Kokkoku: Moment by Moment
Manga 2009–14 / Anime 2018.
Manga written and illustrated by Seita Horio. Anime directed by Yoshimitsu Ohashi, written by Noboru Kimura, with Geno Studio.
Kokkoku is a time travel, mystery set in present-day Japan. It follows Juri Yukawa, a young woman struggling to find a job while living with her family. But when a cult kidnaps her brother and nephew, she learns her seemingly ordinary family has the ability to stop time — but what awaits them in the motionless world of Stasis?
The idea of being able to move around in a single moment captured my interest immediately. I love the depth of the thinking behind interactions and physics within the world. Frozen objects aren’t immovable; they can be moved, used and left floating mid-air; water can’t flow and forms a space-like jelly; fire doesn’t burn, so you’re unable to prepare food.
Horio’s storytelling is compelling, as he covers the family’s underlying internal struggles, the motivations of a cult leader and its followers; all while unfolding the mystery behind Stasis and the grotesque monsters that lurk within. While I felt the ending was a little convenient, the direction the series takes from the fourth act is unexpectedly refreshing.