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「なかなか面白い人間達」 (Nakanaka Omoshiroi Ningen-tachi)
“Some Fascinating Humans”

This week’s episode dives straight to the cause and root of the problem with the soul-swapping. It’s not a surprise that the creepy man in the OP ended up being their teacher. What did surprise me though, was the lack of explanation! There is neither an explanation for the group of students being chosen nor a “technical” explanation for the random switching. Maybe it’s because I hate open-ended scenarios, but it bothers me how there is no reason for this setup; it was just handed to them. Heartseed basically said, “This is it, now deal with it while I watch behind the scenes and giggle.”

What I like and don’t like about the story so far is how quickly and suddenly everyone swaps bodies. There are situations that make it really amusing and the randomness adds to the hilarity. Take Taichi and Yui for example and Taichi’s interesting sitting position (for a female!). I admit that it’s probably humorous to us as an observer, but it must be awfully scary just swapping places with someone so suddenly. I too, would probably run and hide somewhere. On the other hand though, I always find it hard to determine when and who they swapped places with. The show tries to make it obvious (by making phone calls and calling names), but I still it annoying that at first sight, I cannot tell who is who – especially when more than 2 people are involved.

As funny as this show is, there is a serious underlying tone that emerges when each of the characters start talking about their respective families and especially the first introduction of Heartseed. It’s always the teacher I tell you… or the quiet ones. I take it that someone named Heartseed has taken over the body of Gotou Ryuuzen (Fujiwara Keiji) and from what I gather, this is some form of “experiment” on the selected group of students. I know that the core of this show isn’t about the science of how it’s done, but rather what happens to each of the 5 characters as they swap places. But it still irks me that I don’t know how or why it happens! I hope it’s explained later on because I’ll bother me to no end if Heartseed is just an “antagonist” for the sake of moving the story along. I would consider him the “bad guy”, all things considering, he did do this to them.

The actual interesting storyline kicks in in the latter half of the episode when some of the characters start opening up. It’s obvious that Taichi and Aoki are good friends so Iori takes this opportunity to open up to him and talk about her worries of swapping bodies and losing her identity (since your identity is most closely related to your physical being). I definitely agree on the idea that talking in Aoki probably makes it easier for Taichi to connect with Iori… which brings me to the cliffhanger at the end. Romance is already brewing and who’s going to be heartbroken in the end? I really hope no one is… I hate love triangles because I almost always root for the underdog – who almost always loses. I love the Iori and Taichi dynamic going on though… but then where does that leave Himeko? Where does she fit in?

Full-length images: 08, 17, 19, 20, 31.

 

Preview

Kokoro Connect   02   Preview 01 Kokoro Connect   02   Preview 02 Kokoro Connect   02   Preview 03
July 16, 2012 at 9:52 pm
65 comments »
  • July 16, 2012 at 10:17 pmReianz

    Iori FTW! <3

  • July 16, 2012 at 10:18 pmNitro

    i always thought the reason for the soul-swapping was more supernatural than anything, heartseed being some sort of low-ranking god or whatever. not that i was ever concerned with the reason to begin with, if it happens it happens. like you said, this show is about what happens to the characters and how they manage once they’ve swapped. focusing so much on reasons and concrete evidence is only going to detract from the experience.

  • July 16, 2012 at 10:36 pmZeross

    Weird th

    • July 16, 2012 at 10:43 pmZeross

      oups, try again

      Weird that you thought that understand who is who is hard. I thought the contrary and find it quite obvious.

      If you take this ep, you can see :
      - just after the op, yui is bitting her finger in a himeko-like manner
      - Aoki complain like yui does, she’s the only character that realy outburst often like that
      - When taichi and yui switched, it was odvious from the start when the last person you seen before the heartbeat sound is taichi and the next is yui
      - Aoki tone of voice sound just like nagase’s when she’s in his body at the end
      - when taichi and inaba switch and taichi volonter for her, it was also very obvious from the camera work, and for the fact that inaba wouldn’t use “ore”, then inaba started to say “atashi” before corecting it to “ore” to sound more like taichi.

    • July 17, 2012 at 1:20 amKairoru

      That’s a nice explanation by your there sir. Thanks for the informations.

