Kotaro Lives Alone

Kotaro Lives Alone

Ayla Faullin

Kotaro Lives Alone is a Netflix-created anime released in March of this year. It is a short ONA with only ten episodes. But within those ten episodes, creators have managed to make a show that can be simultaneously funny and heartbreaking at the same time. 

Kotaro Lives Alone has a unique art style designed to make for funny scenes. As the title suggests, it is about a 4-year-old boy named Kotaro who lives alone. He politely greets his new neighbors, much to their surprise, and goes on to have many experiences with them. He is determined to become very strong and has some maturity, but his lack of knowledge makes for cute and humorous scenes. However, underneath the comedy lies a natural and harrowing story that the creators do an excellent job casually dropping onto the watcher. 4-year-olds rarely have a filter, and the creators use it to drop heartbreaking information like a bomb.

Through small bits of dialogue, Kotaro is all by himself because of his abusive family life. He believes he was not strong enough to make his father love him and lives alone so he can become someone worth loving. He also believes that he made his father a bad guy and entirely blames himself. He dreams of one day living with his mother and father again. 

The story has comedic scenes, but an underlying theme of abused children and the behaviors that come from their trauma can stab viewers right in the heart. Hopefully, the show will come back for season two. Until then, I recommend catching up on this short series and appreciating the skillful storytelling that powerfully entwines comedy and tragedy.