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volume 3 issue 2

In This Issue

Contents 2
Features 3
Chasing Otakuism 5
Anime Briefs 6
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Kodocha: Sana's Stage
Monthly Manga
36 pages
Miho Obana
Kurata Sana's antics finally make their way to North America.
Overall Rating:

Animefringe Reviews:
Kodocha: Sana's Stage
By Holly Kolodziejczak

Yet another old fan favorite makes it's way to us via TOKYOPOP. In the last year, TOKYOPOP has brought us so many titles that have been skimmed over by the other companies, such as Great Teacher Onizuka and Marmalade Boy, which are also covered in this issue. However, many otaku that I know, including myself, never thought that Kodomo No Omocha would come to the U.S. in ANY format, because of some of the subjects that are addressed and the ages of the characters. Even so, against all of our expectations and fulfilling all of our hopes, TOKYOPOP has brought us Kodocha: Sana's Stage - the United States version of Miho Obana's manga, Kodomo No Omocha.

Sana Kurata is eleven years old, very strong-willed, and FAR from your normal 6th grader. She is a member of the Komawari Theater Troupe and has been an actress since she was very young. She is also the star of a popular children's TV show known as Kodomo No Omocha (Child's Toy). She lives with Rei, her manager, and her mother, who is a famous award-winning author. Even though she is a TV star, Sana still attends school like a normal child... but her class isn't very normal either.

Sana's class is constantly disrupted by the gang of unruly boys in it. The boys are led by Akito Hayama, also know by Sana and the girls as "Demon Child," "Super-Jerk," and "Boss Monkey." The girls in the class want to learn, but they don't seem to be able to overcome the boy's disruptions - until Sana takes the situation into her own hands. It becomes apparent that the teachers can't do anything about the situation because Hayama is blackmailing them somehow - and Sana intends to find out how and stop it. Sana and Hayama become enemies, leaders on opposite sides of an argument. Is there a reason behind what Hayama does? If anyone can find out, Sana can!

Whereas I didn't really notice any changes in Marmalade Boy, there was a change that I noticed in Kodocha. If you are familiar with the fansubbed Kodomo No Omocha anime, you know that early in the series, Sana refers to Rei as her pimp. In TOKYOPOP's manga release, this has been changed - Sana refers to him as her gigolo. As much as I don't like that kind of change, I can't say I blame them... the connotations of a 6th grader calling an adult male her pimp, even in the humorous way that it is intended, might not go over well with everyone in our outrageously PC society. Otherwise, the manga and the anime series seem to follow each other very closely.

This manga, written by Miho Obana, was originally entitled Kodomo No Omocha and was first published by SHUEISHA in 1994. Even though the series is 8 years old, the artwork and storyline aren't at all dated. TOKYOPOP plans to release Kodocha in two different formats. It will begin with 5 monthly issues, which will then be followed by 10 volumes of graphic novels. The manga reads in the original Japanese format, from right to left, and each monthly issue sells for $2.95US.

You say you've never heard of Kodomo No Omocha before? Well... you don't know what you're missing. Here is the recipe of elements that make up Kodocha: take a little drama, a little romance, and a little mystery. Throw those into a BIIIIIIIIIG vat of comedy. Stir vigorously. If you like your laughs with an intriguing storyline attached, Kodocha is something that you will surely enjoy. It's fast-paced, rollicking humor that's sure to capture your interest.

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