  • July 16, 2012 at 10:39 pmMike

    Picking up this show has been a pleasant surprise for me, these two episodes were enjoyable enough for me to go read the LN as well.

  • July 16, 2012 at 10:42 pmfragb85

    So Inaba falls for one of the biggest temptations of bodyswapping: Screwing someone’s life out of spite. Its awesome and hilarious. Poor Taichi, but at least there is already quite a bit of ship-tease between him and Iori.

    I don’t really mind the lack of explanation from Heartseed. This shows strikes me as something where the results are more interesting than the reasons.

    What bothers me is Yui though. Knows self-defense, hates being alone, and doesn’t like being touched by men? It’s all the telltale signs of an abuse victim. That’s unusually dark compared to the tone the show has set so far. Still I’m enjoying the show so I hope something decent to result from that small scene.

    • July 17, 2012 at 3:25 amderpy derp

      most likely rape victim

    • July 17, 2012 at 8:13 amCherrie

      That’s a good point actually… although her life at home doesn’t strike me as anything to watch out for (her sister seems normal enough). We’ll see soon enough hopefully.

    • July 17, 2012 at 6:27 pmBakaMochi

      I actually think the darker turn is shaping the show almost exactly the way I wanted it – for some reason Kokoro Connect never struck me as a rom-com, so I’m glad there’s something more to the superficial hijinks.

      Personally I was leaning more towards rape victim (or at the very least sexual harrassment) for Yui more than an abuse victim, but I guess anything’s possible O:

      • July 19, 2012 at 12:40 pmhoiut

        It’s good you bring up superficiality. The entire premise of the show is founded on superficiality. Body swapping as a conduit for exploring deeper themes of human superficiality is the tip of the iceberg. The characters themselves seem to be maintaining thin veneers of superficiality to mask deeper problems — and due to this mixup, the facades are already beginning to slip.

        From the start of the first episode with its symbolic “club selection,” some preliminary groundwork is set to explore the implications of these characters’ actions and how they pertain to their relationships with themselves and one another. Some yet-unsubstantiated theories:

        - Yui (androphobe) is a victim of sexual violence
        - Iori (genki) has relationship issues (stemming partly from her mother) and masks existentialist depression
        - Himeko (tsun) has some domestic issues that rub off on her personality, possibly involving her “brother”
        - The two male characters have yet-unhinted issues of their own.

        The signs are starting to show. Watch episodes 1 and 2 again — tons of potential here. With these theories in mind, the rationale behind some of the seemingly anomalous behavior exhibited by each character becomes painfully apparent. Some other things (Yui being thrown bodily to the ground by a threatening male authority figure, for instance) take on deeper meaning, too.

  • July 16, 2012 at 10:42 pmWW

    Sure, there’s nothing strange about giving this Heartseed super-reflexes that let him beat the kids into the ground, but am I the only one who’s irritated when protagonists are portrayed like ants with a seemingly all-powerful antagonist portrayed like the kid with the magnifying glass?

  • July 16, 2012 at 10:54 pmDelezie

    Poor Himeko, I really like her and it seems like she’s the odd one out with the stuff between Iori and Taichi as well as Yui and Aoki even though Yui clearly states she doesn’t like Aoki. I want to see some more development with her and maybe have an interest with Taichi too? Ah well who knows, thats kind of just what I myself would like to see. Come on next episode… >.<

  • July 16, 2012 at 10:57 pmSilver

    Yep yep. Another enjoyable episode. Kokoro Connect sure doesn’t stand out as much as some of the other shows but it sure is just as enjoyable.

  • July 16, 2012 at 11:24 pmxRichard

    You know personalities shuffle don’t happen in real life, then why would you expect a reasonable explanation?
    This isn’t Umineko, so that makes it easy to explain: Body-swaps = Heartseed god-magic.

    • July 17, 2012 at 8:38 amewok40k

      Sufficiently advanced technology can’t be distinguished from magic…
      Whatever it is- demon, alien or energy based lifeform, I dont like that Heartseed guy, even if only because he doesnt ask anyone for permission to do his experiments.

  • July 16, 2012 at 11:27 pmrochichan

    Thought I was the only one! It’s really bothering me that there is no definite explanation why it’s happening. Maybe they’re planning to reveal the reason why by revealing it little by little? Hopefully, they do.

