There’s a reason why average amount of anime audiences tend to choose, common, less-risky and visually appealing type of show for their seasonal line-ups rather than the irregular one, because sometimes you’ll get something like Kokkoku: Weird, Slow, and simply put a fucking waste of time. The anime really doesn’t deserve more attention it needed to be.
That doesn’t to say this is kind of stuff that is hard to get into. In fact the anime has pretty straightforward idea: it got superpower, it got alternate world and it got basic tales of good and evil where the good guy trying
to save families whilst try escaping from said world. In all, the basic concept of the anime is quite alright, the execution however is where causing the major problem.
First of all. When I said “weird” that doesn’t meant to say the plot was convoluted or full of disgusting phenomenon (although it does at some point because the visual style). It just the many poorly written even that happen during the show; perverted jokes happen ruining the serious event many times; character changing sides because they want to; valuable item founded in unjustifiable way; the inconsistencies of the world where the good guy sometimes running, sometimes walking when chased by the bad guy, and don’t forget the ED video where it is show lots of skins of female characters. What’s that all about? The journey to say the least is a weird experience that raising “wtf?” during the critical moment. The show also likes to teases the audiences with a cliffhanger at the end of the episode only to show that there is nothing dangerous later on. If it have occurred once, it is tolerable, but when happens many times, it is simply become not exciting anymore. Most of the insult comes from the conclusion, which is anticlimactic to say the least where the bad guy gets second chance despite how much people does he sacrificed. Random revelation of the mastermind, and pulling deus ex machina in the end.
Too many things, the superpower stuff also done poorly. There is no limitation or risk whatsoever for the superpower from the heroes but there are weaknesses on the villain. I know it is understandable to create weaknesses onto the villains because otherwise there’s possibility of pulling an aspull in order to defeat it, but making the heroes overpowering the villain is not right as well, because there is not much tension going on especially when you have unlimited teleportation power. There is lots of cliché, breaking the rule event, such as superpower revealed whenever the author want it to be or when the heroes’ power becomes stronger even though it was said many times that he had already at his limits, just because the protagonist cheered them up.
The second problem is the alternative world itself or called “Stasis” in this show. I can’t recall any anime that surrounding quantum break or time stops world other than Kokkoku in recent year. But even in this novelty, there nothing much it can helps. They try info dumping the world along the way, but the end what we learn is: a) if you try to kill the people who cannot move within the world of Stasis you’ll be ‘punished’ by the ‘Herald’ and b) The Herald is actually the deceased of the previous Stasis user who are not strong enough or defeated. Other than that, everything else is just the same, literally there’s nothing special about this world.
There are also no consequences or relation between Stasis and the real world, making it somewhat of a riddle as to why the show makes use of such setting in the first place. You could replace the setting to something like closed room with many daily life’s supplies like Danganronpa, where it also had someone punished you if you breaking the rule and there not much differences.
By appearances the world is also offer nothing visually appealing since it is the same as the real world. Only the difference is that everything is stopped. As a whole, the show does not deliver anything in the way of a particular outlook on the world, a concept that resonates in everything that happens or a focus on the role of the Herald in the world and the show: while the creators could have had the series be focused far more strongly on the notion that the Herald are really everywhere, living a shadow-existence without all that much interacting with the human world, perhaps there would have been something more of a point to the stories, even if that point wouldn't be all that interesting. As it stands, there is no real point or purpose to the show.
The third issue is the pacing which is horrendously slow. It literally takes the entire series for the heroes to be finally backed into the real world. Most of the time it was devoted to chasing, running, teleporting, pushing bad guy back to reality, showing a bit of their backgrounds and some info dumping about the stasis which could be summarized of what I said above. There are so many unnecessary events occurs and the actual content of the show is actually quite shorter than it was presented.
The Whole stuff about family were not works too since the shows are too busy about planning strategy and info dumping so there’s not enough time to bonds these characters considering the length of the series. It was been established that they are families but practically the cast had not much differences than the typical survival-death type of series when stranger became friends just because they share the same goals.
Although there are character’s backdrops. They are quite meaningless in regard to their characterization, it doesn’t serve anything aside from as to why they are could be able living in Stasis. Even in content, the backdrops are just ‘good ol tragic’ backstory that we have already seen uptent time.
The villain motivation was okay I guess but it was definitely ‘weird’ to say the least, because it surely raises the question as to why are they feel the need to be kills someone. For appearances, they are very lacking in charisma. The characters in general weren’t deep and very clearly black and white. They are pretty much closer to being plot devices as an exposition tools because they did plan and talked a lot but don’t have anything besides that. If I have to give this show credit for anything, they did a good job at making Takafumi easy to hate. (Because clearly, the man is a douche).
At the end of the day as much as Kokkoku’s novelty in doing time-stops world concept. It didn’t manage to make up itself to be memorable series. Nobody’s going to talk about its plot. Nobody’s going to remember its visual and nobody’s going to care about its characters. What they will care about is the OP song which is probably the catchiest in this season. Overall, it is more interesting for the ideas brewing under the surface than it is for anything that actually transpires.
Kokkoku is an ambitious failure. It fails to understand the limits of its budget and writing, taking on far more than it could possibly handle. Its story is idiotic and illogical, the art is ugly as sin, the characters are frustrating as hell, and its glacial pacing makes it one of the most boring 'thrillers' I have ever seen.
It juggles many intruiging ideas like stopping time, a dysfunctional family, psychic powers, and many more, but Kokkoku wastes them on mediocre execution.
The dysfunctional Yukawa family comprises the main characters; an unusual choice for the cast that piqued my interest. It would be an understatement to
say they don’t get along with one another. They hit, yell at, and curse at each other. The main character and older sister in the family Juri is the most put together of them all. In the first episode, we’re introduced to Juri's NEET older brother Tsubasa, slob father Takafumi, her nephew Makoto, and wise grandfather. She’s usually the one who has to take care of things like picking Makoto up from school, making dinner, and taking care of the family while her sister goes to work. It's understandable why Juri's searching jobs to move out, but sadly she has yet to be accepted after many interviews. Her living situation is well detailed early on and gave me enough to want to see her family grow and change, hopefully becoming tolerable enough for her to happily live with them.
What better of a catalyst to kick off all of their character arcs than a kidnapping? An unbelievable tragedy that happens to two of the family members, but I was intrigued how Kokkoku would answer why this would happen to such a mundane family. Little did I know, there wouldn’t be any logical answers for the many questions that are continuously piled on top of one another all the way into the final episode. After the two are kidnapped, the family receives an impossible ransom request and are unable to ask the police for help.
Knowing they would have to take matters into their own hands, Juri’s grandfather reveals his magical time freezing rock, hoping that they can use it save their family members. The rock gets only one partial explanation at the end that handwaves away any need for logic and chalks it up to ’it just works that way’. This is only the first of many gripes I have with the woefully underdeveloped sci-fi setting and spotty world logic that plagues Kokkoku at every turn.
