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Old 2012-08-13, 02:20   Link #1221
Blonto
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The first half of Irenicus' comment, mostly my thoughts. A lot of people didn't like the first episode, but I thought it started off great. I was hoping for a show about a group where everyone had their chance to shine, but instead the show seems bent on making a ladder of characters it cares about.

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Originally Posted by Irenicus View Post
Kyubey is also an overrated tool. Most writers aren't amoral; and, not truly grasping amorality, they always, always make these entities evil, and then they justify the evil by limiting the damages or excusing the evil with "incomprehensibility" or some such excuse. And we're supposed to buy that these evil things are just on a different morality scale, that the entity doesn't understand our morality, they are just acting on curiosity, to experiment, to gather information or something. Guess what, authors? Curiosity, desire for more information, is fundamentally human, or more correctly, sentient.
I don't think amorality makes these characters one bit sympathetic or excuses their actions.
I also don't believe Heartseed to be on the level of Kyuubei. Heartseed made it pretty clear that he has morals. We saw that he can patch up Iori real quick, so even though the kids feared for her life, he knew all along that no harm would come to her. I'm not excusing him, but you can't compare him with a being that willingly tricked and killed people for the purposes of "advancement". What Heartseed is doing is really not on that level. Besides, I don't think he lacks emotions either, I'd rather say he isn't sure how to show them in a human way (or sees no point in doing that) so he just goes with no emotions. And I'm not sure what emotion "having fun" is, but obviously he has that too.
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Old 2012-08-13, 02:43   Link #1222
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Old 2012-08-13, 04:51   Link #1223
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Heartseed is God, nature, a natural disaster. That's how the show is treating him. There's no point in fighting back, or trying to understand him. He doesn't do things for any good reason (unlike Kyuubey). He just makes stuff happen. The fact that he comes down to explain himself is just a way to get the "mystery" out of the show completely because it's not a mystery show.
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Old 2012-08-13, 04:56   Link #1224
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Heartseed might not actually have emotions. He could be similar to the scientist carrying out experiments on monkeys and finally found a group that yields interesting results. Preventing Iori from dying may not be an act of caring but simply maintaining the group for further study.
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Old 2012-08-13, 06:08   Link #1225
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I agree with Irenicus on at least a few points.

1) Heartseed would work better if they went all the way and truly person-ified him. Right now he's straddling the line between plot device and full-fledged character, and that leaves him in an uncomfortable place of being neither just a plot device but nor a full-fledged character.

2) The amoral manipulator "above it all" really is an overrated concept in fiction, I think. At least, it's overrated if we're expected to think that this status somehow justifies everything that s/he does or says. It's better if...

3) The protagonists make a compelling argument against such a character, and actually fight back a bit. Such conflict makes characters like Heartseed much more interesting, in my opinion, because characters are almost always most interesting when they're challenged in some fashion. Heartseed can't truly be "defeated", of course, but he could be somewhat stymied at least. The protagonists could at least try to persuade him to truly reconsider his actions and overall approach to them.
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Old 2012-08-13, 06:13   Link #1226
Clarste
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Do you argue with a tsunami? Convince an earthquake to reconsider its ways? No, you just survive it. That's what Heartseed is. He's a force that affects how the characters interact with their world and each other.
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Old 2012-08-13, 06:20   Link #1227
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I'm with Clarste on this.

What do you do against something you think is some omnipowerful being you can't as of yet comprehend? As of now I'm willing to accept Heartseed as just that, a godlike being the characters can neither touch, comprehend nor defeat. This is their circumstance, sucks as it may be, but even then it doesn't mean they just fall into laconic despair. We can see them struggle to deal with it but deal with it they do as best as they can. We don't know if they can, or will, escape it. We don't know if there's a way out and neither do they. They're at the mercy of this creature and, as of the moment, there's not a damn thing they can do about it. They just ride out the storm.

It's their Sisyphean task so to speak. They just managed to roll the boulder up in the first arc, now with a new supernatural problem they just watched the boulder go down. Nothing to do but roll it up again.

It may all change in the future maybe.
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Old 2012-08-13, 06:26   Link #1228
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clarste View Post
Do you argue with a tsunami? Convince an earthquake to reconsider its ways? No, you just survive it. That's what Heartseed is. He's a force that affects how the characters interact with their world and each other.
Can you communicate with a earthquake or a tsunami? No, you can't. Whereas Kokoro Connect's protagonists can communicate with Heartseed, rendering him more than just a metaphor for Nature.

