Kokoro Connect is quickly becoming one of my favorite series of the summer. By balancing layers of comedy, drama and slice-of-life, it is creating an intriguing show that I look forward to week after week. One of the ongoing themes, first brought up by Iori, is the idea of identity and what it means to keep your individuality.
Iori’s problems are rooted within this topic. Her persona accommodates the whims of the people she interacts with in order to please them. When she is eventually asked to stop and live her own life she begins to wonder who she really is. The only persisting fact she could tie her identity to is her own image, or her body. With all the soul swapping shenanigans that ensue after, she begins to lose a grip on who she actually is. In order to ease her, Taichi promises her that he will always be able to recognize her. A promise he promptly breaks in this episode, where Iori pretends to act like Inaba in her body and he fails to catch the charade. At this juncture, she begins to believe that the continuity of her identity is slipping. Before we can continue to discuss the persistence of an identity, we have to define what exactly an identity is.
Identity: This usually refers to ‘personal identity’. It is the set of qualities that makes a person who he or she is. These qualities presumably make him or her unique from other individuals. These qualities can be contingent on who are what is present or they can be temporary, appearing only for a short while before disappearing.
This basic definition doesn’t explicitly state physical qualities as a means of pinpointing our identity. Iori should not be specifically concerned with her body being what creates her selfhood, but since she defines her existence by her appearance, it is important in creating her sense of self. It acts as an anchor that cements her into reality. Switching into another’s and seeing her body act differently than it should creates dissonance between her definition of self and what is actually happening. Without having her physical properties stay within the set of her individuality she fears she will lose persistence.
Persistence: What it takes for a person to continue existing from one point in time to another point in time in the future and the idea of personal identity as a function of time. How much change could your self go through and still be considered the same person?
When the group has to decide which personality dies, the decision ultimately lies with Iori. Along with her body, she choose that her ‘self’ should be destroyed too. Why? As we stated before, Iori’s body is a crucial part in creating her identity. Who is Iori? A black haired girl with a side pony tail, with an attractively placed beauty spot. Regardless of who sacrifices him or herself, she would no longer have a personal ground in physical space. Since her body would be gone, she would be gone by our technical definition of personal identity. For anyone but her to go would be a meaningless loss.
While watching Kokoro Connect, it was hard for me not to consider who I think I am, and who others perceive me to be. I’ve gone through a lot of changes in my life, going through college, meaningful relationships and difficult problems. But throughout it all I’ve felt I am the same person, regardless of where I was 2, 5 or even 22 years ago. Both my body have mind have changed from years past, but there are still qualities about me that I feel are old relics within my soul. They are constant reminders to the ‘Me’s of the past, present and future that I have insatiable sense of curiosity and adventure. Those two things have brought me to Aniblogging and exploring what it has to offer. I hope to those you watching this show take a moment to reflect on these thoughts,ideas, and questions for who knows who you’ll be even a moment from now.