Saturday, July 27, 2002

Kodomo no Omocha (Kodocha / Child's Toy)

Genre: Comedy
Parental Guidance Recommended
1996 Miho Obana (mangaka), Akira Suzuki (director), Akitaro Daichi (director), Hiroaki Sakurai (director), NAS, Pony Canyon, Studio Gallop, TV Tokyo

Kodocha DVDs
Kodocha Art Books & Manga
Kodocha Music
Everything Kodocha

Thundersenshi's Description:
Kurata Sana is a cute, hyper-active 11-year old who stars in a popular TV show called "Kodomo no Omocha". Even with all her richness and fame, Sana is just another cheerful 6th grader, and she doesn't let all her blessings go to her head. She wants to see everybody happy, and does everything to make them so--even if her help isn't wanted. She may act impulsively, but her heart's in the right place and she's actually quite mature for her age.

However, life for Sana isn't always a bed of roses--at least not until she became classmates with Hayama Akito, a quiet, expresionless boy who acts as a leader of the pack of troublemakers (which consist of all the boys in class, actually). Since she started the schoolyear, her class had never been normal, what with all the boys tormenting the hell out of the teacher every single day. Sana tries to put a stop to it since the other girls were too scared, and as a result, the boys have turned against her. But what about Akito? He doesn't seem to want anything directly harmful done to her. That order coming from him stopped the rest of the boys dead in their tracks. What is he really thinking? Why does he do this? What does he want?

(102 episodes)

A Lesson Learned >>> by thundersenshi
When I first slapped eyes on this series, I was dubious. My friend called me over to watch a couple of other titles we haven't seen before, and this was the first of the set. Child's Toy, she said, mentioning the title in English, and it didn't particularly help. I thought perhaps she had made a mistake when she picked it up, and that maybe it was meant for kids (but then she replied it came highly recommended from the store attendant). Well, the main characters are 11-year olds, the artwork was less than sophisticated.

But as you can probably guess, I was wrong. When I sat back to watch it, I enjoyed it immensely. I guess I should have learned from the time I watched Akazukin Cha Cha ...not everything is what it seems to be (just because it looks kiddie, doesn't mean you won't appreciate it). Kodocha made me laugh so hard I was practically violent in my hysteria: I was in tears and breathless with laughter (which only happened with Akazukin Cha Cha). I was rolling on the floor, bopped my head a couple of times, and slapped my friends so hard (and pushed them off the bed), they almost kicked me out of the room. I think I developed my abdominal muscles, too. Simply put, Kodocha is hilarious. The comedy is slapstick at best, but just a reminder--there are also a lot of cultural references. Some jokes and puns are best understood if one is familiar with the current fads, events, and other things in Japan (wait 'til you see the spoof on Takuya Kimura).

Also, the story and plot is more than it seems. Kodocha actually deals with mature situations, too, putting in a touch of reality aside from the hilarity. The characters are very interesting, as well, and the same could be said of the relationships interwoven between them (watch out for Sana-chan and Hayama's bouts). Once in a while, Kodocha will take a break from the insanity and chaos, and focus on these dramatic highlights that never fail to pull at my heartstrings.

Individual Rating: Art/Animation 6; Story 9; Characters 10; Sounds 7

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