Koi to Senkyou to Chocolate – 09

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Wow – is someone warming up the nice boat?

[Pomf] Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate - 09 [01FD424E].mkv_snapshot_00.13_[2012.09.07_13.49.52]We had a little bit of everything that episode.  Serious Chisato angst, bordering on the yandere.  A Deux ex harmonica.  A serious troll ending.  Lots of political intrigue.  A major new character introduced.  If I had to sum it up, I’d say this was the first episode where all the elements in the title really started to come together.  We’ve had an ep or two where all three aspects have been present, but they were pretty much playing out independently of each other.  Now, for the first time, worlds are colliding – we’re seeing how romance, politics and tragic memories are crashing into each other, with unpredictable results.

[Pomf] Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate - 09 [01FD424E].mkv_snapshot_02.48_[2012.09.07_13.51.22]Let’s start with Chisato, because she was certainly the presence that dominated the episode.  I’m inclined to think the events as played out here were supposed to make us more sympathetic to her character, but if that’s the case I’d have to say it really didn’t work for me.  I’ve been somewhat tepid on her up to now, but I found her presence in this episode genuinely unpleasant.  I can certainly sympathize with her pain over the loss of Daiki, and the stark simplicity of her dream sequence was actually quite powerful.  But in the present, I didn’t find her behavior justifiable or sympathetic.  What started out as irritatingly classic tsundere behavior quickly degenerated into something more sinister.

[Pomf] Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate - 09 [01FD424E].mkv_snapshot_03.29_[2012.09.07_13.52.20]“Sinister” is a pretty strong word, I admit – maybe too strong in this instance.  But I don’t especially like the way Chisato behaved towards Yuuki here.  I don’t like the way she treated Yuuki in front of others (insulting him in front of potential voters is plain stupid, if nothing else).  I don’t like the way she took his genuine friendliness and concern for others as something to attack him over.  And I don’t like the way she acts as if she has an ownership of him – not just that he has no right to be attracted to other girls, but that he owes it to her not to grow as a person if it means growing away from her.  There’s no doubt they have a shared affection that’s tied to their shared past, but that kind of possessive behavior isn’t love, it’s obsession.  Chisato’s sharp turn to the dark side this week reeked of stalker behavior, and I hope the writers walk her back from that cliff no matter which route the anime chooses.

[Pomf] Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate - 09 [01FD424E].mkv_snapshot_04.09_[2012.09.07_13.53.24]As Chisato embraced her dark side, the dark side of politics was fully on display too – but that felt somewhat more in character for the series.  That major new character I spoke of is Oosawa Yumi (Kugimiya Rie, playing against type a bit), she of the famous “Oosawa incident”.  She’s the Public Safety Commissioner, and the incident was her false accusation and outing of a financial aid student for shoplifting – a hazing which led to that student leaving the school.  She’s also a sympathizer of the infamous Katahira Faction (though we still don’t really know what that is) and thus, an apparent rival of Mouri-Taichou.  The internal politics of the PSC are interesting indeed – two of their members come to the “rescue” of Isara as she’s being harassed by her usual tormentors, though their motivations for doing so aren’t entirely clear yet, and Mouri reveals that he has a mole inside the Oojima campaign.  Logic suggests that mole could be Isara, and that could be why Mouri’s aides interfered when she was being bullied.  There’s also a brief check-in with Moheji-kun, who tells his jack-booted followers that the General Affairs Commission has an “influential ally” in this year’s election.

[Pomf] Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate - 09 [01FD424E].mkv_snapshot_05.12_[2012.09.07_13.54.27]That bullying incident with Isara was an important nexus point for several plot threads, and it lit the blue touch paper on both Chisato’s jealousy and a potential rift in the Oojima campaign.  Yuuki decides that he wants to add an item to his platform that financial aid students should be protected from discrimination, but Chisato objects.  This is interesting on both the personal and political fronts.  Are her objections genuine, or is she merely jealous that Yuuki is showing concern for another girl?  Based on her yandere behavior this week it’s hard to say.  Her objections also raise (somewhat simplistically, admittedly) a classic political dilemma.  Chisato argues that “policies aimed at minorities” are inherently politically unpopular, and that because most of the students dislike the financial aid students, it would be political suicide to add their plight to the platform.  Yuuki argues that it’s a simple issue of right and wrong and he has a moral duty to stand up.  It’s a classic idealism vs. pragmatism debate, complicated by Chisato’s personal biases.

