Science Fiction is always a tough genre to work within. You are, in a sense, looking at things that have no real basis in science, but are not completely dismissed out of hand for being improbable or even impossible. But there still has to be a grounding of some caliber so you can project your story from that. I bring up this lengthy explanation as “Kokkoku: Moment by Moment” asks us to look at time in a different manner.
Staring at us is the Yukawa family, consisting of (left to right) Makoto, a nephew; Tsubasa, a NEET and Juri’s brother; Juri, an unemployed woman who’s lost out on 19 job interviews; Takafumi, slob Dad and recently laid off; and Grandfather, who understands The Secret.
And what is that secret? It is a stone that allows someone to stop time, although you have to correctly perform the ritual to make it work right. It has sat in the house for years, looking not much more than a decorative door stop, so no one pays it any heed. Well, not in this family.
Brother and nephew are kidnapped by an organization called the Genuine Love Society. They are given ‘x’ amount of time to cough up the stone or these two bite the dust. Well, they are too far away to make it in time…unless they use the stone and enter into what is known as Stasis, where time stands still. It is in this strange land that they encounter not only other people who can move freely through Stasis, but the monsters that infest this time frame.
This is a slow-starting show. On the one hand, this is good, as you don’t want everything plopped onto you like a dump truck depositing its load. But since other aspects of it roll out when needed, it sometimes plays catch-up with itself.
On the other hand, part of the problem is that we (and they) do not fully understand how this Stasis works. The law of physics is frozen, as well as time, so even simple things like eating and going to the bathroom become arduous feats.
Then, there is the Genuine Love Society itself. Much like other organizations that have hijacked the term, ‘love’ is very fluid is this rather callous and violent society. Their leader is in search of something; I guess the meaning of life, a higher consciousness, perhaps a decent parking space. But nothing will stop him in what he needs to accomplish and he will kill anyone who gets in his way. See? A rather cracked meaning of love.
Then, there are these odd creatures that live in Stasis. Again, we are not certain who or what they are, but they appear to lash out at everyone, so they are both friend and foe. The thing is, once you get past the sci-fi aspect of it, it becomes a cat-and-mouse battle, where you are uncertain of loyalties and whom you can really trust. The actual ending of the show was a cop-out for me. We truck out the old deus ex machina trick to get a ‘happy’ ending. Up until that point, this is a very thoughtful and compelling series.
You yes, yes, yes! You binge this. You get your Mountain Dew and Doritos (OK, you’ll probably do the Nacho Cheese version; I’m more Cool Ranch) and plunk your cellulite butt into that chair and you run this through, as you really get that sense of frustration, confusion and terror that is unrelenting, even though time is standing still.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 7 (It feels like bad options)
Plot 9 (Not what one would expect)
Pacing 8 (It can get lurching)
Effectiveness 9 (Save for the very end)
Conclusion 5 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service 0 (A similar show would be “Honey and Clover”)
Bingebility 9 (It can stand up to the rigors)
Overall 8 (A thinking man’s sci-fi)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. It does what?