The newest anime adaptation of Kotaro Lives Alone on Netflix left behind mixed feelings of happiness and sadness. Every once in a while we come across such wholesome stories that touch us on a very personal level. The anime’s plot takes us through several routes of sadness but it makes sure to remind us to be hopeful. From characters to their personality, there was so much to love about Kotaro Lives Alone that we cannot help but wonder about them. The anime is generally listed under the comedy genre but only those who have watched it know that the anime is so much more than that. An unexpected element of the anime is the mystery that surrounds the protagonist’s personal background. Who are Kotaro Sato’s parents in Kotaro Lives Alone? What is his past?
Kotaro Lives Alone is based on the manga written and illustrated by Mami Tsumura. 8 volumes of the manga have already been published by Shogakukan under the Big Superior Comics imprint. The manga has also been running in the Big Comic Superior magazine since 2015. In the anime adaptation by LIDEN Films, we watched adult life through the eyes of a four-year-old. Kotaro won so many hearts by putting a smile through our struggles. However, hidden behind his sunshine self is a story that remains so mysterious – the story of Kotaro Sato’s parents.
*Spoiler alert: The following article contains spoilers from Kotaro Lives Alone.
Who Are Kotaro Sato’s parents?
Kotaro is a four-year-old who lives alone in an apartment next door to Shin Karino. While that is the basic concept of the anime, we would repeatedly see ourselves asking who Kotaro Sato’s parents are. The thought is more recurring than expected, especially every time Kotaro expresses his sadness and loneliness. The complete identity of Kotaro’s parents is never revealed. From what we see towards the end of the anime, Kotaro’s mother’s name is revealed to be Satori Wamiya. She was severely depressed and at some point in her life, died. Prior to her death, she left a certain amount of life insurance for Kotaro, on which he survives.
Kotaro’s father’s identity is never revealed. However, it is assumed that his last name must be Sato. Kotaro’s father was abusive, alcoholic and it is indicated that he also resorted to violence. For his abusive nature, a restraining order was issued against him. To meet his son, he goes to the extent of creating a fuss as well as hiring a detective. Kotaro was hidden away from him which triggered him more. When he saw a picture of Kotaro, he went so far as to create a scene at his previous school. This severely traumatized Kotaro to never click a picture showing his face.
On the other hand, Kotaro’s mother was emotionally drained from all the abuse. She was barely attentive towards her son and later left him all alone to survive alone. Why she left and where she went is never revealed. All we know is that she died later due to unspecified events.
Who is Kotaro Sato: Background and Personality
Kotaro Sato, aged four, is a boy who lives alone and is the titular protagonist of the Kotaro Lives Alone manga and anime series. After a certain incident, he was left to survive alone. Kotaro was born to a couple who were both abusive in their own way. The parents would often fight which would make him anxious to an extent that he would leave marks on the walls. When he was being abused, he has also stated that he ate tissues out of hunger.
After his mother left him, he stayed at an unnamed facility for some time where he met Ryōta and Tasuku. Probably after his father found him the first time, Kotaro shifted to living alone. The time interval between these events is unknown. However, we do know that he did live in the facility a year ago from his conversation with Ryōta where the latter reveals that they had made the promise to watch the Perseid meteor shower a year ago.
Now Kotaro lives in Apartment number 203 in the same building as Shin Karino, Mizuki Akitomo, and Isamu Tamaru.
Personality-wise, Kotaro barely acts his age. In the beginning, he is very distant and believes that he must do everything alone. However, he slowly warms up to those around him and lets them take care of him little by little. He is initially very traumatized by the abuse he has been through, due to which he needed to watch television for long hours to go to sleep. Kotaro despises weakness and refuses to cry. He believes that he needs to be strong. Kotaro also wishes to be loved and thinks that if he shows his weak side, he may not be loved.
Despite being a child, he is very intuitive and observative. He can recognise when a person is crying or when a person is faking his smile. Kotaro can easily spot when a person is lying. He even notices the lies of the detective who was sent by his father. His intellectual side and dark experiences make him understand a situation better than most adults. This is seen several times in the series as he recognises the sadness in people even if they don’t talk about it.
Kotaro acts like an adult most of the time. However, at certain times, we get to see the childish sides of him too. The bitter and sweet moments of Kotaro’s life uplifts the viewers on an emotional level.