Kodocha (S1)

Author: Lince

 

Before I begin, let me say that it has been several months since I’ve last watched Kodocha. But in my defense I believe I have watched this enough times [2] to say that I can write an accurate review. But if you find any incorrect statements or if you have any discrepancies, please feel free to say so [If you even read from top to bottom xD]

Plot:

Kodocha centers around a young girl named Sana Kurata, who is both a child actress and a middle school student, who is trying to live the best of both worlds in both the production studio and the classroom. But the only person standing in the way of that is Akito Hayama, a student in her sixth grade class who continually and consistently disrupts the class by leading a group of boys to perform rash antics. Sana declares Akito her arch nemesis and spends most of her time looking for ways to defeat Akito, but as she ventures further and further into his life, she realizes that Akito has problems of his own.

At first glance, this doesn’t even remotely seem like a romance anime, but the anime surprises you with its ability to catch you off guard and suck you into something deeper. Now how can any anime with a plot as simple as this grow to be 51 episodes long? It doesn’t seem logically possible! There’d have to be tons of filler episodes involved! Well, the truth is that there are some filler episodes, but only a few of them and the filler episodes that you can actually pick out as filler are actually very entertaining. You still learn more about the characters even though technically most of the filler episodes could be taken out without any direct impact on the main plotline. These fillers make for more interesting transitions from one turning point to another in the story however, so they’re not entirely useless.

As far as target audience goes, you have to be in touch with your inner child and be willing to give into some of the more childish scenes that frequently appear. It’s hard to prepare you for them without giving spoilers, but let’s just say it’s like the equivalent of a young child who just found a new toy and plays with it as loudly as he can [But only for a few seconds]. The childish scenes are necessary however to convey that Sana is a normal girl on the inside who just wants to have fun.

This anime was not made for one specific age group since when I first watched this anime I was 12 years old, and I know teenagers that still enjoy it, but again, it’s all dependent on whether you’re willing to put up with it. But if you do stick with it, the climaxes are very fulfilling. You’ll rarely get stuck without a climax that won’t have a significant effect on how you view the characters [Unless you’re a robot]. I can’t say the climaxes will predictable, but that just adds another realistic element to an anime that tells us nothing in life is ever predictable.

Characters:

The characters of Kodocha are really enjoyable and bring an aspect to this show that I have yet to see any other anime come close too. You have the hyped up, sixth grade T.V. star named Sana Kurata, the troublemaker with an attitude named Akito Hayama, the shy friend of Akito named Tsuyoshi, the hardworking manager of Sana named Rei Sagami, the unorthodox and cooky mother of Sana named Misako, and the funny but unfortunate co-worker of Sana’s named Zenjiro!

Doesn't the mentioning of those characters make you interested even for a second? That’s the effect they have on this anime. The characters are incredibly likeable and you will remember them for as long as you can remember due to their originality and likeable personalities. The only exception I would ever suspect is Sana due to her sometimes childish interruptions, but I digress.

These are not all the characters involved, but these are the characters that most of the story is based around and many of the side characters tend to sway the story in certain directions that really allow the main characters their chance to shine and leave a lasting effect on the viewer.

Overtime, however, you might notice a change in some of the characters behavioral patterns or appearances. That’s another one of the things this anime gets right. As the characters develop and face the challenges that life throws at them, you can physically and psychologically see how they’re changing and it adds realism to the characters and makes it much easier to relate to them. There were some stagnant characters as far as development goes, but developing said characters would only prolong the anime unnecessarily. All in all, the characters were a huge plus in these first 51 episodes.

Animation:

There’s nothing really wrong with the animation. It’s just what you’d expect from a romance anime. The characters look their age, the buildings structures look how anyone would expect them to look, and the animation of the characters movements is what you’d expect. This leads to the animation basically being a no factor in the overall experience of the anime. This could be a plus or a minus depending on what type of animes you’re used to watching. If you generally watch high action anime with tons of explosions and car chases, you probably won’t enjoy the generic animation of Kodocha.

The only problem I can sense with the design is that the colors seem to be flushed out, but it really doesn’t affect the overall experience [Unless you’re picky about that sort of thing].

Audio:

This is the huge hit of the anime alongside the characters. Sana is played by Laura Bailey, who does an amazing job at playing the energetic middle school girl, but that doesn’t mean that everyone will like it due to Sana’s character.

Akito is the crown jewel of the anime in terms of voice acting, and I mean crown “jewel” literally because Akito is voiced by none other than Jerry Jewell. He does an unbelievable job as Akito and he greatly conveys the “evilness” of Akito and really captures the lack of emotion that Akito has. But… Akito did sound way older than he should have, but if you think about it in retrospect, are any of the viewers really going to feel any negative vibes from a character that has a voice as high as Justin Bieber’s? He was the best voice actor in the entire series, enough said.

The rest of the voice actors did a great job of capturing the characters personality types and really pushing them to a whole new level of uniqueness and effectiveness. The voice acting in my opinion was so good, that it was one of the main reasons I decided to watch it a second time. Overall, it’s worth a watch just to see these two perform.

Closing notes:

I made this anime seen more childish than it really is through my descriptions, but in reality it’s not. There are a lot of good scenes that would make someone of any age laugh and a fair amount of other scenes that can really hit you right in the heart. The challenges these young children face is not normal of that of any regular child, but the ways they handle them reflect the true nature of children; and how eventually they will progress into teenagers. If you plan on watching this anime, it’s definitely worth watching all 51 episodes for good laughs, heartfelt entertainment, and an overall very high quality anime.

Final ratings:

Plot: 8/10
Characters: 10/10
Animation: 6/10
Audio: 9/10
Comedy: 8/10
Re-Watch Value: Medium
*Averaged Overall: 8/10
**Personal Overall: 10/10

*Averaged Overall is the average of all the categories I rated.
**Personal Overall is how I personally rated the anime based on experience and preferences.