[Pomf] Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate - 09 [01FD424E].mkv_snapshot_06.09_[2012.09.07_13.55.24]Of course, my suspicion is that Yuuki is going to realize at some point that the best way to help the aid students is to do what Satsuki is proposing – change the program to an anonymous scholarship system where their identities are protected and they have full rights as students.  He may even conclude that their plight is more worthy that than of clubs like the “Dog Pot Club” (even if Yuuki was wrong about what they do, it’s stull a dumb club).  Or it may come down to a compromise between the effort to save the clubs and help the aid students.  As for Satsuki herself, we don’t see much of her or her sister, but she’s stewing over the fact that Hazuki used her sob story to draw attention away from the shougi game she’s sure she was about to win – and especially upset because the stakes of that game were Yuuki himself.  Hazuki seems to have been serious in her declaration of interest, so things aren’t going to get any less stressful either for Satsuki or Chisato.

[Pomf] Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate - 09 [01FD424E].mkv_snapshot_08.05_[2012.09.07_13.57.19]Finally, we have our Deux ex harmonica and troll ending – and our usual brief nugget of Michiru “plot”.  This time she’s trying to play the harmonica – which no success – a harmonica which as far as I can tell has no purpose in the plot other than to spark an “indirect kiss” joke and that troll ending.  It’s Yuuki’s overreaction to Mifuyu and Chisato’s overreaction which leads to the troll – and a beautifully executed one it is.  It seems a classic bit of romcom cliché comedy, and for good measure we even get the usual early introduction of the ED theme, but it ends with Yuuki carelessly running in front of a truck – Chisato’s worst nightmare after what happened to Daiki.  Of course Yuuki won’t die (even without the preview that was obvious) but maybe it will cause Chisato to rethink her distasteful behavior this week.  But just what the hell is Michiru’s role in the actual plot – and why was she trying to play a mouth organ in the first place?

There’s still time to vote in the KoiChoco poll in the sidebar.  I pretty much expected Satsuki to be in the lead even before this episode, but the surprise is dark horse independent candidate Yume and his yaoi-stick in third place…

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  1. F

    Note the name written on that harmonica~~~

  2. H

    To be fair, the name's only been mentioned in the show once. I knew about it from reading the wikipedia page, but at the moment it's pretty obscure.

  3. i

    I find myself looking more and more forward to this show each week. I didn't expect much at the start but it has really taken off! Also, there is no way i could avoid voting for Shinonome Satsuki in your poll. 😉

  4. I was pretty sure she'd come out on top…

  5. B

    As she should, as she should.

    I pretty much agree that Chisato was very annoying in this episode. I appreciate the show's threads are starting to come together but Chisato's strong presence really hurt my enjoyment of what should have been a great episode. Top 3 worst offenses in my opinion, in ascending order of importance:

    3.) Chewing him out publicly in front of a bunch of voters. Disingenuous at best, downright hypocritical at worst considering her complaints during the rest of the episode that he's not doing what's best for the election, and a total bitch move either way.

    2.) Her complaints that he was "leaving her behind." Did you ever think for a second maybe that's it not him leaving you behind, it's you FALLING behind? But of course, in Chisato-land, Yuuki has to move at her glacial pace or he's the douche bag, it definitely can't be her that's stuck and being a burden.

    1.) Interrupting an awesome chat with Satsuki. BOOOOOOOOO! As soon she interrupted I said, out loud to my TV, "Ugh, go away." Her presence alone was enough to irrevocably taint what should have been an awesome scene.

    Not a fan, I hope they resolve her arc in a way that has her learning to be less of an annoying pain in the ass, because her behavior in this episode was so childish in a lot of ways that it was legitimately hard for me to watch sometimes.

    On a happier note, Hazuki seemed much less… well, drunk in this episode, maybe making up with Satsuki was helpful to her? Hope so. Teacher that drinks some booze in a funny way is fine, teacher who is actually an alcoholic is kind of sad and disturbing at the same time. I may be aboard the Satsuki ship but I want Hazuki to find some peace and get her life in order as well!

  6. H

    How has Chisato not tried to move forward with Yuuki? Did she not sneak in to take a bath with him? Climb into bed with him, even playfully enduring an unintended boob grab? I think it's really hard to argue that Chisato is holding back in any way in chasing Yuuki. She's also the only one who's openly come out and told him her feelings, although it should be obvious to everyone how Satsuki feels, and he had the chance to read Mifuyu's feelings.

    But I thought last week that Yuuki put Chisato in a real bind: He outright said "Dakedo, sore wa koi ja nai." "It's not (romantic) love." Should she just give up? What ways forward are presented to her? Why should that be acceptable? It's not even like she's chasing someone who has a girlfriend (like we've seen on so many other shows).

    The last few episodes, while I've liked the progress that Satsuki has made, have really made me feel for Chisato. I think she's perfectly justified in feeling that he's leaving her behind, because she wants to progress, and he wants to keep their relationship right where it is.

  7. Yuuki was totally straightforward with Chisato – "I don't love you romantically." How is that putting her in a bind? Wouldn't leaving her hanging by not clearly telling her how he feels be what would really put her in a bind?

