「この五人がいれば」 (Kono Gonin ga Ireba)
“As Long as the Five of Us are Together”

This episode marks the pseudo-finale (the last episode to air) and the end of the current arc of Kokoro Connect. However, it’s by no way a bad way to end and it comes packed with many resolutions, especially involving Iori. I always felt that this arc would focus more on Himeko/Iori’s interest in Taichi, but this episode definitely zoned in on Iori. In fact, there was very little done on Taichi’s part (even if he mentioned Heartseed #2) and everyone started reverting back at random.

I previously guessed that Iori’s meetings with her mom stemmed from another marriage proposal or a relocation for work. We find out this episode that Iori’s mom actually offered her second dad (the violent and abusive one) another chance to come back and live with them. But not for her own companionship, it was because she thought it would make Iori happy. And the only thing Iori wants is for her mother to be happy. How bittersweet and selfless is that? These types of stories always remind me of The Gift of the Magi (which is a Christmas story I realize but always cute to read nonetheless) where both the individuals give up something important to them for the sake of the other person. In this case, both Iori and her mother think the other will be happier, even when it’s clearly the opposite. I think this also a good example of miscommunication and something that parents and offspring should always talk about. If there’s something bothering you, you shouldn’t have to hide it from your parents. They’re there to support you and ensure you have the best growing up so I think it’s a good step forward for Iori and her mom.

With that all said, I thought this was a very clean way to end the arc. It felt like a simple misunderstanding, cleared up by Heartseed (#1) and he even offered Iori a final wish to reverse time. I think the following episodes would’ve been far more interesting to see Iori try and clean up her “mistakes” but I’m also glad that they chose to finish off the arc with decent conclusions (for everyone). This includes Yui and Aoki as well of course. It opens up questions about Heartseed though. Where did he come from and why are there two of them? Who is he and what’s his motive? He doesn’t seem to be as much of a douche bag as I thought (at the end of arc 1), but still… he seems to be after something by messing with their lives. I’m more curious now who he is rather than… what he has planned (or who #2 is). Basically the same questions I brought up in my initial impressions.

The ending monologue was unexpected to say the least and I would love it if future episodes focused more on Iori. I have always appreciated Taichi’s point of view because he sounded subjective and less driven by his emotions. It’s time for a change though and I was pleasantly surprised when Iori talked about her love for Taichi – is it real or not? It’s a shame that this had to be the setup for future episodes since I feel like KC still has a lot of story to be told and if each character is going to take turns playing “protagonist”, we have a long ways to go. I guess that’s why the LN has lasted as long as it has.

Please note: I will continue to blog upcoming episodes as soon as I can when they are released (unless something comes up in which case, I’m sure someone else will cover it!). Since the finale hasn’t aired, I will save my final impressions until the end of episode 17 so I will catch you all then! Ta!

Full-length images: 04, 06, 22, 27, 36.




    1. I can agree with that, but it also isn’t wholly unexpected. Iori was always a little standoffish with Taichi, and her initial confession was a little forced on her by her impending death. If she’s been thinking about it as it seems she has been, she may decide that he’s more of a good friend, or a brother then a lover. Especially since Inaba confessed to him, and actually seems passionate about him.

      1. What you say is true. And…she is definitely a free spirit when it comes to her feelings. But, I think what it comes down to is the simple fact that she doesn’t know what she wants. I’m not really criticizing her. Just the way the episode presents this very important plot development without too much evidence to support Iori’s rather impulsive recognition..

    2. It’s a new Heartseed trial. The subtitle for the next one is “Michi Random,” compared to the previous “Hito Random” (the body switching, hence “Hito”), “Kizu Random” (Unleashing desires, which end up hurting people–hence “kizu”) and “Kako Random” (they regress back to their young forms, hence “kako”)

      In this case, I would expect “michi,” literally “path,” to be their choices or perspectives toward things. Iori questioning whether she likes Taichi or not serves as her being stuck at a metaphorical fork in the road, she is pretty much questioning herself because of this new Heartseed trial.

      1. The name is kinda misleading imo.
        Show Spoiler ▼

        Either way, the next arc might be the best arc so far.

  1. Moms….really are scary…Did she break his limb?? Anyway why does Iori suddenly question her feelings for Taichi? That part I don’t really understand. Iori really enjoys questioning her life alot…if that sounded kinda insulting I’m sorry but I didn’t know how else to put it.

  2. Finally Nagase got her turn and her family issues are resolved. The mom is just too awesome; broke that loser’s limbs (probably). Next episode should be interesting… I don’t find it too strange I mean Nagase is always uncertain of her desires because she has been pretending to be a certain persona for so long. Anyways, great episode.

  3. compared to the first and second arcs the drama level for KC havn’t just been there for me, i mean its still cool, the premise of reverse aging is good but it just feels a bit bland as of late and while the build up of the dilemma for the showcased characters are great (sudden realizations, mysterious phone calls, vague past memories), the eventual solution or reveal of the big picture just doesn’t do the build up justice, too simple even for a pseudo-finale ep.
    I felt like I just watched a filler arc for KC.

    Well thats my two cents the rest of my money im using for purchasing a KAWAII CHIBI INABAN doll. I hope the last four eps can be better for me.

