I stumbled upon this anime just a couple of weeks ago, I’ve seen it listed on Netflix for a while, but only now decided to watch it. It’s a short 12 episode series, but filled with so much humour and romance that I just fell in love with it and couldn’t stop watching.
The anime surrounds Haruka Kotoura, a girl who was born with the ability to read minds. However, she was unable to tell the difference between people’s spoken words, and their thoughts. This caused a lot of trouble amongst friends, classmates and even her parents by exposing inner secrets unknowingly. Haruka began to close herself off, afraid to connect with anybody as she feels they were sure to leave her alone in the end. She ends up transferring to a new school where she meets Yoshihisa Manabe, a boy with a perverted imagination that refuses to leave Haruka’s side even when he learns of her ability. Her friendships increase to that of the two of them join the school’s ESP Research Society.
The first episode develops Haruka’s background, the troubles she went through, how her mind reading ability caused riffs with friends, being called a liar, and even being part of the reason her parents split up, which leads to the most traumatic words ever said to her by her mother: “I wish you were never born.”
I admit, the first chapter tugged at my heartstrings, seeing this girl, who’s so full of life, and unaware of her ability be subjected to so much hardships at such an early age. Her mother even took her to a Priest when all the other doctors could do nothing, demanding an exorcism, believing Haruka was possessed by a demon. I mean, a kid of what… 5 or 6 hearing this would be awful!
Yet, despite the hardships, and closing herself off to other people, she still is a nice person. I’m sure this story could take on a complete different perspective if this trauma altered her kind-hearted personality.
We meet Manabe at the end of the first episode, staring out the window, lost in a daydream, then suddenly saying ‘who are you?’ to Haruka who just got a glimpsed into this idiot’s mind. The next episode shows Manabe taking an interest in Haruka who, after a few days, everyone begins to ignore and keep their space from her. He eats lunch with her, tries to walk her home from school, talks to her. This is new for Haruka who doesn’t know how to deal with him but tries to push him away.
Manabe isn’t that easily pushed aside. In fact it makes him more pushy. Once he learns of her mind-reading abilities, his response was: “I need to keep control over my fantasies.” Again, not a response Haruka was expecting. He then proceeds to daydream about Haruka in a sexualized position that embarrass her to no end and tries to make Manabe stop.
These ‘fantasies’ continue throughout the series as a way for Manabe to tease Haruka, and get some great reactions from her. It’s even funnier when Haruka’s grandfather comes into the picture (another perverted mind), and the two team up to make sure Manabe wins Haruka’s love.
Despite these sexual “fantasy” scenes, I found them still funny and light-hearted. All her life Haruka’s friends leave her as they don’t want to be around someone who would read their minds without permission. To have someone okay with that and then tease her with those thoughts is just fun and a little cute to watch.
But the anime is more than just Haruka’s and Manabe’s growing relationship towards each other. There is also the ESP Research Society, run by two seniors Yuriko Mifune, and Daichi Muroto. Yuriko is a daughter of a psychic, much like Haruka who killed herself after rumours spread that she was a fake. Yuriko’s mission was to find and prove psychic’s exists and when she discovers Haruka’s ability plans on using it for her own purpose.
The anime is quite sweet in that the group grows in a deep friendship that as much as Yuriko tires to be the villain, she really does care about Haruka and doesn’t want to see her end up like her mother. Haruka is then given a place in the school where she can be herself without fear. It’s very touching.
As I said the anime is only 12 episodes long. I wish it was longer, however it ended on a very good note and works as a stand-alone anime. (Of course as I am now looking to see if there is a second season, i’m sad to report it doesn’t look like there will be 😦 )
If anyone is up for a light-hearted, comical, romantic anime to watch, I would recommend you check out Kotoura-san.