Type: TV Series
Episode Count: 24
Genre: Fantasy / Drama
Version reviewed: Japanese Subtitled
Date of Review: 24 Mar 2014
Another brilliant CLAMP series.
Kobato Hanato has arrived in a new city with a mission: to mend broken hearts. She must do this to fill a jar with konpeito (sugar stars) representing their healed hearts in order to fulfill her own wish. Guiding her is a stuffed toy dog named Ioryogi. As she begins her quest to heal peoples’ hearts, Kobato comes across a struggling kindergarten and meets Sayaka and Kiyokazu who run it. Kobato decides that these people especially need her help, and finds herself working alongside them, something which Kiyokazu finds more of a nuisance than a help. Ioryogi is not pleased either, as he feels that this task Kobato has taken upon herself is a distraction from her mission to fill the konpeito jar. Kobato must find a way to accomplish not only what she wants to do, but also what she needs to do.
Is Kobato the most adorable CLAMP lead to date? That’s hard to say, but she sure does everything in her power to give that impression. It’s nearly impossible to talk about Kobato. without giving the spotlight to its lead character of the same name. Kobato is a bundle of energetic adorableness with less common sense than a brick, but she pulls it off in an endearing way motivated by the desire to do good, rather than being an annoying airhead. Add to this the vocal talent of Kana Hanazawa at her cutest, and Kobato is a character who will surely melt many a viewer. Accompanying Kobato on her quest is a stuffed toy dog named Ioryogi, but don’t let his cute appearance fool you…
CLAMP also gets to display their skill at designing many elaborate and pretty outfits for Kobato to wear, and part of me thinks that Kobato. was created partially just so CLAMP could have an excuse to do just that. If they want to create a story to act as a vehicle for Kobato’s wardrobe, that’s perfectly fine by me. It helps that the story is a good one as well.
Kobato. actually is a combination of two CLAMP works: Kobato. and Wish. I have not read either of these manga yet, so I can’t say for sure just how they were integrated, but it definitely provides an incentive to read those two works now. Speaking of integrating works, Kobato. has probably the best display of crossover I have ever seen, and CLAMP is generally very clever at crossovers to begin with. I’m not going to tell you which world Kobato. shares; you’ll just have to see for yourself.
Kobato. is fun to watch, but it also has a good story filled with just the right amount of drama to give it some weight. There are a few elements to the story which could have been expanded on further, but since they involve secondary characters and the series is mostly about Kobato, this can be forgiven for the most part.
It’s been a while since I last watched a CLAMP series which was new to me, and Kobato. did not disappoint. It may not have the impact of a Cardcaptor Sakura or Magic Knight Rayearth as far as bringing new people into the CLAMP fold, but Kobato. is “lighter” CLAMP at its best.