Kotaro Lives Alone Review: A Heartwarming Story Not Meant for Kids

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Kotaro Lives Alone review
Anime: Kotaro Lives Alone

Netflix’s original net animation, Kotaro Lives Alone premiered on 10 March 2022. Right after its release, the anime has won several hearts. The reason is its wholesome storyline filled with moments that were both bitter and sweet. Kotaro Lives Alone is based on the manga written and illustrated by Mami Tsumura, which was published by Shogakukan in 2015. It has 8 volumes so far, filled with ventures of Kotaro who wants to get stronger and learns more from people he meets. It’s a truly endearing series and Netflix’s ONA does justice to it.

Kotaro Lives Alone is produced by LIDEN Films. Ten episodes of the series were released, each of which has a run time of 26-27 minutes. In every episode we come across random events that Kotaro comes across as he manages his time living alone, going to elementary school, and interacting with his neighbours. Every character in the story has a special part to play in the series, which needless to say builds Kotaro’s character little by little. While some parts may make you laugh, the comedy is not meaningless as the anime would leave anyone feeling warm.

Watching Kotaro grow is a true form of bliss in this anime. If you haven’t been able to decide if you should dive into the series, here is an honest review of Kotaro Lives Alone.

Kotaro Lives Alone: Plot Summary

Before we dive into the Kotaro Lives Alone review, let me give you a general idea regarding what the anime is really about. The story is mostly set in an apartment building where four tenants live: a struggling mangaka named Karino, a beautiful hostess named Mizuki, a hyperactive divorced man named Tamaru, and a four-year-old boy who lives alone – Kotaro Sato. When Kotaro first moves in, he gives all the other tenants a box of tissues to get along. Surprised to see a child move in into an apartment all alone, Karino can’t help but feel a sense of responsibility towards him. Unable to ignore his instincts, Karino decides to look after him subtly.

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As the two spend more time together, they learn more about each other’s lives.

Kotaro Lives Alone
Anime: Kotaro Lives Alone

Kotaro Lives Alone: Review

Kotaro Lives Alone is a truly heartwarming story. The anime leads with comedy but also throws light on several sensitive topics, one of them being child abuse. Despite taking notes on such a grave matter, the anime never comes off as dark. Instead, it does a fabulous job of spreading awareness about child abuse and how it happens right under the nose of the society.


The plot of Kotaro Lives Alone is one worth discussing for its ability to spread positivity. Most of the story is revealed from the point of view of a four-year-old. The anime is often episodic too. Kotaro has an especially sad life that hits every soft corner of the heart. He lives alone, hoping to someday unite with his parents.

The anime introduces the innocence of a child to the reality of an adult. Through the ten episodes of Kotaro Lives Alone, we see every character grow in many ways. Initially, Kotaro tries not to meddle with anyone, only seeking to stay alone and announcing he can do anything by himself. Of course, the reason behind this comes from his terrible experience with his parents. As the series moves ahead, one would notice that he begins to let people into his life. When he wasn’t so expressive at first, later he starts to tell people that he needs them in his life and even starts acting more spoiled like a child.

Kotaro Karino
Kotaro Lives Alone depicts the sweetest bond between Kotaro and Karino.

Character development is seen not only in Kotaro but also in Karino. Karino has always been seen as an unreliable adult and lazy. With Kotaro’s entry into his life, he starts being more reliable. He starts doing better as a mangaka and brings positive changes in his life. As someone who is a sucker for character development in anime, Kotaro Lives Alone was a refreshing watch.

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Art and Animation

There isn’t much to comment about the art and animation of Kotaro Lives Alone except that it fits the concept of the story. There aren’t any heavy scenes for complicated animations. However, the occasional twinkles at the right time really set up the mood of the anime. The concept art isn’t exactly aesthetic but the bright colours do the job of making it look satisfyingly wholesome. Characters are drafted with care and it shows every time we see the cuteness of Kotaro overflow through the scenes.

Kotaro Lives Alone review
Character: Kotaro Sato from Kotaro Lives Alone

Where does Kotaro Lives Alone lack?

Kotaro Lives Alone gives very little to complain about, to be very honest. Within the plot we find multiple emotions striking us – starting from sadness to giggling fits of happiness. However, watching a little child live alone can be uncomfortable at times, especially when we see him cook all alone. Although the point of the anime is to keep the story simple and stay positive, I wish they had shed some light on the dangers of letting a four-year-old child live all alone.

If readers prefer to watch an anime that leaves a joyful and warm feeling with a happy ending, Kotaro Lives Alone might just be the anime they want to pick up.

Karino and Kotaro
Kotaro Lives Alone: Karino and Kotaro

Where to Watch Kotaro Lives Alone?

Kotaro Lives Alone was released on Netflix and is available for streaming on the platform.

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By Krishna Mayuri

Because weekends are best with a cup of coffee and anime, let me recommend the best to you! You can reach out to me at FB or on my email at KrishinaM@otakukart.com

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