Before I'd like to start my review, I'd just like to give a few reminders.
First of all, a happy new year to everyone! I hope everyone had fun last year and will have fun this year. For this year, I decided that in my new year's resolution, I will start writing reviews in the anime I've watched, primarily those which have struck me with awe. In other words, this is my first review so please be easy on me. Secondly, I apologize if my review may seem long as, reiterated, it's my first time and I tend to pour myself out on stuff like this.
Lastly, we all have subjective opinions so let's not start arguments over my review please in the case that I pull up something controversial.
I have a different grading system when I rank anime compared to the standard one given so with that being said...
1. ARTISTRY: 9/10
"Artistry is the quality that appeals to one's sense of beauty."
This refers to all the technical visual things shown in the anime - animation, personalities, sounds, all of those. I'm not exactly looking at how the anime is, how it looks and all that, I'm the type of person that tends to look more on the inside rather than what's on the outside. However, even so, artistry is an important factor as it usually leaves the first impression, at least in my case.
Kokoro Connect though did very well on the artistry, I believe. The animation is fine, in fact, it's very impressive. The mood of the scene reflected well on the animation as well, which would contribute to enticing the viewers.
Not only that, the characters were nice as well. Each character had a unique personality. It's not like those cliché personalities such as the over-moe ones and the all-the-way tsunderes. Everyone had new aspects that I haven't seen before or rarely seen such as Inaba Himeko. It's hard to sub-classify her to the classifications of anime characters we have right now. Her good looks and her cool, grown-up attitude and behind those is a clumsy girl with the capability to make her look beautiful, hot and cute all at the same time is very rare in the anime world.
Another factor I'm mysteriously interested in is the voice acting. I am just so dumbfounded when I hear the voice actors and actresses expressing the character's feelings to the fullest in each dialogue they speak out. In Kokoro Connect, I'd have to say they did an amazing job in this aspect. All the characters, their feelings and their dialogues, it was expressed in such a way wherein which you are just left with amazement. This is yet another commendable aspect in terms of the artistry.
Lastly, the plot. The way the story was laid out, the way each new problem and conflict was presented, the way each problem was solved by the help of teamwork was perfect. These kinds of plots just give you the urge to continue watching more and more episodes consecutively due to its excitement and interesting turn of events.
2. INTELLECTUAL VALUE: 10/10
"Intellectual value refers to the anime stimulating thought. It enriches our mental life by making us realize fundamental truths about life and human nature."
When I watch anime, I closely keep in watch for this quality. This usually determines if I'll like the anime or not.
No doubt, I learned a lot from this anime. New truths about life itself and about us, humans. We're very powerless if we settle things all by ourselves and we need help from others at some point in life. Life works that way. Every individual should work together and united, they shall stand.
With that being said, intellectual value in this show is yet another commendable factor seen in Kokoro Connect.
3. SUGGESTIVENESS: 9/10
"Suggestiveness is the quality associated with the emotional power shown and experienced by the audience."
Let's focus on Nagase Iori on this one, shall we? Did you feel the pain Iori felt as she continuously isolated herself from the Cultural Research Club and its members? Did you feel anguish and anger or perhaps any feeling when Iori showed an antagonistic and negative behavior towards her own friends despite how nice they were to her? My main point is, the very fact that you, the audience, expressed intense emotions during those scenes is already the fact that this anime succeeded its purpose in expressing suggestiveness to the audience.
Not only did Nagase leave a strong emotional power but also practically everything shown on the show. Every dramatic moment in Kokoro Connect was intense and it left strong emotional power, leaving you astounded and moved in your heart. That, itself, makes me give this a 10/10.
4. SPIRITUAL VALUE: 10/10
"Spiritual value is the quality wherein which the show elevates the spirit by bringing out moral values which make us better persons."
I would be killing myself literally if I were to say that Kokoro Connect failed to inspire its viewers to become better persons or change their perspective on life. This has got to be the strongest point shown in the anime.
Society is cruel. Hardships come and go. At some point, you will feel like you've reached the lowest peak in your life. Yet, in the end, your friends will always be there to pull you up. The concept of friendship was indeed highlighted in this show.
"Like I care! Do whatever you want! It's your life!," as said by Inaba. A very motivational and inspiring quote indeed. You are entitled to everything you want and can do and no one has the right to bother around with what's yours.
Kokoro Connect taught me that you can't live life all by yourself. No one can. Everyone needs someone to be at their side to be with them, guide them, shoulder their pain and burden and everything else. It's a human instinct, we linger for love. This human instinct was shown on Nagase Iori, despite her persistent attitude.
5. PERMANENCE: 10/10
"Permanence is shown when a great show endures time and space. Thus, it immortalizes its maker along with the show itself."
Permanence, in my opinion, is one of the greatest qualities every anime has to focus on. Every anime should strive to leave an impact to the audience in order for them to not forget about it for a long time and hopefully recommend to their friends. It is also a pretty drastic quality, as it also interconnects and interlocks with spiritual value and intellectual value.
These last 4 episodes, in my belief, indeed succeeded in engraving a memory of how wonderful this anime is in the viewer's hearts.
The concept and idea of friendship and teamwork, I will never forget the fact on how much that was highlighted and shown during the whole course of the Kokoro Connect series.
OVERALL: 9.6/10 or 10/10
TL;DR? All in all, I'd like to say that this is a wonderful and commendable show. I would indeed recommend this to my friends if they are looking for an anime to watch. Every anime should strive to be like this one, Kokoro Connect deserves to be a role model. However, regardless of the fact that it's amazing, I still wouldn't say it's the epitome and magnum opus of shows and all that, as some shows still encompass this anime but shows as nice as this are rarely seen this days so in conclusion, I highly suggest you watch this series. You won't regret it.
There's nothing better than having a good friend, enjoying the time as well as the memories you make with them, or someday be able to progress that friendship into something more. This is especially true in high school where friends, love, and connections are established. It is where our youth lives expand and we explore ideas like never before. It's an experience that most of us may never forget. These experiences are formed by our thoughts. Sometimes, thoughts from our minds doesn't speak by itself. Yet, we try to tell someone precious of our feelings. Other times, we keep it to ourselves. From the friendships
we make and establish comes forth what we can call connections.
