It felt like a belated Christmas gift to return to anime viewing this week and find that the remaining four episodes of Kokoro Connect had been released. It was among my favorite series this year, and as you can see above, just grew in my eyes with this additional arc.
Nagase’s suffering, which I found to be more adolescent angst than the others until this point, comes full front in the Michi Random episodes. When Heartseed makes it so that the emotions (or thoughts) of the characters are transmitted to various members of the group at random (or not quite random?) times, Nagase, whose whole life is fraudulent, breaks.
Of course, the group is so tightly knit – even more so after their experiences with Heartseed – that they are affected as well. Nagase’s hurts, as Yui states, are their own, if to a lesser extent: Aoki struggles to find how to comfort Nagase. “Every bit of [Yui’s] heart is exposed” as she is desperate to come out of shell and assist Nagase. Inaba screams out in her head, “I’m scared! I’m scared!” as she considers disbanding the club. And Taichi…well, Taichi gets his heart handed to him on a platter.
More than that, the entire school is affected. This class and others start rumors, people are hurt and, well, more people get hurt, particularly later on in the show.
But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
– I Corinthians 12: 24b-26
Nagase is like a foot that’s stepped on a rusty nail. She is integral to the group, but when she’s hurt, she barely functions. More than that, like said foot being infected by tetanus, Nagase’s pain spreads and hurts the rest of the body. It can even kill it.
It’s no different from a community, particularly a church. If one suffers, so does everyone. Those of us who attend church can probably think of one or more examples of how the pain of one affected many. But the question then becomes, how do we act when someone is hurting?
The Kokoro Connect group, of course, tries their best to love Nagase. The major conflict is that they don’t understand her, though, and so their love hurts Nagase even further. But once Inaba, particularly, finds a way to reconnect to her, Nagase begins to respond. And as the group showers the love on her that she needs, Nagase grows. This is a pattern we see throughout the series – as the characters go through trying time, and as they support one another (Yui is a particularly good example), they come out stronger.
And not to spoil the series, but they even kinda add to the fold (parallel to an organize type of evangelism, anyone?).
Love is always the key, though as the series shows, it’s sometimes hard to determine how to love someone. But if we care, we’ll keep trying, even when we’re hurt ourselves. We have to. After all, no one wants to live without their foot.
- Kokoro Connect – 14-17 (END) (Random Curiosity)
- Kokoro Connect – The final arc was HEAVY, but still enjoyable! (Empty Blue)
- Kokoro Connect – 16 (Rabujoi)
- Kokoro Connect – Episodes 14-17 (Completed) (Hanners’ Anime ‘Blog)
- Kokoro Connect – Episodes 15, 16, 17 (Michi Random) – Brief Final Thoughts (Chikorita157’s Anime Blog)