Kokkoku Anime Review
Kokkoku is that anime when you take slice of life only to throw away the slice of life and spice things up with JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures references and a side of murders and mystery
The story revolves around a woman named Juri Yukawa who cannot get a single job to save her life but carries huge aspirations to live independently, away from her hopeless family, with only a huge pile of job application rejections to show for. And just when things could not seem any bleaker for Juri, two of her family members suddenly get kidnapped and it is up to her to save her family! But wait! Her grandfather proposes to use a sacred stone with a power that he’s kept hidden for so long which will allow users to freely move within paused time! But wait! They are not alone.
The story starts off slow as you are introduced to Juri and members of her hopeless and dysfunctional family and this initially gives off a sense of seinen slice of life that covers heavy, mature, and realistic themes but its twists and thrills is what picks up the real pace and sets up the viewers in for one heck of a ride.
Suddenly, magical and supernatural elements are introduced and rather than simply rescuing the kidnapped family members and later facing repercussions for having meddled with time and having the show turn into this sort of supernatural show where characters and organizations appear with plethora of surreal magical abilities, the kidnappers were apparently were aware that a certain technique to move within paused time, the world as is in a single frozen moment called “Stasis”, exists and that there is more to them than just common petty criminals.
The mysterious story that lies within the magical stone, the phenomenon of Stasis, the introduction of spectres and Heralds, the organization of the kidnappers known as the Genuine Love Society are all elements that enriches the story of this show as they are all questions that we want to have answered as all of the story’s events unfold.
The characters are relatively fleshed out, nobody stands out too much appearance-wise nor personality-wise apart from the wise grandpa and the cold, ruthless, and calculative bad guy but everyone fits well into their roles such as the bull-headed main character, the shut-in brother, the devious and opportunistic father, and such. Yes almost everyone is bland but the characters are kept basic and simple which gives them a simultaneous sense of realism as nobody carries unique quirks or extremities.
The visuals are incredible particularly when it comes to the opening + ending credits and the special effects. Kokkoku is produced by Geno Studio which is a fresh new company but they are notable for having worked on Project Itoh’s Genocidal Organ movie prior. It juggles between colourful and funky credits sequences and the well balanced general animation that occasionally pops with well animated special effects.
The soundtrack for this anime is great! The opening song cannot be any more of a funky dance party/rave/disco kicker as the song, ‘Flashback’, is performed by Japanese rock star MIYAVI featuring KenKen and it is one of my most favourite songs to date. In contrast to thing song that drives you to groove and storm the dance floor is ‘Asayake to Nettaigyo’ by Boku no Lyric no Bōyomi which is more of that sort of calm and relaxing mellow j-pop that you drink over a cup of coffee or hot chocolate on a rainy day.
Simply put; it’s a thriller anime. An ordinary household that is far from being in complete unison and harmony together is pit against a group of people whom they have no idea what they’re capable of, violence and chaos surely ensues, tension is high, and mysterious supernatural elements such as being able to move in Stasis, short ranged teleporting, time temperance, spectres, heralds and such are thrown in to the mix which serve to raise this anime’s edge.
Kokkoku is a well worth it show if you actually get hooked and invested in it. It definitely has one of the best anime openings of all time, decent animation style, simple characters that are neither too outstanding nor too forgettable each with their own standing and raison d’etre, decent premise, and definitely a lot of “Za Warudo” references just begging to be made.
Story – 3.5/5
Characters – 2.5/5
Visuals – 4/5
Audio – 4/5
Overall – 4/5
Watch – ✕
Drop – ✕
3 episodes – ✓