Welcome back to Kokoro Connect where the Cultural Research Club encounters some strange events, things we don't see every day especially in the real world. Kokoro Connect: Michi Random is a series of four episodes that expands from the original series. It is based on the same setting, characters, artwork, and by the same author of the light novel, Sadanatsu Anda.
The series continues directly from the original title that aired a few months ago. Thus, all the characters return but with some new twists. Here's where the supernatural element part kicks in. Apparently, thoughts from the inside of their heads can no longer be concealed. Their deepest thoughts and secrets becomes an echo. With this new supernatural gag kicks off the major drama that spawned in these episodes. It gets intense and is not random because every one of those thoughts becomes a moment that causes drama. In fact, it affects the relationship and connections the characters have worked hard to build on.
Bring on the roller coaster of drama once again.
In fact, there is major tensions between the main male protagonist, Inaba, and Iori in these four episodes. Love plays a major factor in this ride as feelings and thoughts the girls tries to conceal becomes a public display with the new supernatural gag. The new dilemma established brings forth challenges as the characters tries to play off their displayed thoughts as a joke. Yet, it's easy to tell that it's not a joke as the connections these friends have built are put on stress as their secrets are exposed that leaves painful scars. In particular, Iori Nagase seems to suffer most from the stress as result of the new supernatural gag. Often known as a friendly, energetic, and outgoing girl, she becomes much more reserved in these episodes. Later on, these emotions gets to her and she even becomes enraged after hearing some thoughts she doesn't like. It becomes a crisis as these friends are finding it quite difficult to go back as things were once before. Even Inaba becomes affected to a degree despite her mature personality. Rather than love in the air, it's filled with drama. In fact, this drama escalates later on to even a bit of violence that results in collateral damage.
The characters in these episodes mostly retains their original personalities but displays a tenderness as result of the new supernatural features. The love triangle between Inaba, Taichi, and Iori escalates to a boiling point. It's painful to watch but life often takes unexpected routes when certain events occur especially in regards to love. With that slice of life feeling still added to the episodes, it becomes a short emotional journey. The atmosphere of the episodes retains its tone and edges however. Despite the emotional roller coaster, the episodes still has that general lighthearted theme. It is meaningful because it doesn't try to side track itself from the main story/arc as some series have. Instead, it continues from a emotional roller coaster that's set to reach a peak point when some of the deepest thoughts are revealed. Talk about some hardcore drama to be honest.
Despite the over the line drama, the series does retains some of its cute moments especially for those of you Inaba fans. Her faces, expressions, and dialogue brings giggles to a viewer's face. That and some of the thoughts being echoed are also amusing to watch especially since they occur at random times. It is no surprising too since the title of these four finale episodes are titled collectively as Kokoro Connect: Michi Random. Yet at times, some of those random moments seems to be forced. In other words, these episodes tries a bit too hard to convey that drama to the viewers. The supernatural element known as "now-I-can-hear-you-what-you're-thinking" is also not new to the tv media. Series such as Negima, Chrono Crusade, even live action such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Season 3) has used the theme of live thoughts. However, it is still an interesting concept that remains fiction but explores the reality of its effects.
The artwork of the series remains exactly as it was from the original series. The lighthearted backgrounds of the school and the characters remains intact by the way they are casually dressed. Yukiko Horiguchi deals with the characters designs who is known for her work from K-On and Lucky Star. As such, it is not surprising that some of the characters have similarities in appearances when compared to designs from her mediums.
The musical aspect of these episodes remains intact and lighthearted with its themes. Drama is portrayed in ways that are comedic, dramatic, and emotional measured in volumes of depth. What we see from these depths is a music rhythm that reflects exactly what Kokoro Connect is – an emotional ride. The OP song, "Kimi Rhythm" by Masaki Imai displays a montage of the characters at various stances in which we can see how fun they are having. Yet, in these episodes some of that fun are put on stress under new circumstances.
In conclusion, Kokoro Connect: Michi Random becomes an expansion of the emotional ride the original series has bought to us. Unfortunately, there are still questions that still need answers especially in regards on of its execution. In fact, some of these questions are ambiguous in regards to the drama in which the new supernatural gag has bought towards to the series. But still, the series connected well in the end with a solid finish that is satisfying. For me, this was a satisfying series and satisfaction was achieved.
At the time of writing, these last 4 episodes of Kokoro Connect were ranked #147 on MAL.
Overrated. Definitely overrated.
****Spoilers may be found from here on****
Story (5/10): Michi Random picks up directly from where the main series left off and yet again we find the plot centred on Iori. This time, emotional transmissions galore.
Seriously, guys, why don't we just call it "Iori Connect" already?
To sum it up, Iori gets depressed (AGAIN) because she doesn't know who her "real 'me'" is.
Cue 4 episodes of conversations that go like this:
Random CRC Member (Aoki/Yui/Inaba/Taichi): "Dude, you're not acting like your normal self."
Iori:"That's because you don't know the real 'me'!"
So instead of any steps to solve the problem, we get an endless cycle of melodramatic shit we've all heard before. Then RINSE...aaaand REPEAT.
But WAIT it gets even better in the last episode. Somehow, without thinking, Inaba picks a 1v3 fight with some wanna-be-punk douchebags and obviously gets kidnapped. Girl, WTF did you expect when rushing in like that? You're not Yui...
Cue Inaba getting obviously saved by a ragtag group of CRC members. Really, could things have gotten any more predictable?
Throw in some shallow garbage dialogue about the importance of friends and an unconvincing rehabilitation for Setouchi-san, and you get a package of a plot that promises little and delivers even less.
Yep, the story is without a doubt ATROCIOUSLY average.
Art (5/10): Character art, like the main series, didn't strike me as particularly original or memorable. Taichi still reminds me of Tsuda-kun from Seitokai Yakuindomo albeit with brown hair, and everyone has had the KyoAni moe treatment ramped up on them to a whole new BLAND level. Nothing interesting here.
Sound (6/10): Probably the "best" part of the series, considering the OP and ED didn't kill my ears. "I scream Chocolatl" is a decent listen, but the OST really didn't do much to immerse me to feel sympathy for Iori's plight.
Character (4/10): As I said before, you can slap the label "Iori Connect" on this anime already.
