Kotaro Lives Alone

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Kotaro Lives Alone
Kotarō wa Hitori Gurashi vol. 1.png
First tankōbon volume cover, featuring Kotaro Satо̄
コタローは1人暮らし
(Kotarō wa Hitori Gurashi)
Genre
Manga
Written byMami Tsumura
Published byShogakukan
ImprintBig Superior Comics
MagazineBig Comic Superior
DemographicSeinen
Original runMarch 13, 2015 – present
Volumes9 (List of volumes)
Television drama
Directed by
  • Kana Matsumoto
  • Naomi Kinoshita
Written byRin Etō
Music byDaisuke Shinoda
StudioAsbirds
Original networkTV Asahi
Original run April 24, 2021 June 26, 2021
Episodes10
Original net animation
Directed byTomoe Makino
Written byHiroshi Satо̄
Music byYūya Mori
StudioLiden Films
Licensed byNetflix
ReleasedMarch 10, 2022
Runtime26–27 minutes
Episodes10

Kotaro Lives Alone (Japanese: コタローは1人暮らし, Hepburn: Kotarō wa Hitori Gurashi) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Mami Tsumura. It has been serialized in Shogakukan's seinen manga magazine Big Comic Superior since March 2015. A ten-episode television drama was broadcast on TV Asahi in 2021. A ten-episode Netflix original net animation (ONA) anime series adaptation by Liden Films premiered worldwide in March 2022.

Premise[edit]

Kotaro Satо̄, a 4-year old boy living on his own, moves into the apartment 203, next door to Shin Karino, a manga artist.

Characters[edit]

Kotaro Satо̄ (さとう コタロー, Satо̄ Kotarо̄)
Portrayed by: Eito Kawahara[4]
Voiced by: Rie Kugimiya[2] (Japanese); Cherami Leigh[5] (English)
The eponymous 4-5 year old main protagonist who moves into a ramshackle apartment building and becomes a next-door neighbor to manga artist Shin Karino; he also enrolls himself into a local kindergarten called Shimizu Kindergarten, where he is in the Star Class. Having the mental capacity of a mature adult, Kotaro is very independent for his age; Kotaro often carries around a plastic toy sword that he keeps around his hip, and acts like a samurai due to the love of his favorite cartoon Tonosaman. Over the course of the series, it is implied that Kotaro was neglected and abused by his parents to the point where Kotaro resorted to eating tissues. At some point, Kotaro's mother abandoned him and his father, and later died from an unknown cause; he then left his father's custody and sent himself to go live at a foster facility. When his father found his location on the internet-(after seeing a picture of him with a group of other children from the facility), Kotaro left the facility and moved into the Shimizu Apartment complex to hide from his father who is actively looking for him, despite a restraining order, with flashbacks suggesting he was abusive; there are implications that Kotaro was born from an unplanned pregnancy as he once questioned himself on whether he was born out of parental love. He is unaware that his mother died after she left him and his father and instead believes that she will come back into his life one day. Since he is too young to get a job, Kotaro receives money every week from a family lawyer who secretly knows about Kotaro's family situation; because Kotaro does not know that the money actually comes from his mother's life insurance-(since he is not told exactly where he is getting it from), he is only told that the money comes from a generous benefactor.
Shin Karino (狩野 進, Karino Shin)
Portrayed by: You Yokoyama[4]
Voiced by: Toshiki Masuda[2] (Japanese); Michael Sinterniklaas[5] (English)
A lazy manga artist who scrapes by using prize money. Upon meeting Kotaro, Shin takes it upon himself to look out for the boy.
Isamu Tamaru (田丸 勇, Tamaru Isamu)
Portrayed by: Katsuhisa Namase[6]
Voiced by: Junichi Suwabe[7] (Japanese); Kayleigh McKee[5] (English)
A rather loud neighbor of Kotaro's. Isamu is divorced and not on speaking terms with his son. Because of this, he tries to be a father to Kotaro. It is not known what his job is, but because of how he acts and looks people tend to assume he is a low-level yakuza.
Mizuki Akitomo (秋友 美月, Akitomo Mizuki)
Portrayed by: Maika Yamamoto[6]
Voiced by: Saori Hayami[7] (Japanese); Stephanie Sheh[5] (English)
A neighbor of Kotaro's and a hostess at a local nightclub. While she puts on a brave face, especially in front of Kotaro, it is implied Mizuki is in a domestic abuse relationship, as shown when she returned home one day with a blemish on the side of her face. Halfway near the end of the series, when Kotaro learns about this, he and the other tenants become concerned; when the situation worsens, Kotaro tells her to move out of the complex for her own safety.
Ayano Kobayashi (小林 綾乃, Kobayashi Ayano)
Portrayed by: Kanako Momota[6]
Voiced by: Yumiri Hanamori[8] (Japanese); Heather Gonzalez[5] (English)
A newer lawyer at the firm that handled the estate of Kotaro's deceased mother. Ayano regularly visits Kotaro to give him money from Mrs. Sato's life insurance. At the insistence of her boss, Ayano stays to play with him; she is the only one who knows the truth about Kotaro's mother being deceased.
Aota (青田)
Voiced by: Soma Saito[8] (Japanese); David Errigo Jr. (English)
A private investigator hired by Kotaro's estranged father to find him. He moved into the building and built a relationship with the boy to ensure it was Kotaro. Despite the words of Shin and Isamu, Aota believed that Kotaro's father is the only one who should take care of him. However, a week after he moved in, Kotaro revealed he knew everything about Aota and Aota decided against filing the report, especially after revealing (through old scars on his upper body) that he too is a victim/survivor of child abuse.
Ryōta (亮太)
Voiced by: Kaito Ishikawa[8] (Japanese); Kyle McCarley (English)
One of the older kids at the foster facility that Kotaro was living at before Kotaro left due to his father finding out about his whereabouts; he and Kotaro have a special friendship as he shares his interests of photography with the young boy. He has a fondness for stargazing and even took Kotaro to go see a meteor shower with him. He is later shown working as a construction worker.
Tōko Futaba (二葉 透子, Futaba Tōko)
Portrayed by: Natsuki Deguchi[9]
Voiced by: Yūka Morishima[8] (Japanese); Jennifer Losi (English)
Kotaro's kindergarten teacher.
Takuya (タクヤ)
Voiced by: Minami Shinoda[8] (Japanese); Griffin Robert Faulkner (English)
One of Kotaro's classmates and friends who he meets on his first day of school.
Tonosaman (とのさまん)
Voiced by: Rie Kugimiya[8] (Japanese); Cherami Leigh (English)
A cartoon samurai Kotaro loves to watch on TV.

