I do apologize for the low traffic. Currently typing from Rio de Janeiro! (It’s in Brazil) XD
It’s me again, DarrenW, and today I’d like to review an anime that literally touched my heart. Yes, today I will review the anime Kokoro Connect! To keep the intro it short and simple, I’d life to pose a question. Ever wondered what would happen if you open your eyes, and you are suddenly in your friend’s body? WOOOOOOAAAAAAHHHHH hold on, you mean this is an anime about? YES. That’s the gist of the first part of Kokoro Connect.
But first, our story begins when we are first introduced to the five main characters. All five have different personalities, backgrounds, gender (2 male, 3 female) and all of whom belong to the Cultural Research Club(CRC), for various reasons.
And they are:
- Taichi Yaegashi (A1), our protagonist. He has a mostly serious personality, but is a huge fan of pro-wrestling. Joined the CRC because he had no interest in the other clubs which were available. Your average male protagonist, I guess.
- Iori Nagase (A2), your cheerful, energetic and clumsy character, who is also the club president (for whatever wacky reason). She applied for the CRC because she couldn’t decide which of the many clubs she could join, and hence she let her homeroom teacher decide.
- Himeko Inaba (B2) is your serious, scary and violent girl, who knows a lot about what is going on and often uses the computer. She joined the CRC because she left the computer club following an argument.
- Yoshifumi Aoki (A3), Taichi’s best friend, and has no delicacy whatsoever about his unrequited love for Yui. He and Tacihi also share… *ahem* adult videos… (Like I said, average high-school students).
- Yui Kiriyama (B1) is your last main character, who fancies cute things, and regards Aoki as a ‘pervert’. She wanted to join a club that had fancy things, but that wasn’t possible so she joined CRC (DON’T ASK ME WHY).
And so, the plot thickens when Aoki and Yui confess…no, not about their relationship, but that THEY’VE SWITCHED BODIES… for about 10 seconds. It then becomes clear that something is amiss, but they don’t realize it yet.
Then the same thing happens between Iori and Taichi in the middle of a meeting. Taichi suddenly realizes he has boobs and freaks out, then realizes that one of Iori’s classmates is les… and one thing leads to another. This time, it lasts about an hour. In this arc, all five characters perform body switches, of which they discover their friends’ immediate surroundings, background and family relationships. In a particular note, it focuses on Iori, whom has a difficult family and childhood, of which has placed substancial burden on her psychological well-being and her behaviour in school.
The “nightmare” ends after a climatic scenario (which I won’t tell you guys). The situation returns after a brief period of peace. All 5 characters suddenly have an uncontrollable impulses! They suddenly unleash their desires (unable to use sanity to control sudden impulses or desires) (which by far I think this is the worst arc in real life). The story now focuses itself on Yui as she did something unthinkable due to her past, and the entire CRC falls apart. (Or does it?)
Then that nightmare ends and all goes well again, OR DOES IT? NOPE. Everything is turned upside down again when members of the CRC suddenly turn into their former 6 – 12-year-old selves (Which was the best arc in this anime). Everybody except Taichi. While in their childhood form, they suddenly remember distant memories that were supposedly forgotten, and unravel their (in some cases) horrid childhood.
Then the anime suddenly ends on episode 13. YES, everything ended in one episode.
To be quite truthful, the first impression I got from a body switching anime was “oh man, this is not going to be easy”. As a novelist body switches are very hard to manage, because sometimes we focus and make the personality befitting their appearance and behaviour. But I was amazed at Kokoro Connect because it JUST MANAGES to do JUST THAT. I was spellbound by the complexity and the styles employed to carry out the message it wanted to achieve.
A very key point that Kokoro manages to achieve is the harsh reality of societal behaviour and the likes. This anime is very rare because it just manages to do that, to an amazing extent, such key concepts being:
- Using friends to overcome obstacles
- The essence of friendship and the things one must overcome
- Trust, comradie and reliance on friends
- Overcoming phobias and traumatic events
- Remembering your past and working towards the future.
Kokoro Connect manages to reiterate and spell out the problems and issues of many friendships and gives a very real simulation on how to solve them. Though the circumstances might be different in our real lives, the problems are very real. We can really relate to them and that’s why I think this is a very good anime to watch. Though from another perspective, I have to say that if you don’t like moody or animes that give you more stress or aggravate you, nor animes that have a lot of words and chit-chat, this probably isn’t the anime for you. But from watching it you can develop a deep sense of the important life lessons embedded in this anime.
The first OP insert song is called Paradigm, and it was sung by eufonius, of which is one of my favourite bands as they sung the OP for CLANNAD. This OP, which was the most cheerful opening I saw in my big watching list, but very ironic considering the content of this anime, hahaha. All three ending songs were performed by Team Nekokan, but to me the BEST ending was the last one, which was “Salvage”, featuring Rekka Katakiri. That was an awesome sound.
Produced by Silver Link, Kokoro Connect was actually supposed to have 17 episodes, but only 13 premiered on TV. (Remaining four are scheduled for march next year) The rest will be on DVDs and Blu-Ray compilation volumes. It has a previous OVA and also pre-air episode as well (which I don’t recommend because everything in it is the same as the first half of episode 1). Official website here.
Have a good holiday!