Kotaro Lives Alone has become a gem of an anime because it is unexpectedly amazing, especially when you look at the way it was able to portray Kotaro’s relationship with the people around him and how the series was able to explore his past. Then again, one of the things that became quite apparent at the beginning is that this four-year-old boy lives on his own in an apartment. So, why does Kotaro live alone?
The reason Kotaro lives alone is that he was forced to grow up and become an adult due to the neglect that he experienced under his parents. He decided that it was best for him to live all on his own rather than to stay with parents that hardly ever took the time to care for the young boy.
It is important to note that, before you watch this anime, you should suspend some of the practical things that we are aware of in the real world (such as a boy renting his own apartment) so that you can fully appreciate the story. That said, Kotaro Lives Alone is a reflection of what abuse can do and how it can help shape the upbringing of a child. This is where it becomes important for us to discuss exactly why Kotaro lives alone.
Why Does Kotaro Live Alone?
When Kotaro Lives Alone was first introduced, many anime fans thought that this Netflix original anime series was going to be a gag that’s similar to Shin Chan. After all, the art style and animation aren’t exactly the best. Moreover, the series doesn’t look like it’s going to be something serious, especially when you consider that it’s supposed to be a drama-comedy.
Of course, the beginning of the series is also quite odd as well because we were introduced to Kotaro introducing himself to his neighbor, Karino, who was as perplexed as any of the audience members when he got to meet Kotaro. That’s because Kotaro was introduced as a character who is as weird as any four-year-old boy can be.
Kotaro literally lived on his own when he was introduced. On top of that, he talked in a manner that seems to be misplaced in terms of his timeline because he spoke like an old Japanese feudal lord that lived long ago. Of course, the fact that he could take care of himself properly and was able to live like a seasoned adult surprised everyone as well.
However, as the series progressed, we got to understand more about why Kotaro lives alone and why he acts and talks the way he does. And while this may be a drama-comedy series, the drama part tugs at the viewer’s heartstrings when you get to understand why he lives alone and what kind of life he experienced in the past.
The series eventually revealed that Kotaro used to live with his neglectful parents. He was often left alone by his mother without any kind of supervision whatsoever. That means that he had to live most of his early days alone at home without anyone taking care of him. And it even came to a point where he had to eat tissue whenever he was hungry because his mother didn’t leave him anything to eat.
On top of that, Kotaro’s father was abusive as well. While it wasn’t fully explained whether or not he abused Kotaro, we did get to learn that Kotaro’s father did indeed abuse his mother, and that means that the young boy was a witness to all of this. His father was an alcoholic who had nothing better to do than to abuse his mother.
Through all of the things that Kotaro experienced in his earlier days prior to living all on his own, he was forced to grow up. He was forced to understand that no one was going to take care of him because the people who were supposed to do so (his parents) didn’t even care to look after him back when he lived with them.
In a manner of speaking, Kotaro was also forced to grow up. He needed to become an independent adult that could take care of himself so that he could essentially continue to live without ever expecting that his parents would try to look after him.
As such, seeing his parents live the way they did and his mother suffering from the abuse of his father triggered a thought in young Kotaro. He began to believe that being around his parents only made things worse for them. And considering that he needed to get away from his father, an abusive man who was supposed to keep away from him due to a restraining order, he decided to live the shared house he lived in so that he could move to an apartment,
Kotaro’s past effectively sums up why he is as weird as he is and why he lives alone. The way he speaks, which is a product of the samurai cartoon he used to watch, and the fact that he could take care of himself were all coping mechanisms on the part of Kotaro.
The series essentially allows us to see how abuse and trauma can affect the mentality of any child. Kotaro wasn’t allowed to be a child and to experience what it’s like having a normal childhood because of the things that happened to him when he was with his parents. And this allows us to see that the series is essentially a reflection of the real world, where it isn’t uncommon for children to grow up under neglectful and abusive parents.
Where Are Kotaro’s Parents?
Speaking of Kotaro’s parents, where are they? Why were they hardly ever seen in the Kotaro Lives Alone anime?
As mentioned, Kotaro’s father was an abusive alcoholic. Because of his abusive nature, he was not allowed to see Kotaro. That is why Kotaro’s father was already out of the picture when the young boy was introduced.
Meanwhile, it took time for us to find out what happened to Kotaro’s mother. The final scene of the final episode allowed us to understand that Kotaro’s mother was already dead. And the most heartbreaking thing is that Kotaro didn’t even know that his mother was already gone.
Will Kotaro Find Someone To Live With?
It does seem odd that Kotaro Lives Alone is set in a world where an apartment complex allows a four-year-old child to rent an apartment and live on his own. In that regard, will Kotaro ever find someone to live with?
While Kotaro has a dependable neighbor in Karino, who acts as his guardian and de facto father, it is unlikely that Kotaro will find someone to live with. Living alone is essentially his entire shtick, as we get to see him learning things all on his own after he was forced to live that sort of his life by his abusive and neglectful parents.
Then again, the season finale did end with Kotaro learning that he could depend on Karino more and more as the relationship between the two characters improved and progressed. However, it is unlikely that Kotaro will move in with Karino. The more likely case is that their relationship as close neighbors will be similar to that of a relationship between a father and a son, but living together might not be the best-case scenario for either of them.