Miken: Will I ever truly be on time…? Probably not. Either way, Kobato’s a strong series through and through. Despite an unexciting beginning and a few faults with filler, it’s been very good. As you may have noticed, I fell quite behind on this series. Due to real life, pesky relationships, schoolwork, illness and all-around laziness, I fell behind on this series despite knowing full well that it was good. I suppose it was the knowledge that after watching all those episodes, I’d have to do actual work and write up a post that made me go “Ah, I’ll do it later” over and over and over again. I initially wrote this post to split each episode separately to comment on them, but I figured I probably should just give a big wrap up post instead of a bunch of little posts stuffed into one.
Archive for the ‘Kobato’ Category
Miken: It feels like so much has happened in just one episode — and with the Nursery getting deeper and deeper into trouble, with kids leaving due to concerned parents, I just can’t help but side with Fujimoto on this. Okiura, even if he has his reasons (alluded to be related to his father), needs a nice beatdown. Sayaka has done nothing but work hard and care for the children, so I see nothing on her part that would cause her own husband to harass her and try to drive her nursery into the ground.
As for the debt collector guy outside the nursery, his insistence on staying obviously annoyed me, since I want everyone at the nursery to live happily ever after. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t feel bad for him when he collapse and had to be rushed to the hospital to have his appendicitis treated. There’s just something about him that made me think that there must be a somewhat understandeable reason why they won’t give up on the nursery. Sure, their methods are pretty horrible (ie threatening to demolish the Nursery with kids still inside), but it does make one think. As stated before, though, a good reason doesn’t necessarily mean that I’ll sympathize with Okiura.
Because of the whole trip to the hospital, Domoto gets his chance to walk Kobato back to the nursery and then offer to walk her home. Though they do stop by in a park and Domoto confesses to liking girls like Kobato. It’s a pretty roundabout way to confess, and unfortunately for him, Kobato doesn’t get what he’s insinuating.
Well, I can’t say I’m surprised that Domoto’s starting to make not-really confessions to Kobato. It’s kinda cute since they’re both so innocent, but the Kobato x Fujimoto shipper in me is relieved that this is all flying over Kobato’s head. At the very least, I don’t think this will become a full blown drama-filled love triangle (a la Kimi ni Todoke) since Fujimoto would never admit to such a thing like that and Domoto just isn’t a conniving kind of guy.
Miken’s Enjoyment Level: 8.5/10
Miken’s Anticipation Level: 9/10
It’s a Christmas episode~!? I sure hope that means more shipping fodder.
A cute smile~
Miken: I suppose it’s best that I’m behind on this so now I don’t have to split up this two-part story.
In which Kobato isn’t quite up to going “がんばります!”
Miken: This series is still going strong, and with Sayaka sick this week, Kobato and Fujimoto take over the nursery and come up with touching ways to deal with the situation. Very few comedic antics this week as Kobato takes another serious turn.
Miken: It looks like Kobato’s still continuing with the episodic stories, this one is one of the better ones, still lagging far behind the dying Ginko tree from last week and the firefly story, but still quite ahead of the bakery shop and camera ones. While the runaway kid’s problems are solved as expected, it was nice to see him finally understanding that all the yelling from his grandfather was just his way of caring for him. In the end it was a touching story, but not one that really sticks out or tugs at one’s heartstrings very much.
On the other side of things, Fujimoto softens up even more~ He debates calling up the kid’s mother, but decides against it and goes along with the whole “let’s find the old house!” plan. While he still speaks rather roughly to him, it’s quite apparent that he connects with the kid somehow. Kobato’s also warming up to him, calling him a nice guy despite calling him a bully so much. It’s so nice to see how these two have gotten closer, little by little, over the course of the series. They bickered quite a bit at first, and while the bickering’s still there, it seems that it’s really toned down and the two have accepted one another.
Miken’s Enjoyment Level: 8/10
Miken’s Anticipation Level 8/10
Miken: Well, episode 11 was nice, although it really doesn’t feel like much in the end. However, there are some nice tidbits within the episode that stick out. Most prominently is the fact that Sayaka was once married. It makes sense, seeing as I’d guess that she’s around 10 years older than Fujimoto. This brings out more mystery surrounding Yomogi and it might have more to do with the debtor problem as well. I hope I get to see/hear more of this mysterious husband.
