Kokoro Connect – 09

Taichi meets with Iori to apologize for hurting her and to voice his dedication to sticking with the group no matter what; she accepts. He and Aoki also apologize to one another, while Iori tries to work on Inaba, with little effect. Aoki then gets an idea, and he and Taichi visit Yui and finally successfully convince her to come back to school, promising to “protect her” from her urges should she lose control. Heartseed pays a visit to Inaba, telling her she hasn’t been entertaining, and notifying her he’s “shaking things up” by forcing Inaba’s hidden feelings for Taichi to the surface.

Things were getting quite grim by last week, but a talk between Fujishima inspired Taichi to reignite his efforts to keep the group together, person by person. He starts by listing all his flaws and apologizing for the wrongs he’s done to both Iori and Aoki of late. Both are receptive to his contriteness and reciprocate in kind. And finally, the tough cookie that is Yui was finally worn down into returning to society after some very logical (and brave) propositioning from Aoki combined with perceptive “gibberish” from Taichi, who after hurting Iori, understands how Yui feels. In the case of Taichi, Iori, Yui and Aoki, it’s a matter of making sure their desire to not hurt each other is stronger than their other, more dangerous desires. We particularly like Taichi’s point about Yui never experiencing the pain of hurting someone until the episodes began, since she’d really only done so in karate. The looks on their faces when they thought Yui was agreeing to a night in a love hotel with Aoki? Priceless.

Yui may have seemed like the obvious choice for Heartseed to visit last week, but now that she’s out of her room and fighting over food with the others, it’s Inaba, the final holdout, whom he visits. She may not be literally hiding in her room, but she is hiding something; he knows it (he knows everything). He’s hoping he’ll get maximum entertainment out of the experiment by making Inaba reveal her love of Taichi, which will break the group up, at which point he thinks she’ll try to “destroy the world.” Whatever that entails, it indeed sounds more entertaining than teens moping in their dark bedrooms. When Inaba shows up the morning ofthe field trip, she looked like a bomb ready to go off, ruining all her friends’ progress.

Rating: 9 (Superior)