Look, metacommentary has its place, but it also has its limits. The actual story in front of you is still important. It still should properly account for all of its major elements and characters. If it's failing to do that, then it's only natural that some people will be dissatisfied with that.


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I'm with Clarste on this.

What do you do against something you think is some omnipowerful being you can't as of yet comprehend?
You act like no fictional protagonist has ever dealt with a character like Heartseed before. But some have. And some of them, such as Picard and Superman, fought back (rather effectively so, in fact). So there's no real in-canon reason why Kokoro Connect's protagonists can't similarly fight back. There's no real reason why they can't protest to Heartseed, or try to reason with him.

And my argument is that them doing so would make Kokoro Connect more compelling and interesting, especially Heartseed.
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Old 2012-08-13, 06:43   Link #1229
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
You act like no fictional protagonist has ever dealt with a character like Heartseed before. But some have. And some of them, such as Picard and Superman, fought back (rather effectively so, in fact). So there's no real in-canon reason why Kokoro Connect's protagonists can't similarly fight back. There's no real reason why they can't protest to Heartseed, or try to reason with him.

And my argument is that them doing so would make Kokoro Connect more compelling and interesting, especially Heartseed.
But they're not Picard or Superman. This isn't ST or DC. These high schoolers aren't equipped with the same capacities as either of the two above. These are high schoolers with a lot of typical and atypical problems they can't even deal with effectively let alone deal with an all powerful entity that seems hell bent of fucking up their lives for reasons yet unclear.

So unless they find some way of fighting back or convincing with their meager means, it's not a stretch to think how such ordinary people with ordinary lives would feel powerless and helpless against something like him. It's a basis of comparison. The more powerful or empowered you are the more you'll feel confident and capable to fighting back. Right now this isn't an option for these 5. Unless they find a way of evening the odds this will be their lives for the time being.
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Old 2012-08-13, 06:45   Link #1230
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
You act like no fictional protagonist has ever dealt with a character like Heartseed before. But some have. And some of them, such as Picard and Superman, fought back (rather effectively so, in fact). So there's no real in-canon reason why Kokoro Connect's protagonists can't similarly fight back. There's no real reason why they can't protest to Heartseed, or try to reason with him.

And my argument is that them doing so would make Kokoro Connect more compelling and interesting, especially Heartseed.
Every fictional protagonist has had to deal with Heartseed. Every person in real life has too. Sometimes things in the world are outside your control, whether that be from the author or, if you're religious, God. You just have to deal with it.
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Old 2012-08-13, 06:55   Link #1231
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
You act like no fictional protagonist has ever dealt with a character like Heartseed before. But some have. And some of them, such as Picard and Superman, fought back (rather effectively so, in fact). So there's no real in-canon reason why Kokoro Connect's protagonists can't similarly fight back. There's no real reason why they can't protest to Heartseed, or try to reason with him.
It wouldn't be that story anymore. It's not some kind of thriller and as it is, there's no need to fight against Heartseed because the story is about how the characters react to his gimmicks, not to Heartseed himself.
Maybe I'm a cynic, but I never liked the idea of omnipotent, unreachable beings softening after some cheesy talk about how glorious humanity is. There are things you just can't go against, things with which you can't reason. If Heartseed was a threat, then yes, I'd expect them to fight back, but the story has a completely different focus.
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Old 2012-08-13, 07:20   Link #1232
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
1) Heartseed would work better if they went all the way and truly person-ified him. Right now he's straddling the line between plot device and full-fledged character, and that leaves him in an uncomfortable place of being neither just a plot device but nor a full-fledged character.
I'm going to go the other way and disagree with you on this point.

The way Heartseed has been portrayed so far, there's hardly any way to develop his character too much without feeling forced. There's also the issue of opportunity cost to consider. Any screentime that can potentially be spent to salvage his character is much better spent on developing the other, more important, characters. Lastly, promoting him into an actual character would mean humanizing him to a certain extent, which would clash with his role as an outside observer.

With that, I'd prefer it if he steps out of the plot and just refrains from involving himself into the story like a good plot device would. A good role model for him would be the Data Overmind in Haruhi. Those guys at least knew their bounds.
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Old 2012-08-13, 07:37   Link #1233
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I'm going to go the other way and disagree with you on this point.

