It’s finally here! THE END!! How does this crazy train of an anime end? Actually, the answer might surprise you. After eleven episodes of head-scratching, swearing at my computer screen, and a general sense of apathy towards the latter half of the season, Kokkoku offered something new in this final episode and I think this was by far the biggest surprise of all! Let’s dive into the Stasis world one more time as we take a look at the final moments of the anime that has confounded me from day one.
Juri decides to stay in the Stasis world with baby Sagawa indefinitely. How will the two fare in the frozen town? Will they remain trapped there forever?
Show and Tell: This anime has a tendency to show and tell, whenever any of the characters are discussing some sort of complex scientific or philosophical concept images depicting that concept are shown on screen with the character voice-overs serving as direct commentary. This episode, when discussing whether or not baby Sagawa is inherently evil like adult Sagawa, images of a DNA double helix is shown breaking apart and reforming along with other images of rebirth.
Bubbles: Now when Juri uses her Spector expelling powers light pink bubbles appear, almost like a Snapchat filter. Why do these bubbles appear? Who knows. Why have they never been shown before? Your guess is as good as mine.
Solitude: Despite constantly being surrounded by the Stalled, Juri is in fact alone in the Stasis world, and over the course of the episode we see how much of a toll her isolation has on her mental state. There are several instances where Juri succumbs to loneliness, by vacillating between mania, depressive states, and a general ambivalence towards her circumstances.
Themes & Trivia
Conveniently Placed Objects: In order to keep everything PG, there are some conveniently placed objects preventing some of Juri’s naughty bits from being displayed onscreen during a bathtime scene.
Passage of Time: Since time is frozen in the Stasis world, the animators decided to show the passage of time in other ways, namely the length of Juri’s hair, which gets progressively longer, the longer she resides in the Stasis world.
Fanservice: Juri spends the bulk of the episode’s runtime in a sports bra and panties…
Positive Affirmations: To dispel the negative side effects of her isolation in the Stasis world Juri repeats the phrase, ‘No depressing thoughts’ to herself.
I’m… actually, I don’t know how to feel about this episode. I was expecting something that I could rant about, hell, I was banking on hating this episode, but, oddly enough, this was the best episode in the entire series and that is probably the biggest disappointment to date! This episode serves as a testament to what this series could have been. It was an emotional episode with tangible stakes, brilliant setup, and a satisfying conclusion… So, why, oh why couldn’t the rest of the fucking series have been like this?! If the previous eleven episodes had been this well executed, Kokkoku could have easily have been one of this season’s break-out series, but at the end of the day, this was just one piece of gold at the bottom of a steaming pile of crap.
After seeing this episode, I have come to the conclusion that this anime might have been better served as an animated movie as opposed to a full-blown series. The premise and pacing of the story would have done better as a continuous narrative, rather than the staccato of weekly episodes. I’ve said it over and over again, and I’ll say it one more time, Kokkoku is a series with immense potential that fell prey to POOR EXECUTION!!
Time Has Come Today
The final episode of Kokkoku offered everything I’d been hoping for over the course of the series: a beautiful and compelling story with phenomenal execution from start to finish and yet, it’s a little too late. The series wasted so much time floundering around in the mud that it squandered any chance of delivering anything resembling a decent, cohesive narrative. So, while this episode was fantastic… the rest of the series was utter shit!
What did you think of the final episode of Kokkoku? Did it deliver everything you expected? Or did it manage to surprise you? 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!