Those Were Better Times: Kokoro Connect – Episode 11

This week on Kokoro Connect, a new villain has appeared. His name is Heart Seed as well but he says that he is different from the one that toyed with the Cultural Research Club before. His weapon of choice? He turns the members into little children. Not all of them switch into their younger selves, only about two or three at a time, letting those that don’t take care of them. It’s the starkest change from the norm we’ve seen in this show, as there isn’t just a mental switch but a physical one as well.

One issue we see the cast facing is the past. As memories from those times come pouring into them they realize the things they have forgotten. Issues come to bare about people and choices they made in the childhood and their ramifications today. Aoki starts to question his feelings for Yui, who looks very much like his girlfriend from middle school. Yui herself has to come to terms with why she quit karate in the first place. Iori has to face her younger self who tried everything in her power to get others to like her. This seems quite drastic considering the typical views we as individuals have about our own pasts.

Often childhood is shaded by rose tinted hues. Things seemed so much easier. Decisions were black and white. Life followed a simple circadian rhythm. When anything became out of place, outside forces intervened and set things right. As time goes on though, that invisible hand truly begins to disappear. Its comforting warmth is no longer to be found. Our choices become difficult, and life’s rosy outlook finally drains into many shades of grey.

It’s an honest observation we make of life. It was easier when we were kids. We might go one further and say that those were better times. But even if we make those claims we eventually settle on the value and experiences of our age and how we would never trade them to return to our wonder years.

The process we go through to come to this conclusion has been oft written about. There’s no point in rehashing the same in similar words. Even then the argument doesn’t make considerations for the outliers. What if you were a child soldier when you were younger? What if you went to jail when you were older? For those cases, reminiscing about the past either becomes an burden or an escape. In either picking one era in our lives over another is easier. For the purposes of this we’ll be ignoring them as well, but I feel like some point should be made about them!

But the question that lingers after the episode is why is there such a disconnect with the show, where such dark thoughts are being brought to the forefront? Our childhoods aren’t usually the bearers of bad news. I think its because of the decision making models we use change significantly over time.

When were children we usually just think about the consequences of our actions. If I do something bad then I’ll be punished. If I do something good I’ll be rewarded. We don’t pay much attention as to the reasoning behind our actions. Why is doing something bad something you ought not to do? These are questions we never asked ourselves.

If our entire moral¬†infrastructure¬†as children deals with the outcome of our actions then its simple. We’re happy if the results are good and we clearly know to steer away from actions that are the opposite. It’s as adults we start questioning our reasons for taking certain actions. We mature enough to accept what we have done, even if the results are bad but our reasons were acceptable by our ideals and beliefs.

I can see how a person can be upset or haunted by the choices they made as a child if they were to relive them. Begging mommy or daddy for a new toy while they’re struggling to pay the bills becomes a harrowing memory. Looking forward and taking all these into consideration I think a difficult time is in store for the cast of Kokoro Connect. Maybe the golden years of our childhoods were not better times after all…

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