Iori is easily the most developed character in the whole series, and that's because she gets SCREENTIME. Everyone else except maybe Inaba remains a one-dimensional personality. Maybe that's why they can't understand a more complex character like Iori and can only ask her to be normal, rather than asking who she WANTS to be.
To summarise the amount of character development in Michi Random for the CRC members in descending order, we have:
Iori (by a long, @#$%ing way)-->Inaba-->BLAND-->BLAND-->BLAND
It's ironic how much screentime in Kokoro Connect+Michi Random is dedicated to love confessions rather than useful plot devices to actually immerse viewers in the world of the characters and not make them seem so insubstantial. Could it really have hurt the creators to place some more flashbacks on the childhoods for each of the CRC members (yes, even for Iori seeing as this is Michi Random). Everything in Kokoro Connect is just "we tell the viewer this happened to this and this character, and they'll believe us without us showing them..."
Disappointing. It also really does reflect on the laziness of the production staff that the romance aspect ends on a particularly superficial note. But then again, to satisfy the unthinking viewer masses and provide closure Taichi must pick one girl over the another to go out with. Hopefully, there won't be a 2nd season.
Enjoyment (5/10): You'd think that a slice-of-life anime would have ample amounts of humour to balance the slower-paced plot and lack of action. But yet again in Michi Random, the comedy is uncreative and falls flat.
It was particularly insensitive that Taichi tried to cover for Iori by saying he went too far with her in a physical romance. Haha, very funny. But would Taichi really have said this, knowing that Yui had nearly been raped in the past and being the "selfless freak" he is? Definitely insensitive and uncaring.
Yet this was only one of the many contradictions in character in Michi Random.
(I'm not even going to start talking about how Inaba is supposedly good at analysing & manipulating people and situations....mindlessly starting a 1v3 fight? You've got to be kidding me).
Overall (5/10): TL;DR Michi Random and the main series of Kokoro Connect simply doesn't live up to its hype. This anime takes itself too seriously in depicting high-school relationships but does nothing to deliver. Made by lazy creators, it can only be described as disappointing and BLAND. Go look elsewhere for your daily dose of cute girls and guys doing not-so-cute things, and steer clear of this anime. Who knows, you may be rewarded for your wisdom with a more interesting series.
“The point of life isn’t to be perfect. It’s to do what you want to do. To be who you want to be.” – Iori Nagase
The quote above is the moral of Kokoro Connect’s sequel, Michi Random. Like Kokoro Connect, there are life lessons involved. The ED song "I Scream Chocolate" by Team Nekokan [Neko] featuring Lia also reflects on this moral with lyrics of creative metaphors. The anime also emphasizes on the word “normal” and how it cannot be used to describe someone’s behavior.
Heartseed’s game with the Cultural Research Club (CRC) has yet to end. This time the CRC has to undergo an emotion
transmission in which some, if not all, of the club members can hear what a club member is thinking regardless of the distance. This whole phenomenon mess is taking its toll on Iori. Her personality goes from being nice and cheerful to inconsiderate and downhearted. The CRC members work to discover what’s happening to Iori or how to bring her back to “normal.” Apart from Iori’s personality change, the CRC is at risk of losing their club moderator Mr. Go to the Jazz Band Club. Since the jazz band is quite talented, it will be a tough competition between the two clubs. Whoever gives the best presentation at the school event would keep Mr. Go as the moderator.
One thing I cannot understand is the love triangle between Taichi, Iori, and Inaban. It is great that Iori and Inaban refuse to let their love for Taichi interfere with their friendship. However, it seems weird that they both have the “You can have him if you want” kind of attitude and show little signs of jealousy. Taichi isn’t afraid to admit that he loves them both. Since there is no violence or mean streaks that you usually see in anime that involves love triangles, it may seem awkward for individuals to openly share each other.
Michi Random is more fun to watch, since all of the characters have matured. For example, Inaban isn’t as snobbish as she was in the prequel. Her personality has softened quite a bit, but she’s still a tough cookie. The ending wasn’t so clear and makes you question, “Okay, is it over or what?” No, it is not over. Kokoro Connect’s LN continues past Michi Random and even introduces new characters. So if you become impatient, feel free to consider reading the LN. Although the story continues from Volume 5, the LN seems to be completely different from the anime. For example, the CRC members are not the only ones who are familiar with Heartseed. I’m definitely going to start on the LN soon, especially since it finished in September 2013.
The characters’ voices in the English subbed version is so much better than the English dubbed, which is how I watched the prequel. I love Nagase’s voice done by Aki Toyosaki. It’s not as scratchy and hard like Monica Rica in the English dubbed version. Also, I prefer to hear Taichi’s character voiced by Takahiro Mizushima, the cross-dressing maid Warashibe in Inu x Boku SS, than Greg Ayers who played Sanohara from Clannad. Takahiro plays the part well, since Taichi is supposed to be a rather serious guy. Greg makes Taichi seem too goofy in my opinion, which could cause someone not to take his character seriously.
Overall, I didn’t care for the prequel so much, but Kokoro Connect: Michi Random was so good that I may re-watch the entire series. Also, I’m so anxious to know what happens that I’m going to start on the LN, since it is complete and has a slightly different storyline from the series. If you watched Kokoro Connect, you should watch the final four episodes whether you liked/disliked it.
*This is a mostly spoiler free review of Kokoro Connect and the four episode conclusion special Kokoro Connect: Michi Random. One event that happens in episode one is discussed, but not in explicit detail.
While I’d seen Kokoro Connect when I was just browsing through anime in different genres, I never really thought about watching it. Every time that I saw it I wasn’t looking for a comedy or a drama, because I was just in the mood for something else. But this past summer, I was looking through different genres of anime again and decided to do a little research about Kokoro Connect. I found
out that it had received pretty good ratings from everywhere I looked, and I finally decided to it a chance. And I’m really glad I did, because it ended up being one of the best anime that I watched all summer.
