In order to save her brother and nephew who have been kidnapped by a mysterious religious group known as the Genuine Love Society, Juri and her family cast a spell using a stone hidden by her grandfather to enter the world of stopped time known as Stasis. However, when they infiltrate the kidnapper's base, they're met by other people who can also move about freely. With grotesque creatures lurking about, will they be able to escape the parallel world and return to their normal lives?!
No, it's not paused. The show just does that sometimes. Kokkoku is a failed concept. That's the gist of this review. You know all those old sonic games that they rushed to get out and piled on some gimmicky concept to get it done in time for the new hardware to come out as a launch title, and then released something ignored by quality control and what looked like something still in the beta stage? Turn that into an anime, replace sonic characters with dull nobodies, make that gimmick stasis, and you have kokkoku. Geno studio is a new group that was formed by old Manglobe members, so I had high hopes for it, but its first release was not impressive, unfortunately. Kokkoku is a concept that isn't refined at all. We've seen the idea of stopping time show up in many anime, movies, video games, ect. So all they had to do was fully explore its capabilities in that concept in an entertainingly animated way, bringing new ideas to the table and making the concept of stasis a fitting one, maybe make it dark with some matching mood and music, make it kinda steins;gate-y. They didn't. Instead, it's more like "Time stopping for dummies" with the most boring writing possible. Instead of treating stasis like a cool sci-fi concept that can be dealt with in any number of ways and opens up possibilities for any number of events to take place in a single second, they treat it like a college lecture on fucking physics, and the most boring people ever are your teachers. All the things you want to know about the show are on the backseat for all the stuff you don't care about. We spend line after line of boring dialogue trying to figure out exactly where these guardian things are coming from, what they are, how to avoid them, why we can stop time, why we can stop time, who we have to go save, why we have to save them, what's the villain doing now, what's this shiny rock that can stop time, what's my ancestry that led me to posess this goddamn rock. We don't learn: The extent of this time stopping, how much of the world is affected, how can it affect your mind, what are the jellyfish things, why time stopping exists in the first place, or how it can be used to create interesting situations. There's villains and heroes. The villains have vague missions and turn out more anticlimactic than an abandoned mento coke bottle. Really there's only one, but i say villains counting the good-for-nothing characters that go absolutely nowhere that sorta kinda almost allign themselves with the big bad until they die at his hand. He's kind of a douche. We only learn why through a bit of out of place backsplaining so the only thing you need to know about him is he wants time all to himself and is willing to kill as many of MC in particular's closest relatives to get it. MC is a boring girl with not a whole lot of personality, defining features, or realistic attributes, which is disappointing considering she's tied for most likable along with her grandpa. Enough about the characters (said the writers of kokkoku, rubber mallet in one hand script in the other), let's focus now on the animation. If K-Project was soapy, shiny dishwater, this was dirty, unrefined dishwater in the animation, presentation, and atmosphere department. The "action" that's almost nonexistant takes a lot out of it, everything moving so janky like going off-model would be the end of the fucking world and using as little frames as budget will allow to get there. They also put a bad blur on certain things, and the guardians are all CGI. This anime just looks trite. The only thing that looks cool is the way things are frozen in midair most of the time. BUT IT SOUNDS AWESOME. The Opening is one of my favorite openings of all time. In fact if creators just looked at the opening and listened to the soundtrack and tried to make an anime just based off that, I don't doubt it would have come out pretty decently. The soundtrack is like it came out of a much better anime. The ending gets this anime just slightly above a score of bad. It explores a much-needed theme in a decent way but it ends up with a pretty anticlimactic payoff and the resolution of the story-wide problem is lame. It just isn't worth it. Geno studio, let's hope you get it right next time.
Huh? If you don't like drama or sci fi stay away. If dialog isn't your thing go watch dragon ball z. There is nothing wrong with this show. The characters may be somewhat simple but they follow through, it all makes sense and their actions have impact. The story has a concise and satisfying end and the mystery... Man it starts out inexplicable but the progression is top notch. You understand every concept eventually. That's superb story telling. I don't know why this isn't rated higher. It's a short but enjoyable ride through a single millisecond of time.
What I Liked: The opening theme. The concept of Stasis and the Handlers. What I Didn't: The insane amounts of expository dialogue. The soundtrack is overly dramatic to the point of ridiculousness. The ending theme feels like its trying to appeal to the wrong audience. The colour palette has an early Xbox "brown = realism" feel to it. The little tone-deaf bits of comedy. All of the concepts that the show introduces are never explored in any meaningful way, with most ending up discarded or poorly realised. Character motivations are weak, with minor characters mostly being nothing more than blank archetypes. Takafumi. Final Verdict: Kokkoku is another one of those shows with an interesting premise, but frustratingly poor execution. It relies heavily on an over-the-top soundtrack, long slogs of expository dialogue, and has the gall to try and split things up occasionally with slices of tone-deaf comedy and having fan service in the closing theme. What results is a demographically-confused and meandering anime that fails to capitalise on any of its ideas.
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