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The four episodes of the Kokoro Connect OAVs are a strong addition to the TV Series, but can be quite hard going at times.

TRIGGER WARNING for mental illness.

Michi Random

Michi Random covers the fourth Kokoro Connect light novel, and further raises the emotional brutality stakes.

This time Heartseed’s bastardy takes the form of uncontrollable telepathy/empathy: characters will randomly [1] transmit what they are thinking/feeling to the other members of the Student Cultural Society.

Michi Random is also the most focused of the arcs to date; there is less emphasis on the problems of the group and more emphasis on Iori Nagase’s problems.

Speaking of Iori’s problems: Oh boy. This is why I put a trigger warning on this one.

Iori has been wearing a cheerful mask that doesn’t match her inner depression. As soon as Michi Random begins, Iori has to face the inevitability of this being revealed to the rest of the Cultural Society

Combined with the accumulated stress from the previous arcs, Iori publicly self-destructs as the bewildered Cultural Society struggle to understand what is happening, and what they can do to help.

This is further complicated by the extent to which Iori’s social position in the school generally was based on the mask she had been wearing. Her classmates start turning on her fairly quickly when the mask slips, and Iori is messed up enough by this point to almost embrace that.

The first 2 – 3 episodes of Michi Random are emotionally raw and ugly but are worth the effort.

I’m not going to spoil the resolution beyond the fact that there is one [2], and I’m not going to spoil the details of anything else going on in this arc.

The Openings

One thing I only noticed towards the end of watching Kokoro Connect is a nice visual link between the first and second openings.

Here’s the first opening:

Here’s the second opening:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xu4jk3_kokoro-connect-op2-kimi-rhythm-by-masaki-imai_music (apologies for the Daily Motion link, I didn’t find this one on You Tube)

Raise your hand if you also want to know exactly what’s on that blackboard (and please leave a comment if you have a link to a translation).

Summary

One thing I was hoping for in the OAVs was to see a trailer for another arc [3], but unfortunately there’s still no indication that anymore Kokoro Connect is going to be made.

That’s more than a little disappointing since Kokoro Connect is still delivering strong character stories with deeply satisfying resolutions. I’d like to see more of the Student Cultural Society, and I’m likely to also add the OAVs to my collection [4].



[1] Well, allegedly randomly. This aspect is increasingly questionable, and I now suspect Iori was deliberately targeted throughout.


[2] It is a good resolution, but isn’t necessarily a complete resolution. Life is messy, and Kokoro Connect doesn’t try to hide this.


[3] Judging by the Wikipedia page the next arc would probably be Clip Time or Nise Random.


[4] It should be obvious by now, but see Site Disclaimer for the handling of review copies.

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