Episode 02 – “The First……”
In this second episode of Kotoura-san, Kotoura and Manabe are coerced into joining the school’s ESP Research Society, which happens to only be made up of two members. These include the insistent president Yuriko Mifune (CV: Kana Hanazawa) and the sensible, chibi vice-president Daichi Muroto (CV: Hiro Shimono). Both of these characters were fairly different from what I was expecting, and I was pleasantly surprised with the results.
In this episode, we get to see many different facets of Mifune’s character. She insists that Kotoura join the club, stating that their mission is to scientifically prove the existence of psychic powers. However, Kotoura is understandably hesitant about such a goal. We later discover Mifune’s true intentions. Her mother possessed the ability of clairvoyance, but was ridiculed to the point where she committed suicide. In hopes of bringing honor back to her mother’s name, Mifune wishes to use Kotoura in order to prove that ESP is real.
Mifune comes up with an innocent enough plan in which Kotoura would read fortunes for students. However, Hiyori Moritani (CV: Yurika Kubo), a girl who likes Manabe and the successor to her family’s dojo, takes advantage of Kotoura’s ESP. Moritani mentally assails Kotoura with insults, causing Kotoura to throw up from the mental stress. Bullying from the rest of students follows this fiasco, and we seem to have a repeat of the first episode on our hands. Thankfully, Manabe and a guilty Mifune stand up for Kotoura.
Kotoura-san is doing a pretty great job of fleshing out the characters because even though what Moritani did was pretty messed up, I couldn’t help but feel bad for her when Manabe yells at her. It seems that she has her own fair share of problems, such as the responsibilities of her family’s dojo and difficulty making friends at school. For Mifune, she wanted to help prove ESP existed so that people would except it, but ended up causing a predicament similar to what her mother was in. As for Muroto, he turns out to be a pretty intelligent and sensible guy who offers Mifune a couple words of wisdom. When I first saw him, I imagined him to be some wacky, over-the-top character, like Manabe. I guess he showed me, huh?
Kotoura was pretty adorable throughout this whole episode, particularly how excited she was about being a part of her first club and having her first senpai. I like how the club room is like a stone cottage located next to the stairs, and it acts as a safe area where Kotoura can feel comfortable with her new friends. The characters are definitely the strongest point of Kotoura-san, and right now I’m looking forward to how Moritani’s character is developed further. I’m assuming she joins the club, but under what circumstances, I wonder?