Originally a light novel series written by Sadanatsu Anda and illustrated by Horiguchi Yukiko, “ココロコネクト“ is a romance story about five high school friends who mysteriously end up switching bodies witch each other.
Such a body switch premise is usually a sign of cliche comedy scenes, but after seeing the first episode of “Kokoro Connect”, several key scenes and other hints make it look very promising, it might even fuel plenty of character interaction and development.
Looking at the design style of the characters, a visual link with the “K-ON!” or “Hyouka” anime is easily made. This is due to the fact that “Kokoro Connect” original character designer Horiguchi Yukiko is affiliated to Kyoto Animation where she was responsible for the anime character design of “Lucky Star” and “K-ON!”.
Animation by Silver Link in itself is good and fluid, but it alas doesn’t match the level of a studio like Kyoto Animation or Production IG, some scenes look a bit rough. However, at no time during this first episode did that feel bothersome.
Lively Iori is voiced by Toyosaki Aki, she previously voiced Yui in “K-ON!”, Uiharu in “To aru Kagako no Railgun”, Rinko in “Natsuiro Kiseki” and Chitose in this season’s “Yuru Yuri ♪♪“
Sawashiro Miyuki voices stern Inaba, she tackled roles like Kanbaru in “Bakemonogatari”, Yomi in “Black★Rock Shooter”, Perrine in “Strike Witches”, Saeko in “High School of The Dead” and Masazumi Honda in this season’s “Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon II”.
Yui is voiced by Kanemoto Hisako, she also voiced Ika Musume in “Shinryaku! Ika Musume”, Grunhilde in “Mouretsu Pirates”, Tomonori in “Kore wa Zombie desu ka” and Kanata in “So-Ra-No-Wo-To”.
Bespectacled Maiko is voiced by Itou Shizuka who tackled roles like Koko in “Jormungand”, Haruka in “Amagami SS”, Misa in “Mouretsu Pirates”, Hinagiku in “Hayate no Gotoku!” and Sinon in “Starship Operators”.
Am not entirely sure yet what direction “Kokoro Connect” is going to take, will it merely be a slice-of-life show focused on character interaction driven by the body switch premise, with the resulting comedy to be expected from such a plot gimmick or will the series offer some genuine drama as a few hints seem to suggest?
There might even be a supernatural or sci-fi element in to the body swaps, but it’s unknown to me if that will be a subplot in the show. Being a fan of yuri shenanigans in anime, of course enjoyed the scene between Maiko and Iori, but I doubt this series will offer much of serious shoujo-ai developments.
After a solid first episode, “Kokoro Connect” is now a fixed rendezvous in my week as a must watch anime for summer.