy

  • January 12, 2013 at 9:13 pmYogicat

    This ep01 reminds me of Beethoven’s 4th Symphony. It’s dark opening and the light that shines all of the sudden is very similar.

  • January 13, 2013 at 4:48 amqwertio

    This anime is great.

  • January 13, 2013 at 12:19 pmOMG!

    I don’t even have words to describe this show, i cried while laughing, oh boy i am still crying. F***ING BEST EPISODE EVARRRRR!!!

  • January 13, 2013 at 4:48 pmhelv3tica5td

    Too bad no one’s covering this show :/

    • January 13, 2013 at 8:09 pmZanibas

      CHECK AGAIN! :D

      The schedule has spoken!

  • January 13, 2013 at 9:04 pmjunglepenguin

    Had no idea what this was about and wasn’t planning to watch this in particular. It feels like I’ve just won the lottery. What a gem.

  • January 14, 2013 at 1:12 amnagi

    Kotoura does not show self-constraint when she probably should have earlier in life, the asshole-meter definitely was put on max for maximum rage, and Manabe is just too convenient a character to save Kotoura.

    Ohhh, spot-on!

    The deconstruction on how people with superpowers (in this show, mind-reading) were treated in “reality” was something I didn’t expect from this, and I thought that was very interesting. I wish the first-half was fleshed out even more. Also, the saving part came in too early. Actually when I was watching the first half I was thinking, “ohh what more if Gen Urobuchi was doing this”.

  • January 14, 2013 at 10:13 pmTrude

    For those of us who enjoy a brief glimpse at the more sinister side of human nature, I’d say this is a good start.
    However, I agree that Kotoura’s pitfalls were mostly of her own doing yet they make sense given the attitude that people seem to share about her abilities. While it is awfully binary now that we’re older and more emotionally mature, it still remains effective since anyone who was bullied as a child has likely felt much the same way: that they could not change what made them a target. Ever been called out because of your glasses? Just let me whip out my myopia correction machine and we’ll be on our way.

  • January 16, 2013 at 7:57 amLoveAsuna

    That was totally awesome that blown my expectation regarding to this fantastic anime. I don’t want the person who had not watched this anime evaluate like ‘The anime just for killing time’ or ‘No lessons, just for amusement’. It shows the Kotoura’s pathetic past and destruction of relationship attributed to her aptitude of observing others’ mind. In retrospect, she had very miserable recollection that her friend looked away from her, and even parent deserted her….. Were I had that situation, probably suicide… During the ten minute at the beginning, I absorbed it whether I forgot the flow of time…

  • January 16, 2013 at 6:38 pmNaiika

    Awesome. Totally great.

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  • January 25, 2013 at 3:57 amBob

    This is one rough beginning episode! Like many others, I was expecting a comedy — not something that made me feel rage! A serious and heart felt conversation with a child about privacy is skipped in favor of lies, blame, and betrayal. Yikes. Sad to say I can see how parents and educators could react this way. Everything is fine as long as you follow the “script” of normal life. But the moment life goes off track in to the unscripted, watch how people fall apart.

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