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Anime / Summer Days with Coo

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Summer Days with Coo (Kappa no Kū to Natsuyasumi, Summer Vacation with Coo the Kappa) is a 2007 Japanese animated film directed by Keiichi Hara.

Coo is a Kappa who, after witnessing the death of his father at the hands of a samurai, survives for 200 years trapped in the earth as a fossil before being found and resuscitated by a young boy named Koichi in modern day Tokyo.

The story follows Coo’s friendship with Koichi and his family, the challenges he faces living in a drastically changed environment, his search for the remaining Kappas and his impact on the world around him.

No relation to Musical Mornings With Coo.

This film provides examples of:

  • A Boy and His X: A boy and his kappa friend.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Koichi’s younger sister, Hitomi, who loves to tattle on him, hates Coo, and is a quite a nuisance.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: The samurai that killed Coo’s father was plotting to turn the Kappa’s swamp into more farmland, which only he and some other high ranking nobles would benefit from and which wasn’t needed at all.
  • Benevolent Monsters: Both Coo and his father (for what little time we get to see him anyway) are quite friendly, and never display the more gruesome behavior traditionally associated with Kappa, like trying to drown people or eating human entrails.
  • Buried Alive: Happens to Coo when he falls into a chasm during an earthquake. It’s what causes him to fossilize until he is found in the present day by Koichi.
  • But Now I Must Go: As much as he loves staying with Koichi, once Coo gets a message from a Kijimuna who invites him to come live at his place, he accepts the offer because he fears he will forget the ways of the Kappa if he keeps living like a human. Koichi reluctantly lets him go after his father points out a house in the suburbs is no place for a Kappa.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Coo gets drunk very easily. Especially if an alcoholic beverage is poured directly onto the plate on top of his head.
  • The Chain of Harm: A flashback reveals that Ossan’s previous owner was frequently bullied, and took out his frustration about it on Ossan.
  • Driven to Suicide: Coo comes dangerously close to this after the disaster in the tv-studio and subsequent chase through Tokyo, which ends with him stranded on top of Tokyo tower, weakened from dehydration and driven to despair. He is saved when a dragon causes it to rain, revitalizing Coo.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Coo's father at the beginning of the film is gruesomely killed by a samurai sword which also takes off his arm.
    • Also there's the bird that Coo causes to explode.
    • And Ossan the dog, who dies after getting hit by a car
  • Fartillery: While swimming in a river, Coo unleashes a fart to propel himself through the water.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Coo, though the fact that he's a Kappa probably causes more problems for him.
  • Foreign Queasine: discussed; when Coo eats one of the snails that Hitomi brought home, she angrily tells them they are not for eating. Her mom corrects her by pointing out that in some parts of the world people do eat snails. Hitomi is visibly grossed out.
  • Free-Range Children: Koichi’s parents allow him to travel to Tōnō for a few days without them so he and Coo can search for other Kappa. It gets lampshaded by a couple staying at the same inn as Koichi, who remark that kids from Tokyo are surprisingly independent.
  • From Stray to Pet: It is mentioned by Koichi’s mom, and later shown in a flashback, that Koichi brought Ossan the dog home one day, and he has been living with the family since. She remembers clearly how Koichi promised to take care of Ossan, but quicky grew tired of it, and thus at first does not want him to keep Coo.
  • Glass-Shattering Sound: Coo can emit a glass shattering screech if he gets upset; something that happens when he encounters the remains of his late father. It ends up causing chaos in the tv-studio.
  • Human Mail: Coo escapes Tokyo and the reporters by having Koichi ship him in a package to a Kijimuna living on a remote location.
  • Human Popsicle: Played with, as it does not involve freezing, but with the same results; Coo gets buried during an Earthquake and ends up in Suspended Animation as a fossil, until he is found and awoken by Koichi.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: In their first scene, Coo’s father warns his son that humans are the most dangerous creatures around these days, more so than dragons. He is proven right when the samurai he tries to negotiate with kills him. Coo himself also comes to view humanity as evil due to their destruction of nature and polluting the Earth, though he admits there are good humans like Koichi and his family.
  • Identical Grandson: The samurai that killed Coo's father and his descendant that Coo meets in present day Japan look exactly alike, hence how Coo realizes whom he is dealing with.
  • Identity Amnesia: Due to his long time hibernating as a fossil, Coo has forgotten his real name, and thus accepts the name Koichi gave him.
  • Interspecies Friendship: Much of the film revolves around the friendship between a kappa and a human. Coo and the family dog Ossan also seem to have this.
  • Japanese Politeness: Coo demonstrates this. So did his father when he tried to reason with the Samurai to leave the swamp they lived in alone.
  • Kappa: Coo is a Kappa.
  • The Last of His Kind: Coo believes himself to be this, and a major plot point is him and Koichi trying to find out if there are still other Kappa anywhere. He fails to find any, but vows to keep searching at the end of the film.
  • Living Relic: Coo, possibly. He’s from the Edo period.
  • Missing Mom: Coo’s mother is never seen, but Coo eventually confesses to Koichi that she too was killed by a human.
  • Nice Guy: Coo and his father.
  • Ocean Awe: Happens to Coo when Koichi brings him to the seaside.
  • Open-Minded Parent: Koichi’s father is very quick to accept Coo and allow Koichi to keep him, while his wife is less thrilled at a Kappa living with them.
  • Paparazzi: When returning from their trip to Tōnō, Koichi is ambushed by two reporters who find Coo in his backpack. Because of them, word gets out about an actual Kappa living in Tokyo, and Coo is soon hounded by reporters hoping to get a picture.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Coo is saved from dying on top of Tokyo Tower by a Eastern Dragon that has the power to summon rain. It apparently cannot be filmed or photographed, since though many people saw it, it does not show up on any video or photo taken.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Coo is very strong for his size, and is able to outwrestle both Koichi and his father, and toss Koichi’s sister across the room. Downplayed in that it’s not just brute force, but also because Coo fights smarter.
  • Pokémon Speak: Played with. Coo is perfectly capable of speaking the human tongue, but after awakening from his fossilized state, “coo” is initially the only word he can say, hence why Koichi names him Coo.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Coo’s father looked basically just like a taller version of his son.
  • Telepathy: How Coo and the family dog communicate. It’s an ability all Kappa have, but Coo is surprised to learn some dogs can also do it. Later, Coo does it with Koichi.
  • Toilet Humor: When Koichi first shows Coo a toilet, the Kappa immediately jumps into the bowl to take a swim.
  • Tragic Keepsake: For Coo, his late fathers mummified arm becomes this after he confiscates it from the previous owner. Koichi’s mom even makes him a bag to carry it in.
  • Underwear Swimsuit: While in the countryside, Koichi and Coo come across a river. Coo goes for a swim, and Koichi strips down to his undies to join him, though he laments he should have brough this swim trunks.
  • Verbal Tic Name: Coo.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The samurai that killed Coo’s father was perfectly willing to slay Coo as well, and would have if not for an earthquake happening at that precise moment.
  • Youkai: Aside from Coo, there’s also a Zashiki-warashi and a Kijimuna.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: In the 200 years that he was a fossil, Coo’s home swamp was turned into a neighborhood, so he can never live there again.
  • You Killed My Father: The samurai who killed Coo's father is of course long dead by the time Coo wakes up from being a fossil, but during his appearance on tv, Coo encounters a descendant of this samurai who still has the arm of Coo's father that his ancestor chopped off in their fight. Coo does not take it well and chews the man out for what his ancestor did.