What gets me is that Taichi borrows porn from Aoki, but he can’t even refer to breasts as breasts. But let’s put that aside for now. For anyone who still hasn’t heard about Kokoro Connect, it has us imagine what would happen if five friends suddenly experienced body-swapping. This premise could go very wrong, but I believe that the show has a lot of potential, and this is not even just speculative potential. I think the ending sequence is actually very well done in how it offers a glimpse of what may entail. Iori, for instance, returns to a dark and empty home. And maybe it’s just me, but something feels sinister about Aoki’s scene.
So imagine, then, that we all have skeletons in our closets that not even our closest friends know anything about. By some cosmic twist, however, we’ve swapped bodies and must now experience and confront each other’s personal problems and traumas. In that respect, Kokoro Connect has something potentially intriguing about it. My hope is that when the characters inevitably swap bodies again, they don’t simply spectate. Rather, they should irreparably (though perhaps inadvertently) affect each other’s lives by the sheer fact that Iori might not act as Aoki would. We can then see if the anime has the balls to put forth an unexpected but not-at-all unrealistic unhappy ending. But I’m getting too far ahead of myself….
If there are any potential pitfalls for the series, however, one would be the penchant in anime in general to almost always cast a milquetoast nipponjin as the lead. Kokoro Connect already admits that Taichi watches porn. And is there anything wrong with that? I’m not going to debate the merits and demerits of porn itself in this post. In so far as young guys watch porn (or any other form of pornography, for that matter), however, this is pretty much normal. What bothers me about a lot of anime is how the main character is just too-fucking-pure as though he has never experienced puberty.
But if Taichi borrows something like Big Jugged High School Girls, he should not be a “too pure pure boi.” The common refrain in the real world is “You need to get laid.” Perhaps for anime characters, it should be “You need to go masturbate.” That might sound odd to some readers since I’ve always railed against anime objectifying its female characters, but I think this is a separate issue. I think male protagonists in anime seem weird because they do not act as real high school boys would. I’m not asking for a hormone-driven, ass-groping alpha male, but if anyone suggests that Japanese high school boys are too innocent to refer to breasts for what they are, that’s a joke.
The scene between Taichi (in Iori’s body) and the bespectacled Fujishima really emphasizes the contrast in how the sexes are portrayed. While the male protagonist is often way too pure, there is inevitably one (gay or bi) female seemingly brazen enough to suggest that fondling another female classmate in the middle of a classroom (and in broad daylight) is something that regularly occurs in the thought process. Since when did yuri-minded girls become such wanton sex predators? Oh, they’re not? You’re just using this portrayal for cheap thrills? Gee, I guess that’s understandable.
I don’t care if some guys are pure or that some girls are sexually forward. But when every male protagonist is pure and there’s always one gay or bi female character ready to grope a classmate, it detracts from the anime. I mean, if you want a psychosexual romp, then do a psychosexual romp. Intelligently executed, that would probably be an entertaining series too. To cast the male lead as perpetually innocent, however, neither subverts nor defies expectations. It’s just having your cake and eating it too.
In other words, the worst character may very well be the narrator yet again. So far, he brings nothing to the table but dull droning and a personality as vibrant as a wet blanket. I’m pinning my hopes on the fact that there will be interpersonal drama to come, and hopefully, assuming that he doesn’t come out of his sterile shell, Taichi can step back and let the other characters shine.