  4. Much like the previous arc, I feel like this arc ended far weaker than it started. Iori’s family problems wasn’t built up well even on this arc so it felt rather strange that it ended on that note. I also feel uncomfortable with how the issue was dealt like an afterthought. Granted Iori’s mom was incredibly awesome, but domestic abuse is a very real problem and the way it ended just bugs me.

    I also didn’t like how the far more interesting Aoki and Yui were shoved aside to focus on the main trio. Those two had the most development in this arc so you’d think they’d have the most input on helping Iori.

  5. “I’ve suffered domestic abuse for months/years because of a simple miscommunication” seems a little too tragic to just laugh off, even if the mom’s strength (of character) was highlighted when she kicked the sucker to the curb.

    Bio D
  6. It’s nice to know that this isn’t the last LAST episode, as I hope that they will explain what’s the deal Heartseed and Heartseed II as I’m still confuse about them.

    Even though I’ve always been on TaiHime shipping, Iori’s doubt at the end really caught me off guard. Really hope that we’ll get a proper closure for this love triangle.

    1. Even as a Taichi/Iori shipper, that last line really made me go O_o… I’m beginnning to think that Iori is just too unsure of her feelings and if she’s really going to step up her game, she needs to be more sure of herself. In that case, I rather Taichi end up with Himeko (even if I’m not a fan). At least she would know how to appreciate his affections back ^^ but it’s sad that Iori would be the one left out…

  7. I think I LOL’ed at the extent of the miscommunication Iori and her mom had which would have been easily fixed by a simple heartfelt conversation. Thank goodness Iori had her friends to give her the nudge.

    While Heartseed #1 may be a troll, he does seem to have the group’s best intention at heart and wouldn’t go so far as to disrupt their lives. I mean, he even apologizes for trolling the rest into thinking Iori would die back in the first arc.

    OTOH, #2 is just toying around with the group simply for the lulz, without regards to how extremely disruptive his trolling has become to them. Which was probably why #1 decided to intervene, as he was most likely very displeased with #2’s fooling around.

    To re-phrase a well-known trope: Even Trolls Have Standards

    Kinny Riddle
  8. thanks for the coverage as always, cherrie 🙂

    my only minor disappointment for this episode is that anime changed the scene between Iori’s mom and our MCs (in the LN, if I remember correctly, only Taichi and Iori went to see her mom, and it provided some really funny lines there)…

    Though I really loved how Iori’s last lines link to the next vol!! It certainly cast some new light on Iori as a character and the whole love triangle situation xD

    and it is great to know that Cherrie sama will continue coverage as soon as they are available xD I am looking forward to it!

  9. My guess would be that Heartseed #1 is the director of the show who wants to make a meaningful and fulfilling story and Heartseed #2 is the producers who just want the show to make tons of money by bringing in the cute kiddies.

  10. “It opens up questions about Heartseed though. Where did he come from and why are there two of them? Who is he and what’s his motive? He doesn’t seem to be as much of a douche bag as I thought (at the end of arc 1), but still… he seems to be after something by messing with their lives. I’m more curious now who he is rather than… what he has planned (or who #2 is). Basically the same questions I brought up in my initial impressions.”

    Right, and in time you’ll feel the same way about “heartseed #2,” or whatever. You do understand that there will most likely never be any answers about who heartseed is or why he exists, because that is entirely not the point of the show. His existence is to make them grow as people (see things from someone else’s perspective, believe in yourself, being introspective and so on).

    The entire character is just a literary tool for growing up and discovering who you are and whats important to you.

    Of course I could be wrong, in which case I’ll eat my hat.

  11. I took issue with how ridiculously easy it was for Iori’s family issues to be seemingly resolved. It felt very unrealistic, but you raise a good point – a cliffhanger would’ve been far worse to deal with, given that the next episode isn’t scheduled to air until March 27th, 2013.

    Heartseed (both #1 and #2) irked me from the start. At best, they’re starfish aliens with little to no comprehension of how badly they’re hurting these five humans by interfering with their lives. Yes, the StuCS is growing emotionally for the better as a result, but the amount of pain they’ve had to go through to do that seems unbalanced by comparison. At worst, these entities are heartless monsters who are carving deep psychological and emotional scars into our heroes and heroines, in some cases over older ones they already carry.

    That said, from what we’ve seen so far I can say I’m glad I stuck with KC. Aoki and Yui’s growth as a not-quite-couple and as individuals has been one of my personal high notes; the more heartwrenching moments too – When everyone was lead to believe Iori would die, when Himeko’s fears and insecurities were brought to life, etcetera. These times showed what KC is capable of as a dramedy and as an examination of the human condition. I applaud it for that bravery, however sparse at times.

    Glad to hear you or another of the fine bloggers at RC will stay with KC ’til the end. This blog has changed how I view many anime and works of entertainment on the whole, and I cannot say thank you enough for that.

  12. Nice drama 🙂
    The five against the Heartseed.
    Makes me think of a sentai…fighting against the enemy but among themselves together, lol.

    Looking forward to the Michi Random arc coming on video.
    Hope Nise, Yume ans Asu will come in a second season.


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