Anime Vice News

KOKORO CONNECT #1 -- Special Review

It's like a CW show! No - - like a talent show skit!

Once again, I have to wonder about what the make-up of Japanese TV programming has to look like. Last time I brought this up, you lunatics said that there were still a fair number of live-action soaps and dramas in addition to all the game and reality shows. Watching this, though, I have to say I still think there’s got to be some sort of give-and-take going on, because KOKORO CONNECT is maybe a brush stroke or two away from playing exactly like a CW show - - and I imagine it fills the same space.

I don’t say that as a slam. This was a very fun opening episode, with engaging dialog and appealing characters. However, it’s still a talking heads show, and the “supernatural” portion still feels about as far out as the sort of dare-based, comedy-of-errors plot that you might’ve found on some SAVED BY THE BELL episode. Yes, animation is a medium that can handle all sorts of themes and subjects. However, considering how much easier it would’ve been to have just filmed this in one or two sets with real actors, you’ve got to wonder what outside practicalities might have spurred this creative choice.

Anyway…

The hook of this episode did appeal to me. When you’ve watched however many hundreds of these larger-than-life shows, you start thinking about all the sort of small, “in-between” scene that must be logically happening off-screen. You know, when the mom and daughter swap bodies in FREAKY FRIDAY, how long can they really manage to keep their situation a secret? To make another comparison, this actually felt like a good talent show skit by kids with similar inspirational - - a light and focused parody on flick that makes a few jabs at the student paper staff for good measure.

Don’t know if I’ll stick with this - - as entertaining as it was. Just wanted to check it out since it’s one of the new series this season. I’ll go on, pat it on the head and leave it where it is.

Watch this episode, " A Story that had Already Begun before Anyone Realized It” here and decide for yourself.

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk

Eribusteron Aug. 6, 2012 at 9:15 p.m.

Might want to take a glance at another episode or four. The series takes the tired body swap premise in to some interesting places. Episode 3 in particular has some pretty great swings between drama and comedy.

Alamunon Aug. 7, 2012 at 7:20 a.m.

I'm really enjoying this show. It would be cool if you checked out a couple more episodes.

Halberdierv2on Aug. 7, 2012 at 5:49 p.m.

the first episode didn't really appeal to me so much, but I kept with it. episode 2 onwards gets a whole lot better. Episode 5 in particular is a whiplash.

Alamunon Aug. 7, 2012 at 7:59 p.m.

Episode 5 is intense.

Daniel_Newton moderator on Aug. 8, 2012 at 6:12 p.m.

The characters alone were appealing enough for me to check out episode 2 of this show, and thankfully it's only gotten better and better. Of the six new anime series I'm watching right now, this is the one I look forward to the most each week.

I know you're against the whole "you need to keep watching this, it gets so good later on!" thing, but if what happened in the first episode was enough to interest you, I'd suggest digging a little deeper. As others have said, this show actually gets pretty intense, and I'd like to see what you think of it. I've been thinking about writing an article on the show myself, now that it's more or less at the halfway point.

By the way, that image of Inaba is perfect.

No_name_here staff on Aug. 8, 2012 at 8:57 p.m.

@Eribuster: @Alamun: @Halberdierv2:

I'll think about it. I definitely liked this more than CAMPIONE. There's just so much anime and so little time.

@Daniel_Newton said:

I've been thinking about writing an article on the show myself, now that it's more or less at the halfway point.

Dude, you should! I'll put it up.

Darokion Aug. 9, 2012 at 4:47 a.m.

@Alamun said:

Episode 5 is intense.

I liked how it pretty much made the point I was making in my head and FORCED things to get "real" at that point. To use Tom's metaphor, it went from CW to AMC in a heartbeat. I don't know if it can keep up that intensity but if it can it leapfrogs forward as one of the biggest surprises of the season.

Dig Deeper into Kokoro Connect

The anime adaptation of the Kokoro Connect manga. Five high school students suddenly switch bodies with each other at random.

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