Blu-Ray Review: Kokoro Connect - The Complete TV Series (2012)

Posted by Retrokaiser On Monday, March 10, 2014 0 comments

Kokoro Connect - The Complete TV Series is an animated drama about a group of teenagers that have formed a club called "The Student Cultural Research Club" (or "STCRC" for short).  The members of the club are: Taichi Yaegashi (he is huge wrestling fan and has a poster of The Undertaker on his side of the club room and John Cena in his bedroom), Himeko Inaba (she is the straight minded one of the group and can be a bit mean), Iori Nagase (a very hyperactive girl that lives alone with her mother), Yui Kiriyama (a petite blond haired girl who has a fear of men), and Yoshifumi Aoki (the pervert of the group who has a very open crush on Yui Kiriyama).  One morning at a start of a meeting we see Yoshifumi Aoki and Yui Kiriyama talk about a weird experience that they had during the night where they have said to have "exchanged bodies" (get your mind out of the gutter).  The rest of the gang think that they are crazy (don't blame them) until Taichi Yaegashi and Iori Nagase suddenly have a body swapping moment right then and there.  As soon as we know it the whole gang begin to have body swapping moments that are very uncontrollable and must think of a way to manage to control it before someone messes up the other person's life.  Turns out that this whole ordeal is being controlled by a creepy guy named Heartseed who has mastered the art of a body swapping technique and is possessing the body of their teacher.  Why is this man doing all this?  Can they make him stop?  Or is this only the beginning of something huge?  (Click "Read More" to read the full review). 

The story in this show is actually quite dumb and very cliché but is executed in a way where it's so dumb that it's entertaining.  I got a bit worried with the story as the idea of "exchanging bodies" is an idea that will only carry the show for a few episodes.  Funny enough I was right and the students curse changes into something else every few episodes once they have completed what seems to be a secret mission from Heartseed.  I really don't want to spoil what the other curses are (and I won't) but they are more clever than the first story arc.  Drama in this show is alright and it is enough to keep you interested in the show but there are some scenes in this show that are very frustrating to watch due to being unnecessarily over dramatic.  The comedy was okay and I did have a few chuckles but you won't really see all that much as the drama parts overpower the comedy.  The romance is very typical of what you would see in these kinds of shows so nothing special here.

Characters in this show are decent although not the most original characters out there but they do keep the ball rolling and you will care for them.  The interaction between all the characters do lead to some charming scenes that I really enjoyed like how Taichi Yaegashi was teaching Yui Kiriyama how to defeat men in combat.  The first episode of this show was a little annoying (wouldn't be the first show with an annoying opening episode) as the characters are very naïve and over dramatic.  They also constantly have to remind us that they are friends but the show is better from episode two onwards (just like the show "Shiki (2010)" for example).  The character of Heartseed is very creepy due to how mysterious he is and we have no idea if he (if he is really a he as Heartseed could be a female this whole time) is friend or foe.  The other thing that makes him creepy is that he is possessing one of their teachers and speaks in a very monotone way both in his speech and vocabulary.

Artwork in this show is very decent with some nice cute looking characters and very lovely looking backgrounds.  A complaint I do have with the artwork is that it can be inconsistent with some characters that have unique features like how Iori Nagase has a mole on her face.  The mole on her face is always changing size and location which is very distracting and shouldn't need to happen.  Animation is good other than that whole mole situation I mentioned you won't find a problem with the animation.  English dub is alright but not the greatest dub in the world but far from being bad enough to switch to the Japanese dub.  The actors do get props for making you believe that the characters have actually switched bodies.  I'm mixed on the soundtrack as the credit sequences have a very sugary sweet pop-rock sound that gave me a huge headache.  All the other music does it's job at building up atmosphere.

There is a very small selection of special features that includes all the opening and closing sequences in text-less form which had some nice animation but not so great music.  There are also a bunch of television promos that aired in Japan and while I did like them I wouldn't watch them before watching the show as the mystery of what the next curse is going to be adds fun to the show.  Overall this show has all the makings of being a below-average program but it actually ended up being a pretty enjoyable show.  Recommended viewing.

Title: Kokoro Connect - The Complete TV Series
Animation Studio: Silver Link
Genre: Animation/Anime, Comedy, Drama, Romance, Lo-Fantasy, Slice-of-Life
Running Time: 325 Minutes (13 Episodes)
Distributor: Hanabee Entertainment (
Rating: M15+ (Mature themes, sexual references, coarse language)
Price: $64.99
Recommended: Yes


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