Like just about everyone else, when I read the preview of Kotoura-san, saw the preview image, watched the PV, I thought it was some generic RomCom. I was gravely mistaken. Although I suspect that the series will eventually take a more lighthearted approach in its subsequent episodes, this episode brought up some food for thought that I would like to empty my thoughts on.
As such, this isn’t going to be quite like a “First Impressions”-type of post, nor is it going to follow the conventional format of a typical episodic post. While I will give a quick summary for those who haven’t actually watched the episode (or follow anime in general), this post will be mostly dedicated to “discussing” the intricacies of the said topic. But before that..
Why am I doing this?
The answer is actually simple. I’ve long wanted to bridge the gap between anime and the general public, to demonstrate that anime isn’t just about mindless entertainment. Anime can also provide life lessons, thought-provoking concepts that rival Hollywood movies, Korean dramas, or any other TV shows out there. I have so much more to say – to fully expand on this notion will require a full-length post on its own so instead of blabbering on I’ll keep the rest of this section brief.
Anyway, in essence this is much like a fusion between an editorial and a normal anime post. By combining the both together I hope to be able to shed some “knowledge” or an alternative point of view to the readers. I’ve been thinking about doing something similar to this (hybrid anime + editorial posts) for a while and I decided to come up with this post rather spontaneously after watching Kotoura-san. Since this is my first try at attempting a post like this, I have no idea how this is going to turn out. Feedback is welcomed.
A really short summary
The premise of Kotoura-san is a straightforward one. Named after the main character herself, Kotoura is a girl who is gifted/cursed with the ability to read people’s minds.
Seeking the (ugly) truth
On a first thought, people would usually think that: “Isn’t that great?”, which was what I thought so too. However, on a closer inspection and as this pilot episode goes to show – Sometimes we are better off not knowing the truth. Keep in mind that the contents of the drama-filled portion are exaggerated to a certain extent, but the underlying message still remains the same.
There are many things, thoughts that we keep to ourselves and some of these secrets are sensitive enough such that we would gladly bring it along with us to our graves if we could and not tell a single soul about it. What Kotoura-san does is to strip one of that privacy, and exposing the truth for the whole world to see. The truth, depending on the nature of the subject, can either be relatively harmless, or downright hideous.
So what happens when a less than desirable truth comes to light? (As this episode also demonstrated) People get thrown right out of their comfort zone. They get agitated, they start to deny and arguments occur. I’m sure most of us can easily relate to a similar experience in real-life. It is then that we begin to realize that – The truth isn’t quite like what we think it is. The truth is often ugly.
This lead me to the second-half of the thinking process that I had: “Why do some of us still seek the truth even then?” Having said that I know for a fact that many people prefer to remain ignorant because “ignorance is bliss”, and this is exactly why sometimes we’re better off not knowing the truth about certain matters. I must stress though, the “truth” is very subjective in itself, different people will have a different approach when it comes to different matters. There are many variables, external factors to consider when it comes to making the decision between “wanting to know the truth” and vice versa.
For the sake of illustrating my point, let’s just say that the truth is something that – while it wouldn’t be the end of the world if it was made known – it is also something that we prefer to keep to ourselves. Knowing such a truth is like a moth being drawn to a fire. We know that it will hurt us, but yet at the same time it compels us so much so that we subconsciously seek it out irregardless. Why is that so?
To that I have no concrete answer, perhaps it is just human nature, a human desire to delve for answers. Sometimes I wonder to myself, why do people bother finding out the “truth” when more often than not we’re better off remaining unaware. Personally, I have an insatiable urge to seek out the “truth”. It comes in many shapes and forms, but is also often hidden away from the eyes of an average person. It is the hidden side of the Earth, the secrets of the world that I want to discover. At the end of the day I know that it is an inevitability that some truths will end up doing more harm than good, but even so, it is just like a thirst that cannot be quenched.
PS: Being able to read minds isn’t entirely a nasty ability to have – playing poker has never been so easy before.