Kokoro (video game)
|Publisher(s)||Aaru, sometimes stylized as r.|
Kokoro (コ・コ・ロ…?) is an adult bishōjo game released on December 4, 1998 in Japan by Aaru. "Kokoro" is Japanese for "heart," and the title represents both the literal breaking of the katakana expression for "heart" and the figurative breaking of the protagonist's heart.[original research?] The game deals with incest, sexual abuse, homosexuality and murder.
The game was once banned from sale and was later re-released in a modified version (the characters' relationships were changed from blood relatives to in-laws) without consent of the Ethics Organization of Computer Software (EOCS) on January 29, 1999. During this time, the game commanded record prices in the secondhand market. A novel adapted by Kakeru Sawano was published in June 1999.
There is a sequel and a prequel to the game. The sequel, Kokoro II, features artwork by Yuna Kagesaki and was released on August 25, 2000. The prequel and final volume, Kokoro 0, was released on May 28, 2004. At the 2006 summer Comiket, Yuna Kagesaki sold a manga that centered on events from Kokoro II.
When he was younger, Sōji Kuonji was raped by both his father and mother. He later had sexual intercourse with both of his sisters and still engages in sex with his younger sister at her urging. The repeated abuse left Sōji apparently incapable of feeling or expressing any emotion. Despite this, he remains sexually active, taking part in couplings with assorted classmates and his teacher. However, repressed memories of being molested continue to torment him. Worse yet, he is increasingly being haunted by visions of his parents having been murdered and of a mysterious dark-haired nude woman who tries to alternately molest and kill him.
- Sōji Kuonji (久遠寺 宗治 Kuonji Sōji?)
- He is the story's protagonist. Having been sexually abused by both parents and his older sister, Kasumi, and currently committing incest with his younger sister, Asuka, he is emotionless and detached. The only time he shows any glimmer of emotion is during sex, although he remains stoic when Asuka copulates with him. Memories of being raped still plague him often, and he finds himself being additionally tormented by nightmares of a mysterious woman who tries to both rape and kill him.
- Sōji's demeanor during and after sex is both coldly dominant and dismissive. He flatly dismisses Asuka's friend Mayumi after he takes her virginity, and forces himself on Makoto after she is assaulted by several female members of their kendo club, seeming to revel in dominating her. Sōji's heart begins to thaw after a fateful coupling with Mizuki; fed up with his abuse, she slaps and berates him. He responds by trying to strangle her, stopping only when he gets flashbacks of choking out the dark-haired woman from his nightmares. Completely shaken, Sōji releases Mizuki and apologizes tearfully. He later apologizes to Mayumi for the way he had treated her, tries to apologize to Makoto (who ignores him when he calls out to her), and begins a real relationship with Mizuki. By the start of Kokoro II, Sōji and Mizuki had married, and Sōji had taken over as president of the family business.
- In the OVA adaptation of the story, Sōji's relation to the Kuonji family is rewritten to dispel the shock value resulting from the original incestuous couplings. Instead of being the biological son of Genzaburo and Ruri, he is an orphan adopted into their family. Though he does eventually enter into a relationship with Mizuki, the OVA series ends badly for Sōji; he is rendered catatonic by the resurgence of traumatic memories of his parents' deaths and is completely at the mercy of an extremely delighted Asuka, who envisions an unholy union between the two of them.
- Asuka Kuonji (久遠寺 明日香 Kuonji Asuka?)
- She is Sōji's younger sister. She is openly affectionate and clingy with Sōji, even in public. When out and about with Sōji, she revels in the scandalized looks that are thrown their way because she treats him like a boyfriend while addressing him as Aniki (兄貴). She secretly watches Sōji's bedroom trysts and is the one who usually initiates the incestuous encounters between him and herself. Asuka desires to have Sōji all to herself, and is quite distressed when he begins a relationship with Mizuki. Asuka does not appear in Kokoro II, but is mentioned as having adopted her mother's maiden name, Yūki, becoming the vice-president of the family business, and being mother to Chizuru.
