You ever get that feeling of frustration when watching a show. You know when the main characters are cardboard cutouts and act out same cliche’s or when everyone in a harem want’s the “D” and is to shy to say it? Or perhaps the show creates situations that intentionally stall the plot progression. What about when a particular story ark goes on for to long and you lose interest? because we all love fillers. There have been a lot of shows not just recently but since the dawn of anime history that had an insanely interesting premise or something oddly charming about them, and that was good enough. Then over the course of the show they take this one thing… and they beat it to a pulp to the point where it’s boring or annoying to viewer. With this in mind! I proudly present (Drum Roll) Kokoro Connect! A show which suffers from none of the above. <3
Now where to begin…
This story follow 5 main characters Taichi, Iori, Himeko, Yoshifumi, and Yui and everyone of these characters can become the main focus of the show depending on the situation. However more often then not Taichi is the main voice. These fateful 5 form a club together in the first year of high school and all quickly become best friends, or so they think. Until a mysterious god like figure known only as “Heart Seed” shows up. He then proceeds to force all 5 students to take part in “phenomena” for his own amusement. Each phenomena he introduces varies greatly in the situation it creates and the strain it places on each character. To give you an idea, the first story ark is one where all 5 students randomly switch bodies and are forced to confront the difficulties the others are facing.
At a first glance and for the first 4 episodes this anime could easily pass as a comedy, slice of life, harem, and in essence that’s what it is. but oh my do things escalate. without spoiling anything, each character has some insanely deep rooted personal issues and at times go completely insane. As this show progress’s it intensifies and it gets dark. But no episode feels like wasted space, and there’s never a dull moment.
What I found really interesting was that this is almost a completely dialogue driven show. No car chases, explosions, one punches, or excessive fan service. it focuses entirely on the main characters and the circumstances they’re in and damn is it ever exciting. Oddly enough apart from the “phenomena” this show is incredibly down to earth, the characters are all insanely normal in the problems they have and the way they act. But this is where this show scores MAD POINTS: When Taichi likes the girl… he tells her! Even better so when she likes him too… THEY ACTUALLY GO OUT! Words can’t explain how refreshing that is, I haven’t been this happy since Toradora.
This is whats conflicting, the animation. Since this is a dialogue driven show there really wasn’t much to animate. Apart from the climax’s and important scenes it’s really just people talking with semi-detailed backgrounds. Don’t get me wrong the animation was good, and it certainly did it’s job but apart from the Intro/Outro’s it lacked any sort of artist flare or wow factor.
The OST was good, like really good. The background music worked really well with the tone of the show and changed quickly to always set the mood. the opening and ending sequences both looked and sounded great. Although I just found it odd that the opening was so upbeat and happy, it didn’t seem to fit the over all tone of the show.
All in All! This show is one of the greats! a definite have to for any, Rom/Com, Slice of Life, or Pych/Thriller lover! If you don’t mind reading that is. I can’t say I’ve ever seen anything else like this before but if you know of something similar comment bellow!
Until next time, sayonara.