We’re back at school. Again. Again. Man, I have been in school longer, via these animes, than I was when I really went to school. OK, this one is “Kokoro Connect”. The story involves five high school students, from left to right, Yoshifumi Aoki, Himeko Inaba, Taichi Yaegashi, Iori Nagase and Yui Kiriyama, who are all members of the Cultural Research Club. One day, they begin experiencing a phenomenon in which they randomly swap bodies amongst themselves…for starters. 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.
Initially, it involved what it is like for a girl to be a boy and vice versa, but they also learn secrets about each other they never knew, despite all their time together. To make matters worse, Heartseed (whom you never see; all it has done is taken over another person’s body when he has to communicate with them) lets them know this, and a bunch of other stuff will be happening. This includes not being able to control one’s actions and reactions, as well as deep-seated desires coming to the surface at inappropriate times. The third incident has to remain hidden, as it reveals some plot-changers.
OK, body-shifting is not new. In fact, not only is it a mainstay of science fiction, hentai also seems to like it as well. But for our purposes here, these tests are meant to do two things: allow Heartseed to see how people react to changes in their environment and to determine how strong these friends really are. There are times that it is too much to handle and perhaps withdrawing is the best option, so as not to hurt people. Ahh, but therein lies the rub, for the withdrawing may hurt deeper than letting your innermost feelings go free.
It’s not a bad series and I have been trying to hunt down the second season, as the experiment is not concluded, but how much further can you go with this? And any scientist will tell you that the survey sample is far too small to generate the necessary results to construct a paradigm for ultimate determination as to what the biomorphic alteration of psyche and character will result in the overall evolutionary matrices, as well as how many generational alterations would be required for finality. Sorry, I was watching the debates too much. No one thinks that deeply about anime, anyway.
It’s just that it came off more that Heartseed was messing with these kids (do they NOT have a Non-Interference Directive regarding other life forms? Or are the kids not much better than gerbils?) and we were just along for the ride. I never felt that the decisions that were made were that life-and-death as more as it has to be dealt with here and now, even when one WAS life-and-death. It’s nothing to write home to Mom about, and I would certainly put it on a list of animes to show to people to get them interested in watching anime. But, like “Goosebumps” or “Baby Sitters Club” books, there are designed more to get you interested, so you can move on to more mature offerings. Not an unsatisfying offering, but nothing long-lasting.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 8 (Good character design)
Plot 7 (Gets overworked quickly)
Pacing 7 (Can get a bit frustrating)
Effectiveness 7 (Not real revelations)
Conclusion 6 (It gets to a coupler point)
Fan Service 1 (A similar show would be “Ouran”)
Overall 7 (The experiment continues)
And remember, it’s first run until you see it. You did WHAT in my body?