Mousou Telepathy

Mousou Telepathy is a 4koma about Nakano-san, a girl who can hear people’s thoughts. With a premise like that, it’s impossible to not think of Kotoura-san, another 4koma about another girl who can hear people’s thoughts. However, Kotoura-san constructs its characters around traumatizing events, events which are disclosed almost immediately not only to the reader but to other important characters, quickly closing the distance between them. Mousou Telepathy, on the other hand…

What Mousou Telepathy explores through the premise of reading minds is the problems that come with having too much empathy. The main character is able to read social situations, but she suffers both from social anxiety and sacrificing herself for the common good as a result. Even when the story begins to focus in on its main characters, what drives their relationships is not just Nakano’s singular ability to read minds, but also how her friend Manami understands others without that ability.

While Manami continues to understand more and more about Nakano, Nakano struggles with having more of an understanding of Manami than she believes she should, and fears what should happen if Manami comes to understand how much she understands. Their relationship is driven by a difference in levels of mind reading, a difference that I last saw explored in a critically acclaimed sitcom, The Office. In short, unlike Kotoura-san, Mousou Telepathy takes its time to explore the distance that empathy ironically creates.

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