Juri, her father, and grandfather enter the frozen time world of Stasis. Once entering, the three of them find it won’t be as easy as they thought to retrieve their stolen family. They would go on to fight against the evil criminal group responsible for the kidnapping who also somehow accessed stasis and entered it at the very same moment as the Yukawa’s… Um… What? How? These plot issues crop up everywhere while watching Kokkoku, and the show doesn’t even acknowledge them.
Repeatedly it bends our suspension of disbelief, with no care if it breaks or not. The ridiculous setup at least quickly introduces us to the leader of the group and cruel antagonist Sagawa. Coincidentally, the criminal group is looking for the magical time freezing rock so they can use it to commit crimes and what-not.
Stasis is a very intriguing idea that thankfully does get some moral exploration, but from a logical perspective, Kokkoku rarely makes an effort to be more than nonsensical. When a story wants to be mature and realistic it cannot have such glaring plot issues. It's so difficult to be immersed in this anime when the story is so unbelievable, no matter how maturely it presents itself.
In spite of this, the show offers up some intruiging moral implications. The grandfather states how this world can lead to people losing all sense of morality while they know there isn’t any consequence. It’s a thought-provoking moral quandary to put forward right away; what would you do if you had this power? Adding to the moral intrigue are the giant tree-like monsters known as Heralds. These frightening creatures enforce the rules of Stasis by brutally killing anyone who dares to break them, namely no killing allowed.
Sadly we don't get much more in terms of moral intrigue until the end, instead, the show tries to distract us with a shallow but occasionally entertaining mystery.
Plagued with horribly inconsistent pacing, the mystery story becomes nearly impossible to get engaged with. Most of the show takes place in Stasis, spent following the Yukawa family as they plan what there next move will be to save their family and escape. I'm not saying I dislike thrillers with a strategic side to them, but here it feels like Kokkoku is stalling for time. Even the backstories and explanation conversations that fill up much of the screentime have barely any relevance to the story in the long run.
Frequently we're forced to watch the characters discuss random backstories, shallow world explanations, and pointless strategy discussions; all of this presented as crucial information. After watching all twelve episodes I can tell you with certainty, those scenes are just filler. Almost nothing that happens in Kokkoku actually matters, it is just a collection of speed bumps only existing to stall for time. Trying it’s best to distract you from how poorly written the story and characters are.
As a mystery, it’s moderately successful at keeping you guessing, but sadly it’s deeply flawed story isn’t good enough to justify the many cliffhangers we’re left with. Let alone provide us with even a single satisfying payoff. Hell, the word satisfying would only come to my mind in one scene of the show. The final shot episode twelve ends with is technically satisfying, but at that moment the show also reached its peak in disappointment because instead of giving us even one answer for any of its intriguing twist it simply ends. That’s it. Kokkoku spits in its audience’s face and says ’you got what you came for, now leave’.
Maybe if the characters were better I could have gone a little bit easier on the terrible story. The idea of a dysfunctional family being forced to put aside their differences in the face of grave danger is cool, it was easy to connect with their arguments. But my problem is that there is nothing to them beyond those frustrating fights and annoying personalities.
Juri is likable in how strong-willed she is, but there’s really nothing else to her than a strong-willed woman who wants to protect her family. She's a likable character for these traits but lacked the characterization beyond surface level information. The rest of them are just annoying. Makoto nags about wanting things because ‘he’s a kid and doesn’t know what’s going on’ only existing as a plot device to be kidnapped and add stakes (which works but is a cheap trick). Takafumi stays a stupid slob for the entire show, never changing, only adding frustration. At least Tsubasa's character had major growth thanks to the low point in life he started on, sadly we don’t see much of him in the show diminishing the impact of his arc. And the grandfather’s only purpose is to be the wise old guy, is a lame excuse to get some random family involved in Stasis.
We occasionally see the characters tested by the events that occur throughout the show, but that often felt like the writer shifting them around to keep the plot moving when considering how little (if at all) they change. They start as a dysfunctional family and for all, we know they still are one after the show ends.
There is one definitive change made to some of the Yukawa family members throughout the show, some of them get psychic powers while in Stasis. As if pulled out of thin air, for unexplained reasons certain characters have abilities like teleportation and sending people out of Stasis. These powers seem like little more than plot contrivances added so the Yukawa's can get out of dangerous run-ins with the crime group.
The menacing villain at first made up for the family's overall annoyances; that is until he got a development episode which just boils his mysterious presence down to a pretty pointless and irrelevant explanation. I really couldn't figure out what the point was to him getting an extensive backstory when all it did was take was extinguish his intimidation and replace it with an interesting but ultimately irrelevant story. His story is meant to explain why he’s so evil and wants to kill people, but it feels like they forgot that important part of his character because it is in no way referred to in his story. You’re really going to tell me he just started killing because his childhood was a little different than everyone else’s? Why not Kokkoku, it’s not like I believed anything you were selling me this far into your shitshow of a story anyways. The issues don’t end here with the characters, both art and sound have their own problems too.
The newly founded Geno Studio gets off to a rough start with Kokkoku; which is worrying considering they’re at the helm of the much anticipated Golden Kamuy adaptation. Environments are made of dull colors and lack much personality. They were likely aiming to create a believable world, and they did, but the issue is how unappealing it is to look at. Perhaps if there were details added to the environment (ie: visual symbolism) it wouldn't feel tiresome to look at the thing.
Characters look decent but in the later episodes, they frequently look off model. At its worst we see them warped with just plain ugly looking faces. These flaws are so surprising in a show that does not require much animation, it takes place in a frozen world and most of the screen time is dedicated to conversations explaining what’s going on and planning what to do next. It’s hard to take a character seriously when their face looks like a potato.
Most of the voice acting is suitably grating on the ears to fit the annoying characters. Juri is well voiced thankfully, a decent reprieve from the others. The opening song Flashback is fun, frantic, and wild. The song is unlike any this season, one of the best. The op’s visuals of it are great too, even changing slightly with the show's progression.
The ed is trash. It’s full of fanservice of the two lead female characters (the only female characters in the show) which doesn’t send a good message. Any tension from the cliffhangers is totally drained by this tone-deaf ed. I’m not sure if Geno Studio had a fanservice quota to meet (because the show is thankfully devoid of it) or if this was some misguided creative decision, but it does not fit this anime.
[Story: 3/10] Poorly paced, illogical, unbelievable.
[Character: 4/10] Unlikable, uninteresting, little to no development.
[Art: 4/10] Passable at best, ugly at worst.
[Sound: 5.5/10] Great op, mediocre sound effects, weak voice work.
[Enjoyment: 5/10] Glacial pacing hampers excitement.
Kokkoku has lots of ideas, but it has no clue what to do with them. You’d expect it to make something of all of its pieces, but then it just ends. A collection of intriguing but mediocre parts doesn’t culminate into a good whole. It’s as boring and mediocre as it could possibly be. Just skip it and listen to the op instead.
