Kokoro Connect Review – Between Supernatural Phenomenon and Friendship

Kokoro Connect AnimeMost of us wear a mask. Everyday we placed on our mask as we walk out the door for fear that people will discover who we really are. We often wear different masks around different people, because we want various people to perceive us in a variety of ways. We even lie to ourselves pretending that we tend to be more wise, stronger, happier, more beautiful, or more courageous than we truly are. But that’s different on Kokoro Connect.

I was feeling like the story was, probably, the strongest point of the show and what made it be noticeable from your typical high school romance/drama anime. Although the watcher is never given the whole and proper reason of why the main characters suddenly experience the swapping bodies with each other, reading the thoughts or acting on their suppressed desired, among other things, all these events are maintained extremely skillfully.

This Kokoro Connect Review will include:

  • What is Kokoro Connect Anime?
  • Kokoro Connect Anime Review
  • Kokoro Connect: Michi Random Review

I’ve got to say that Kokoro Connect can be a must watch and I recommend it to everyone. It is truly interesting and entertaining all over. As the supernatural phenomena commence to take their toll on the five main characters, will their friendship and bond be able to survive? Watch them on an emotional roller coaster as you observe them overcome several uncommon scenarios, all the while figuring out more about themselves and each other.

Kokoro Connect Anime


Kokoro Connect Light Novel
Cover of Kokoro Connect volume 1, Hito Random

Kokoro Connect is the Japanese drama, romance, and supernatural anime TV series produced by Silver Link and directed by Shin Oonuma and Shinya Kawatsura. The series was broadcast on Tokyo MX and several networks in Japan starting from July 8 to September 30, 2012.

Kokoro Connect anime itself is based on the Japanese light novel series written by Sadanatsu Anda and illustrated by Shiromizakana with originally titled Hito Tsunagari Te, Doko e Yuku. After the first volume was published on January 30, 2010 under Enterbrain‘s Famitsu Bunko imprint, the series was renamed into Kokoro Connect: Hito Random.

A manga adaptation illustrated by Cuteg was serialized in Famitsu Comic Clear, an online manga magazine starting from October 22, 2010 to August 23, 2013. Enterbrain then published the series into 5 tankoubon volumes and Seven Seas Entertainment acts as English publisher in North America. The second manga adaptation illustrated by Na! titled Kokoro Connect On Air was serialized in Nyantype magazine starting from August 2012 to April 2013.

The visual novel game developed by Banpresto and published by Namco Bandai Games under the title Kokoro Connect Yochi Random was released on November 22, 2012 and available for Playstation Portable.

Besides the main series, Silver Link also produced 4-episode OVA titled Kokoro Connect: Michi Random which becomes the final four episodes of the series. The series was aired between November 19 and December 10, 2012. Sentai Filmworks licensed both of the series in North America and released the first 13 episodes on BD/DVD on October 22, 2013. The latest blu-ray was released on March 14, 2017 which includes complete collection of the series.

Kokoro Connect Review


Kokoro Connect Blu-ray
Kokoro Connect [Blu-ray]
Released on March 14, 2017
$39.77
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Kokoro Connect is a great series. It allows the audience to seriously feel the fear of their inner being laid bare for others to see. In each of 4 arcs, a mysterious being FuusenKazura triggers some kind of phenomenon to occur to the 5 characters that allows, and forces them to see parts of each other private lives which they would normally keep concealed. For instance in the first arc, FuusenKazura causes the 5 to switch bodies with each other. Thus these five who have never shared the naked fact of their family lives, or lives outside school generally, now experience each other live first-hand. The series lets you to realize how little you might know those people that are closes to you, and it forces you to be honest about how little you let others to know about yourself deeply

Story

What would you do if you and your closest friends started switching between each other bodies randomly? Or if your deepest darkest side were all of a sudden taken to the surface, out of your control? Here we have a series that takes a supernatural story, provides some well-written high school romance and a lot of engaging drama, and pulls everything together into one amazing program. Even though some of the ideas might have been done often before, Kokoro Connect manages to make it funny and fresh, whilst also being surprisingly realistic with how it portrays the effects of each of the phenomenon. I noticed the drama was not overdone at all and every arc presented interesting new aspects of the storyline and allowed many factors of the characters to be shown. Ultimately, Kokoro Connect succeeds in mixing its comedic school life shenanigans with more serious emotional moments, a testament to the quality of the writing and the fantastic direction.

Artwork

I must say I liked the artwork for this series, everything is clean and smoothly animated. The characters instantly reminded me of K-On!.