Media[edit]

Manga[edit]

Kotarō wa Hitori Gurashi, written and illustrated by Mami Tsumura, started in Shogakukan's seinen manga magazine Big Comic Superior on March 13, 2015.[10] Shogakukan has collected its chapters into individual tankōbon volumes. The first volume was published on December 28, 2015.[11] As of June 2022, nine volumes have been released.[12]

Volume list[edit]

No. Japanese release date Japanese ISBN
1 December 28, 2015[11]978-4-09-187355-2
2 September 30, 2016[13]978-4-09-187788-8
3 August 30, 2017[14]978-4-09-189625-4
4 May 30, 2018[15]978-4-09-189882-1
5 January 30, 2019[16]978-4-09-860211-7
6 October 30, 2019[17]978-4-09-860411-1
7 September 30, 2020[18]978-4-09-860717-4
8 September 30, 2021[19]978-4-09-861152-2
9 June 30, 2022[12]978-4-09-861322-9

Drama[edit]

A ten-episode television drama adaptation was broadcast on TV Asahi from April 24 to June 26, 2021.[20][21]

Anime[edit]

In September 2021, an original net animation (ONA) anime adaptation was announced. The series is animated by Liden Films and directed by Tomoe Makino, with story composition by Hiroshi Satо̄, character designs by Tomomi Kimura, and music composed by Yūya Mori.[2][8] It premiered worldwide on Netflix on March 10, 2022.[22]

Reception[edit]