The story follows the five student members of the Student Cultural Society. All is well until one day they all start experiencing strange phenomena brought on by a mysterious being named Heartseed. These phenomena only affect the members of the group, and drastically affect their relationships with one another. They all have huge effect on the personal lives of the characters, and force them to confront and discuss past and present issues in their lives. The story flowed really well, and the entire story was finished without it feeling rushed. Kokoro Connect is divided into four arcs, with each arc introducing a new phenomenon, and each phenomenon, introducing more and more information about the characters. This kept the story entertaining, and fresh throughout the series. While this series does have a lot of very good drama, it also has a good amount entertaining comedy. The show manages to balance the two really well. For example, during the first episode they experience the first phenomenon, its effect is that they all start to randomly switch bodies with one another. While this does make life difficult for the characters, it also provides us with very funny moments as well. The characters joking around with each other is very funny and entertaining to watch. While the story does end with us still having some unanswered questions, it does a fantastic job of wrapping up the last arc, and it still manages to provide a satisfying ending.
The animation in Kokoro Connect is well done. The characters are well defined, and it also has good looking background scenery. The animation itself can be deceiving at times. While it may have the look of a typical slice of life series, the show is dramatic and can get pretty dark and serious. The animation provides a subtle contrast between the style of animation and the overall tone of the series.
The sound track in this series is also really well done. While Kokoro Connect does have a lot of serious moments it also has it’s fair share of comedy, and the sound track reflects this balance really well. It has more sorrowful songs from the dramatic scenes, as well as more melodic and upbeat songs for the comedic ones. The series features three openings and four endings, all of which are solid, but there are a few standouts. The first opening, as well as the first and last endings are all really well done, and very entertaining to listen to.
Kokoro Connect starts five main characters, Taichi, Iori, Yui, Himeko, and Yoshifimi. They are the five members of the Student Cultural Society, and the ones that are experiencing the phenomena. During each of the phenomena that occur, we are given glimpses into what the characters are really thinking and experiencing. This provides good backstories and development for most of the characters. The two characters that we don’t get much information or development about are Taichi and Yoshifimi. But even though they don’t get as much as the other characters, they, along with the other characters, do change during the course the series. You not only get to see how all of the characters change in individually, but also in their relationships with one another. You really get to see how all of these events that the characters are going through affect them, both positively and negatively. As stated earlier, while there is a lot of drama, there are lighthearted moments in Kokoro Connect. Seeing the characters interact with each other is not only entertaining, but shows exactly what their relationships with one another are like. That makes the main characters very likable, and enjoyable to watch. There are also several side characters, but they aren’t given much screen time. This is perfectly fine because, for the most part, their only purpose in being in the show at all is to give us more insight into the lives of the main characters. They probably could’ve given us some more information about some of the characters, but I didn’t think it was all that necessary for a vast majority of the side characters. However, I do wish we got to learn more information about the antagonist, Heartseed. His character is mysterious on purpose, and there probably would’ve been more information revealed if the series were to ever continue. But the chances of that happening are very small, and I wish we could’ve gotten more information about him.
I had a very enjoyable experience watching Kokoro Connect. The characters and story were my favorite parts of the series. The story sucked me in from the beginning by managing to be funny as well as mysterious which made it very interesting to me. I also found the characters very likable, and entertaining to watch. It didn’t matter if they were just being funny, or going through a tough time, I was always interested in what the characters were going to do next.
Verdict & Breakdown:
Kokoro Connect is a great series that you should definitely check out if you are into drama, comedy, romance, and/or the supernatural.
I decided to watch Kokoro Connect spur of the moment having read about it via Tumblr, and all in all I would say I wasn't disappointed. I went in a bit judgmentally, seeing the familiar art style as beloved series' such as K-On!, Tamako Market, Lucky Star, and expected the plot to be as such. Considering my expectations were set low though, I suppose I enjoyed it a lot more than I would have if I had purposely set out on a mission to watch Kokoro Connect. The series as a whole is much more emotionally developed than you'd expect, and the added final four
episodes did an okay job summarizing the series and allowing it to end on a high note.
Story - 8/10
And with that said, though I do enjoy some closure, and having the Michi Random final four episodes was definitely closure, I can honestly say while the story was brilliant, and it definitely caused me some emotional distress watching it, after sitting through the first episode, I had already become annoyed to no extent over Iori, but that was to be expected. It wouldn't be a true analysis of high schoolers and their reactions when placed under so much stress if a few of them didn't break every now and then. Honestly, after the first thirteen episodes, this was no surprise at all, and because of that I lacked the excitement I had for the series before. Instead of enjoying the final four, enjoying the fact they had their happily ever after, I was sincerely upset that the main focus was just Iori and her stubbornness to listen or simply express how she feels (a common theme in anime. Too many times can simple problems be solved by talking it out, but they never do). All in all though, the final episode didn't leave too much of an unraveled ending, and tied the whole thing up decently enough.
Art - 9/10
I'm definitely biased when it comes to the art work, seeing as the illustrator is one of my favorites. I have only given it a 9/10 though because while I enjoy the art, I do know that in comparison to some similar art styles and works of animation it doesn't really have that wow factor. Still, the simplicity of it is something I will always enjoy.
Sound - 10/10
Often with animes, the OP and ED are something I try to avoid. Very seldom I come across lyrics or music that not only sincerely fits the series and emphasizes it in it's entirety, but also is catchy and something I will continue humming or searching for after the series has ended. Not once while watching this did I skip passed the opening or quickly jump to the next episode. The voice acting too was amazing, which paired with the simplicity of the art beautifully. The emotion expressed was easy to read and intense which really popped, and shone through overall. Miyuki Sawashiro is one of my favorite VA's doing the voices for a few of my favorite characters (Tobias from one of the .Hack OVA's, Kurapika from Hunter x Hunter, etc.), and she definitely did an amazing job.