You are now stuck in a world where everything is frozen, except you. What now?
That's basically what Kokkoku is about, Juri and her group is stuck in the "Statis" along with the bad guys of course.
Review will contain minor spoilers, I guess.
Kokkoku started out as an interesting anime, interesting premise. Why are they stuck in the Statis? What is that world? And what is that huge creature shown in the OP (or the ending of the first episode?)
Many questions, some answered, some not, but meanwhile- The bad guys are taking place. Well, they want to research this statis, so they're bad.
Oh and they kill people too because why not.
The "bad" people REALLY weren't fleshed out at all, they felt like some random background characters, which maybe was true to classify them as background.
Kokkoku went from a mystery thriller anime of trying to unveil the mysteries of the Statis to.... Let's all fight the bad guy boss!
Well that sounds familiar right? Many anime and stories in general have this, which is fine. But it was nothing like what the premise showed, the start didn't make me think it'll be just going full force forward into the enemy. Oh and just you wait until you see his foolish backstory. It's better you don't know it though.
On the other hand, what I think was nice to see is the strong female lead. Juri, and later on Majima were a nice change of pace. Strong, determined, you don't see that in anime every day.
But... While many remained in the background, those who didn't remain in the background were... lacking.
Takafumi (dad) was always annoying and brought nothing except problems. I can deal with that, as they somewhat tried to make it funny. Well.. It didn't work.
The NEET brother was more on the side, but he didn't contribute anything too.
Makoto, the kid, was always the "prince"/"princess" of this show (aka PROTECT THE PRESIDENT), but oh btw he's also pretty strong it seems, because why not.
Now to the more main characters, It was nice seeing Grandpa in action, reminds me of Inuyashiki. But what was... weird? Is that he knew of this Statis from his father and yet never questioned it. So he was pretty clueless, except some useful abilities (ex: Aegis to prevent being thrown out) and teleport. But that's all there is to him. He's just there to save Juri whenever she needs to get out.
Majima... Gets some spotlight, she wants to protect/save her family, and she's a bit familiar with the Statis, Well I guess that works.
Oh also I want to mention, the OP and ED are top tier.
So... Did I enjoy Kokkoku? Kinda, I can also say that it's better to binge. Would I go out of my way to recommend it to others? Probably not.
It was really good at the beginning, but... failed and fell. Trainwreck. One weird thing after another. And yes that includes the bad guy's back story.
At the beginning every episode went so fast as I enjoyed it, I thought it would be close to AOTS (well after SoraYori), but nah, too many "fillers" if I can call it that.
Disappointment, yet still a honorable mention for the good first half.
Back in time, when I was wandering around at the anime list of what were about to air in Winter Season, there were an specific anime I got attracted to: Kokkoku, the PV, the art and the synopsis looked great and quite different from what we normaly watch. But is it being different what makes an anime good? Not in this case. This review might be heavy on spoilers.
From my life time, I always wanted to stop time and do whatever I want, be it kissing girls, trying to finish my homework, trying to have more time at certain stuff, things like that. And when
I saw that this anime had this "time stop" theme on it, I wanted to check out what was it about and the logic behind it. And when I watched it, I have thoughts of being an Inuyashiki again, meaning that it would disappoint and suck, yet there was something on it that was relieving on that sense, we were having some explanations about the logic behind it, and even if some things were quite convenient, it had something that make me think: "Well this makes sense". But in fact, things weren't that far to become retarded in no time.
The story goes around Juri, a Woman who one day got a call from kidnappers that kidnapped his brother and her nephew. Armed with a Knife (because reasons) she decides to go and set them free. Fortunately, Her grandfather stops her from doing a mistake. Here we are introduced to the "Stone" a Stone that is capable of stopping time. After some assurances, they decide to stop time. So, this is not your JoJo kind of Dio Stopping time, everything will stay still until they use the stone to go back after doing what they had to do. Unfortunately, when they reach the place were they have Juri's Brother and her Nephew, they found out that they aren't the only ones capable of moving while time is stopped, this is also where the "herald" appears, an omnipresent being that serves as an overseer of "Statis" (this is how the stopped world is called), this herald holds the power to instantly kill someone who is threatening the life of the "Stopped" (This is what the people that isn't moving is called) with a single blow of its hands. This is also the place were we see the grandpa using his teleport ability.
This pretty much sums up the introduction of Kokkoku, it was alright at this moment, but then, what went wrong?
On the first episodes, we are set on explaining how Statis works and how the abilities works. The abilities explanation is quite bullshit, as the grandpa just says that "it happens spontaneously", still the abilities aren't god tier. Grandpa's teleportation isn't accurate, and later on we are introduced to Juri's ability which is very practical for the situation she's in, her ability is to force someone out of statis as she touches the chest of whoever threatens her. I accepted the "logic" behind these abilities because they weren't good enough as an advantage against their enemies. We are introduced to another abilities later on in the anime, which I won't go into much detail to avoid spoilers (Potential spoilers for the end of the anime)
Then, we come to the heralds explanation. Oh boy, the Heralds were the thing that most sense had in this anime, the effort put into its explanation was noticeable. Apparently, when someone enters in Statis without concern and starts freaking out because they are weak of mind, the "jelly" of their body starts leaving it, transforming them into Heralds (In this anime, your "Jelly" is what maintains you in Statis). But then, the anime starts destroying its explanations attempting to do a more "complex" story and this is were Kokkoku throws everything they have done to shit. This anime suffered from a lot of twists on the main plot: it goes from saving your family from kidnappers, to fanatical people of the "stone" trying to claim what's theirs, to a "Villain" transforming into Hulk, to a "Villain" that wanted to stay in statis and "see the future" by himself, to a Evangelion kind of psycho shit. The amount of bullshit and plot conveniences thrown at your face starts increasing by a lot. And boy, it doesn't work.
It saddens me that they spent a lot of time trying to explain what Statis is and how Heralds works just to make it go full retard in no time. The main antagonist of this series tried to make himself a "conscious" herald with powers that exceeds humans. As I said before, this is supposed to make him live in statis to witness what the future holds, I mean, if he wanted to do that, why would he need to do a lot of killing in order to do that? As easy as he can go by himself and explain statis to Juri's family and see if he can borrow their stone for scientific purposes instead of threatening the lives of innocent people. But well, the anime decided to go for the most "complex" and ludicrous way in order to do that, which obviously backfired.
After the appearance of "The Hulk" this anime went downhill pretty fast as more and more bullshit were thrown at the screen because the plot demands it. This anime had the potential to be as good and interesting as Steins;Gate, but it went full retard like Inuyashiki. Hell, there's even an ability shown later in the anime that consists of CONTROLLING HERALDS as if they were pets LMFAO.
Probably, the only good thing about this anime is the Opening, which is very unique, there is nothing else left to speak on over the Art and Sound department.
Enjoyment 6/10: Even if things went retard, I must say that this anime can keep you entertained as long as you disconnect your brain from your logic data base.