As of September 2021, the manga had over 1.4 million copies in circulation;[2] as of June 2022, the manga had over 1.7 million copies in circulation.[12] In 2018, Kotarō wa Hitori Gurashi won the Electronic Manga Award in the Boys' Category.[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 訳あり4歳児がアパートで1人暮らし?津村マミ「コタローは1人暮らし」1巻. Natalie (in Japanese). Natasha, Inc. December 28, 2015. Retrieved September 23, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e Mateo, Alex (September 23, 2021). "Kotarō wa Hitori Gurashi Comedy Manga Gets Anime on Netflix Next Spring". Anime News Network. Retrieved September 23, 2021.
  3. ^ Colangelo, BJ (March 24, 2022). "The Daily Stream: Kotaro Lives Alone Is An Endearing Gut-Punch That Treats Children Like Humans". /Film. Archived from the original on March 24, 2022. Retrieved April 6, 2022.
  4. ^ a b 横山裕「コタローは1人暮らし」で連ドラ初主演、7歳子役に「ついて行く! 」. Natalie (in Japanese). Natasha, Inc. February 18, 2021. Retrieved September 23, 2021.
  5. ^ a b c d e @NYAVPost (March 10, 2022). "Directed by @JenLosi & @CheramiLeigh Starring @CheramiLeigh as Kotaro @MSinter as Karino @stephaniesheh as Mizuki @GhaspeyVO as Isamu @hezzy_starrVO as Kobayashi & @brentmukai as Fukuno" (Tweet). Retrieved March 10, 2022 – via Twitter.
  6. ^ a b c 横山裕主演「コタローは1人暮らし」に山本舞香、西畑大吾、百田夏菜子、生瀬勝久. Natalie (in Japanese). Natasha, Inc. March 23, 2021. Retrieved November 26, 2021.
  7. ^ a b Pineda, Rafael Antonio (November 26, 2021). "Kotaro Lives Alone Anime Casts Junichi Suwabe, Saori Hayami". Anime News Network. Retrieved November 26, 2021.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g アニメ「コタローは1人暮らし」本予告が到着、追加キャストに花守ゆみりや斉藤壮馬. Natalie (in Japanese). Natasha, Inc. February 10, 2022. Retrieved February 10, 2022.
  9. ^ 横山裕主演ドラマ『コタローは1人暮らし』関ジャニ∞主題歌が初解禁 追加キャストも発表. Oricon (in Japanese). April 15, 2021. Retrieved February 10, 2022.
  10. ^ スペリオールで4歳児のアパートコメディ開幕、次号では新井英樹が新連載. Natalie (in Japanese). Natasha, Inc. March 13, 2015. Retrieved September 23, 2021.
  11. ^ a b コタローは1人暮らし1 (in Japanese). Shogakukan. June 28, 2016. Archived from the original on September 23, 2021. Retrieved September 23, 2021.
  12. ^ a b c コタローは1人暮らし 9 [Kotaro lives alone 9] (in Japanese). Shogakukan. June 30, 2022. Retrieved July 21, 2022. ...with a cumulative total of over 1.7 million copies!
  13. ^ コタローは1人暮らし2 (in Japanese). Shogakukan. June 28, 2016. Archived from the original on September 23, 2021. Retrieved September 23, 2021.
  14. ^ コタローは1人暮らし3 (in Japanese). Shogakukan. June 28, 2016. Archived from the original on September 23, 2021. Retrieved September 23, 2021.
  15. ^ コタローは1人暮らし4 (in Japanese). Shogakukan. June 28, 2016. Archived from the original on September 23, 2021. Retrieved September 23, 2021.
  16. ^ コタローは1人暮らし5 (in Japanese). Shogakukan. June 28, 2016. Archived from the original on September 23, 2021. Retrieved September 23, 2021.
  17. ^ コタローは1人暮らし6 (in Japanese). Shogakukan. June 28, 2016. Archived from the original on September 23, 2021. Retrieved September 23, 2021.
  18. ^ コタローは1人暮らし 7 (in Japanese). Shogakukan. June 28, 2016. Archived from the original on September 23, 2021. Retrieved September 23, 2021.
  19. ^ コタローは1人暮らし 8 (in Japanese). Shogakukan. June 28, 2016. Archived from the original on November 9, 2021. Retrieved September 24, 2021.
  20. ^ 注目ドラマ紹介:「コタローは1人暮らし」 横山裕連ドラ初主演作 “ワケあり5歳児”との心温まる交流描く. Mantan Web (in Japanese). April 24, 2021. Archived from the original on September 23, 2021. Retrieved September 23, 2021.
  21. ^ コタローは1人暮らし:最終話 “狩野”横山裕、マンガ家としての正念場へ コタローの父の影も…. Mantan Web (in Japanese). June 26, 2021. Archived from the original on August 1, 2021. Retrieved September 23, 2021.
  22. ^ Pineda, Rafael Antonio (February 9, 2022). "Kotaro Lives Alone Anime Debuts on Netflix on March 10". Anime News Network. Retrieved February 9, 2022.
  23. ^ Pineda, Rafael Antonio (January 25, 2018). "Kawaii Hito, La La La Win 2018 Electronic Manga Award". Anime News Network. Retrieved September 23, 2021.

External links[edit]