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.
Is it just me, or do I only review shows beginning with the letter K?
Anyway, just so you know, I'm also including the Michi Random specials in this review.
What would you do if you and your friends started randomly switching between each other's bodies? Or if your deepest darkest desires were suddenly brought to the surface, out of your control?
Here we have a series that takes a supernatural storyline, adds some well-written high-school romance and plenty of compelling drama, and pulls it all together into one amazing package. Although some of the ideas may have been done many times before, Kokoro Connect
manages to make it fresh and funny, whilst also being surprisingly realistic with how it portrays the effects of each of the phenomena. I felt the drama wasn't overdone at all and every arc introduced interesting new aspects of the story and allowed many sides of the characters to be shown.
Ultimately, Kokoro Connect succeeds in blending its comedic school life shenanigans with more serious emotional moments, a testament to the quality of the writing and the great direction.
I really liked the art for this series - everything is crisp and smoothly animated. The characters instantly reminded me of K-On!, though upon checking, I was surprised to find that these two series don't actually have the same character designer.
The settings are fairly detailed and we have some beautiful backgrounds and lush scenery. As far as I could tell, there were no off-models or problems with animation.
The characters are all very expressive when they need to be. Whether they are happy, angry, embarrassed or otherwise, their on-screen demeanours fit very well with the excellent voice acting.
Whilst I enjoyed the colourful and upbeat opening animation, it was the endings that really shone in my opinion.
Overall, Kokoro Connect is a very attractive looking show - Silver Link doing a commendable job here.
The background music is great to hear; they fit the scenes nicely and add to the drama and emotion.
The ending song also fades in before the ending animation, which I always find to be a nice touch when executed well like this.
My personal favourites were the 2nd OP (Kimi Rhythm by Imai Masaki) and the 3rd ED (Salvage by Team.Nekokan [Neko] feat. Katakiri Rekka), though they are all really decent.
In terms of voice acting, I think it was a job well done by all the seiyuu. Even Heartseed with his tired, monotone voice I found to be sufficiently entertaining. Throughout the series, a wide range of character traits and personalities were portrayed.
The characters are what really make Kokoro Connect. Unlike some other school-based romantic comedies, Kokoro Connect features fully fleshed out, three-dimensional people, each with very real pasts and flaws, which was what made me really care about them as I watched their story unfold. They are apparently all somewhat misfits, so they form a Culture Club of sorts.
Without going into too much detail, we have:
Taichi, an altruistic pro-wrestling fan who has a selfless urge to help others;
Iori, a friendly energetic girl who is popular and loved by all;
Himeko, the cool and responsible one of the group, with considerable skill in information gathering and analysis;
Yui, an expressive karate practitioner, who loves cute things;
and Yoshifumi - their casual friend, who is attracted to Yui (though she resists his advances).
I also have to mention one of the cutest imouto in anime - Yaegashi Rina - who is a caring sister that looks out for Taichi and, despite being younger, seems to give him advice about his relationships.
Kokoro Connect was really one of if not the best show of its season. Watching the characters mature and develop was very compelling. Over the course of the series, their pasts are revealed, along with their own shortcomings and how they overcome them. The highlight is the character drama, and all in all, the series was practically perfect for me.
I have to say, Kokoro Connect is a must watch and I recommend it to everyone. It was fully entertaining throughout. As the supernatural phenomena start to take their toll on the five main characters - will their friendship be able to survive? Join them on an emotional rollercoaster as you see them handle various unusual situations, all the while learning more about themselves and each other.
Thanks for reading! Please give feedback if you found it helpful （＾ω＾）
Yet ANOTHER update on this review. This is one tricky anime to write a review on- Here goes.
In a school where extracurricular activities are mandatory, there exist five "outlaws".
Yaegashi Taichi, the pro-wrestling maniac
Nagase Iori, your typical spunky, bubbly, lovely character type
Inaba Himeko, the intelligent, cool computer expert... who is maybe just a tad bit too cool at times
Kiriyama Yui, lover of all things that are cute
Aoki Yoshifumi, frequently subject to rough treatment by the girls around him.
These five students form their own club, the "Bunkenbu" (Bunka Kenkyuu-bu)- and each day spent together is as ordinary as can be.
Kokoro Connect is best described as unique.
It does not follow the plot of traditional romance anime, but instead, adds its own splash of color to what could have been considered "trite and overused". The first arc -Hito Random- sets the story off with the odd-at-the-very-least phenomenon of body-switching among the five main characters. Subsequent arcs deal with various phenomena (including a release of all desire and a manifestation of one's past self)- all quite intriguing and entertaining... but not limited to "fun"/
While the events in Kokoro Connect are obviously not realistic, the audience is lead to think "What if?". Imagine suddenly being thrown into a mess of body-switching. Everyone has his or her own darkest secrets, desires, painful memories, and insecurities. Now, throw in the condition that four other people have access to all of the above at any given time. These people are close friends... but can they really be trusted? Would you want them to know about your past? Your thoughts? Your secrets? The answer is probably "Some things are better left untouched".
In addition to a superb cast that really brings life to the characters, Kokoro Connect very realistically displays how a person would react when facing situations such as the ones listed above. It takes a concept that may sound lighthearted and shapes it into something deeper- even deeper and more complex than love ties that exist elsewhere in anime (which is saying quite a bit).
Kokoro Connect is a series I decided to watch on a whim after spotting it in CrunchyRoll one day, and I'm certainly glad that I did.
I felt like the story was, by far, the stongest point of the series and what made it stand out from your average high school romance/drama anime. While the audience is never given a full and proper explanation of why the main cast suddenly find themselves swapping bodies with each other, reading the others' thoughts or acting on their supressed desires, among other things, all these events are handled really skillfully to flesh the series' themes out.
All the apparently bizarre
happenings have something in common: They force the main cast to lay their innermost emotions and struggles bare for their friends to see, no matter how much they might try to normally hide that side of them away, which is what prompts the others to try their best to help.
The way each character's problems were addressed was nice, and the characters felt relatable at most times. There were a couple of overly dramatic moments here and there, but I still felt like they worked well as set-ups for some really cathartic moments at the end of each arc.
I've also got to commend the series on how it managed to ease the tension with comedic scenes that didn't amount to pandering to the audience. While there were a couple of scenes that stuck out as weird to me, I liked how the show was serious whenever it was addressing somebody's problems rather than just laughing them off with trope-ridden scenes.
About whether I'd recommend this series or not, I'd say it depends on how much you care about series focused on character drama, since Kokoro Connect leans heavily on that. It felt like it didn't care all that much about explaining the bizarre happenings as much as it waned them to be there in order to explore each character and the bonds they make with their friends as a result of these trials they're put through.