A SERIOUSLY UNDERRATED AND DEEPLY MISUNDERSTOOD ANIME.
I'm going to have to sucker punch you and give a simultaneously review of Stein's Gate and Kokkoku. Beware of the reviewer who said he was disappointed by Kokkoku, after watching Stein Gate. Stein Gate's characters are all 1-dimensional caricatures, unlike Kokkoku's characters, almost all of whom, act like real human beings and hold conflicting emotions and desires which make them feel like 3-dimensional people.
The family we see kidnapped by a religious cult in Kokkoku feels like a real-life Japanese family. If you prefer funny, unpredictable, and absurd characters rather than realistic human beings, then Kokkoku
is not for you.
And if you want to laugh at how pathetic and silly the cast of characters are then Kokkoku is definitely not for you. Kokkoku's narrative psychologically compels you to empathize with all its characters no matter how villainous they are.
Another reviewer complained about the tonal shifts. Yes, Kokkoku has almost random tonal shifts that mostly stem from the behavior of one specific character: the pompous father who mistakenly believes in his own "heroics". Tonal shifts actually happen in real life, imagine you are drinking and laughing with your friends and all of a sudden you receive a phone call from a hospital saying that one of your relatives has been hospitalized. The tonal shifts in Kokkoku make the characters feel more realistic. I think any reviewer who complains about the tonal shifts, simply doesn't know what aspect of Kokkoku's story or characters that they really dislike and are just pointing out the show's most salient (obvious) qualities.
Complaining about any anime's tonal shifts is like watching the transformer movies and complaining about the excessive number of explosions or the occassional racist scene while ignoring the movie series' awful and somewhat boring story. Beware of superficial observations masquerading as meaningful critiques.
Kokkoku's 2 biggest weaknesses are how it develops the personality and motivation of its cult leader and all the other members of the religious cult. Kokkoku's writer, Seita Horio, has clearly made no effort to actually research the motivations of people who join cults, and he shows a half-assed job at showing the consequences of inherting the position of cult leader. That's why I gave Kokkoku 7 instead of 10 for its charachers. But I'm probably being generous since I like the show's premise.
Watch any documentary about religious cults, or read any book on the subject of religious cults, and you will see that people always join new cults for selfish reasons. The dymanics of Kokkoku's religious cult, "the Genuine Love Society" are absurd and simply impossible. The psychopathic behavior exhibited by the members of the Genuine Love Society toward the family harboring time control stones, contradicts their obviously benign goal of saving humanity. This contradiction is never explained and I think it should be explained because real human beings have real reasons, however illogical or irrational, for having conflicting motivations and desires. There is a logic to everything we do, even if that logic is impenetrable.
Throughout the first 11 episodes, there is just no reason at all for the Genuine Love Society to harbor any hatred toward the family they eventually attack. I haven't read the manga so I cannot say if it takes a different approach to developing the religious cult in the manga.
And the cult leader is just a hot mess of characterization. Unfortunately the writer, or maybe just the creators of the anime, genuinely believe the silly rationalizations the cult leader uses to justify his murderous and psythopathic tendencies. Religious cults are more than just a sexy storytelling tool... they are a serious social problem even in modern Japan.
I expect the following season to be far worse because of the cult leader's characterization and back story, but so far so good.
Story is Outstanding (10). Kokkoku is one of those stories that you didn't know until it was adapted to anime form and even if it was it is usually got overshadowed by main stream or fan service anime. You can put this anime side by side with the likes of Kiseiju (Parasyte) and Elfen Lied mainly because the story. The premise of another world or dimension existing alongside our reality is something really interesting especially for me to dive into. The moment you watch the first episode, you will immediately get sucked into the stasis until the last episode. Believe me
when I say you will feel autophobic when you watch this, so if you want to enjoy this anime I would definitely advise you to binge watch this alone in an isolated room.
Art is Very Good (8). I could give it a 9 but it would be already biased on my side if I did. The art has a grungy feel in a good way that really sets the isophobic mood of the story. The direction they chose for the art of the opening and ending theme is superb and it contrast the vibe of the series with sharp vivid colors which I adore.
Sound is Outstanding (10). One of the greatest thing about this anime aside from its story is the soundtrack. Kokkoku has one of the best opening themes that I have heard in my entire anime life (Flashback" by MIYAVI vs. KenKen). The mixture of electronic/disco music with the art I have mentioned a while ago is a perfect marriage of two great things. The Ending theme is also something not to be overlooked as it eases you through the ending of the episode with its melancholic tunes. Everything in between balances the overall presentation of the anime.
Characters are Great (9). Of course, you can't have a great story with dull characters. The main character Juri, and her family are well made and easily distinguishable from each other. I did not feel there are support characters in the story as everyone is give a chance to have their own moment. If there is one complain that I had while watching Kokkoku, it is that the main antagonist of the story (Junji Sagawa) lacked in the villainy department which affected my viewing of the story. He could have been more fleshed out and his character seemed a bit rushed in the anime. *I need to read the manga if they failed to adapt his character correctly in the anime.
Overall, Kokkoku is an experience you should try. If you are not into the mature psychological or supernatural genre I would greatly recommend you to watch it as a mild introduction to the genre. And if you are a hardcore fan of this genre I am dead sure that you would enjoy it!
This is my first time writing a review, so I hope this can be helpful for at least one person.
To be completely fair, I am very aware that I probably have a dissident opinion regarding this anime. However, I think the other reviews paint this anime in particular in a bad light. I agree that the art is a bit clunky at times, the pacing is weird, to say the least, and the end is sort of tacked on. But all of that aside, I think that this is a great little anime to watch if you need something to tide you over between seasons
of your favorites anime.
At times, the connection between characters feels very thin, and it's a little hard to feel a connection to them, as the viewer. At other times, you may feel a deep connection to what the characters are trying to accomplish.
The story is fairly different, as compared to other anime that I've seen. Although I know for a fact that the premise of stopping time has been done before, I personally haven't seen it in an anime before. It is an interesting concept, however, and I'm glad this has explored it in the way that it has.
Overall, I enjoyed it, despite the flaws, and the janky art style. also, don't get your shorts in a knot about the ED, it's fun and enjoyable.
Kokkoku has ended today and I'm sad to see it go. It was a wonderful concept with a wonderful execution. This anime is about a 20 something year old girl of a poor family named Juri. One day, her nephew and brother get kidnapped and ransomed an amount of money they cannot pay. Fortunately, the family holds an ancient relic in the form of a stone that lets them enter a world called, "Stasis". Stasis is a place where time has stopped in the exact same moment the Stasis spell was activated, only allowing people who has activated the spell to move around in this
stopped time. The Juri along with her Grandfather and Father to save her captured family members. But are there are others in the stasis as well...
