The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Kodomo no Jikan

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

Synopsis: Aoki Daisuke is a first-year elementary school teacher. At 23, he neither commands his students’ respect nor does he know how to obtain it. Especially troublesome is his pupil Kokonoe Rin, who has de facto proclaimed Aoki her boyfriend, and will stop at nothing to gain his affection. As Aoki struggles to understand Rin and not lose his job at the same time, a much darker story unfolds behind the façade of childish playfulness.

The Highlights
Lolis: Printer, repeat until the episode is full.
Adults: Just as interesting.
Censorship: I hate you, Nice Boat.
Speaking of Nice Boats: We almost had another one here.

Another anime about lolis? Wasn’t Moétan good enough!?”

There’s a problem about Kodomo no Jikan (hereinafter Kojika) that makes it not so enjoyable to watch for neither the devoted lolicon nor for the average anime viewer. Let’s take the more mainstream viewpoint first.

Kojika’s plot development is fine, but lacks polish. The first five episodes consist mainly of fanservice and tomfoolery, and things start heating up a bit around episode 6. However, it isn’t until episode 8, well more than half the series, when things become serious. The slow buildup makes the show rather frustrating to watch for most viewers.

And for the lolicons out there, it’s even worse. I fully expected to see risque fanservice and hear little third graders whisper dirty things, but what I got was the excruciating pain of censorship. Not only are things censored, but it’s done in a fashion which completely kills the mood of the scene. Case in point: during one of the most emotionally tense scenes in the entire series, a huge screen-sized censor bar is placed, depicting one of the characters in chibi drinking a beer and watching TV. It’s the frustrating things like that which make Kojika a headache to watch.

That isn’t to say, the series is completely worthless. The lolicons will still enjoy watching 3rd graders squirm around and giggle while running around in their youthful vitality, and anime fans will still get a fairly solid story out of Kojika. Especially notable is the character of Rin, the troublemaker. While all of her sexually-motivated passes at Aoki can be construed as nothing more than a child’s attention-whoring, it’s much more interesting to find out exactly what happened in Rin’s past to warrant her erratic behavior. While the answer does eventually come, it comes too brief and too late. More of the fanservice could have easily been cut (especially seeing as how 100% of it was censored), and more substance inserted in order to create a better story.

In the end, viewers of Kojika will find the series neither absolutely disappointing nor absolutely amazing. The censorship will frustrate those looking for cheap thrills, and the slow pacing will frustrate those looking for a solid plot with lots of development. While not worthless, ultimately Kojika just lacks the polish to make it a masterpiece. It’s just another charming story about growing up that ultimately offers little new.

The Rating: 5

Reviewed by: Akira

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