Kokoro Connect episode 07 – Let It Out

Losing one’s temper seems to be the easiest way for the new ‘unleashing’ effect to cause problems for the characters, and this week Inaba lets loose a lot after Yui falls into some sort of crisis. To my delight, the Kizu Random arc is focusing mostly in Inaba, and she was the crucial or central character in most of the scenes. But Taichi was also effected as emotions ran high, and (also to my delight) we got a lot of moments between him and Inaba. My ship will not be denied!

For the most part the unleashed desires in the first part of the episode are pretty tame. Taichi ends up sleeping through the semi-pervy imouto wakeup routine that morning, though manages to make it to school a bit late. Iori has also had a run-in with the new Heartseed meddling. In the middle of a quiz she felt like she had to break the tension, pretty standard for her…except that she wasn’t able to control herself and jumped up yelling “yahoo!” in the middle of it. Luckily for the group, it wasn’t so outside of her usual behavior that anyone thought things were amiss. Later on, Inaba tries to come up with some ways that they could ward off their emotions being unleashed. For Aoki, having him think about Yui seems to calm him down and prevent an outburst. Or maybe it turns the outburst into one about how much he loves Yui. In the middle of all this though, they start worrying about Yui not showing up to school, and Taichi gets ‘unleashed’ over his desire to help her. After a bit of physical restraint, he’s calmed down for the time being.

For now. I for one hope that his feelings for Iori are not long for this world after all the focus the show is giving on the One True Pairing.

True Love.

Surely a fantasy of people who don’t have little sisters. Kinda creepy.

Exactly.

Ma’am! Yes, ma’am!

Outstanding! You will not laugh! You will not cry! You will become the second half of Aoki X Yui or I will make all of you suffer!

It seems nothing can stop Taichi when his emotions are unleashed…

…except looking into the eyes of his true love, Inaba! Notice, it was not Iori restraining him, but Inaba that ended his outburst.

With Yui still absent and no replies to their phone calls, the four characters at school decide to go and visit Yui at her home. The group walks, notably with Taichi and Inaba forming one pair and talking along the way. Inaba is generally the one who tries to guide the group and shows concern for them in her own way, but I especially liked how she focused on Taichi. She could poke fun at his white-knighting and be genuinely concerned in the same breath, a level of familiarity that doesn’t seem to exist as much between the other characters. Upon arrival, Yui doesn’t want to let them in, but her mother fortuitously arrives just as the group is standing at the gates, and she lets them in. They still aren’t allowed into Yui’s room, but then Inaba comes through as usual, and starts listing off Yui’s ‘secrets’ until she comes to the door and lets them in. After an initial excuse, she comes clean about why she’s been hiding at home: she’s afraid of Heartseed’s newest ploy and wants to avoid its effects as much as possible. Exactly the same tactic that Inaba had considered earlier during the Hito Random arc. It’s said that we hate in others what we most hate about ourselves, and Inaba surely has some thoughts on why this is a bad idea. However, as she’s talking to Yui about it her emotions get unleashed and she starts berating Yui about it. Her points are valid, the most significant one being that Heartseed can ‘make things interesting’ for them if they try and deny him his entertainment, but without the usual emotional restraints her talk turns into a harsh yelling.

They’re always together, even when the supposed love interest Iori is around. It’s just so natural and perfect!

Inaba cares. DDDDDAAAAAAWWWWWWWWW!

And even a cool shot of the characters on the street here, visually showing the closeness of Taichi and Inaba, and their literal and metaphorical distance from the others.

Aside from Yui, Aoki’s probably the only one that might care what Yui’s three-sizes measurements are, but it did get them in.

Yui freaking out like that wasn’t what I’d expect at first, but I like it in that it shows that Taichi’s talk with her wasn’t the only thing she needed to get through this. And it doesn’t help now that Heartseed’s tricks are changing on them. For Inaba, it was a great moment as a character, but terrible for her as an experience.

It had previously come up that what the characters say and do when they have their desires unleashed is true and what they really think or feel, but now that fact really confronts Inaba head-on.

After the blow-up at Yui’s house tensions are kind of high. Iori even snaps at a classmate that asks about Yui, though fortunately for her, Fujishima steps in to cover for her and put her back on regular terms with a classmate. Taichi and Inaba have another confrontation of their own later on though. Inaba tries avoiding the others until Taichi finds her walking home from school alone and asks about visiting Yui again. Inaba doesn’t want too, thinking that she’d make things worse by being there…which triggers the emotion release in Taichi, who confronts her about it. She doesn’t seem to know how to react to Taichi being so direct and angry about it, and she counters by verbally fighting back, to the point where Taichi says that he thought she was better than that. The emotional outburst ends just there, and Taichi then realizes what he just said, but Inaba is already on the verge of crying and walks off. Complicating things even further, later on Yui sends Iori an email telling them not to visit that day.

