Kokkoku – 20 Question Anime Review (Moderate Spoilers)

A 20 Question Anime Review for Kokkoku.

What’s the show? Kokkoku (2018).

Kokomo? Stop with your old man references, I don’t know what Beach Boys song your referencing…

Ah-ha! Shit… I guess I’m old as well…

Heh, so what’s this show about? A four generation, lower middle-class family living in the same house somewhere in Japan, our protagonist, Juri is an unemployed woman who’s trying her best to stay positive for her family of slackers and NEET’s despite being downtrodden by her lot in life. Her grandfather however has a magical stone that can stop time, which after Juri’s brother and nephew are kidnapped by thugs, he reveals its power to Juri and her lazy father Takafumi in order to rescue their family.

Telemarketers are the worst…

Stopping time, huh? So it’s sci-fi? Well… it’s about as least sci-fi as stopping time gets if I’m honest, it’s all very mystical and the stopping time phenomena isn’t really explained until the last episode and even then it’s kinda wishy washy, but it’s also kind of what I love about the show! It doesn’t hammer you over the head with exposition or techno-babble, it’s just content to tell a story about a family stuck in a terrible situation.

Me either, dude.

And this terrible situation is? Aside from the kidnapping of course. Juri, her father and her grandfather quickly discover they aren’t the only ones able to move around ‘Stasis’ (that’s the name given to their time stopped world). There’s Junji, the leader of a religious cult called ‘The Genuine Love Society’ who are not only single-minded and obsessive but also violent and dangerous. They want to kidnap Juri’s grandfather and kill the rest of the family and obtain the powerful stone which is central to their “religion”.

Yup, that’s a cult.

Oh wow, okay, sounds dramatic, anything else? There’s also giant and powerful creature’s that roam the ‘Stasis’ called “Heralds” or “Handlers” depending on which faction you ask, who make sure that the people able to move around this time-stopped world can’t do any harm to “The Stalled” which is what they call everyone else for whom time has stopped.

Nice afro.

Sounds kinda complicated if I’m honest… Maybe, but I mean as long as you’re paying attention and aren’t on your phone while watching it it’s pretty standard stuff. Not to say that it’s not original or interesting, just that it’s not all that complicated.

Uh-huh. So I take it that’s a weird show, then? I didn’t think so, but apparently a lot of people felt it went ‘that’ way. Personally I thought it was very consistent, up until an ending which is admittedly a ‘deus ex machina’ but one that didn’t feel unearned.

This is what happens if you spend all day inside playing video games!

So, Googling the show, the Wikipedia page says its a ‘Horror/Drama/Mystery’? Yeah… I don’t know what about it is horror or mystery. Maybe that’s more the manga than the anime because it felt distinctly sci-fi/supernatural to me.

*shrugs* Indeed!

So what else did you want to say about this show? Juri is such a great protagonist, like she pretty much carries the show herself, I’m kind of in love with how strong and determined she is. And all the men in her family know she’s the strongest character and all (for the most part) respect her decision making abilities.


Yeah? Yup, it’s great not having fragile male egos competing for the role of protagonist and just letting the most capable person lead the show!

Well this seems to have been a mostly positive review, anything negative to say? Well yeah, of course, it’s not perfect! The pacing can be atrocious at points, like other anime could have done what this show did in half as many episodes, but even then I kind of like that this show took its time… plus it benefits from being binge watched.

Ethereal jellyfish make time freeze, it’s pretty obvious guys!

We’re doing negatives here, stop complimenting the show for a second, will ya? Right, ahem, um… some of the various plot ‘twists’ that come along are either far too obvious or so far out of left field that it’s a bit jarring, also ‘the ladder’ oh my god that made me laugh more than it probably should have, it’s just you don’t usually expect a portable ladder to be used to defeat the ‘big bad’ but here we are!

Anything else before we wrap up? The opening song is the most fun I had with an OP in the Winter ’18 season, and the ending (ED) song is pretty great too!

There’s a lot of weird imagery in this show and I love it.

Great. So final score and recommendation? I don’t know the target audience for this kind of anime, I don’t even know if my opinion is a relatable one because this show was that kind of unexpected treat that I looked forward to each episode despite the content being spread thinly across more episodes than it maybe needed to be. The time stop elements are handled consistently well and the characters are likeable and lively even if the story ends in a predictably safe way. 87 out of 100…

W-what’s this? Since when do we continue after the score has been given? The review is over isn’t it? I just wanted to add something, because I wrote this review like two weeks ago, and something’s been bothering me…

Oh? It’s just that as much as I raved about how unique and interesting this show was, as soon it was done I kind of immediately forgot about it, like to the point where I don’t even know if I watched it!

That’s bad… I know right! Like I still like the show a whole bunch but ultimately, I guess what I’m saying is the show is kinda forgettable, like kinda really forgettable. But my positive compliments still stand, just bare in mind what you’re getting isn’t really some kind of classic, frozen in time to appreciate, ’tis but a momentary highlight across the breadth of existence, destined to be swept away by the unceasing current of time’s passing.

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10 Best Anime OP’s of Winter 2018 – Listing Compulsive

My Top 10 Anime OP’s of the 2018 Winter Season.

For a minute I thought about making a new blog just for this subject but I realised, that just because a lot of my content is reviews in the 20 Question Format and my blog is called Anime Q and A, didn’t mean I couldn’t shake things up a little. So begins the blog posts under the ‘Listing Compulsive’ banner, they will be countdown style lists where I count down from 10 to 1 my best (or sometimes worst) things related to anime and manga. Also it should go without saying but like all lists these picks are subjective, we all have different tastes so if you don’t agree with me feel free to state why in the comments, it’s always interesting to read other people’s opinions!

