One of the most underrated animes EVER. After watching both seasons of Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles and full-knowingly getting my heart smashed into a million pieces watching the OVAs, my heart finally had some closure with this heartwarming tale of girl and her wish..
STORY: Like I said before, Kobato is the tale about a girl's wish. The title character Kobato Hanato is such a girl. Obviously not of this world, she is given the task of filling a bottle with "Konpeito" or candies, which represent the hearts of people. Her mentor, a stuffed dog named Iorogi which Kobato pronounces as "Ioryogi" is always by her side to make sure she stays on task...even if it means frying her like a piece of chicken! Kobato is a curious girl, of course, and soon finds herself volunteering at Yomogi Nursery. The story builds itself on that plot as Kobato tries to heal the hearts of people she meets.
But her journey isn't that simple. Cliche CLAMP. However, since Kobato doesn't involve so much heavy fantasy like TRC, and since it IS a shojo, Kobato's drama is delievered with real life situations. Yomogi Nursery for example is suffering from some severe debt problems. The employees who work there work extra jobs in attempt to pay the debt off, but it still isn't enough to even afford new toys for the kids. Plus, there are some persistant (albeit smokin' hot) debt collectors and sharks who frequent the nursery's premise. Making time for other things seems to be one of Kobato's main dramatic sources. Many of the hearts she heals involve characters who are overloaded with work and no time for family.
Though that may sound boring for some, Kobato's pacing is able keep you interested. Because the drama deals with real life problems, it's more relatable to the viewers. Things such as the loss of a favorite tree or finding an abandoned cat can hit hard to home. This is a tearjerker series without the death of a favorite or endearing character (I'm talking to YOU Clannad..). Invest in some tissues as you continue to watch because those tears can sneak up on you. This IS CLAMP though, so the story WILL get darker and more depressing..just letting you know.
ANIMATION: I won't go TOO far in depth about the animation because this IS CLAMP we're talking about. The creators themselves stated that Kobato has a significantly different animation style than most works and they're right. For starters, the characters aren't their usual 20 heads high for a young adult. The hair is especially well animated and unique (have you SEEN Kobato's luscious locks??) and it doesn't have that stereotypical shojo look that usually drives me AWAY from the genre.
As usual, CLAMP succeeds in creating some of the most attractive looking men in anime..shoot, the WOMEN are downright gorgeous too!
SOUND: While the music in Kobato is no short of fantastic, I DO feel it was a bit repetitive. That MAY have been because I watched multiple episodes in single nights, but after awhile, Kobato's song and the children's song lost their emotional magic.
CHARACTERS: Definitely this series' strongest point. While Kobato may have some Mary Sue-ish traits, like her purity and inability to be hated unless you're an a**hole, she delivers this in a way..hm..in a way that..makes it seem like we'd WANT her to be real. Seriously, wouldn't the world be SO much better if we had people like Kobato, going out of their way to returns our umbrellas or offering to sing our children to sleep? She's the kind of person we'd want to be friends with. She is impossible to hate and for all the good reasons.
..and then we have Fujimoto. Kobato's polar opposite colleague at the Nursery. Makes you wonder why he doesn't scare the children with that negative aura around him. As we progress into the series, though, we see that he has a pretty dang good reason to have a pole up his behind. Each episode seems to show Fujimoto working a different sidejob in order to pay off the nursery's debt. On top of that, the guy's studying in college as a law major. Talk about a heavy load (BTW, he does the laundry too).
Among other characters are the people Kobato has to and eventually DOES heal. With TRC being the only CLAMP series I ever watched, I'm guessing that a good number of these characters are from other CLAMP works. Most of these people, while they may be introduced as only important to a single episode, actually reappear and play a significant role in the series as it progresses, such as Fujimoto's friend Domoto who takes a liking to Kobato's positive nature.
OVERALL: Easily the most heartwarming anime series. Not as tissue-depleting as Clannad or Elfen Lied, but enough to make your eyes at least a bit glossy. The characters are charming and attractive, the story keeps your peaked and wondering if Kobato will get her wish, and the animation is soft. On top of that, the opening theme song is one of the most uplifting "good morning" songs you could ever wanna achieve your dreams with. Seriously guys, it's one of the best you'll ever see and will leave you smiling at the end.
i love this anime it made me cry a lot at episode 23 but at the ending of episode 24 i was so happy. this anime starts out very happy then it goes happy and sad at the same time then at the ending its so nice. its a very happy ending. :)
For most of the show it was just okay. Nothing really big happened most of the time. It totally changed during the last two episodes. Wow! I thought those two episodes nearly made up for the rest of the show. It was really touching, and was a little teary-eyed. I was a little disappointed though, but that's a spoiler.
