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Kotoura-san – 10

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「だけどあなたはいない」 (Dakedo Anata wa Inai)
“But You’re Not Here”

While the delay for this post is due to real life business, my heart really wasn’t set out on this episode in the first place. Unless they’re pulling a red herring here (which would be fantastic), we know who the criminal happens to be. I had my suspicions in the beginning, but with the hairstyle the culprit has…it’s hard to not guess who it probably is. Assuming that things are as predicted, we still have yet to see what the motivation behind the attacks were and how the culprit managed to mask their killing intent from Kotoura this entire time. Although the former can only be guessed at, the latter can probably be linked to how Mifune hides her own deeper thoughts from Kotoura–though both are really unexplained at this point, we may see a confession from Mifune for all the manipulation and deception she’s done.

Now Mifune’s intentions are not entirely selfish–redeeming your mother’s image is an admirable task–but she went about it the wrong way. Not enough emphasis was placed on her drive to redeem her mother until the very end, where even then the action was short-lived and anti-climatic. Sure, Mifune made Muroto stare in shock a few more times this episode, but other than an awkward fight between Kotoura and Manabe, not much has been done to challenge the group’s friendship. Moritani is released without much worry, Muroto still is as loyal and patient as ever, and the negative feelings from the group aren’t expanded on other than some awkwardness before the resolution. I hate to say it, but this arc so far has been quite the downer so far.

What I had hoped this arc would do is bring back the tenseness and the challenges that the first episodes brought upon Kotoura and friends. I wanted to experience the thrill of seeing their bonds pushed to the limit, where a resolution is far from easy. I wanted to see a big problem get tackled despite the challenges in an interesting manner that also shed light on the ethics of using mind-reading to help fight crime. Above all else, I wanted Mifune to be more rash and uncontrolled, striving harder for her mother and doing “whatever it takes” to redeem her mother’s image.

In my opinion, we didn’t get any of that, at least in a satisfactory manner. I’m afriad to say that Kotoura-san has been a letdown in terms of its potential thus far. The issues are explored at a very shallow level and the comedy still gets in the way of delving into the drama. If the show wants to do proper drama, it can’t use the same mood that’s been adopted for the cheerful moments–the sense of danger gets diluted that way. While I applaud the show for how it handled the first episodes still and roping me into what was otherwise perceived as a low-hype show, right now the show is delivering to expectations I had pre-season. Unfortunately without the source material I can’t make a statement on whether it’s a fault with the author or the adaption, but either way the quality of the story right now still makes me sad.

Despite that though, I’m still hoping that the show will reveal something amazing in the last few episodes left. The preview looks promising if it is indicative of the overall tone of the episode. Kotoura’s self-reflections and flashbacks so far have been a pleasure to watch, especially as they mark her growing friendships. If A-1 can do something right here, it’s to make those final episode reflections for Kotoura as meaningful as the beginning of the series was.

 

Preview

Kotoura san   10   Preview 01 Kotoura san   10   Preview 02 Kotoura san   10   Preview 03
March 17, 2013 at 5:19 am
29 comments »
  • March 17, 2013 at 5:44 amharska

    kotoura & manabe arrive at school hear mori going to jail so go police place to find mori but got police toss-out then mifune & daichi arrive oh female cop let them in.

    mori said she found the victim then cop guy appear then mifune have kotoura use her power on expose cop guy include his toilet probs give seem all sorts is just police don’t want to use mind read powers.

    give got mifune bit upset cause what happen to her mom give cop guy was there when mifune’s hang mom happen so after that go scooby-doo to catch the attacker.

    but manabe going NO on it give very concern on it yet kotoura want to do it so manabe left & after another attack happen mori is free now going catch the crook.

    then phone call from female cop about the attack place rumor so kotoura & others go there with mifune as bait then kotoura read evil mind & yikes mifune meet club stick?

  • March 17, 2013 at 6:33 ambaseone

    I think she’s the culprit.

    • March 17, 2013 at 8:28 amKiria

      I thought the same thing at first. When the arc first opened up, I just didn’t like her for some reason and thought she was the one behind it all… But now Zanibas has opened my eyes to the other possibility I completely missed. Either way, I’m sure it’ll be interesting.

      • March 17, 2013 at 10:26 amTre

        What other possibility? It’s either that cop, or someone we don’t know.

        Or am I missing something?

      • March 17, 2013 at 9:04 pmKairoru

        She did have a little envy over our cute ESP Society members, because unlike them she didn’t have any friends.

        Could be a possibility that she’s the real criminal.

      • March 19, 2013 at 7:34 pmJames

        It was so “unlikely” that it was obvious right near the start.

  • March 17, 2013 at 7:01 amMegas

    I wouldn’t get your hopes up about this series. There’s a reason I destroyed the manga, it was basically one POS situation after another – Like a very disturbed adult wrote up the problems & a naive innocent kid wrote up the solutions.

