Now that we know the masturbatory habits of nearly half of the cast of Kokoro Connect, we can enter its fifth episode in a new light. Maybe.
It seems that romantic matters are still at the centre of attention for most of the group, as no sooner do we start this episode do we find Yoshifumi asking Yui out once again, only to be shot down by her once more. I suppose you can't knock the guy's persistence, if nothing else. This whole scenario is played out as their three friends watch events from the shadows at the behest of Inaba, who seems determined to nudge things along between Taichi and Iori. Unfortunately for her, these best-laid plans look set to be short-circuited by those two characters themselves, as Taichi fails to make good on his previous promise to Iori, who can hardly remain blameless herself after pretending to be Inaba to catch out her friend.
Thankfully, Taichi manages to clear things up with Iori after a long chat, which even spurs him on to confess his own feelings for Iori. This seems like a decidedly inopportune moment for Heartseed to intervene, but he does exactly this in the cruellest of fashions, taking control of Iori's body and quite literally dumping it into the river. The next thing we know we're at the hospital watching over a sickly Iori, which is where Heartseed's real goal is revealed - in short, he wants to make the group decide who is going to die along with Iori's body. Although they make their decision surprisingly quickly, it's a harrowing set of circumstances, not least for Taichi after his earlier confession. After saying their goodbyes however, things seemingly aren't as dire as first feared....
In short, this was a great episode of Kokoro Connectwhich really shows what you can do with the traditionally clichéd concept of body-swapping with a little thoughts and gutsy writing. Admittedly, its characters, or more specifically the relationships between them, still aren't quite as strong as I'd like them to be, but they do the job well enough for this week's instalment to have a real emotional impact when it came to the crux of its plot, providing an upsetting but frank set of circumstances which worked powerfully. Of course, this is the kind of "stunt" that can only be pulled off once - now that we'll be going into future episodes more wary of dramatic concepts it's going to take something else new and different to impress the viewers. Not that this makes what was attempted here a bad thing - far from it - but once again I'm more than a little interested in where this series plans to head next.