Animation: Fair
Depth: Fair
Design: Fair
Characters: Good
Story: Good

Type: TV   (51 episodes)

Vintage: 1996

Category:

» comedy
» drama
Verdict: excellent
Related:
Kodocha Ova
Review:

Kodocha

Also known as: A Child's Toy - TV


Summary: >

Sana is a child actor on a show called "A Child's Toy". While the show features many children, Sana is considered the star do to her "enthusiasm". Her school life is in trouble, due to a boy named Akito who has completely taken over the class by holding some mysterious power over the teacher. Her mother is a famous writer, who will soon release a book detailing the fact that Sana is adopted. Sana puts on a brave face, but can she handle the stress? It turns out Sana's best friend and ally may be her former enemy Akito.


Thoughts: >

The target audience for this anime is probably the pre-teen group. While Kodocha doesn't pull punches, in some ways it feels like a kids show (which it is I guess). Which is odd since Kodocha is often deeper and more insightful than many adult dramas. Some of the comedy is fairly resqué for that matter.

My summary doesn't do the story justice, as Kodocha continuously transitions from one sub plot to the next. It does so in a flowing seamless way that's engaging, moving forward, yet easy to follow. Sometimes it's touching, often it's funny as hell, but it's always interesting.

The characters are wacky in their own way, but very different at the same time. They're exceptionally diverse, and not the usual catalog of personalities often found in anime. Sana is the only one with the energy turned up to 11, making the listless Akito a perfect contrast to her. Most characters are fairly tame but with a wacky edge to them.

As Kodocha doesn't appear "edgy", "action packed", or "harem-esque", predictably sales weren't great, so only the first season was licenced. I can understand why it's easy to doubt. Years ago my girlfriend prodded me to watch this show, and I'm sure you could see the doubt in me too. Some shows are funny, some are "laugh out loud" funny, but Kodocha is one of two titles that had me laughing so hard it hurt. This is a big reason why I give Kodocha my highest rating, I'd say there is no better measure of a comedy than one that makes you laugh so hard you gasp for breath. Although it's mainly a comedy, Kodocha shines as a drama too.

The energy of the show is overzealous, and for that reason it's not for everyone. As an anime veteran I can appreciate that, but I wouldn't say this is a good starter title. Likewise, if you prefer subtitles but read slowly, you'll get lost fast. Dialogs often come a million miles an hour - sometimes simultaneously.

I highly recommend Kodocha as a comedy, but it's important to understand it's oriented towards a certain audience. Not necessarily kids, but certainly someone who can appreciate the toils of kids. The manga it's based off of is shoujo, but the TV series feels very different and becomes crazy enough that it doesn't feel like any particular genre. Hilarious awesome comedy.


Screen Caps: >

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reviewed by archen in 1999