Sommerleigh Pollonais, Senior Writer
Plot: The series on a four-year-old boy named Kotaro Sato, who moves next door to Shin Karino, an unsuccessful manga artist. Kotaro has no parents and lives alone. Not only does he seem to earn a living, he actually seems more put together than his own strange neighbors.
Review: While I do consider myself an anime fan, I tend to stick to more mainstream genre fare such as Shounen (JuJutsu Kaisen, Naruto) or Isekai (Bleach, Shield Hero) and of course, anything horror related will do. So deciding to take a chance on something different, I clicked on Netflix’s Kotaro Lives Alone, a quirky drama-comedy about a four-year old boy that moves into an apartment by himself. While he speaks and acts like someone years older, he’s most definitely a child (attending kindergarten later into the season) and due to this his neighbours take an interest in looking out for him.
Like most other anime series, Kotaro Lives Alone is based off a manga of the same name, but surprisingly there’s also a live action series that came out before the anime was ever created (the reverse is usually the case). From what I read online, both series are different enough in tone to warrant seeing individually, but my focus is going to be on the anime (the version I saw).
While I don’t think Kotaro is a must-see type of show, there’s enough heart to this story to make it worthy of your time. The art style has its own unique touches, enough so that Kotaro stands out amongst the thousands of other little dark-haired boy protagonists that lead these shows. And the voice acting brings a unique sense of individuality to the characters, something not always found in anime.
Another aspect that drew me into this was the way the story unfolds. We the viewers can easily step into the shoes of Kotaro’s neighbours as you’re left wondering “How is this little boy living on his own?!” It’s a strange setup that somehow works as both a drama and a bit of a mystery, with each episode giving just a bit more information than the last of what drives Kotaro to be the way he is. There’s the sense of something truly tragic hanging in the atmosphere, tugging on your heart strings, but there’s also enough levity to keep your spirits up.
Simply put, there’s a great balance of humour and drama to be found in these ten episodes. So if you’re a bit burnt out on the hack and slash fantasy worlds, why not spend some time with this quirky but heartfelt tale of a lost, sweet little boy and the family he finds along the way.
Sommer’s Score: 7.5 out of 10
So have you seen Kotaro Lives Alone? What did you think of it? And you can check out more great anime content below:
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever, and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
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