I’m sure we’ve all seen the typical “moe” series where the main characters are all cute and you just want to run out and buy a fluffy kitten and dress it up in a pink bow. Either that, or you have the sudden urge to buy nekomimi, put them on your head and end all of your sentences with “nyaa~!” Well, this series has more than its fair share of moe but there’s actually a story behind it that makes the moe seem unimportant.
Our main character, Kotoura Haruka, has basically learned not to get near people since her power can be problematic. What power is that, you ask? She can read people’s minds. Yeah, how’s that for a twist? Since she doesn’t understand her power, it’s brought her a great deal of misfortune. That is, until she meets Manabe Yoshihisa, who she sits next to in class. Well, things happen and they wind up becoming friends since, typically, he accepts her power and thinks it’s cool. Like we couldn’t see that one coming a mile away. However, the way it’s done is completely out of the ordinary which is what makes it better than most “I accept you for who you are” scenes. Other people get introduced along the way and more of the story gets revealed.
Well, this series is not all sunshine and takoyaki. The beginning goes against what you expect from the genre so it initially might throw you off. The other thing is that AIC Classic, (notable works include: the “Tenchi” franchise, the “Ah! My Goddess” franchise, “Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai,” and “Acchi Kocchi”) seems to have incorporated making Kotoura miserable at least once an episode so far. Basically, this can fall under the category of “picked on person makes friends and has a sad home life” category and it falls squarely in what you would expect from that. However, AIC, who is known for excellent artwork, seems to have skimped a little in this series. If you take into account the moe level of this series, however, you might find that the artwork is appropriate. It actually doesn’t detract from the enjoyability of the series so it’s not really a big minus. And, yes…enjoyability is not actually a word.
Despite the few negative things about the series so far, “Kotoura-san” is probably one of the more underplayed and under-promoted series in the Winter 2013 season. If you were to look at the promotional images, initial impressions might be another harem anime or some other occult-ish type thing that has been done to death. I mean, seriously. Done…to death.
Yet, “Kotoura-san” is surprisingly refreshing. It’s a welcome change to a genre that has essentially seen cookie-cutter releases for a long while now. If you watch the opening, you can see that the first difference lies there. For once, there is an opening that is in line with the series and lets the viewer know that, despite the initial scenes, this is a comedy. If I had to rate the moe level of the opening, I would say MOE LEVEL: EXPERT. Yeah. However, when you get to the ending, the tone shown to viewers does a complete 180 degree turn. Why? The ending is designed to reflect the darker parts of the series that pop up. It also adds much needed contrast to the series.
Even though this genre and generalized setting has been done a thousand times over, you should give it a chance. Good moe series aren’t all about the happy, cute girl getting into misadventures and saying, “Tee-hee!” all the time. I mean, seriously… Also, you have to admit: Lonely girl is ostracized because of psychic powers is a new take on the premise. “Kotoura-san” is certainly a must-watch for the Winter 2013 season. If you don’t, you’re missing out. Just sayin’.
This fantasy romantic comedy depicts the school lives of Kotoura Haruka, a girl who can read minds; Manabe Yoshihisa, a classmate who admires her; and the friends surrounding them. A staff that excels in portraying the comical daily lives of young girls – director Ohta Masahiko, scriptwriter Aoshima Takashi, character designer and chief art director Ohkuma Takaharu – bring you a heartfelt tale packed with laughter, tears, and even a little sex appeal.[Source: crunchyroll]