Kokoro Connect – 08

Taichi apologizes to Inaba, who isn’t ready to return to the clubroom. Taichi and Aoki get in a heated argument about how to deal with Yui; Iori tries to break them up but gets shoved by Taichi. The next day Taichi decides to focus on studying. No one goes to the clubroom after school. The day after that, Class Rep Fujishima announces a class field trip, and puts herself in a group with Nagase, Inaba, Taichi and Watase. Nagase waits for Taichi in the clubroom, but he is recruited by Mr. Go to help him grab a new lectern. Afterwards, Fujishima advises him to keep talking with his friends. He arrives at the clubroom, but Nagase is gone, having left a friendly note on the chalkboard about visitng Yui.

When Fujishima (far less annoying this week) tells Taichi that she belives humans were meant to hurt each other, she didn’t mean they were meant to constantly slam each other into tables with our backpacks. She meant that solid bonds of friendship aren’t merely forged in times of mutual fun, but in the crucible of conflict and pain. Sometimes friends hurt each other – sometimes deeply – but they make up and keep moving, growing closer in the process. This is her advice to someone who’s seen the bonds of his four friends fraying and on the verge of destruction thanks to the episodes that have stemmed from their unleashed desires. Fearing they’ll hurt each other even worse, they are all following the same path as Yui; removing themselves from proximity to one another.

About Yui: this is the first episode where we don’t even see her once, underlining the dire straits the group of friends is in. She is the subject that leads to Taichi’s row with Aoki, and the interesting thing is, he wasn’t having an episode at all until right before he Chris Browned Iori. Poor Iori is again a pillar of strength, continually trying to reach out to everyone else, but it’s no use. Will Fujishima’s field trip tactics lead to relief, or only exacerbate things? All we know is, if everyone does what Yui does and stops interacting with each other, Heartseed will punish them, because that’s not entertaining.  The only way is forward: mending their friendships by keeping in contact and working things out…even if it means hurting each other.

Rating: 7 (Very Good)