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Kokoro Connect – 08

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「そして誰もいなくなった」 (Soshite Dare mo Inakunatta)
“And Then There Were None”

I admit that I’m personally not enjoying Kokoro Connect as much as I initially did during its first arc. The first 5 episodes were fresh and different and I liked the speed of the character development. Although the second half does show a very different side to the characters, I can’t help but think that they’re approaching the situation a little too realistic for a TV show. It’s slow and not as “interesting” as I was hoping Heartseed would make it. Nevertheless though, the anime is still very solid and given the huge following it has, I’m sure that it’s building up for something epic and a good resolution for our cast.

If there’s one aspect that this episode displayed well, it’s how each character was experiencing a sense of hopelessness and helplessness. And each of them handled it differently. Yui by locking herself up at home, Himeko by isolating herself and Iori by trying to return things to normal. If it was me, I would probably side with Iori by pretending like nothing is wrong to bring normalcy back to the group. However, I know that a lot of individuals don’t think this way and that’s what makes the show so unique as well. Amongst the 5 main characters, there’s someone, somehow, someway that people can relate to.

The focus on this episode was mainly on Taichi and his classmates (which include Himeko and Iori). I thought what was more interesting than simply his day-to-day life though, was how everyone (not just his club members) noticed that something was up. His class president, his family and even his teacher added their two cents in order to help him resolve his issues. In fact, Maiko went as far as to set everyone up by placing them in the same group… oh she’s sneaky. And speaking of Maiko, she is quite wise for someone her age. I’m not sure what her story is, but it’s always easier to get perspective from a third person. When she suggested that Taichi make a decision on what is more important to him, you wouldn’t think that the decision would be that simple – but it is!

Now that the buildup is over, it’s all up to Taichi to finally make a move! I was half expecting him to run after Iori on the way to Yui’s house, but I guess that’ll have to wait until next week. As boring or slow as it seems, I actually appreciate the individual character developments and screen time that they dedicate to each person. My only complaint would be to know when to stop and how much is enough. Luckily, next week seems to be the tip of the iceberg to our finale. Heartseed is back and confronting Himeko alone. I knew she was going to be pivotal to this arc but I still have no predictions as to why.

Full-length images: 28, 35.

 

Preview

Kokoro Connect   08   Preview 01 Kokoro Connect   08   Preview 02 Kokoro Connect   08   Preview 03
August 30, 2012 at 8:11 pm
46 comments »
  • August 30, 2012 at 8:27 pmphossil

    Oh, I will need to check out this show.

  • August 30, 2012 at 8:32 pmDdadain

    I cringe when Taichi hit Iori ._.

    If I was Aoki, I would have blown my lid and pommeled his godd*amn, potential-wife-beater-sorry-face to hell.

    • August 30, 2012 at 9:26 pmWatt

      Well I think he only tried to push her out of his way, but that was still a jerk move either way. Anyways, I was for InabaXTaichi at first, but now, I don’t think Taichi is right for Inaba. Though I do find them similar – selfless in their own ways – I think Inaba deserves better.

      I’m also curious to see what Heartseed has to say to Inaba that he had go to her room himself. Also how he got there in the first place.

      • August 30, 2012 at 11:25 pmDdadain

        Are you kidding me?!

        He went and grabbed a BAG, that was probably pretty heavy as they have A LOT OF TEXTBOOKS for school in Japan, swung it like a mace with a large starting motion to boot = IORI WENT FLYING HEAD FIRST INTO A METAL CABINET!

        It was pretty obvious that his “wanting” for Iori to not interfere has other roots other than the fact that he went all “white-knight-mode”, which is his resentment about their “breakup”.

    • August 30, 2012 at 11:19 pmMocha

      yeah come on that was retarded taichi.. but

      GIME THE NEXT EPISODE ALREADY

    • August 31, 2012 at 1:53 amAnanas

      Forced drama strikes back. Yeah, so much fun…

    • August 31, 2012 at 7:53 amcreaothceann

      Note the special circumstance that is Heartseed’s magic.

      His strongest desire (“Don’t get in my way!”) takes control away from him. His true self literally can’t stop what his body does. So I don’t think he should be held accountable for what happened to Iori.

