English: Kokoro Connect
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jul 8, 2012 to Sep 30, 2012
24 min. per episode
PG-13 - Teens 13 or older
L represents licensing company
Score: 8.081 (scored by 34449 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
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SynopsisThe five members of the Cultural Research Club - Taichi Yaegashi, Iori Nagase, Himeko Inaba, Yui Kiriyama, and Yoshifumi Aoki - encounter a bizarre phenomenon one day when Aoki and Yui switch bodies without warning. The same begins to happen to the other club members, throwing their daily lives into disarray.
At first the five students find some amusement amidst the confusion, but this unwarranted connection also exposes the painful scars hidden within their hearts. As their calm lives are shattered, the relationships between the five students also begin to change...
(Source: Crunchyroll, edited)
Related AnimeAdaptation: Kokoro Connect
Sequel: Kokoro Connect: Michi Random
Characters & Voice Actors
Kokoro Connect (KokoroCo) surprisingly manages to present a meaningful and emotional story to the viewer, but unfortunately the presentation doesn't manage to bring out everything the series has to offer. The content is magnificent yet the packaging is of a poorer quality, like how the experience of recieving a new shiny toy is ruined by the difficulty of getting it out of the damn plastic. The 'package' KokoroCo has been forced into makes the content appear equally disappointing, yet luckily it can still be enjoyed, lingering in the back of your head, once you manage to pull it out of its poorly constructed cardboard box.
This review also concerns the final four episodes known as the Michi Random arc (ep. 14-17), because there's absolutely no reason not to include it or watch it as it matches the regular show perfectly and provides us with a more satisfying and resolving conclusion.
The main drawback of KokoroCo's package is the setting; a high-school location with some really strange events being made possible by reasons which remain unexplained. The setting which allows for these strange happenings was obviously chosen merely for the possibilty to draw out some interesting dramatic events and character interactions. Though as I wonder whether all the drama the cast finds themselves in wouldn't have been equally plausible without all the paranormal mysteries, it does make for some interesting stuff to think about and allows certain story aspects to move along at a faster pace. The fact that all the mysteriousness remains unexplained therefore doesn't harm the story directly persé, but does make for some poor development at crucial plot points, mainly at the ends of each of the seperate arcs which comprise the story.
Also the locations chosen for many scenes seem to be decided mainly on what would be the most convenient and desireable for the characters to find themselves in and certain events to happen. Characters find themselves sulking upon a bridge they've never been on before, which sets up the story perfectly for a major plot device; bumping into a side character while passing through a snowy alley, so that they don't have to stay and talk for too long; hiding in appartment buildings without a set location and running into empty warehouses which are oddly placed nearby a high school. And many locations for dramatic events don't just seem to conveniently exist, but lack the presence of other people as well.
The 'poor development at crucial plot points' I just mentioned can easily be explained by the overuse of the deus ex machina, which has been known as a poor plot device since even before the year 0 (which the more critical readers will tell me doesn't exist). The story develops up to a point where it seemingly gets 'stuck', the characters find themselves in a position they can't easily find a way out of unless something unexpected happens. And these unexpected events do happen, a lot. They are perfectly catered by the setting, which allows for random and easy manipulation of characters and dialogue, and combined with the convenient locations provided the series manages to pull off some ridiculous feats. And though the setting allows for these kinds of the things, it remains clear that the plot devices are chosen so obviously in favor of the dramatic endings and continuation of the story that it makes the lack of any further explanation or reasons given unacceptable.
But let's move on to something a bit better, the characters. The main cast is definitely based upon already existing archetypes but they managed to add a lot of variety to them. They are not reduced to stereotypes but remain recognizable as such and are thus easy to understand for most anime-watchers. Because of this they lack the complexity for truly deep character interaction and development, but are definitely on par with the rest of the series, which gives me only a couple of small things to comment on.
Even though the main cast has some depth to them, this is not the case for the few side characters the show has. The side characters often remain one-dimensional, though because of the small role they have to play this does little harm anyways. Though the large role the main cast has to fulfill still doesn't carry them beyond being merely two-dimensional. What I mean by this is that they often seem to have a serious and non-serious side, but not much in between, the details of their personality remain a bit vague which is also made worse by the lack of a real backstory for most of them. Their background is often mentioned in a few words or sentences but not much more is shown or made available to the viewer. Especially Taichi remains very bland in the first half of the series even though there he has the most important role by far, he is basically put above the rest of the main cast but fails to fullfill his role as a character.
The development of the characters however is fantastic, you can see them slowly and realisticly change the further the series progresses. They don't gain much in terms of depth or complexity but their reactions and changes follow the natural flow of the story very well.
