It happens every time: a new anime season is about to start, yet I’m still working through the last one. One show I’ve been plowing through lately is Kotoura-san, a fun series about a girl who’s born with the ability to read people’s 心 kokoro — translatable as “hearts” or “minds” — which leads to trouble (and more than a little slapstick comedy) since she can tell what everyone is thinking. (Warning, the first episode is quite laden with “feels” but the rest of the series is much lighter.) The word kokoro is one of my favorite Japanese words, representing the romantic and philosophical elements of a person’s heart, essentially where one’s mind is focused in the body. In Japan it’s thought to be located in the chest, whereas most of us would consider the “mind” to be located in the head. The shows up in various places in the language, e.g. the eyes are thought to be the “mirrors of one’s kokoro” (目は心の鏡 me wa kokoro no kagami), and someone with mental illness is said to have a 心の病 kokoro no yamai or “sickness of the kokoro.” There’s an insightful proverb on women which has served me well in my years of marriage: 女心と秋の空 onna-gokoro to aki no sora, which means “a woman’s heart is like the sky in autumn, always changing and never the same” [so keep an umbrella handy].
I’ve been enjoying Kotoura-san, a fresh idea for an anime.