    I have a feeling though the Heartseed guy will actually be a good guy in the end…

  • July 16, 2012 at 11:47 pmRei

    Yes, it lacks explanation. I have the manga but I still don’t understand the reason for swapping bodies. I don’t really mind it though, as long as it’s interesting and fun.
    about the IorixTaichixHimeko, I don’t like love triangles either, especially when the setting is “bestfriends in love w/ the same guy” thing. You probably could imagine already how that story ends. I like Himeko and I hate to see her being neglected. and i can’t bring myself to dislike Iori in that love triangle, I love her. It’s all Taichi’s fault for being too nice…
    Show Spoiler ▼

  • July 16, 2012 at 11:47 pmsaturos13

    this show is starting to take a serious turn

  • July 16, 2012 at 11:47 pmkumakaori

    mmn, loving all of these characters ^w^. They’ve got me worried for them, and concerned and everything. I’m not looking forward to learning more about why Yui is as cautious as she is >.<;;;.

  • July 16, 2012 at 11:51 pmJean

    Actually, Iori started being unusually serious when she was asking those questions; the theme of that whole lecture-as-question sounded more like the real idea of what this random body-swapping thing is supposed to accomplish.

    It seemed like a better answer than “I’m lazy, have fuuuun~” at least.

  • July 17, 2012 at 12:04 amEburin

    I’m reading The Host by Stephanie Meyer right now… When Iori (in Aoki’s body) starts talking about what actually defines a person, I just find it funny that it resembles how Mel/Wanda struggle to define who they are. Are they a body together? If Wanderer’s the soul, the what does that make Melanie? etc… Something like that. And then that Heartseed guy. He seems totally like a Seeker watching from the sidelines to me. ^0^
    Lol, sorry for this weird reference. If anyone knows what I’m talking about… ^-^

    • July 17, 2012 at 8:18 amCherrie

      I actually re-read The Host not too long ago so I totally get where you’re coming from! Haha, not a bad reference at all =P Although The Host talks about how Wanderer and Melanie exist in the same body (which is Mel’s). KC deals more about your soul leaving your physical being and existing elsewhere which I think is more scary… Mel still exists in her own body, she just has no control over it.
      Anyway, good comparison =) I’m beginning to think that Heartseed is an alien him/herself… although that’s never thoroughly explained either >_<

  • July 17, 2012 at 12:11 amc2710

    Himeko I CHOOSE YOU!

    I really like the show thus far and glad to have picked it up. Aside from that, I love some of the undertones that’re starting to show. Oh and one more thing…. SilverLink is really tame this time

  • July 17, 2012 at 12:13 amKanade

    Is it just me or I was able to spot Azu-nyan?

  • July 17, 2012 at 12:18 amgawrshness

    Come now man, I know it’s frustrating but having explained how this swapping works only in episode 2 would have left no meat for later on. Now we only get to know the less than enthusiastic villain, his/its agenda will have to come later so it would keep us wondering. It’s actually interesting to think of the why without knowing especially when the villain tells them deal with and I’ll giggle watching even though from the looks of it he really doesn’t feel like participating in this ‘experiment’.

    • July 17, 2012 at 3:33 amgawrshness

      oops I meant girl Dx

  • July 17, 2012 at 12:27 amewok40k

    While the mysterious phenomenon of body swapping seems to be primary story, I love the backstories and secrets of the characters showing up as the show progresses.

  • July 17, 2012 at 2:38 amjrj

    Cherrie, I am here to support you now… so that you won’t think of me as just an obsessed AW fan…

    the story is pretty interesting… though I am more curious at what happened to Yui to make her react that way to guys… and for some reason I sense a different Iori behind that cheerful personality of hers…

    ok, here is a speculation: maybe the 5 of them each have something the others wanted, and that resulted in their swapping due to the effect of the creepy guy? family, friendship, love, or maybe something else…

    I have to say, this show is interesting, why didn’t I watch it earlier?
    and as always, thanks for the post, cherrie :)

    • July 17, 2012 at 8:29 amCherrie

      Of course you watch other stuff! Like SAO lol =P
      I’m glad you picked it up though. I think the show looks very average from the PV and synopsis but judging from the first 2 eps, there’s a lot more going on than meets the eye. Your theory sounds very probable actually… It’s more fun watching an anime when you don’t know what’s going to happen ;)

  • July 17, 2012 at 3:53 amIsabel

    While I found the explanation for the mysterious phenomenon frustratingly too simple, I’m more interested in how the characters progress from this point forward. I want to see how they cope with the random body-swapping and whether it changes their perspective on each other and the concept of identity itself, which Iori has touched upon in this episode.

