Saturday, July 28, 2012

Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate - 04

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It’s time I admitted it to myself – I like Koichoco.

[Pomf] Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate - 04 [90E95470].mkv_snapshot_00.06_[2012.07.27_09.38.52]There are elements of Koichoco that feel very typical for a VN adaptation.  I’m finding more and more that these shows need a few episodes to really “start” – they rarely hit the ground running like some anime do.  And this one is certainly the same way – the process of world-building in a VN adaptation always seems to be awkward as compared to other sorts of series.  But Koichoco strikes me as unusual among its brethren in one important sense – this show is primarily about the plot, and the interpersonal relationships seem secondary to that.  It’s not as if the characters are terrible or even uninteresting, but it feels as if the creative energy here is really in the premise itself, which in romance VN is often just a necessary adjunct to the main event.

[Pomf] Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate - 04 [90E95470].mkv_snapshot_03.52_[2012.07.27_09.41.42]I’d fully expected this episode to begin spinning Michiru’s tale after the cliffhanger last week, but she was largely set aside as the story instead turned to Aomi Isara (Kadowaki Mai) the requisite poor girl who, as a financial aid student, has to do odd jobs around the school to help pay her way.  There’s nothing too original in her tale of a poor student with younger siblings bullied by the rich kids, but it’s fairly well-spun here – the bullies both male and female seem especially vile.  This system of making the poor kids do manual labor (when the others are forbidden even from part-time jobs) always struck me as incredibly inane – it practically begs bullying and abuse – yet it’s been common in Japan and elsewhere for Centuries. 

[Pomf] Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate - 04 [90E95470].mkv_snapshot_05.12_[2012.07.27_09.43.02]But here’s where things begin to tie together.  Aomi sees Yuuki as her knight-in-shining-armor, naturally enough, but the interesting element is that Satsuki’s campaign manifesto (which he hadn’t bothered to read yet) lists the abolishment of the financial aid system and its replacement by a scholarship system as a central plank.  Could this be what she plans to do with the savings from the wasteful club spending?  All of a sudden her vengeful plan to abolish those poor clubs doesn’t feel quite so evil – and casts the central plank of Yuuki’s own campaign in question.  And really, if the ground weren’t shaky enough underneath the Food Research Club, is there really a case to be made that an “Air Sumo Club” should receive school funding while the aid students are changing light bulbs and emptying garbage? 

[Pomf] Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate - 04 [90E95470].mkv_snapshot_07.27_[2012.07.27_10.49.17]This is actually quite interesting stuff – and to that you can add the espionage/violence elements from the premiere, the supernatural hints, the character mysteries, and now an exploration of the nuts-and-bolts of campaign finance.  I’m pleased to see a show look seriously at student politics, actually taking the time to explore the notions of funding and campaign ethics, and how to remain true to the letter (if not always the spirit) of the rules.  That’s what makes up 99% of politics, really – how to pay for campaigns without breaking the rules (or getting caught if you do) and here, the outgoing Prez makes a useful ally and a tutor both for the club neophytes and the audience

[Pomf] Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate - 04 [90E95470].mkv_snapshot_07.34_[2012.07.27_10.47.17]It’s rare for me to talk about an anime for four paragraphs and barely mention character development, because character normally trumps everything for me.  But that’s Koichoco – it’s a bit of an odd duck, and certainly an odd fit for me.  It’s rare than I can be genuinely interested in a show without feeling much of a connection to any of the characters, but I do here.  Yuuki seems a pretty solid lead – neither an oversexed moron or a Saint – and none of the girls really annoys me.  But neither do any of them stand out, or do I feel much of a romantic spark.  We’ve had small hints with Chisato, Satsuki and now Aomi – we’ll see.  I do enjoy Mouri for his dignified competence, and I finally figured out what’s been nagging at me from the beginning about Chisato – she reminds me a lot of Asuna, from Negima.

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[Pomf] Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate - 04 [90E95470].mkv_snapshot_16.46_[2012.07.27_09.54.37] [Pomf] Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate - 04 [90E95470].mkv_snapshot_19.41_[2012.07.27_09.57.31] [Pomf] Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate - 04 [90E95470].mkv_snapshot_20.56_[2012.07.27_09.58.54]


13 comments:

  1. she reminds me a lot of Asuka, from Negima.

    You mean Asuna. And yes, she is a lot like her.

