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Kokkoku – 03 »« Kokkoku – 01

Kokkoku – 02

「㐧弐刻 」 (Dainikoku)
“The Second Moment”

If the story-telling in Sora Yori mo Tooi Basho thrives on how cause-and-effect play into how conflicts are resolved or further complicated, Kokkoku‘s story-telling is centered around sensible world-building and the rising tension of what is left unknown to us.

Let’s begin with what we’ve learned from Episode 2 of Kokkoku: Stasis is a world frozen in time achieved by using the Master Stone. Heralds or Holders police the world by protecting those frozen in Stasis, the Stalled, and as we learn from the knife henchman, Heralds will execute those who violate the rules of Stasis such as harming or threatening harm to a stalled person. Heralds in themselves are made from ancestral spirits that have been absorbed into a wooden husk to become the Stasis’ authority. For some reason, the “jellyfish” that are the spirits within the Herald can be transferred into another person to give them access to the world or offer them strength within the universe. By using the Master Stone, one can also maneuver through time as to find a timeline where they would be able to erase people from a location. On the same coin, the Master Stone has been duplicated before in an imperfect clone, motivating the True Love Society to seek out the real McCoy. Sounds like hefty exposition, right?

Where Kokkoku thrives, however, is how this exposition is told to us. We get three different sources of information; the events as they happen, Jiisan, who is telling Juri everything he knows as well as possible with the information he received second-hand from his own grandfather, and the True Love Society, who has been trying to study Stasis to a T so they can retrieve the Stone with the help of information they got from Majima.

We are given a wealth of information about Stasis, but much of what we know about Stasis is imperfect enough to give us a very muddled concept of what exactly is going on. If everyone was a master of the domain, it would be ineffective story-telling, but the lack of confidence the characters have in the knowledge they’ve been using to navigate Stasis make it so that we know as much as many of the characters do at this point. There are some things other characters will be able to flesh out overtime, but the world-building relies on how the cast can react to events as they’re happening. With everyone slowly learning about the changes and mechanics of Stasis, answers can only arise from dire circumstances created through how drastic the hostage situation and manhunt for the Yukawa family that can move through Stasis has gotten.

This leads me to a sequence in this episode that blew me away, and that’s the build-up to the trouble Juri’s in by the end. At first, Jiisan is confident that his plan to have Juri grab the Master Stone and meet him to save Takafumi, the only other non-stalled person in their family, would come to fruition. However, as Jiisan slowly looks through the True Love Society’s hideout, he slowly starts to notice things aren’t as simple as they seem. The slow build-up as they switch back-and-forth between Juri and Jiisan is excruciating as Jiisan learns about the Society’s surveillance operation to trap the Yukawa family into retrieving the Master Stone all the while we see Juri being followed by the Society’s hired goons. As soon as we see a shot of the goons tailing her, we go immediately back to Jiisan, who now has put it all together that the Society knows about their house, their access to the Master Stone, and the fact that Juri is racing back to find it. The rising tension and execution of the scene is nail-biting and cinematic in a way that reminds me of how The Silence of the Lambs built up tension when Clarice is revealed to have been the only FBI agent to have found the correct house Buffalo Bill resided in merely through the bait-and-switch of using a shot of the wrong doorbell to trick the viewer into assuming the one Bill was answering was the same one the FBI was ringing. In the instance of Kokkoku‘s last scene, it is an incredibly tense four minute section where the situation escalates from bad to worse the more Jiisan pieces together the puzzle the Society left behind of how intricate their plan has been to ensnare the Yukawa family.

Of course, there are other aspects of the episode that help continue to build the promising momentum that it’s been gaining. The inclusion of Majima, whose familiarizes with Stasis stem from way back when she encountered Juri as a child, offers a different dimension to the Society as an outsider brought in to assist Junji with his understanding of Stasis as well as possibly having an ulterior motive towards aligning herself with the Society. The differences in principles between the religious section of the Society and the hired goons who have murder and rape on their mind will definitely cause a lethal rift in the Society if the Heralds intervene with their methods. Tsubasa waking up also adds another intersecting path in the plot as his lack of understanding of Stasis and his overall shock of Makoto being stalled make him a third party who might sway what direction Juri and Jiisan move towards. There was a little comic relief in the episode too as there is something morbidly funny about Tsubasa thinking that Makoto being frozen in time must mean that he needs to be rushed to the ER. Even funnier was Juri trying to Super Saiyan charge her way into teleporting to the top of a playground slide while Jiisan just flops on top of it through his own understanding of those powers. Overall, it was another captivating episode of Kokkoku, and with all of the skepticism around where exactly the twists and turns in the series will go has yet to backfire, if it ever would. It’ll be interesting to see where it goes from here considering that the preview did spoil Juri escaping from the clutches of the Society with stone in tow, but nonetheless Kokkoku has exceeded its expectations so far.

Preview

End Card

January 14, 2018 at 1:01 pm
15 comments »
  • January 14, 2018 at 1:38 pmNana

    I’m really enjoying this show!!!!