Characters - 8/10
In the series, I enjoyed the build up within the characters. The way they stressed and worried, tried to solve things on their own, tried to be heroes, and most of all reacted like human beings. They broke, they loved and fell out of love, they cried, they screamed after bottling everything up, and the ability to truly give life to these characters was amazing. And though I'd like to leave it at that, I can't. Iori bothered me to no end, her switch in personalities, causing drama for everyone else, it reminded me of many other characters I can't stand in series like Peach Girl. Her faking her personality, becoming the 'real' Iori and starting problems, and then going back to the personality she said was fake in the final episode, almost seemed like a bit much. Again, there are plenty of other characters like that out there, and usually the purpose of their personality switch is to cause annoyance, and with that she definitely did her job. Both boys were on the verge of being completely boring and really only served the purpose of being the romantic interests of other characters in these four episodes- At one point Inaba even forces Taichi to shut up while she tries to fix things herself this time. Inaba definitely became stronger, along with Yui and that was nice to see their development. I suppose Taichi did show some growth in this one as well, not trying as much to be the hero, showing slightly more emotion, but most of Aoki's changes happened within Kokoro Connect, leaving nothing really new to happen for him in Michi Random. The characters were flawed and that's what people like, including myself, but Iori in this one- Yeah we had four episodes which probably equated to a few weeks in the anime, but I feel like all that stress she built up over the entire year wouldn't have so suddenly gone away after one big thing happening. It felt like Iori was much more far gone than that. I could sit here evaluating her personality for hours though, so in conclusion Inaba and Yui both were strong characters that had positive development, Taichi and Aoki were kind of flat, and Iori seemed to have made a complete emotional loop.
Enjoyment/Overall - 9/10
Though I probably shouldn't, I will probably be going back to watch this series a few more times- I've already recommended it to a few of my friends who have started the series, and I can't wait to see what they think. This is definitely a series that you could delve deeper into and evaluate- Which is great because I love discussions. It amounted to much more than expected. The story is a great continuation, it sums everything up very nicely, the characters create a lot of stress not only for themselves but for you too- But the attachment you make, and how easy it is to relate to each of the characters really sells it.
This anime was complete shit. Do people actually like it or are they ironically rating this high? I will now tell you why this anime is objectively shit.
One of the main problems with the whole thing was that the drama was so forced it hurt. Nearly every arc focused on one person and made them have a problem for no reason. Iori was probably the worst of the characters for this reason. The only person with a real problem was the girl who was almost raped but that was dealt with early on.
Another problem throughout the whole anime was that the main character was such
a prefect little Garry Stu that it was ridiculous. He calls himself selfish because he wants to help people so bad. If that isn't the biggest load of shit I ever heard. They could have made it cool by giving him a mental reason to want to help these people, maybe for the sheer satisfaction, but unfortunately writing is too hard for these people so they just made him a perfect character instead.
The body switching arc was bad. You couldn't tell whom was in whom's body because none of the characters have enough personality to give it away. They also made it complete random so it wasn't like Yamada-kun and the 7 witches where one person had to contact the others lips to change bodies. We also learn that the body changing will not be permanent and assume the other phenomena will stop whenever.
The doing desire act was just as bad. It happened like 5 times in total. Everytime it happened nearly nothing went wrong because they were stopped immediately and there was no consequence. The one girl who fought off some male harassers decided to stay in her room for days which just made for an annoying plot. And I hope you like the singling out one person thing because it never stops.
The becoming younger arc was OKAY nothing special. It focused on boring Aori who is confirmed boring in this phenomena. When one of your characters main problems is that the girl he loves looks like another girl he loved, they are a shit character. The cute younger girls made up for this arc so it wasn't as bad.
The last 4 episodes mind reading arc was back to being bad. Iori decides to change into bitch mode for no reason. I hope you didn't want an explanation because you won't get one. At the end of 13 she learns friendship is magic but she is back to thinking the way she was before. Hooray for pointless character development
The only reason I decided to continue this anime after episode 6 was because I wanted to know more about Heartseed/Balloon Vine. But of course there is no frickin' explanation. This was probably the saddest part of the anime for me. We never learn what he was. We never learn what his motivations are other than "for entertainment". We never learn who the other people he talks about are. Overall this anime was just a bad romantic comedy with supernatural stuff shoveled in.
Feel free to say why you liked this anime. Maybe you felt the comedy was good. I'll admit the first masturbation joke was pretty funny but it gets old the 50th time. Some of the later jokes were funny but totally not worth the watch.
You all know the story by now, So i will simply say my final views on this and why, From my previous Review of Episode 1-13 i upped the Final score from an 8 to a 9.
My view from Ep 1/13 was the end was a little flat, lacked that spark the earlier episodes had, but from Episode 14 onward's they brought it back, and pushed it even further that i thought they could go, Its refreshing to see a series that finishes strong and isn't one i class as "Rushed"
They amplified the Drama and found the conclusion to what this
series was all about, A club trying to find out who they in within the group, but knowing their own feelings and who they truly are.
They packed soo much in with only 4 episodes, but nevertheless, even the ending was different that i say imagined and even hoped for tbh, but it was still satisfying and understandable.
By the end of the series these added 4 episodes were PARAMOUNT in my view from the whole series, if they didn't have them i would say this was just another "Very good series" but i think they added this to a higher platform for me.
Really good series and i cannot recommend it enough.
Firstly, It is strongly recommended to watch the previous 13 episodes, otherwise, well, it's your loss.
Secondly, i still don't understand why "they" split the final arc. Or i'm the careless one.
Thirdly(i don't even know if this is grammatically right, excuse my bad English), i'm not going to write a long review, not my thing. As the series suggests,"Do what you want to do~!"
Lastly, this review may contain brief spoiler.
Here comes the review.
Kokoro Connects: Michi Random contains the final arc of Kokoro Connect. The main problem is about their randomly transmitted emotions & thoughts.
Try to imagine your deepest thought transmitted to people you react to.
merely mentioned the very basic emotions but imagine this:
On a usual sunny day you meet your so-called-friend, you are annoyed by that 'friend' but you still show your smile. Then your 'friend' said,'How is it going, heard you do blah blah blah'. You try to answer so careful that your true feeling of being annoyed doesn't come out. BANG~! Out of nowhere "None of your business, you punk" have been transmitted from your mind. That. Try imagine that. TRY IMAGINE YOUR BESTIES SAYING THAT.
And boy, Kokoro Connect: Michi Random delivers that aspect. The five main characters, were brilliantly used. Those who really think Aoki useless in the previous 13 episodes would still think he is useless. Well, less useless. Those who think Iori is cute and cheerful, prepare to be shocked. Those who think Yui is just another eye-candy, think twice after seeing this. Those who think Taichi and Inaba are cute, They are. Why did i said all of these? Because in the previous 13 episodes(WATCH IT) you may feel something is missing, and this final arc concludes it.
