Kotaro Lives Alone looks to be a nice series at first impression. The narrative, meanwhile, has a heavy undercurrent that addresses tragedy, trauma, child maltreatment, and many other issues. Life is shown in the series in a very direct and genuine way. Heavy subjects like these were probably difficult for the authors, especially with a 4-year-old kid as the main character. Because of this, it is quite uncommon to have these subjects included in a lovely narrative like this, and the series does a fantastic job of straddling the line between drama and comedy.

Along the way, this anime is full of jokes, but viewers will also get a few emotional gut-punches as they discover more about Kotaro's terrible background. The cartoon series tells the tale of Kotaro, a little boy who takes care of himself in an uncharacteristically responsible manner. His neighbors become aware of him and make every effort to assist him. The show's episodic structure means it switches from one standalone short narrative to another. Although the series moves slowly, the connections between the characters and the lessons they take away from each narrative are what really hold viewers' attention.


The dentist discussing kids' lives with them

Some of the Saddest Moments in Kotaro Lives Alone Were Oddly Realistic_0

Child neglect is often a sensitive topic that people hesitate to touch upon, even though this is, sadly, by no means uncommon in real life. Though people may view it as something normal, it still affects a child in various ways, and people sometimes don't accept the fact that child neglect is not much different from abuse. In the series, Kotaro isn't the only victim of such treatment; there are other kids as well. For example, he visits a dentist who spends 30 minutes on the dental treatment and another 30 minutes talking with his child patients about their everyday lives. When asked for a reason by his receptionist, the dentist shares the story of a little girl.

This girl once came with her mother and her teeth were in bad condition. The dentist realized that something must be wrong but didn't delve further since he thought it wasn't his job. A few days after that, the girl visited him alone, complaining of pain in her mouth. However, he sent her away since she didn't have a guardian with her. He never saw that girl again but later read an article about her that said an emaciated girl was taken under childcare custody. The dentist deeply regretted sending the girl away and ignoring the signs of her family situation. After that incident, he vowed to always pay more attention to any child who came to him.


Son of Tamaru is Arriving to Meet Him

Some of the Saddest Moments in Kotaro Lives Alone Were Oddly Realistic_1

Children are often the ones who get hurt the most due to spats between parents. This is especially the case among young children who can't necessarily differentiate between right and wrong and just want to be around both their parents. Despite being a kind person, Tamaru has a bad reputation because of the way he dresses and acts. He has a 4-year-old son named Yuta; however, his ex-wife doesn't allow him to be his son, so he tries to fill that void by being around Kotaro.

However, Tamaru is surprised when Yuta sneaks out to meet him. Tamaru reprimands Yuta and sends him away without showing a bit of affection. Though heartbreaking, he feels that he has to do that because he doesn't want his son to grow up thinking that it's fine to break the rules. He hates sending Yuta away, but it's something that he believes must be done.


Kotaro calling a friend to get confirmation

Some of the Saddest Moments in Kotaro Lives Alone Were Oddly Realistic_2

Whether they are children or adults, everyone wishes to be acknowledged by the people they're close to. However, Kotaro never receives such acknowledgment from his parents. His mother neglects him and his father was abusive. Growing up in such an environment made him too withdrawn from people. Hence, even though he is close with Karino and others in the building, he never seeks any affection from them. However, one day, Kotaro receives a phone call from a scammer who thinks the number belongs to an old couple.

Kotaro drags the call out for a long while, saying that the residents will be back in five minutes every time the scammer asks. Later, when the man gets frustrated, Kotaro tells him the truth about how he is living alone. The boy then tells him about all his accomplishments. He asks the man to tell him, "You’re doing a great job. How fantastic." This is Kotaro’s way of seeking the validation that he never received from his parents. The scene is extremely heartbreaking, as fans see a child seeking solace from a stranger because he has no one else to rely on.


Kotaro's Loneliness Is Presented in the Doorbell Scene

Some of the Saddest Moments in Kotaro Lives Alone Were Oddly Realistic_3

Children often love to ring the doorbells of their neighbors for no reason. Adults view this as mischievous behavior, and some children really do engage in this just for fun. However, not all children deliberately bother others; some may ring the doorbell in hopes of talking with the person or getting their attention. It can be a sign of them being lonely and neglected. Lonely children are more likely to pull off such an act to make people notice them and acknowledge their presence. Despite being oddly mature for his age, Kotaro is still a lonely child who craves love and care from his parents. Shortly after moving to his new house, he rings Tamamori's doorbell often.

Of course, after continuously answering the door for no reason, Tamamori grows annoyed and tells Kotaro that he is bothering others. Tamamori later finds out about the cases of children ringing strangers' doorbells because their parents often leave them alone. He thinks about Kotaro and regrets telling him off. After that, he lets Kotaro into his house and becomes friends with him. He also tells Kotaro not to give up and to keep ringing as many doorbells of houses that he can find. Tamamori knows that not many people will be happy about this and that some may not answer at all. Nonetheless, he asks Kotato to keep doing it until he finds what he is looking for: an end to his loneliness.