Kobato

Kobato

is Clamp's latest manga series which premiered in Monthly Sunday Gene-X in January 2005. Seven chapters were released under the title of Kobato ("Temporary"), but the series was put on hiatus in late 2005. It returned to publication in Newtype magazine's November 2006 Japanese edition; the story has subsequently been restarted at an earlier point in the original timeline. The story features a mysterious young girl, Hanato Kobato, who works in a local kindergarten.

On April 4, 2007 Newtype USA announced a special agreement with manga powerhouse CLAMP to exclusively serialize Kobato, in the pages of the magazine.

Kobato began its serial run in the June 2007 issue of Newtype USA, and was to continue its exclusive serialization through the May 2008 issue, comprising 12 installments in total. However Newtype USA ceased publication with the February 2008 issue, having serialised 9 of the 12 installments.

Furthermore, Kobato appears in Clamp's second music video, CLAMP in Wonderland 2. This is the first time the characters Kobato and Ioryogi will be animated. The first volume of the manga was released by Kadokawa Shoten on December 26, 2007.

Story

Kobato is sweet and perky girl, but also extremely naive about the world around her. She has a "mission", which is to fill a mysterious bottle of hers with the suffering from people's hearts so her wish to go a certain place that she desires to go can be granted. However, she must not fall in love with a particular boy she works with and whose heart she must heal.

Characters

A strange and naïve girl with a kind heart, she is very innocent and dedicated. She seeks to fill a mysterious bottle called a "flask" with the suffering in others' hearts so that someday she will be able to go to a certain place.

Her only restriction appears to be that she cannot fall in love with a particular boy she will work for and whose heart she will heal. Kobato has a very cheerful and enthusiastic outlook in life and her wanting to aid others in need is very heartfelt and sincere.

However, she can also be clumsy, rather stupid and rash with her actions and often trips, much to Ioryogi's annoyance. It is important that she does not remove her hat from her head, although the reason for this has yet to be explained.
Kobato's companion, who usually appears as a stuffed toy dog. It's actually rather foul-mouthed and bad-tempered and the first to scathingly criticize or hit Kobato for her naïveté and stupidity and often calls her "Dobato" (lit. Stupid Dove), though he will acknowledge Kobato's efforts when he feels she deserves it.

His origin is still unknown, but he can produce a blast of power when offended like when he blasted the perverted old man in the first chapter of Kobato, though he often uses it on Kobato whenever she messes up. Ioryogi was originally Tsubaki Nekoi's mascot on Clamp's self caricatures.
A blunt young man working at the same kindergarten as Kobato. Initially, he is rather suspicious of the strange Kobato and does not want Sayaka to be hurt. He generally ignores people he does not like; as a result, Sayaka interprets his tendency to poke fun at Kobato as affection.

Kobato notes that he appears to be hiding some emotional pain of his own. He appears to have jobs other than the one he has at the kindergarten. He is presumably 17 years old. He is an orphan taken in by Sayaka's father.
The teacher of Yomogi Nursery, a local kindergarten where Kobato works. She has known Kiyokazu since he was seven, which is when her family adopted him. Upon meeting her, Kobato wishes to heal Sayaka's emotional pain. Sayaka also appears to be in debt.
The kind and generous landlady of Kobato's apartment and Sayaka's old classmate. She is married and has twin daughters, Chise and Chiho. Kiyokazu also lives in Chitose's apartment complex.
and
Mihara Chitose's twin daughters, presumably age 11-12. Like their mother, they are crossover characters from Chobits, known in that series as Freya and Chī/Elda. In Kobato, they are normal girls and live with their mother and father.
A debt collector who appears at the end of the fifth chapter. He is on given name basis with Sayaka and reveals over the phone in chapter four he can no longer hold off the payment of the kindergarten any longer. He has some association with Yakuza. He is Sayaka's ex-husband. Ginsei
A mysterious creature who wears an eyepatch who apparently shares some sort of history with Ioryogi and appears to be on poor terms with him. Ginsei implies that Ioryogi's current form is not his true form and also seems to be aware of Kobato's mission. He does not think highly of Kobato or Ioryogi's relationship with Kobato.
A kindhearted baker and owner of the Chiroru Bakery. He gives Kobato a job at Christmas and gives Sayaka free chocolate on Valentine's Day when he notices how fixated she seems on the box of chocolate she is holding. He makes several short appearances in the Newtype installment of the manga. He and his assistant, , are both crossover characters from Chobits.

Crossovers

  • Chitose Hibiya of Chobits and Tsubasa appears as Chitose Mihara, Kobato's landlady, while Chii/Elda and Freya of Chobits also appear as Chitose's daughters, named Chiho and Chise respectively. It can also be implied, since Chiho and Chise mention their father in a conversation with Kobato, Chitose's husband is Ichiro "Icchan" Mihara from Angelic Layer, who was married to her prior the events of Chobits. However, this fact is not confirmed and Chitose Mihara's husband has yet to appear. Clamp has a fondness for crossing over their works and it is not surprising Chitose appears with her two daughters. The characters present are not the same characters from Chobits or Tsubasa, but are separate incarnations and the events of Chobits and Tsubasa do not coincide or occur within the context of Kobato.
  • Mihara is also the family name from characters of Clamp's other works such as Angelic Layer's Ichiro Mihara's stepbrother, Ōjiro, as well as Cardcaptor Sakura's Chiharu Mihara.
  • The apartment complex owned by Chitose Mihara and her family appears in other works by Clamp other than Kobato and Chobits; it can been seen in xxxHolic and Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle.
  • Ueda Hiroyasu, also of Chobits, appears in Exam 3, still as the owner of the Chiroru bakery. He makes another appearance in Exam 5, this time with his assistant, Omura Yumi, and again in Exam 7 to give Kobato an umbrella.
  • The fortune-teller from volume 2 of xxxHolic (A kind elderly woman who is an acquaintance of Yūko Ichihara's) appears in Exam 4 and plays New Year's games with Kobato. Her fortune-telling pendulum and sand-dish appears as well.
  • Asahi Hinata and Asō Shirō, the two main characters of Suki: A Like Story, appear in Exam 7.
  • Suzuhara Misaki, Kizaki Tamayo and Seto Ringo from Angelic Layer and Primera from Magic Knight Rayearth make cameo appearances in exam 9.
  • Kakei, Kudō Kazahaya and Himura Rikuō from Legal Drug make cameo appearances as background characters. The Green Drugstore where they work also appears in Drop 5.
  • Toya Kinomoto, Sakura's brother from Cardcaptor Sakura, makes a cameo appearance in Drop 5. He is seen in a bunny costume, working as a mascot with Fujimoto at the Green Drugstore that is seen in Legal Drug. The bunny costume resembles Usagi-san, a messenger from heaven in Wish.

References

External links

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