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Kotoura-san – 08

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「まわりにはみんなが」 (Mawari ni wa Minna ga)
“Everyone is Around Me”

While not an entirely new concept, the plot device of losing an ability is usually a humbling plot device. We generally don’t realize how much we appreciate things until they’re gone, but losing the ability to read minds is another matter–it’s like going deaf and staring at a blank wall. For those of you familiar with Moyashimon, the same concept applies here: both lose their ability to hear a part of the world and both realize how uncomfortable it can be at first. It’s all fun and games not having to deal with the random thoughts of others, especially when it comes to watching movies or being constantly bombarded with erotic thoughts, but as soon as that novelty fades…Kotoura realizes what it is like to experience the “silence” that normal people face. As something we learn to deal with, Kotoura has to face it head-on, and if any other person were accompanying her on her date today, she’d probably freak from not being able to tell the maliciously fake from the genuine article.

Yet Manabe won’t let us down…there isn’t a chance he will. Even though the reduced monitoring from Kotoura unlatched his pervertedness a little too much, his dignity and care for Kotoura stand firm. Although we use the term “all talk and no action” often in a negative way, it probably applies beneficially when used to describe Manabe. Even when presented a chance to succumb to his ecchi desires and make his thoughts reality, Manabe understands the boundaries between reality and pure speculation. There is no end to Manabe’s competency: reliable when needed, funny when appropriate, and above all else openly considerate and aware of the situation he shares with Kotoura. His character is a welcome departure from incompetent male leads, yet doesn’t become this sterile symbol of perfection at the same time. We get to see Manabe’s (comedic) suffering to be the better person, which while typical in a rom com lead, is not usually supplemented largely by pure self-restraint. Manabe did recognize that he came off too strongly at times with his manly desires and made quick amends to fix it, all while keeping his date plans in check, all while on a first date he acknowledged that he was embarrassed to go on. Kotoura, Manabe, consider your first date a huge success, as a wonderful way to close off the current trend of the show…

…because hot damn, shit’s going to get down. First, Mifune, if her fairly subtle hints weren’t enough, explicitly states her intentions once again for Kotoura and her dependence on keeping her ESP active. While this may have been a simple reinforcement and reminder for the audience of her actual character, the other set of events that transpire at the end give some possible insight into Mifune’s possible future plans. Considering how Mifune’s mother used to help law enforcement solve cases, the hints of the next arc imply that this simple fact stated earlier in the show may actually play into Mifune’s own plans for Kotoura. We can probably expect some hesitation from Kotoura next episode to participate in this, especially considering how traumatizing it must be to peer into the minds of the truly insane and violently selfish, but as a result we can probably expect Mifune to counter with encouragement in order to push her “plan” forward.

Even when we put Mifune’s plans aside though, investigating crime is a pretty serious and dramatic topic in itself–if the concept of looking into a criminal’s mind doesn’t send shivers down your spine, perhaps the concept of being forced to do so might. Imagine Kotoura having the best day of her life and suddenly…sheer terror. Everyone in this arc is going to suffer as seen in the preview, but how the show will execute it is something to look forward to next Thursday. Now that they lack the element of surprise, how will Kotoura-san amp up the dramatic heartstring pulls once again?

 

Preview

Kotoura san   08   Preview 01 Kotoura san   08   Preview 02 Kotoura san   08   Preview 03
March 2, 2013 at 1:45 am
24 comments »
  • March 2, 2013 at 2:15 amJinpax

    first post before the storm on next episode

  • March 2, 2013 at 2:31 amBukszie

    OMG he has eyes

  • March 2, 2013 at 2:59 amAnanas

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

  • March 2, 2013 at 3:11 amsadakups

    Just when I was starting to get tired of the same stuff from the more recent episodes comes THAT. FUCKING. EPILOGUE. Shit’s gonna go down, minds are gonna get fucked and somebody’s gonna get hurt.

  • March 2, 2013 at 4:01 ammori

    kotoura open manabe’s gift to be a locket pendant & with pic manabe yea pic got splat yet keep the locket pendant.

    next day kotoura got fever saying funny stuff while manabe keep watch notice that kotoura can’t read mind due to fever yea fantasy mind thinking free time yet still keep care on kotoura.

    during with quick flashback on good time with kotoura & that “mom” before all went to shipwreck & that manabe give food to kotoura & to watch night with her.