    The show’s redeeming factor is that its no where near as bad as the manga. It just fell into a rut with the comedy in the 2nd half & it couldn’t keep up with the meaningful plot lines as well. It’s still a great show though, but it really set the bar too high for itself. The 1st 6 episodes compared to these 4 seems like 2 different shows.

  • March 17, 2013 at 8:26 ambara

    Kinda guessed from the start of the arc that the female cop was the criminal. Was too obvious of a sudden introduction and being made into a prominent character.
    As much as Mifune has apparantly tried to lead them wrong, I really don’t see her having what it takes to be an antagonist so a confession or an apology is definetely due. Too many people immediately jumped on her suddenly doing a 180 and becoming the major bad guy of the show but she’s far too kind to the main cast even if she tries to claim it as an act.

    As for the Manabe and Kotoura fight…I honestly think it would have had more punch had the “I hate you” phrase not become a comedy moment from Manabe’s reaction. That would have been the setter if he had actually reacted in a really negative way towards it but because he turned it into a sort of joke moment then stormed off it didn’t have the same effect as it could have and the scene fell short.

    It’s a bit of an obvious show but I’m definetely enjoying it, my little guilty pleasure of the season. (Also, Muroto has quickly become my favourite character over the past few episodes.)

  • March 17, 2013 at 8:35 amDvalinn

    Every time that female cop opened her mouth I basically heard one thing; “hey kids, who wants to talk about murders! *rainbows* *Yay!* Don’t tell anyone I said this, buuutt…” I mean, really, she’s kind of like a genderflipped version of said character.

    Anyway, you’re right in saying that in the end, this show didn’t amount to anything special after all. I’ve seen worse, but after a messy yet promising start it kind of became a bit generic after all, and the drama of these last few episodes is too easily resolved. It has kind of lost its darkhorse status (that one went to Mondaji) and became a mere ‘okay’ show. Ah well, might as well see if it ends in a satisfying way.

    • March 17, 2013 at 11:36 amkondee

      “Speaking of minds, know what’s on mine? Murders!”

      Yes, she is exactly like said character. I knew I wasn’t the only person who saw that similarity. Don’t know why you decided to omit the name of this character since it isn’t really giving much away if we were to just look at the character quirks and only that but I’ll roll with it. Only thing she is missing at this point is cabbages.

      Anyway, I hope the female cop being the perp is a red herring because the show makes it a bit way too obvious. It would be great if the ditsy female cop is exactly what she is. Always had to be the ditsy ones when it comes to crime mysteries in anime…:\

      Kotoura-san never quite reached the ambition or the heaviness of the first few episodes up at this point. The first confrontation between Kotoura and her mother which is what I looked forward to went out with nothing but a whimper and not even a hint of resentment on Kotoura’s part. The tension was gone with an oddly placed comedic antic from Manabe.

      Nonetheless, this mystery might have some interesting revelations. I still find Kotoura-san an enjoyable romcom even if I got into this based on how unique and heavy the first few episodes were.

    • March 17, 2013 at 11:55 amRockmanshii

      My thoughts exactly. Would be pretty funny if she breaks down in the next episode and start calling Kotoura and co “stupid sh*tty brats” etc.

      Regarding this episode, I also have a problem with Mifune’s character but in my case it’s about how her hidden agenda feels like forced drama. She could just blatantly ask Kotoura to help her clear her mom’s name. Like you said, redeeming your mother’s image is an admirable task. It’s not like she’ll ask her to rob banks. Or at least, they shouldn’t have made it obvious that Kotoura will accept to help her anyway when she learns the truth. That’s what I believe at least.

  • March 17, 2013 at 11:23 ammac65

    In spite of the last episode practically telling us who the attacker is, I think the reason is
    that the real mystery is the connection with her mother and possibly her mother’s death –
    or at least this is my hope.

    When Kotoura read the policeman’s thoughts, she was completely unimpressed, not
    surprised at all; even belligerent towards Kotoura. She might be a red herring, but if not
    I’d hope there would be some depth to her back story. Too, she could be following our
    troupe thinking that they’ll attract the criminal for her to apprehend, but IMHO there are
    too many clues that seem to state otherwise — that she really is the culprit.

    Now, I believe Mifune changed. In the beginning I believed that she would try to rescue
    her mother’s reputation, even at the cost of injuring others. But I think her decision to put
    herself in harms’ way shows a reversal in that respect. I agree it’s kinda late.

    Muroto hasn’t really added much to any of the character other than Mifune, and his absence
    probably would not have hurt the story. Except that he was needed for the “club.”

    Probably my biggest gripe is Manabe’s immaturity – not the perviness, but his treatment
    of Kotoura at the wrong times gets under my skin. Kotoura’s mom called it right — just
    because someone’s paying attention to you doesn’t make them friendship material. If they
    don’t respect you as a person and see you only as an object of their lust, it has no value.