As for episode 12, I was very pleasantly surprised — the usual antics took a backseat to plot. Ginsei showed up again and was explained to be someone who was brought up by Iorogi. It definitely gives a more “little kid jealous of his new little sister” kind of vibe to him. It makes him seem much less antagonistic and much more misunderstood. He obviously cares a ton for Iorogi despite the previous attacks and such and is acting like he really wants his attention. Add that to how fluffy he looks and I could just hug him to death~ More Iorogi background and the mentioning that he got kicked out and turned into a stuffed dog for revolting is a nice twist to an otherwise lax story. This is definitely one of my favorite episodes of this series so far…Fujimoto staring so seriously at Ioryogi and tying the ribbon back on was so cute too~ (≧∇≦)/
Then…Episode 13. Well, if I really liked 11, then I absolutely love this episode. Despite Kobato’s best efforts and the reprise of her ever-calming song (now a duet with Kohaku~), the tree still comes crashing down. It was a nice change to see a bittersweet story. It also seems that my “she’ll get a ton in one random event” theory is still up in the air. Since this change is season meant a mini-timeskip, with Kobato’s bottle filling to about a third. So if she gets the other third naturally, then the last third will come from one big event, right? That really depends on if the start of the series was either Spring or Summer…Then again, it really isn’t my place to consider how she’ll get those konpeito, since it’s the journey that she takes to get them that the story focuses on. But still, it’d be nice to see her wish granted by the end of the series.
Also, I agree with Omni here — Fujimoto saving Kobato like that has to be some sort of relationship flag. I might not vocally ship very often, but those two would be so cute together~ It’s also nice to see the guy being the tsundere once in a while, it gives TAAN some company. I also found it a pleasing surprise that Fujimoto didn’t chew Kobato out for being an idiot. Sure, he commented on her standing there like an idiot while the tree fell, but that’s just a natural conclusion. It sort of gives the feel that he’s softened up, though he really has been a nice guy all along. Making the toys out of the tree was nice too, it gave this episode’s story a nice ending that made it more sweet than bitter.
This episode, I also started to really appreciate this series’ soundtrack, the piano piece at the beginning of the episode was really nice~ And then that caught me onto listening to the background music throughout the rest of the episode.
Miken’s Enjoyment Level: 9.2/10
Miken’s Anticipation Level: 8/10
So, since we’re at the halfway point of the series, I suppose there should be a little measurement of how far this series has come and what I expect, etc:
Madhouse has kept up with expectations and the visuals are still nice, but the plot moves very slowly. It’s definitely not bad, but when only one or two tiny hints are dropped here and there, it feels like very little has been done except for the whole heart-healing of the week setup. However, in recent weeks, while we still get the episodic stories, there have been more and more characters reappearing and a more connected overarching story. Also, since not much has been given in terms of Iorogi’s backstory and Kobato’s wish, I definitely look forward to seeing those topics being brought up. The characters have been set up nicely too, with Kobato becoming a genuinely “d’aaaaaw~”-worthy kind of character despite first coming off as the dumb kind of moe and the previously rough Fujimoto starting to show a deredere side.
Will I watch this series to the end? Hell yeah~ Even though I generally tend to watch more action-oriented shows, Kobato has really grown on me. I can now honestly say that I cheer on Kobato when she tries to tackle the problem of the week head-on.
Miken: Hmmm…I dunno why, but my screenshots’ aspect ratios got murdered. Ah well, this is good enough!
This episode was nice enough to give some more background to Fujimoto’s character while conveniently telling us almost nothing at all. Still, it’s nice to see him all cute and non-tsundere for once. Actually, I’m starting to think that his grouchiness developed from getting tired of people calling him cute. If that’s the case, I can totally feel his pain. Still, despite all of the roughness, he’s a super-nice guy on the inside~
Also, Sayaka taking a stand is totally awesome~ I can’t wait till that part of her comes back to resolve the whole loan shark issue. If this series weren’t so bright and happy, I’d also want to see Fujimoto beat the crap outta those guys while Ioryogi roasts them repeatedly. Speaking of roasting…
Our daily exercise at making the fire marshal cry himself to sleep at night.
Baaaw so cute! The younger Sayaka is also very nice~ I’m glad to see that none of her younger beauty ran off and that her present self is just as pretty.
Good ole little-kid music classes — You sang the same 3 songs a billion times and somehow never got that bored of it…
I’ll just ignore that lack of logic as I usually do and smile and nod and go along like it makes sense.
Of course we read your diary, silly!
(Also agreeing w/ Kobato that chibi-Fujimoto is 320% cute!)
Poor Fujimoto has no one on his side. XD
Miken’s Enjoyment Level: 8/10
Miken’s Anticipation Level: 6.9/10
Candy in leiu of a formal apology for being so very very late
Miken: So yeah…I fell behind on this, but I caught back up and, suffice to say, I really like it now. Sure, it’s still the “problem of the day”, but some tension is finally entering the plot and spicing things up~ Kobato’s cheeriness works better for me now that I’m cheery that I have a college to go to after this year. So I’ll keep working hard to keep this up while Kobato does her very best as well!