    & oh manabe been MORI cause everyone knew manabe is manabe due to kotoura got fever yet can’t read mind so pres have kotoura & manabe on date?

    date well give sorta fine sure fish snacks, kotoura got buried by birds, clothers, & pic taking all good til kotoura’s mind read is back but got her white shocked?

  • March 2, 2013 at 5:48 amdaikama

    Just when things seemed be settling down into a comfortable, if somewhat unexciting, routine, Kotoura-san pulls not one, but two surprises in Episode 8. I guess I should have expected the good times to end (summer vacations, birthday parties, etc.), but to be honest, I really wasn’t expecting Kotoura to lose her ability.

    As Zanibas wrote, it’s definitely not a new concept, so while unexpected, it wasn’t shocking by any means. That plot line is pretty standard fair for “super-power” type protagonists. Still, I didn’t expect that to happen because rather than the loss of her powers resulting in a crisis, IMO losing her psychic abilities more than anything is a “happy ending” for Kotoura. Certainly it can be scary at times to lose an ability you have come to rely upon (ex. wondering whether Manabe went home). However, the fact remains that Kotoura’s psychic abilities are the root of all her suffering.

    It makes perfect sense to me that she would feel a sense of relief – that she’s a “normal girl” and can now live a “normal life.” It would be an entirely different story if she could turn her power on and off at will. Sadly for Kotoura, she can’t. That’s why I really liked the scene in front of the movie theater. Frankly, I never considered how Kotoura’s ability could ruin something as simple as watching a movie for the first time. Great writing IMO by the staff to give viewers a small, but poignant reminder of the burden Kotoura faces daily – well, at least when she isn’t sick.

    Up until the end, I figured the show was headed towards a “is Kotoura better off with or without her powers” type arc. Kotoura suddenly regaining part (all?) of her mind reading ability and then losing consciousness from the shock of the images she saw was a real surprise for me. Just another example of the show’s superior writing. I agree with Zanibas that this next arc will likely play right into Mifune’s plans. Looks like some dark times are ahead for Kotoura, Manabe and the rest of the gang.

    With 2/3rds of the season over, I remain quite impressed by this show. The story line flows so well it’s hard to believe it’s based on a 4-koma. Along with fun characters, loads of comedy and truly touching moments, the story line changes just enough to keep viewers from becoming too complacent. More than anything, I’m looking forward to Kotoura finally confronting her mother. With most shows, I would expect the usual happy ending with Kotoura and her mother patching things up. But not with Kotoura-san… which is one reason I think this show consistently distinguishes itself well from a lot of anime. It’s not very predictable (at least for me), nor is it afraid to take the less typical, darker path if in the end that makes for a better story overall.

    Thank you Zanibas! It’s very likely I would have missed a great show if you didn’t decide to review it.

    • March 2, 2013 at 6:41 amBear

      I was really surprised that this was based on a 4koma, but thinking about it, there are a number of long running American comic strips that are serious long story formats (Judge Parker, Mary Worth, Spiderman for example).

      The other interesting twist would have been if she had started broadcasting instead of receiving and how the others might have reacted.

      I think the author is not one to take the easy way out for his characters. I don’t see them changing their essential personality traits just for a happy ending. While I wish Manabe would back off his perversion for Kotoura’s sake, I don’t see that happening, nor would it be appropriate to the character. It was interesting that it wasn’t as much fun for him when Kotoura couldn’t read his mind though. So I don’t see a real reconciliation happening with the mom, nor do I see a change in Mifume/Moruto’s relationship.

      I really didn’t have high expectations for this show, but it’s been one that is surprisingly enjoyable.

      • March 3, 2013 at 5:28 amdaikama

        The other interesting twist would have been if she had started broadcasting instead of receiving and how the others might have reacted.

        LMAO thinking about Kotoura as a broadcasting station. How about taking that one step further? Not only does Kotoura’s powers morph into broadcasting her thoughts, but due some random incident her power is then transferred to Manabe – who doesn’t realize it and continues with his daily fantasies.

