This week’s episode of Kokkoku (Moment by Moment)seems to meander along at its own pace. There are a few reveals here and there, but like the previous episodes, this one takes its time building up the momentum. There are a few reveals this time around, but nothing especially mindblowing…
Japanese Original Episode Title: 㐧肆刻
Juri and Grandpa are still on the run from the members of the Genuine Love SOciety, but when their most recent encounter with them proves to be too much for them, Juri decides to put her new power to good use. Juri recalls memories from her childhood that might reveal some of the secrets of the Stasis world.
We’re not the bad guys here, you are: In a strange turn of events, the cult members remark that the Yukawa family are the real villains since they refuse to use the stasis power for the betterment of mankind. Let’s remember, this is the same cult that saw fit to kidnap and beat a small child and whose members attempted to rape our protagonist…
CGI Effects: I mentioned this in previous episodes as one of the positive aspects of the show, but the CGI effects in this week’s episode weren’t quite up to scratch. The water in particular just didn’t look all that great, which is a shame, because it really was an interesting stylistic choice… just not so great execution.
No way in, no way out: Without the Yukawa’s Master Stone, the members of the Genuine Love Society are trapped within the Stasis world. They can’t leave and new members can’t enter unless they can manage to get their hands on the stone…
Split Narrative: The anime doesn’t just follow one set of characters for the entirety of the episode. Rather, it shifts focus between the various groups of people trapped within the Stasis world and their various misadventures. Right now there are four different ‘narratives’: Juri and Grandpa, Shouko and her GLS lackies, Makoto and Tsubasa, and Papa Yukawa. Each perspective advances the plot in some way, without intersecting too much with the others.
Themes & Trivia
People are the virus: One of the members of the Genuine Love Society uses this metaphor when describing the Stasis world. Rather than it being a place, he infers that it has a mind of its own, with the Handlers/Heralds acting as antibodies, purging the Stasis world of impurities, ie. the members of the GLS that are running amok in the frozen city.
They were human all along: The Heralds/Handlers are revealed to be people that gave themselves over to the Stasis world.
At a crossroads: Most of the series’ big reveals, especially the Juri specific ones, occur in literal crossroads. In folklore and myth, crossroads are seen as places where ‘worlds meet’, usually a place where the supernatural can interact with the real world. This becomes even more interesting when you note that the Stasis world is also a crossroad, where the past and present are one and the same.
I’m still trying to figure out whether or not I dislike this anime or not. It’s not bad per se, but it’s also not great either. Kokkoku, much like the Stasis world, exists within this weird middle ground, as if it doesn’t quite know where it wants to go… Don’t get me wrong, there are some really interesting plot elements, but they ultimately get bogged down by the meandering plot and lack of any foreseeable payoffs.
Thanks for the Memories
This week’s episode of Kokkoku delivered what I’ve come to expect from the series, a slowly unfurling plot with a minimal payout. I want to give the series the benefit of the doubt, but after four episodes with no real development, I’m having a hard time expecting much of anything.
What did you think of this week’s episode of Kokkoku? Did you think episode 4 was better or worse? Let us know in the comment section! And don’t forget to check the rest of the Winter 2018 anime reviews on MANGA.TOKYO!