Kokoro finale(?!) and Space Bros 26

Kokoro Connect surprised me by apparently ending. ANN says 17 episodes, but we only got 13, and this felt like a finale. Wikipedia confirms it. I wonder if the additional four episodes will be DVD-only, or maybe the public turn against the show changed someone’s plans. Well, we do get a finish to the current story arc and we finally get a better look at Lori’s life.

Heartseed 2 gets pissed off at Taichi for spilling the beans about the current situation, and blammo, suddenly he’s younger for the first time. But the show doesn’t bother to do much with this. Instead we finally get to Lori and her perceived persona switches, which has never been a problem. When she asks what she was like when she regressed they tell her: polite and mature. Lori sees this as a sham, but that’s because she’s stuck in her own body. I’ve never seen this as a legitimate psychological problem at all. But she does have problem–her abusive father has returned home and it’s getting ugly. She gets a phone call from her mom telling her not to come home.

There’s an obligatory scene where she tries to run off to take care of the problem herself, even though the kids are now regressing randomly. In what is supposed to be a big moment, she tearfully asks the others for help. It doesn’t work for a couple of reasons. First, we’ve seen this thing in the series all along in various forms, where the kids learn to turn to each other to help them face their issues–it’s just Lori’s turn. Second, her mother is quite possibly getting beaten up by her worthless ex and all the kids can do is stand around talking! It’s one of my biggest peeves in anime; it makes me want to shout at the screen.

When they finally get their asses in gear there’s some good stuff. Heartseed 1 appears and we learn this is the last of this particular torture. I don’t think I want to know what he did to Heartseed 2 … Lori’s regressing at her own door was a great touch. But the conclusion was laughable. Mother and daughter talk about it all, apparently for the first time. “You mean you DIDN’T want him back?” It’s ridiculous. It gets even worse when the father is driven away by Lori’s mother shouting at him. I’m no expert, but I expect dysfunctional families don’t actually work like that.

So now I guess it’s over. We never learn what Heartseed was up to or see him get his ass kicked for doing all this. The kids have all learned things, I suppose, but they would have probably learned them anyway. There really wasn’t much of a point to it. It wasn’t a bad series, but it’s just as well it’s ending now.

Space Brothers 26 is a good one. Looks like NASA and JAXA decided to play a little trick or two on Mutta, and on us. It brings us maybe the series’ funniest moment yet, and there’s still the afterparty.

Mutta notices Asuma for the first time.

The long-awaited, dreaded interview arrives with scenes of nervous waiting, and we get to meet the other Japanese astronauts who will conduct it. Great, more names to memorize. Actually, apart from Azuma the one that really concerns us is the mischivious Murasaki, who loostens the interviewee chair to see what Mutta will do. Meanwhile, Mutta’s knees are in pain from the 216 squats he did the episode before. Adding to the hilarity of Mutta’s slow-motion fall is his inner monologue (smile!) when seeing Asuma’s scowl for the first time.

Apparently Mutta will fit right in with NASA.

That scene made the episode. The actual interview isn’t shown at all, but this series likes to break away from tense moments and come back to them later, so no surprise there. But they’re not done yet. There’s a party at a local steakhouse where the established astronauts and the applicants get to meet, and it’s time to relax, we think, while hoping Mutta doesn’t do anything embarrassing (the chair wasn’t his fault, so no problems there). But the established astronauts are giving each other sidelong glances, and it’s instantly clear that the interviews haven’t ended yet.

It’s a good scene. Mutta’s answers to Murasaki are positive bordering on silly, but nothing that would hurt him. Hell, Murasaki’s a lot goofier than Mutta. If they accepted HIM, Mutta’s got no problem. In fact, Mutta meets all the challenges this episode, or rather, overcomes all the obstacles, by being his usual self. And to finish it they set up a cliffhanger where Mutta, warned to stay away from Asuma, does just the opposite. You can attribute this to a slight rebellious streak Mutta retains, or consider that he’s trying to clear the air between Asuma and Hibito. Either way, well done, Mutta! Looks to be a good scene.


2 thoughts on “Kokoro finale(?!) and Space Bros 26

  1. Kokoro Connect: “It wasn’t a bad series, but it’s just as well it’s ending now.”
    I really liked the series, especially at first. I thought the first two story arcs were very creative. Brilliant, even.

    Much of the third arc did not do much for me, but I was thinking that might be because I didn’t identify with Yui – I’ve never been assaulted: So I don’t know, it’s just that much of the interaction between her and Aoki seemed like what people often say they would react, not how people actually feel and act.

    I have to agree with you about the ending – I can’t believe a woman would stay with an abusive man she didn’t love; if she had the power to kick him out; because she somehow thought her daughter wanted him around. Even as allegory, it didn’t work.

    So the story started with real insight into human nature, but became conventional, and finally unrealistic about human relationships.

    Perhaps the author had a few good ideas, just not enough to sustain a long story? But I have hopes. This last chapter sorta misfired, but maybe it will pick up again? They are furiously translating the light novel series at Baka-Tsuki, I am going to follow it there.

    Anyway, I predict that, in the end, Heartseed will not get his ass kicked. The way I see it, in this story he represents LIFE. We learn from life but he can be a real bastard about it. And in the end, no one wins over life.

    (I know, if Heartseed is LIFE, who is Heartseed 2? maybe it’s not logical. We’ll see)

  2. I don’t think Heartseed is “life.” Life can deal you some bad hands but it doesn’t show up and threaten you. I was more reminded of Yuki Nagato having to deal with other organic interfaces on her turf. Except Yuki was a force for good, of course.

    The show suffered from pop-culture psychology from the start, in that when someone recognized or admitted they had a problem, the problem more or less went away. Apart from Lori and Inaba, who didn’t really have psychological issues to speak of.

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