- Genre: Drama, Romance, Science Fiction
- Episodes: 13
- Studio: SILVER LINK.
A crucial part of any successful high school career is choosing the right club. This can get tricky if you’re not athletic or artistic or traditionally talented in some way. Fret not though, there’s always the Student Cultural Society. So in practice this is mostly sitting around in an empty club room, having snacks and chatting with the other members, but you know what, all the best clubs are like that! You may think that it’s not contributing much or preparing you for the future but that’s not entirely true. Learning how to make friends and understand each other is an indispensable skill and yet most people don’t put in the necessary practice. When mysterious otherworldly events start to happen all around them, the five member of the Student Cultural Society are about to get a crash course in connecting to one another. Now that’s certainly going to come in handy in the future.
Ok, I just looked up the studio to put in the link up there. Like a minute ago. Look up is not exactly the right word since I knew the studio. Or at least I thought I knew!!! How is this not Kyoto Animation? I understand that Shiromizakana (the illustrator) did work at KyoAni before working on Kokoro Connect so that could explain the visual similarities up to a certain point but guys… I was convinced. There was not a trace of doubt in mind. I was making comparisons to other works and drawing really credible parallels. Honestly this little piece of information just completely blew my mind! It has nothing to do with this review…
So um yeah. I thought it was Kyoto Animation so it kind of looks like that. Very pretty character designs and great animation. I was not the biggest fan of the sound design here. I found it occasionally obstructive and a bit too heavy. Also the voice acting is more serious than I usually go for. It’s good voice acting but they don’t sound like the actors are having much fun. Considering the events of the show that’s understandable. I’m not sure how to describe it, too serious is the only way I can really put it into words.
Those aren’t actual production flaws mind you. The only real complaints I have is that the backgrounds are very repetitive and often uninteresting. Also light can be a bit inconsistent which I found baffling at times.
Other than that though, Kokoro Connect is a very good looking show. Now that I have seen it, I realize just how often I had seen screencaps from the series but just didn’t know where it was from. (I had probably assumed it was from some Kyoto Animation show)
The story of Kokoro Connect is fairly standard. Stay with me here. The five students of the club stat experiencing some very strange phenomena such as swapping bodies, hearing voices in their heads that compel them to act out their deepest desires and reverting back to younger versions of themselves. We never truly get all the details of what’s happening or why but there is a vague alien connection.
These science fiction elements are my favourite part of the show. There were moments in the early episodes that felts like they harkened back to classic sci fi movies of the 50s or something, when visual effects were not readily available so you had to rely on atmosphere and tension to get the eerie mood across to the audience. It is pretty well done and any scene with Heartseed in it immediately had my full attention. I would say the Science Fiction elements make up roughly 10% of this anime, at most
The rest of the show is somewhat heavy high school drama with a love triangle thrown in. It had some harem elements as the male protagonist Taichi is the sort of too good to be true bu generally forgettable every man that all the girls fall for. One several occasions it really brought to mind Toradora. The story beats and character archetypes have a lot in common.
Toradora is an unquestionably great anime, that I did not like. Kokoro Connect does not have the charm and character development of Toradora. Make of that what you will.
One of my complaints about Kokoro Connect ( a complaint I often have about these types of romance series) is that everyone is an emotional wreck that’s about to explode any minute now. From my outside perspective, it makes it really difficult to understand why people are reacting the way they are and in turn makes me sort of disconnect with the story.
Sure I get that these people have a lot of baggage and that’s why they are overreacting but why now? They’ve had the baggage for over a decade. And I’m willing to accept that sometimes there is no catalyst and people just sort of break down on a random Tuesday, except someone breaks down every single episode, sometimes a couple of people for different reasons in the same episode. It’s exhausting, at least to me.
Another element that I have seen a few times and can’t quite figure out is that trauma seems to hit the girls disproportionately. What I mean is that the girls are dealing with abuse or assault survival, crippling anxiety and depression, while the boys are a bit bummed that the girls are sad. Every character is given an arc and obstacles to overcome but they just don’t really feel equal, you know.
I feel like I need to say this again, I am not a fan of either drama not romance series. This show reminded me of both Toradora and My Youth Romantic Comedy Is Wrong, As I Expected. Two shows I did not enjoy myself but which tend to be very appreciated by fans. I’m pretty sure that a lot of people will enjoy (or have enjoyed) Kokoro Connect way more than I did.
For me, it was an interesting sci fi anime and the episode which concentrated on that were fun, but I couldn’t engage with the drama and never really bonded with the characters.
Favourite character: Heartseed and also Aoki
What this anime taught me: That it was made by Silver Links…Sorry guys I’m just not over it yet.
“If you can’t be happy, at least you can be drunk”
Suggested drink: A French Connection
- Every time Taichi gets yelled at – take a smal sip
- Every time Iori’s mom is late – take a sip
- Every time Inaba is being a troll – cheers
- Every time anyone gets introspective – you might as well go pour yourself another
- Every time Fujishima gest suspicious – gasp
- Every time anyone gets sad for someone else – take a sip
- Every time we hear selfless freak – nod and take a sip
- Every time Taichi saves the day – take a sip
- Every time we see Heartseed – pay attention
- Every time Aoki gest shafted – take a sip
- Every time Yui eats – get a snack
- Every time we see a chaarger – I know weird prompt, anyways take a sip
- Every time we see the actual Mr. Go – take a sip
- Every time we see the ferris wheel from the OP in the show – take a sip
I’m not crazy right? You guys see it too?