As Long as the Five of Us are Together
(Kono Gonin ga Ireba) (この五人がいれば)
Inaba clears her mind and resolves her family issues in Kokoro Connect Episode 13.
This episode is truly a wonderful conclusion to the “age changing” arc; not only does it finally deal with Nagase’s family problems but it also has intense moments that makes you hold your breath. Nagase, Taichi, and Inaba… No, everyone did a fantastic job of supporting Nagase to completing her goals. Heartseed also is seen to be truly surprised for the first time.
Taichi discloses #2’s conditions to the rest of the group with the pressure of Inaba. I would not expect Inaba to be so hot headed and ask Taichi why he is hiding things. Think about it, Taichi almost always wants to help others and if he’s not confessing what #2 told him then it must come with a consequence of some sort. Things get even worse as they cannot predict the times when they change back to their younger selves.
With Aoki’s and Yui’s arcs done the point of focus is now on Nagase. Her family troubles once again arises and this time she tells everyone about what’s going on. At this point, I found it strange that Nagase’s mother would even let such a violent loser even come into the household. As usual, Nagase blames herself for not being the “best person she could have been” and tries to go alone. This time, however, her friends stop her and she realizes that she cannot combat her fears alone and prevail; she needs help.
The most interesting portion of this episode is Heartseed’s proposal to Nagase. He/she/it asks Nagase if she wants to go back in time and make things “right” again because of all the trouble #2 caused her. To anyone, this would be as a tempting of an offer as it can get. Although I try to live my life without regrets and try not to live with regret at whatever I do it is still very difficult to hold that notion true all the time. There is absolutely no way anyone goes through life without making some sort of mistake that they want to change. Heartseed also seems to be more authoritative this time around and tells Taichi and Inaba to STFU and let Nagase decide. However, Nagase, with the support of Taichi and Inaba, says something that I cannot find an error in; “I am who I am now because of everything that’s happened. If I try to deny my past, I’m denying the person I’ve become.”. She might have never met the great friends that she has now if it were not for her past. Even if Nagase were to go back to the past and “redo” things she would still be the “same” person she is now with the same memories or else it would make no difference anyways.
I actually found it funny that Nagase and her mother never talked with each other about family issues. It turns out to be a misunderstanding on both their parts; Nagase wants her mother to be happy so she is willing to endure but then Nagase’s mom says that she is willing to endure for Nagase. In the end, none of the two actually liked the “2nd dad” but thought the other did. Well… it was kind of anticlimactic but it’s great that with the support of her friends she is able to finally resolve the internal issues within herself. Had she went back in time and tried to change things… perhaps she might have never gotten to the point where she stands 10 minutes later? But honestly, Nagase’s mom has to be the most BADASS mother ever. She smacks the petty loser around and DESTROYS him and the once arrogant loser now becomes a whipped dog. What an awesome way to end that conflict.
With the age switching over and the Yui giving her regards to Chinatsu and vowing that she will see her again at the national finals the arc is finally over. The Cultural Research Club are truly exceptional; they have been through so much together and got so tightly knit because of that. Now it makes me wonder whether other people are also going through things that they have gone through? It’s totally possible because so far they haven’t been caught. Perhaps somewhere else in the world the same thing is happening?…
I believe that ends the season but the studio is continuing until episode 17. One last arc and one last push to the finish line. This time… Nagase’s conflict with her love for Taichi? Will Inaba gain an edge and will Taichi chase after Nagase? We’ll see next time.