      Heartseed doesn’t cause the characteres to show their “true selves”, because a whole person consists of many, sometimes conflicting desires. He just shows what desires they have.

  • August 30, 2012 at 8:33 pmRoguespirit

    Can’t wait for the next ep. This arc is a lot darker than the last one but it shows just how versatile this show can be with just a few small changes in plot.

    Iori is probably my favorite character but the one I’m most interested in is Himeko. I just can’t get into her head. However despite the fact that I loathe him completely I hope Heartseed gets into it.

    Also let’s see if our other male character can finally step up.

  • August 30, 2012 at 8:50 pmjrj

    this arc is definitely more hopeless than the last one… but I am sure it will pay off eventually… Can’t wait to see the climax xD

    If I were in the situation, I probably will go with what Himeko did I guess… it is so hard to see your friends suffer because of you and yet still hurting them in the process… I will give Iori a lot of credits for doing what she did here (she is the saving grace of the arc I guess)

    Class rep is awesome here, and that is why I like her a lot… she is great!

    the coming episode will time for Aoki to shine :) can’t wait!

    • August 31, 2012 at 7:38 amCherrie

      Yay! Aoki!
      I was beginning to write him off as a character >_>…

  • August 30, 2012 at 9:51 pmkumakaori

    It’s been interesting to try and guess when they’ve been set off, but this last ep… We saw Taichi do all he did w/out being set off, and did something most of us would consider unforgivable even with a less-than-benevolent motivator behind it.

    I’ve hated this arc, because I’ve been waiting for them to suck it up, apologize and resolve things. But clearly the story was not meant to be that simple… .. . .

    “I think hurting one another is inevitable…” I’ve clearly botched the quote, but Fujishima’s role in this arc is pivotal. Now that you’ve got an idea as to the “right” way to do things, comon’ Taichi dont fck it up >.<!

  • August 30, 2012 at 10:58 pmsrghs

    What did the locker say to the Iori?
    Heads up!

    • August 31, 2012 at 1:54 amAnanas

      YAHOOO!!

  • August 30, 2012 at 11:05 pmc2710

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • August 31, 2012 at 7:12 amc2710

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

      • August 31, 2012 at 7:37 amjrj

        I don’t know how in the world people can say SAO anime is the best of the season… the LN is certainly good for both SAO and KC, but KC anime is by far so much better than SAO anime both from pacing and character developments :)

      • August 31, 2012 at 8:12 amYes!@

        This is the never ending debate of adaptation vs source material. I’m watching SAO and is not winning any candy points from me. People just rage how good the LN is, well I’m not reading the LN I’m watching the adaptaion! Is not a train wreck but is not that end all best of all as some readers think. The way to approach SAO is as a tease to go out and buy the source material to truly understand whats going on. Is a business gimmick. AS for KC it maybe be “slow” but you don’t need to go out and do a research just to understand it. Everytihng is self contain and only if you want can go and get the source material for optional addititonal knowledge not as a requirement.

    • August 31, 2012 at 7:48 amCherrie

      I’m super impatient when it comes to anime because I feel like development needs to happen at a good pace in order to make the 12 episodes worthwhile. The past 2 episodes have been a little slow for my liking, so I’m hoping that the next few will make up for it. Not to say that some people aren’t enjoying it now =X If this follows the LN well, then I give the anime credit for it.

      As for SAO – I haven’t seen it yet so I have no comment (I will probably start watching it near the end of next season since it’s a 2-cour show). But these two shows are completely different genres, they gravitate a different audience so it’s hard to compare the two. It’s like asking someone who likes Gossip Girl, why Game of Thrones isn’t their favorite show -____-’ it just isn’t… so no need to start an argument over it.

    • August 31, 2012 at 8:02 amcreaothceann

      >Anyway, this episode made me cringe and hurl abusive profanities at Taichi. Regardless what the situation is, its just wrong to hurt a girl

      That’s the problem, *he* wasn’t doing anything – Heartseed’s magic took control of his body, regardless of the consequences. It’s like a girl yelling at a boy because he got morning wood.

      (And it’s wrong to hurt *anybody* – no reason to single out girls)

    • August 31, 2012 at 8:46 pmc2710

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

  • August 30, 2012 at 11:27 pmplushkin

    hey, you guys are back! Thanks again for the post~!

