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"Kodocha" Volume 13: The End?

Sana Kurada has had her ups and downs, but the young actress shows fearless determination whatever comes her way. Whether it be tabloids smearing her face all over the news, being blacklisted by sleazy entertainment executives, or meeting her birth mother, Sana always finds that silver lining. Her positive attitude is the life of this show, but she may have met her match in Takeshi Gojo.

Takeshi and Sana met on the set of a late-night murder mystery series, where they played bit parts as father and daughter. As we saw Takeshi’s crazy random stunts mirror Sana’s crazy random stunts, it became crystal clear that they truly were father and daughter. But then Takeshi was hospitalized, seemingly with only days left to live. In Volume 13, we see Sana’s positive attitude shine through when she sings the words, “Together forever, together forever…” while skipping to school. In the end, though, she is crushed by her loss and becomes emotionless. She also becomes so depressed that she begins to hallucinate that Takeshi is beside her once again. It takes the help of her friends to save her, quite literally, it seems, as through a series of events Sana finds her self in the midst of an avalanche. I liked that this time the tables were turned and it was Sana being saved, showing that she is not invincible, and teaching a powerful lesson in friendship and loss.

The two episodes about Sana’s loss aren’t all sadness and tears, however. A sleazy reporter, still sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong, actually acknowledges the cute Babbit, the little bat-like creature who shows up throughout the series, and makes him a part of the plot for once! The ability of this show to make light of itself is one of its most endearing qualities. My favorite instance of this is when Babbit exclaims, “How am I supposed to make jokes during this show?”

The last episode (there are only three on this volume) is a better-than-average flashback episode, covering the entire series so far. It involves a “secret” (everyone is wearing masks) roundtable discussion of Sana and Akito’s relationship. Their relationship, which is my favorite part of the series, has been on hold for the past several volumes, as Sana was mesmerized by Takeshi, so it is good to see them back in the spotlight.

That flashback episode also includes a commentary by Laura Bailey (Sana) and Jerry Jewell (Akito). Unfortunately, it stinks. For one thing, their characters don’t appear (except in the short flashbacks), and they don’t discuss either the series or the episode (their first time watching it) much. The only info I valued was their talk of Season 2, where Sana goes to middle school. They were both interested in continuing, but nothing was in progress at the time of the taping. There are still 50 episodes left in the anime, all dealing with the middle school years. I hope FUNimation will pick up the remaining episodes, as I’m looking forward to seeing the continuing adventures of Sana and the gang.

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