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: 8.091 (scored by 55573 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
No tags found
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
Disclaimer- this review takes into account the 4 episode "sequel" to the show
With the massive rise in access to entertainment and media/pop culture, we have gotten to the point where our options on what to watch are so stratified that we have the privilege of not liking something because its not our particular taste. In the world of anime and manga this leads many to disregard shows that simply don't fit the criteria of what we find entertaining. However, this does not mean that certain shows are objectively good or bad, it sometimes means that a show is an excellent version of whatever style or genre it is supposed to be.
Kokoro Connect is a perfect example of this concept. I am relatively new to Anime, and (despite my actual list) my tastes range from the classic DBZ (im old) to my new favorite Spice and Wolf (season 3 please!). I try to watch each show objectively recognizing how it is supposed to fulfill its role in its particular genre. Aside from Toradora (the show that made me pay attention to slice of life shows) i cannot think of too many shows that do such a great job of showcasing compelling drama, laughs, and heart warming romance. For what it is supposed to be, Kokoro Connect is almost perfect.
The story of Kokoro Connect (KC) revolves around a supernatural conceit that drives the drama of the story. Simply put, a group teenagers (already known for not having the best sense of control) are put in a position where they no longer truly control their own bodies. Over the course of the story this takes on several different forms (some more compelling than others), but the awesome thing about it is that the writers were clearly creatively inspired by this seemingly silly premise. A show that could have easily went on an ecchi, slapstick, "accidental pervert" fest, decided to use this as a way for the characters to learn more about themselves and each other, and we as the audience end up doing the same. Toward the end the show does wander into some of the inane melodrama that plagues a lot of animes, but understanding that this is an inherent characteristic of the medium, such things cannot be helped. To put it in perspective, this is the first anime i was able to get my completely uninterested wife to watch (most of it at least).
As a relatively new serious fan of anime (i had been a casual fan for decades) I really can't speak from confidence on sound and art. I have not developed a discerning eye for these things. Ill just say that i personally enjoy clean, smooth, and crisp visuals/sound in my anime. I have seen my fair share of shows in the past few months, and with many, i just cant get past the visuals. Whether it be an awkward and uninteresting art style, (Bokura Ga Ita) bland sound (Kimi No Todoke) or dated visuals (Peach Girl). Kokoro Connect is great in all categories, its just not anything spectacular (Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions).
I am an English teacher by trade (writer by fantasy). I know what good character development is and how it is supposed to be done. Although the techniques are gimmicky, and there are a few one note main characters (Aoki) i was still very impressed with the amount of depth delivered by the characters in this story. More significantly, this was not the typical anime that made me roll my eyes at their behavior (most of the time). When the inevitable love triangle presents itself, it makes sense. When the guy starts choosing, it makes sense, when people get hurt- it makes sense. When the drama and tension rises- it makes sense. All of the characters motivations are not fully developed, but they are developed enough to make you care and not swoon over how contrived they are. Again, for the genre and medium, this was an amazing job of characterization.
I have a short attention span when it comes to anime. So when i actually watch all the episodes of a show (instead of wikipedia searching the plot til it gets to the good parts) i have to give that show high marks. My favorite thing about this show is that it is an almost perfect length. They dont draw out the inevitable sooooo long (I love you Toradora but im talking to you) and they dont end it anticlimactically (every 3rd SOL romance does this). The second to last arc was a little weak and less compelling and funny than the first two, but it was short and still entertaining. Again, if you are looking for a SOL/romance/comedy anime that doesnt make you embarrassed to be a fan with ridiculous characters, gratuitous fan service, and a blah ending. You cant do much better than this.
Overall-9 read more
**THIS REVIEW CONTAINS MINOR SPOILERS AND PROBABLY TOO MUCH LENGTH**
It's Monday night, 4 am, and I've fallen into my latest bout of insomnia. As I'm sitting there, wondering whether I should even bother going to class tomorrow - we just had our first midterm, so our prof probably isn't going to go over anything major - I get bored and log onto MAL for the first time in a while. I don't usually do anything on this site outside of looking up various anime to watch and occasionally adding to my list, and that's exactly what I did. I had just watched some shitty space high school drama about some idiot in a Valv...rave or something, fighting for a country run by a bunch of motherfucking high schoolers, so naturally the follow up to such an innovative piece of work couldn't be anything but another high school drama! (4 am is generally not the time for good decisions.) Anyway, long story short, even though I could've finally gotten around to watching that murder notebook show, or the one with the kids hacking each other to death (something about cicadas crying or something), I decided to watch Kokoro Connect on a whim.
