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Kokoro Connect Episode 16

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Determination and Resolution (覚悟と氷解 Kakugo to Hyōkai?) is the sixteenth episode of the anime series.

Determination and Resolution
Season 1, Episode 16
44
Air date December 30, 2012
Episode guide
Previous
Episode 15
Next
Episode 17

Character Appearance

Synopsis

The episode begins with Inaba reflecting over the criticism she received at Iori's hands, which she feels she deserved. Suddenly, Inaba receives a call from Yui, telling her and Taichi to return and help finish up the club presentation.

8

The StuCS's presentation comes along nicely.

Back at the clubroom, Yui stresses over how they need to complete their presentation before finals week begins and Aoki expresses anxiety over his grades, though his friends provide no sympathy. That matter aside, everyone agrees that their presentation is coming along wonderfully and that they have a chance of beating the Jazz band club. However, Yui admits she's still worried if all five of them will be around to present.

Suddenly, Gotou enters the room and expresses how proud he is of the StuCS's efforts, claiming that hard work always pays off. Everyone is surprised that Gotou actually had something insightful to say, much to his annoyance. The StuCS's advisor then comments on Iori's absence, depressing the group.

Later, while Taichi and Yui buy supplies for their presentation, they reaffirm that they will find a way to help Iori, Yui reminding Taichi to not give up. Elsewhere, Iori receives optimistic telepathic transmissions from Yui and Taichi, declaring they will save her. Frustrated, Iori tries to tune out her friends' sentiments, feeling she does not deserve to feel their hopeful emotions.

20

Taichi defends Iori's reputation at all costs.

The next day at school, Taichi and Inaba observe Setouchi and her friends slandering Iori. Unable to stand watching Iori's reputation suffer, Taichi declares to the class that Iori's behavior is his fault; lying that he forced himself on her and that she has been upset ever since. Taichi's lie works and most of the dissent toward Iori is directed at him. Inaba gives Taichi a punch for his troubles before dragging him away.

Outside, Inaba berates Taichi for recklessly sacrificing himself, though Taichi insists he had to do something and muses how Yui told him he doesn't help people nearly as much as he used to. Just as Inaba orders Taichi to consolidate with her first next time, Fujishima suddenly appears, complimenting Taichi's selfless action. The pair wonder why Fujishima herself never defended Iori, but the class representative states her job is to nourish and observe her classmates from afar, giving assistance when they need it. Inaba states they don't need her help and telepathically transmits to Taichi that there's nothing they can't accomplish together, though Taichi expresses his doubts.

Elsewhere, Iori is cornered by Setouchi and her posse who accuse Iori of making Taichi defend her, though Iori again states it's none of Setouchi's business. Setouchi then demands Iori make the StuCS forfeit their competition with the Jazz band. Iori asks if she only cares because Shiroyama is in the Jazz band, which causes a furious Setouchi to lunge at her, though her friends hold her back. Walking away, Setouchi and her gang begin scheming something against Iori, which worries her.

Finals week soon comes around and the StuCS members are hard at work, though Iori can't help worrying something ominous is coming. With their tests done (except for Aoki who needs to do make-ups), the Cultural Society return to their clubroom, eager to start practicing their presentation. To their horror, they find their clubroom completely ravaged, vandalized and the presentation, which they tirelessly worked on together, destroyed. Inaba begins letting her anger get the best of her, but Taichi insists she simmer down. She first suspects the Jazz band, but Aoki
36

Down but not out.

and Taichi agree they would never resort to sabotage. Just as the group begins losing all hope, Taichi declares that they will make the presentation again. With only a week until the due date, everyone has their doubts, but Taichi asserts that Iori will one day return to them, and they need a club for her to return to. Their morale restored, everyone is determined to rebuilt the presentation better than ever.

Suddenly, the gang notices Iori at the doorway, paralyzed by anger. Her telepathic transmission activates, conveying all her rage to Inaba and Taichi before dashing away, determined to find the one responsible for this disaster. Taichi and Inaba give chase, telling Yui and Aoki to worry about the room. Inaba obtains Setouchi's number from Fujishima and the pair confront Iori's tormentor, warning her that Iori is hunting for her as they speak. At that moment, Iori arrives and charges at Setouchi, only barely held back by Taichi and Inaba. Setouchi manages to escape, and as Iori breaks down, Inaba asks if they can speak with her one last time.

Alone in a classroom, Iori faces Inaba and Taichi. Inaba states that the last time they spoke, she unfairly asked Iori to talk without Inaba giving up anything, so this time, Inaba will tell Iori one of her greatest secrets and in
65

Inaba and Taichi face their President once again.

exchange, Iori will tell them exactly what's bothering her. Iori does not respond, remaining perfectly quiet. Taichi notices that Inaba's stealing his strategy, but she tells him not to interfere. Inaba begins by revealing that she has recently had a erotic dream involving her and Taichi and, having woken up before it concluded, was sexually frustrated afterwards but an embarrassed Taichi cuts her off before she can elaborate any further. Ready to cry from her self-inflicted shame, Inaba admits that she deserved everything Iori told her before, but proudly declares that she is now a stronger person who understands her mistakes.

However, Iori cuts her off, tired of listening, and angrily berates Inaba, calling her confession pointless and stupid. Iori raves that she is sick of people always trying to change her and make her feel like she's some kind of tragic heroine who needs to be saved, only for every rescue attempt to end up stabbing at her pride. She starts breaking down, expressing her frustration at everything Heartseed has put her through and the absurdity of the phenomenons. Taichi and Inaba try to comfort her, saying it's only natural for Iori to be stressed out, and insist that they are there for her. Taichi states that Iori doesn't need to prove anything and can just be herself, but Iori lashes back that being cheerful is her fake self and even if she does act truthfully, people despise her.

Iori, fighting back tears, reflects on everything that has happened to her since the phenomenons started, concluding that every time she gets on her feet something knocks her back down and she's tired of trying. Inaba, however, objects, lecturing how stupid Iori is for pushing herself to live up to other people's expectations. She states Iori should have simply stopped midway if she couldn't handle it, rather than trying so hard until she finally has a meltdown. Inaba orders Iori to live and enjoy her life however she wants and not care what others think.

Taichi adds that he understands why Iori rejected him: he never understood the real her, but concludes that even if it wasn't the real Iori, he still fell in love with her and even now considers her his friend. Iori questions why, but Taichi declares it doesn't matter why, so long as he still wants to be her friend, nothing else matters. Iori, after a moment of consideration, asks to be excused, wanting to think about everything that was said.

Returning home that night, Inaba comes across the gang of students who vandalized the clubroom. She angrily confronts the thugs but they overpower her and take her hostage. Inaba's telepathic transmission activates, pleading for help. Everyone receives the transmission, including Iori...

Trivia

  • Strangely, after the vandalization, everything in the clubroom was either moved or destroyed except for the posters on the wall.

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