Kokkoku Episode 8: Should it really be this confusing?

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This show feels like it’s gradually falling apart to me. The explanations are still coming in the same way, but they’re making less sense. That’s the opposite of what should be happening as the show progresses, so I’m really bothered by it. I think a large part of the confusion lies in the fact that we still don’t have a good grasp of what Majima and Sagawa know about Stasis.

The beginning of the episode wasn’t too bad, as Sagawa seemed to be experimenting with how much control he still had as a Herald. It’s not a bad concept, but I didn’t find it too compelling as it was presented. There are brief comments about will, but they don’t go anywhere.

I also didn’t mind Majima’s attempt to convince Shiomi to betray Sagawa. Ultimately, it doesn’t amount to anything, but it seemed like a decent plan to me.

Nice joke and all, but I would consider many of the quotes from The Art of War to qualify as old sayings. So, this statement doesn’t really refute what Gramps says.

So, does Majima actually have a power? Sagawa didn’t make it too clear. She could have been demonstrating her own power like Juri, but Sagawa compares Majima with himself. That statement suggests that she might be integrating with the Stasis like he is. Or maybe there’s no difference. That could be cool.

The ending of the episode seemed the most frustrating for me. How did Majima guess that Sagawa was planning to use the grandfather’s blood to expel him from the Stasis? Doesn’t that seem like too much of a leap? And why does the grandfather suddenly not care about getting the stone back? How else are they planning to get out?


Kokkoku Episode 7: Time to ascend

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I still find the information that we’re given in this series interesting, but I’m starting to question the delivery of it. Also, I have similar issues with the consistency in this series that I’ve voiced in previous episodes. Sagawa’s also a bit disappointing as a villain. I thought he was interesting before because he seemed pretty knowledgeable, but his motivations felt pretty lackluster as they were presented.

Majima’s brother ended up being a disappointment. It’s interesting that he managed to stay alive, but I guess we’re not going to get a decent explanation for that any time soon. In the end, he’s just there for the cliffhanger and immediately leaves Stasis in this episode. That’s pretty frustrating.

I give the series credit for closing this loop even if it’s a bit questionable. It makes the jellyfish look like a plot device designed to bring the Yukawa family into Stasis, but it’s better than nothing. This revelation does make me wonder, though. If Tsubasa has returned to being one of the Stalled, could he be brought back into Stasis if someone else dies?

We finally get Sagawa’s plans, but he has pretty standard bad guy plans. To reference back to what I said at the start of this post, I think the information he gives in his conversation about the “Founder” is interesting. I like the idea of the guy running experiments in Stasis. I just wish it wasn’t just dumped out in a single conversation like it was.

What happened to the original plan to strand the religious cult in Stasis once every family member was secured? This is later justified when Majima points out that Tsubasa is left defenseless as one of the Stalled, but the sudden change isn’t justified here.

Sigh…okay, you can be a bad guy.

This isn’t even his final form.

Kokkoku Episode 6: That was fast

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This week’s episode didn’t feel super exciting for me, but it felt like it had to happen. It didn’t really feel as dense with information. I’m not saying that the episode was necessarily predictable, but I felt like I could see where it was going.

I’m really starting to get tired of these cliffhangers. Tsukasa felt like he was going to be a focus of this episode, but he was just the opening. Overally, I think he was just meant to set up the possibility of saving one of Majima’s family members (which we see later in the episode).

Boy, I hope this throwaway line from Takafumi comes into play later. I could see it being used to justify some quick impression of Majima’s brother later, but it could also be setting up something interesting about the Heralds.

Going along with the theme of inevitability, I’m not super surprised that Majima couldn’t summon the Herald. I’m assuming that it’s meant to portray her as a decent person despite her role in everything.

I’m still wary of how much the series is trying to prop up Takafumi as a future antagonist, but I’m curious enough to see where it’s going. Admittedly, I thought it was funny when he summoned the Herald with no issue after Majima’s struggles.

I’m interested in seeing where the series goes with Majima’s brother, but I’m also kinda wary. I’d be annoyed if he just gets brought back into things with one of the jellyfish transfers that we’ve been missing. What I find interesting is the fact that we never really saw Juri expel his jellyfish, meaning he could still be part of this Stasis. Maybe he never fully converted or something.

Kokkoku Episode 5: New factions

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So, I guess we’re just going to be in this Stasis for the rest of the series. While I still think the information that’s being presented in this series continues to be interesting, I think keeping track of consistency of that information is starting to wear me out. I’m also getting tired of the constant cliffhangers.

Watching Majima’s backstory felt awkward as it was initially presented. It seemed too short and didn’t really explain why the family started becoming Heralds. Majima eventually explains that they couldn’t accept the Stasis world, but I’m surprised it had to wait until later to appear as exposition.