  • August 31, 2012 at 12:42 amVaan

    Damn, that Heartseed! I hope he gets destroyed by Taichi and co in the end.

    And also, I can’t directly access the site for the last 2-3 days now. It’s frustrating.

  • August 31, 2012 at 12:58 amFomite

    I agree with you about the pacing of the later episodes. It’s pretty frustrating to watch. Sometimes I find myself urging for things to happen sooner, but it just keeps dragging on.

  • August 31, 2012 at 1:50 amAnanas@hotmail.com

    More shouting. More people getting depressed. More forced drama. Less Heartseed?

    May this arc end quickly, it’s nothing but torture and at this point only some heavy moe antics can save it.

    Oh and to Mitsuhiro Ichiki, fight-o.

  • August 31, 2012 at 1:55 amLonghaul

    I feel bad for the original author, with all the bad flak coming from that boneheaded prank/public humiliation stunt some of the producters and VA’s pulled.

    • August 31, 2012 at 4:16 amKiseki

      Yeah, canceling DVD/BD orders is understandable but the bad reviews aren’t…

  • August 31, 2012 at 2:39 amewok40k

    I think you need not hurl insults at Taichi. He is himself probably his harshest judge as he failed the very ideal of the white knight in a worst possible way – he hurt a defenceless girl.
    Other than that, props up for our emissary of love. Fujishima shows she wasnt elected class rep for nothing as she not only shows excellent diplomatic skills in resolving clash between Iori and a Yui’s classmate, but offers some wise advice to Taichi.
    Even the lazyass teacher shows some unexpected usefulness (when not under Heartseed control hes quite likeable!).

    • August 31, 2012 at 8:14 amcreaothceann

      >he hurt

      He didn’t, Heartseed did.

  • August 31, 2012 at 4:51 amKinny Riddle

    Thank goodness there’s class rep Fujimura to throw the wrench in the works of what would otherwise be a quite depressing arc that seems to be going nowhere except on a destructive spiral.

    I wonder if Heartseed ever intended for outsiders to intervene with his trolling experiments of the Cultural Club members, as this episode, if not this entire arc, clearly showed all of them are so far incapable of solving the problem he laid for them by themselves.

    Had Fujimura and Go-san not given them the nudge needed, they would still be stuck in their isolationist rut, fearful of hurting other people.

  • August 31, 2012 at 6:27 amYes!@

    Every one is worried about Taichi hurting/shoving/hitting Iori. However as I he said at the end the initial argument with the “nameless blond guy” (jk) Was real. Up to that point I’m glad; because it show some backbone for Taichi to stand for his beliefs. Now the part that everyone is upset: when Iori cuts in, we see a blank screen in Taichi “mind” and he snaps at her. The end result is ugly totaly agree, but we have to agree that at that point he wasn’t himself anymore. The whole purpose of the arc is that unleash uncontroled emotions with out human nature learned “restrains” I was happy when Inaba started to undress and was a cat in heat. Imagine how she felt afterwards. The same goes for Taichi I imagine that never in his wildest dreams he thought capable of hurting anyone, specially being the ” selfless fool” of the group.
    So yeah we have to “hate” him for the fact; but we also have to feel so pity for him. At least that’s how I took that scene.

    Finally not enough Inaba. Wnat more Inaba !!!!!!

  • August 31, 2012 at 6:28 amIsabel

    I cringed when Iori went flying into that locker. Taichi’s lucky that Inori only got a bandage to the head. It could’ve been much worse, like a concussion or some hemorrhaging. I was hoping that Taichi would spend a good part of the rest of the episode, trying to make up for that action, but instead, he’s sulking because he’s come to realize how his “selflessness” has actually twisted into “selflessness for one’s self”. I guess I can understand how that can be a big blow, since the biggest attribute that defines and seemingly redeems you in others’ eyes ends up being flawed and can hurt the people you’re trying to protect.

    Not as engaging as the previous arc, but I’m still enjoying the arc, barring the forced drama, because it’s still pushing the characters into deeper self-reflection, which is one thing I found intriguing about the series. Heartseed’s return next episode seems like it’ll liven things up, but I didn’t find these past episodes boring at all, since I’m more of a fan of closed-room scenarios, where you put a bunch of characters in one room and see how they react to one another.

