I loved kobato and certainly do like the review you've made. ^^
Kobato tv Review
Story & Characters
At this point, the works of CLAMP have been adapted a whole bunch of times and in many genres – romance, fantasy, horror, you name it – all to varying degrees of success. Kobato. is one of their newest manga in the mid 2000s which has recently been adapted to an anime, enlisting popular seiyuu Hanazawa Kana to helm and the giant Madhouse providing the graphic.
Kobato is a sweet, enthusiastic, cute girl but is also naive about the world around her. Accompanied by Ioryogi, a talking stuffed toy dog, she travels to Earth fulfilling her wish to go to a certain place by healing people's scarred heart and must collect their shards in a special bottle. With barely knowledge of the surroundings, doing good deeds isn't as easy as she has hoped however, but when a nursery in financial debt at her heart string, she befriends a group of people who in need of more help than her good intentions can likely provide.
It's hard to fault Kobato. for feeling so light and small – that is, after all, clearly what it's aiming for, at least in terms of story scope. The problem, if it can be called that, arises at the length of the first half, when it hardly connects with you or engages you deeply into characterization. Instead, most of its first episodes provide episodic fleeting of familiar comfort you might get from a warm cup of tea or a kitty in your lap. Most of the people Kobato meets facing problems, it doesn't change that healing people's hearts is a more complicated matter than solving their personal issues.
The events at the second is darker and more continuous than the first; the central conflicts aren't as light as they seem to be. Sayaka's Yomogi Nursery is facing financial problem and closure is eminent. What's more, the loan shark and his goons always bother the nursery, preventing them from collecting money to pay or harassing kids. Even the intense is a little more on Kobato as she must fill the bottle with enough shards (konpeito) before time is running out (why of course, there's a time limit). The anime could use a little more breathing room, some backstories are given and character buildings helped create the emotional resonance resides in countless other CLAMP's works and Kobato. maintains an infectiously sweet charm up to the last minutes.
They are just smalls part of Kobato.'s endearing qualities. As far as characters go Kobato herself is cute as a button – sweet, pretty and about as fluffy in the head as she is in her intent. Maybe that's a bit far but she is one of the flakier characters CLAMP has added to their repertoire in recent years. That isn't to say it's a bad thing though, her innocence and kind-hearted nature makes her a really earnest and likeable individual. Sure she has her faults – clumsy, naive, a little slow on the uptake, but it's all so endearing that most viewers will be perfectly content to watch her every mistake, wipe-out and misunderstanding. And here comes one of the sweetest, cutest heroines ever, yeah, that's CLAMP for you!
Like all CLAMP's magical girl, Kobato herself has a mascot - foul-mouthed, fire-breathing, Ioryogi acts as her guide
and grader. He punishes her when she does something stupid and chastises her clumsiness. Ioryogi is a spitfire, yes, but
he's a spitfire with a personality, a background, and a reason. Though always teases his companion, he cares for her and
credibly reminds her of what she should be doing. The normal "human" characters are Kobato's co-worker
Fujimoto - he's a tall, likable guy but always takes issues of what Kobato does. His harsh treatment towards Kobato is
bully enough, but he worries about the nursery, and is a nice guy enough to never credit himself with accomplishments.
Principal Sayaka would be one of CLAMP's normal motherly figure, aside from the debt, she also has background, life, and
romantic entanglement of her own. Their appeal and development contrasts to what that's not only entertaining but also
believably effective in curbing Kobato's slow learning curve, plus feels more different than CLAMP's occasionally
stock-like collection of characters.
The ladies of CLAMP are past masters of tweaking genre formulas to their peculiar needs, and Kobato. is no exception. CLAMP's even changed their character designs, meaning that the cast doesn't look like a recycled version of Card Captor Sakura anymore. The artwork of Kobato. is beautiful and a large part of what makes the heart and humour of the series work so well. There's a lot of reliance on the chibis for comedy, Kobato's in particular, but their scattered use achieves being as funny and occasionally unexpected as one would hope. CLAMP's even changed their character designs, meaning that the cast doesn't look like a recycled version of Card Captor Sakura anymore. And of course there's Kobato, one of the most impossibly cute creations in the history of anime.
Visually, the anime is yet another in the long tradition of CLAMP's partner Madhouse and their aesthetic feasts.
Backgrounds are rendered with the sort of lush acrylic look we're used to, with plenty of playful little details; the
animation is as gorgeous as can be expected, although there are no showy centerpieces this time. Through the success of
old series like Magic Knight Rayearth to the most recent one, xxxHolic, the authors have littered with old character
cameo appearances. Heck, even some of the original resemble the old ones. Kobato. is what can be called return of them
in the later years, and the sheer amount of their cameos is overwhelming. Can you spot them all?