  • January 14, 2018 at 4:30 pmRenaSayers

    I am starting to find this title interesting, mainly because Juri is—hot obviously. Dirty thoughts go away, dirty thought cannot stay.

    But this is yet another Anime with a complicated world. In a way this is video games without the gaming. How are we the audience supposed to keep up with everything that goes on in this world of Kokkoku when the audience has to remember every terminology. Not even cars with manual transmission are this complicated.

    What would I do if I stopped world time, surrre rape I mean there’s always Juri. But I think I would be more prolific than that of a man who feeds he’s sexual hunger. Maybe I will become one who studies and cure cancer by stopping time and not letting the world move till I solved this disease—by the way what’s the time limit to how long you can stop time again?.

    • January 15, 2018 at 1:17 amJHN

      The problem with that last bit is that nothing moves on its own in Stasis. So any research would hardly produce any results as without your direct influence, nothing moves.

      Best example was when one of those guys drank (or tried) from that bottle. He could squish the bottle and the liquid would move in turn, but it stayed in that position afterwards.
      And I guess the thug going through the window is another good example, seeing as he’s still going through it and the glass is still in the air.

      • January 15, 2018 at 3:56 amRenaSayers

      • January 15, 2018 at 3:58 amRenaSayers

      • January 15, 2018 at 3:59 amRenaSayers

        I had forgotten about the thug, what a loser he doesn’t have much of a presence. Hrm…this is a complicated world indeed. What can one do for this world if the only physics are manually created like pushing a toy to move.

      • January 15, 2018 at 4:57 amKamion

        Having read the manga (a bit at least), the physics of this world are a bit more weird than that even and don’t always make complete sense.

        One character tries to ride a bicycle and it doesn’t work. Which for me doesn’t make sense because that’s simple mechanics right? If squeezing a bottle makes the liquid in it come out, shouldn’t bicycles work?

      • January 15, 2018 at 1:10 pmrenasayers

        No the bicycle will not work, if this is a bike and not a motorcycle a person in a stalled world can push the pedal to move but the chain that drives the wheels will not move. Essentially every segment of an object’s time has stalled separately. Meaning if you want an object to move and it has moving parts you have to manually push each part. In the case of a bike the rider will need to move the pedal, the chain, each wheel, each break pad on each side of each wheel separately. Now imagine the motorbike with an engine and a clutch, each mechanical part will need to be pushed in order to get each part of the motorbike to function.

        The water bottle has only two components, the bottle and the fluid and since one contains the other squeezing the bottle will affect the liquid because the area the H2o is occupying has changed…

        If this doesn’t sound right it’s because thoughts of Juri is interrupting my though process.

  • January 14, 2018 at 5:47 pmSDFGS

    I do like the fact that the Handler was tied into episode 1, where Juri’s Grandfather told her to not do anything to the frozen thugs when it looked like she was about to. Because the Handler was waiting to see if she would have done anything to those guys in Stasis, and thus killed her.

    • January 16, 2018 at 8:34 amChoya

      That’s one thing that clicked after they revealed the Handlers are there to protect the stalled. The holder that was about to appear before Juri wasn’t going to help her at all, and was waiting for the opportunity to kill her if she attacked the frozen thug that antagonized Makoto.

      It did a good job at misleading viewers into coming under the assumption that the Holder was summoned through Juri’s manifested anger, but it comes off as scarier now that we’re given the information that she was walking on eggshells at that point. Where learning along with Juri about the mechanics of Stasis is effective in being able to introduce concepts earlier than they’re explained, adding to the rewatch factor of going back and see how events transpired before they were explained.

  • January 15, 2018 at 3:14 amThe suffocated

    Why didn’t the gramp take the thugs’ stone?

    • January 15, 2018 at 3:24 amWorldwidedepp

      good question at last he could hide it from them.. He are forbidden to break or destroy it… But to his defense.. He do not really know how the rules works in this world.. Stealing and such could be punished

    • January 16, 2018 at 8:47 amChoya

      I assumed he might’ve smuggled it in his jacket, but it might be because it is imperfect compared to the Master Stone, and most likely relied on the grandpa activating the Master Stone to allow them to use theirs to enter Stasis.

      It explains why many of the followers are shocked by what their religion teaches, and why they needed to rely on Majima’s second-hand information and experience to understand what exactly the rules of Stasis are.

      Taking the duplicate stone would’ve been good for making sure that they aren’t able to jump with their assistance, but his panic probably shifted his priorities back to saving Juri and recovering the Master Stone because them having access to the real deal would be worse than the duplicate.

  • January 15, 2018 at 3:31 amWorldwidedepp

    As Grandpa explained to her, this Tentacle like Spirits inside her Bodies, that let them move in this Aegis world, also give them some sort of “Power”

    For the Grandpa, is short Teleport

    http://randomc.net/image/Kokkoku/Kokkoku%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2022.jpg
    and in this Flashback this Girl has the power to force out this Tentacles from other bodies, and seems like the other Girl was out for nearly 17 Years to find a way back. Perhaps both share the same “Bloodline” of some ancestors or one of this Girls had the same father or mother and are an unofficial child

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