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.
After watching this, I feel like this anime is really under-rated. It has never been on any list of recommendations for shoujo anime that I have seen before, so it isn't something I would choose straightaway. The only reason I watched it was because it came up when I typed in shoujo in the search bar! And I am very happy that I decided to give it a try. This is definitely one of the best anime I have seen!!
The story follows a young girl, Kobato Hanato, who is sent to Earth on a mission to heal peoples' hearts. Once she has filled up a bottle with the hearts, she will be granted her deepest wish. When I first read the description for this anime I thought that this wouldn't be very good. I overlooked it several times when it came up. This was mainly because the poster for the anime makes it look like it will be all fluffy and cute. Also, the tags say comedy, fantasy and shoujo. I don't think this is exactly right. Sure, there are bits of comedy throughout but this anime has a lot more than that. The realistic problems that the protagonist faces really can strike a chord in you. I found it very hard to stop the tears from flowing. So be warned, have some tissues on hand.
There isn't really a lot to say. The style of animation is brilliant. It doesn't really look like every other shoujo I've seen. You know how shoujo usually has all these cutesy things and the characters are seen in chibi form? Well, it's not really like that in this anime. In a sense it's a bit more grown up. The characters and scenery is drawn beautifully.
Firstly, the opening song is very cheerful which makes you think there is no angst whatsoever. Very misleading! Although I do love the opening song. Not in every episode, but most, there is a song that Kobato sings. I found this very beautiful. Everytime I hear it I feel like I'm going to start crying. The music in this anime is definitely one of the best I've heard!
Straightaway I loved the character of Kobato. She seems innocent, lovable and kindhearted. She's the kind of girl that you wish you could be or be friends with. She makes everyone around happy and seems to touch everyone she comes in contact with in some way. She is perfect for the role of collecting broken hearts.
I was a bit on the fence about Fujimoto's character. I understood why he acted the way he did but sometimes I wish Kobato stood up to him. But then at times I would root for him. He seems really hardworking and kind at heart.
My favourite character was Ioryogi. There is always a character like him in every anime. He's very quick to anger and is always giving out to Kobato, but he seems to really care about her. He's very sensible and helps Kobato out when she needs it. I think it would brilliant if everyone had a stuffed animal like him!
I think you should check this out. It has a lot more to offer than it looks like. You won't regret trying it out. Just remember to have some tissues at hand.
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.
I've started watching this anime recently (I'm on episode 8) and I love it and everything but: I wish they'd explain more as to where Kobato comes from. Also, I hate the way Fujimoto treats Kobato. His backstory made NO SENSE. I didn't understand one bit of it! Why is Fujimoto such an ass? Seriously, explain it!
Good things about it: I adore Kobato as a character. She's adorable and she's so kind! Episode 2 where she comforted that boy at the preschool when he was waiting for his mother and he told her that his mom works late and has no time to get him made me cry. This anime has a beautiful soundtrack.
Overall, this anime is great and Kobato's song "Aishite Kuru Hi" made me sob.
I wish there was an English dub of this anime! ;n;
A decent Shoujo.
It basically this girl sent to the human world to fix problems and collect "healed hearts" to get her wish granted.
Her kindness and innocence will rub off you.
The way she gets hearts is simple and expected form the genre.Simple one- off sloutions where she sits down and talks sense into those she helps.
Every body in the show may seem too naive and innocient for their own good, but there is some meaninigful tension for the show.
The characters you should look out for is Fujimoto.A contrast for kobato and where most of the conflist comes from.Her toy pet buddy also serves to give most of the humor.
The most impressive aspect of the show is her song.Which allows to define her as a character.