And wow, I am so glad I decided to watch this particular high school drama, and I mean that sincerely.
So, first of all, this is my first time reviewing anything ever, so bear with me, as this might get a little cumbersome (and really long). But it's now two 4 AMs later, and I can't get over how much I enjoyed Kokoro, and I really just want to rant about it for a little while, so there you go. The anime itself is based on the series of LNs by Sadanatsu Anda, and was produced by Silver Link. I'll be reviewing both the main series and the Michi Random specials, since they're basically a continuation of the first 13 episodes. Synopses are everywhere, so I'm just gonna jump straight into the review.
The animation in this show is pretty solid, with fairly fluid movement and very little "stuttering" in framerate. The visuals themselves are quite good, with many comparisons to K-On! - the character designs in particular are rather KyoAni-ish, and while they were fairly generic, I appreciated the fact that they didn't try and take too many liberties with the designs, because the characters themselves aren't really that special in any way. What makes them shine is their relationships with each other and the development each character recieves.
The music was pretty good. I liked the EDs "Salvage" and "I Scream Chocolatl", and the background themes for some of the more serious scenes were great. The "suspense" theme (can't recall the name of the theme atm), the one that sounded a bit like the X-Files theme, was pretty cool.
Now, there was a rating scale for each of the categories here, and one of the categories was story. Personally I don't give one single flying fuck about what the actual plot is, as long as the execution of said plot is good. You could be talking about how smelly your grandpa's feet are, but in my opinion it's not about the story you tell, it's about how you tell it, and Kokoro acquits itself well here. High school dramas are almost by definition about as boring and cliched a plotline as you can get, especially in anime, but the way you see these characters interact with each other and propel the story is really something. The dialogue is genuine, the characters are relatable, and best of all, each one has real flaws that are laid bare before the viewer early on, and we get a chance to see these kids attempt to fix those flaws.
The body-swap phenomenon yields an interesting medium by which the characters interact with each other. Each swap leads to StuCS's members learning a little more about each other, and those interactions are so incredibly genuine and honest and natural, they really pull you into the show and keep you interested. Each conversation feels authentic, and I could honestly picture myself having the same conversations with any of my friends were we thrust into those same situations. The struggles of each character range from incredibly mundane to downright traumatic, but regardless of the magnitude of each struggle, the show devotes attention to and develops each character well. And there is something likable, even lovable about each character - from Yui's gradual determination to overcome her past trauma; to the maturation of Aoki's generic crush on Yui to what could reasonably be described as "love", even in a high school setting; to Iori slowly learning to come to grips with her past and her resolve to forge her own identity instead of allowing circumstances around her to dictate it for her; to Taichi's emotional stability and selflessness, which help steady the ship all too often in the midst of the emotional turmoil the phenomena create; and finally, to Inaba's wonderfully honest and refreshingly brash personality and the somewhat dimwitted yet well-meaning sacrifices she attempts to make in order to keep her friendships intact.
Of course, Kokoro wasn't without it's flaws. Firstly, they didn't give Heartseed and co. nearly enough screentime. Now, it's arguable that delving into Heartseed's background would have detracted from the focus of the show (namely the interactions between the StuCS members); however, because we gained very little insight into Heartseed's motivations, much of the plot felt like little more than a artificial means to propel the story. Each phenomenon, while interesting, ultimately came off more like diabolus ex machina (or deus, depending on your viewpoint) than a logical progression of events to fuel the storyline.
A more serious issue was the way KC developed Iori. In the initial episodes, we learn quite a bit about Iori's past, and in the last arc of the main series (the episodes right before Michi Random), we see her overcome said past and get a grip on her identity - or so it seemed, because then Michi Random came along and decided to flip the bird at all that development and create a ridiculously overblown identity crisis for her. Iori regresses to a point where very little of what she says or does actually makes sense or has any continuity with the way she progressed in the earlier parts of the show, and you have to wonder why Anda chose to write Iori this way (we can't blame the anime for this, since to its credit the anime is a very faithful adaptation of the LNs). Now I understand that there had to be a way to split Iori and Taichi up so he could get together with you-know-who, but come on, don't make the situation so contrived. This aspect of Michi Random really hurt the show in an area where it was otherwise absolutely stellar - its ability to develop its characters in a candid manner.
