If you don’t like Kobato., you’re a total curmudgeon.
My day started early today, as do most of my weekdays – I was outside running on the gravel track at my school at 6 o’clock for ROTC. I ran, feeling tired, and it suddenly began to rain. This rain quickly became a downpour, and I heard a rumble of thunder in the distance. “This sucks.” thought I. But then I remembered I’d downloaded Kobato. the night before, and my mood instantly brightened – I grinned, and thought, “I get to watch Kobato. after PT!”
And then I tripped on my shoelaces and got a face full of gravel.
Anyway, thats ok! Because Kobato. was just as pleasantly delightful as I was anticipating it would be.
I have to admit – I’m usually a pain in the ass about anime adaptations of manga I love. I’ll pick here and there, frowning and getting generally grumpy, even as I realize I’m being obnoxious by doing so. But Madhouse has truly acquitted themselves with aplomb here, as they’ve really retained the spirit of the original story and infused it with a life that one can’t find on a printed page. The animation is crisp, the artwork is beautiful, and the voice acting fits very well with the various characters (I was especially happy with Kobato’s voice actress).
Its hard for me to exactly say why Kobato. is so good with anything approaching specificity – its just one of those shows that makes you smile. Kobato herself is an engaging female lead; the slightly dense female lead usually comes off as annoyingly cliched, a mere bit of moe bait, but Kobato instead comes across as sincere and curious, something helped in part by the fact that she is apparently not of our world. And our mascot character in this effort is the stuff of pure CLAMP, following in the tradition of Kero and Mokona – Ioryogi would eat those Pretty Cure mascot fuzzballs for lunch… and then light them on fire.
As an aside, its interesting to see Madhouse’s work on this, since they did CardCaptor Sakura back in the late 90’s. You can definitely tell that its the same studio, although there have obviously been huge leaps and bounds in animation technology and technique since then. (Madhouse has actually animated quite a few CLAMP manga adaptations, and CLAMP has also done a couple of collaboratory works with Madhouse, such as Mouryou no Hako, but I mention CCS specifically since it has more in common with Kobato. than Tokyo Babylon.)
But, really, Kobato. is just one of those shows you’ll have to check out for yourself if you really want to know why it is so good. After a hard day at work, sit back and enjoy the proceedings. Chances are, you’ll even have a small smile yourself when the episode ends.
AND IF YOU DON’T IT MEANS YOU SUCK AT LIFE