The score is also uniformly gorgeous – there's a breezy OP by Sakamoto Maaya, with lots of light-toned soundtrack, and two pieces of ending theme, one for cuteness and one sounds a little depressing, but overall, very pleasant. There are a number of lilting arrangements punctuating key scenes, moreso than ever in a Madhouse production, and it really adds to the feel of the anime. Good thing for fans when Kobato breaks out her most charming feature, the power of song which apparently also means summoning an invisible orchestra and a perfectly choreographed flurry of flower petals. There's a gentle feel to it, with pureness, unapologetic musical and visual indulgence.
Not quite so brilliant is the voice performances, it features the new Maeki Tomoaki in the role of Fujimoto and some
fine works by Inada Tetsu as Ioryogi, but also suffers a bit from supporting-cast malaise. The lead character is
uniformly excellent, Kanazawa Hana gives Kobato a remarkable nature and earnest performance, and a damn fine singing
voice as well.
Kobato. isn't going to appeal everyone with its store full of effortlessly sugary sweetness, and in the end, it might
feel a little hollow, but it does, at the very least, do a narratively competent and entertaining job telling a
delightful story of magic and romance. Madhouse's visual prowess is on full display once again, and the result is a
beautiful, carefully detailed and altogether pleasant wisp of an anime that does absolutely everything – from the
characters' personalities to the story construction to the emotional stakes that hold the whole thing together – in
miniature. It's a fitting and reasonable welcome to the warm and familiar pleasure of Kobato.'s world and one of the
finest and most entertaining anime series in recent memory.
+Beautiful production design and animation.
+Pacing goes down smooth like a cup of tea.
+An airy but amiable lead character makes for a entertaining read and feel-good humor.
+Way too many fluffy subjects.
+Finale is quite a mystery.
8.83 (very good)
Reviewed by Weskalia, Feb 18, 2012
kuchukuTulip Feb 20, 2012
CyanideBlizzard Retired Moderator Feb 23, 2012
I was actually going to hold off watching it until they did an English translation for the series, but since that might not be the case and since this sounds so good I think I'll just get the subbed version.
It actually sounds rather similar to an anime I reviewed recently, where it just might not appeal to everyone. However, with the numerous CLAMP references and likable characters, I really do want to give this a shot. I think even if I didn't like this, it'd be a great experience just to see the story until the end.
It's nice to see a recent review from you, and that you haven't lost your creative writing flair at all either! Great job, Weskalia!
SnickerdoodleNinja Moderator Feb 25, 2012
I picked up the first manga volume of Kobato some time ago and while I haven't had the chance to pick up more of the series yet-due largely to a misunderstanding of its length, yada yada yada-I have been VERY eager to see the show and read more because Kobato as a character pretty much had me at hello. And I'm glad that CLAMP chose to go short and sweet with this one, because I've been rather turned off by their recent trend of-in my opinion-unnecessarily complex and lengthy stories. Anyways, I'm definitely wanting to see this one. *__* Just need access to it.
Very nice work once again! :)
Note: Not to be nitpicky, but I noticed there were a handful of misplaced periods throughout. Not a huge deal, it just interrupts your otherwise great flow a bit. Anyhow, nicely done!
SolemnSerpent Feb 29, 2012
I have to admit - this is a nice review Weskalia! You did a great job of highlighting all of the find points of the anime, while keeping a nice flow, and pulling everyone to check it out with nice wording. Admittedly, I'm not usually into such cuteness, but I have made exceptions, and have enjoyed making them - this sounds like this would be a good exception. And like I mentioned earlier, my god, I love the art for this anime. That alone makes me want to watch this, and with such a high rating, I seriously tempted.
Quote: ...and the sheer amount of their cameos is overwhelming. Can you spot them all?
Pitifully though, I haven't watched too many titles from CLAMP, so all of the cameos will most likely go right over my head. //nervous laugh - The only one I'll be able to spot is the one from your screen-captures, the Chobits one. I remember disliking that anime though, lol.
I did check out some of the music for the series, and wow - it's truly beautiful! Don't be surprised if I bunch of the soundtracks end up on my playlist on my userpage in the near future, ;) Overall, this anime sounds very nice, and it should be a good watch - and watching something with good pacing, one of the qualities of the series you mentioned, sounds great as well. Most likely, after I finish off a few titles I've been watching already, this'll be the next thing I check out. Lol, I lied. I'm watching episode 1 now.
euphe19 Jul 23, 2012
me encantaa este anime.. es tan cutee :D
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