Finding a comic that both men and women, teen and adult, and mature people and silly people can enjoy equally is not an easy task. Very few authors tend to create something that everybody regardless of age and gender can enjoy, and pull it off well at the same time. Regardless how funny “Dragon Ball” was, Akira Toriyma couldn’t attract a very large female audience to read his epic. And even though “Kare Kano” switched the point of views for both the lead female AND the lead male, most men just didn’t care for Yukino and Arima’s relationship much. And I'm pretty sure a teen wouldn't be caught dead reading "Digimon." However if there is one series above all the others that can be read and enjoyed by anyone in the world without any problem it’s “Kodocha.” This is a wonderful, powerful, emotional, and hilarious roller coaster that everyone needs to read, as this is about as perfect as a comic book will most likely ever be!
The story opens up with Sana Kurata, a ten year old child star of her own TV show called “Child’s Play.” She has a loving author for a mom (Who happens to have a squirrel living on her head), her manger is her boyfriend and her gigolo, and she’s a happy girl with no problems in the world. Well, almost none. If there is one problem in her life its her school. Everyday she goes to a classroom that resembles a bar brawl. Things are flying everywhere, the teacher is in tears, and the desks are all out of place. The problem? The boys in the class are keeping everyone from learning every morning. And the root of this problem is the number 1 bully of the school, Akito Hayama. Akito is a emotionless bully who gives everyone a hard time, blackmails the teachers with photo’s they don’t want to go public, and is quite frankly the person Sana hates the most.
Well one day Sana decides that she has had enough of Akito’s bullying, blackmail, lack of respect, and she’s just plain sick of HIM! She decides that she’s going to get some dirt on Akito to get him to stop the boys rampaging! However when she starts getting involved in Akito’s life, she realizes that Akito’s life is not much better. His father doesn’t speak to him, his mother died when he was born, and his sister blames him everyday for her mothers death, telling Akito that he’s a demon child who killed his mother...among other things. This catches Sana completely off guard as she never fully realized that there were families out there who were so cruel to their children. Sana being the helpful person she is, decides that she will help Akito out with his family problems.
However this may also lead to strong feelings that neither of them are expecting to have. I guess the first thing that should be mentioned about “Kodocha” is that there is no category you can really place this in. Is it comedy? Is it drama? Is it a romance? Is this supposed to be thoughtful, or just plain fun? To tell you the truth, its all of the above. While Tokyopop has decided to place this under the “Comedy” section“Kodocha” deserves more credit then that. It successfully combines comedy, drama, and romance so good that you’ll be sucked into the story from the beginning to the end! You could be reading the book for 30 pages that is pure comedy, and then something would happen that would change the mood so that it was completely serious all of a sudden, and the shift would be seamless! This really is some of the best narrative I’ve ever come across in a comic book.
Not only that but the artwork is just as mixed as the narrative. Sometimes the art will be really silly and goofy looking, and not look too impressive, but then when the mood changes the artwork will all of a sudden be very detailed and realistic looking! But again, the changes are seamless. The cast of characters are also some of the most interesting and deep characters ever. These kids may be too cute for their own good, but they are FASCINATING people! When you meet the characters you learn to love them, and by the end of the book they are completely different people then before, and you may find that you are questioning whether or not you still like some of these characters as much as you used to (Or you may find yourself loving some of these characters more then you originally did).
Another thing that is great about this series is that it starts good, gets better with each new story, and it essentially NEVER GETS BORING!!!! This is one of those VERY few series that never dips in the quality of writing, it just gets better, and better, and better, and then it ends! And you’ll find yourself wondering how the author managed to pull the whole thing off. There are very few series that absolutely everyone can enjoy. “Kodocha” has humor, drama, characters that you care for, amazing art, and a story that always gets more interesting not less interesting! In other words, if you haven’t read this yet then you are missing out on one of the best series ever written. After buying all these books the series will have cost you $100, I’m here to tell you that that $100 is TOTALLY worth it! “Kodocha” is a master piece of great story telling that is seems too good to be true sometimes. HIGHLY RECOMENDED!!!