    Anyway, I wanted to punch my monitor after that last bullying scene. Something needs to be done, and I think Oojima's going to have to decide what is really more important.

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    1. Punch your monitor is good in this case, no? Since you were supposed to feel that way.

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  2. I like the feel of this anime, we get a light hearted 15/20mins then a dramatic 10/5mins at the end, so far we have 3 mysteries here:
    Why the girl at episode 1 got run over?
    Why the childhood friend doesn't like chocolate?
    Why did Ojima called the club adviser his mum?
    Hopefully all will be answered.

    But onto this episode, the music where she was getting bullied as well as Ojima finding out the truth behind the her campaign was perfect!

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    1. "Why did Ojima called the club adviser his mum?"

      Yuuki can't just tell Chisato that he's been cooking dinner for Hazuki, in her home and with just the two of them, every so often. And that he's been taking advantage of her delicious oppai.

      Ahem.

      Joking aside, despite the slow first two episodes, I think I'm getting into this series. The story isn't as clear-cut as the lighthearted antics make it out to be, though I guess I should have gathered that from the opening scene in the premier.

      The sensei scene from last episode attested to the fact that Yuuki isn't infallible like most harem leads, so it'd be interesting to see whom among the haremettes could compliment him the most (though I wouldn't mind more sensei~). I may be wrong about this but I hope we'll eventually see Powjima's drama and how that gets resolved. And by whom.

      "And really, if the ground weren’t shaky enough underneath the Food Research Club, is there really a case to be made that an “Air Sumo Club” should receive school funding while the aid students are changing light bulbs and emptying garbage?"

      Puts things into perspective, eh?

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  3. It seems theres more drama next next next week, with the introduction of the "sick" girl of the series

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    1. I feel horrible. Each time I see a girl either puke (Inaba, Kokoro Connect) or place their hand on their abdomen (Mifuyu, KoiChoco) in an anime/drama, my first thought is they're preggo...

      What was it that Yozora (from Haganai) said? Raep is a common plot device? >__> Damn you anime for distorting my views!

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  4. I don't like it, or rather I don't like the characters and the OP. I'm surprised you would have continued it GE as I thought the thin characters would drive you nuts like it does for me.

    However I think once the inevitable romance and harem cliches kick in, it will become quite awful as the your main interest the politics aren't going to please the people who were most likely to buy the BDs.

    But I might be proved wrong and it could end up as a sincere look at school politics with a nice touch of romance. If it does I'll add it to the bucket list.

    Seiyuus for the main girls are awful with the exception of Ayatsuji clone, whose main campaign selling point is boing boing according to the OP. I get why people find it sexist. It be a bit contradictory if you drop Oda for the same reason, right GE?

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    1. What can I say, I find the plot quite interesting. I think what bothers me about Oda is the hypocrisy - it seems like it's pretending to be empowering, and it's actually subversively chauvinistic.

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    2. I'm sorry but I laughed (a lot) when I read the reply because it sounded like you disliked Oda for being hypocritically sexist but didn't mind Koi for being open about. If I misunderstood I apologize but that gave me a good chuckle.

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    3. You're not for off, actually. I'm less turned off by something that's honest about what it is than something that pretends to be what it isn't.

      And really, I don't find Koichoco to be all that sexist. Considering that the vast majority of contemporary anime manage to demean both genders, I don't see Koichoco as particularly a grievous offender.

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  5. I really like this show. The characters aren't developed enough yet but there's potential there and the underlying plot is interesting enough for me to give it that time. Also, Satsuki, #1 girl in this show hands down, rooting for a Satsuki ending.

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    1. That's about where I am, across the board. Although Aomi scored some points with me this week, and I give Michiru an edge in pure kawaii points.

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  6. I'm actually really surprised that the show is so much plot development, and almost no character development. And in the small amount of character development time, it's gone back to the same characters each time: Satsuki and Isara. It almost feels like we've gotten more out of Yume, Non-chan, and the monkey twins than Michiru and Mifuyu combined. Even Hazuki has been more in the forefront than most of the girls in the ED.

    Now, what they've done with Satsuki's and Isara's character development has been great, don't get me wrong. It's just seeming like it's a bit lopsided. But maybe that's what the show's doing to handicap for 'childhood friend' (Chisato and Mifuyu) and 'moe' (Michiru) initial advantages.

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