The settings are pretty detailed and we have some beautiful backgrounds and lush scenery. As much as I could tell, there were no off-models or issues with animation. The characters are very expressive when they have to be. Whether they are happy, upset, embarrassed or otherwise, their demeanours fit perfectly with the wonderful voice acting.

Kokoro Connect Artwork

Sound

The back-sound is fantastic to hear. They can fit the scenes perfectly and enhance the drama and feelings. Then ending theme song also fades in before the ending animation, which I always find to be a nice touch when performed well such as this.

The voice acting, I guess it was a job done well by all the seiyuu. Even FuusenKazura with his tired monotone voice I found to be sufficiently entertaining. Throughout the series, a wide range of character personalities and traits were portrayed.

Characters

The characters are what truly make Kokoro Connect. Unlike various other school-based romantic comedies, Kokoro Connect offers fully fleshed out, three-dimensional people, each with very real pasts and flaws, which was what make me really value them when I watched their story unfold. They are seemingly all somewhat misfits, so they form a Cultural Research club of sorts. Without entering too much information, we have:

Taichi, an altruistic pro-wrestling fan who has a selfless desire to help others. Iori, a friendly cheerful and energetic girl who’s popular and adored by all. Himeko, the cool, quiet and accountable one of the group, with considerable skill in gathering information and analysis. Yui, an expressive karate practitioner, who loves lovely and cute things. And Yoshifumi, their casual friend, who’s falling in love with Yui. There is also the cutest imouto in anime, Yaegashi Rina, who’s a caring sister that looks out for Taichi and despite being younger, appears to give him advice about his romantic relationships.

Enjoyment

Kokoro Connect really was one of if not the best show of anime summer 2012 season. Seeing the characters mature and develop were very compelling. During the period of the series, their pasts are exposed, along with their own shortcomings and how they beat them. The highlight is the character drama, and overall, the series was practically ideal for me.

Kokoro Connect: Michi Random Review


Kokoro Connect Michi Random
BLU RAY
$ 22.99
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Back again to Kokoro Connect where the Cultural Research Club faces some odd events, things we don’t see every day especially in real life. Kokoro Connect: Michi Random is a series of 4 episodes that expands from the initial series. It’s based on the same setting, artwork, characters and by the same author of the light novel, Sadanatsu Anda.

The series goes on directly from the original title that aired years ago. Thus, all the characters return but with some new twists. Here is where the supernatural aspect part kicks in. Seemingly, thoughts from the inside of their minds can no longer be hidden. Their deepest secrets and thoughts becomes an echo. With this new supernatural gag begins the major drama that spawned in these episodes. It gets strong and isn’t random because every one of those thoughts becomes a moment that leads into a drama. In fact, it influences the relationship and connections the characters have worked hard to build on.

In fact, you can find major tensions between Taichi, Inaba and Iori in these four episodes. Love plays a major element in this ride as emotions and thoughts the girls tries to conceal becomes a public screen with the new supernatural gag. The new dilemma proven brings forth challenges as the characters attempt to play off their shown thoughts as a joke. Yet, you can tell that it is not a joke as the connections these friends have built are placed on stress as their secrets are revealed that leaves unpleasant scars. Specifically, Nagase Iori appears to suffer most from the stress as result of the new supernatural gag. Often known as a cheerful, friendly, energetic, loved by everyone and outgoing girl, she becomes a lot more reserved in these episodes. Later on, these emotions reaches her and she even becomes enraged after hearing some thoughts she doesn’t like. It becomes a crisis as these friends have found it quite difficult to return as things were once before. Even Inaba becomes influenced to a degree despite her mature personality. Instead of love in the air, it is filled with drama. Actually, this drama escalates later on to even a little of violence that results in collateral damage.

The series artwork remains just as it was from the initial series. The lighthearted backgrounds of the school and the characters remains unchanged by the way they are casually dressed. Horiguchi Yukiko handles the characters designs who’s known for her work from K-On and Lucky Star. As such, it isn’t surprising that a few of the characters have similarities in appearances when compared to designs from her mediums.

The musical element of these shows remains unchanged and lighthearted using its themes. Drama is portrayed in ways that are dramatic, comedic and emotional measured in volumes of depth. What we see from these depths is a music rhythm that reflects precisely what Kokoro Connect is – an emotional ride. The Opening theme song, “Kimi Rhythm” by Masaki Imai shows a montage of the characters at various stances where we can see how fun they are having. Yet, in these shows a few of that fun are placed on stress under new circumstances.

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