Kokoro Connect is exceedingly mediocre. It is not bad by any definition of the term - the artwork, voice acting, and one particular character (you know who) are great and deserve commendation in an artistic medium saturated with high school romantic dramas. Additionally, the concept of body switching introduced for the first few episodes had a lot of promise and led to a lot of well-executed plot developments. The show never strayed into what could have easily been an ecchi bait premise and culminated in what was, to me, the climax of the show's story in Episode 5 with a (no spoilers) heart-wrenching decision to
be made by the cast members that actually made me pause and think what I would do in a similar situation.
However, the story and remaining characters of the show are mundane, unrealistic and at times even cringeworthy. I will preface this by saying that I am not Japanese - I am an American university student and a relative newcomer to anime. However, I have been around the block and have seen a few extremely well-done romance anime in the same vein as Kokoro Connect (Toradora!, Clannad, Monogatari), so I feel like I have a solid foundation upon which to base my opinion.
Let's start with the story. As I mentioned earlier, the concept of body switching is actually a great idea and works very well in the high school drama setting. It is a mystery to me, then, why Kokoro Connect decides to just scrap it less than a third of the way through the show and change the supernatural events afflicting our main characters. There is so much untapped potential with the body switching premise that I would have loved to see. For example, much of the drama in the second half of the show could have been either avoided or played out much better if an extended body switch had happened between two characters that forced them to interact with the other's family, learning firsthand what their true daily life is like and further clarifying their root sources of trauma. Really, that's almost the entire point of body switching in a non-erotic setting - you are forced to spend a while in someone else's shoes and learn about them by living their lives. Instead we get mental thought transmissions and "acting on your inner desires". The first one is sort of interesting, but nowhere near as deep as body switching. The second one isn't even a supernatural phenomenon - it's called teenage hormones. I personally think this show could have done a lot more with 8-11 episodes of body switching only instead of dragging on for 17.
As for the main plot, it's mostly your typical Japanese high school romantic love-triangle borderline harem drama. There's supposed to be a main villain with Balloon Vine (Heartseed?), but there is really no point to his existence other to hand-wave away the phenomena as some kind of alien experiment. The point of this show is not explaining why these phenomena are happening, it's how the characters react to and deal with them together. You know at the end of the show you're going to get an official couple and that most of the character's problems will have been sorted out to some degree. I only wish that it didn't take so long to get there.
Moving onto the characters, we come to what I think is this show's largest pitfall. The vast majority of the anime's cast are either as bland as raw pasta or act so unrealistically that trying to relate to them becomes nearly impossible. You've got Yaegashi, the stereotypical "boku"-using protagonist that espouses Japanese ideals of modesty, uprightness and chivalry while having practically no standout qualities whatsoever; Iori, a girl whose angst over her identity issues make for a very inconsistent and erratic character over the show; Aoki, the secondary male character and the only person preventing this from being a harem; Kiriyama, a girl with androphobia but whose solution to this problem is to be saved by others rather than confronting it herself; and Inaban, a strong female lead who is brutally honest, playfully violent and a breath of fresh air in an otherwise weak cast. Seriously, if you watch this show for anything, watch it for Inaban. She's great.
The only other person worth mentioning in the show is Balloon Vine, the main "villain" whose stated purpose for causing the supernatural phenomena to happen to our main group of five is literally just to fuck with them. Does this story really need a villain? The show does no legwork in explaining who he is or what motivates him to choose a group of Japanese high school students to experiment on, or why there is apparently a second, rival alien also involved with our main group. Kokoro Connect could have had effectively the same plot by just introducing the phenomena without any explained source and exploring how the characters react to it.
The ultimate reason why I did not enjoy this show was because these characters' dialogue and reactions to the phenomena felt incredibly unrealistic. Yes, this is an anime with body switching. Yes, there exist harem anime that I like, and the concept of a harem is constructed from male fantasy and is as far from real life relationships as possible. However, I feel that Kokoro Konnekt tries to pass itself as a somewhat true-to-life look at how a bunch of teenagers would act in supernatural situations but fails because it can't even master the portrayal of regular character interaction. Yaegashi is such a white knight that I wonder how anyone could have a healthy relationship with him; Iori is irrational even by teenage girl standards to the point where I can't even see why she does what she does from her point of view; and Kiriyama feels hypocritical in that she wants to become stronger and gain self confidence but instead relies almost entirely on Yaegashi for emotional support throughout the show. Even Inaban can act a little unrealistically sometimes.
In summary, Kokoro Connect is mediocre. Its higher than average production values, good voice casting and pretty good character in Inaban prevent it from being a failure, but so many other aspects of the show drag it down from being at least a decent watch. I cringed and interrogated my computer screen out loud multiple times while watching the show because I could not believe why certain characters acted the way they did or why certain parts of the show were just never explained. At the end I was left with a feeling of dissatisfaction and that my time should have been spent doing other things.
By the way, I propose a drinking game whereby for every episode of Kokoro Kardashian you watch, take a shot every time you hear the word "Tasukete!", "Mamoru!", "Suki!", "Daisuki!", or "Baka!. If you make it out alive, I will personally reward you with a medal.
Kokoro Connect begins with a pretty ordinary setting. 5 friends belonging to the same club with an absentee adviser, spending almost everyday loafing around. Then everything took a downturn when a mysterious entity named Fuusenkazura appeared and forced them into his game so they could entertain him. His "game" involves abnormal phenomena that often take place at random intervals. The first arc features body-swap, during which the 5 may switch bodies at random, and every arc that follows has them deal with other similarly bizarre situations.
Before anyone starts watching, all of this might sound pretty entertaining -- except each of these games that Fuusenkazura
brings them into produces big waves in their lives. Just imagine for a moment that your deepest secrets and darkest thoughts are dug out and exposed for your closest friends to see. Everyone needs to have a little privacy sometimes, but the games Fuusenkazura brings out always end up destroying their psychological defenses and put them in the spot to be honest with their friends, and also themselves.
Through the challenges the 5 of them face, the vulnerabilities of each person are shown to everyone else in the group. From there, the series soon turns into an emotional roller coaster that produces some serious drama. For the record, the drama doesn't feel forced at all. These characters are just what you'd expect of some regular high school kids who haven't had a firm grasp on their own identities. And it's the way they overcome each of these games and bond in the process that makes this series endearing.
Kokoro Connect is also no ordinary rom-com. There's romance and comedy, but the emphasis really ends up being emotional development more than anything. If you carefully chew through some of the things they say as they walk out of their slumps, you'll find nuggets of wisdom here and there applicable for just about everyone. The animation is decent and consistently fluid with no break in quality. The characters, while not necessarily coming out of unique molds, collectively form an lively, entertaining, and endearing cast. The plot is refreshing. The script is strong as well. Even though I personally found the soundtrack weak, it's a minor shortcoming in the face of everything else -- the story, the enjoyment, and the uplifting moments where they see the light at the end of the tunnel.