This show, I felt, did very well in the execution of this quite unique concept. The family is interesting to watch, and they're logic on what to do next is sound. It almost feels like they're real people. What they do is somewhat realistic to what reasonable, rational people would do. The art is pretty, especially using the time where they stopped time effectively. The entire show takes place at sunset and the lighting reflects that beautifully in my opinion. The animation is alright, no dips, but lots of still images. Although, that's to be expected, they're in stopped time after all. Also, the show does this thing where when a character throws an object it just stops moving halfway through. It helps you remember this is a place of stopped time. The OP and ED are some of the best this season especially with the OP being a a mish mash conglomerate of colors, subtext, and symbolism precluding to the show. With all this great things to say about this show, the main, overbearing issue that I have with this show is the ending. The resolution came from an ex machina which I utterly hate. Although, this doesn't stop Kokkoku from being a great show. I give it a 9 out of 10, with a recommendation for everyone to watch. This has been your spoiler free but not really review on Kokkoku
This is my first review ever, and its because i absolutely enjoyed this anime. it's currently airing but i am very sure it won't be disappointing.
The story feels new and fresh, i'm saying this because any one who's into animes knows the usual alternate universe or another world has been used up alot, but kokkoku finds a way to make it feel new, although Juri has failed a lot of interviews, her brother is a NEET, her sister is a single parent and her dad was laid off, this dysfunctional family is struggling on the outside and they are at the bottom of the
food chain but they have a tremendous power which the grandfather knew all along but kept it hidden. It makes you wonder why the grandfather never thought of doing things for their own benefit.....then he had to reveal the secret to protect his family because Makoto and Tsubasa got kidnapped by a mysterious organisation.
I'll say i like the dysfunctional family angle we don't see that often, it makes you compare this situation to real life issues.
I totally loved the art style, its beautiful and even more intriguing when characters enter the stasis. the effect of the frozen time on the character is well done. The CG on every single life form on stasis was well thought, the trees, bicycle even the water at that point frozen in time. This blows your mind.
Nothing much to say here. The opening theme is catchy, i have never tried to skip it, it sticks in your mind for a long time. The ending theme was good too.
So far a remarkable job has been done in expressing each character, Juri is determined to rescue her family, her edgy character to push through obstacles shows shes not willing to go down without a fight, Her grandfather on the other-hand is wise but logical, her father so far is weak but looks like he has a scary side to him, i like the way its been expressed, not rushed, you get a feel of each character including the protagonist.
Kokkoku is a show that is slowly intriguing, it doesn't hit you like a bang, but you find yourself wondering what would happen? The story is not so different but the supernatural feel keeps your mind at work as you try to understand why events occur in different order. I hope you enjoy this.
I had never heard of Kokkoku when I watched the first episode, but I was hooked afterwards. Now, here at the end, I definitely enjoyed myself, but I can see it probably isn't for everybody.
Well drawn, the action scenes do a good job of communicating the speed and impact of every action, and the cast are all distinctly designed without having to resort to goofy hats or anything. In fact, kudos to the animators for keeping the details of the time stop in mind when lots of small objects are flying or falling. However, it makes extensive use of CGI for several elements -
personally, I think it blends well enough with the more traditional animation, but if you strongly dislike it in your anime, its going to annoy you frequently.
Much like the animation, the sound effects do a great job of putting oomph behind the action scenes. Most of the music, when there is any, doesn't stand out too strongly, but I think "Flashback" is the best OP of the season - its a great song and the visuals accompanying it are really slick. Like a friend of mine said: "You gotta respect someone who can turn 'punching a man's heart' into a beat drop."
I think Juri makes for a good main character. She's got some playfulness to her, but she's mostly a serious woman who gets stuff done. Like the show's description says, her response to the yakuza kidnapping her nephew is to grab a knife and get ready to cut some fools. As things progress, she shows little hesitation in getting things done when push comes to shove, but its obvious the situation is wearing away at her and you wonder if she can hold on.
Her grandpa is cool, and is similarly willing to step up to the occasion in a crisis. The rest of the cast is kind of hit or miss; the brother and father wear on my nerves, and quite a few are just kind of there.
The show starts off with a really interesting premise, that being the time stop spell. From episode 2 onwards, it expands on this premise is some interesting directions. Without spoiling anything, let's just say the spell has some rules and exceptions that play heavily into the advancement of the story, but don't feel broken or unnatural.
That said, I feel like I need to dock points for the ending. Not that its bad -just that they REALLY needed another episode or two to smooth it out. It feels very abrupt.
Kokkoku moves slowly (not because of the time stop, hur hur hur) but I enjoyed the ride all the same. The first episode made me want to see where it was going, each episode ended at the perfect cliffhanger to keep me interested, and in the last third, s*** gets crazy and I wanted to see how it would one-up itself.
Kokkoku feels unique and is a fun experience - the action scenes have some good brutality to them and some of the imagery is hilarious in how bonkers it is. Unfortunately, its pacing is definitely not for everyone and its story has some major rough edges.
Kokkoku is an anime that kind of leans heavily on the high concept side of storytelling. While the translation for the title is “Moment by Moment”, I believe that it’s better dubbed as “Moment” as everything takes place technically in one single moment. The reason why is because the concept of the show is “ what if we had an action/thriller story, but almost everything occurred when time froze”. Of course the show has its twist and turns, the inciting point, the characters, the development, and every other minutiae that i’ll hopefully get to later. Still it's high concept is one of its
main selling points of the show, and means to draw in viewers. However its concept can only get it so far, and without well thought out characters and plot all that’s left is the concept and it’s wasted potential.
Or maybe I should say the lack of? well, kind of. The main bulk of the cast of the show are the Yakawa family with Juri being the Heroine pf the story. Before the inciting point of the show happens the focus of the show is on Juri and the living situation that she and her family is in. While they are not living in the most dire of straits, they are not living the most comfortable life either. It’s during this time that you get a basic understanding of each person and their function in the family, and whether they are helping or hindering the family. This is all fine, however very little comes out of this. The most development to be had is just how each family member feels about each other, and they just roll with that, and not much really evolves for that. I’m fine if the family members don’t get along with each other, or that they have little redeemable qualities, but the problem is that they do nothing with it. Really the only characters that seemed to have some sort of dynamic going on for them is juri and her grandfather. It could easily be chalked up to the fact that they are the ones with the most screen time, but i don’t feel as that’s enough to discredit the fact that there was some sort of connection between them that really wasn’t there for the other family members.while their relationship may have been fine there’s still very little interesting character interactions between much of the cast which slowly unveils how lacking many of these characters are, with 2 specific characters being our prime example.
The Protagonist and Foil
The first one obviously being the Protagonist/Heroine of the show, Juri. As the proganist, she is the one that the viewer spends the most time with, and over time intimately learn many things about them that other characters don’t know and what we’ll never get from the other characters. Like most of her family she had the basics of her personality and backstory covered in the beginning. She is shown to be as sort of a headstrong women with a bit of sass, and it’s because of this she’s been having trouble getting employed. Add upon this her families living situational and it shows she’s not living the most happiest of life even feeling some contempt towards her family. However it’s also evident that she cares about her family since after the inciting point which was her brother and nephew being kidnap, she willing tries to go save them by herself with nothing more with a kitchen knife which does overlap with her headstrong personality. All of this shows that she really isn’t that badly written of the character. The problem is that after the plot starts, any sense of development goes out the window, with the only thing left is more backstory for her. She still does a lot of things, and shows different emotions throughout the story, but none of them really help define her personality or give us a new side of her to examine. It’s just her regular personality placed in a different context each time.
