「㐧拾弐刻」 (Dai Juu-Ni Koku)
“The Twelfth Moment”
With the finale of Kokkoku, we learn that the best way to get rid of your enemies is for them to become babies so you can be better parents to them and prevent them from growing up to be your enemies. That’s the lesson that the Yukawa’s take with them as Juri promises to raise baby Sagawa in a bid to not have to kill an infant as well as give him a better means of living. This whole scenario is weird, but it’d be easy to give it a pass given that there have been more morally questionable anime moments where characters have raised baby versions of their significant other.
The most interesting development in the final episode is Juri’s life in Stasis. She had resigned herself to the idea of eventually finding a way out while she raised Sagawa and even sent Jii-san back when it became apparent that she didn’t want to keep him stranded in Stasis and needed someone to let everyone know what she’s up to. Although we see her often as the voice of reason, her experience alone in Stasis only solidifies her imperfections as isolation slowly messes with her judgement. Her decision to raise Sagawa without any help only builds on the strain she has from being stuck in Stasis, and results in her stalling baby Sagawa in the real world so that she wouldn’t have to worry about keeping him fed and dealing with the guilt of stealing to keep him healthy. In the process, however, she loses all sense of purpose as Sagawa being stalled had only given her a few brief moments of freedom.
Happily, she makes it back to the real world and earns a happy ending where she is able to see her family again. Where it gets dicey is the last-minute decision to center her revival around the blonde lady from the 1st episode, who happened to be the Founder’s partner with just the right power to eject her from Stasis. It was nice to have an optimistic ending, but at the same time, it feels like her problems were solved too easily, and that her eternal existence in Stasis was a means of wrapping up the loose ends of who Sagawa was idolizing this whole time and popping up at just the right time to solve Juri’s problems. That’s not to say its a cop-out and she should’ve been stranded there, but it was a relatively easy fix that would’ve made it easier for the Yukawa family and Sagawa to deal with their issues without reaching the point it did.
In all of it’s weirdness, Kokkoku was still a very pleasing experience. The plot is engaging as a sci-fi action mystery that takes place almost entirely in frozen time, the Yukawa family’s human and flawed qualities make them interesting characters who you want to root for, and the series makes an admirable effort to explain the concepts and mechanics behind Stasis and the family’s abilities. Similarly, Majima was an intriguing character as she has a justifiable reason to be both allied and against the Yukawa’s with her family’s struggle overwhelming her. Aside from Sagawa’s questionable motivations for wanting to transcend time, the strangeness that came with his attempts to transform himself into a Herald, and Juri’s escape from Stasis coming down to luck, there’s nothing much to complain about. There are still lingering suspicions that not everything is alright given the deja vu and the clock’s time in the final scene, but it was nonetheless a captivating ride with the Yukawa family, and it’ll definitely be sad not to hear “Flashback” and “Asayake to Nettaigyo” for another week.