How the hell does this face even look like it needs healing at all!?
Episode 4 features Kohaku and Shuichiro of Wish. I haven’t read Wish yet, but the cuteness of Kohaku’s devotion to Shuichiro really makes me want to. Though I still feel bad that Kobato didn’t get any new candy to add to her collection, it’s nice to know that at least someone out there isn’t inherently broken in some way. Still, if things go at this rate, she won’t have the candy she needs to grant her wish by the end of the series. This either means a “go read the manga!” ending or she somehow miraculously heals a ton of people at once.
Episode Rating: 7/10
Fireflies teaching an old man to shine once more
Episode 5 is balanced between healing a writer named Mori and the mounting suspense of the mysterious people who are tormenting Sayaka. Stories about a message unable to be received or understood until a great epiphany usually get to me, and I found tears forming by the end of the culminating scene with the fireflies. Just like Kobato, I’m glad to see Mori out of his grumpy old man phase and back into writing such nice simple children’s books~ I wonder if that book is real? It sounds like something I’d love to read to my little sister~…Well, ignoring the language barrier and all. Meanwhile, I also liked how Kobato, despite her outward appearance of a ditz managed to stay strong against those tough guys and defended Sayaka despite being scared herself (trembling hands). Props to Toshihiko for running those thugs outta there like only a preschooler can!
Episode Rating: 9/10
How much longer will this happiness last?
Episode 6 delves deeper into the mire that is Yomogi Nursery’s financial troubles while having a (generally) happy day out with everyone at the park. It seems that Ioryogi isn’t the only one from Heaven to be transformed into something laughable. There’s the bakery bear and the…I-don’t-know-what-it-is-but-it-has-an-eyepatch Ginsei. Ioryogi seems to have had a relatively interesting life up in Heaven too. Obviously, since he caused enough trouble to be disgraced into becoming a toy dog. Ginsei looks to be an awesome rival though his appearance this episode sorta felt like a drive-by character introduction. He just showed up and left…nothing much more than that. The whole finding the four-leaf clover patch was super-cute too~ I want luck like that too!
Episode Rating: 8.5/10
Fujimoto kindly telling Doumoto to stop freaking stalking him
Episode 7 has Kobato learning a bit more about Fujimoto while healing one of his “friends”…There’s the whole debate over whether or not people should help others in cases when working alone to overcome one’s problems should be applied. Really not much I can say about this episode…But it sure does cement Fujimoto’s label as a tsundere. <3
Episode Rating: 7/10
Cutest. Twins. Ever.
Episode 8 has a kitty, and as we all know “KITTIES ARE SO CUTE~”. Operating on this mantra, Kobato tries to give a cute abandoned (cat named Milk partway into the episode) a good home. Lots of attempts, but not even the combine cuteness of Kobato, Chiho and Chise can help them until that nice old lady from episode 1 shows up thanks to Fujimoto and offers to take Milk in. Kobato’s song returns once more and heals Chiho and Chise, who are sad to see Milk go. Honestly, she should just record that song and spread it all over the world. Then she’d probably get all the candy she needs and then some. -_-
Episode Rating: 8.7/10
Episode 9 features two childhood friends who have since grown apart, but find themselves connected once more in the end by two small cell phone charms they bought for one another at a festival years ago. It’s a nice little story, but still so very very predictable. Then again, the simplicity of these little stories do make the heartwarming-ness just that much better. Seeing how these two girls grew apart despite still wanting to be close really tugged my heartstrings though. Makes me look back and regret letting some friends go like that…Maybe I should take a cue from Kobato and reconnect? Ahahaha, so awkward.
Episode Rating: 7.5/10
All in all, Kobato’s still very enjoyable, if not slow and sometimes frustrating. I definitely want Kobato do have her wish granted, no matter what it is~ I’ll try to be more on time, but with my scanlations group needing more work done before a certain huge deadline, I probably can’t promise that I’ll be on time till February…XD;;
Miken’s Anticipation Level: 8/10
Because…you know…you’re the person who said you couldn’t pay me for working…>_>;;
Episode 2: …The Konpeito’s Shine.
Miken: Kobato’s still as endearing as she was before, but she’s taking the approach so far that I emphasize greatly with Ioryogi. The scene at the daycare was cute too, even though they were a tad too precious. Seeing Fujimoto being dragged around by that little girl was just so cute! It’s like seeing a guy’s rough exterior broken to bits and turned moe in an instant! Of course, he goes tsun-tsun and asks why the hell Kobato keeps stalking him (a valid point, though…) and when Ms. Sayaka mistakes them for friends, their simultaneous refusal and Kobato’s little “I won’t lose to him!” while dancing to his organ playing only made we want to ship them more. XD;;
All the overtly cute things still don’t measure up to Kobato saying that she’s still trying to figure out who she is and then Fujimoto sorta accepting her in his totally tsundere way. Ioryogi telling her to continue trying to heal him despite his not wanting to be was nice too~ Kobato’s childish naivety also works well when she connects with Toshihiko and the way she ends up healing him is truly touching as well. It’s super-cute that she doesn’t even notice that she healed him till she checks the bottle later on. I guess it’s a subtle note that healing is not done just by setting your mind to it and asking everyone out of the blue, but also inadvertently by just being kind to those who need help.
