Saturday, August 15, 2009

Kobato volume one: The manga I should have been reading months ago!

Like most bloggers I have a blog list of the blogs I like to read and keep up to date on. It is fun to read other people's perception on similar things and it's a great way to find out about new animes/mangas.

For quite a while Simplicity has stated her love for the manga Kobato and how she is looking forward to the Kobato anime that is coming out in the Fall. The way she talks about this series is fun and exciting.


Why did it take me so long to get hooked on your cuteness?!

So why did it take me until today to actually read volume one of this cute manga? It's CLAMP, it's a cute series, and it's CLAMP. Seriously I fail as a CLAMP fan girl. But I have corrected the situation and am now on the Kobato bandwagon. Thanks Simplicity for setting me straight!

Let's start with blogging about volume one of this unbelievably cute series! Beware of potential spoilers and my crazy theories (of course not as crazy as XXXholics which may be related).

Edit: The screenies...were bigger than I meant for them to be. So yes it gets long but at least you can read the words now? XD

Edit two: Totally forgot to give credit for the Kobato translated scans. They can be found here at Lumiere. Thank you for the scans.


Meeting our hero Kobato.

Our story starts off with an evil dog plushie named Ioryogi yelling at our heroine Kobato. This conversation serves to tell the viewer about past events that have brought Kobato to this moment right now. Kobato has a wish (MOG SHOCKER) to go somewhere and to do so she must fill a special bottle with the hearts of those she heals. But before she can collect these broken hearts she has to earn the bottle to collect said hearts. Evil Ioryogi says that to earn this bottle she must show she can survive in this world and have some common sense.


MMM normal human beings dig through trash so they can sleep on benches.

Early on we get the feeling that Kobato isn't "slow" but probably not human. Ioryogi states several times in this volume that Kobato has to learn to fit in. It is also obvious that Kobato is staying in the park. SOOOOO Kobato is not from these parts. And given the fact that Kobato has a wish she could be ANYTHING. She could be a flower that wishes to be human or a ghost who wishes to go to heaven. In any event I sense that Yuko is involved. And that Kobato is special.


Not showing her common sense very well...

Kobato proves time and again she does have a pure heart but doesn't have a very good grasp of the consequences of her actions. Almost like WOOT this plan will work for now but I don't see how this will affect me in the future. I hesitate to call her simple but will stick to PURE instead. Also home girl watches a lot of TV. XD


Mad cooking skills.

Kobato tries to branch out and earn her bottle. Since this is the CLAMP universe there are other CLAMP characters hiding and lurking about. Hiroyasu Ueda the bakery owner from Chobits appears and lets Kobato help out at his shop. Also appearing from Chobits are Hibiya, Freya, and Elda. Since we are operating in a different CLAMP universe Freya and Elda are not computers. We also get a glance at a new character named Fujimoto running about to various odd jobs.

Putting that aside Kobato is having a hard time earning her bottle. Ioryogi gets angry at her a lot and he is not a cute mascot character! He often writes her score (from whatever task he thinks Kobato can do) on her face and is vicious with how he grades her. This instance is Kobato trying to help out a shop owner serving food. It may look disgusting but Kobato's dish turns out to be great.


If it's on TV it must be true!

More evidence of Kobato's...innocence. She seems to get all her human information from TV and can't understand how scenarios can be very different given the circumstances. Ioryogi is usually there to set Kobato straight and screams at her that she is a pigeon ( a play on words with her name). Thanks Ioryogi.


Where is this place?!

True CLAMP style we don't learn where Kobato wants to go. And I doubt we will know until that bottle is filled and she can make her wish. I have a lot of theories where this place is. At first I thought it was heaven but she would know how to act like a human if she was a wandering ghost. She may want to go somewhere at a certain time since this is CLAMP and going somewhere could mean "I want to go to this park on this day to stop this from happening". It is hard to think where she wants to go since in my mind she doesn't belong where she is now. She had to pay a price to get on this Earth right? UNLESS she is an animal or crashed her space ship or is a twin of her cloned sister who is really Yuko who is really Sakura. YEAH! Take that CLAMP!


We are in XXXholic land!

With this picture I think it is safe to assume that we are in the universe in which Yuko lives/lived/where the store is. This old woman is a friend of Yuko's and is a fortune teller. So I am just going to say that I am 99.9 percent sure that Yuko gave her that bottle and gave her the task to collect the sad hearts of people. Since everything Yuko does is in preparation for that day (you know THAT DAY) that bottle has something to do with stopping the cycle and squishing Fei Wong Reed. I am not sure what that means for this series as you know....that moment has come now.

Or maybe I am wrong and Yuko likes to collect stuff. In any event I love CLAMP's SD drawings.