[Contains vague spoilers, nothing specific; keep in mind, the rating's just a number, read the content]
When you leave five teenagers in a room, you're bound to have something interesting happen. Sexual tension, explosive conflict, and heartful resolutions are perhaps all derivatives of what ultimately makes Kokoro Connect the series that it is -- a great agglomeration of lovable aspects and developed characters.
Each character has a particular flaw-- some rely on other characters, others attempt to rely solely on oneself, while others want to depend on a certain, individual character. Whether the problem ranges from being something as commonplace as
the inability to trust, to effects of unfortunate events such as assault, one thing remains relatively constant -- the managed effectiveness for the characters to eventually get past it with the help of one another.
The thing that sets Kokoro Connect aside from every other teenage drama would be its method of actually getting things "done." When teenagers argue, they don't argue very logically -- it's mostly emotional and effusive with semblances of interpretation rather than actual being; in Kokoro Connect, this is the case. But in a way similar to real life, they get over it. Yes, the characters break into absolutely ridiculous conflicts at times, but they all have their reasoning behind their actions and their feelings. Of course, their reasoning isn't absolutely valid or "logical" -- but it's a reason nevertheless.
But, this particular "reasoning" is recurrently smeared with the introduction of a third-party, omnipotent element -- Heartseed. In practical terms, you're given a room full of angsty, excited teenagers paired with an apathetic, ominpotent entity who finds it enjoyable to mess with the kids. Of course, this entity isn't there for the sole reason of screwing with the kids -- with its interaction, it strengthens the covalent bonds between the members of the club, in hopes of truly "connecting" their hearts. But just as much as this particular entity aids, it also stabs as a double-edged sword -- romances began with this element as the strengthening cause, but romances also dissolve because of its acerbic tendencies.
The studio behind it, Silver Link, it perhaps the most surprising element of the series -- we're already given a generic concept, but we're given an even more unpredictable studio. For those unfamiliar with Silver Link, they adapted works such as Tasogare and C3 -- works that were visually pretty with a good soundtrack -- but also works that were needlessly dramatic at times. Kokoro Connect's primary element is drama -- surely, a studio inept at dramatic adaptations would "fail" with adapting a drama, but the opposite occurred.
Surprisingly, against all odds, the drama in Kokoro Connect, for the most part, worked out really well. It flowed, it was logical, and it was highly enjoyable. Silver Link screwed up with series such as C3 in making it needlessly melodramatic with brusque transitions -- but with Kokoro Connect, the arc-based, character-idiosyncratic format complemented the drama in a way that made the series "great" and not "bad."
The art in Silver Link's previous series was ridiculously pretty -- it carries over to Kokoro Connect; Silver Link has the proficiency to make a relatively simple palette look adorned with great features -- the complementing aesthetic element, the soundtrack, was also done fantastically by Yasuhiro Misawa. The opening, which was paradigm by eufonius, matched the thematic principles of the shows.
But what stood out more was the ending theme -- each done by Team Nekokan, and each featuring a particular artist. To me, two specific artists stood out the most -- Rekka Katakiri, who is known for her work in visual novels such as Sharin no Kuni and G-Senjou no Maou, and Lia, who is renowned for her work in Key adaptations [by Kyoto Animation]. The other endings were certainly not lacking, in fact, some of them were the most memorable of the series. Kokoro Connect had a fantastic soundtrack paired with pretty art -- it did well in this department.
As mentioned, the structure of the story followed an arc-based format, each arc revolving around a particular character. This format was generic, but it was very effective in establishing the characters and in further advancing their characteristics. It was trite, but it was certainly not bad -- it went very well.
The characters were all likable. In fact, some of them were extremely likable. But some, were also less likable -- yet, more developed and complex. This ambivalence between a "lovable character" and a "complex character" truly made the finale of Kokoro Connect a discordant, hard-to-solve dilemma. Silver Link faithfully adapted the story as the source was, but I do have problems with how the author actually executed it.
Nevertheless, all the technical terms aside, the thing that makes Kokoro Connect the series that it is, is the enjoyability of it. There are seventeen episodes of Kokoro Connect, thirteen from the former season with four to the latter, "concluding" arc, Michi Random. Each one of these arcs are truly enjoyable -- some arcs mirror practical, yet meaningful dilemmas that teenagers face. By actually crafting a series that "related" well with the primary audience, the enjoyability of the show in ineffable.
Kokoro Connect's anime has ended, but its light novel has not. There are more arcs after "Michi Random", but it's a matter of whether they'll get adapted. It truly was an enjoyable series, and a meaningful one. For that reason, it's a favorite series.
This is my first review, so fell free to harshly criticize my amateurishness. Kokoro Connect and its first 13 episodes destroyed the barrier between what gives us our personal space, what allows us to truly be sperate from one and other. Transitioning between bodies, forcing your deepest desires to surge forth, and then turning back the clock on their bodies to remember and confront their pasts, everything has been shared and nothing is non-personal. By this point, most people would have realized a lot more about themselves and those who they shared these experiences with. Each of the main characters have, that is, except for
Nagase, who until the point of this 4 episode series held a fake persona which was battered and broken until her true colors finally surged forth.
So, It's not often you get to see such dramatic development of a character in such a short amount of time, nor is it common to be left so awestruck once the butterfly has finally shed its cocoon. As I've watched these 4 episodes, the metaphor I'd used to describe Nagase is a butterfly cracking open its cocoon, however, the people watching this event are foreign to what is actually inside the shell, and unconsciously imply that they don't want whatever is inside that shell to come out. So, not only is this a transition for Nagase, but it's also a learning experience for the rest of the group. As you watch these episodes, carefully watch how conflicted Nagase is, as she battles with the breaking of her perfectionist shell and the unleashing of her desires in order to fully appreciate what this series has in store.
