Fujishima notices Taichi and Inaba with small children who look suspiciously like Aoki, Iori, and Yui. Flash back to the end of the second term, when a cryptic message on the board lists everyone’s name but Taichi’s and the time “12pm- 5pm”. During that time, between two and three club members revert to a younger age, complete with their personalities at the time. Heartseed, inhabiting Taichi’s sister, tells him only he won’t change, and he’s responsible for the others, but can’t tell anyone, or it will never end.
Wait…what? What is this? Kokoro Connect puts its characters through another phenomenon experienced by those in Natsuiro Kiseki; namely, Baby Mode. Once we got past the audacity of this, it actually wasn’t that bad. It’s also a different situation from the Natsuiro gals in many ways: Inaba & Co. didn’t wish for this, it just started happening out of the blue, as a new, second Heartseed starts to put them through the wringer, and assigned Taichi as their “knight”. Also, Aoki, Yui, Inaba and Iori aren’t just shrinking – they are literally re-wound to the age they look.
This leads them to ask Taichi very deep questions, since whenever they return to their normal age at 5pm they retain some memories from that age; memories they’d forgotten. Iori, for one, would like to redo her life if given the chance, while Aoki, remembering a lost love (who resembles Yui), asks him what it is to truly love someone. Yui forgets a promise she made to a karate rival, while a young Inaba is painfully shy. Meanwhile, Inaba and Iori’s friendly rivalry is in full swing, and it’s very fun watching them bounce off each other and Taichi. His primary challenge is keeping Heartseed’s plans a secret from his friends, while keeping his friends’ condition secret from the rest of the world…or else.
Rating: 7 (Very Good)