    • August 31, 2012 at 7:33 amJ Jay

      I like the thought, but how exactly would Taichi “make up” for the altercation when he’s seen such pro-active behaviour blow up in the recipient’s face three times already (once by Inaba, then twice of his own doing)? It doesn’t make for pleasant viewing, but it’s easy to see that most of the cast have chosen to isolate themselves. Thank for the outside intervention. I guess the moral is to have small disagreements often rather than let them build up to be spectacularly unleashed.

      As bad as shoving Iori aside was*, I’d be more concerned at how Taichi was butting heads with Aoki while he was in full control of his faculties. The rest of the episode implied that Taichi’s idea was “right” all along, but now that he has been outed as a self-centred white knight how many more times he will be called out on it before he snaps *without* the help of Heartseed?

      On the subject of nameless blond guy, hopefully this is the start of the fleshing out his character. Calling out Taichi was welcome, but was it pragmatism, or concern for Yui?

      *However, if Taichi adopted a petty overly sarcastic persona, he could hurt anyone he liked and be applauded for it…

      • August 31, 2012 at 8:34 amIsabel

        When I said “make up”, I meant that I would’ve liked to see Taichi show some concern for Iori after the event. I know he said sorry in the infirmary, but when he’s at home also. A brief phone call to make sure she’s still doing okay (TBI can be quite serious sometimes), or just some thoughts in the vein of “I hope Iori’s okay” would have sufficed for me. I know that he can’t truly “make up” for that action spurred on by Heartseed, but I felt disappointed by what I saw as a seemingly lack of concern for the girl he’s in love with.

        I actually lost some amount of respect for Taichi when he butted heads with Aoki. I liked that Taichi stood up to Aoki with different views, but to call him out on “not helping much” in the last arc, that was a petty shameful dig. Aoki’s concern for Yui blinds his judgment, as does Taichi’s gloated “selflessness” beliefs. It was inevitable that the two would butt heads, but I think in some ways it was good to get their thoughts about each other out in the open….Yeah, I only focused on Taichi hurting Iori, because I didn’t want to ramble. I could go on and on about every episode, but I’ve been trying to keep my comments brief lol. :X

  • August 31, 2012 at 8:25 amstaticphrase

    This isn’t necessarily about the episode itself, but I didn’t see any mention of the controversy going on in Japan about this show right now. Basically someone related to Silver Link pulled a prank on a just-starting-out voice actor, Mitsuhiro Ichiki, and told him they were giving him a role in KC as an anime-original character. They had him audition with a script, and on a live radio show they told him it was all a joke and offered him the role of a promotional manager (from what I heard, it’s like being offered a janitor position). The whole thing is recorded and was on NicoNico, now Youtube as well. Something that really has people upset is that the VAs of Yui and Aoki were both involved in the prank and in ridiculing him during the live. This all happened a few months ago, but Ichiki is friends with Sugita and a fan sent in a letter to Sugita’s radio show asking about the incident, bringing it to light. Sales have dropped dramatically and there are a lot of people canceling pre-orders to boycott the show as result.

    • August 31, 2012 at 9:38 amgoldenash

      I’ve also been seeing news about this as well around Twitter. Apparently, Terashima (Aoki’s VA) humiliated Ichiki on a talk show. The video can be found here: http://t.co/zGQfz0ZV

    • August 31, 2012 at 11:26 amZen

      That really happened? How juvenile…hmm…the mental regression of seiyuu to a pubescent state of insufferable immaturity from playing high-school characters to often? (Joking XP)

      But seriously, you’d think a well-known studio like Silver Link would keep a tighter leash on their employees/affiliates…wonder what their PR department was smoking when the stooges responsible for this fiasco brought in the proposal to them…

    • August 31, 2012 at 3:30 pmR

      It wasn’t Silver Link, but Starchild. Supposedly the mastermind behind it all was Yamanaka Takahiro, the producer of Kokoro Connect (among others) and this isn’t the first time he’s pranked Ichiki Mitsuhiro, though it is certainly the more damaging of the two.