    A good contrast character in this respect would be Tomake from Sora no Otoshimono.
    For as pervy as he was, the writers always left me with a feeling that he cared about the angels.
    But in Manabe case, he showed that he could man-up in the early episodes. It’s [sad] funny that
    Kotoura comments that her mom is looking out for her, but missing the point her mother made
    completely. Just terrible writing.

    Well, a couple left — will it be a train wreck or a solid ending…?

    • March 18, 2013 at 2:32 amFirelord

      Explain to me how Manabe’s treatment of Haruka is immature. From what I’ve seen, he’s the only sane person in the group right now.

      • March 18, 2013 at 4:54 ammac65

        Ep 9 when her introduces himself to her mother, not really a good time
        to go all pervy on her daughter.

        And it just so happens that this is a hotel…[20:38]

        If you’re trying to impress someone’s mom she met a quality person, this
        probably isn’t the way to do it, IMHO. There are other examples.

    • March 18, 2013 at 5:18 amFirelord

      [blockquote]Ep 9 when her introduces himself to her mother, not really a good time
      to go all pervy on her daughter.

      And it just so happens that this is a hotel…[20:38]

      If you’re trying to impress someone’s mom she met a quality person, this
      probably isn’t the way to do it, IMHO. There are other examples.[/blockquote]

      Does this also count towards a mother who claims that she doesn’t give two shits about her daughter’s happiness anymore? A mother who invoked a deep sense of fear into her own daughter?

      Manabe’s act served a purpose, just as it has all the other times he’s done it. In this case, it cracked Kumiko’s defenses, showing Haruka that, even though she claims to still hate her, she secretly still cares about her well-being. Had he not done that, Haruka would be no better off than before they met her. Looks like he did a good thing here, and I’m sure that goes for a lot of other instances as well.

  • March 17, 2013 at 11:27 amGeoff

    http://randomc.net/image/Kotoura-san/Kotoura-san%20-%2010%20-%20Large%2021.jpg

    That’s not some foreshadowing if I’ve ever seen it. Nope. Foreshadowing, what’s that?

  • March 17, 2013 at 11:59 amSmithCB

    Hmmm, let me throw something out into the ring. Many people have mentioned that a couple of times, they mistook the female cop for Kotura’s mom….Let’s see, what options does that give us as to suspects? Dark hair on thie sides in front of the ear and a longer bang dropping in front of the eyes could mean anything, I suppose. The catch there is that it would seem that if that hatred Kotura experienced on the street that sent her to the hospital came from her mom, wouldn’t she recognize it as such? Maybe not if her mom’s anger was aimed at Mifune – but why? Is there a link there as well? Another thought (just one) crossed my mind that if it is the female cop, maybe she’s got powers like Kortura and the ability to hide her thoughts and/or she’s the child of someone Mifune’s mom helped the police to capture. The primary question as I see it is why are these attacks happening NOW, and why were the first attacks completely dissociated with Kotura and her friends? Stay tuned!!!

  • March 17, 2013 at 1:25 pmBear

    Let me throw this out. If the cop was the assailant how did Kotoura not see it? Well, how about multiple personalities? The cop personality has no idea what her other personality has done.

    • March 17, 2013 at 3:11 pmdaikama

      @Bear – good point. You would think that Kotoura would pick upon on that. Still, seems pretty clear the female cop is the culprit so multiple personalities might be the reason. Wonder if that issue will be addressed in the anime, or if it’s just an inconsistency missed in the source material and/or adaptation.

      OT: Less than 48hrs ;).

    • March 17, 2013 at 9:28 pmZnail

      It\s pretty clear by now that Kotoura only read surface thoughts as even Manabe have managed to trick her be intentionally thinking about something else then what he trying to keep her from finding out.

  • March 17, 2013 at 2:33 pmdaikama

    Personally, I’d rather not try to duplicate the first episodes initial intensity just for the sake of recreating the same intensity. Repeatedly creating tension simply for the sake of creating tension doesn’t work well IMO. That being said, this arc does feel rather cobbled together, and I agree that the show has been more subdued/lost a bit of edge. The show seems to be losing focus on what the primary story is about – Kotoura-san’s fight to be accepted by others. Rather than each episode getting better, unfortunately I think the reverse is happening now.

    IMO the mangaka (assuming anime follows closely) missed a big opportunity when Kotoura lost her psychic powers. Rather than just have her recover her ability almost as a side note, have an arc spent on the issue of whether she’s better off without her powers. Is that really the solution to all her problems? Is she no longer the “monster” her mother loathes and thus able to reconcile? There are a lot of issues and even drama that could result from this plot line IMO (incl. of course what trials/sacrifices she’d face if her powers returned).