This is such a train wreck of an anime, so it's surprising this has a cumulative score of 8 on MAL. This is by far the most overrated and terribly written show I have ever come across. The character development is non-existent and Heartseed is just a huge cop out to vaguely explain the mediocre plot devices that drive an even more mediocre plot. Most of the conflict is flat out neurotic; It's boring and sometimes even hard to watch unfold. It literally took 3 thirty minute episodes in the sequel for Iori to realize what being a true individual means, and the CRC did
nothing but act ignorant towards her very obvious cognitive dissonance the entire time. You'd think that after all they'd been through that they would be able to recognize each other's weaknesses or anything that could be taken advantage of by the party tricks pulled by Heartseed, but NOPE, the gang barely stumbles past each obstacle lazily put up by the antagonist throughout each arc. The characters lack so much awareness it hurts. It's hard to relate to the cast, and almost every attempt at humor made me want to cringe. I'm just glad Taichi ended up with best gril Inaba in the end. The pacing from the beginning was all over the place, and there are probably only 2 episodes in the entire series that seemed to move along well and were genuinely unexpected. Everything else was sluggish and predictable. The 4 episode sequel started just as the original series had, boring and slow. And although I couldn't recommend this to anyone who isn't a teenage girl, the climaxes of each arc seem to present a payout that somewhat redeems the series' follies. However, PLEASE DO NOT WASTE THE 6-9 HOURS WATCHING THIS CRAP, YOU WILL NOT GET IT BACK.
"Wow, they managed to make something even worse than the first part of the show" was my first thought after watching this.
While the first part is just painfully mediocre, episodes 14-17 are absolutely terrible.
Why would they even add more episodes if they are not going to explain anything unresolved?
The show should have just ended with episode 13. Far from a masterpiece, but not as abysmal as this. But with the 4 additional episodes it became one of the worst shows I've seen in recent years.
If you ever feel like watching the worst melodramatic romance anime with horrific writing, this is it. It is
really not worth your time.
Michi Random, a 4 episode continuation of the Kokoro Connect anime. I 'll try to not involve too many spoilers in my review to have some diversity. Also, this review is only intended for the 4 eps.
At first it was a shock with everything that's going on, it was sort of hard to swallow at first because of all the peace that was disrupted. The Cultural Research Club is yet again in another pickle with heartseed as he messes with their lives with another phenomena. This time it greatly affects Iori. To be honest, while this was going on I was growing tired
of her constant worthless attitude, but near the end of the arc it gets explained why she's doing all of this and it gets wrapped up quite nicely, even with a black bow on top. All in all, this continuation gives kokoro connect a solid conclusion with most problems solved. What I really enjoyed during these 4 episodes was the adversity these 5 had to go through, their friendship was pushed to a cliff. Only to fall, and discover they can all fly, as long as they're together.
I thought the characters looked great but they had a very boring aura. I would've liked more contrasting color and different outfits. The flow of animation was quite good though.
The opening and endings weren't anything especially amazing.
The character development, and depth particularly shined in these 4 episodes. It really shows how much they've gone through, and how they're finally able to strip from their problems, worries, and issues.
These 4 episodes were very enjoyable to me. It was great seeing Taichi finally end up with the right girl! Yui and Aoki are getting along quite well also, which is very nice to see. Everybody's story wraps up quite nicely, with a nice black bow ^___^
OMG OMG OMG I just finished this and the ending is sooooo sweet! I seriously love it, I want to add it to my faves but there's only a limit of 5... Anyways, why did I love this anime so much well because in the beginning of the series it was normal then plummeted, just about when you think it's hit rock bottom the scenes spark and then there's action and resolve! And then the closure of all the characters touched me too! Taichi and ? are soooooo cute. I can't wait to re-watch this. Left me in tears of joy and sadness like Angel
Beats... MUST WATCH! But you'll be asking what happens to everyone afterwards and everything it's just ooooh! I wished there'd be another season but probably not. WELL THIS WAS GREAT IN MY OPINION!!!
Before I start this review, I would like you all to know that this is my first. Any suggestions you could make about my ability to analyze and review would be much appreciated!
Kokoro Connect… I had been putting off watching this show because it didn’t immediately grab my attention, and I tend to be a very in-the-moment type of person. I sincerely regret waiting as long as I did to watch this series. I’ll keep this review to only the final 4 episodes, as those are the ones I felt most strongly about.
The story of Kokoro Connect as a whole was brilliantly written. When
I began the final 4 episodes, which were released as specials, I didn’t have exactly the highest of hopes because I’ve seen this done before with somewhat disappointing results. But what I ended up finding was a beautiful conclusion to a breathtaking story. The story didn’t seem the slightest bit rushed in the final episodes. I was honestly blown away. And for the first time, I didn’t mind that some loose ends weren’t tied up. Not every question I had was answered. But that truly doesn’t matter. The story is honestly about their growth individually and as a whole, and conveying to viewers how important friendship and depending on one another really is.
Many school/slice of life/romance anime we see these days have very trite and worn out character types, and have very little change, even throughout the series. This is one of the first times I have seen a show with truly unique characters. They each have their own backstories, own lives to lead, and own goals. But in addition, their ability to truly convey the emotions they feel is phenomenal. Himeko Inaba was striking throughout the series, but in these last 4 episodes, the focus was on Nagase Iori. The emotions she carried bottled up inside of her and the way she reacted seemed so incredibly lifelike to me. I could see myself in her position, acting exactly the same. It is a rare feeling for me to come across in any story, putting myself directly in another character’s shoes. And for that, Kokoro Connect deserves recognition.
Overall, I was very pleased as far as animation goes. It was very enjoyable to watch, but not necessarily top-notch. However, it was nothing that I could complain about. The sound was in the same boat as well, as it was able to fit the scenes well, but was nothing unforgettable. The voice acting, however, truly shined. I watched this show with English subtitles, and even so, I was able to feel the true emotion the actors put in to their respective characters. It was clear how well they were able to connect with their character’s hearts and express the emotions as if they were their own. And for that, I commend them. I honestly didn’t pay much attention to the OP or ED of the final episodes because I was too busy stressing about what would happen next. Sue me. =p
I would like to point out something that hits me relatively hard about this show and the reason I felt so compelled to write this review. This show had a profound emotional impact on me, one that I don’t think will fade for quite some time. As a high school student struggling to create and maintain friendships, knowing that I am not the only one who has difficulties (even if I don’t have supernatural influences) made me feel much more at ease than I have in quite some time. I’ve experienced similar ups and downs in reality with my friends. But even more so, Nagase Iori in these final episodes reminded me so much of myself. I spent quite some time doing some deep soul-searching. Who am I? Who am I trying to please? Is this even worth it? Maybe I should just give up… I have been in her place. The pressure to please others is an unbearable one, and anyone under it will at some point break. The deconstruction of Iori and her beliefs, ideals, morals, and overall personality, was done in a way that made it feel real. As she struggled to hold herself together, as she fell apart, and as she began to pull herself back into one piece, I felt as if I was seeing myself in someone else. I needed to recognize that fact, as it is one that has truly affected the way I see the world around me.
