What can I say? Kokoro Connect lived up to my expectations as an interesting anime about a group of friend's lives being turned upside down when their inner persona gets manipulated by an external source.
The five members of the Cultural Research Club - Taichi Yaegashi, Iori Nagase, Himeko Inaba, Yui Kiriyama, and Yoshifumi Aoki - encounter a bizarre phenomenon one day when Aoki and Yui switch bodies without warning. The same begins to happen to the other club members, throwing their daily lives into disarray.
At first the five students find some amusement amidst the confusion, but this unwarranted connection also exposes the painful scars hidden within their hearts. As their calm lives are shattered, the relationships between the five students also begin to change...
It's so cool, isn't it? A story about people personas switching bodies, unleashing hidden desires, and turning back in time happening to a group of friends in the Cultural Research Club. Not only that, the anime gives a deep message about how our 'inner person' so to speak, can affect our thinking, our emotions, our actions and our friends. The anime exposes the results of such a phenomenon happening and how it impacts everyone psychologically. I enjoyed how the story unfolded itself, suddenly and surprisingly. You expect it to start off as just another easy going slice of life anime, but then 'wham!', you get personas being swapped around which shocks the characters. It is also pretty interesting to see different people in different bodies. Secrets gets revealed, and embarrassing moments are a plenty. Of course though, it's not all fun and games, and the seriousness of it is that the group is tormented by a mysterious being called the Heartseed which likes to entertain itself by watching the group of friends fumbling about in someone else's body. In the end, the anime did not explain who the Heartseed was and why it was doing that to the characters, but there will be a short 4 episode sequel coming soon that will hopefully reveal the true nature of the Heartseed.
The art was very well done and highly detailed from the backgrounds to the characters themselves. CGI was avoided in this anime, characters are detailed, and scenes are well animated. The art was appealing and enjoyable to watch and in no way distract from the enjoyment of the story.
The voice acting was really good for the characters. I did not find any of them annoying or hard to listen to. The theme songs were also quite nice and suited the anime quite well. The soundtrack fits well with the tone of the show and is not intrusive to the viewers experience.
All of the characters in this show are likable and are well done. The characters have their place in the story and do not neatly fit into generic roles found in other anime. Some characters may be described as shy or strong-willed but they each have their complexities. I will not expand on the complexities the characters as to avoid spoilers, but you will see for yourselves. As for the character design, there is nothing to complain about. The characters are detailed and all fit their personalities.
Overall, I really enjoyed this anime from start to finish. It was just so interesting to see the lives of these characters get turned upside down when their personalities get toyed around with. Of course though, it is not all happy and peppy, and there are emotional outbursts, saddening moments, and traumatized past memories. It was entertaining to watch.