Way to go, Fujishima! Really nice save their, even if she’s on an impossible end of the love triangle.

I still hope that one day Iori will awaken and we can have an Iori X Fujishima end.

Yes, Inaba, not Iori. Even with Iori right there. MINE EYES HAVE SEEN THE GLORY OF THE COMING OF MY SHIP! IT IS SAILING THROUGH THE WATERS WHERE THE COUPLES OF LEGEND ARE BORN! IT HATH LOOSED THE LOOSED THE FATEFUL FLAGS OF SHIPPING’S KYAA’ING SWIFT ROMANCE! MY SHIP IS SAILING ON! GLORY, GLORY, HALLELUJAH! MY SHIP IS SAILING ON!

Such concern! Such drama! No argument could be so heated without passion! GLORY, GLORY, HALLELUJAH! MY SHIP IS SAILING ON!

This is but the prelude to the rise of my ship. THE OTP’S TRUTH IS MARCHING ON!

Final Thoughts: - I have to wonder exactly how much and when Heartseed watches over the characters. Is it observing them when they’ve theorized about ways to avoid its interventions, or about their fear that it could ‘make things interesting’ at any point? And does it care what their opinion of it is? It would seem to given that it tried to apologize, in a sense, with the box of sweets after throwing Yui off the bridge.

- I hope Fujishima is featured a bit more. Now and then she appears for a short scene, but I’d like to see her perhaps figuring out more of what’s going on, as she had gotten a hint of something being odd earlier in the show.

- Aoki could still use an episode or part of an episode with him as the focus. I feel like we know the rest of the main cast pretty well, except for him. Granted he’s gotten some development and focus on the margins, but I’d like to see him take center stage for a bit.

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2 Comments

  1. Posted August 23, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Let’s see if this comment makes it. My comment last episode got ate, which I didn’t try to redo because it was big and long (two totally different things) and stuff, but that’s OK, because it was mostly wrong anyways.

    I really like the characterization in this show. The kids are realistic teenagers, and they have consistent characterization, which is a plus. The plot is silly (Heartseed is just an author self-insert plot device), but the characters make it work. I’m disappointed that the show only just barely acknowledges the philosophical implications of the situations (there was about five minutes combined discussion all of last arc, and nothing so far this one), but this is a character piece, not Star Trek, and I can live with that (especially since it does what it does well).

    This episode is very Japanese. It wasn’t about the big actions, like last episode, but on the kids’ verbal outbursts. To my American ears they sound very natural – that’s just how stressed people react. And really, what Inaba and Taichi said needed to be said. It’s the kind of stuff that is said – and often in a similar manner – after someone gets slapped. Really, after everyone’s outbursts this episode, they just looked like people that were stressed and said things a bit more harsh than necessary, and their reactions after bear this out – they did not have the same coming-back-from-posession attitude that we see Taichi had after trying to forcibly help Yui.

    But for Japan, these were big no-nos. You do not lose control EVER, and especially you do not say what you really mean and want to say, and especially not bluntly like that. Self-restraint and -control are some of the chief virtues, and manners of the utmost importance; losing them doesn’t just create embarrassing or potentially-dangerous situations, but also socially-unacceptable ones as well, which we Westerners wouldn’t even concern ourselves with much.

    If I were the writer, I would put more emphasis on Iori. A lot of focus was put on her and her lack of knowledge of herself. This could certainly give her a chance to learn what she really wants, how she really is, deep inside.

    Aoki’s just the buttmonkey. Sad story, but true.

    • Zorapup
      Posted August 30, 2012 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

      Interesting analysis on the Japanese culture. It’s almost like the writer is trying to persuade the citizens to start unleashing their desires!…on a moderate level. But really you have a point about the Japanese not saying what they want to say. Japan is a collective society so they do what’s best for the entire group. Individualism is a westernized concept that is probably growing in Japan’s society. I would say thought that there will always be anime that challenge the culture and system of the country.

      I think the interesting thing about this show is that there are aspects in the characters that people can relate to. On most levels of friendships in high school, relationships are always full of drama. This isn’t too different minus the kids having no control over their actions at some points. However the meat of it is really just finding yourself and your true feelings. (and to your point, emphasis on Iori).

      I noticed ep 8 hasn’t been blogged yet but Fujishima continues to shine here and later. Didn’t really like her at first but only a part of her character was revealed so I’m glad we’re seeing more of her. She’s seemingly the more level-headed one. Rightfully the class rep!

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