Saturday, 7 July 2012

Kokoro Connect - Episode 1

It's just another day for a handful of school kids as Kokoro Connect begins, although it seems that something is playing on the minds of a couple of the individuals we see preparing for another day of classes.  Whatever it is however, surely it's nothing more than a dream?

From here, we're introduced a little more properly to the five main characters around which the series centres - a group of misfits in a school where joining an after-school club is compulsory, leading to the two boys and three girls in question to create their own club for various reasons, named the Genshiken... oops, sorry... named the Student Cultural Society.

As the group assembles, hangs out, discusses club activities and generally goofs around, two of its number have an important announcement to make - a belief that they swapped bodies for a brief period during the middle of the night.  Although this seems unlikely in the extreme, and both of those involved - Yoshifumi Aoki and Yui Kiriyama - are trying to convince themselves it was just a particularly bizarre dream, the evidence that it was anything but comes knocking on the club's door.  More specifially, another pair of its members - Iori and Taichi - are the latest to be afflicted by this body-swapping phenomena, causing them some minor issues before the situation resolves itself as quickly as it began.  Is this just a one-off oddity?  Of course not, otherwise we wouldn't have much of a series to speak of.

So begins what is a pretty run of the mill opening to Kokoro Connect, introducing us to its characters simply but effectively and laying out its premise in perhaps the most obvious way possible - did anyone believe that we were going to manage more than a few seconds without a male character groping the breasts of the female character his "soul" was swapped into?  Although all of this is expected, it is a little disappointingly staid in both execution and animation when set against a premise that has been done many a time before but still holds quite a lot of possibilities for the creation of a fun little series.  Whether Kokoro Connect can branch out and doing something a little more interesting or otherwise entertaining from the norm is the vital question for this series as it moves forward - for now though, the jury is well and truly out.

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