In short, if you want a genuinely compelling and heartfelt story, watch Kokoro Connect. There is a part of all of us that will be able to empathize with the characters and their interpersonal feelings and relationships. And there is an important lesson to take away from this story as well: your friends are your most important assets in life. They will support you through thick and thin, and are there to guide you, just as you guide them, through this roller coaster ride we call life.
Overall/Enjoyment - 
This anime for me was a mixture of Kimi no na wa and Toradora. The anime is just ... spectacular and overall I would recommend this for anyone to watch and experience of 5 friends who due to supernatural circumstances are forced to learn about each other and inevitably fall in love.
(BTW I had binge watched the whole anime up to episode 17. The best 7+ hours of my life.)
-Enjoyment  - This anime for me was one of the best and I enjoyed watching it all as I imagined the characters together as each new situation brings on new emotions. This truly
was a masterpiece and I can clearly see why it was one of the top recommendations of Kimi no na wa.
- Story  - The story was unique but really reminded me of Toradora and the long triangle between three of the characters, how even the ending is the same which I adore even more as Toradora is my favourite Slice of Life, Romance, School anime. But again with differences like the main antagonist being a supernatural forces creates some new emotions and situations these friends must solve.
- Art  - There was nothing to special about the animation style but the appearance of the characters and their emotions in each seen is presented in a smooth way which allows the story to move forward.
- Sound  - There are not many anime's in which I listen to all the outro's and intro's but this was that I not only enjoyed but danced to every time it played. The soundtrack for the anime for me personally was what really stood out as each scene or emotion or conflict was perfectly mixed with the music allowing for a magical experience.
- Character  - These characters were created so technically that for me there was no fault or need for improvement. The reason I watched the show was not for the plot or the antagonist but was for the characters and their relationships which each other, their love and hate and each situations brought them further apart then even closer. It kept me on the edge of my chair up the end hoping that these two characters would fall in love or they would fight or finally sort out their issues. These character developments are the structure, foundation and main component for this anime and what really attracted me to the anime from episode 1 all the way to 17.
I honestly couldn't have been happier with this anime. I think it was a really nice ending and I think anybody interested in romance/drama animes with a touch of the super natural should watch kokoro connect!
I think the original 13 episodes had a strange ending, but I suppose they had already decided to make a follow up season at that time. I can imagine I would have been disappointed if I had started watching this anime before the final episodes were released.
I especially like how the characters arent so typical. Quite often you'll get characters with typical personality patterns that are extremely easy to predict.
I felt like the characters in Kokoro connect were more genuine and unique.
While the first three arcs of Kokoro Connect have strong, believable character development, this arc falls a bit flat.
While the formula stays relatively the same - Balloon Vine screws with our group of protagonists (this time by randomly communicating their thoughts to one another), one of the female members struggles, but through the combined efforts of their friendship each member is able to grow.
Yui gets over her fear of men.
Inaba is scared of losing friends, but reveals that she likes Taichi, even though Iori does as well.
Iori is unsure of her personality and hates her past, but decides against going back and changing it,
as she realizes that her past is part of her.
This arc focuses on Iori being unsure about her character and hating pretending to be an "ideal" version of herself ... once again, delving into this "I don't know who I am" mindset of Iori. The story this time seems forced, even past the Balloon Vine plot device. While the other arcs focused on our group of friends having a "never give up" attitude with regards to helping each other (especially in the Yui arc), for half of this arc the group simply decides to ignore Iori and have a "she'll snap out of it" mindset. For this reason, the story is extremely stagnant.
The art for this arc is extremely consistent. The animation is very fluid, and there are almost no shortcuts involved in the animation. For example, even in a classroom scene, certain students are seen twitching. The fighting towards the end of the arc is also fluid and believable.
The new ED is most certainly an extremely catchy tune. Of course, Kokoro Connect does not focus too heavily on music, but the music does not get in the way and adds to the experience.
This is where this arc was lacking: the characters. While our whole cast and crew makes an appearance, they seem lacking. Yui and Aoki may as well not have been present, for the amount of help they bring to the table. Thus, the show is mostly the viewer being frustrated at Taichi for not doing anything (contrary to how he was portrayed in the first arcs) and rolling his/her eyes at Iori's angst. Iori's entire reason for not talking to her friends is extremely childish and even at the resolution of the conflict is not fully explained. Iori states that she doesn't want to be an ideal version of herself... but in all honesty, the way she acts at the end of the show is pretty similar to how she acts at the end of the last arc. Thus, the lack of true character development is disappointing, as the only "development" occurs because of Iori's character regression.
I would say this is the weakest of the 4 arcs in the first season of Kokoro Connect. While the first arcs I saw this as a heart-warming show about the power of friendship and trust, this last arc was simply stagnant in comparison.
Please rate and comment! Any and all feedback is appreciated, as this is my first review =)
First of all, before, you're going to read this, I need to remind you that this is probably not going to be a review, but merely an honest opinion from myself.
Kokoro Connect Michi Random continues directly after previously aired 13 episodes of Kokoro Connect series. This time, of course a new twist and phenomenon by Heartseed is presented. having your thought being heard by another person, that is actually very scary enough. Like when you are thinking the worst possible thing, and the other person heard it at the worst possible times, that would cause a lot of trouble. That is what Michi
Random had shown in the 4 episodes.
As usual the drama and plot presented by Kokoro Connect never fails to convey their meanings.All the characters really have their own strong point in this arc, and they did their role very well enough. Inaba's cute part also never fails to amuse me, and also those two Yui and Aoki moments.
I would say the ending of Michi Random is quite a proper closure for the Kokoro Connect series, especially on the love triangle part. But seeing that Kokoro Connect's light novel still have lot more to see, I couldn't help myself but wanting for the anime series to continue. Hopefully.
Overall, Michi random is satisfying to watch and worth my time, especially because I've watch those 13 episodes and I really want to know what would happen to them, mostly on the love triangle part.
For those who had watched all the 13 episodes, Michi Random is a MUST WATCH for you guys.