Manga Review: Kokoro Connect Volume One

Kokoro Connect Volume 1 focuses on a group of five students at Yamaboshi Academy, who are all members of the Student Cultural Society.

Kokoro Connect Volume 1
Written by: Sadanatsu Anda
Publisher: Kadokawa Corporation
English Publisher: Seven Seas Entertainment
Release Date: August 5, 2014

Early on, Volume 1 focuses on establishing the five main characters: Iori Nagase, Himeko Inaba, Taichi Yaeashi, Yoshifumi Aoki, and Yui Kiriyama. But when Yoshifumi and Yui are first introduced, they claim that their souls had switched bodies the previous night, but had switched back before heading to school that day. Not surprisingly, the other club members think these two are joking. But then, the other characters ‘souls begin switching bodies, and they are forced to believe Yoshifumi and Yui’s story.

But as they switch bodies, they start finding out what it’s like to be other people and how actions affect them. Sometimes, these realizations are on the light hearted side. However, there are times when being in someone else’s body brings some truths to light that the characters have been hiding from the others.

During this volume, it’s also revealed who’s behind the body switching and the perpetrator’s motivation. The identity of the perpetrator is actually rather surprising and catches the protagonists off-guard. At this point, it looks like the focus of the story will be on the constant body switching, and I suspect that at some point, the protagonists will want to try to find a way to make it stop.

When I finished reading this volume, I have to admit that I thought Kokoro Connect has a slightly strange premise, but that it had a lot of potential if it was handled right. I didn’t think Volume 1 was bad, but I’m not entirely sure if I really want to rush to read more of this series or not.

When it comes to the art in Kokoro Connect, the artist relies on big eyes for all of the characters, regardless of gender. I would assume this art choice comes from the original light novel series that this manga is based on. I can also tell that a lot of effort went into drawing the various characters’ school uniforms. However, I can’t really say that the artist put as much effort on detail when drawing the other aspects of the characters. Overall, the art isn’t bad, but there isn’t much to truly make it stand out, either.

In the end, I think Kokoro Connect Volume 1 will appeal to readers who enjoy stories with light humor that feature characters in high school. Of these readers, it will most likely be appreciated by those who like the soul switching concept.

The reviewer checked out a copy of this item through the King County Library System

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