I liked the idea that Juri “saved” Majima from becoming part of Stasis with her family by using her power. It puts a different spin on the power’s utility.

I’m still convinced that we’re just missing a piece of Majima’s background, as I’m still not convinced that she should know all that she does about the Stasis. I think there was a brief mention of a book that chronicled tradiitonal knowledge about Stasis that probably explains it, but it doesn’t feel complete yet.

Are they setting up the father as a future traitor? Meh…

What happened to that thing where the jellyfish move to a Stalled when someone gets killed by a Herald? That’s two deaths that haven’t been handled yet. I’m worried that this means that a future scene will be rewinding the clock again.

I was surprised that Majima’s family showed up so quickly, but I liked what how the show set up her motivations. I liked the reveal that she didn’t have any illusions of saving them. She just wanted to bring them peace.

Also, I’m not too surprised that Sako joins up with Majima. He was unnaturally curious about Majima in a previous episode, and I think he even made her promise to tell him her story. That level of attention was way too much for a grunt. Having more factions in this Stasis makes things interesting.

Well played, Tsubasa. I’m not sure where this fight is going next week, but it’s clear that Tsubasa will be fine. I was somewhat hoping Tsubasa would develop his own power, but I guess he’s just there to put a clock on the show. The preview shows him starting to become part of the Stasis world. I actually want Makoto to save him, but maybe that’s asking for too much.

Kokkoku Episode 4: Who’s next?

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This series is really revealing information much more quickly than I expected. I guess that’s a good thing. I’m still curious about the overall direction of the show, as it’s looking more like we’ll be spending an entire series in a single Stasis. I’m definitely happy to see that Juri is starting to fight back instead constantly running away.

Juri’s flashback was kinda lackluster in my eyes. It’s interesting to see how much the grandfather knows about the Stasis world, but the whole concept of the dead dog didn’t seem that exciting. Still, I give the series credit for actually giving an explanation rather than constantly giving hints.

Wow, Juri figured this out way earlier than I expected. It would have been very easy to let her miss the fact that the dead guy was frozen, so I was happy to see this.

Based on later events in the episode, I guess Majima’s knowledge of Stasis makes some sense, but it’s still pretty strange that she knows as much as she does. Still, I found it really interesting that the lesser stone can’t bring people out of Stasis.

Also, who exactly is going to be brought into Stasis now that someone else has died? We’re running out of family members.

Awkwardly enough, the preview explains more than the entire final scene in the episode. It looks like Majima knows about the Herald from her previous experience in Stasis. I was actually wondering if she had managed to get into Stasis a second time somehow, but it didn’t make sense with the information we’d been given.

From the preview, it looks like the lesser stone triggered when the actual stone was triggered, bringing in Majima and (presumably) her brother. My only problem with this is that it makes the hidden cameras somewhat worthless. If the lesser stone triggers with the actual stone, why would you need to watch them activate it?

Kokkoku Episode 3: Bring in the whole family

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I really enjoyed this week’s episode. I’m starting to take issue with how this series throws cliffhangers around, but I liked the way a lot of the information in this episode was presented. Now, I’m just wondering how long this first Stasis will last. It seems pretty long for a supposed introduction to the show.

I liked how this flashback was used, and I really hope that it isn’t repeated heavily in the future. We saw this flashback last week from Majima’s perspective, and it felt mostly innocuous. In this week’s episode, the same scene is shown to us from Juri’s perspective, linking the two characters and explaining last week’s flashback without spoonfeeding it to us. In a later scene, Majima seems to suggest that she was forcefully ejected from Stasis without going too heavily into it as well.

Some “fake science” warning bells are going off here, but this scene is still interesting. It’s cool that the villain is researching the Stasis world as well, even if he’s doing it heartlessly. I also think it’s interesting that the Handler loses power when it kills someone. Usually, these kinds of “forces” are just absolute rules of the world, but this one seems to have its own realistic limitations.

This scene makes me feel more annoyed about the scene from last week’s episode. The way this scene plays out is exactly what I was hoping to see last week. Why not just have the Specter leave the dead body while everyone is looking away?

Is it just plot convenience that Makoto was targeted by the orphaned Specter or was it just because he was interacting with the other people in Stasis? That aside, though, I liked the interaction between Makoto and Tsubasa, even if Makoto is an annoying brat. Tsubasa’s attempt to keep Makoto from becoming a NEET like Tsubasa was pretty funny.

Hiding as one of the Stalled was pretty clever, but it’s not like there’s any danger here. Plot armor is impenetrable.

