Kobato. Manga Volume 06 (Finale and Final Thoughts)

こばと。/Kobato Volume 06 Manga finale

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***SPOILERS***

Kobato. Manga Volume 06Highlights for this volume have Kobato confront the yakuza Kazuto (Okiura), with some supernatural help. Fujimoto realizes his feelings for Kobato and makes a past-tense love confession to Sayaka. The angel Suishou emerges to chat with Ioryogi, letting him know the end is near. When Kazuto returns to finally fulfill his threat, Sayaka reveals that she knows this isn’t really him, and that he hadn’t married her for a scam years before.  She correctly deduces that Kazuto was forced into this by his father, and he’d tried to get her away via these harsh methods to get her away from his family. However, she would have preferred they had worked on a solution together. Fujimoto arrives to help facilitate a plan for the married couple to flee, but Kobato uses that moment to make a wish of Ushagi-san, allowing Sayaka and Kazuto to be free.

Before vanishing, Kobato confesses her love to Fujimoto.  Upon vanishing, they no longer remember her, but Fujimoto has a feeling that he’s lost something. Years later, Kobato returns, having been reincarnated but growing up to have the same kind of body she had before. Ioryogi is still with her as a stuffed animal toy, and she remembers her previous life completely, including dying and being merged with Suishou. They arrive at Sayaka’s and Kazuto’s kindergarten, where Kobato intends to apply for a job. Fujimoto arrives, but doesn’t remember Kobato. However, Ginsei had made a secret wish so that if Kobato ever met Fujimoto, his memories would return. This is granted, and the two confess their love for each other, but now Ginsei is also a stuffed animal like Ioryogi. Suishou reveals herself to Ioryougi, saying she has to stay with Kobato in this life as she’s still not strong enough to live on her own. However, after that, Ioryogi and Suishou plan to be together.

And so CLAMP closes the book on another series that they started with an interesting concept, but found they had no place to go with it.  I think that was pretty clear in the previous volume, where CLAMP suddenly had their characters spew tons of exposition to reveal just what the heck was going on and the like, including revealing that this series is a spinoff-sequel to their earlier manga series, Wish.

Still, CLAMP did learn from some of their mistakes in Tsubasa and xxxHOLiC.  While things are extremely rushed to get wrapped up and oh so convenient plot elements are used to bring this about (such as the sudden, unbelievable twist that has Kazuto magically shift from evil yakuza to desperate husband using extreme methods to try to protect his wife), CLAMP does make sure that Kobato and Ioryogi have happy ends.

It is disappointing to see how CLAMP never really could get this manga series off the ground good.  The mystery of Kobato was somewhat interesting, as was the supernatural element with Ioryogi and his confederates (who’d been punished by God), as well as the angelic elements. I never read Wish, but Kobato made me want to read that to learn more about the angel Kohaku (sadly, I don’t think that Dark Horse has rescued this, nor has anyone else).

Unfortunately, the slapstick humor of Kobato being clumsy never really worked, nor did Ioryogi’s frequent yelling at the hapless Kobato. Indeed, knowing what one knows from the ending, it seems odd that Ioryogi would scream at her so and not be more patient. I guess that CLAMP thought a tough stuffed animal would be funny.

I also never bought the romance between Kobato and Fujimoto. Kobato was such a naive, innocent girl who had a mission to heal others, but then that mission got derailed for Sayaka-sensei’s school, where Fujimoto worked.  I could by Kobato getting distracted, but I couldn’t get into the idea that Fujimoto fell in love with Kobato or vice versa, no matter how much CLAMP tried to push that notion across. I had no trouble believing that Fujimoto loved Sayaka though, and I could buy Ioryogi’s and Suishou’s love.

In the end, I felt that CLAMP couldn’t bridge the comedy portions of the manga with the romance portions of the story, nor could they bridge those elements in with story of Kobato needing to heal people to gain her wish.  I think they too realized this, which is why they info-dumped in volume 5, and shut it down with volume 6.  At least they give happy endings for all.

On the Yen Press side of things, honorific usage is here, and William Flanagan provides three translator notes. I was disappointed that he never went into the linkage between Wish and Kobato, which I felt should have been done in the previous volume.

With this, I close yet another CLAMP series, wondering even more how the heck they aren’t going to fail with Gate 7.

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2 Responses to “Kobato. Manga Volume 06 (Finale and Final Thoughts)”

  1. hughroe says:

    Wish was good, even though there’s a time problem between it and Kobato.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Hey! Good to see you still around. ^_^

      I glanced at Wish and did see that discrepancy. However, CLAMP would blow it off as “this is another universe” story, thus solving their time problem. ^_^;;;

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