The plot development is also good, but can't work around the implementation of all the deus ex machina, the arcs end and start very suddenly and without warning. Several problems also turn out to be easily solvable by the characters raising their shoulders and saying 'we don't care' or 'it doesn't matter', often accompanied by some misplaced dramatic reaction. Though the development up until these kinds of happenings doesn't disappoint, but that might also be contributing in the conclusions being just that little bit more disappointing.
The good development manages to suck you in as long as the story is moving along nicely, though the seperation of the story into some very distinct and isolated arcs distracted from the continuation of the story. It gives you a feeling that the story has ended and another is starting, not carrying on the interest that had developed in a previous arc.
Yet if this 'lack of carry-over' was limited to the arcs itself it would've been only a tiny issue, mainly depending on my own dislike of dividing a story into arcs like that. Yet with this series I noticed something I had never noticed before, namely that the scene-transitions are equally bad. It's hard to say whether the problem lies with the directing or editing, but one scene doesn't progress nicely into the other. This may be part due to the random locations, many of which aren't introduced in previous scenes but appear out of nowhere, leaving you unknowing of what mood or environment the scene will take place in. But part of it is also the sudden changes in athmosphere, without the latter scene being properly introduced. Leaving you lagging behind in your mindset and first having to adapt, making you lose interest and not being able to immediately identify with an on-itself well executed scene.
Though if you manage to keep your focus and involve yourself in the story, there is little to complain. The characters are, as mentioned, understandable and believable enough. Their emotions and responses are usually relateable and capable of getting you involved. The setting allows for many thought-experimental situations, which will make you reflect not only on the characters, but also upon yourself. Thinking about what you would do in the (sometimes poorly) given situations is a fun experience in itself, and this makes the series eventually into a meaningful experience.
The drama is overdone at parts however, as mentioned the solutions are sometimes very simple and obvious, and an overly dramatic reaction in such a situation is not something you will find necessary, and is often uninteresting to watch. Drama is only interesting when it gets you involved, unlike action or comedy which can be enjoyed more easily. The series tries to put some of that easy entertainment in in the form of comedy, and even though it's a nice break from the continuous drama it is often poorly timed and constructed. Very few moments would do more than make you smirk, and it is often more of an interruption than an addition to the scenes. The series' main focus is interesting enough and could've done without the sloppy comedy in my opinion.
The inconsistent nature of the series makes it hard to watch and enjoy every minute of it, but the enjoyment here lies more in the afterthought. The story and the meaning behind it is great and upon reflection it will teach you more about yourself and will make you appreciate the characters and emotions more than you would while watching.
Despite some issues with the recording (which I will get at in the Sound section) the VAs did a great job acting out the characters and having them express a great deal of emotion. The dialogue and characters being a crucial part of the series, their role for bringing expression and life into them was highly important, and they well succeeded in doing so. Honestly, it were the VAs who were mainly getting you involved in the drama, and without them the series wouldn't have succeeded in effectively putting the scenes on display. With main non-story aspects of the series (dialogue, visuals, directing etc.) being somewhat mediocre, the skill of the actors managed to bring the drama and dialogue up a level. Except for a bit too much of a perfect articulation at times, which did a little bit of harm to the 'genuinety' of the more vivid emotions, the acting was basically spot on. Special mention for Kanemoto Hisako, who did a great job acting out her character Yui.
Not much can be said about the art, mainly because it surprises very little. It's simple, unoriginal and just about average for modern day standards. At times they try to mask how incedibly bland the series would look with some fancy lighting effects, but they help very little. The poor colour selection makes it look weird sometimes and just plain boring in general. The backgrounds have some nice complexity at times, but often lack the detail to be really impressive.
The sound is also one of the poorer qualities of the series, and for a melodramatic series, the sound and music should be of fairly high importance I would say.
It starts with the voice recording, which is a major issue. I have stressed the importance of the voice acting for this series already and it's a shame they apparently lost their pop filter when they were recording it. The loud breathing and sharp consonants make it hard to listen to yelling and whispers especially, and makes for an overall terrible listening experience. Soundeffects can be equally bad at times, often being a bit too loud and also poorly recorded it seems.
And even though the music is fairly good, it is often not used in scenes where it was needed in my opinion. Music is great for accompanying scenes in order to set a certain mood and to help emotions get transcribed to the viewer more easily, yet some scenes didn't seem to have a song which did it properly for the mood required, or they just didn't have any music at all. It is that the VAs had the job mostly covered, but for a drama it's a pitiful loss anyways.
Overall personal experience
In the end though, it is a series you can and probably will enjoy having watched, but having to watch it can be a challenge at times. You have to readily accept a lot of things, ignore the bad visuals and sound design and correct some very poorly directed scenes in your head by yourself. Another pain you'll have to struggle through sometimes is the repetitive dialogue and needlessly extended and overly explained scenes, while at other times it feels rushed and poorly thought out.