What does that mean old lady?!

After spending New Year's Day with said kind old lady kind old lady says that Kobato's wish might change due to the events in her future. I don't even know her wish now and it might change?! Don't do this to me CLAMP.

But this makes sense. People's wishes change when they interact with different people. Maybe this place Kobato wants to go is really final AKA heaven. Maybe if she meets different people she will no longer want to go to this place and stay where she is now. I WANT ANSWERS. But I know I am not going to get them. At least not for a while.


Some original characters for you!

We are given a bit of side story which will of course become the main story. Sayaka is a young woman who runs a nursery school. Fujimoto, the young man from earlier, also works there. I sense a bit of sexual tension or at least I think I do despite the fact that Fujimoto is a bit younger. Times seem tough at this school and there is a problem that needs to be solved. Broken hearts that need to be fixed anyone? In any event Fujimoto is the one who will be the rough yet gentle (WHAT??) character and Sayaka will be...whatever.

Kobato singing at the sakura watching event. She gets it right! XD


What can this mean?!

Now being the special person I am I have theories on why Kobato doesn't accept any food or drinks at the sakura watching event. One she was being polite. But two...she can't consume anything. Because she really isn't there. Or she can't accept anything without giving something in return. I am suspicious of this scene...



But I am way more suspicious of this little scene! Kobato has to keep her hat on OR ELSE?! Or else what? Her cat ears will be revealed? She will die? It will take her back to the place she first came from? Kobato is seen with different hats on so it might be something she has to hide from other people than MOG serious business stuff. Because I don't want this to be an MOG serious manga. I WANT TO BELIEVE!


Everyone is also so kind to her.

Another scene with Kobato not being able to accept help. Or maybe it makes her feel bad because she can't pay for the umbrella? Everything has a price you know!


And then things get serious.

While Kobato is off looking for BEER Ioryogi is approached by something from his past. Something not human. But since Ioryogi is a talking stuffed animal that is hardly the point. This creature mocks Ioryogi and the form has has taken. So does Ioryogi look more like this creature and he takes on the form of the wisher to suit their needs (of course Kobato probably wanted a cute stuffed animal and not a demon one)? But Ioryogi is not his real name and he might have been into something a little deeper than healing hearts. I WANT TO KNOW!



Kobato has located the beer while Ioryogi is off getting beat by random baddie. We get a tiny glimpse into the Angelic Layer Universe (or their look alikes) as they give Kobato the beer that will stop global warming. That is epic beer people!


WOOT!! Bottle time.

Ioryogi is touched by how hard Kobato worked for his beer and her eagerness at all the tasks she performs. She is then granted the magical bottle that will aid her on her quest to go...somewhere. Because CLAMP can't tell us yet because they hate my soul. Soul haters.


Time to help people...after I get helped!

Now that Kobato has her bottle she has to find a place to live and start healing some hearts. I guess she wasn't allowed to stay somewhere in case she wasn't able to earn the bottle. In any event it is Chobits time again as Hibiya becomes her landlord. Again I am not sure what universe this is in so maybe the girls are robots. If that is case we can probably deduct everyone who lives in this building because of all the cross overs taking place.

In any event Kobato has a place to live and now must set out on helping people. Her approach needs a little bit of working. Randomly screaming at people LET ME HELP YOU doesn't seem to be working. She is almost man handled by a perv until Fujimoto rescues her. After said rescue he insults Kobato which will spark some problems between the two. You know, problems that will cover up the fact that they like each other (despite the fact that Kobato can't fall in love with those she helps). I am on the fence about you Fujimoto.


Woot for a purpose!

Yes Fujimoto and Kobato will be thrown together. Kobato runs into Sayaka and things work out that Kobato will work at Sayaka's day care. Kobato doesn't have a firm grasp on what healing a heart means so she thinks helping out as an aid might help. Which of course bigger problems will come up in the future from this job. The point is Kobato is happy so I am happy for her!



Sakura. You have a rival for the cutest girl ever in CLAMP (well and Hikaru too). Sakura also has a run for her money when it comes to CLUELESS girls but that is all in good fun.

Volume one was beyond cute. It throws us into a story and immediate the readers are caught up in Kobato's innocent nature and desire to grant her wish. CLAMP plays up shoving all their previous characters into this series and it brings back memories. I am regretting not reading this series sooner but I am not 534989 chapters behind thank goodness. XD Now I will be waiting for the anime series as well as each week to read a new manga chapter (once I get caught up first).

Kobato is a much read for an avid CLAMP fan. I just hope this story stays more on the fluffy side and not....X/1999 on us. I know this is CLAMP and fluffy to them means only 3 people dies in the series. But I can pretend can't I? On to volume 2!!!

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