To close, I think Kokoro Connect is one of the most entertaining series I've picked up thus far, and I had a great deal of fun watching it. Simply put, it was a satisfying run. Although the format of struggle-then-triumph gets overused sometimes, the characters and the plot drive the series too well for that to interfere with the experience. True, it's a bit heart-wrenching and depressing sometimes. At the end of the day though, it maintains a positive message throughout and is in my opinion a very well-crafted series that deserves almost everyone's attention.
[Note: Although MAL separates the first 13 episodes of the series from the 4 episodes of "Michi Random" arc aired later on, the 17 episodes together feature an unbroken sequence of events and this review covers all of them.]
**Please take note: I am writing this review now, after seeing the first six episodes of Kokoro Connect. No spoilers are included in this review.***
I decided to write this review because as I looked at the reviews for Kokoro Connect I noticed that many reviews were rated not helpful despite any good points the authors might have had. So I am writing to try and win over some readers and get people to at least try the anime.
Kokoro Connect is a story about five friends who end up experiencing an unnatural phenomena where they switch personalities with each other and have their friendship tested.
At first the show seems like a slice of life anime with a nice gimmick, but this show offers more than that, I promise you. In just these first episodes the viewer is perplexed with the question of what makes up a person, their body or their personality? But the story continues from there as we see laughter, sadness, struggles with past experiences,current issues of self identity, relationships between friends, and much more. Lighthearted moments are shown mixed with deeper stronger emotional themes that have at points almost brought me to tears.
Overall the story so far has worked out well and has been quite original. Kokoro Concect will have you on the edge of your toes the whole time. As I said earlier, you will see lighthearted moments as well as deeper emotional themes, all of which create a well balanced story.
All of the characters in this show are likable and are well done. The characters have their place in the story and do not neatly fit into generic roles found in other anime. Some characters may be described as shy or strong-willed but they each have their complexities. I will not expand on the complexities the characters as to avoid spoilers, but you will see for yourselves. As for the character design, there is nothing to complain about. The characters are detailed and all fit their personalities.
I am not and expert on animation art, but I can tell you the art in Kokoro Connect is decent. So far I have only seen this anime in 720p and I can say backgrounds are detailed, CGI is avoided, characters are detailed, and scenes are well animated. Overall the production values are decent with this anime, and the art does not distract or take away from the story or enjoyment.
The voice acting for this show is spot on. The voice actors fit the roles of the characters they are portraying and are especially good at acting out scenes where personalities are switched between characters. There is not one annoying voice that distracts me from the story. As for music, The intro song is decent and the animation will make you smile. I do not listen to the outro very often, but it is decent as well. The soundtrack fits well with the tone of the show and is not intrusive to the viewers experience.
This show has been very enjoyable to me. I actually care about the characters and want to see how they advance and develop. The plot has not been very predictable and has kept me intrigued.
I see no reason why anyone should not give this show a chance. So far, so good
High school is essentially one of the most important four years of someone’s life. Throughout these years, not only does one fall under peer pressure, indecisive dramas, and separation into different clicks/social-groups, but you are often greeted with the unsatisfying feeling in overcoming mostly difficult, inexperienced tasks. However, the point of entering High School in the first place is to move onto secondary educations and learn not just fundamental cultures of others, but also about where you want to be in society for the rest of your life. During these times of hardships, not many people can gain true confidence; insecurities may rise from the
past, make many doubtful of themselves, and as a result contemplate loneliness, violence, etc.
But what every human really desires is the understanding of others; understanding of our flaws, weaknesses, highlights, memories, lusts, hatred, emotions, intelligence, shed tears, and acknowledgement in our refined existence. In other words, we want friends, people who takes pleasure in involving us in their lives.
Established in the very High School setting, Kokoro Connect is an anime which explores the meanings of friendship in multitudes of emblematic, daring perspectives. Unlike other school rom-com anime, however, Kokoro Connect entangles its plot with dynamics by exposing the likes of evilness in characters and exaggerating certain aspects of the show to enhance not just enjoyment for the audience, but the substantiality in relationships as well. Absorbing the audiences with merely just its supernatural contents, Kokoro Connect also has a strong cast of characters to carry out its investigations of quarrels between the five trouble-children, who all happened to invest their free time into the Cultural Research Club. Of the group, the five members all embody several aspects of stereotypical adolescents. In short, there’s the nice guy who apparently always finishes first (Taichi); his sidekick, who always pursues his crush regardless of circumstances (Aoki); the tsundere female archetype who, conveniently, is a black belt (Yui); an anti-social female who brings about justice in her own elegant ways (Inaba); and, the cute klutz archetype that always brightens up the mood with her visible smile (Nagase). However, there’s always more than meets the eye.
As the story steadily progresses, a creature going by the name Heartseed mysteriously brings about supernatural phenomenon in the group meant to somehow entertain it. Indeed, it did exactly that, and more. The first arc starts with the body swapping technique, where the group is challenged to understand the physical state of others in the group, their current family situations, and not misuse this opportunity for mischief. Unfortunately, even the slightest intervention of someone into your daily life could reveal subtle yet obvious problems one has. Eventually, the mental instability of many in the group begins to disclose, but luckily, friends are there to give moral support and justify the significance of their friends. It would’ve been a simplex and sweet ending if the drama stopped there, but the injudicious Heartseed shows up again and screws everything up. From there on out, secrets of the past, dreams of the future, and the desires of the present are all exposed about each characters. Instead of hiding their fears, lustful thoughts, and ambitions, each character had to overcome their comfort zones, expose their contempt, true feelings for one another, and yet still wish for the acceptance of their friends. Since they're all teenagers exposed only recently to puberty, you could probably imagine what indecent, romantic thoughts some of these personal matters involved.
After many of Kokoro’s emotional roller-coasters, I became very attached to each of the characters. What Kokoro executes so well, not many productions can pull off easily. It develops each character into appealing people in some ways, and makes the audience so involved and invested in the emotional chaos the Series present. Perhaps due to their resemblances to realistic people, seeing Kokoro’s characters make such human mistakes and overcoming it through genuine sentiments gave me a sense of responsibility, almost as if they’re real-life, humane companions. Finally, the writers created dialogues which cleverly expressed some unique aspects of these characters and essentially, we gain our trusts of each eccentric person in the story through such techniques. For example; after several characters slowly developed aggressive, dementia-like traits due to Heart-seed's plans, it corrupted the healthy relationships between the Culture Research Club's members, instead of feeling mad or anger I felt sympathy towards the group just because of Kokoro's conventional script creations and its unhurried, deliberate pacing.