        Good point about the American strips, but I don’t think they follow a strict 4-koma format (haven’t read since a young kid so might be off here). Another 4- Koma based anime I like (read the manga as well) is Seitokai Yakuindomo (“SYD”). Compared to SYD, Kotoura-san feels much more fluid and linear.

        Frankly, with this show I can see a happy (perhaps relatively happy) ending, not so happy ending, or even a “to be continued” one as well. With most shows I watch, I may not predict exactly what happens (though that may happen on occasion), but usually I have a pretty good general idea. I don’t consider myself especially astute, but rather I think a lot of anime tends to be formalistic/fairly predictable. That’s not to say such shows can’t be good. If you watched Fate Stay Night, you KNEW how Fate Zero would end, but FZ was still a great show IMO. However, everything else being equal, a less predictable show (anime or any other type) = better show IMO.

        Lastly, it’s not that I had low expectations, but the show wasn’t even on my “radar.” Mistake on my part, but despite liking SYD, I saw “based on 4-koma” and dismissed without any further thought until I read Zanibas’ review. Right now, this is one of my top two or three shows of the season.

      • March 3, 2013 at 6:09 pmBear

        @daikama
        There are a lot of variations on her ESP going out of control that they could do, like transference to Manabe as you suggested or acting as a rebroadcasting station to the others (sort of a Kokoro Connect situation) maybe even on a random basis. That brought up an interesting thought that Moruto and Mifume don’t seem to have figured out. Kotouro can read their minds so she knows how Mifume feels about Moruto and vice versa. I really want her to tell me (in confidence of course) about how Moruto feels. Oh, and I agree with you about Mori. I believe her repentance and desire to be a friend with Kotoura it real and her over the top antics are hilarious and sometimes bittersweet. I also think that Mifume has yet to prove herself one way or another. The other thing that troubles me is Kotoura’s sadness at Manabe’s excessive pervertednesss. My broadcast idea would at least be one way for him to realize how much he hurts her with that.

      • March 5, 2013 at 12:21 amdaikama

        @Bear, Actually I was making that suggestion as a joke more than anything else. LOL just thinking about everyone’s reactions to his fantasies. Grandpa would probably adopt him though. XD If that were to happen, I think Kotoura might end up getting the worst part of the deal just from sheer embarrassment.

        While I agree with you that Kotoura prefers a non-ecchi Manabe, I don’t get the impression that she’s “hurt” by his ecchi thoughts. Rather, to me she seems to give the typical “boys are disgusting perverts” response. Probably the best words for my impression of how Kotoura sees his ecchiness are “frustrated” and at times “annoyed”. Overall, I think Kotoura realizes that’s “that just Manabe”. A nice guy, stalwart friend… and also very ecchi.

        I just can’t see Kotoura hanging around anyone that would cause her pain. She’s had a life-time’s worth and more already. Lastly, just from an entertainment standpoint, I definitely prefer an ecchi Manabe over a non-ecchi one. Too many funny moments missed with the latter character :D.

  • March 2, 2013 at 6:35 amMegas

    Hmm, OK, she goes into shock & passes out after walking pass a certain someone then we see said someone in the preview – very nice touch.

    The eros is starting to get just as annoying as Moritani but their both concrete in this show so it’ll just have to be dealt with. Turning it into slapstick nonsense is just over-the-F’in-top, especially since it just shits all over what happened earlier in the series. They better nip that in the butt now since it won’t do any good for the plot later on. Unrelenting Eros is fine but Unrelenting Eros + Slapstick (especially by an ex-bitch) = old & boring.

  • March 2, 2013 at 7:01 amEdios

    I still can’t get unused to instant genre change this show does, from comedic to super serious, to perverted and back to comedy.

    • March 2, 2013 at 9:34 amEdios

      used to*

  • March 2, 2013 at 8:22 amlivevoid

  • March 2, 2013 at 10:09 amGeoff

    What’s the point of Moritani? You know, other romcoms at least make an effort to keep us all guessing who’s going to win (9/10 times we all know the ending) but this show man… Even she knows she’s already lost.

    • March 2, 2013 at 11:59 amBear

      Obviously she’s there as the enforcer so Manabe doesn’t actually try to implement one of his perverted fantasies. Note what happened to him when Moritani even thought that something might have happend when Kotoura was sick.