The subject of this list, as you can no doubt tell is The 10 Best Anime OP’s of Winter 2018, and to make this list as comprehensive as possible I decided to listen to every anime opening credit song from this seasons crop of shows. Obviously I’ll try and divorce my opinions of the show from the ranking of these songs because it is solely about the music, not the visuals of the opening and certainly not the quality of the show attached to it. I’m also only listening to the version of the song as it plays over the credits, not the full-length song! Music is important, especially to anime, a single great song can inspire you to watch it, whether because of how much it pumps you up, or because how cute it sounds, or maybe it’s just an amazing song fullstop. All were the case with the songs that made it into this list and so with those parameters laid out let’s count down the 10 Best Anime OP’s of Winter 2018!

*Note: I tried to be as thorough as possible, however I may have missed some! Excluded from eligibility are shows that have a different opening every episode, or shows that have an opening 30 seconds or under.*

Number 10: “OVER” by Little Glee Monster from Boruto: Naruto Next Generations

Boruto? I love Mexican food!

I gotta be honest with you, I’ve never seen a single episode of Naruto, or Naruto: Shippuden or whatever the hell Boruto is. But this song is a straight up toe-tapper! It’s captures the kind of wonder and spirit of adventure that a lot of great Shonen theme songs have.

Number 9: “Colors Power ni Omakasero!” by Colors☆Slash from Mitsuboshi Colors

“Mitsuboshi JUMP!”

As much as I tried and I mean tried to make this list impartial and not influenced by the show itself, I admit this pick and the number two pick I couldn’t separate from the show. But it’s hard when you have the voice actresses singing the song and so you remember all the good times from the show and you can even begin to pick out their personalities in the lyrics.

Number 8: “FEELING AROUND” by Minori Suzuki from Ms Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles

Anyone else hungry?

The beat in this song is so damn infectious, and then when the chorus hits, just magic!

Number 7: “KISS OF DEATH” by Mika Nakashima x Hyde from Darling in the FranXX

Shame they couldn’t put such a good song in a better show.

Proof of the power of a great song, I dislike the show immensely but absolutely LOVE this song; it’s like a James Bond opening from the future! It’s sexy and stylish and just plain cool.

Number 6: “SHINY DAYS” by Asaka from Yuru Camp.

Partially English chorus? Don’t mind if I do!

Even if the opening few seconds are a bit too close to sounding like a Jackson 5 song the rest of it is pure joy and happiness, it just makes me smile!

Number 5: “OH MY Sugar Feeling!!” by Ayana Taketatsu from Dagashi Kashi 2

This song is a sugar high in music form.

It’s not as much as an earworm as some shows on the list; you won’t be humming it in the shower like SHINY DAYS, but while you’re listening to it is quite literally a high. It’s high speed, high intensity and high fun!

Number 4: “The Girls Are Alright” by saya from A Place Further Than The Universe

Nothing cold about this heartwarming tune!

I love the progression in this song, the fact that manages to fit such a quiet, almost contemplative opening, then build, then build then finally explode into that addictive chorus is pure art.


Number 3: “Flashback” by MIYAVI vs. KenKen from Kokkoku.


I-spy an anime with a super cool OP.

Such is the power of this particular song that it made me buy an Amazon Video subscription just so I can watch the show that this cool, head bopping song came from. Maybe the show will actually be good too? Either way the song still rocks. Also, the fact that it doesn’t sound like any other opening this year is also a massive point in its favour.

Number 2: “ne! ne! ne!” by STARTails☆ from Slow Start

Kamuri too precious. Must protect at all costs.

Yup! I’m a sucker for songs sung by the show’s voice cast, whether it’s cute girls like in Yuru Yuri or the whole damn class like in Assassination Classroom, I just think they’re so fun, and this is among the most fun this season! Also, hearing Kamuri sing her parts is just too precious for words!

Before the winner is announced here’s a couple of Honourable Mentions: 

Honourable Mention: “Azalea” by Nano.ripe from Citrus

Catchy as hell song, plus I really like the vocalists more rough sound, nice change from all the higher pitched cute girl songs.

Honourable Mention: “Psychomachia” by Yousei Teikoku from The Seven Heavenly Virtues

I don’t watch this show, but I will (pervert, etc), though I admit I didn’t expect death metal for an opening to an ecchi show. I have a soft spot for death metal because of my youth. Also it technically is ineligible because it’s only 30 seconds long, hence why it’s in the honourable mentions.

Honourable Mention: “WiSH VOYAGE” by IDOLiSH7

I’m not sure what boy band this song reminded me of, but I had a good time listening to it all the same, which is strange because I don’t like boy band music, must be because I don’t know what they’re saying that I enjoyed it more. This and “Azalea” just missed out of the top 10 but were worth highlighting all the same.

And now, my favourite favourite Anime OP of Winter 2018 is:

Number 1: “urar” by Chima from Hakumei and Mikochi

When I decided to do this list, even though I said to myself I would be open to songs from shows I wasn’t watching, I didn’t ever think that one would make it to the number one spot. That should go a long way to selling you on the strength of this particular track. I’ve never watched the show and yet it’s OP is Number 1! It’s whimsical but it has a mysterious dark edge to it that I find irresistible. There were parts of the song that reminded me of my favourite band Radiohead, at other times my favourite live action US TV-show Twin Peaks (composed by Angelo Badalamenti) but even without those musical parallels it’s just such a beautiful song, that honestly made me feel something, even though I had no idea what the song or the show it is attached to is about. But that’s the power of music, to be able to forge connections by sound alone.

And that’s the list, but stay tuned because while it is indeed a great season filled with great songs, there’s also 10 more songs to talk about, the worst OP’s of Winter 2018 coming soon!