Kokoro Connect

sort

Reviews

kokiricubone's avatar By kokiricubone on Aug 6, 2014

So I'm just gonna get out this out of the way if you hate un-finished storys you will hate this anime.

this anime is near perfect an amazing story consisting of randomn phenomenons occuring to a group of five, Taichi,Inaba,Iori,Yui,Aoki these charcters combined are amazing and have some serious devlopment and romantic situations and this is pleasing after bonding with them for many episodes and the insights to their past are either gutwrenchingly horrible or tear worthy happy.

The animation and art are near flawless with some minor issues (like Iori's beauty spot diaspearing for a second) and the sound is so fitting you feel like your there.

This anime is worth watching and the dubs are ok I suppose but back onto what I was saying about it un-finished.

The Company who provided the voice actors Silverline (I hope I got that right) decided to play a silly prank on a man for a small voice acting role in KC and after once they said it was a hoax they gave him a small job to compensate for it but that didn't stop the media outrage sadly and it is unlikley for s2 to be realeased.

Despite what animeplanet says there are 17 episodes but the last four feel rushed and not to par with the others but still the endings sweet.

10/10 story
9/10 animation
7/10 sound
10/10 characters
9/10 overall
bentobox's avatar By bentobox on Jul 29, 2014

Kokoro Connect is about a group of friends who are messed with by some "godlike" entity who can possess other humans.  All he wants is to be entertained so he sets parameters and messes with the cast of the show.  One of the ways he messes with them is by swapping their souls.  As you can imagine, this causes a lot of confusion among the characters and also leads to a decent amount of fan service.

Kokoro Connect is a Slice-of-Life anime with some paranormal stuff happening throughout.

It's the paranormal element and individual character motives that makes this show enjoyable, but it fell a little short for me.

All of the characters a likeable and enjoyable to watch but the series didn't feel like it was ready to end by the time things were getting wrapped up.  Even the last words of the series are begging for a season 2.

Additionally, the paranormal plot ended with little to no actual resolution or explanation as to what the paranormal thing was.  Had I known that going in, maybe I wouldn't be as let down.

The series, over all, felt that it could have gone in any number of directions:

  • Dark Thriller like Paranormal Agent
  • Psychological Horror meets Moe like Higurashi
  • All out fan service with some darker undertones like Myself Yourself or School Days

Instead, it chose to walk a very fine line in the middle, but not in a good way.  In the end, the show felt flat.  For as much time as they spent on character development, there was little to no resolution to their stories - especially the love triangle that was practically front and center the whole show.

Lots of loose ends is the bane of this show.  Had things actually "ended", I could have seen me rating this much higher.

It's a good watch, but a little lack luster.

6/10 story
6/10 animation
6/10 sound
7/10 characters
6/10 overall
Demelza's avatar By Demelza on Oct 4, 2012

Kokoro Connect is one series I expected not to really be very special. After K-ON! Proved how well slice-of-life anime could do with two very successful seasons and one movie under its belt, the recent seasons seemed to have been filled with anime of that genre, so you’d forgive fans for not jumping towards each title that was being revealed, especially when the summer season offered fans a musical slice-of-life a bit closer to K-ON! in the shape of Tari Tari. Of course, Kokoro Connect isn’t just a slice-of-life anime, but at heart that is the genre which best fits it. It isn’t your normal slice-of-life either, though. What starts out a bit simple and samey, actually turns itself around to be a pretty amazing show and certainly one of the best of its season.

