The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Kodomo no Jikan

Title: Kodomo no Jikan
Genre: Drama/Comedy
Studio: Studio Barcelona
Format: 12 Episodes
Dates: 12 Oct 2007 – 27 Dec 2007

Synopsis: Aoki Daisuke is a 23-year-old elementary school teacher. Kokonoe Rin is his 9-year-old student. After a rough first encounter, the two eventually come to terms but with a surprise twist: the young Rin confesses her love for Aoki. Now, Aoki must worry about Rin’s constant advances as he tries to teach and nurture his other students.

The Highlights
Episode 6: One episode flashback; cheesy but powerful: go watch it.
Everything not epiosde 6: Carried by loli or poorly delivered melodrama: skip it.

Kodomo no Jikan is one of those rare anime that has garnered so much controversy that even I’ve seen it… if only to get board certification to say that it sucks. To keep things short, it does; so for all of you who already hate this anime religiously, feel free to continue your animosity towards this product. For the uninformed, this is an anime that touches on pedophilia in a disturbingly gratuitous manner, but at the same time, it raises some genuine moral questions via melodrama. And for all you closet pedophiles out there, it’s a trap!

Kodomo no Jikan is really another incarnation in the long line of low-brow fan-service driven comedies except some dolt has realized that children are free game to sexual objectification within the animated medium. Many of the episodes consist of the misadventures of three nine year olds, Rin, Kuro and Mimi, as they respectively act like a playful slut, a cunning nutcracker, and a glasses wearing pacifist. Personally, I do not find the physical, mental and social development of children amusing, and the creator seems to agree. So in order to spruce up normality, perfectly reasonable scenes of awkward moments go from “naive” to borderline soft-core porn. Expect to see genuinely meaningful conversations ruined a second later when a character offers to do a handstand resulting in a cheap panty shot.

Though the subject matter and – more importantly – its presentation are completely tasteless, what makes the experience further infuriating is that the underlying story that drives the finale is great. Once all the mindless comedic filler runs its course, the show has a genuinely dramatic stage to play on. After the excellent handling of Rin’s past in episode 6, the show should have ridden the same ride to greatness, but instead, it overplays its cards and becomes so ridiculously over the top that I’m beginning to understand why people can possibly hate Elfen Lied(1,2).

Take out the fan-service, make the girls five years older and get a better director and I probably would have considered this an excellent anime. I don’t care if this imaginary show retains the same, generic animation and music. I don’t care that fan-service is the very soul of this anime. Kodomo no Jikan has a fine skeleton, and if the show managed to maintain the same heart wrenching drama of episode 6 throughout the series, it could have been so much more.

As of now, those who watched Kodomo no Jikan for potential quality have lost; those have who looked for simple fan-service have lost. The winners here – ironically – are the people who despise Kodomo no Jikan on principle and don’t even bother to watch it. Virtually all the fan-service is heavily censored to a point that entire scenes are completely (and laughably) cut out by screensaver-like images. While this may not necessarily a bad thing, it’s a pretty much the largest middle finger a network can give to those who are watching for the sexual innuendos.

The Rating: 3

Reviewed by: Shadowmage

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