However, despite these flaws, that last point is exactly why this show is able to overcome the standard pitfalls of a high school drama and shine. Inaba Himeko is the best example of this. She is an AWESOME character. She's intelligent, logical, a bit brash, honest, and has almost laughably cliched personality flaws and insecurities. But you don't laugh at her, because she's as believable a character as they come. Part of that is because of the seiyuu who does her voice; Miyuki Sawashiro does an amazing job of giving Inaba something almost no other young female character in anime has - an ACCURATELY PITCHED VOICE. She doesn't sound like a fucking 5 year old, she sounds like she's in the middle of goddamn puberty! What a concept! Furthermore, the development she gets throughout the show is excellent. You see her start out as a semi-typical tsundere, then she develops feelings for Taichi, drama ensues, blah blah blah, but the beauty of it all is that nothing is ever overblown (except for little scenes here and there with Iori). There's nothing particularly deep or complex about any of it - the bulk of her development is straightforward, and the simplicity resonates with me. She's one of the most believable characters in a high school drama that I've ever seen, and one of the most likable ones as well. It's a testament to the quality of the character development when the tsundere of a high school drama actually ends up being the best character among a cast of legitimately good characters.
(And by the way, THIS is what a tsundere should be. Not these fucking loli tsunderes that are popping up all over the place like little tumors. We need more Inabas - believable characters with believable insecurities and problems who maintain the whole "harsh exterior, soft interior" characteristic without annoying the shit out of you every time they open their mouths. Get rid of these motherfucking Louises and Saitos and start making more Inabas and Taichis. PLS ANIMU INDUSTRI PLS)
All in all, this was a long-ass "review" (probably reads more like a rant than anything), so I'll just wrap it up here. While Kokoro definitely has its flaws, I still really enjoyed this anime. I give it a 7/10, and even if you don't like high school dramas, if you like just watching slice of life-type anime with great, genuine characters and dialogue, then this is a show I believe you will enjoy. Thanks for reading :]
Two shows with a focus on drama and the personal relationships between a group of friends.
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 have a group of friends that more or less deal with the supernatural. Controversy spreads through both series, but the group eventually works together. The pace of both series flow very well and will surely touch your heart. Oh, and they both have love polygons.
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 stories center around childhood friends who went through a series of trials and struggles together upon encountering a supernatural phenomenon. The theme for both series revolves around the importance of friendship and accountability. They were also able present impeccable artistry (especially the musical scores) and spiritual value.
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
Both are about group of friends and their encounter with supernatural.
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. ;)
the only dissimilarities is, hyouka doesn't have any complicated romance
The story follows a group of friends who joined a club, but an incident occurs in the surrounding presents around them. As the incident occurs, they take a role of somewhat an amateur (somewhat professionals) detectives who find some specific task and completing them. Can you figure out the cases before the character do?
Hyouka, is much more of a mystery detective show where it uses mostly trivial questions and theories. Kokoro Connect, follows a supernatural detective show, with a mixture of comedy, drama and more romance.
Less drama, but still has the mystery component. You'll find yourself rooting for romance but both of them still heavily focus on plot instead of letting romance destroy it. They both have a mystery component which is really interesting but Hyouka's main mystery is in the first few episodes while Kokoro Connect extends and extends. The episodes after the main mystery in Hyouka are slice-of-life and school lifey mysteries.
Both Mystery genre
Both has a little romance in it
Fun to watch
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 ClubsAnime Revolution ♡, All the Hot Guys from A&M 2, Romance+, Our Anime & Manga Club, Kokoro Connect, Limitless Recommendations, Tomatsu Haruka fan club !!!, English Light Novel Club, Tsundere is Not Annoying , Beautiful Romance, Itou Shizuka Fanclub, Phase Two, John Mr Johhnny Fanclub, Parades of Cards Club (PCC) [Hiatus], Eesti Klubi, Taichi Yaegashi FC, Romantic Comedy Anime <3 (RCA<3), Yui Ogura and Kaori Ishihara Fan Club (New Single 'Lucky Ducky' On Sale April 9), , Slice of Life Club Anti Alpha Male Shoujo Heroes, Just Another Anime Club, Baldwin High Anime Club, SweetKotomi's Cute Girls Club, School Life Club, Tomoko's Daily Life Club, Ecstanime, Jmacs Creative Corner (J.C.C.), Takahiro Mizushima fanclub see all
Recently Watched By