Episodes 49-51 (the first three-episode-only volume in the whole series run) not only concludes the first season of Kodocha but also marks the end of FUNimation's original licensure of the title. At the time of this writing no announcement has been made on whether or not FUNi will pick up the second half of the series, which is probably not a good sign. As with any company, their decision to continue must be based on sales which, by some implications, have been lackluster. Although the end of episode 51 does offer a good break point, to see the American release end without the second half being picked up would be a travesty. Despite mediocre production values, Kodocha has proven to be one of the most consistently entertaining series on the market during the two years of its release, and it has also featured one of the better English dubs recorded in that same time frame. If any FUNimation rep is paying attention, consider this a heartfelt appeal to continue the series from someone who would happily keep buying it. For the true Kodocha fans out there, do what you can to promote the series by buying its DVDs and voicing your desire to see FUNi finish what they have started.
Continuation questions aside, the first two episodes of this volume feature the most darkly dramatic content to date. Kodocha has regularly shown a penchant for working serious and dramatic subject matter in amongst its high-spirited frivolity, but never before has it been so heavy or so dangerous. Bad things are happening here, and a sense of dread hangs over both. Unlike in previous cases, though, the storytelling too crudely forces the subplot involving Takeshi's health problems to its inevitable conclusion, resulting in content that might be touching if it wasn't so melodramatic. Episode 50 reverts more to normal form, providing a heartfelt look at Sana struggling to deal with the consequences of episode 49's ending. For all the troubles she's had before in the series, nothing put her out-of-sorts quite like this, and the way her friends rally to try to help her is endearing. Episode 51 lightens up with a semi-recap episode focusing on the relationship of Sana and Akito before wrapping up with a look ahead at the new middle school uniforms previously seen only in the intro.
The last few volumes have been light on Extras, but this one does offer one significant entry. English VAs Laura Bailey and Jerry Jewell (Akito) do a commentary track for the final episode, where they reminisce about doing the series, discuss their disappointment about how it has yet to be scheduled to continue, and comment on various behind-the-scenes issues in addition to generally acting silly. Only previews accompany it.
An anime adaption was later produced by Studio Gallop, consisting of 102 TV episodes, airing on the TXN network weekly from April 5, 1996 to March 27, 1998. The opening theme songs are 7 O'Clock News by Tokio (episodes 1-44) and Ultra Relax by Tomoe Shinohara (episodes 45-102); the ending theme songs are Panic by Still Small Voice (episodes 1-39), DAIJO-BU by Tomoko Hikita (episodes 40-74), and Pinch (Love Me Deeper) by Rina Chinen (episodes 75-102). The first 51 episodes covers the elementary school story arc, while the remaining 51 episodes cover the middle school story arc.
The series was first licensed by Funimation from Nihon Ad Systems, releasing the first 51 episodes on DVD. The series was partially broadcast on American TV in a syndicated Funimation Channel programming block airing on Colours TV and Los Angeles KSCI-DT channel 18.3. The first opening song, 7 O'Clock News, was replaced with Ultra Relax due to licensing issues via Johnny & Associates.
The anime adaptation also received the praise with THEM Anime Reviews' Carlos Ross who claimed "the frenzied comedy is the selling point of this anime, and sell it does." Zac Bertschy from Anime News Network praised the characters as likables and also liked the animation and music. Reviewing the series' 10th DVD, Carl Kimlinger from the same website as Bertschy said that while "neither the show nor Sana has slowed a whit in forty episodes" the material not as appealing as previous episodes. 781b155fdc