It starts off by introducing us to the five main characters of our story; High school students Taichi, Iori, Inaban, Aoki and Yui. The five struggled to fit into any of the clubs at their school and therefore set up their own club known as the “Cultural Research Club”. From what we learn it seems the club does a paper for the school, but a lot of focus isn’t really put on just what the club does and the most we see of it is the members hanging out in the club room eating snacks and discussing life. It’s then, one random day, that something strange starts happening to our five students. The five start switching bodes. You’d be forgiven at this point for still lacking interest in this idea because, of course, the idea of characters switching bodes has been done many times before, but it’s questionable whether any show handles what the characters actually feel and go through as well as this show manages too. It’s also worth noting that characters swapping bodes arc only last five episodes before we’re thrown into something far more interesting, but much worse for our characters. Now at this point you might be wondering just who it is that is inflicting these awful, but very amusing to the viewer, things onto our characters; well, that my dear reader is Heartseed. It isn’t quite clear just what Heartseed is, all we see of him is when it takes over one of the schools teachers so he can explain to our confused characters just what is happening. Now the troubling thing about Heartseed is the fact there is very little motive for what he does. He claims it’s for entertainment and that, if the characters don’t play along in his little “game” he will make things more interesting, which he does quite often. Past wanting to set back and enjoy watching the students struggle we don’t actually get to see a proper motive from him, nor do we learn anything about the character. He’s just there. Maybe the light novels explain later on (the anime only covers the first few books), but as far as the anime goes we’re left with many questions about Heartseed which are sadly left unanswered.

Heartseed aside, the characters in Kokoro Connect are very interesting ones, and they actually feel real. I doubt any viewer will have trouble connecting to at least one character, as everything they think, feel, and do is something we can all relate to sometimes. My only complaint would be that Taichi, Iori, and Inaban steal the spotlight for most episodes while Yui gets very little character development, and Aoki is even worse. A lot of the time Aoki feels shoehorned in just for the sake of being the love interest for Yui (even if it is, mostly, one-sided feelings). Aoki does get his spotlight in the end, but it feels a long time coming by the time he does get it. However this is mild complaining, Taichi, Iori and Inaban are by no means bad characters, they’re actually really interesting. Taichi is seemingly a selfless freak who only cares for others and not himself, however as the story goes on we quickly realize that Taichi helps others in the hopes of easing his own pain. When it comes to Iori she’s a strange one. From the way her home life was growing up she’s learnt to put on a front for everyone, showing people what they want to see and not always who she truly is. It’s a shame that the anime seemingly ran out of time to properly explain Iori’s story as it’s all thrown into one episode, which in the long run doesn’t work as well as the other stories in this series. As for Inaban, she is probably the most complex of the lot. Inaban grow up on her own without friends, she doesn’t want to cause anyone any trouble so spends most of the time pretending everything is alright. She doesn’t expect anyone to be there for her and to help, but she soon learns that’s what friends are for.

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. That’s certainly a very good thing for a series like this, for had they gone to the trouble of all these dramatics to affect the characters and then not show some lasting effect then the characters really wouldn’t feel real. Not a lot of shows manage what Kokoro Connect does in that respect. As far as the general art and character designs go I was quite impressed. The studio in charge of the series was Silver Link who also worked on Dusk Maiden of Amnesia which I also really enjoyed, so it’s easy enough to fall into Kokoro Connect if you enjoy anything Silver Link have worked on. The character designs are nothing short of fairly impressive, but never being too over the top, while the artwork elsewhere was always really nice. I’m especially fond of the snow affect during the last two episodes.

As far as the music goes there is some really lovely stuff to be found here. The series gets two opening themes (although the second is only used for two or three episodes); while it gets three different ending themes in order to fit with the three different arcs. This is one of few shows where I actually enjoy each opening and ending theme, but it isn’t just those pieces of music which are enjoyable. The episodes themselves are filled with fitting tunes and lovely piano pieces which aren’t easily forgettable. Everything feels right.

Final word: The first two episodes of this series don’t show what it can do and I strongly feel that anyone planning to watch it needs to watch the first five episodes to really get a feel for what it’s all about. In general it just really did end up being a very amazing show. It felt like it ran out of time at the end to do what it wanted to do, but hopefully it may see a second series at some point to cover the next few books.