    • March 2, 2013 at 1:10 pmMegas

      Yeah right, enforcer, heh.

      It doesn’t take a genius to know that Manabe WON’T do anything. He had all the chances in the world. How in the hell are you going to prevent or enforce something after the fact. You can’t stop someone from fantasizing so WHY punish them for it. He didn’t PHYSICALLY do anything so why should he be PHYSICALLY punished – especially by Moritani-bitch. Hasn’t she done enough.

      I’m calling BS. Moritani is there just for the hell of it. This show don’t have enough episodes of her to take on such a shitty slapstick role.

      I hope they leave the damn slapstick alone & focus on the real problems.

    • March 3, 2013 at 6:01 amdaikama

      @Megas: It doesn’t take a genius to know that Manabe WON’T do anything..

      I’d say your 99% right, but that 1% = a very bad situation. Manabe was just about as close as he could get without crossing the line. Kotoura got better by the next day, but what happens if she’s sick for a week? However, I also do not see Mari as simply an enforcer despite Mifune’s comment.

      ————————————————————-

      To be honest, I now actually LIKE Mori. No, not in that sense (:P), but to my surprise, I do like her character now that she understands what a total a** she was early in the show. I find myself laughing at her scenes as much as any other character’s. Watching her and Manabe fight over Kotoura by moving her chair back and forth was hilarious IMO. JMO, but I think the show wouldn’t be quite as entertaining without her antics.

      In terms of her “role” I view Mari currently as “Kotoura’s only female friend.” Manabe’s obviously a great friend (and more if things go his way), but that’s still not the same for Kotoura as a good female friend. I certainly don’t view Mifune as a real friend. That may change, but only if Mifune stops obsessing with clearing her mom’s name. Until then IMO, Mifune considers Kotoura as a useful tool first, person/friend second. Lastly, in some respects I also view Mari as another sign of Kotoura’s progress. From no friends to one friend (Manabe) and now two with Mari.

  • March 2, 2013 at 11:20 amDark

    I’ve got to wonder did Mifune send the Manabe and Kotoura on that date to that specific place knowing serial criminals tend to stock the same locations when hunting for victims that Kotoura would pick up on the killers mind?

    After all Mifune’s mom used to work closely with the police and might have some inside information not available in normal public channels. Keeping the murder a secret as not to cause a panic but an old friend of Mifune’s mom let it slip.

  • March 2, 2013 at 12:02 pmdanpmss

    wow, so many disliked comments right there ^

  • March 3, 2013 at 12:50 amLoveAsuna

    Good episode is starting to set on!! In this episode we can sum of this in a couple of things regarding to Haruka

    1. Kotoura has been set on wonderful and vigorous life compare to her past lifeline. However, she lost her flair and fainted.

    2. Before she fainted, the tragic events passed in a blink of my eye, and we can divide the thing into past events and the future.

    -If the happening is past, she had suffered tremendous thing like murder or sth. That trauma result in the lost of capacity and lead to huge side effects. I think this happening will lethal to her that it is difficult to get rid of the trauma away from her. Her mental must be collided when we reflect her past events presented in episode 1

    -If the happening is future matter, we can infer that she got new ability and this happening is just rite of passage of her new flair. -a prophecy-
    However, this happening can be a double-edged sword. She can avoid some bad events but lacking the criteria and extent of the flair, the chaos within her brain.

    In sum of this, the really bad things will be happen. Confidential to this problem!! I really looking forward next episode

  • March 3, 2013 at 11:29 amEntrav

    Glad that things are getting a bit more tense after the fun-filled days. We need some more drama after all.

  • March 3, 2013 at 12:24 pmWherethecowsfly

    Funny episode! But seems that next week come an intense journey.

  • March 4, 2013 at 4:06 pmewok40k

    Well, first of all, I’ve marathoned the series so-far during last 2 days, and I am impressed, from the solid reliability of Manabe (while he’s still loveable sex maniac), to the depth of Moritani’s redemption.
    This particular episode was almost a guide of how-to make a successful date. But more serious things loom on the horizon, and from the very start 2 things were plain to me – that Kotoura’s power would be of great use in criminal investigation, and that innocent girl like her would be crushed if faced with a mind of really evil human.