Kobato.

Well I finished watching Kobato (actually “Kobato.”, with the period) tonight.  This post will only have minor spoilers I think.  Anyways, it was a good ending, very heartwarming/heartrending as I expected.  In typical CLAMP fashion (typical anime fashion?) all the big heavy stuff happens in the last 2 episodes.  Also in typical (??) CLAMP fashion they explain a bunch of stuff right at the end, yet also leave a bunch more stuff unexplained.  I gotta wonder, what would it be like to have an anime where you =don’t= have all the waiting around for nothing to happen, before the moving emotional parts at the end?  Would it lose it’s effect without all of the getting to know the characters and connecting to them?  Or are there some stories that will resonate with you even if you aren’t familiar with the people that they’re happening to?  Hmm…

In any case, it was a good ending, if a bit predictable.  I’m betting (?) that the manga ended differently, since that tends to be the case.  Whelp, I should go read that at some point.

Again, I find myself intrigued by how much Kobato’s character resonates with me, despite the fact that we’re not really all that alike.  I think it’s just that there are some certain times when she has this very quiet, peaceful look, with her arms quietly clasped and her hair lightly flowing, and her dress gently swaying in the wind (have I mentioned her style totally matches my sensibilities sometimes?)–and at those times I really appreciate her character.  I guess I also just appreciate the fact that she has such a pure heart, and tries to be so very kind, though she certainly does it in a far noisier way than I ever would.

All in all, a pretty enjoyable series for me…which, of course, might not be the same for you, because I tend to like things even if they’re cliched or cheesy or even annoying.  I gave it an 8 out of 10 on myanimelist.  It doesn’t get a 10 because…well, only things that are ridiculous get a 10.  And it’s not getting a 9 because although it was pretty moving near the end, most of the rest of the anime was pretty unremarkable.  So the payoff wasn’t quite as worth it, overall.  Compare to Tiny Snow Fairy Sugar, which was actually also fairly unremarkable, except I think in that case I liked the varied characters enough that it wasn’t quite as boring through the middle, and even then there was still some forward motion.  Plus, the end payoff was bigger, I think, and started earlier as opposed to the last two episodes only (from what I remember, anyways).  So that offsets the fact that Sugar was definitely more annoying than Kobato at most points.

I should also mention Kobato’s lullaby/song, which I thought was very nice (not really perfect, but still very nice).  I think I should take this point to talk about music in 3, since the FNW/stanford dance community does a lot of waltz and we’ve talked about how music that’s in 3 seems to inexplicably have more motion in it, even though it’s not a “running” or “walking” rhythm.  It’s interesting because even though songs that are in 3 can have a lot of drive and motion, 3 is also the meter that lullabys are in, so it can be very gentle too.

I’d like to think it’s because, compared to an even meter, counting in 3 has much more emphasis on the downbeat, and a corresponding “lax” or “drawn out” quality on the third beat.  When you’re talking about the driving songs, that makes sense–the downbeats are more emphasized, and there’s more of a sense of forward motion because for that whole third beat you’re in heavy expectation of the downbeat.  Just think about a song in 3, and then stop right before a downbeat.  The sense of expectation is a lot more intense than if you’re thinking about some groove in 2 or 4 and you do the same.  So it’s a sort of rhythmic expectation.

It also functions in the other way too though–instead of creating the expectation of driving forward, it can also create the impression of pulling back.  So if you’re thinking of a lullaby, then comparing a rhythm in 3 to your standard “reference” rhythm in 2 or 4, every beat 3 feels very “lax” because the standard expectation (for an even meter) is another downbeat/strong beat, whereas in triple meter it’s not.  The effect is even greater when you think about a traditional lullaby rhythm, like the one used in Kobato’s song, where it goes [strong] [rest] [weak] [strong] [rest] [weak].

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