With the release of Kokoro Connect Volume 9 in June, the series entered its final arc. Now the conclusion to that arc is here with Volume 10, but does it provide the incredible storytelling we’ve come to expect from the series? Let’s find out!
As we reunite with the members of The Cultural Research Club, they’re preparing to do battle with The Third, who has trapped more than a hundred Yamaboshi students in an Isolation Zone. Not only are Tachi and the others at risk of losing all their memories from before they got involved with Heartseed, but these students also face the same fate.
In the Isolation Zone, the same phenomena previously experienced by our cast are now being inflicted on the trapped students. This includes mind reading and body swapping, which are two of the phenomena that cause the most mental damage. Tachi and co. vow not to let a single student suffer more than they need to, but with tensions high, no one is prepared to listen to them.
It’s not just The Third our cast have to worry about, because even the Student Council are against them! The Cultural Research Club have their work cut out for them, but with so much at stake, they put their all into fighting back. After all, no one wants to lose the precious time they’ve spent with their friends and classmates.
If you’ve read Volume 9 then you’ll be well aware of how emotional this storyline is. This book is another very engrossing read in the series that leaves you unable to put it down. I love these characters and I’m sure if you’ve been following the series this long, that you do too, so obviously, we all want to see them be given the happy ending they deserve.
Perhaps one of the best things about Sadanatsu Anda’s books is that you can never say for sure that things will work out okay. The author keeps us in suspense from beginning to end, which I always find refreshing when it’s so obvious in other works that the main cast will come out fine. This is especially true in this final arc, where just about anything could happen.
I also want to quickly touch on a complaint I had about Volume 9. In my last review, I talked about how Anda hasn’t been making use of Chihiro and Enjoji, but to the author’s credit, they play fairly large roles in Volume 10. While I’m still not particularly happy with their treatment since their introduction, I think including them more prominently here was the right call.
As far as final arcs go, Anda was certainly ambitious with this one and I think that pays off. There’s a lot to keep track of, but the author balances that well, while also giving all of the main characters a moment in the spotlight. I’m not sure this storyline has the emotional punch that the others have had for me, but there is no denying that it’s well written and a suitable series finale.
While this is the final arc of Kokoro Connect, there is one more volume to come. Volume 11 is a collection of short stories that act as an epilogue to the series, which is a nice idea since Anda can spend time fleshing out the cast’s futures and day-to-day feelings after everything that’s happened to them.
Kokoro Connect Volume 10 comes to the West thanks to J-Novel Club and has been translated by Molly Lee. As always, the translation is problem-free and a great read; I couldn’t imagine this series with anyone else at the helm. As always this release includes colour pages (Illustrated by Shiromizakana), and I just wanted to point out how lovely they are this time. In particular, there is an image with all the members of The Cultural Research Club holding hands, and after reading this volume, it’s incredibly moving.
Overall, Kokoro Connect Volume 10 brings the series to a satisfying conclusion. While we still have the short story collection to come, this is the end of the main plot and the cast’s final fight. This last adventure is sure to please all readers of the series with its well thought out and compelling tale.