Besides these shady dramas occurring on one side of the spectrum, Kokoro Connect usually has a rather lighthearted, Slice of Life vibe to compensate for all the suffering of these characters. The entrances of some of these comedy scenes are fairly coherent due to its consistency and the lighter weight on the dramatic side of it at first. But after Heartseed’s introduction of deeper conflicts, I thought the comedy would just disappear from there or perhaps alternate into a realm of melodrama. Although Kokoro Connect inevitably executed some overly emotional scenes, the Show still managed to sneak in subliminal, dark humor and its ability to balance out the humorous yet intense sides of things impressed me. Without many spoilers, Kokoro tends to hinder at very humorous yet depraved concepts. Indeed, these comedic elements exceeded my expectation in how awkwardly situations elevated so quickly and became the most absurd stand-up comedies; yet, I don’t think I ever laughed so hard in my life. The atmosphere, set-up, and state of affairs in these jokes all achieve perfection themselves, but the fact that these jokes even makes perfect contextual sense in the script-writing smothered my mind with enlightenment.
During different times of the show where it required a certain type of mood, the animation was there to polish the atmosphere, especially with its apex of horrifying, variegated, blood dripping-like backgrounds. The character designs fared up splendidly with many embellished specialties among places where and when needed. Facial expressions and the blocking of characters also contributed to the comfortableness feel Kokoro sometimes had at first and its ability to immediately transfer that cozy texture into suspense.
The musical introduction added a nice vibe in the air with the OP, and concluded in a fashionable manner with the ED, both of which epitomizes typical, catchy, yet meaningful Jpop songs. Remarkably, the background music syncs with the elements of animation where required as well; during the committing of mischief, lighthearted music plays while dramatic, mawkish music spectacles uncertainty during climatic moments. Notably, voice actor(esse)s even gave spontaneousness and energy to their 2-D characters. In essence, the visuals and melodies ended up contributing very effectively.
All in all, Kokoro Connect, utilizing supernatural themes to its advantages, is a Series illustrating an accurate stance on the dangers and rewards of relationships. Through surreal artwork & humor it brings the seemingly two dimensional characters into life, and builds each character up with depth whilst still in correlation with the story-line. Although extravagantly detailed and over-dramatic at times, Kokoro still succeeds in coping with the balances of its several genres, and radiated powerful messages as intriguing as its provocative, headstrong humor. As an exceptionally done Slice of Life formulated Series; I recommend Kokoro Connect to anime fans who enjoys silly comedies, complicated High School relationships, and wouldn’t mind challenging themselves with the concepts of true friendship, conformity, and being true to your instinctive, romantic feelings.
When I first heard the plot summary for Kokoro Connect I thought it sounded like some hentai series. Even if it wasn't, it seemed obvious that it would be a provider of ample fan-service, it of course wasn't though. After all, if you swapped bodies with someone of the other gender, what would be the first thing you do?
Yep, the obvious, see how well they masticate. Read it again, what were you thinking of?
Kokoro Connect revolves around the daily, not so normal lives of Taichi, Iori, Himeko, Yoshifumi and Yui and their encounters in the Cultural Research Club. Up until recently they thought
that they and their friends lived normal happy lives, but now the Heartseed is pulling their lives apart and exposing their inner secrets through body switching, urges and age regression.
The love and teen pentagonal comedy follows the strange phenomena at the Yamahoshi Academy's Culture Club, starting with the five male and female club members switching bodies with each other.
Mix two parts school uniforms and setting, two parts moe, and one part original detail. Blend thoroughly. Serve warm.
Production values are quite good, and there's a good level of detail to go around most of the time. Some scenes are picturesque. At other times, there's an unfortunate loss of detail in mid-ground elements that makes it difficult to focus, but this doesn't happen very often over the stretch.
While this is not a show whose events are ever intended to push aural or visual envelopes, Kokoro Connect is well-animated, and there is never a point where this show looks anything but nice. There is a bit of fan-service here and there but nothing so intrusive that it distracts from the relationship dynamics.
In terms of the animation, I am personally getting tired of the K-ON-like moe look; whether you like how the characters are designed is really based on personal preference. As for quality, Silver Link doesn't offer anything as stunning as a P.A. Works anime, but it manages to hold its own. There were no noticeable mistakes in body proportions, angles, or object size and the quality remains consistent throughout the series.
I have to commend the main cast for the first arc they essentially had to act as five (and in some cases six) different characters, since each character used the voice that went along with the body when they switched, and they all did a rather good job. I've heard some complaints that this studio Silver Link isn't known for hiring really great actors but I think they did a mediocre job this time.
Both OPs and EDs are quite catchy and serve well as introductions to the series though nothing to memorable. Sound effects are nothing remarkable but do their job throughout the series.
Everything this series does is for the emotional and dramatic effect, and thus the characters all have very interesting backgrounds. What the show does do a good job of, however, is not washing over things. Whatever happens to the characters their pain isn't easily fixed like some anime likes to do. Throughout the series you still see traces of the pain in the characters and that everything that has happened has strongly affected them one way or another.
They're forced to develop at a rapid pace is a direct product of the supernatural elements of the plot. The point can definitely be made that these elements are a contrivance. When it comes to the concluding arc I'd even tend to agree more often than not. That doesn't entirely eliminate the effect of more than half a season of strong build-up, however the worst thing for me was that, despite the title, I couldn't "connect" with any of the characters, they was more like actors interpreting their roles. Almost everything they said or did felt like forced for the sake of the plot, and Taichi out of them all, is just a place holder for a proper main character, as his personality was not actually explored.
I appreciate that it had the guts to go for actual drama and to ask interesting questions. Ultimately though, you have to deliver results. I also think the series suffers quite a bit due to a cast that’s fairly weak in the final analysis. Taichi’s issues I’ve already covered, and with Inaba the problem was simply that I never liked her very much – she’s easily the most clichéd member of the cast and I never really bought into her self-important self-pity and overcompensating and overbearing arrogance. Aoki and Yui had a definable plot arc, at least, but they were largely plot devices, as Taichi was. It was really only Nagase that emerged as both a likeable and well-defined character, and she too tended to be manipulated for the contrivance of the plot far too often.
Interesting, original premise. Strong opening. Mediocre mid section. Poor ending. It's a downward slope all the way past the first arc - which is a real shame, because the initial episodes hint at the potential for a truly exciting series. Instead we're left with an unfinished mess that takes those pieces that had a chance at greatness and just kind of drops them on the ground.
So does will this series connect you your heart? Possibly. Perhaps not.
Will I stop with these stupid puns? Never.