The way Heartseed has been portrayed so far, there's hardly any way to develop his character too much without feeling forced. There's also the issue of opportunity cost to consider. Any screentime that can potentially be spent to salvage his character is much better spent on developing the other, more important, characters. Lastly, promoting him into an actual character would mean humanizing him to a certain extent, which would clash with his role as an outside observer.

With that, I'd prefer it if he steps out of the plot and just refrains from involving himself into the story like a good plot device would. A good role model for him would be the Data Overmind in Haruhi. Those guys at least knew their bounds.
I'm inclined to think that it's just too late to treat Heartseed like the Data Overmind in Haruhi. The Data Overmind never directly intervened with the SOS Brigade like how Heartseed directly intervened with the KC protagonists in Episode 5 (at least not in the Haruhi anime, I can't speak to all of the Haruhi novels).

The way Heartseed was used in Episode 5 is a little bit like opening up a Pandora's Box, imo. Once you "go there", it's very hard, if not impossible, to truly go back to how it was before.

I agree with you that using Heartseed as pure plot device may well have been ideal, but I think that Episode 5 took him a bit beyond that point.


On your opportunity cost point, what I would say is that conversation between Heartseed and the KC protagonists offers character-development possibilities for the KC protagonists as well. It's not necessarily an either-or street, as you're presenting it.

Edit: Anyway, all of what I've wrote on the last page or so of this thread is mostly just commentary on where I'd probably like to see Kokoro Connect go. This anime is not finished yet, so any criticisms I make are, in a sense, 'pending'. The show could address those criticisms in a way that makes me drop them. Or the show could go somewhere entirely different, and do it well enough that I don't care about Heartseed anymore. In any event, I am enjoying this anime. It is a very good show.
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Old 2012-08-13, 09:57   Link #1234
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I'm inclined to think that it's just too late to treat Heartseed like the Data Overmind in Haruhi. The Data Overmind never directly intervened with the SOS Brigade like how Heartseed directly intervened with the KC protagonists in Episode 5 (at least not in the Haruhi anime, I can't speak to all of the Haruhi novels).

The way Heartseed was used in Episode 5 is a little bit like opening up a Pandora's Box, imo. Once you "go there", it's very hard, if not impossible, to truly go back to how it was before.

I agree with you that using Heartseed as pure plot device may well have been ideal, but I think that Episode 5 took him a bit beyond that point.


On your opportunity cost point, what I would say is that conversation between Heartseed and the KC protagonists offers character-development possibilities for the KC protagonists as well. It's not necessarily an either-or street, as you're presenting it.

Edit: Anyway, all of what I've wrote on the last page or so of this thread is mostly just commentary on where I'd probably like to see Kokoro Connect go. This anime is not finished yet, so any criticisms I make are, in a sense, 'pending'. The show could address those criticisms in a way that makes me drop them. Or the show could go somewhere entirely different, and do it well enough that I don't care about Heartseed anymore. In any event, I am enjoying this anime. It is a very good show.
At the very least heartseed knows what is entertaining and what needs to be done if it became boring. In a way it shows how "Dark" he can be for the sake of entertainment.
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Old 2012-08-13, 10:46   Link #1235
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Y'know, I complained a lot about the Heartseed guy, but I think my overall satisfaction with the show was driven more by the lack of true ensemble cast action than by his presence.

Take him out or forget about him for a while and it's a show about five teenagers, except it's not a show about five teenagers but rather Taichi + 4. I wasn't very happy about that.

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As you say, "Rageguy". He's a troll. Maybe my experience as a Forum mod over the years have granted me +5 Resistance to Trolls and I've grown to find it amusing?
Gimme some of that resistance.

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Hmm... maybe you have to impart your own meaning? I mean, if you think of this as a science experiment, then what was the hypothesis? (Does Heartseed even have a hypothesis?) On its own, it doesn't seem to have any meaning; the journey was the goal. The only prize is... the journey is over, and the residuals we've learned about the characters and how they faced the trial. I agree that every rule of logic should say that the takeaway is nothing and our time has been wasted, except for...
But, as I mentioned, the very presence of a sentient entity within the story causes the dynamics to shift. One cannot ignore that in favor of metafictional commentary alone. Because there is someone explicitly messing around, causing the grief, the audience interpreting it has to take into account that fact.