- In the OVA, Asuka is so obsessed with Sōji that she blithely ignores others' feelings. After Mayumi is crushed that Sōji spurned her after deflowering her, Asuka is oblivious to her friend's pain and is merely glad that she herself can now have sex with Sōji. When Sōji begins dating Mizuki, Asuka is so desperate to have him back, body and soul, that she nudges him into recalling the day that their parents, as well as the woman from his nightmares, were murdered; it was this incident that made Sōji the apathetic person he had been before his relationship with Mizuki. Asuka's plan works perfectly; the recollections so traumatize Sōji that he becomes catatonic. Asuka then gleefully fantasizes herself raping him on a church altar, his body involuntarily unresponsive as she, naked, rides him, crowing and giggling about being with him forever. The second OVA closes as Asuka's laughter, growing increasingly maniacal, echoes eerily while the scene pans back from her continuing to have sex with Sōji's inert body.
- Kasumi Kuonji (久遠寺 華澄 Kuonji Kasumi?)
- She is Sōji's older sister. She is eventually revealed to be the woman from Sōji's dreams and the one who murdered their parents. She then tried to assault Sōji, who killed her in self-defense and, with Asuka's help, dismembered her body for disposal.
- Kasumi is the protagonist of the prequel, Kokoro 0, and one of the game's possible endings bears the shocking revelation that she was actually the one who gave birth to Sōji, making her his mother, and not his sister, as previously believed.
- Ruri Kuonji (久遠寺 瑠璃 Kuonji Ruri?)
- Sōji's mother. Her maiden name is Ruri Yūki.
- Genzaburō Kuonji (久遠寺 源三郎 Kuonji Genzaburō?)
- Sōji's father. He was the president of a company.
- Makoto Sena (瀬名 真琴 Sena Makoto?)
- She is a senior classmate of Sōji's and member of the kendo club. She is popular with the girls because of her boyish looks. Sōji and other members of the kendo club sexually abuse her until Sōji becomes remorseful and apologizes for his actions. In Kokoro II, she is shown to have remained unmarried and become an office lady. She trains Subaru Kuonji.
- Akira Sena (瀬名 晶 Sena Akira?)
- He is Makoto's brother. He is sexually attracted to Sōji and has sex with him at school. Later, he and Sōji have a threesome with Makoto.
- Mayumi Akiba (秋葉 真結美 Akiba Mayumi?)
- Asuka's friend who is in love with Sōji. In the game, she has sex with Sōji, both with and without Asuka. In the OVA, she lets Sōji take her virginity and is heartbroken when he remains cold and emotionless afterwards.
- Christine Russell
- She is an exchange student from America. She is part of the group that gang rapes Makoto. She does not appear in the OVA.
- Mizuki Sakakibara (榊原 瑞紀 Sakakibara Mizuki?)
- She is Sōji's teacher. She is another target of Sōji's molestation, but her defiant anger at him after their latest classroom tryst sets off a chain of events that make him remorseful for his actions and, subsequently, a nicer person with whom she eventually embarks on an actual relationship. Mizuki and Sōji are married by the start of Kokoro II, and the parents to Subaru.
- Subaru Kuonji (久遠寺 昴 Kuonji Subaru?)
- The protagonist of Kokoro II, he is the son of Sōji and Mizuki.
- Chizuru Yūki (結城 千鶴 Yūki Chizuru?)
- She is Asuka's daughter. Her father is unknown.
- Sayaka Saotome (早乙女 沙弥香 Saotome Sayaka?)
- Kasumi's spirit possesses her.
- "Gamers Life vol.14" (in Japanese). magmag. 1999-01-31. Retrieved 2008-11-24.
- "Kokoro... Pumpkin novels vol.9" (in Japanese). Amazon.co.jp. Retrieved 2008-11-24.
- "Kokoro..." (in Japanese). Books Kinokuniya. Retrieved 2010-09-29.
- Kagesaki, Yuna. コミックマーケット74 (in Japanese). Yuna Kagesaki Official Website. Retrieved 2008-12-05.