Discotek Media has announced that they have licensed Kodomo no Omocha, also known as Kodocha. Based on the manga by Miho Obana, the Kodocha TV series was directed by Akitaroh Daich and spans 102 episodes. The show follows the life of eleven-year old actress and sixth-grader, Sana Kurata.
The whole series will be released on SD Blu-ray in two sets. The first half will include the dub Funimation did back in the mid-aughts and is scheduled to release in Fall of this year. A second subtitle-only set will follow it; there’s no hard release date at this time.
Kodocha has an interesting localization history in the US. The first forty or so episodes were fansubbed in the early 2000s, back when fansubs were still physical media you sent away for. Funimation got the rights to the series, but only released the first 51 episodes. This is why only the first set will have English audio.
Why did they stop short of releasing the whole series? For starters, it’s pretty long. It’s also weird and full of Japanese pop culture references. It probably didn’t sell great and it just didn’t make any financial sense to finish when they were only halfway through. Keep in mind this was released around the time the anime bubble popped in the mid-2000s.. Much like Vampire Princess Miyu, Kodocha was both a victim and a cause of the anime boom and bust.
No one had bothered to pick up the series again in the US before now. Fans interested in finishing the series had to either track down these weird Chinese copy-and-paste translation bootlegs or check out the digisub version. Unlike the Chinese bootlegs, the digisub version is possible to follow, but the translation is pretty bad and there aren’t any translation notes. It was watchable, but just barely. This makes Discotek’s announcement all the better.
Kodocha is insane and one of my absolute favorite series from the ‘90s. I’m ecstatic to be able to revisit it, and in proper English. Huge props to Discotek for rescuing a series I never thought would see a legit English release.