While it does kinda feel out of place at first, the choice of calling the symbols of the healed hearts (?) “candy” does seem fitting. Surely, the heart of one that has been healed would be pure and sweet just like candy~ …Unless it’s butterscotch flavored or is a Tootsie Roll. >_>;;
Miken’s Episode 2 Enjoyment Level: 8.5/10
Episode 3: …The Rain’s Gift.
Miken: Kobato finally moves out of the playground to a place with a roof~ Also, there are a ton of cameos, but they all feel kind of unnecessary and could have been filled by an entirely new character. I suppose they’re either mostly “scarred hearts” for healing later on or a sort of gift for fans who’ve stuck with ‘em for so long . Plus, we already have Mutsumi’s guy problem dealt with in just this one episode. At the very least, the cameos are on the level of Tsubasa…yet. A little is revealed about the state of the daycare center and many more questions are raised about what happened in order to make Fujimoto so untrusting of others.
Megumi Nakajima’s voice as Chiyo and Chise definitely sounds different from her deliveries as Ranka (Macross Frontier) and Sakura (Kampfer), but it’s still somewhat easy to pick out. Then again, once you get used to any seiyuu, picking out his/her voice really isn’t that hard.
Also, once again, Kobato displays that healing can happen just by being nice and going out of your way to help others without purposefully searching. I suppose Mutsumi and Katsuragi’s little story was kind of cute, but I feel like I’ve seen their whole schtick enough times that I don’t really react anymore. Near the end we get a little bit of Kohaku from Wish [though her name throws me back more to Tales of Hearts and Tsukihime...] setting up what’ll either be another scarred heart or a bigger picture. Her voice nearly throws me back into Senjougahara Fascination too…From the preview, it looks like she’ll be making an appearance at the daycare center.
Miken’s Episode 2 Enjoyment Level: 7.9/10
Miken’s Anticipation Level: 8/10
Miken: Kobato gets the honor of being the first show I’ve watched with this new 2-screen setup. Now I can truly double-task! No more switching between screens — and I can write as I watch much more readily now~! -shot- Okay, so maybe I spent most of my time taking screenshots anyways. >_>;; [[I'll just blame CLAMP for making her so cute~<3]]
The OP song is usual Maaya Sakamoto fare, but it works very well with the series…and seeing that Maaya Sakamoto has a strong affinity for being chosen to do songs for CLAMP series, we shouldn’t have expected anyone else. The song’s nice and light and fits the sort-of Magic Girl theme of the series very well. Also: Kobato’s magic wardrobe is so cuuuute~ I need some dresses like that!So — Kobato is a kind girl who really reminds me of my little sister in a older girl’s body…but without the yelling for “SIIISSY” to do this and that for her. Though she does come off as a ditz, her innocence really endears her to me. It’s like watching a little kid explore the world and cause all sorts of mishaps along the way. I also give props to Kana Hanazawa not only for the great performance, but for the song as well~ We already got a taste of her cute singing with her special OP to Bakemonogatari (Renai Circulation), so it’s not surprise that she does well here too.
I also want to see more of Fujimoto — his temperament is so different from Kobato’s. Where she’s bright and cheery, he’s quiet and somewhat rough, it’ll be nice to see them grow closer and affect one another. I also have a feeling his problems will come to the forefront of the series given that he’s pretty much the only person in the series giving off a negative air at the moment.Overall, I liked it a lot and for someone who generally likes “idiotic moe” (I’m susceptible to Oujo-sama moe, though), it means a job well done on the part of Madhouse and CLAMP. Kobato is innocent without being stupid and the way she interacts with others is so cute too~ With the 26 episode run, we can expect her to grow and become more accustomed to our less-than-perfect world while retaining her innocence and possibly strike up a “will they/won’t they?” relationship with Fujimoto and help lots of people too!
The ED song…well, I loved the song but the animation was quite dull. I’m not sure if this is a special animation they’re using for just this episode or if this ED animation will run through the entire cour or even the entire run of the series. I sure hope they get to changing it up a little.
This episode had very very cute eye candy too~ Guess who took 71 screenshots?
Miken’s Enjoyment Level: 8.5/10
Miken’s Anticipation Level: 8/10