Suffice to say that this series surprised me and half the damn blogosphere. A wake up call via shock therapy if you ask me, and one that was needed.
It’s not hard to see that many of us weren’t expecting much from Kotoura-san. It’s an adaptation of 4-koma (AKA 4 cell) manga that was supposed to be about school romance and comedy. Notice I say supposed because the first half of the episode came out of nowhere. Nevertheless, it was never really an underdog. Director Masahiko Ohta has directed acclaimed comedies Yuru Yuri, Mitsudomoe and Minami-ke‘s first season (supposedly the best one). Throw in AIC, who do some good work, and you actually have something to be excited about.
With a good staff behind it, the story was all that’s left. So how was it?
The drama, whilst over-the-top, benefited the series because of the shock factor it provided. I’ll admit that the drama itself wasn’t necessarily great but the continuous pile up was something else. By the end of it I was questioning whether this series was really about comedy. Even looking at the poster, I became more confused – all those cute designs and no laughs? I was actually scared to continue watching it out of fear of clinically depressing myself but, luckily, the first half ended and kickstarted the comedy.
I particularly loved how Manabe’s character introduction started off the light and fun half of the episode. He’s a fun male lead to have around; not going to be original in any way but his perversion and strange thoughts will definitely add something to comedy. Of course the ensuing moe OP brightened up the series even further, but Manabe had a hand in making the second half fun to watch.
Ignoring the drama and shock for a second, this first episode basically served to establish a relationship between Manabe and Kotoura. With the way Manabe acts, the romance was joked about which leaves it as a question mark for now. If the drama was to pop up in the future, the tone of the romantic development might be completely different from what I expect.
Finally, I have to say, there’s a charm to this series. It has the potential to be heart-warming and comedic, which is never a bad thing. The drama could either add or detract from the quality of the series, and we’ll have to see about it. For me the drama wasn’t too much but as long as the comedy picks up in the next few episodes, I don’t see how many could complain.
Kotoura-san may just be the dark horse of this season, so give it a go.