Kokkoku Episode 2: Learning the ropes

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I still find this series intriguing, but I have a bit of an issue with the way it presents information. This week’s episode felt like it had way too many repeated scenes to allow it to jump around in time in a way that I didn’t find constructive. That being said, I’m still pretty curious about the Stasis and its rules, so I want to keep watching for answers.

I don’t actually mind that the grandfather doesn’t know all of the rules driving the Handler. I’ve seen too many shows where characters that they’ve managed to figure out every rule of some alternate world just based on experience and list them out. The grandfather rightly acknowledges that there’s probably a lot more to the Handler and just states what he knows.

I wasn’t expecting comedy from this show, so I actually found the revelation that they had forgotten the father to be pretty funny.

This line about the Handler being some kind of “corrupted” human is pretty interesting and probably more than just an offhand remark.

I think Tsubasa’s “awakening” is probably the best example of a jarring shift in time. While it’s interesting that it happens, I feel like it would have made more sense if it happened as a side scene after Juri and the grandfather escaped, rather than a few scenes later. This variation forced a repeat that was pretty confusing at the time.

I did think the portrayal of Tsubasa after he wakes up was interesting, though. It makes sense that he would think that Makoto is dead given that he doesn’t know the situation. I’m also curious about this whole lighting effect that transferred to him. Sure, I can understand that it moves to someone else when the host dies, but what does it do? Is it only meant to let someone move in this particular Stasis or does it have further effects?

The whole concept of “entering the same Stasis” didn’t really sit well with me in this episode. I get that the episode later sets up the fact that the cult set everything up and was watching when the family when the spell was cast. However, the analogy of the “frame” makes it harder for me to believe that they’d be able to time it correctly. Just how much room did they have to enter the same frame?

Honestly, I was expecting the episode to hit a cliffhanger as Juri unlocks a hidden power to save herself. This cliffhanger seems targeted towards making it look like Juri is dead or in a critical situation, which is hardly believable. Plus, the preview kinda ruins that illusion.

Kokkoku First Impressions (1): Let’s try it

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I was intrigued by the premise of this series, but this first episode has left me with too many questions to give any form of judgment. At the very least, I’m still interested in knowing the answers, but it largely depends on where everything is going. The idea of a time-frozen world seems interesting, but I’m not sure that I’m completely interested in focusing on how people abuse it.

There was something inherently confusing about this opening scene to me. Knowing nothing about Juri’s family, I inferred from this scene that her brother and father were dead. The interviewer asks about her brother and father, and the screen inexplicably switches to a view of a cemetary. Is it supposed to indicate that she considers them to be dead weight?

Perhaps this is isolated to the first episode because it was trying to introduce a new world, but I thought the show went a little far when it was showing off the time stop. Do we really need to pan around frozen objects so much?

I like this question. It’s a valid question. However, the fact that the series acknowledges the question and refuses to answer it anyway makes me think that the series doesn’t care what the answer is. It almost seems worse.

It might seem like I have a lot of complaints, but I’m legitimately curious about this series. The fact that people in this world have special powers definitely has my interest. I’d be happy to learn more about it.

I also have questions about this “herald” monster, which seemed to appear around Juri earlier in the show. Is it supposed to be some form of warden in the world? Juri’s grandfather seemed to indicate that people tended to act immorally in the world and get swallowed up, so it’s possible that the herald punishes people. I guess we’ll see.

Charlotte First Impressions (2): Still on the fence about this one

[HorribleSubs] Charlotte - 02 [720p].mkv_snapshot_05.05_[2015.07.12_08.01.17]

This show really decided to get serious quickly, huh? I didn’t expect them to explain Nao’s background so soon. Does that mean her character drops in the background from here? More importantly, I feel like the show glosses over details a bit too much. I’m left with a ton of questions regarding the capture of the photograph guy. For example, if he can create the photo of Nao so quickly (remember he had only just met her for the first time), why didn’t he just do it again after the photo was taken? Also, given that Nao can only hide herself from one person, why didn’t the archery club members think it was weird that she was standing in front of their president with a camera?

[HorribleSubs] Charlotte - 02 [720p].mkv_snapshot_11.50_[2015.07.12_08.08.05]

Finally, I just want to mention that I personally think that Joujirou has the most interesting power of the group (some form of super speed). I think it’s mostly because he keeps presenting it as teleportation even though it’s very clearly not. I’m curious, though…does he have quicker reflexes as a result of this power? The obvious answer would be that he doesn’t since he’s unable to control himself while he’s moving and he was unable to react quickly enough to grab anything but a single type of sandwich. But he was able to react to an arrow being fired at point-blank range (it was fired accidentally, so he couldn’t have prepared for that). Isn’t it interesting?

Anyway, I’m probably going to wait for the next episode to make my decision on this show…if they keep presenting powers in an interesting way like this, I might be curious.