Kokkoku Ep. 4: Inching along

Slowly but surely, we’re getting somewhere. Juri finally confronts her grandpa about the past; she’s definitely been to Stasis before, hasn’t she? Years ago, when the family dog was about to die, her grandpa had taken her into this world so that she could spend more time with her best friend. Unfortunately, the dog couldn’t move in Stasis either, so it was really all for naught. In the end, it felt like the grandpa was really just prolonging the girl’s pain. When he tried to convince her to leave, she showed the same power that she has now. In fact, she nearly kicked him out of Stasis, but he was able to hold onto his “jellyfish” via a spell. He eventually came back to his senses, ran looking for Juri, and found her passed out on her poor dog. Say, doesn’t this little girl look familiar?

Unfortunately, we never learn where Juri got her power to forcibly kick people from Stasis. Did it just materialize in her by magic? We also never learn why she just forgot about the whole incident. Did the death of her dog traumatize her that much? Clearly, something happened between her and Majima. Maybe that’s why she can barely remember anything now. I also find it odd when the grandpa said he didn’t want to teach her the spell to enter Stasis, because he was afraid she’d use it recklessly. More specifically, he said, “Even when people grow up, they never change deep down inside.” What is he saying? That she was reckless as a child, so he was afraid she’d be reckless now? But she was distraught over her dog. Also, people change drastically when they grow up.

Anyways, back in the present — the ever frozen present — Juri and her grandpa end up being chased by hooligans again. I was almost afraid that nothing had changed after four episodes, but Juri finally decides to fight back. After all, these assholes keep threatening to rape her every chance they can get. For the past three episodes, it’s been nothing but nonstop talk about sexually assaulting her. As a result, Juri goes about expelling the jellyfish from all her pursuers. I’m still not sure how seriously I’m supposed to take this anime, though. Even as Juri fights off her attackers, one of them has to mention how they wouldn’t touch Juri because she’s “busty” and he prefers flat women. Sigh.

The rest of the episode is sadly a bore. We see a guy attempting to wipe the blood off of his clothes in a supermarket. He suddenly notices a woman trying to steal meat, so he calls her a lowlife. But then he sees her large breasts, and starts to move towards her with a creepy look on his face. What a lowlife. And no, the Herald does not show up. We’re told that the Herald protects the Stalled from being attacked, but sexual assault doesn’t count because…? Luckily for the woman — even if she is a thief, she doesn’t deserve this — Makoto’s voice rings out and prevents the man from going any further. There’s a cute moment in which Makoto runs up to his mother. She’s frozen in time like most people, and it looks like she is in the middle of dropping some cans. Her kid decides to help her out and put the cans back onto the display. Sadly, she can’t respond to him. Tsubasa convinces the kid that they should both head home for now, which the gropey man hears about.

Elsewhere, Sagawa and his partner continues to grill Takafumi, the pathetic wannabe patriarch of the Yukawa family. All we really learn is that Takafumi is as ineffectual as he looks. There’s a good chance they can manipulate him if they take advantage of his insecurities as an out-of-work father who can’t protect his own family. Moreover, the fact that he doesn’t know a damn thing about the family stone or Stasis shows that his own father didn’t believe in him. I wouldn’t be surprised if Takafumi ends up screwing his family out of spite or resentment.

Back at Juri’s house, Majima and the other hooligans bicker some more. One guy learns that he can’t leave Stasis without the Yukawa family stone. The other guy doesn’t seem to mind this too much. After all, food can’t rot if time never flows. Also, they are lucky enough to have time stop around dinner time, so they don’t even have to worry about cooking. Just break into people’s homes and start eating their prepared meals. But for the first guy, this won’t do. In his rage, he tries to kill one of the Stalled, which quickly marks him as a target for the Herald. We then proceed to see the smallest Herald yet materialize out of nowhere and murder the transgressor. But because it’s so small, this Herald doesn’t disappear into thin air like the rest. Instead, it collapses onto the ground, and its body turns to dust as if it can no longer maintain its form.

Majima digs into the body to reveal a desiccated head attached to… lumps of flesh? Dirt? Stone? I don’t know… we get some exposition about how people who give their lives up to the world of Stasis can join the Specters and become one of the Heralds. Also, a member of her own family had become one of these Heralds, and this is probably why she even joined up with Sagawa’s cult in the first place. She’s looking for her lost family member. This part is at least somewhat interesting, but then the episode comes to an end. Next week’s previews suggest that we’ll finally learn what happened between Juri and Majima, but the story’s been so slow, all my excitement and anticipation have pretty much petered out. After four weeks — a month’s worth of episodes — I’m still not emotionally invested in any of the characters, and the world of Stasis isn’t mysterious enough to carry the show by itself.

6 thoughts on “Kokkoku Ep. 4: Inching along

  1. Ax_v

    I was expecting more from this show. But had some doubt in my mind after seeing the OP/ED, and those “humor” segments. It feels like everything that happened, in these 4 episodes, could have been compressed into 2, or 2.5, episodes.

  2. Advaris

    It’s disappointing how this anime turns out to be after the interesting promotional artwork of the tree monster and the first episode. This anime should seriously tone all the sexual assault and rapey stuff down.

    1. Sean Post author

      Oh, you’re back. And no, if you watch the next episode, you’ll see that these goons are no less thirsty.

      1. Advaris

        Yup, I have to abstain myself from anime and commenting on the internet thanks to a shitload of personal issues from the workplace and my family.

        I just able to finally get a breather, so I’ve been catching up to stuff that I missed out in the weekend.

        Ugh, this anime really turn out to be a shitfest. I should have guessed it from its sleazy ED. What a shame.


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