Saturday, 22 September 2012

Kokoro Connect - Episode 12

With "time reversal", and individuals returning to a younger childhood state at random, the latest problem to afflict our quintet of high school students, it was only ever going to be a matter of time before they had to deal with one of their number reverting to infancy.  However, it seems that this is the least of their concerns...

It's really Yui and Aoki that have to face the brunt of the difficulties in this week's episode, with the former finding herself reverted back to her state immediately after she was assaulted in her past while Aoki's reversions have seeded sufficient memories of ex-girlfriend Nana in his head to leave him confused about his true feelings for Kiriyama and their origins.  What's more, Yui is still finding herself pursued by former karate club-mate Mihashi, who demands to know why Kiriyama quit the club and what she's doing with her life now.

Ultimately, these pressures merge to cause a row between Aoki and Yui - a state of affairs which leaves both individuals confused about their emotions.  While Yui seems prepared to do little more than run away from any problems which face her, thankfully Aoki has a rather more determined streak in him; thus, he decides to solve his confusion in the only way he knows how - by visiting Nana to confirm for himself where his heart lies.  No matter how brief his meeting with his ex-girlfriend, and wavering in his love for Yui is extinguished, giving both parties a chance to try again with a new understanding of one another.  Of course, this is only one problem solved in the face of the group's current turmoil....

While I know I'm not the only one to question the dramatic value of this latest story arc of Kokoro Connect in comparison to what's gone before, the series still seems to be making a pretty good fist of using it to generate some tension and emotion.  Although some of this episode's plot elements were clumsy (Mihashi's appearances and insistent attitude in particular felt "bolted on" and not particularly important to the wider story), and while Aoki's resolution to his confusion felt a little weak and almost arbitrary, the first half of this episode did grab me sufficiently to leave me sympathising with its characters and their predicaments to the point of being at least somewhat moved by it. Whether it can build and further improve upon these foundations remains to be seen, but given that the show's previous story arcs have built to a fitting climax I really hope that its latest concept can do so again.

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