But, I do feel that the struggle was worth it, and despite many points of criticism, the end result may be appreciated nonetheless. Once you finally decide to just take out those scissors and simply cut right through the plastic instead of trying to open it nicely, you'll be rewarded with your shiny toy in the end.
Story (setting, plot, development), Art (art), Sound (sound, voice acting), Character (characters) and Enjoyment (immersion, emersion, overall experience) were split up into more manageable portions so I could remain focused on 1 aspect of the series in an attempt to remain objective and spoiler-free. Also no unnecessary synopsis, and the OP and ED of a series aren't an actual part of the anime! Know that all feedback is appreciated, please use the helpful button like you should, and thanks for reading! read more
Angsty teens switching bodies at random, and now having to deal with the awkwardness of being someone they are not ?
sounds like a "Freaky Friday" remake...we all know where this is going...right?
Not only the series expand far beyond this anomaly to incorporate far crazier (and somewhat disturbing) phenomenons. This is the only spoiler I will provide.
This is the same studio that brought you guys gems like Usagi Drop, and Bakemonogatari, the latter of which got uber bonus points for style without having to dump too much into the art budget. KC however, is more like Usagi in that it isn't known for its art. Don't get me wrong, the characters do still look good, despite the mundane setting & background.
Animation is mediocre, and if you pay close enough attention, you will notice that the creators cut corners in some scenes by using the same sequence of images over and over again.
1st opening theme is pretty catch, as was the 1st ending theme.
I don't really remember the other theme songs in the series. Background theme's within each episode fit the tone/mood of each scene fairly well.
Overall, the music and sound effects did their job, but nothing that really blew me away.
Some viewers may dock a few points for the characters being a bit 1-dimensional in the beginning. But I justify my 10/10 in that I was absolutely floored by how these characters developed throughout the series. Whether it is the rich back-story of each character (minor one's too !) , or the fluidity with which these characters interact, it is clear that the makers put a lot of effort into creating people out of the main protagonists, as opposed to archetypal and cliched caricatures.
I laughed, I cried, I wanted to watch it again, nuff said
I took the average of the previous 5 and added 1 because the characters were just that strong. I believe that it is the people that drive a series. One can create an absolutely ridiculous universe that transcends all suspension of disbelief, but still have awesome characters that really absorb viewers into that universe. Kokoro Connect's star characters did precisely that for me, and i hope it does for those of you reading this review!
Thanks for reading!
Feelings, emotions, love affairs + supernatural touch.
Both anime have a similar story about relationships between friends
AnoHana has more in common with the heavier aspects of Kokoro Connect, primarily personal issues and how these strain friendships. While Kokoro Connect might be how a group of friends can fall apart, AnoHana starts with estranged friends after the damage is already done. A visitor tries to change that, though reconciliation can be a difficult journey.
There's a very similar atmosphere in both series. Each of the characters are extensively explored and gain a better understanding of each other through very unnatural experiences.
The premise of the series may be different, but excluding that, if you like the character development in either of the series, you'll sure to like the other show.
They both focus on à group of friends and due to some supernatural events their feelings and relation are put on the edge. Both anime have the same warm feelin. There's comedy but Both series also touches some heavy subjects, wich makes them both great.
Ano Hana and Kokoro Connect are similar because they both involves friendship and romance. Problems come up between the friends but they eventually solve it and have a better understanding of each other.
Both are drama anime that deal with character relationships and life problems. AnoHana is almost always serious with a melancholic tone, whereas Kokoro Connect tends to be lighter with more comedy. I encourage any drama fans to check these out.
Both are great anime dramas
Kokoro's group of friends face issues that may tear them apart, and Ano's group faces issues which also cause life-changing effects
Both animes have a bit of supernatural aspect to them
They both are very well crafted stories that delve into the human condition and the relationships between the characters through a supernatural event. Both stress the importance of friendship and the supernatural catalyst causes them to come together (In Anohana this is more evident and Kokoro Connect delves far deeper into what strains can develop between friends).
Both are based on a group of friends that go through various conflicts due to supernatural causes
Both plots arise and fall because of the strong emotions that run through the groups
Both have love/hate relaitionships within the group
First of all Kokoro Connect probably won't make you break down AS hard as Anohana. Besides that all the character relationships are there among these friends. So sally forth on another emotional rollercoaster!
Both anime are capable in mixing the viewers' emotion as they offer emotional conflicts. They also provides the viewers with a lesson about life, as the conflicts that appear in the anime are somewhat similar to our daily life and may happen in regular occurance
When looking at the artwork for Kokoro Connect and Hyouka, the artwork looks strikingly similar to each other, despite being animated by differing studios. Hyouka's artwork is a marvel to look at since it was animated by KyoAni, but Kokoro Connect's artwork is also very good.
