This week’s episode was a definite improvement on last week’s, granted I will admit it does raise more questions than it answers, but, baby steps. The series raises the stakes for Juri and her family, as we delve into the mystery surrounding the Stasis world and the secret cult that covets their time stopping powers. Episode 2 of Kokkoku (Moment by Moment) is definitely darker and edgier than the last!
Japanese Original Episode Title: 㐧二刻
After failing to rescue Makoto and Tsubasa, Juri and Grandpa retreat in hopes of devising another course of action. More is revealed about the mysterious group of men and their connection to a cult obsessed with obtaining the Yukawa Stasis powers.
Are these the opening credits or the anime: The animated opening credits for Geno Studios is so detailed that the first time I saw it I thought it was part of the episode.
He popped his head off like a cherry: One of the baddies gets his head popped off by a Handler, and while the camera cuts away just before the body falls to the ground, the resulting blood spray and the bystander reactions are more than enough to tell us what happened.
Everything is frozen in the Stasis world: So, this wasn’t explained well the first time, but in the Stasis world, everything is stalled, even food. One of the big bads has to squeeze the liquid out of a bottle because like everything else in the Stasis, it’s frozen. But, because it’s a liquid, it takes on the consistency of something like yogurt.
Last-minute exposition: Usually, there will be a brief recap of the events of the previous episode at the start of the current episode. But, for some reason, they decided it was best to do a full-blown exposition dump at the end of the episode instead.
Darker and Edgier: This anime isn’t for the faint of heart, and I don’t mean in the usual sense… there’s gore and more than enough violence, which may turn some folks off, and don’t get me started on the casual mention of rape towards the end of the episode.
Themes & Trivia
Don’t drink the Kool-Aid: The Genuine Love Society, a cult of fanatics obsessed with the Yakawa family and their time freezing ‘Master Stone’, make an appearance early on in this episode. Of course, their objective is to use the Stasis power to change the world for the better… whether that is really the case, remains to be seen.
Checks and Balances: There are creatures called Handlers that maintain order in the Stasis world. If someone does anything to disrupt that order, a Handler appears to dole out some swift justice.
Playing without reading the instructions: No one knows what actions trigger the appearance of The Handler, so Grandpa informs Juri to err on the side of caution when traversing the Stasis world.
Light and Dark: Juri and the recently introduced Shouko appear to be foils of one another. While Juri is impulsive and bright, Shouko is calm and calculating. This duality is also apparent in their character designs; Juri wears lighter-colored clothing (her white jacket), while Shouko wears dark.
I noticed this last week, but Kokkoku has a bit of a tonal problem that has only gotten more pronounced the deeper we get into the story (I know it’s early, but hear me out). The darker elements of the show are solid. There’s the appropriate amount of build up and the resolution albeit swift is paced well. However, the comedic moments are just a tad bit out of touch with the feel of the rest of the narrative. I’m not saying a bit of lighthearted hijinks every now and again is a bad thing. I’m just saying that there is a time and a place for it, and for a show that is all about time, they never quite get the timing right. So when something that’s supposed to be ‘funny’ happens, it’s more than a little jarring.
Also, I find it funny that everyone in the anime seems to be just as confused about the rules of the world as we are. They are all literally just running around in the dark hoping they don’t fall off a cliff, and while it was mildly amusing at first, now, I can’t help but feel like this is a rather stupid way to go about doing things.
You will find me, time after time
This week’s episode was both better and worse. Better because more of the overarching plot elements come into play this time around and shit just makes more sense… BUT, all the new reveals bring up more questions than they answer. I’m still waiting for everything to make sense, but at the very least, Episode 2 was a step in the right direction…
What did you think of this week’s episode of Kokkoku? Did you think it was better or worse than Episode 1? Let us know in the comment section! And don’t forget to check the rest of the Winter 2018 anime reviews on MANGA.TOKYO!