The other character worth examining is Shoko whoi believe is to be the Foil to the protagonist, at least what they were presented to be. Both Shoko and Junji have several things that compare and contrast one another that makes them a foil for the other character. They both a some history with each other, they both entered Stasis in order to “save” their family, and they both wear opposing colors with Shoko wearing black leather and junji wearing White jacket thing. There’s little to go on since almost all the characters just have the basics and nothing more. The only reason these to are worth standing out is with the whole save their family plot happens for both of them. They do conflict initially, but it’s not like they are against each other on a personal level, and after they do team up there’s really no dynamic between them. Even worse is after shoko completes her plan she just becomes irrelevant to the entire story, and is just there for the ride with her becoming more of another support character than anything else. So when looking at all the characters I don’t think there bad, just underwritten. Well except maybe one.
The Big Bad
The big bad of the story, junji, is really a character who’s appeal goes through a few ups and downs. Initially he was just a cultist leader whose only purpose in the show was to start and drive the plot. He came off as unassuming and kind of boring as he was just there for most of the show not doing much but giving commands to his henchmen. Of course he does change after a while figuratively and literally, and his intentions while given as exposition are more interesting than what would come from any other antagonist in his role. However that goes to a waste as he becomes another generic and uninteresting characters via his actions. They do try to reconcile it with some backstory for him but it just comes of needlessly and just makes him more boring,
The story for the show is rather uninteresting as stated previously that the antagonist was the main driver for the plot with the other characters just reacting to it. So out of everything that occured in the show one of the interesting parts of it was the stasis world. While not a world in it’s own right, it does still have it’s own set of rules that it goes by. The show never tries to go out of its way to explain how things work in stasis, as how it works is beyond the comprehension of the characters. Many things are better left unexplained like how they’re able to live in stasis, or what heralds or the jellyfishes really are. It gives the show a sense of mysticism and and need to explain it would ruin what it’s trying to present. They also do really interesting things in terms of animation when it comes to stasis, nothing really amazing but interesting enough that adds to the show.
Another thing worth noting in the story is a certain power that several characters have in the story. The reason i refer it as Byakugan is because the power is always associated with characters having full white eyes and the protagonists power in particular being very reminiscent of it. The powers take large leaps of suspension of disbelief as the show goes on. When it was first introduced it was tolerable much like the world they were in, it wasn’t really worth it do delve into what it was. However as the show when along and more people began also having powers did it feel like it was for the convenience of the plot and nothing much else.
Seeing as this is Geno studios first work who are basically the studio that rise after manglobe ended, the production value was okay. The character designs were fine, the background art was fine for contemporary japan, they did some interesting things with the stasis visually. Still the colour gradient for the show was boring and any sort of distant shots of the characters just looked terrible. The animation was passable, but nothing worth noting. The heralds actually looked good in CG as they have off this animousy otherworldly appearance, but only when there standing still or move quickly because they look laughable when they move for a long period of time. the soundtrack for the show was fine, nothing really stood out outside of maybe one or two tracks.
Despite how much of a mess it all came to be i still enjoyed parts of it. like the idea of the stasis world and i did become more interesting in the final episode, but it’s better left as a concept.some of the characters were fine and the family would be more interesting in another genre with another script. Overall i think the show is just fine where the pieces where underdeveloped, and are more interesting as pieces rather than as a whole.
Here we go again, another one of those which you either love or hate. No in-between.
We've seen plenty of instances in the past in which anime series have utilized time-related concepts as their main plot device, and more often than not it may be confusing and over-complicate matters. Kokkoku, for me, is one of the better series to have handled the concept well.
The story basically sees all our characters enter the strange and mysterious world of "Stasis", which is a version of the real world stopped at a single moment in time. As usual, conflicts between two factions occur and everything starts happening.
If you're already having trouble figuring out what "Stasis" actually is, trust me, you don't have to worry, because it really is a simple concept to understand, and they explain it fairly well.
The story and its execution is really what makes this show for me. Every episode reveals new bits of information or action, and ends with frustrating cliffhangers which just makes you wonder more, want more. As a result, the entire flow of the series was really solid and in no way episodic. Amidst all the seriousness, they also managed to add in humor at appropriate times which wouldn't turn the viewer off. The ending may have been somewhat predictable towards the end but I thought it was well done and, most importantly, it gave the entire case a good, simple closure.
Compared to the story, however, everything else was just about decent. I felt the mature art style actually really fitted the show. Like, if there were beautiful or moe girls in this show I don't think it would be possible to take the plot seriously. In addition, the characters in the show were mostly grown adults, so naturally a more mature art style would be suitable for it. Music wise, I just want to point out that the ED and its animation is really good and you should check it out regardless. On to the characters, unfortunately we really got to know more about only three of them with regards to their backstories as such. However, I felt those three alone were enough to drive the story forward, and any extras would have thrown it off its track.
Overall, I really enjoyed this series. They made use of one single concept to propel the plot forward right till the finish line, and they executed it well. If you're planning on finding a show to binge at one go, Kokkoku would be a suitable candidate for sure.
Few years into the future, I may not be able to remember everything about this series. But what I would remember, was that this was truly a dark horse of the Winter 2018 season. I hope this review has done enough for you to give this a shot, and I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did.
I liked this anime a lot,
It was my favorite anime of the winter 2018 ongoing anime.
The art style was pretty nice and fit very good with this kind of story.
The characters where portrayed in a good matter.
At the start of the anime, you are kinda curious about what is going to happen.
Then, it is starting to get interesting, and you want to see more.
Eventually you'll be hooked to this anime, since it has this certain vibe.
Then you realize this anime is almost to its end, and you are starting to feel a little sad.
The story never got boring in my opinion, and was always very
This was one of the few anime's that I think had a really good ending!!!
Normally when an anime ends, I feel a little sad and empty because it's over, but in this case I don't mind, because of the good ending.
Some more story about the world itself could have been told in a spin-off, but that is very unlikely to happen.
The story was actually really good until the brought the backstory of the Church into it. I was all about This dysfunctional family trying to get their kidnapped brother and grandson back from some bad guys, and in turn fight some people in this frozen timeline. Then things got weird, people turned into trees, people were being rescued from being trees, and a woman who we knew was very important in the very beginning doesn't show up the entire series until...spoiler alert...the last episode. This series took a nose dive after episode 6 and spiraled out of control once episode 10 aired.
I really enjoyed the
art and animation. Having things freeze to where they needed to be was pretty interesting. The character designs were really well done as well.
The op and ed were top tier. I was a-ok with the fanservice in the ed. I know most people were not but hell oh well.