    "Why should that be acceptable?" Um – because that's how he feels? He told it to her straight – I love you as a friend, not as a lover. It's on her now – she can accept that, or she can decide that her own feelings won't allow her to just be friends any longer, and they can part friends. Yuuki did absolutely nothing wrong, and he's not required to be sleeping with another girl in order to not want to sleep with Chisato.

  8. H

    Why do you categorically reject a third way: that Chisato tries to get Yuuki to love her? And then accuse her being resentful and annoying when she tries. It's certainly not unheard of in anime for someone to be rejected early and then turn that around. But Chisato should just give up?

    I don't have a problem with how Yuuki's acting, *or* how Chisato is acting. I have a problem with people calling Chisato yandere, annoying, and overly resentful, because I didn't see any of that. If Yuuki did nothing wrong, I don't see where Chisato did anything wrong either, except in opposition to your assertion that she should just give up.

  9. Then you were clearly watching a very different episode than the one I thought I was watching.

  10. T

    Gonna have to go with Enzo on this one. Chisato in this episode is acting very similar to a certain character in Shuffle! so the yandere is there. I just hope she doesn't cook for Yuuki at any point because the pot was empty…

  11. E

    Satsuki all the way.
    But this Oojima guy is totally oblivious toward opposite sex. She clearly said it, she's upset for not winning the shogi game while he is the prize. Could it be he is not interested? I will vote for Yume, next.

  12. I

    I have some advice for everyone:

    Don't move, especially to a new country where you don't know anyone, takes forever to get wireless, thus making it impossible to watch anything, thus reducing productivity at your new job and making you tired to try anything at night because you have to scour the town for the best places to get the food and groceries you need, I didn't mention having to find that the lovely apartment you found for rent on the internet is also nothing like its picture. And you can't sleep at night because the rain is so noisy.

    So yeah don't move.

    To keep me from slipping into a short depression I dropped Natsuyuki and Muv-Luv (more because I was becoming increasingly frustrated with it) and picked up Koi to Senkyo just to see what GE was going on about. I didn't follow the three episode rule and was rightfully burned for it. Or not since I got to marathon 9 episodes in one night.

    I still dislike Chisato and my main reason for dropping the show was her grating voice and ridiculous tendencies, but thankfully there's a whole host of characters I love and like GE said the politics is fascinating.

    In my current plight though I really appreciate how bloggers take so much time to make great posts like these. I can also see why so many people lose interest in anime as they get older. Its too tiring to keep and I expect that all the shows on the backburner will remain there and the number of shows I watch each season will likely halve.

    Still at least there will always be some nice anime to watch like this.

  13. Welcome back! What county did you move to?

    This show is definitely a billboard for the three-episode rule.

  14. I

    Canada, great to be back but I'm guessing that I won't be able to comment much on weekdays because I pretty much dead when I get back home.

    Agreed that all shows should be given a 3-episode run no matter how much you dislike them because they can turn around for you.

  15. H

    Boy, you're a lot more harsh in your estimation of Chisato than I am. I didn't think her behavior came anything close to yandere, she made absolutely no threats to anyone at all, just got upset at Yuuki. And I think there's justification there. Is she just supposed to let him go? Is she supposed to not try to fight for the person she loves? That's what I viewed this as, showing that she's not happy that other people get the attention she wants. Not that she 'deserves', but that she 'wants'.

    I didn't find her annoying at all. I'm a big Satsuki fan in this show, but I didn't think anything Chisato did was inappropriate. She's exactly right that adding that plank to his campaign platform will harm the campaign. And isn't it pretty obvious that he's adding that now in order to get closer to Isara and Satsuki? And she didn't say that he shouldn't feel that way, just that it's bad for the campaign. She didn't continue to hold a grudge against Yuuki after breaking down in front of him.

    And then to see the same thing happen to Yuuki that happened to Daiki, I think this episode was really a Break the Cutie attempt, but hopefully that doesn't happen.

  16. Wow, you think so little of Yuuki that you think he wants to add that plank to the platform just to get a better shot with Satsuki and Isara? I think he wants to do it because it's the right thing to do – that seems a lot more consistent with his character to me.

    I found Chisato to be completely out of line in her behavior here. Her resentment against Yuuki was completely misplaced, and she seems intent on keeping him close to her a lot more than on seeing him happy and growing as a person. It can be argued that her behavior is understandable, but that doesn't mean it's in any way acceptable.

  17. H

    I think that he ONLY thought of adding it because of his experience with Isara and seeing it in Satsuki's manifesto. Yes. I misspoke that it is because he wants to get together with those two, but they are the only reasons that he wants to add it now.

  18. Well that's fine – but how is that a knock against Yuuki? He wasn't aware this was a problem, and he became aware of it through expanding his experiences. He was introduced to something he wasn't aware of, he processed it, and he came to the correct decision – "Wow, this is wrong and I should do something about it." Isn't that exactly how personal growth is supposed to work?

  19. A

    Weird idea: what if the leader of the bullies is the hit-and-runner of the beginning of the anime?

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