    I feel that the introduction of Heartseed was added for the sake of having an antagonist, and I rather wish that we didn’t have an antagonist at all and are just left speculating as to why (seeing them come up with their own theories about why this is happening). His explanations tidied the plothole of “why don’t they tell anyone?” too cleanly and forced them to accept this body-swapping phenomenon all too quickly. However, the simplicity of the explanations did serve to give us some perspective on why it’s all happening while leaving some room for us to speculate. Saying more would just further complicate more than it needs to be, and we’ll probably start seeing holes or demanding further details. I don’t enjoy the “be puppets in my experiment” take, but I can accept it if we can now get to the meat of the show.

    I hate love triangles too, especially at the high school level here, and I really wish we could do away with a Iori/Taichi/Himeko one. Does Himeko really have to like someone within the group? What’s so wrong with being the only one left out of a relationship? I dislike drama for drama’s sake, and like I said before, I’m more interested in the characters’ progression as they delve into some soul searching. I hope that any love triangle that emerges will not steal the focus of the show away from this aspect.

    • July 19, 2012 at 6:58 pmSushiGoKart

      Haha I agree for the most part but I think Heartseed is a layer this anime needed to keep our interest, outside of the groups shenanigans.

  • July 17, 2012 at 5:01 amn30nl16ht

    I like the show its pretty interesting at times though many would find it dull paced but me no, its actually pretty intriguing to know how these persona swap will affect their lives, but i understand a lot of things have been skipped already, i mean, it would have been a pretty good story as well if they had included somewhat a peek in the personal lives of the characters and their interactions when they are off class or with their families, i bet it’d add more depth to the story and more fun too but anyway the show has an intriguing premise enough for it to be on my to-watch list.

    P.S. is it just me or does taichi and nagase compliment each other so well, heres to hoping for them in the romance ship.

  • July 17, 2012 at 5:22 amKinny Riddle

    In a nutshell, Heartseed is basically saying “I’m just picking someone to randomly switch bodies anytime for my lulz, and you guys happen to be interesting enough.”

    Though even without this supernatural phenomenon, I think the characters already have quite interesting backstories themselves to drive a plot on their own.

    The story aside, the music score and OP/ED is also growing on me. eufonius’s singing is always a pleasant to listen, and the R&B style ED reminds of those classic love songs in the early 2000s’.

    • July 17, 2012 at 9:51 amCherrie

      Loving the OP/ED as well =) Especially the ending.

  • July 17, 2012 at 5:53 amActene

    I actually think the swift way people swap bodies in this episode made it a bit more interesting, since I actually had to give body language a closer look than I always do (I didn’t even noticed Taichi’s funny sitting posture until it was pointed out above). This might be hassle if I were watching it on TV, but since it’s the computer I can just replay any scenes I don’t get right off the bat.

    I don’t usually watch high school shows that don’t feature explosions and lethal force somewhere along the line, and when I saw the preview for KC I figured it would mostly hinge on guys and girls being awkward in each other’s bodies. But the really interesting thing has turned out to be the complete loss of privacy amongst one’s circle of friends. It’s unbelievably interesting (and unnerving) to think that anywhere, anytime you might switch bodies with someone who then has an unfiltered look at what you were doing at the time. The introduction of romantic subplots will play right off of this– it’s freaky to think of being in a relationship with someone that could at any time become someone else, and vice versa.

    As far as pairings go I like Taichi and Iori, but as people have pointed out he’s a “one size fits all” kind of guy for all three of the female leads. It’s not Nagase (who is absolutely hilarious with her conniving ways of getting back at people) but Aoki who seems in danger of being left out in the cold, as he remains the least interesting student out of the five.

  • July 17, 2012 at 6:07 amcancerlad

    “I know that the core of this show isn’t about the science of how it’s done, but rather what happens to each of the 5 characters as they swap places.”

