Kotaro Lives Alone is one of Netflix’s original anime series, and people are just amazed by it. This anime doesn’t feature any epic fight scenes, but rather it shows the life of a young four-year-old boy named Kotaro who lives by himself. The show has its funny moments, but it can also punch you hard with the reality of Kotaro’s parents.
Kotaro’s mother is named Sayori Wamiya, while his father’s name is never revealed. Apparently, prior to the anime, Sayori died, leaving Kotaro alone with a bit of life insurance. Regarding the father, it seems that he is no longer allowed to see his son.
This would explain why Kotaro is forced to live by himself. Did the anime explain more details about his mother’s death? And why is there a restraining order filed against Kotaro’s father? Below we will discuss what was revealed in the anime so far.
What Happened to Kotaro’s Mother?
Before the anime Kotaro Lives Alone, Kotaro’s mother has already died. However, based on Kotaro’s memories, his mother left him and his father before she died. Kotaro’s mother suffered from depression and was constantly emotionally drained while living together with him and his dad.
Accordingly, the couple would often fight, which would put an even larger mental toll on her. Kotaro remembers his mother mentioning that she would no longer live with him and his father. After some time, she actually leaves and tells Kotaro to take care of himself.
In the memory, Sayori promised Kotaro that someday they would be together again. However, she died before that could happen. How and why she died was never explained in the anime.
What Happened to Kotaro’s Father?
Kotaro’s father was noted to be abusive and neglectful save for a memory Kotaro has of him sharing an umbrella together. His name was never mentioned in the series, and his face was usually shadowed when Kotaro recalls him.
The anime also notes him as an alcoholic who often resorts to violence. A restraining order was placed to keep Kotaro’s father away from him. At a certain point in Kotaro’s memory, his father learned where he was going to school and decided to make a fuss just to see Kotaro. The memory traumatized Kotaro to the point Kotaro doesn’t like his picture taken.
Where Did Kotaro Live Before the Start of the Anime?
He lived with his parents at first. However, after his mother left and his father’s restraining order was placed, he stayed at an unnamed facility for homeless kids. This is where he met Ryota and Tasuka. He probably started to live alone when his father found the school and facility he resided in.
By the time the anime kicked off, Kotaro had started living alone in Shimizu Apartment number 203. However, he is frequently visited and taken care of by his neighbors; Shin Karino, Mizuki Akitomo, and Isamu Tamaru.
Who is Taking Care of Kotaro Now?
Kotaro is taking care of himself with the life insurance left by his mother. However, a number of residents in the Shimizu Apartments have taken it upon themselves to take care of their child resident. In particular, his next-door neighbor Karino decides to be Kotaro’s guardian.
Karino is a manga artist who grew attached to Koato. Eventually, he became the boy’s actual guardian. He would often accompany him to school and be his acting parent during school activities such as the festival or other events requiring an adult to participate.
Mizuki is another one of his neighbors that goes out of their way to take care of Kotaro. She is arguably one of the neighbors Kotaro is the most attached with. Mizuki visibly enjoys spending time and playing with Kotaro, even renewing her lease so she can stay with him longer. However, she makes a tough choice of leaving Kotaro in fear that her ex-boyfriend may harm her and the other residents of the apartment.
Tamaru also wants to take care of Kotaro due to his situation with his family. His wife divorced him, and he is not on speaking terms with his son. So, in a way, he treats Kotaro as a fresh start as he tries to make up for being a bad father to his actual son.
While not a resident of the apartments, Ayano Kobayashi goes out of her way to make sure Kotaro is well. She is a new lawyer that helps handle the case of Kotaro’s mother’s death. In addition, the insurance Kotaro relies on to live is usually handled by Ayano, who visits and plays with Kotaro every time to give him his living allowance.
Sumire Takei also takes up the role of Kotaro’s guardian once she moves into the apartment. Takei has a similar past to Kotaro and can relate to a lot of things he’s going through. However, through Kotaro, she is given a new perspective on how he handles his situation.
In a way, the whole Shimizu apartment residents collectively take care of Kotaro. Before Kotaro moved in, the residents hardly knew each other. However, since Kotaro wanted to be polite and introduce himself to everyone, the residents grew curious about the young boy living by himself. Eventually, the entire apartment complex became Kotaro’s new family.
What are Kotaro’s Feelings Towards His Parents?
Despite both parents being abusive and neglectful towards Kotaro in their own way, it seems like Kotaro still thinks highly of them but is still visibly afraid of his father. Kotaro appears to be unaware of his mother’s neglect towards him and continues to love and appreciate her.
Kotaro is happy even to be cared for by his mother despite his mother wanting to put on gloves to bathe and clean Kotaro. It seems he understands his mother was fighting her own battles and couldn’t care for him, so he didn’t fight for her to stay.
Kotaro is also hopeful to someday live with his mother again. He is still unaware that she has already died. His lawyer and Karino are keeping his mother’s death a secret for the time being.
As for his father, his feelings towards his father are complicated. He is visibly afraid and traumatized by him, but at the same time, he still looks up to all their happy memories together. Kotaro is seen remembering that his father let his own shoulders get wet so Kotaro would remain protected and dry from the rain.
Kotaro even feels bad for “painting him as the bad guy” in their family. It seems like Kotaro is still hopeful of getting his entire family together. In one episode, he even got balloons wherein he made a balloon family, which could mean he wanted his family whole again.