Not every episode has to slather on the drama. Not every episode has to provide a plot twist to keep us on our toes. Some episodes just have to bring us closer to the story as viewers and provide a good helping of character development. This week was one of those episodes, and it works to great effect considering the amount of tension in last weeks outing.
Taichi finally accepts his nature. His actions, however selfless they may seem, are only done to sate his own desires. He realizes that he wants to be hero. Even though jobbers might be his favorite sort of wrestlers, he understands that he wants the limelight of a face. He accepts a Kantian point of view for the first time: reasons are just as important as the consequences of an action. He understands the naivety of his thoughts and begins to come to terms with who he is as a person. He is no longer above anyone else or a plot device that solves problems quite handily. Taichi is finally a person, with his own shortcomings finally put to bare.
Thankfully, Aoki is developing as a character. Regardless of how useless he might seem, there is a quick witted individual hidden neath the laziness. He figures out how to bring Yui out of hiding and back to the real world by explaining to her the nature of his desires. He says that he’s in love with Yui, but has a very perverted mind. If his desires were to be unleashed he could assault Yui but he doesn’t. His reasoning is that underlying all his dirty thoughts for her, he truly wants to protect her, thus he could never hurt her. He posits to her that you can be cognizant of you’re deepest desires, not all of them have to be hidden by you subconscious. Yui accepts this eventually and decides to take a shot at going to school again. I am glad that she isn’t struggling by herself anymore and deciding to put part of her fate in her friends’ hands.
You know, I think Aoki is growing on me. Instead of seeming desperate, Aoki’s words are tinged with true compassion. I think I’m starting to take him seriously. Yui might be too. The chemistry between the two is building and I’d love to see where their relationship goes. Thank you writers, producers and directors for giving Aoki some much needed screen time.
Even with all the seriousness, Kokoro Connect found room in its script to make room for some humor and even a little fanservice. These touches help create a nice ebb and flow in the pacing of the episode and gave a much needed break from the drama.
I was disappointed to see Inaba and Iori take a backseat in this episode as they are important figures surrounding Taichi’s development. During this whole arc, the two have them have shown the least growth. While it’s understandable because of time constraints, it would be nice to see their thought patterns evolve over time, much like the rest of the cast.
Next weeks forecast for Kokoro Connect seems to be typical love triangle drama. While the show has given us new twists on tried and true plot devices, I don’t know what the series can do with the Inaba, Iori, and Taichi angle. I’m hoping this series can continue to surprise me!