    Oh, come on. If a “sufficiently advanced” intelligence, be it alien or local, had the power to force people’s perceptions, personality, and memories from one body into another, do you really believe you could understand a scientific explanation of how it was done?

    Preposterous.

    Better to leave out the pseudoscience mumbo-jumbo out entirely.

    • July 17, 2012 at 9:55 amCherrie

      What I meant was that I thought there was no explanation whatsoever about where Heartseed came from or why this “experiment” is being carried out. I don’t need a scientific/technical reasoning for how exactly it happened – I can accept it at face value that it did… but the show neither said that Heartseed was an alien or a regular person or someone from the future or whatever so… I guess that’s what pissed me off the most -__-’

      • July 17, 2012 at 6:20 pmcancerlad

        Ah. That makes sense.

  • July 17, 2012 at 6:41 amShadow74

    First: great job Cherrie-sama.
    Second: This has been a good episode, things seem to go as we supposed to be the development and growth of the characters.
    Third: Do not despair Cherrie-sama, the story should give us more accurate explanation, and if not, at least be entertaining, XD, not say much to calm the waters lol.
    Fourth: the love triangles are always sad either way, but are part of life on many occasions, is an important part of growth and emotional maturity to accept that there is someone else for the person we love, and it is not possible to correspond with us . But not the end, there is always someone to share our happiness if we always fight.

    • July 17, 2012 at 7:24 amShadow74

      Fourth, Part II: But they are also a test of courage, perseverance and positivity. One does not have to give up, you have to fight and will strive to approach the beloved, not giving up without a clear answer, continue no matter the answer at the end, because otherwise you lose from the beginning. In short, fight!!!
      PS: “gulp” 0.0 … I do not really sound like desperate single? XD. Good morning to all.

  • July 17, 2012 at 7:55 amenigmator

    Iori freaking out on Taichi had me rolling. This is good stuff.

  • July 17, 2012 at 7:56 amNaiika

    No love triangles, please! TuT I can’t take it! We’ll see I guess………-__________-

  • July 17, 2012 at 8:32 amTerrorhunt

    LOL at Taichi/Yui switch. Not a situation I want to be in ‘cos I probably ended up doing the same mistake.

    Hope that Aoki gets to shine in the later episode (not necessarily next episode) as I find him relatable.

  • July 17, 2012 at 8:48 amKyral

    I, like many too, tend to cheer more for the underdog that normaly looses in the end (take EVOL as the latest example) and it seems they are going for a love triangle with IorixTaichiXHimeko.

    Now I take into account that I like IoriXTaichi more then HimekoxTaichi.
    So following my logic, Iori should loose now since I cheer for her.
    Err… yeah. O.o

    • July 17, 2012 at 10:22 amCherrie

      I’m cheering for Iori too! And I also see Himeko as the underdog… but in this case, I don’t know that much about Himeko to begin with and Taichi seems like a very uh… typical harem lead so we’ll see which girl he ends up with >_>

      • July 17, 2012 at 7:08 pmRob

        I’m cheering for TaichixHimeko and Iincho(dat smile)xIori.

  • July 17, 2012 at 9:03 amJohnTheRaptist

    Completely disappointed by the heartseed-god-magic bullshit. Undermines the nature of the show with a completely unnecessary anime cliche that’s both lazy and a complete cop-out. It adds nothing to the plot except some shit superfluous exposition down the line that’s only going to create more plot holes that it covered up by existing in the first place. I guess it doesn’t help that I didn’t have a problem with the existing plot holes, but I can’t believe anyone watching the show could care… They really need to head in the direction of that train scene with taichi and iori/aoki since it’s really the only exciting part of the show at this point.

    • July 20, 2012 at 7:42 pmHunterWulf

      Clearly the problem here is that you don’t get the nature of the show to begin with .. nobody said it is a Sci-Fi show .. nor does the switching need any logical or scientific explanation for the show to work .. the show is a Slice of life show from the get-go .. it’s all about the character and how they will react to that weird phenomena and how the interact with each other .. heck .. it simply doesn’t matter at all if we got any explanation for that .. because it is not the freaking point and never was .. try to checking the genre of the show before watching it please.

      And when you claim the show already has plot-holes (plot holes do exist in slice of life series .. oh my) you might at least point them out before making such claims.

