Kotoura-san: Bittersweet Ending – Series Review

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Kotoura-san: A Roller Coaster of Emotions

In the world of anime, it’s not uncommon for a series to have a strong premiere that sets high expectations. However, what happens when the rest of the show fails to live up to that initial promise? This is a question that Kotoura-san, a psychological drama anime, grapples with throughout its run. Despite its flaws, the series manages to captivate with its unique blend of comedy and tragedy, delivering a finale that brings a sense of closure for its characters.

An Unconventional Format

Kotoura-san is based on a 4-Koma manga adaptation, a format typically known for its light-hearted and comedic nature. However, this series defies expectations by delving into serious themes and exploring dark emotional depths. This unconventional approach poses a challenge in terms of pacing, with certain character and story arcs feeling rushed and oversimplified.

One can’t help but wonder if the limitations of the 4-Koma format are to blame for this issue. The source material may not provide enough room to fully flesh out the complex dramas that Kotoura-san attempts to tackle. Despite this challenge, the series manages to deliver moments of astonishing depth and power, particularly in its gripping premiere episode.

Oversimplification and the Quest for Forgiveness

One of the recurring themes in Kotoura-san is the idea of forgiveness. The series presents the notion that everyone can be forgiven, regardless of their past actions. While this concept is admirable in theory, the show often falls short in its execution. Forgiveness is a complex topic, and it loses its impact when treated too simplistically.

This tendency to oversimplify is exemplified in the character of Haruka, the main protagonist. She continuously blames herself for the actions of others, displaying a lack of self-worth and an inability to hold others accountable for their behavior. This quality in her character can be frustrating at times, but it is also what makes her relatable. Her journey of self-discovery is brought to life through a superb performance by Kanemoto Hisako, who effortlessly transitions between comedic and dramatic moments.

A Series of Contradictions

Kotoura-san showcases a series of contradictions and inconsistencies that both perplex and engage the audience. The characters’ actions often defy logical reasoning, mirroring the unpredictability of human behavior. The series acknowledges these contradictions, hinting at a deeper message about the complexities of emotional states and the dissonance between what we know and how we act.

One example of this is the relationship between Kotoura and Manabe. Despite her initial resistance and occasional pushback, Kotoura finds solace in Manabe’s unwavering honesty and transparency. While she may struggle with accepting his open affection, she ultimately realizes that he loves her unconditionally, faults and all.

The Importance of Balance: Comedy and Drama

What sets Kotoura-san apart is its unique blend of screwball ecchi comedy and ruthlessly dark drama. The series seamlessly transitions between these two contrasting elements, often within the same scene. Life itself is a mixture of tragedy and humor, and this juxtaposition reflects the complexities of human existence.

Ohta Masahiko, known for his comedic direction, showcases his versatility by successfully exploring the realm of drama in Kotoura-san. The series shines when it fully embraces its comedic side, delivering moments of laughter that provide relief amidst the emotional turmoil.

A Satisfying Finale and Beyond

The finale of Kotoura-san brings the series full circle, centering around Kumiko-san, a character plagued by her past actions. However, the resolution to her storyline feels somewhat unsatisfying. While the series attempts to explore the internal conflicts and redemption of its characters, it often falls short in fully addressing these complexities.

Despite its flaws, Kotoura-san remains an entertaining and thought-provoking series. Its exploration of forgiveness, the complexity of human emotions, and the fusion of comedy and drama make it a captivating watch. While there is room for improvement in its execution, the show still manages to leave an impact on its audience.


Kotoura-san is a series that navigates the intersections of comedy and tragedy, challenging the boundaries of the 4-Koma manga adaptation format. It presents a compelling exploration of forgiveness and the intricacies of human behavior. The imperfections and inconsistencies within the series add an element of perplexity that keeps viewers engaged. While the finale may not deliver a completely satisfying resolution, Kotoura-san leaves an indelible mark on its audience.


1. Is Kotoura-san based on a manga?

Yes, Kotoura-san is based on a 4-Koma manga adaptation that deviates from the typical lighthearted nature of the format.

2. Does the series strike a balance between comedy and drama?

Yes, Kotoura-san blends screwball ecchi comedy with ruthlessly dark drama, showcasing the complexities of life and human emotions.

3. Are the characters’ actions inconsistent?

Yes, the series acknowledges the contradictions inherent in human behavior, emphasizing the dissonance between what we know and how we act.

4. Does the finale provide a satisfying conclusion?

While the finale of Kotoura-san brings some closure, there are aspects that feel unresolved and may leave viewers wanting more.

5. Does forgiveness play a significant role in the series?

Yes, forgiveness is a recurring theme in Kotoura-san. However, the show tends to oversimplify this complex topic, which may impact its resonance with viewers.