    Obviously this arc is intended to address Mifune’s issue, but with the emphasis on “solving the case”, I almost feel like I’m watching a different show – “High School Psychic Detective”. The 4-koma aspect is starting to creep up as well IMO. Maybe it’s better to say things feel a bit rushed. Mori in jail… “few minutes later”… Mori out of jail. Manabe and Kotoura fight… “few minutes later”… everything’s fine. Maybe just me, but it seems like the plot doesn’t flow quite as smoothly as it did before.

    It will be interesting to see which direction Kotoura-san takes for an ending. Will we get something like:

    (A) The “happy ending”. EX: Kotoura solves the case/Mifune’s mother’s name cleared, Mifune is now free of her past and “true friend #3″, etc.;
    (B) The “static ending”. EX: Koutora solves the case, but her psychic abilities are kept secret by the police/no one believes it = Mifune’s mom’s name still tarnished & releationships unchanged; or
    (C) The “not so happy ending”. EX: Case solved but for some reason (e.g. Manabe/Mori protecting Kotoura), Kotoura refuses to let her abilities be made known publicly. Mifune’s mom’s name still tarnished and Mifune blames Kotoura for ruining this one last chance for her. Relationships are divided as Mifune now hates Kotoura.

    • March 17, 2013 at 3:41 pmCTT

      Voting for (c) here. Muroto said he’d always accept Mifune and stay by her side, so I’d like to see how far his loyalty can be pushed before he interferes or leaves. It’s funny how Kotoura pretty much said, “I hate you for trying to protect me and the others by rationally pointing out that high school kids shouldn’t be trying to find an assailant without police protection, my first real friend ever!” Unfortunately, i know I’m biased towards Manabe, and though I don’t agree with the theory that he only hangs out with her so he can fantasize and control her, I think it probably would have been better if he’d stayed with the group or told the police. Protecting people even if they hate you for it is one of the signs of a hero. Just ask the X-men, Spiderman, and real life heroes

    • March 17, 2013 at 4:07 pmBear

      Somehow I think Manabe has to be part of the solution here. It’s part and parcel to the story that he get involved.

      I do agree that the show has lost some of it’s spark and an arc showing how Kotoura deals with having lost her ability would have been very interesting. Showing how each of the characters would have reacted could have lead to emotional situations. How would Mifume have dealt with losing her possible evidence of her mother’s ability? Would Kotoura’s mom have forgiven her? How do you convince your schoolmates that you can’t read minds anymore? Would Moritori be tempted to go after Manabe knowing that Kotoura can’t tell what she’s doing? Would Manabe (and maybe granddad) become suicidal knowing that they can’t inflict their fantasies on Kotoura? And finally what would Kotoura feel and how would the return of them affect her after she’s convinced that they’re truly gone?

      • March 18, 2013 at 9:26 amdaikama

        @bear – Yeah, I think it goes without saying that Manabe will be a big factor in the outcome. He’s consistently been more reliable than anyone else in protecting Kotoura. I’m probably more “pro-Mori” than most, but the fact remains she carries the idiot ball a few times too many despite good intentions. Besides, it’s pretty clear that he’s the next leading protagonist after Kotoura.

        It’s strange how two episodes ago, I felt the show was quite unpredictable, but now not so much. Ending “C” is the dark-horse IMO, yet I also think that it would be the best one simply because I think it would be the most realistic. Who knows? We may get a surprise though TBH, I’m not expecting much of one.

  • March 17, 2013 at 8:17 pmNoSicko

    Did Mifune really get her head cracked open with a crowbar?!

    Will Kotoura ever be able to forget that DEMON VOICE she heard from the criminal’s head?!!

    Will the writers pull a “reverse Tobi” and reveal the criminal to be someone we didn’t expect?

    Will this series surprise all the haters and be hailed as a masterpiece for years to come?!!!

    FIND OUT NEXT TIME ON….. KOTOURA-SAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNN!!!!!!!!

  • March 18, 2013 at 5:07 amSnooSnoo

    I’m getting kinda tired listening to Kotoura blaming herself for every little thing. Sad, since the first episode was so good. >.>

  • March 19, 2013 at 11:05 amewok40k

    Regarding Mifune:
    Getting yourself into the way of psychotic assailant and abusing confidence of best friends is NOT enough? What do you want her to do, get killed or kill someone herself?

  • March 30, 2013 at 6:06 amGalactic bear love

    I guess Zanibas gave up on reviewing this series though its still one of my favorite cause its a great show knowing it based from the 4 coma manga. I just finished watching the last ep and it turns out great but I’m still disappointed a bit. I wanted more!

    I love the show but it kinda lost my interest and faith in the series when the final arc is finally airing – I think it will be great if they stick to their plot rather going in to crime and investigation genre because it turns out like a psycho-pass kind of show. But All in all it was an amazing ride and too ambitious though! but one heck of a show!