The story involves five high school students, Taichi, Iori, Himeko, Yoshifumi and Yui, who are all members of the Cultural Research Club. One day, they begin experiencing a phenomenon in which they randomly swap bodies amongst themselves. As these five friends face many different phenomena at the whims of a mysterious being known as Heartseed, their friendship is put to the ultimate test. From wiki.

“One of the most beautiful qualities of friendship is to understand and to be understood.”

What Kokoro Connect essentially delves into, is exactly that, the notion of what friendship is, and how do we keep it alive when your true desires, love, selfishness, fears, pasts and fragility are all unleashed and out in the open.

One day a sudden paranormal occurrence of body-switching haunts a small group of five friends, which in turn alters their relationship and every day lives.

Since the plot is pretty much straightforward with a slight twist, Kokoro Connect is more of a character motivated Anime; with it being more ambitious on the interactions and chemistry front between the characters. I think the characters are not only convincingly believable, but have a real depth and insight to them; (Yui; androphobia, Iori; multiple personality disorder?) we truly see a good portrayal of emotions and human nature.

The supernatural occurrences definitively disrupt the harmony amongst the five friends as it not only, sends their feelings in turmoil, but also makes them closer friends simultaneously. The initial idea of body-switching is, in itself a charming premise but also happens to open a can full of funny situations too, as you can imagine.

What I also liked was the atmosphere that Kokoro Connect gives; the orangey sunset sceneries at the beginning feel reminiscent of high school nostalgia with intentions to keep it light-hearted. Alongside that, there is also an eerie, sinister tone when the entity Heartseed enters the fray (his gormless, creepy, unpredictable look about him also contributed to this xD). That is certainly one factor that kept me interested, the eagerness to find out what is behind the mysteriousness and ambiguity of this Heartseed entity that was causing all the supernatural phenomena, the enigma of his powers, what he actually is and what his real intentions are.

Although those are the defining factors I liked in particular, there are also many evident blemishes I could also point out. Being a slice of life drama set in the high school timeframe following both female and male students there are predetermined hints to your conventional genre clichés, we have seen it all to often with the overplayed depictions of love triangles and pour-your-heart-out, lovey-dovey confessions scenes; all I can say is Kokoro Connect doesn’t differ from this nor does it attempt to, while it tries not to overly focus on these things, the fact remains is that these overdone concepts are embraced, and the way it’s pulled off may be too generic for some.

While the general premise of the Anime starts quite well, what with the body-swapping idea, it eventually moves onto other mind-boggling notions. With the original idea still fresh in your mind, I feel the episodes gradually drop its appeal with each supernatural premise, and swings its tone to a less light-hearted, funny atmosphere to a more darker and dampening one at the ending stage of each phenomena; this also inserts more exaggerated, melodramatic and overemotional moments. Although this tonal shift could in my opinion be handled in better fashion, it also effectively brings in, deeper more meaningful themes.

One of the things I absolutely love about Kokoro Connect is its cast. It takes a very strong cast to drive an engaging story forward and Kokoro Connect definitely has one. I adore every member of the Cultural Research Club and it is absolutely fantastic to watch each of them develop. Personalities are strong and each character stands out and delivers something unique to the story. With a story so heavily focused on character relationships, the cast syncs perfectly with the setting to deliver an outstanding performance. Quirky comedic scenes give way to deeper more emotional ones and no scene ever feels out of place or inappropriate. Kokoro connect drives a thin balance between a constant shift of tone and manages it very successfully culminating into a show that has both heart and humor.

So, all in all “Why should I watch this?” you maybe thinking, well if you enjoy a well thought out Anime, which makes you think about the real meaning of friendship and puts you into empathetic scenarios, albeit engaging you into an emotional roller-coaster of a drama with heartwarming conclusions at times, while still keeping it funny and light-hearted, then I say go for it! Kokoro Connect is a hidden gem in many aspects and it’s one of those shows that grips its viewers tighter and tighter with every episode, refusing to let go. It far exceeded my expectations of what it could accomplish as a series and is one of those shows that influences you to reevaluate yourself personally.

With that said and the scores I’ve given it here.

Kokoro Connect receives a 91/100.