Including the four specials, this show is arguably one of the more annoying series I've seen. If you're into pointless high school drama, this show is for you.
In a phrase, this show is "YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND ME!" repeated for thirty minutes, seventeen times. The characters are repeatedly put into positions where it's determined (by the group) that they would all be better off if they talked about their feelings, and then proceed to not talk about their feelings. Everyone is a victim of some "pressure" from their friends, despite all of their problems being caused almost entirely by themselves. Everyone puts on some kind of
selfless front "for the better of the group" and inevitably makes things worse for everyone as a result.
The story itself is a cool premise, it's just that the characters are all irritating and incredibly dense. The art is solid, and the sound is good as well. The characters are what kill this show for me. All three girls complain that nobody will ever understand them because [insert any given problem], one guy is an annoying white knight type you'd see on a cosplay forum, and the other could be replaced by a sizable rock without changing the story at all.
How this show has anything above a five is perplexing to me.
Kokoro Connect is a rarity in anime. It is a romantic drama that thanks to the strengths in its characters and writing avoids the annoying melodrama that shows like Golden Time and more recently Glasslip unfortunately fall prey to... For the most part anyway. This can probably be attributed to its satisfactory pacing, which again is something quite a few shows in this genre seem struggle with. The review will cover Michi Random as well. Now on to the review!
Story: Requires suspension of disbelief far too often, but is still well-written and well-paced.
Its setup we see far too often in anime
these days: A club of misfits have to deal with a fantastical situation that leads to drama and lighthearted comedic moments. Not exactly treading innovative waters. However, Kokoro proves that execution is everything by taking standard anime tropes showing you not everyone is so simple. The plot starts off with the club members switching bodies seemingly at random. At first this creates hilarity and confusion, but it isn't until later on we see the rather devastating mental effect this can have on a group of insecure angsty teenagers. Drama is handled in a mature, believable manner and was always entertaining to watch. Sexual tension is incredibly high in this anime which is a little odd, but makes the romance feel more authentic in my opinion. The ending is strong as well resolving all conflicts between characters, but oddly not explaining the phenomenons that had been plaguing the our lead characters the entire show.
Characters: The definite strong point of the show. Every single one is explored and developed thoroughly.
Yoshifumi Aoki- Master of nothing. He's the most boring character in terms of.. well.. just about everything and relies on the rest of the cast to make him interesting (its even admitted in the show). He does play a pivotal role in developing the rest of the cast and is actually well-developed character himself. Just not an exciting one.
Himeko Inaba- Master of being waifu material. As many who have actually seen this show to its conclusion will agree, Inaba is awesome. She practically carries this show on her back just as she often tries to with her friends in the show. I don't want to spoil too much since this shows plot is essentially its characters but she is a coodere. Seems cold, uncaring, and methodical but in reality is still just girl with girl problems. Something she is embarrassed to admit.
Yui Kiriyama- Master of Karate, but is actually the most vulnerable out of the five. She tends to over think things to point where she almost always feels like a burden and her back story matches her present-day personality quite well. Much like Aoki she is well-written but not that exciting.
Iori Nagase- Master of deception. This character is best described as Chitanda (Hyouka) x Sengoku (Monogatari: Second Season). She is cheerful, playful, and basically the opposite of Inaba although they still share a strong friendship. Despite all of her upbeat antics she is subject of/to nearly all of the drama this series has to offer. Because in this show not everyone is what they seem to be.
Taichi Yaegashi- Master of wrestling. Taichi is our main protagonist and is a "selfless-freak" in the words of Inaba. She is correct. "Typical" nice guy that wants to help everyone even if he knows attempting to do so will only cause them more pain. His greatest strength is also is greatest flaw and that makes him pretty interesting.
Sound: Effective at setting the mood.
Its effective and timed well in all scenes. It never out of place or disrupts the mood, but its nothing that I will ever remember now that the show is finished.
Art: Art is good, animation is pretty standard.
Everything is well drawn, and character designs in particular seem to stand out, but the animation can be noticeably lackluster in some scenes. It never was enough to take me out of the experience though.
Conclusion: At just 18 episodes this show is more than worth your time. And, Himeko Inaba is pretty damn awesome.
Watch if you:
-Are tired of character tropes
-Enjoy an unpredictable, but not over dramatic love-triangle
-If Rom-drams are your thing (in that case why havn't you seen this yet!?)
-Enjoy supernatural anime
-Enjoyed Nagi no Asukara
-Want a climatic and conclusive ending
Don't watch if you:
-Absolutely can not stand teenage drama
-Hate characters that tend to wallow in self-pity
-Don't enjoy drastic mood swings in your anime.
NOTE: This review includes the 4 “Michi Random” episodes.
“What defines humans... Defines us? Nobody will notice a change on the inside if you look the same on the outside.”
What happens your desires and thoughts are no longer simply your own, but are also shared with your closest friends? How will it affect your friendship when you uncontrollably make a move on the guy your friend likes, or even if you find out a dark secret that your friends kept from you?
These are all questions (among many others) which KokoroCo tries to bring to light. In a way, you could say this is as
much a SOL-series, as it is a psychological test.
Story: (8 / 10)
The basic plot is very simple, to be honest. A group of friends encounter, and have to deal with, a multitude of different phenomena which in different ways reveal their deepest desires and secrets to the other people in the group. However, it’s the rather interesting way these phenomena are presented, executed, and dealt with which makes this show very interesting.
Even though most of it can be pretty sad or depressing in ways, they’ve done a good job in throwing in some comedic scenes, without making it feel like they’re going out of their way just to be funny, so it all flows really well, which I thought was nice.
I find it hard to actually talk more about the story, without really going into specific events and more detail, and unfortunately that would spoil the experience for you a bit.
Length-wise, I think 17 (counting the specials) episodes were just perfect, and the sort of open ending both offers adequate closure and sets up for a good chance to read the remaining 7 books, I’d assume (unless there’s a lot of difference between the anime and the first 4 novels).
Art: (9 / 10)
The art was certainly very well done. (Like others, it seems) I was actually reminded of KyoAni’s sort of “special” art style, but to my surprise, they weren’t involved at all. Even so, all the characters were very well drawn (even the side-characters), and animation was nice and smooth. There are a lot of emotional scenes present, and whether a character was expressing happiness, sadness or anger, it was always done in such a way that it didn’t feel “overdone”, or “off” in any way, which of course is a big plus.
Another thing I would like to point out is fanservice. Now, I’ve gotten pretty used to seeing a fair share of fanservice in anime, even (or especially) in the ones revolving around a bunch of highschool friends. But to my surprise, there really isn’t much of that to find anywhere here.
There are maybe 3 or 4 very short scenes like these, and I found it very nice that they didn’t try to break up the emotions with random boob-shots.