      The actual broadcast where they unveiled the prank was pre-airing of Kokoro Connect while they were still doing promotions for it (starts around 1:06), and what’s worse, Ichiki Mitsuhiro was the “secret guest” for the actual event. The seiyuu present at the event were Mizushima Takahiro (Taichi), Oogame Asuka (Taichi’s little sister) and Terashima Takuma (Aoki), but Terashima was the one who seemed to participate the most in terms of being mean-spirited about it all. Later on, Terashima and Kanemoto Hisako (Yui) were laughing about it on a radio show, with Terashima saying something along the lines of “I didn’t think seeing the moment a person crumbles would be so beautiful (laughing).”

      The whole incident is spreading like wildfire with no regard to language barriers, with JP otaku boycotting a large list of people and companies and /a/ even tweeting terrible things at people connected to the people and companies. For instance, it’s rumoured(?) that Kitamura Eri is dating Yamanaka Takahiro, but it’s at least well-known that Yamanaka advertises quite a bit for her. KitaEri is on the boycott list as a result, and supposedly /a/ had sent her “dick photos” earlier. She tweeted earlier: “That was shocking… Much too harsh… I’ll do my best at work.” Even Kyoto Animation was listed under the boycott list, because Shiromizakana aka Horiguchi Yukiko works for KyoAni and does the illustrations for the Kokoro Connect light novels.

      The fan nickname for the show イジメコネクト (ijime connect, literally Bullying Connect) pops up here and there, and the most recent niconico episode broadcast’s survey at the end showed that only 26.9% enjoyed it; 61.3% voted that it wasn’t good at all.

      The official Kokoro Connect radio show has been cancelled “due to various circumstances.”

      The repercussions of everyone finding out is pretty damning and it seems like it’s only just begun.

      There’s more information floating around, but this comment is already getting pretty long. I’m quite disappointed in all the parties involved, but I wouldn’t go so far as to make mean remarks about KitaEri and KyoAni. I was already losing interest in the show as a whole, but this has only made me consider dropping watching it altogether.

    • August 31, 2012 at 3:56 pmKiseki

      I don’t believe Silver Link the studio has to do with it? It was the producer Yamanaka (he’s not Yamakan) who was the one who planned the incident, who supposedly messed with Ichiki before.

    • August 31, 2012 at 5:53 pmKiseki

      Ah, here’s the most accurate summary of Ijime Connect that I’ve seen.

      • August 31, 2012 at 6:47 pmstaticphrase

        Thanks for the link. This was really a despicable thing to do- I feel terrible for the poor guy. Terashima seems to be the VA most involved. I wonder what’ll happen to their careers. It’s a shame that Silver Link is going to get a lot of rap for this, since they’re ultimately the ones affected by the sales.

    • August 31, 2012 at 7:14 pmBakaMochi

      Glad someone else mentioned this because holy crap, that whole “prank” was just douchy as hell. The reactions of the people involved says a lot about their personalities, and frankly whatever public flak they (as in those involved, not unrelated third-parties like KitaEri) get, they completely deserve it. People commit suicide over public humiliation like this.

      Oh the irony of a show like Kokoro Connect involved in something like this :/ Way to shoot yourselves in the foot, guys. Way to go.

    • September 1, 2012 at 1:22 amR

      • September 1, 2012 at 8:11 amstaticphrase

        I feel so bad for her. I hope she’s okay, especially since she had nothing to do with the incident. She’s a wonderful VA and I can only wish her all the best through however long this lasts (and I’m guessing it’ll be a good while).

  • August 31, 2012 at 10:15 pmMediafag

    Wow… I’m not even watching this show, but the entire bullying incident behind it just pisses me off.

    I hope you guys are planning on dropping this show.

  • September 6, 2012 at 12:23 amD-LaN

    The @#$& r u doing, Taichi??

    ARGH I know all this durama is part of charac development of stuff but ITS FRUSTRATING!!! (But its way better handled than AW though)

    At least we have their local counsellor Fujishima and Mr Go to help them out. (And to lighten things up for us)

  • September 8, 2012 at 6:31 amTopboy

    Hedgehog’s dilemma : Neon genesis of Evangelion once again!