Kobato Exam
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Notables: Original Concept - CLAMP
Kobato is a sweet and perky girl, but also extremely naive about the world around her. She has a "mission" to fill a mysterious bottle of hers with the suffering from people's hearts so her wish to go a certain place that she desires to go can be granted. However, she must not fall in love with a particular boy she works with and whose heart she must heal.

The story is based on a same name manga created by OHKAWA Ageha under the (ever popular) ↗Clamp mangaka label.

↗Kobato will be animated as a TV series scheduled air in autumn of 2009.

This series will play into the idea that everyone has many different selves that might appear in other dimensions but these selves all share a common spiritual connection (such as CLAMP has used in Tsubasa) Using this premise will allow them to 'borrow' characters from their other popular CLAMP titles (such as Chobits and Angelic Layer) and use them in this story.
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Rent 9 8 9 8 7 8 Ggultra2764 [series:2052#1552]
Kobato was a tough title for me to judge based on the fact that for all the title's overall positives, there were a few major issues I found with it that did weigh down my thoughts of the show. But after giving it thought, I felt that a giving the show a strong Rent recommendation was enough to justify its positives and glaring negatives.

I've seen a fair number of CLAMP titles in the form of Cardcaptor Sakura, X/1999 and Chobits which for the most part, have done well in the past to entertain me. Kobato is clearly aimed for all ages considering the presence of cute-looking plushie characters, animals and the naivete of Kobato. That's not to say the series is limited only at younger audiences. Much like Card Captor Sakura, Kobato does offer fleshed-out characters who are dealing with their own personal issues and have their own personalities for one to connect with. Characters who may seem to be evil on the surface have justifications for their actions and attitudes as you learn more about them throughout the series making them have sympathetic personalities.

The show's main plots involve Kobato helping out at the nursery and with those facing some sort of dilemma. With the nursery plot, Kobato provides support to Sayaka, Fujimoto and the children of the nursery as they enjoy themselves during the year and struggle with trying to pay off the loan debt faced by the nursery. This is the main plot for much of the show which plays a significant role in influencing Kobato's character as the show progresses and effecting her thoughts on her other quest. That quest being the second major plot of the show where Kobato is trying to fill her bottle with the hearts of others. Each of the characters that Kobato helps out are facing some sort of emotional dilemma as a result of thoughts and/or events that effect them. Kobato's always optimistic attitude in regards to helping others can seem a bit on the unbelievable side considering how easily she can resolve many of the situations despite not having a full grasp of the problems facing those that she helped out. But the show does know when to create its heartwarming moments without going too overboard.

But the show also runs into its fair share of issues that kept me from giving it a Buy. There are a number of glaring plot holes that I noticed involving the show's fantasy theme that kept me wondering just how exactly characters like Kobato and Ioryogi got into their present position. There are hints dropped regarding what may have occurred with them yet there isn't really anything else brought up beyond those points. The occasional appearances of the stuffed bunny that warned Kobato of her time left to fill her jar also had me wondering of things like what would happen to Kobato if she didn't accomplish her goal and the role the bunny even had, yet another thing the series doesn't really explore. The show also runs into filler episodes at points that do nothing to advance any of the major plots involving Kobato. While such episodes do provide some comical filler like Ioryogi's day around town or an appearance from the main group from Tsubasa Chronicle (a trend throughout the show with cameo or supporting roles from characters of other CLAMP works), it doesn't really do much at creating moments of character development or advancing the show's plot. There were also points where I got annoyed with Ioryogi's character thanks to his jerkass and gluttonous facade. The points where he got annoyed with and abused Kobato due to accidents that cause problems for the stuffed animal did turn me off at points.

In terms of visuals, Kobato does adapt a different visual style compared to earlier adaptations of CLAMP's works. Kobato goes for a brighter color pattern compared to the subdued look of Chobits and Card Captor Sakura, as well as having a more smooth and polished look. This shows itself clearly through the character and scenery designs as they look quite pleasing to the eyes and have a good amount of detail to show off. The improvement is clearly shown if you compare differences of characters appearing from earlier CLAMP works, especially with the appearance of Chobits' Chitose and her daughters who appear human in this adaptation, where the details of such characters are drawn more smoothly.

Overall, Kobato was a show that had both its fair share of positives with character developments and heartwarming moments that kept me glued on it from start to finish and its glaring issues that kept me wondering what the show never explored and wasted its time with. The positives stand out enough for me where I wouldn't rate the series too low yet the glaring negatives keep me from wanting to rate it higher. Still if you are a fan of CLAMP titles, then this is an easy title to recommend not only for the situations faced by Kobato, but the appearances made by characters from other CLAMP works.

Last updated Sunday, November 07 2010. Created Sunday, November 07 2010.
Unevaluated Forbin [series:2052#1573]
First Look :

Odds I'll be watching this : Poor

Sorry guys but the first episode with the talking sadistic stuffed animal just didn't grab me.

Last updated Wednesday, October 07 2009. Created Wednesday, October 07 2009.
Unevaluated Stretch [series:2052#628]
(One episode watched):

Another magical girl show--but nothing in particular to make it stand out. The dog-like thing was obnoxious, the humor was so-so, otherwise this seemed sugary sweet shmaltzy stuff. Frankly, I found it tiresome and was impatient for it to end. Is there some sort of growing superstition in Japan that unhappiness can only be undone by supernatural, angel-like visitors?

Last updated Sunday, October 11 2009. Created Wednesday, September 23 2009.

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