Sound: (8 / 10)
Of course, in a show so focused on the emotional changes of our characters, good voice acting will be needed to really be able to bring the (very well done) writing to life, in a smooth and relatable way. To be honest, I really believe the voice actors all managed to do this.
They all fit their respective characters very well, and to be able to display so many emotions throughout a rather short time, really takes a bit of effort.
The one who stood out to me the most, however, was easily Nagase Iori. How she was able to both represent this happy, childish girl, as well as the cold, darker side of Iori we get to see was truly well done.
As for the music; The background music did a good job at accompanying the writing, but it never really tried to overtake any other aspect, which was nice, and even if I personally didn’t really care for the opening theme all too much, I think it shows the happy, hoping side of the group in a nice way.
Characters: (9 / 10)
Now this is where things get really good. In short, the characters are all very well written and synergizes rather well with each other. At a first glance, most of the characters appear quite innocent and “playful” (for lack of better words), except for maybe Inaba, who acts as the stern leader of the group. However, as the story goes on, darker sides are revealed, and as we find out more about each characters backstories, you learn that they’re not quite as innocent and/or happy as they’d like you to think, and this is all what makes you care and feel for the characters.
Obviously, a show about being forced to reveal your darkest secrets wouldn’t be very interesting if said secrets were all kinda “meh”, would it? Thankfully, all of the characters (save for one, I guess) have rather good backstories, and this also contributes a lot to character development. As they struggle to overcome their past problems/traumas, they actually develop as characters, and synergise with the other characters in new ways, which again brings up a lot of new scenarios.
Enjoyment: (9 / 10)
To be honest, I’m usually not able to marathon shows if I’m watching them by myself (as I easily get distracted in between episodes), and in that case, it usually takes me a while to finish a series, because I don’t necessarily always feel like watching anime at that moment. However, there are exceptions to this, and KokoroCo is definitely one of those. Even if I didn’t marathon all the 17 episodes in one go, I certainly got through this a lot faster than many other series, because I kept feeling like I wanted more of the characters, and wanted to see what would happen next etc.
All in all, it’s rather bittersweet, but I think this was very close to being one of my favorites.
“One of the most beautiful qualities of friendship is to understand and to be understood.”
What Kokoro Connect essentially delves into, is exactly that, the notion of what friendship is, and how do we keep it alive when your true desires, love, selfishness, fears, pasts and fragility are all unleashed and out in the open.
One day a sudden paranormal occurrence of body-switching haunts a small group of five friends, which in turn alters their relationship and every day lives.
Since the plot is pretty much straightforward with a slight twist, Kokoro Connect is more of a character motivated Anime; with it being more ambitious
on the interactions and chemistry front between the characters. I think the characters are not only convincingly believable, but have a real depth and insight to them; (Yui; androphobia, Iori; multiple personality disorder?) we truly see a good portrayal of emotions and human nature.
The supernatural occurrences definitively disrupt the harmony amongst the five friends as it not only, sends their feelings in turmoil, but also makes them closer friends simultaneously. The initial idea of body-switching is, in itself a charming premise but also happens to open a can full of funny situations too, as you can imagine.
What I also liked was the atmosphere that Kokoro Connect gives; the orangey sunset sceneries at the beginning feel reminiscent of high school nostalgia with intentions to keep it light-hearted. Alongside that, there is also an eerie, sinister tone when the entity Heartseed enters the fray (his gormless, creepy, unpredictable look about him also contributed to this xD). That is certainly one factor that kept me interested, the eagerness to find out what is behind the mysteriousness and ambiguity of this Heartseed entity that was causing all the supernatural phenomena, the enigma of his powers, what he actually is and what his real intentions are.
Although those are the defining factors I liked in particular, there are also many evident blemishes I could also point out. Being a slice of life drama set in the high school timeframe following both female and male students there are predetermined hints to your conventional genre clichés, we have seen it all to often with the overplayed depictions of love triangles and pour-your-heart-out, lovey-dovey confessions scenes; all I can say is Kokoro Connect doesn’t differ from this nor does it attempt to, while it tries not to overly focus on these things, the fact remains is that these overdone concepts are embraced, and the way it’s pulled off may be too generic for some.
We also have the character designs and art style that are nothing special to be honest; all plainly bland looking, nothing outstanding, it’s what you would expect from most other Anime. The characters themselves could also be considered cliché, as you might say it features some of your common personalities in Anime shows, although I still think it’s one of the more stronger aspects of the show.
While the general premise of the Anime starts quite well, what with the body-swapping idea, it eventually moves onto other mind-boggling notions. With the original idea still fresh in your mind, I feel the episodes gradually drop its appeal with each supernatural premise, and swings its tone to a less light-hearted, funny atmosphere to a more darker and dampening one at the ending stage of each phenomena; this also inserts more exaggerated, melodramatic and overemotional moments. Although this tonal shift could in my opinion be handled in better fashion, it also effectively brings in, deeper more meaningful themes.
However the most unsatisfying thing was undoubtedly the ending, lets just say there are so many unanswered questions and left with a sense of bewilderment and discontent. (This thing really irked me xD)
So, all in all “Why should I watch this?” you maybe thinking, well if you enjoy a well thought out Anime, which makes you think about the real meaning of friendship and puts you into empathetic scenarios, albeit engaging you into an emotional roller-coaster of a drama with heartwarming conclusions at times, while still keeping it funny and light-hearted, then I say go for it!
I've recently only just finished episode 5, but I think that's enough to give a worth opinion of this anime.
Honestly, I don't know what I was expecting when I first started watching "Kokoro Connect". Maybe a lot of shoujo vibes, with a lot of fluff and comedy. But what I got was that, and then some.
I won't go too much into detail, because that's spoiling, but I just keep getting more pleased with this anime as the episodes continue to air. It starts off as a normal school life anime, and then BAM, plot twist, and your entire perspective is thwarted. In a good
way, of course.
I desperately recommend everyone to watch this, because it's really good. Even if shoujo isn't your thing; you can't really consider this a shoujo. Think of it more as...a school life comedy with some of it's deeper moments thrown in.
[i just want to write a review even though it's been only 2 episodes. but i'm going to update this as the story progresses]
What would you do if your soul transferred in another person's body?
This is the dilemma of the 5 members of the Cultural Study group. From time to time, they exchange souls or you may also tell bodies, depending on 'someone'. As they exchange souls/bodies and see their life outside school, they will know each other more and their bond and friendship will grow stronger.
This anime teaches you to know a person not only with their physical appearance, but also their character and
personality as well. People may give you impressions based on how/what you look, but if you know the person for who he/she really is, you will understand the person better.
as it was said in the book "The Little Prince" by the fox, "What is essential is invisible to the eye."
