Kokoro Connect’s eighth spectacle sees an uplift in mood for our protagonist from his slum state – yet before such occurs, he faces a total depression, a complete loss of hope or direction as to what to do.
Previously, one should recall that Taichi found himself in an argument with Inaban far more heated than the two normally experience when in conflict – and to start this episode, our protagonist apologizes. It’s of course only proper to exchange the usual seeking of forgiveness, and Inaban seems understanding for the most part – yet such is not enough to mend whatever is broken inside of her.
Inaban appears concerned as always – although now, it looks that she’s simply refraining from doing anything whatsoever. Enclosing herself in her own issues, and simply wrapping them around herself in contemplation. She’s not highlighted much throughout the remainder of the episode – and that’s as truly, she doesn’t do much, simply keeping to herself, perhaps being totally uncertain of if she should even speak to anyone or not.
Now moving along, this leaves three – Yui is still locking herself within her room at home, and with Inaban outcasting herself, only Iori, Tacihi, and the blonde bishounen remain within the clubroom. However, this appears only transient – shocking as it may be, a raw argument ensues between Taichi and the bishounen over how it is they should assist Kiriyama. This scene quickly escalates in intensity – and a particularly intriguing aspect of it is that Iori was stuck in the middle, helpless.
At moments as these, Kokoro Connect truly shines – and a reason is that surely more than a handful of us have experienced such an incident first hand, and perhaps even, from both roles as well. One will be able to relate with Iori whilst watching her grow increasingly worried over her friends as the two further delve into a dispute – and in fact, one will likely have had a thought in mind no different than her own, what is she to do if the two engaged in an actual brawl?
Being in a position between two on the verge of losing their composure is quite a rough, almost frightening spot to be in – and one certainly should have understood how Iori must have felt during the matter. However, Iori bravely makes effort to stop it – and whilst this does work, it definitely wasn’t without a price. As Iori is between her two enraged friends, the worst occurs – Taichi enters a second of insanity as the unstoppable desires kick in, and he viciously throws his lover into some lockers.
Horror simply floods the mind at this point – not many series will have one truly scared over the health of a fictional character, yet Kokoro Connect is certainly such a series. Iori wasn’t merely pushed aside, she was shoved in such a manner that she looked like a lifeless doll as her head slammed against steel – the situation from there simply dissolves, although one will indeed keep her in mind for the rest of the episode.
As was mentioned earlier, Taichi completely loses himself here – everyone goes bleak, avoiding one another, with Iori being the only one still thinking clearly. It’s very apparent that the weight on her shoulders is devastating – being far more than she’s showing on the outside, and being well-beyond what either Inaban, Kiriyama, or anyone else may have. This truly speaks of her character as well – here she is, torn apart on the inside, yet seeing her friends in disarray inspires her to still put forth whatever effort she can manage.
All the while, everyone else is still in their muddled state – yet thankfully, some light of respite does begin to glimmer.
The yuri inclined and megane equipped class president instantly goes from a mere side-character to a truly valuable extra of the cast – with something of a push from the real Go-sensei, Taichi is then left with advice surprisingly earnest and incredibly useful from the class president. And with that, the episode concludes with him finally being driven to move forward – and on top of this, another excellent detail is that Iori never lost her motivation to achieve.
In an ideal scenario, these two will be able to salvage the relationship amongst the group – and from there, solve whatever voids of sorrow may exist on an individual basis amongst their friends, although likely, even now, the route will not be so simple.