And now for another one that’s currently airing, Kotoura-san. It’s a curious show, from a few different angles. It’s based on a 4koma (4-panel comic), which itself isn’t that unusual, but said 4koma was published on the web first, which is.
It’s also marketed as a comedy romance about a girl named Kotoura Haruka who reads minds, which is true, but not the whole truth. The entire first half of the first episode is dedicated to showing how her power (which she can’t turn off) drives away everyone who might be close to her – friends and family – and makes her life suck. It’s got to be the single most depressing start to a comedy that I’ve ever seen.
But it does funny as well as it does depressing, and does the former more often than the latter, thankfully. She winds up as a member of her new school’s ESP Research Club, along with Manabe Yoshihisa, a classmate who falls in love with her and one of the very few people not put off by her ability. Things start looking up for her because of this, though we do get some mood whiplash back to dark drama a few times – for example, another classmate who’s interested in Yoshihisa gets a bit nasty in her methods.
Oh, and Yoshihisa? Being a teenage boy, his mind is lodged firmly in the gutter. Haruka gets regular doses of his imagination, mostly him deliberately teasing her. In a way, it’s a refreshing change from all of the male protagonists who act like they’re allergic to girls all the time. (And one who actually was. Girls Bravo is a crap show, by the way.) It’s certainly hilarious.
It’s a pretty interesting set of characters, too. The president of the ESP club has her own tragic backstory, the jealous other classmate manages to be sympathetic in spite of her actions (your mileage may vary on that one though), and so on.
It’s very enjoyable, and one of the best airing this season, but one hell of a rollercoaster ride emotionally. There are shows where, once a new episode is out, I watch it at some point during the week when the mood strikes me. There are others that I watch at some point when there’s nothing better to do. And then there’s ones like Kotoura-san that I make time for and watch as soon as possible. Highly recommended.