At first, I thought that this anime would only be about comedy. But after watching the episode 2, my first thought failed me. It has a lot of drama into it. Especially Iori. (i guess i'll stop here, cause i might spoil you. XD you should watch the anime)
reasons for my rating on:
Story> because of the original plot(havent watched any anime with this kind of twist in the story). it may look just a simple anime school life at first, but it has a lot more into it
Art: I didn't give a 10 but hey 9 is already high! The art is nice, it has a resemblance on Hyouka and K-On, but there's something that i cant describe which is lacking. hehe
Sound: wooow! i gave it a 10 because the songs for OP and ED is light and good to the ear. Plus, it was Eufonius who sang the opening . :P
Character: I like the characters. Their personalities. they all have their own cuteness! lol
Enjoyment: The writer has a good sense of humor. The creator knows when to make you laugh and when it's time to get serious. I dont know how to say it, but it's fun to watch and won't get you bored. promise. hahaha
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!
Oh yea remember that mean joke that they played on a voice actor a few months ago, well the director was so worried that they wouldnt get any sales because of that and now they cut the anime by the last 4 episodes and said that if you want more then you will have to buy the DVDs so that made me hate this anime more than any anime I have ever known anyway this is the end of my rant and here is my review that nobody seems to agree on
This anime started out extremely well with great setting and plot but after the
4th episode everything went downhill. The story at first was all about friends sticking together and never giving up no matter what and then it just kept flipping from wanting to be a drama to a romance back to a drama.
The art doesnt stand out at all because most of it is a 2 shot in a classroom so randomly the animation will spike up at times.
The music in this anime is either non existent or just so bland that I dont even notice it while watching and the opening and ending themes are your typical drumbeat in the background with some violins and lyrics about lover.
I cant put to words how much I dislike every character in this anime, well Im going to try. First off their is Aoki who is non existent through 90% of the anime, Inaba who is the only slightly likable character but then she ruins most of her credibility with that certain quote in that certain episode, Yui who's only contribution to the anime is breaking a table and getting kicked in the balls, Iori who has a major personality complex and thinks she isnt herself because of it, Taichi who is your typical save everyone character and is the worst out of everyone and sadly gets the most airtime next to Iori.
Im not gonna lie this anime was very good at the beginning but after a few episodes you can predict everything that will and can happen.
This anime had so much potential but it just fell short almost like they switched writers and decided to take it in a whole new direction.
There is alot to say about Kokoro Connect, it was a rather odd, yet extremely enjoyable experience for me. I can kind of understand why this anime gets alot of flak from people, but that's not the animes fault, the problem that the anime "has" isn't a problem at all, it's disliked in the same way school days is, not because it's badly designed, but because it's something people don't like. People confuse something as being bad because they don't like it, but that couldn't be farther from the truth, hopefully my review sheds some light on this anime and can help anyone that's on
the fence about it make their mind up, also this is for the whole anime, that includes the 4 "extra" episodes, they are essential the story and should have been aired at the same time as the original anime, but for some reason it wasn't.
Story- The story in Kokoro connect is different from how the synopsis describes it, that's part of it, but now what the story is just about. They go through certain "tests" as a group, the first being randomly body swapped, i'm not going to spoil what the others are, but stuff like being able to hear the other members thoughts happen as well, it's actually a really good idea and makes for a very intense and interesting story. I would definitely call it one of the more uniquely written stories out of all of the anime I have watched. The story has it's ups and downs as far as emotions go, it has it's funny moments that are hilarious in their own respect and it also has some very touching and emotional scenes, and the best part is that these scenes are perfectly balanced, it never feels like it should have been serious when it was being funny and vice versa. I was expecting the story to be kind of shit and just nonsensical like some people have said, but I found it to be the opposite of that. It was wrote extremely well, had plenty of varying issues that they had to overcome, had great character interactions, no down time, stayed interesting all the way through, the only part of the story you could complain about was something that happened down the line, which is how it's suppose to be. Not all anime is suppose to make you feel good about yourself, some stuff is suppose to do the opposite and make you feel like shit, make you feel anger and resentment, it's suppose to make you feel a variety of emotions, some examples of anime like this that are misunderstood would be something like school days, or even aku no hana to an extent. All of that being said I think the story is amazing, even that part that made me start hating a certain character, it was suppose to be that way. The ending was something I was worried about, I always worry about the ending to animes because it seems like alot of really good anime are spoiled by a shit ending that makes no sense or leaves off on a bad cliffhanger, but not kokoro connect. It had a very satisfying ending, it told it's story and didn't decide to drag itself out and over stay it's welcome like a lot of anime seem to do nowadays.
Art- The art is nothing special, it's your average run of the mill anime type art style with nothing special about it, which works in it's favor. You really get the sense that this is happening to a regular group of friends, which I think adds to the overall feel of the anime in a positive way.
Sound- The op/ed sountrack is pretty good, it fits the feel of the anime really well. The music scores are on queue everytime and simply adds more to scenes. It's kind of hard to mess up the sounds assets of anime nowadays, also dat sax solo.
Character- The characters in kokoro connect are arguably more important than the story. The entire show is based around this group of friends finding out more about each then they were supposed to, if the characters are boring and uninspired then the show would be trash. They all have something about them that makes them unique in some way, which can be hard since there are 5 main characters. They all feel as fleshed out as characters and you can see them change in believable ways that don't break the story or immersion. Some anime doesn't do this, they make the character do something they wouldn't normally do, or they make them into a badass when they were originally a geek or something along those lines, it's immersion breaking when that happens and it ruins the anime for me most of the time. Being that there are 5 main characters that are fully fleshed out, that makes for a really good time. You know these characters on a deeper level so when something funny happens you find yourself laughing with them at what happened and when something tragic happens you find yourself being depressed about it. The characters and story are what this anime as amazing as it is, without the interesting characters to support the awesome story it would fail, and vice versa. They have a perfect harmony and pace that is refreshing to see, not many anime get the pacing and character interactions right, but this one does and i'm glad I took the time to watch it.
Enjoyment- There is no downtime in this anime, something interesting is always happening and you're never left having to watch a few filler episodes to get to the good parts of the anime. Watching these 5 characters just interact with each other is fun enough, throw in a well realized story that never stops with the curve balls and you have yourself a fantastic anime along with an experience that you won't be able to forget. This anime never lets up, and that's one of it's best qualities, non-stop entertainment.