The characters were interesting again up until a certain point. The family was funny at times and the chicks were pretty kick ass. Honestly if I got more fanservice out of Juri and Majima I would have ranked it higher.
The enjoyment was like a roller coaster. Some episodes I really enjoyed and others had me going "Oh I guess that happened?"
Overall this anime had a lot of pluses and minuses. I think one of it's major flaws was trying to find see if it was an Action or Comedy anime. Seriously there were times with some pretty serious moments and things just got weird and you're sitting there like "Did he really just ask to bang her?"
Oh also the question of "Well what happens when time is stopped in stasis and everyone is gone? Never gets answered. For the most part.
With people started to like those skip the opening button just to get into the point of some anime, an anime made us realize that you should not skip the opening just to have that hype so you can stay and watch a mediocre yet predictable anime like this one. While having the source material have ended long before the adaptation as an advantage, Kokkoku, an anime adaptation of a manga created by Seita Horio, did not manage to steal many hearts to invest and drive themselves into the world of stasis.
The major flaw of Kokkoku lies in the very predictable and mediocre plot. Three
episodes in and I already guessed how the ending will like. And... My prediction was not too far off. Even with this predictable plot, Kokkoku still did not manage to deliver their lore of the stones and the specters well and left me with lot of holes here and there. While I could not sense the rushy feeling inside this anime, I sensed that the timing of when they delivered the lore one by one was a bit off which kinda disappointing from my side.
While the soundtrack of this anime fits its bargain by being eerily perfect for a show with the theme of hide and seek between good, bad, and something other than that, what I should underline from this anime's sound of course its opening. I just can't stop listen that opening. This opening alone is an example of how an opening should have done : hype up the show in the beginning so people will stay and watch the show. The opening alone could be a reason why I choose to stay and watch the whole show.
To be honest, I have listened Flashback back in 2017 when it just came out (with other songs from MIYAVI's Samurai Sessions Vol. 2) and already guessed that sooner or later his name will shine in the community. If you said that "THIS OPENING IS MY JAM!", I suggest that you should listen to MIYAVI's other tracks. It's all worth it. Trust me.
While managed to sway me with MIYAVI's song as the opening, Kokkoku's story did not stand out very well and I will only say "Okay, I let it slide." just because the opening managed to keep me stay and watch all of them.
I would say, since Boku Dake Ga Inai Machi, this another time traveling or I should say heart Stopping anime is quite a pretty good anime for this season. I don't care if others don't like it but I'm sure you're gonna love it. It is a story about a family forced to stay inside a place where the time has stopped ticking (I'm not gonna spoil everything but I am sure you're gonna love this plot.) and they are being chased with a cult.The real plot here is not how are they gonna escape the conflict but how the conflict would shape them as
I only wanted to log this series into what I have run through, but seeing top reviews actually make this series out to be bad and not well written, I can't stand by without saying anything.
Let's be frank, this series isn't something you can really like/love at first sight. It's a mess and it happens in like, what the hell? Only 1 moment? Almost a day? Not to mention loop holes in writing are all over the place. Many explanations don't meet up with what they were supposed to answer, it's like they are not even trying to explain anything to be with...... Even
art style, sound, aren't that outstanding. So, what's there to like it?
Surprisingly, there is. Or in fact, there are.
As you can see in the synopsis, the main characters can somehow "stop time" and "move around when time and everyone else just "stop". It's a fundamental setting for this series' plot and as funny/surprising yet so natural as it is, this setting was put into question right the moment it was introduced, then, and there. Although it was lightly brushed off explanations come much later to give us the idea of how it works. Pay attention, and you will like it.
Moving on, story premises are all about reuniting family members. Yet, they keep running around to miss each other. Well yeah, that's how every story like this one go. But Kokkoku was different. They move around very much on their own, keep missing each other on their own. Very much like how it would be in reality where people do things how they see fit and end up making efforts of one another go to waste. For this one, it deserves points for the clever development method.
And then characters. One thing you can notice almost right away is that they keep switching. I mean, come on, a neet goes outside on his own for his nephew, an oldman who got laid off start talking about stuff very sciency all of a sudden, and later on, characters switching sides like it was nothing...... What's with the inconsistency? It's like the characters don't even try to keep to their own settings except for 1 single core reason of existence in the whole 12 episodes. Yes, only 1 core reason of existence. For the main characters, it was to protect their family, for the shitty oldman, it was to look as cool as he can, to others, faith, money, stuff.
But then, there was clearly 1 single character whose objectives changed over time. Then 1 more just lose their reason then picked up another right away. Then again, another who takes the middle ground with 1 core reason but somehow seems like it changed over time.
Their actions are also hard to read. You can imagine parts of it, but you can not clearly predict it all, just like how you can't predict what others will do but can imagine it in real life. That's unlike many other series where intentions are clear for viewers/readers. It makes characters moving from inconsistent to lively, realistic, complicated and extremely 3D. They even keep their promises just as they talked about it too.
As I mentioned above, there are stuff left not explained in the story writing. But if you pay attention, you somehow see hints everywhere. From how bad the family situation is despite all the power, to who the heck was mentioned at the end. It was fun thinking how it connects and would make room for many theories. I wonder if MatPat on Film Theorists would want to pick some up (lol).
For a TLDR summary, Kokkoku is a complicated, very mundane and easy to misunderstand series. But if you go into it, you might like it, but you will still have to admit that it's not that good. Heh, talk about how life like this series is.
Throw another one to the pile of “euh” anime. Kokkoku I think accurately gets across the feeling of getting a bus to go somewhere nice and then you miss your stop and get out in a place you don’t know and look pretty bad. What started out as an intriguing thriller that meshed the usual kidnapping scenario with supernatural elements turned out to be a weird supernatural drama that went all over the place instead of focusing what was good about it.
I genuinely liked the beginning of it, first half of Kokkoku stood out to be as anime thriller done right. We kick off
in a grounded setting with simple characters that should be easy enough to sympathize with or relate to for anyone with no shortage of empathy. Then something terrible happens and a family that was barely scraping by is put in a terrifying situation where their relatives are about to die unless they get a lot of money in unreasonably short amount of time. Spoiler: they have either and that prompts out main character Juri’s grumpy grandpa to whip out the ol’ time stop magic stone. When they use that to get to the meeting place they discover that they’re not the only ones walking around in the world of stasis. Unknown group set all this up to lure them out and get their hands on the magic stone. Juri and her grandpa get away but now the show is on as we know all the participants and the threat is established.
This constitutes for the huge chunk of my enjoyment of Kokkoku, it’s the usual story set in very unusual circumstances which forces things to change just enough to make me invested. As I said in Museum review, thrillers largely live on their execution and not the story and Kokkoku was largely amazing at it. Until bullshit starts happening and supernatural elements take over we’re watching two underdogs incapable of putting up a fight struggle against an overwhelming force in a stopped world rules of which they don’t yet know or understand.
