Kokoro Connect is available to stream on Crunchyroll.
It’s quite rare that I proceed into a game, movie, series, or any other work of fiction not knowing much. Books, manga, and graphic novels thankfully have a much lower profile on social media and news outlets, so it’s actually fairly uncommon for me to be aware of anything but very broad strokes going in.
But a huge part of being a geek is getting excited over things that you love, which is (for better or for worse) perfectly-attuned to the needs of promotional material like trailers, interviews, and press releases. So right now, weeks before Spider-Man releases on the Playstation 4, we already know most of the game’s features, have an idea of the thrust of its plot (and the major players), and we even have hours of gameplay footage to reference and attempt to dissect.
Quick tangent: while it’s easy to pin this on a modern trend based in internet culture, and I do acknowledge that likely has some major effect on how new fictions are presented to us, I’d argue that it’s absolutely not a new phenomenon.
Exhibit A: This 1955 trailer for Lady and the Tramp, which explicitly explains details up through the end of the ding-dang film (spoilers for a 60-year-old movie, I guess?):
Anyway. I lucked out in that, while I had seen a few choice screenshots and gifs from the series, I wasn’t aware that they were taken from Kokoro Connect at the time. All I really knew was that people tended to like it, and that some in-the-flesh friend had recommended it at some point. It seemed like a safe investment, so I went in happy as a clam to not know what precisely I was getting into.
Now I’m disappointed that it doesn’t have a second season.
(Well, it got four more episodes worth of content, but a full season that ain’t.)
I’ll cut the direct talk there and not even do my usual spoilers-after-this-image blurb, because it doesn’t really seem prudent in this case. Rather, I’ll note here that there are definitely elements that worked better not knowing the exact premise of the story from the onset or when things would have to resolve by. I was enthralled and engaged in what otherwise might have been lost in the mix of a lot of other shows that have my recommendation, but don’t really make a personal hall of fame.
Granted, this strategy doesn’t always turn out so hot. I’ve bounced off of plenty of seasonally-airing shows going off just a two-sentence blurb and a poster, and giving Chaos;Head the benefit of the doubt was a massive swing and a miss for me. Even more turn out like The Meg, where I had a good time with it but probably won’t ever think about it unprompted again. It’s still a tricky business.
But when the leap of faith goes right, it really pays off.
Yet I don’t bemoan the prevalence of pre-release material that gives away a good spoonful of the actual experience beforehand. We live in a time with tons of great fiction coming out, and I could drop – for instance – every bit of entertainment media I consumer except for games and still struggle to keep up with everything that piques my interest. Knowing exactly what you’re getting into with a new title or series can be a necessary defense mechanism in a lot of ways.
Everyone has their own different level of comfort with this, of course. In a way, I admire those willing to take that dive with less to go on. As I’ve noted before, having that clean-slate, blue-sky conception of something as it unfolds yourself before you can result in a unique experience, with you waist-deep in the drama and emotion that comes out of it, fully feeling the force of its twists and turns.
It may not be practical for absolutely everything, but it’s certainly a thrill when you make it happen.
Anyway, Kokoro Connect is probably worth your time if you’re comfortable watching anime about high school students. I’m happy not to tell you exactly why.