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Kodocha: Sana's Stage

By Meiko
Cover Volume 1

I say it time and time again... Iím cheap which makes it quite difficult to be a good otaku... but every once in a while I go crazy and splurge, and I want to tell you about my newest investment. I had been a long time searching for a new manga series to get into, and while I was working at Borders over the summer I got to check out a lot of cool series. I finally settled on Kodocha... only the greatest manga Iíve read to date. A few people had suggested this series to me when they heard that my favorite manga was Marmalade boy (see my review). Apparently this manga has gotten the reputation of Marmalade Boy on crack and Iíd have to agree. This is a mix of the typical angsty shoujo storyline and the nuttiness of the author, Obana Miho, who loves to turn her characters into cheetahs and have them hit each other with giant mallets.

Ok, so what is this story really about? Sana, a super-hyper child actress, daughter of an eccentric novelist, is having some problems at school. One boy in her class has turned the classroom into a zoo and picks on all the girls. Sana woulnít stand for it, and vows to do whatever she can to stop this demon child. But as she discovers more about Hayama Akito, the demon child, she begins to realize that maybe he needs to be helped, not punished. You can probably guess what happens from here. She turns him good, and he falls in love with her but donít worry, nothing is ever that easy in this series, so I didnít ruin anything for you.

I love all the characters in this series they are all so quirky that Kodocha is a blast to read. Sana is perhaps the most hyper anime character I have ever seen. Akito is very cold to everyone except Sana, and turns into wild animals every once in a while. Sanaís mother has a squirrel that lives in her hair and drives around their house in a little go-cart. Naozumi plays his trumpet whenever he is stressed... which is all the time. And Rei, Sanaís manager is also her gigolo. Címon donít you want to read this manga now?

I think Obana Miho is my newest hero the comments she makes in the sidelines every once in a while are as amusing as the story itself sometimes. I think that this is why this series is so great. Obana Miho canít take herself seriously, so she refuses to take Kodocha too seriously either. Whenever the plot line is getting a little dark, she always lightens the mood by pulling out a giant mallet or just has Sana be her ditzy self. I would recommend this series for anyone, but especially fans of Marmalade Boy, Kare Kano and that sort of manga/anime.

Kodocha: Sanaís Stage has been releaced by Tokyopop, from the original series Kodomo no Omocha in Japan by Obana Miho. All ten volumes have been published and they are $9.99 US each. GO BUY IT NOW!