Unfortunately this doesn’t last long and as the show starts to indulge in its own world and characters as the stronger aspects of the show slowly but surely peter out. This wouldn’t have been such a bad thing if Kokkoku could support either of these directions but it can’t.
Fleshing out the mystical world doesn’t actually add anything to this story. There’s a reason a lot of shows don’t explain the supernatural as it’s a mysterious force that nobody understands but can serve as a valuable catalyst for something actually interesting. Kokkoku doesn’t agree with that and dumps a bunch of information about the entities within the stasis, their roles and origin while simultaneously leaving out so much that what we got doesn’t pain a full enough picture to enjoy looking at it.
When it tries to focus on characters it doesn’t work either cause none of them are that complex, they don’t need to be. Once again, a thriller or a mystery show can survive of off the thrill and mystery. We don’t need a character study to enjoy something like Redline or Mononoke. Yet once again we take quite a few hikes off the main path to learn more about the past of people which won’t be playing that big of the role in the narrative.
I still think there’s a bit of enjoyment to find in seeing the ideas author had for this setting but these ideas aren’t worth much in the big picture because of how sloppily they’re tied to everything else.
The ending is also a huge asspull that comes out of nowhere but at least the emotional payoff at the end was pretty sweet.
Overall Kokkoku is just another show that can’t seem to understand its own identity as it keep going somewhere without knowing why and eventually stops to wave goodbye. Is it worth a watch? I don’t know, while it’s pretty easy to say that it doesn’t seem to success in doing anything it set out to do Kokkoku is still eccentric enough to stand out from other anime in an endearing way and as such I don’t regret my time with it a single bit.
P.S. - If you’re not going to watch it I at least implore you to check out OP and ED, s’good.
In a sense, this has been such an amazing experience. I'm glad to find some improvement in psychologicals nowadays since they've been overwhelmed with the fanservice-themed anime these days. However, don't worry, even if you're not a fan of psychological anime you'll still enjoy this in most cases.
The family enters Stasis in order to save a NEET and a little kid who were kidnapped on their way home. Stasis is like time travelling, but very detailed. Every thought about how it would be to leap through time? Well, I know I did and this anime incorporates it magnificently. What's even more amusing is the fact
that they had such tight bounds to logic all-throughout the anime. They never used the common anime logic. No peculiar instances that only convenience the MC or anything alike. It's a fair fight with no villain or hero, just people with different interests that intervene with one another.
Furthermore, it didn't feel anime themed at all. What I mean by that is the whole thing when they have a 5 minute tea break with the viillain discussing their interests out of the fight, promising not to let anyone die and all those Shounen bull. Instead, it feels more natural as if a normal family was suddenly trapped in time and facing these peculiarities and that's absolutely amazing. The one thing I can complain about here is the ending. It felt too forced towards a happy ending, but that didn't affect the story as a whole.
Didn't impress me that much, but didn't disappoint me either. The animation felt a little bit awkward or, how can I say this, laid-back. But in overall it didn't demote the experience of the anime as a whole. In fact, you might as well say that it fits the anime itself since it wasn't all that serious in either case.
Probably one of the best in the season. The OST is magnificent and fits with the atmosphere; never skipped the opening. The voice actors also did a fine job, sometimes they felt comic, sometimes oddly serious, but always felt natural.
The whole anime was amazing, but I really hated those cliffhangars every episode. At first, they were indeed interesting and added some thrill, but later on they started getting annoying. You don't have to worry about that if you're planning to binge it, though. The plot is non-linear so be ready for plenty of plot-twists which really makes it all the better. In other words, you'll enjoy this anime if you like laid-back action and some slice of life comedy.
When I was a kid I used to fantasies about being all alone in a still and quiet world. To just walk around in it and explore without disruption, gave kid me the chills and the feelings of excitement and calm at the same time. I don´t know where that fantasy originated from, maybe a book I read, but it stayed with me for a long time. So, naturally, I was very intrigued when reading the synopsis Kokkoku (Moment by Moment). An anime that bases in this frozen world concept, count me in! But did it evoke the same feeling my childhood fantasies? I will
get down to that now.
Kokkoku take the concept still and quiet world and go all the way with it. The normal but a bit dysfunctional family Yukawa, are suddenly forced to use their magical heirloom to save two of the family members by stop time and enter what is called Stasis. Unlike me, they don´t feel excitement and calm when entering this quiet and still world. Which is completely understandable, because they are not alone. Other people also seemingly have the power walk around in frozen time, and monster-like creatures called Heralds are lurking around. And in this still and frozen world, a cat and mouse game for life and death take its place.
This was absolutely an interesting premise (at least to me for obvious reasons). But its just that, what I wrote in the section above is a pretty good summarize of all that happens in these 12-episodes long story. It does have its little twists, like some of the characters has powers, and of the mysteries of this world is explored. That was the highlights. Otherwise its pretty straight forward, family tries to save their family members and get out of Stasis alive, and a secret society that have their own agenda. It was absolutely refreshing several ways; 1) the main characters are not a group of high school students, but a normal family. 2) the concept of a frozen reality is not a concept used 3 times every season. 3) The only real fanservice is in the ending song. All plus in my book. But even do refreshing in many ways, it still kind of missed “it”, to really pull me in and looking forward to it. I can´t really put my finger on what, I just found myself mildly interested in the story.
The characters are just as the story kind of fresh and lovely under used. Useless overweight unemployed dad? Check. Sake loving grandfather? Check. NEET older brother in his late 20´s? Check. The voice of reason little sister? Check. Together they were realistically portrayed as dysfunctional family. I think that made up a fresh group of main characters in an anime, as far the family theme goes. But were they super interesting? Njaaaa… Not really, just fresh in anime, at least to me. They weren´t thought provoking, nor very memorable.
Kokkoku is the work of the newly founded Geno Studio, and the art animation is absolutely decent. The characters can look a bit sloppy at distance, and nothing astonishing otherwise. Backgrounds often looks good, depict the Japanese suburb nicely.
The VA´s (Japanese) all did their job without any complaints from me. Slow and uninterested voice of NEET brother? Its on spot. Annoying and loud voice of loser dad? Oh yes, they nailed it. Gruffy and hoarse voice of old sake loving grandpa? Yes, indeed. The soundtrack was fine, just as the characters though, not that memorable. The opening is however quite memorable, with a pop-rocky beat.
Did it entertain my as much as my childhood fantasies? Well, sad to say no. Do I regret my time? Absolutely no. Even if it became more of a chore then a pleasure towards the end, the interesting concept and the mildly explored Stasis world was enough to pull me through to the end. The cat and mouse game became e little dragged on as it was the main focus. I would´ve liked a bit more world exploring, such as the complexity of the Stasis world and its inhabitants, the origin of the magical stones and the power it could bestow normal people and so on. That would´ve made this more enjoyable to me. I can recommend Kokkoku to you that can coup with narrow storytelling and slow pace, its not a bad show, its just not a the brightest star in the sky.