Kodomo no Omocha (Kodocha), TV Series

ElfShadow (Former Staff) — September 9th, 2000
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Sometimes described as liquid crack, Kodomo no Omocha is one of those wacky, hilarious anime series no viewer should be without. Take a typical shoujo series, pump all of the characters full of sugar and caffeine, press fast-forward, and you’ll essentially have the heart of Kodomo no Omocha. Suffice to say, Kurata Sana-chan, the young protagonist of Kodomo no Omocha, brings new meaning to the word genki ("energetic").

The plot of Kodomo no Omocha covers a lot of traditional shoujo material in the zany Kodomo no Omocha style. Sana tends to take a... different... and "energetic" approach to solving problems, which is generally quite a trip to watch. At the same time, it has its serious and sad moments, and handles them quite effectively - I even cried in a certain episode (and I can’t even claim it’s the '90's anymore ^_^ ). Kodomo no Omocha has plenty of panache to breath life into its plot and keep you coming back for more.

"Break it down, Sana-chan!" The eccentric cast of characters is both memorable and enjoyable to watch in action.

The characters for Kodomo no Omocha are fairly extreme. The audience is treated to a wide variety of elementary school psyches twisted by tumultuous pasts, providing plenty of room for character development behind the frenetic foreground. From wild Sana-chan to her manager / boyfriend / pimp Rei-kun (note that Sana is in the sixth grade, while Rei is 20), the cast of characters is both memorable and enjoyable to watch in action.

The animation of Kodomo no Omocha is wild. While it employs typical shoujo frame-savers for parts of the show, every now and then the animators unleash and leave the audience in dazed disbelief. The animation may lack in detail, but it more than makes up for that with the insane style. Be forewarned: there is good reason why Kodomo no Omocha was responsible for some cases of epileptic seizure among its audience!!

The music for Kodomo no Omocha is an appropriately crazy accompaniment. The opening song is great, reminding me stylistically and thematically of the Beatles song "Paperback Writer." The closing tune is also fairly catchy, with some very applicable lyrics. The songs within the show are as crazy as the rest of the series, often involving Sana-chan doing some mad adlib jamming. When Sana-chan gets excited, she speaks at mach speed, and this same principle generally holds for her singing, since it provides an outlet for her often confused feelings. The lyrics range from sheer nonsense rhymes to brief expositions of her feelings, and present quite a psychedelic experience when accompanied by the warped animation. Often, Sana-chan uses some child’s music toy to further assault one’s aural sensibility. "Break it down, Sana-chan!"

Overall, Kodomo no Omocha is one of the most unbelievable anime experiences one can have. Capturing the spirit of Japanese commercials, Kodomo no Omocha presents a side of the Japanese psyche typically hidden from American audiences. Unless you are, in fact, subject to epileptic seizures, you really can’t go wrong seeing the first four episodes of this classic series. Once you start, you’ll never be the same! Gah ha ha ha ha!

For reference, this review is based on the first 24 episodes.

Distributor: FUNimation
Creator: Miho Obana, Gallop
Released: 1996

Plot: B+
Character Design: A
Animation Quality: B
Music: A
Overall: A-