Well, that’s certainly one way to start an anime… The first episode of Geno Studio’s Kokkoku(Moment by Moment) offers up quite a few headscratchers even before it reaches the five-minute mark. But, despite some of the more confusing moments, Kokkoku gives us the beginnings of what promises to be a rather interesting supernatural mystery.
Japanese Original Episode Title: 㐧一刻
For the members of the Yukawa family, it is always 6:59…
Armed with a unique ability, the members of the Yukawa family can enter Stasis, a world where all time has come to a haul. Only the members of the Yukawa clan are able to traverse this plane, but such a world-altering power comes at a great risk. When the protagonist’s brother and nephew are suddenly kidnapped, Juri, her NEET father, and grandfather must enter into the Stasis world to save them. But, what they find on the other side will change their lives forever.
Mindfuck opening: I should have known from the opening that this show was going to be anything but predictable. Bright colors and quickly flashing images permeate the opening of this anime. So, if you were hoping to glean some clues about the series from that, you’re in for a bit of a surprise.
Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words: Early on, there was this really cool flashback scene delivered via a photograph. Rather than just jumping into a random flashback, the camera pans into a photo on the wall and the image slowly comes to life revealing the events of that day.
Freeze Frame/CGI Art Shift: So, when we get our first look at the Yukawa’s Stasis powers at work, the art takes a bit of a shift from the traditional 2D anime style to a more stylized CGI mode. It kind of reminded me a bit of Ajin, but on a much smaller scale.
Out of Place Ending Theme Sequence: So the gratuitous fanservice in the end credits sequence is a bit out of place given the supernatural mystery elements of the show…. The ending theme, ‘Asayake to Nettaigyo’ by Boku no Lyric no Bouyomi is awesome, but when coupled with the images of a half-naked Juri… it just doesn’t match up.
Themes & Trivia
Protagonists are always running late: The episode opens with Juri frantically making her way to her 19th job interview. All that was missing from the scene was a piece of toast in her mouth and I would have sworn this was a play by play of the opening to Sailor Moon.
NEETS: In their first moments of screen time, Juri’s brother and father are seen sitting in old sweats playing a video game, and if their scruffy appearance is any indication, they’ve been at it for quite awhile. It’s then revealed that the two of them haven’t been out of the house for quite some time. Hell, her brother doesn’t even have a driver’s license!
Bland Name Product: Wdonalds looks eerily similar to a certain American fast food chain. There are even golden arches, albeit they’re upside down.
That escalated quickly: Transitions are almost nonexistent. One minute everything is pretty mundane, the next people are getting kidnapped and beaten half to death…
With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility: Grandpa explains that while the ability to freeze time may seem cool at first, many people have abused it in the past with disastrous results…
Millenial Problems: Juri wants to get a job so she can finally leave home and support herself. Unfortunately, 19 failed interviews have kind of put a wrench to her plans.
So, where do I begin… The good. This episode set up some interesting plot elements: The Yukawa Stasis power is pretty cool and the wicked blood ritual that helps unlock it is pretty unique. The characters are likable, well, okay, Juri is likable. We really don’t get much from anyone else, so it’s hard to say if I feel one way or the other about them.
Honestly, I’m just kind of confused. Everything happened way too quickly and with little to no setup, so I was constantly trying to figure out what the hell was going on… But, the art wasn’t bad, if that counts for anything.
If I Could Save Time in a Bottle
I went into this expecting something more by the book, but in the end the debut episode of Kokkoku chose a roundabout way to introduce, well, everything. Rather than set up the premise, we just get a lot of things thrown in our faces at once and I spent most of the episode going ‘WTF’ at my screen. Don’t get me wrong, visually this is a pretty interesting anime and the prospect of some deeper mystery later on definitely has me eagerly waiting for the next episode, but hopefully, it will make more sense then…
What did you think of the first episode of Kokkoku? Did it stand up to all the hype or was it just a confusing mess?Let us know in the comment section below! And don’t forget to check the rest of the Winter 2018 anime reviews on MANGA.TOKYO!