They did a really good job at the animation. The colors, and everything felt really comforting. The animation combined with the character Kobato, kind of put me in a good mood after each episode.
I don't know if CLAMP is just full of themselves or what. They LOVE cameos. I loved Chobits so caught most of those references (Freya, Elda, Chitose, the apartment, Tirol and the baker guy, and Yumi). Then there was the episode with the Tsubasa characters. There was a whole theme park for Mokona.
Overall, I thought it was a good show, with a really great ending.
Final Verdict 5 stars Certified Classic: I wonder why anime/manga like this stay under the radar of anime fans world wide. Especially where there is literally near to nothing wrong with this series. Clamp is well known, but this recent masterpiece of their's is emotionally grabbing and visually stunning. A sweet protagonist accompanied by interesting story elements makes this series come off as anything, but cliche. Anyone who would rather watch Anohana or Clannad need a reality check. Its sad without being too sad and happy without being too happy. It knows the right amount to give you at what time without being too over dramatic.
Animation: It's great just great. I mean it's clamp what do you expect? No complaints here, next.
Music: Again better than average. The song Kobato sings is played throughout the series and is EXtremely beautiful and bittersweet, perfect for the show. The opening is sung by Maaya Sakamoto and is nice as well. No complaints here either.
Story: Kobato starts off a bit slow in the beginning. The common clamp storytelling technique is used in which they only hint at things that do not get revealed until the end. This really hooks you into the story. One thing I will say though is that "Kobato" definitely knows what it is doing. Some episodes are filler, but the majority of them no not stray from the tone set early in the series. The ending in the manga and anime are different, but they still feel satisfying. After all the manga was still not finished when this was in production so kudos. This series is very reminiscent of clamp's earlier work Wish, but unlike that series Kobato follows through with their story exploring all the right elements. Really deserving of credit for this considering.
Characters: In the works of clamp (in case you haven't noticed) they really create their own universe sometimes based on reality therefore there are a few cameos from other works. (Chi, Kohaku and a few more) Kobato and her doggy friend Ioryogi are without a doubt the stars of the show. Kobato is normally the type of cutesy character that could get annoying really fast, but she never gets that way. The cute, innocent character has been done time and time again in anime, but Kobato feels more like her own person. Her relationship is very heartbreaking and emotional towards Fujimoto which helps make her more likable. A star in this as well.
Overall, this anime was beautiful.
In my many years of watching anime, this is one of the few that made me cry - for reasons I'll let you uncover yourself upon watching it.
CLAMP have yet another brilliant storyline which comes with plots and twists you won't see coming. The fact that the heroine of the anime - Kobato - remains a mystery for most of the episodes if what makes it so exciting to uncover her secrets.
The storyline does seem to repeat on some episodes with the main character going through all the same events in order to collect "candy" from people so at times it can seem slow paced however every few episodes theres a development - whether it be between Kobato and her relationship with a fellow person or a revealed secret.
All modern anime now a days has great animation and I loved the image of the eyes in this anime since they seemed unique and I hadn't seen any anime with them yet. The backgrounds and characters were done beautiful.
Both the opening and ending songs were beautiful and the voice acting was great with each voice suiting its character perfectly. And since the main heroine herself sings at various times in the anime and is said to have a beautiful voice, I was easily able to agree with this upon hearing the songs.
The characters are believable and what a range they are! From the clumsy and air headed Kobato to the brooding and hot-headed Fujimoto, it was a delight to watch the relationships between these two!
Each character has their own personality and everyone within the anime developed and matured in their own way - more often than not it was because of Kobato. Even the seemingly mean Fujimoto had another depth to his personality and past - his personality developed too as time went on.
There was a special treat for those who have seen CLAMP's other works - those such as Chobits and Card Captor Sakura - since many of the charactes from these animes make appearences in Kobato.
But even despite that, the characters who had been presents in other animes seemed like completely different people at times within this anime even though I know they were the same character - it was a delight to watch characters I'd seen before taking part in new scenarios and events.
Overall, this anime has a storyline that can fit your tastes regardless of whether you like cute and innocent or more serious stories with twists. Kobato. has something for everytone to enjoy. For those who have seen CLAMPs previous works, you'll already know you can never expect what will happen next.
Whether you like beautiful singing vocals, hot-tempered animal plushies or air-headed girls who trip ever other seconds - this anime won't dissapoint.
The only reasons I rated this a 9 and not a 10 is because the anime was quite open ended and remained with many unanswered questions left. I know the reason for this is because the manga it's based on has not yet finished and has therefore left some plots yet unexplained.
But despite this, the anime manages to make the anime beautiful and exciting. I can assure you it won't dissapoint. :)