If, for example, the show is trying to display how a bunch of misfits who found themselves together close ranks to deal with adversity, then adversity itself is enough. There are plenty of shows, good, great, and bad, about that. If magic needs to be there for plot things to happen, then magic just needs to be there (i.e. magical realism). That there is this Heartseed entity causing adversity in the first place, and, moreover, consciously instigate such an event as chapter 5 (he took over her and jumped) and setting out a new "experiment" in episode 6, renders him directly responsible and no one should be able to ignore that. It follows then that the show is trying to display how a bunch of misfits have to deal with an entity that is causing things to happen to them, rather than just adversity alone.

So if I am to interpret the show's message based on what happens on screen and Heartseed's explicit presence in the plot, then I reject the Heartseed as Nature or Heartseed as Author interpretations, and stand firmly behind the Batman interpretation.

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(Really despite the lol soapboxing and swearing from each side, good arguments).
I swear a lot for effect, but rest assured, absolutely none of them is aimed at relentlessflame.

That would have been incredibly bad form.

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Originally Posted by Blonto
I also don't believe Heartseed to be on the level of Kyuubei.
True. I went too far equating the two. Their core concept is the same, but there are different nuances, goals, and the gravity of the actions committed.

I don't think Kokoro Connect's author would go as far as to make Heartseed threaten a character's life again, at least. Nor do I think it was trying to achieve some grand metaphysical project.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clarste
Heartseed is God, nature, a natural disaster. That's how the show is treating him. There's no point in fighting back, or trying to understand him. He doesn't do things for any good reason (unlike Kyuubey). He just makes stuff happen. The fact that he comes down to explain himself is just a way to get the "mystery" out of the show completely because it's not a mystery show.
As Triple_R said, Nature, the Big N, does not cause things to happen because it's "interesting."

More than that, the real existential despair is that, unless you are religious, theist, Deist and so on, there is no such thing as Nature with the big N. The tsunami is a direct result of a combination of forces, the movement of tectonic plates occurring entirely undirected by any entity.

[/at least unless you are religious and believe to some degree of divine revelation...obviously this is not the place for any such debate]

The strange entity which introduced the disturbances in the Force here is perfectly sentient. Its degree of emotional comprehension is up for debate, but I would argue strongly against "none." At the very least, it seeks something "interesting" to it and is not above direct intervention. Moreover, it can comprehend that actually killing off one of its experiment victims is "bad," whether that is because of empathy (which means it can learn empathy, and therefore, eventually, reasoned with), or whether it seeks to maximize information (in which case somebody should phone Jean-Luc and see if he's available for bit of a bug extermination operation), or whether it is a flimsy deus ex machina by an author who thinks it's "interesting" to have a walking deus ex machina who trolls around, is not yet known.

But Heartseed is not a free outside observer with no responsibility and no involvement. That role would be the equivalent of the audience, not the author, and certainly not as a character, however flimsy the presence of characterization itself is.

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Originally Posted by Qilin
A good role model for him would be the Data Overmind in Haruhi. Those guys at least knew their bounds.
The Data Overmind's presence and actions that we, the audience, are aware of in Haruhiverse is less than Heartseed here, as you mentioned, yet I think you will also recall the sheer glorious awesomeness of Kyon's outrageous threat in Disappearance. As you can see, even a subtler plot device entity was not and should never be treated as an equivalent of irresistible Nature or mere bad luck. The characters in Kokoro Connect were clearly more than a little miffed, if not outright near frustrated breakdown, over Heartseed. That's a lot more than outside observer.
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Old 2012-08-13, 11:30   Link #1236
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I don't think it's quite right to equate Heartseed with a natural disaster, apart from a limited analog with the impact he has on the kids' lives. Even there, when something has a face and a physical presence, you can't deal with it like you would an earthquake or tsunami. We aren't wired that way.