8.5/10 story
8.5/10 animation
9.5/10 sound
8/10 characters
9/10 overall
Aranneas's avatar By Aranneas on Oct 7, 2012

Story 6.5/10

Kokoro Connect is a high school club drama that takes five varied characters and thrusts them into the center of supernatural forces that proceed to wreak havoc with their lives, forcing them to adapt for their own pleasure. Sounds interesting? It did to me as well. Unfortunately after a strong opening arc that tantalizes us with further mysteries to solve those promises of real development and - possibly - getting some answers are never delivered upon. We're left with a production that, if I try to approach it objectively, I can't really call much more than average.

Animation 8/10

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 truly 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. Character designs are cute as can be while still managing to remind us of the teenage human form. 

Sound 6.5/10

Both OPs and EDs are quite catchy and serve well as introductions to the series. Sound effects are nothing remarkable but do their job. Voice work is good - usually. It does get a bit too hammy at times.

Characters 7.5/10

In discussion of this series the point has been brought up a few times that the characters are over-the-top or difficult to relate to. I don't really agree with that assessment overall. I've attended three high schools in my time and become familiar with a variety of crowds in that age. If you didn't have the fortune (or misfortune) of meeting people that behave in this fashion that's the luck of the draw, because I met a few in my time and can draw a number of parallels between my own behaviour and psychology as a youth/teen and that of Taichi, the ostensible protagonist.

Their personalities and stories are quite true-to-life, and the way 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.

Overall 7/10

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.

6.5/10 story
8/10 animation
6.5/10 sound
7.5/10 characters
7/10 overall
roriconfan's avatar By roriconfan on Jul 26, 2012

PROPER MINDSET 
Just by reading the description I was reminded of the old Bodyjack hentai. I thought they would make the watered version of it here but I must say it turned out to be better than I expected. Not too much better though; it’s still just another silly school comedy. 

THE STAFF 
- The signs were not very reassuring though, as it is animated and by Silver Link, a studio that produces nothing more than no-brainer ecchi comedies, such as Baka to Test, C3, and Dusk Maiden of Amnesia. Their production values are always good and have lots of funky cinematics, plus all their shows have interesting premises and colorful characters. At the same time they never try to make anything serious out of them, so everything ends up being nothing more than retarded jokes and softporn. So far Kokoro Connect appears to be their best work by miles for taking a really ridiculous premise and trying to make the best out of it. And by best I mean to focus a lot more on character immersion than erotic humor. And indeed, it starts as a complete joke with some stereotypical high schoolers changing bodies and progresses slowly into showing how each one of them feels and acts under pressure.
- Directing is done by Oonuma Shin, who has made nothing besides romances and school comedies. He is good at his field but never produced something great. 
- Based on light novels by some nobody. Translated into “Nothing to see here”.

CAST & SCRIPT 
The show is full of scenes where the characters deal with some pretty interesting concepts, such as what value does your identity have if you are not acknowledged by your exterior form, or how you deal with mental disorders such as androphobia or parental abandonment. The whole body exchange gimmick ends up working as a nice excuse for the characters to reveal their secrets to one another by experiencing what others see and feel when you are inside their body. This way they become far more than just stereotypes because they were affected by something in their lives which turned them to act like the usual cheery girl or a cooldere. 

Another element the scriptwriters used as a lure is the mystery behind the romances and the origin of the creatures which cause all this trouble. You are constantly intrigued to find out which one is going to hook up with which other, or how, or why. Plus, you kind of want to find out what do those aliens plan to learn or achieve by performing this experiment. They may simply be just trolling them out of boredom but at least the creators make it look attention-grabbing. 

Of course they never elaborate on the aliens, and the whole story is still nothing more than forced drama for the sake of throwing in a conflict out of nowhere. Silly shows like these almost always burn out all their material in a few episodes. Since they lack an overall story and have simple characters, such anime usually have a great beginning, before they quickly burn out all their interesting topics in about 3 episodes and head for retarded fan service afterwards. And indeed, in this case all the characters opened up to one another very fast, and the body swap thing started to get boring. So what could they possibly do to keep you interested? Why, by throwing in more gimmicks! Since the original plot device grew tiresome, they just replaced it with another one and later on characters act out of character or change age instead of bodies. Thus once again you have an excuse to keep watching just to see how they will cope with that. 