Kokoro Connect, synthesizes comedy and drama in a very appealing way. It does not rely on straight gags, and it doesn't try too hard for laughs. This is a positive, because it doesn't seem forced like in other anime. The drama is not over the top and does not seem forced at all. There are also slice of life elements in Kokoro Connect, but is not the central focus for this anime.
Hyouka is marketed as a Mystery anime, but it does have some supernatural, comedic and dramatic components as well. The mysteries that are solved in most of the episodes may be trivial, but the process isn't boring at all. The mystery solving process is done through continued interactions between the characters.
If the mysteries were solved straight away... then what would be the point of having entire episodes? Just to force laughs out of the person watching, like some other anime do? Hyouka paces the mystery solving very well, and also contains slice of life and some romance to mix things up.
If you liked Hyouka and also a great mix of comedy, drama, with some romance and supernatural... without seemingly forced... then give Kokoro Connect a try!
Daily life anime (actually an acceptable name of a genre in Japan, being called nichijou which literally mean daily life,) but with a teaspoon of supernatural touch.
Kokoro Connect actually have somethings extraterrestrial taking place (body switching) but refuses to treat itself as a supernatural anime. Instead it always goes on like it is no big deal.The mood and tone of the show resembles other daily-life anime where sci-fi or supernatural elements cannot be found.
Hyouka on the other hand actually have no sci-fi context or supernatural power whatsoever, but is being treated as having one. There are sequences that look otherworldly, but no, there are nothing outside Physics law.
It is also worth noting that while production quality is not as stellar, Kokoro Connect character design (not about they look or personalities, but how they are drawn by animator) closely resembles that off KyoAni's Hyouka. Which possibly be another reason you might like the show. There are plenty of people who prefer anime with certain styles of art regardless of genre, so if you like K-On, Hyouka or other KyoAni goodness, why not give this a try.
Both Anime aired around the same time, both have a school setting, both have a mystery element and they have similar styles. They also deal with clubs that are rather minor and simply print a particular publication which isn't typically a big deal for the rest of the school.
I just have this feeling they are similar to each other since strange things/phenomena happen with both clubs although Hyouka is more on solving mysteries. But still when I see Kokoro Connect, it reminds me of Hyouka.
Both series revolves around a group of friends at a school life setting with a mixture of comedy and drama.
In both series, there is a slice of life style theme as the students breeze through the typical days.
Both series also contain a mystery like theme with questions that needs answers.
Additionally, both series has great artwork and a fitting soundtrack to go along with the mix.
Both anime are similar in the sense that they don't force you to like them from the start. Rather they slowly pull you in and get you hooked before you even realise it. Both are quite simple but at the same time are very interesting.
They both start on a K-ON artwork + slice-of-life framework, but develop their premise in an inspired and convincing fashion on top of it. Both have elements of mystery and drama and are heavily character-driven. Hyouka is somewhat more episodic and self-contained with different cases to be solved in each episode/arc. Kokoro Connect has more of a single thread of plot, although it's still very slice-of-life in that, while each episode leads to the next in an interconnected fashion, there's not much going on externally. For both, much of what happens is internal - within and between the characters.
Both have some mystery in them and very interesting changes.
Both, on the surface, seem to have a very typical slice-of-life with a twist feel to it but are both beginning to explore this twist deeper then usual.
The style of drawing imo is very similar. Both anime's are mostly about a boy and his day-day relationships with other people (though in Kokoro Connect theres a weird twist). This is a very good pickup for anyone who likes how a main character comes to love somebody. However, almost no romantic scenes exist in this anime until the very end, so if you're super into romantic stuff, then turn away now. However, if you're interested into how a boy eventually comes to realize his feelings in the very last episode, watch it. ;)
Opening Theme#1: "Paradigm (パラダイム)" by eufonius (eps 1-10)
#2: "Kimi Rhythm (キミリズム)" by Masaki Imai (eps 12-13)
#BD: "Kimochi Signal (キモチシグナル)" by Sayuri Horishita (eps 1-10)
Ending Theme#1: "Kokoro no Kara (ココロノカラ)" by Team.Nekokan [Neko] featuring. Junca Amaoto (eps 1-5)
#2: "Cry out" by Team.Nekokan [Neko] featuring. atsuko (eps 6-10)
#3: "Salvage" by Team.Nekokan [Neko] featuring. Rekka Katakiri (eps 11-13)
Which fansubbers do you like the best? Click + to approve of their subs for this show. Click - if you don't think they did such a great job.
Related ClubsLimitless Recommendations, Slice of Life Club , Jmacs Creative Corner (J.C.C.), Kokoro Connect, Romance+, John Mr Johhnny Fanclub, All the Hot Guys from A&M 2, Tsundere is Not Annoying , Takahiro Mizushima fanclub, Taichi Yaegashi FC, Anime Revolution ♡, Anti Alpha Male Shoujo Heroes, , Phase Two
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