Kokoro Connect is proving relentless as the series strikes thunderously yet again – inspiring a warm sensation amongst all the characters as the final issue is settled, and a certain two learn of another’s feelings.
Within the few episodes prior, two females met a resolution to their personal woes as result of Taichi’s smooth problem solving – and now, all that visibly remains is the concern of Taichi’s own love interest, the cute heroine with a mole on her face, Iori. Last episode, her anxiety was formally introduced – and now the series wastes little time in capitalizing upon it, yet in a manner most surely did not expect to be anywhere near as explosive.
Prior to the opening sequence, there’s a short moment, which just as Inaban intended, prepares the mood for the events which await onward. The current scene is a love confession – which albeit goes declined, does show the kind of emotions present amongst the two blonde haired characters.
Once that’s complete, an OP later, we’re dropped within the usual room where Taichi sits alone till the arrival of Iori, piloted by Inaban – or so is one led to believe. Taichi talks to Iori, thinking she’s Inaban – yet it was merely herself pretending, and despite for a second one may feel it’s not more than a joke, upon seeing her tears, the reasoning behind them will hit immediately. Taichi promised Iori last episode that he’d always recognize her regardless of what occurs – however, his promise has already fallen apart.
Iori runs off, and he chases after – to which he’s then left with the need to take drastic measures, first gathering the courage whilst providing the necessary console, assuring her that the many characteristics she plays with aren’t merely sporadically conjured, but simply different aspects which make her who she is. And subsequently, he further advances in the form of coming forward with what he feels, love – and seemingly securing the situation in a fashion most favorable.
Yet only a split second of satisfaction is felt, Iori doesn’t receive a chance to respond as the entity dubbed “Heartseed” takes control of her person – then subsequently, dives over the edge of the bridge where they stood, an unexpected act which one can’t think was done for anything but spite. Heartseed was seemingly unamused with what he saw, deciding to add an element of tragic catastrophe into the lives of the Kokoro Connect crew.
For the time being, it remains obscure why Heartseed did such – or actually, it remains unknown even till the end of the episode and beyond. One may at first think that he’s simply attempting to add spice to what he feels is an otherwise dull development – yet complications and questions alike do grow with the continuation of the episode.
Our leading characters assemble in a tense wait at the hospital where Iori has been admitted – the scene has become dark literally as night has fallen, as well as metaphorically for the sheer stemming of this event in itself. And of course, worry begins to emanate as a friend is now facing a situation life-threatening.
Pain suffocates all the characters – while one would typically jump on the hopes of survival, Heartseed arrives in the form of the teacher to fiddle with the matter even more. He mentions they can decide which soul will expire alongside the body of Iori – giving them the opportunity to discuss and determine for themselves something quite horrible. The time is spent with the kind of conversation one would expect – Taichi is quick to say he’d die in place of Iori, although of course everyone recognizes that Iori must pass with her own body.
The unfortunate girl in question is then summoned – learning of the matter from her companions whilst in the body of the blonde bishounen, and then taking the time to speak with each of her friends individually.
Taichi is the last whom she confronts – and of course, the scene turns quite intimate.
It’s obvious how much each means to the other – Iori does truly seem to have found herself as she speaks with Taichi whilst now within the body of Inaban, stating herself how she’s become more appreciative of her own person. It truly looks that all is now ideal for her – minus the impending death of course. To make the moment memorable, the two share a kiss – an exchange quite peculiar as it’s Inaban’s physique substituting for Iori, which admittedly, does actually make it a scene to remember.
Do recognize the role of body swapping for a moment – it’s an aspect which could feel awkward, yet here it is, masterfully being utilized in a fashion vital to the very core of the plot.
And with time elapsed, Heartseed approaches for the answer of whom will die – receiving the relevant response which our characters have torn themselves to settle upon. During the intermission of deliberation, one will question whether a character will truly be eradicated in a manner so cruel within a mere highschool slice of life – yet she thankfully is not. Indeed, Iori survives – however, the heightened mood was still felt nonetheless.
Nagase survives another day – and to that, Heartseed reappears to give a “get well” gift, whilst also to inform of how much of this was as planned. His role remains ambiguous, as does his purpose, yet one will see that he’s not necessarily a villain as, according to himself, he never will harm anyone innocent – even mentioning how he handed over Iori’s phone before having her dive off the bridge so it wouldn’t be subject to damage, which indeed, he did.
He tells the characters not to hold a grudge against him as, at the very least, they did benefit from the experience of thinking a friend was about to pass right before them – and it’s true. This incident tested the sentiments and conviction of the characters – whilst also, allowing for them to expand as well.
As Iori leaves the hospital, it’s shown that all essentially returns normal – and even the body swapping has seemingly stopped. The days appear bright and happily lived from here on, particularly now with everyone sharing a bond far closer than ever before – although that definitely looks much too good to be true.
Being merely the fifth episode, this series still has a lengthy path laid before it – Heartseed remains enigmatic, and our characters still have unsettled matters. The frontier of romance is still vast and open – all the while, the story has hardly gotten started. More undoubtedly still lurks – and when Heartseed made mention to our characters that they’re unaware of what he’s fully capable of, that’s likely foreshadowing for the future. The entire scene of serenity at the end is surely no more than a transient respite till grander scale calamity finally comes forth.
This episode is certainly a thrill – yet one can’t help but feel troubled for what still awaits for our characters.