Of course the whole thing is still quite light and at no point should you take it seriously. 
- It has lots of erotic jokes, such as the guys trying to have fun of the girls’ bodies, while their minds are swapped. Plus the usual lesbian comic relief, toilet fuss, and misunderstandings. 
- Plus, it plays out as a harem, since Taichi is an overused dull/blunt male teenager with blank personality who always gets to be the center of all romantic tensions with the girls, while the other male is just needless extra. 
- The characters also open up too fast and reach to epiphanies way too easy just by chatting for a few minutes. How the devil do they even know so much about psychology, anyways? Well, whatever, every time they sit down to talk about their issues, they just talk for a few minutes and almost magically decades of depressed emotions and mental scars are healed right away. If only real life was so easy… Although they are presenting and trying to deal with interesting emotional and psychological problems, the catharsis comes too fast and too cheap. 
- It would be a lot better if we were shown a lot more of their troubles instead of just using talking as the only method for exposition. I mean, why not having flashbacks from the memories of the person you have taken over its body? It sure beats having a guy talking without ever showing anything it troubles him all the time. Yet sadly almost always the exposition is done with blah-blah and close to zero showing anything regarding that. 

LEGACY 
You practically get a show based on forced drama and trolling. It is quite light despite its heavy themes and by the end of it no amount of new gimmicks will be enough to keep most people interested about a bunch of teenagers who have a dozen issues each but otherwise solve them with a friendly chat. And don’t expect much of an ending either. I can’t say it is much of a show and at best you can have a mediocre time waster on your hands. 

Of course there will be those who will say a school drama/comedy doesn’t need anything more than just interesting everyday issues being dealt in an easy going way, and that the real identity of the aliens is not really important to consider it a minus. Well I am sorry but if you are never given all the answers, everything feels like it happens JUST BECAUSE and not for a good reason, not for an objective, and above all not for being anything significant. If you are not given a goal, you are not given a reason to care. And this is what Kokoro Connect did wrong. It was fooling around with its themes, refused to be mature or serious even when it could easily be, and by the end of the day ended as yet another forgettable title. 

And now for some excused scorings.

ART SECTION: 6/10 
General Artwork 1/2 (generic school setting)
Character Figures 1/2 (generic harem archetypes)
Backgrounds 1/2 (generic school setting)
Animation 1/2 (basic)
Visual Effects 2/2 (good cinematics during dramatic moments) 

SOUND SECTION: 6/10 
Voice Acting 2/3 (corny but fitting with the feeling of the series)
Music Themes 2/4 (average) 
Sound Effects 2/3 (ok I guess)

STORY SECTION: 5/10 
Premise 2/2 (interesting)
Pacing 1/2 (erratic)
Complexity 1/2 (not much)
Plausibility 0/2 (none)
Conclusion 1/2 (simple and rather open)

CHARACTER SECTION: 6/10 
Presence 1/2 (generic harem archetypes)
Personality 2/2 (cheesy but well founded)
Backdrop 2/2 (they all get some)
Development 0/2 (nothing is actually changing because of the light handling)
Catharsis 1/2 (overblown but it’s there)

VALUE SECTION: 2/10 
Historical Value 0/3 (none)
Rewatchability 0/3 (no reason to rewatch)
Memorability 2/4 (good concept but nothing else besides that)

ENJOYMENT SECTION: 2/10 
Art 0/1 (looks generic) 
Sound 0/2 (sounds meh)
Story 1/3 (good concept but loose handling)
Characters 1/2 (generic harem archetypes with some hints of depth)

VERDICT: 4.5/10

5/10 story
6/10 animation
6/10 sound
6/10 characters
4.5/10 overall