Overall- Overall I was quite surprised by Kokoro Connect, I often find that alot of controversial anime usually either sucks or is awesome, and I always love it when i'm wrong about an anime, it's the best feeling in the world. I'm so glad I decided to watch it, it was highly enjoyable, well made, well designed, excellently executed, and enjoyable to boot. If you enjoy mystery, romance, or just plain weird anime that is designed well then kokoro connect is a must watch. It's something unique, it tells a story that no other anime has come up with before and makes it awesome. Romances are a dime a dozen, same with high school slice of life, but this one breaks that monotony and tries something new, and definitely succeeds. Watch it now if you like what you've seen here, or hell , just try it if you're looking for something new to watch, you won't be disappointed.
Kokoro Connect is an anime that is not going to appeal to everyone. Why? Because many episodes are dedicated to the characters and how they deal with their inner conflicts and problems. Of course on the surface their daily lives are not anything interesting until Heartseed greets them and they are faced with certain phenomenons which force them to change. And how they change is the true gem of this show, as it becomes from any other slice-of-life to a supernatural and mysterious that drags viewers in.
These unusual phenomenons range from switching minds in bodies and to give
in to their impulses, something very haunting the characters find themselves losing control of who they are or who they thought they are. How would people react if they did not have authority over themselves? What if someone was able to get in your head? Listen to what you truly think? It's a scary thought as it stripes these characters bare, revealing their true personalities. It tests their trust, friendship and commitment. But most important of all - their identities. How truly fragile is a person's personality? How genuine? How easily can you deceive, lie and fool someone when wearing a mask?
There is one way to describe what these phenomenons affect the characters and its this:
It destroys them, absolutely breaks them apart. They corrupt in their own insecurities and struggle trying to overcome it. Their protections, barriers are all torn down and the question is - how do they deal with it?
That's where it gets gripping and compelling because they make us question ourselves.
As I've said before, since this anime is so heavily based on their characters - many episodes come across as "fillers" but they are all very important to their progression.
There are 5 characters in this anime - with 13+4 extra episodes I didn't expect anything extraordinary, what could they do with characters with such little time? I was very wrong.
A free character, seems careless and carefree he tries to live with no regrets - unfortunately, he seems to bring mayhem everywhere and his way of living is portrayed very reckless; unaware of how his decisions affect those who are around him. I thoroughly enjoyed watching him try to find a deeper understanding of himself. It is powerful to see one find the source of their true feelings.
Very kind and gentle, Yui is sweet and generally, another light-hearted character. In fact I believed she would be a dull character, expecting her to just be that cute one. But Kokoroco does not fail and we get to see her true fear: one she has buried for so long. Watching her trying to overcome this was both painful but reassuring.
Though coming across a bit too honest and controlling - she is very logical and calm towards situations that require analysing. But can you analyse your feelings? Can data predict how you feel? Inaba is a complex character, that I had trouble understanding. A very mysterious character with many insecurities hidden by arrogance you can almost feel a sense of relation to her, she gave me one of the best impressions and her development was truly something else.
Now a character that needs time to wrap your head around, the development dedicated to her was at times too rushed but I believe, necessary. Identity, individuality, all tricky elements to a persons personality. How they perceive themselves and project themselves to other people. Now this was a character with immense depth, honest and brutal, I am sure anyone will enjoy watching her unfold.
Your typical, selfless and considerate main character - come on, we've come across this type of protagonist countless times. Noble. Generous. He's a character you'd roll your eyes at: you think, come on, you have to be selfish somehow. But this character gives you a gleam of hope, he was fleshed out to the max. Unlike the other characters, his struggle was perhaps too much of a thing.
This anime did not forget any character and gave its cast the proper time it needed to mature and grow. Their flaws, strengths and deepest fears. Everything is exposed that viewers truly feel with them, you can easily relate with how they react even if you have not experienced it before.
While the story can seem as some sort of prop to be used for character development, their is a mist of mystery and suspense around it's events that are overlooked. Definitely unpredictable, this anime is an emotional ride. The individual elements of comedy, action and romance are paced carefully well.
In a more critical view, the plot/storyline is not explored completely and seems to be only used as some sort of device for the characters. The actual process of the phenomenons and explanations are very vague and even Heartseed himself is unknown and peculiar. That may be annoying to some, as its core is not clear or comprehensible which makes rooms for misunderstandings and plot holes.
There are endless possibilities, choices to do with this anime, so it makes sense that it appears too slow-paced or boring as it does explore many of the components.
But the characterization is something that can't be missed out on.
Note: At the time of writing this review, i have only watched up to 11 episodes. Thus, the review might not be too accurate as more episodes air, but i will try my best to give a good review with my understanding of these first 11 episodes. (at the time when this review was initially written, it was only 6 episodes watched, i added in several things about the new arcs in the series this time round.)
To be honest, Kokoro Connect was not in my list of anime to watch for the season initially, nor did it catch my interest at first. When reading the
story synopsis, i was expecting it to be a light hearted series overall with mainly humorous events when the characters swap their bodies.
How wrong i was.
The episodes pace pretty quickly as the anime starts to get dark. This whole body swapping business starts to get worse as time progresses with even more implications in the daily lives of the characters, as well as how they interact with one another. For those who like a fair share of drama in their anime, Kokoro Connect is your cup of tea.
The characters have shown distinct character development as the story progresses. We get a deeper look into their lives, and their personalities as well. We come to understand why the characters behave the way they do because of circumstances in their lives, and that makes the viewer attached to the characters. We can emphatise with them, and it draws us in to want to watch even more.
The anime enters a new arc in episode 6. Just when we thought body swapping was the worst it could get, the series throws us another curveball. This lets us think even more deeply to what might happen to the characters we know and like. Kokoro Connect sure is addictive to watch.
Unleashing your true desires makes you aware of how you really feel and what you really want. However, it brings fear at the same time. Fear of unleashing these desires at the wrong time. Its interesting to see how the characters cope with the inevitable, as even though there is the fear of being unable to suppress one's true desires, one cannot distance themselves from people forever. All humans are sociable in nature and enjoy company. No matter how anti-social a person is, he/she will get lonely eventually. We gain a nice insight on how the characters takes things in their stride and face the events that happen in their life, as well as how events slowly unfold and true feelings are revealed.
Coincidentally, episode 11 is another new arc, where the characters periodically revert back to their young selfs for a few hours at a time. The catch is that they are able to remember things from when they are young even after they revert back to their original selves. This brings forth a lot of new possibilities. Everyone has things from the past which they want to conceal from others, as well as themselves. Everyone wants to avoid thinking about bad memories from before. However, as memories from the past surface and haunt the characters again, how will they deal with it? Will they stand up to it bravely, or will they shy away and avoid the truth? We shall see in the later episodes.
In my case, Kokoro Connect is a hidden gem. If you are a person who likes a nice mix of drama and humour in the premise of high school life, i definitely recommend Kokoro Connect. I enjoyed every minute of it (even when up to episode 11 so far), and i'm sure you would too.