  • July 17, 2012 at 9:25 amStöt

    Hello Cherrie, nice review. I wonder why you don’t talk about the execution of the episode. I mean. What you thought of the style, the storyline, performances, the directing and acting.

    I know what I think, but maybe your viewers would like to know what you thought.

    • July 17, 2012 at 10:26 amCherrie

      I tend to write whatever comes off the top of my mind first o_o That just means that whatever sticks out to me most in an episode is what I focus on while I’m blogging. I don’t mean to say that none of the other stuff is important to me but I don’t touch upon everything because then my entries would be massive and it would take me longer to get the post published >_<
      I'll try and talk more about the direction and voice acting and animation if people are interested in reading more about what I think =) But I tend to leave that for the writers with more expertise in these areas.

  • July 17, 2012 at 9:27 amD-LaN

    Wow is this really frm Silver Link??? Not tht I care abt the art style but….wow.

    Body switching shenanigans the series ^.^

  • July 17, 2012 at 12:32 pmNitro

    I’m baffled as to why people keep worrying about romances/potential couples. shipping is fine, but why is everybody thinking of it like the romance is going to be a major plot point? it’s not. as far as i’m concerned it’s stupid to think about the romance in this anime, because it’s not a romance anime. it’s a slice-of-life/drama where the characters switch souls, screw your romance.

    • July 17, 2012 at 1:02 pmZeross

      because Inaba just somewhat pushed Taichi and Nagase together ?

      also watch the end of the opening.

    • July 17, 2012 at 7:08 pmfoofiebeast

      also the antagonist is named, “Heartseed.” It’s not totally coincidental.

      • July 17, 2012 at 10:42 pmAnonymous

        @foofiebeast

        Dunno about that, anime is VERY liberal with using random English in their naming or terminology.

  • July 17, 2012 at 6:05 pmSaturo

    I’m starting to love this series already after watching 2 episodes.
    This soul-change-plot has great potential.

  • July 17, 2012 at 9:39 pmJounouchi

    This early in the series the characters are not fully distinctive to immediately catch on to who switched with who. I miss the hilarity of it trying to figure out the body swaps. And all of a sudden the male student stopped being a perv feeling up his new temporary female body….what’s up with that? The scenario is interesting but it is missing everything else using ordinary students in an ordinary club with uninteresting personalities.

  • July 18, 2012 at 12:57 pmSoraNoKaze

    Lori is the best :D

  • July 19, 2012 at 5:21 amNitro

    oh, one last comment

    did anyone spot the azusa cameo? http://i.imgur.com/e9Rei.jpg

  • July 20, 2012 at 6:50 pmHunterWulf

    I don’t know why are people demanding full explanations for what’s going on from the freaking second episode .. it’s really an illogical demand and it would be way too hasty to demand something like that now .. what happened to “build-up” and “mystery” .. i don’t mind if they keep the “reason” behind the switching to the final couple of episodes as long as it is a well-thought reason and fits with all the events that happened previously.

    What they revealed so far is more than enough to keep us going and also let us focus on the important aspect of the series (which many seem to have missed) which is “Slice of Life” .. just seeing how the character react to the switching and how they started getting into each others lives a little too much .. like when Yui switched bodies with Iori and then later asked Iori why her house was empty and Iori reveled to them that her mother and father are divorced and that she lives alone most of the time and didn’t give much importance to that yet Yui reacted in a little aggressive way telling her “no, it’s not OK” .. it’s funny and interesting to see that they were friends and they didn’t really know each other that well until they started switching bodies and souls .. that’s what i’m watching this show for.

    I didn’t demand a full or scientific explanation for a little girl’s ghost haunting a group of her childhood friends when i watched “Ano Hi Mitta Hana” because scientific explanations are not what those two shows are about to begin with .. it’s all about the drama .. the supernatural events happening are only a plot device used to put the characters in unique situations.

  • July 22, 2012 at 1:10 amhoiut

    Well, well!
    Show Spoiler ▼

    • July 23, 2012 at 11:34 amxRichard

      1 out of 3.

  • August 12, 2012 at 12:31 amcshin9

    So this creep could show up as anyone?

  • August 16, 2012 at 3:39 amTopboy

    Some sound effects from this episode make the show more serious.Hope it wasn’t tragic end in someway along Ano-hana line.