As for Heartseed himself, he at least tries to give the implication that he has a personality and some sort of moral code. His "I apologize from somewhere around the middle of my heart" is possibly the funniest line in a show that struggles with comedy, but it's also quite deliberately worded I think, to give the impression that he cares what happens to his test subjects up to a point. And he presents this whole scenario as something he's doing to be entertained - tsunamis and earthquakes aren't capable of boredom. How much of this is pretense on his part and how much is close to the truth we don't know, but he's presented as a being who has some semblance of the same motivations that we do, even if his abilities are impossibly remote.
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Old 2012-08-13, 11:44   Link #1237
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His "I apologize from somewhere around the middle of my heart" is possibly the funniest line in a show that struggles with comedy,
That was indeed an awesome line.
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Old 2012-08-13, 12:15   Link #1238
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Man, I've been keeping track of this thread since the beginning and all I got to say is wow! I dunno if the author of Kokoro Connect is a genius and just a horrible writer. But he must of done something right to have you all riled up about this show.
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Old 2012-08-13, 12:25   Link #1239
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Good grief... Taich is so damn pathetic. So way beyond pathetic even. He doesn't have the right to call himself a male - he's an insect, a cokroach, a maggot, a bacterium!

This also shows that his little story about him masturbating to Inaban was made up from thin air (as I has already guessed), just to console her.

If Inaban asked *me* to undress, I'd willingly oblige in a record time (dropping trousers and underwear is quick, just putting on teh condom might take a bit longer), and in no time, we'd have steaming hot sex right on the table!
So Inaban would get just what she desires.

Taichi however is *way* to shy to do anything. That's also the reason why Taichi an Iori is a horrible pairing. With Iori also being extremely shy, they'll *never* ever get anywhere. Despite Heartseed's best efforts, they're still no bit closer. Even after the scene in the hospital, still *nothing* happened between them, weeks after it.
Now with Heartseed getting behind their respective cars and pushing once more, still nothing happened. They only called each other (which they'd never done without Heartseed pushing), but it still didn't result in anything.

What Taichi absolutely needs is a more active girl like Inaban, or nothing will ever happen.
What needs to happen now is:
- either Inaban jumps over her shadow and takes what she wants, i.e. take Taichi, as Taichi-Iori won't ever get anywhere.
- or, Iori gets active enough to take Taichi for herself. However, that seems very unlikely, even with Heartseed pushing.

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I remember kicking my second cousin in the shin for smoking, resulting in a broken leg.....
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Forget Q, the ST: TNG you need to watch is "Where Silence Has Lease". The analog for Heartseed is definitely Nagilum.
Now, I wouldn't say so at all. Nagilum was killing several crew members as if he was swatting flies. Then he calmly stated that he would kill about two thirds of the crew and still thought nothing of it.

Haertseed isn't completely without any morals whatsoever. While he wants entertainment, he also wants to help them, first to get to know each other better, and now to be honest with their desires. It's debatable if he does it primarily as entertainment with helping as a second thought, or if he primarily wants to help them and have some fun along the way.
His methods may be a bit crude, but he doesn't intend to really harm anyone badly, much less kill anyone. His making Iori jump off a bridge into the water was fully planned out as well.

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Let us worship the Ice Princess, Inaba Himeko-sama!

Spoiler for Bunny Princess:
"Now? Can you fap to this?"

Great job there! I wonder what outfits she would still come up with?

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But they're not Picard or Superman. This isn't ST or DC. These high schoolers aren't equipped with the same capacities as either of the two above. These are high schoolers with a lot of typical and atypical problems they can't even deal with effectively let alone deal with an all powerful entity that seems hell bent of fucking up their lives for reasons yet unclear.

So unless they find some way of fighting back or convincing with their meager means, it's not a stretch to think how such ordinary people with ordinary lives would feel powerless and helpless against something like him. It's a basis of comparison. The more powerful or empowered you are the more you'll feel confident and capable to fighting back. Right now this isn't an option for these 5. Unless they find a way of evening the odds this will be their lives for the time being.
Straight to the point. Picard is a starship captain with a vast amount of experience in conflict management. Superman has superpowers an lots of experience in fighting villains.

The club members are just ordinary high scoolers with only very little (if all) experience in conclit management. As such, I would find it rather strange if they had any plans how to act against heart seed.
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Old 2012-08-13, 12:32   Link #1240
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Good grief... Taich is so damn pathetic. So way beyond pathetic even. He doesn't have the right to call himself a male - he's an insect, a cokroach, a maggot, a bacterium!

This also shows that his little story about him masturbating to Inaban was made up from thin air (as I has already guessed), just to console her.
Now this just sounds stupid. We, the audience, have the benefit of being able to see and understand everything. He doesn't. And even then, not every guy is going to fit one's preconceived notions of what "maleness" is, but that's not a bad thing. There are all kinds of personalities out there.
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