Koi to Senkyou to Chocolate – 10

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Even if there weren’t a whole bunch of other reasons, I’d still watch KoiChoco just because every week, without fail, it finds a way to surprise me.

[Pomf] Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate - 10 [E9DCE670].mkv_snapshot_00.19_[2012.09.14_13.18.15]The answers are coming fast and furious in my third-favorite Summer series now, with “Chocolate” fully explained, Michiru’s role clarified at last, and the fate of the girl who was the hit-and-run victim from the very start of the series (there’s quite a theme developing around that) revealed.  There’s more to come on that last score for certain, as Mouri-Kaichou finishes telling his story to Yuuki.  This was a fascinating episode to watch (as usual) but I can’t say it was as enjoyable as the last several episodes.  This was a tough watch, full of dark emotions and a disturbing vibe, especially in the first half.

[Pomf] Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate - 10 [E9DCE670].mkv_snapshot_00.42_[2012.09.14_13.18.38]In many ways, this episode felt as if it were split in half in very stark terms, with the initial sequence focusing on the aftermath of Yuuki’s accident.  And this is the one area where I’m not sure KoiChoco and myself are on the same page, because – even more so than last week – I found Chisato’s behavior creepy and disturbing.  Maybe I was supposed to – but I suspect not.  It seems to me that if the series was trying to make Chisato a winning character, never mind a potential winning love interest for Yuki, a fairly poor job has been made of it.  It’s one thing to give an explanation for someone’s behavior and quite another a justification.  And it’s quite a big gap between feeling sorry for someone and liking them.

[Pomf] Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate - 10 [E9DCE670].mkv_snapshot_02.07_[2012.09.14_13.20.03]No doubt, the loss of her brother hurt Chisato terribly, even more as she was apparently mean to him just before he died.  It’s a good explanation for why she hates chocolate, but her behavior towards Yuuki still strikes me as unhealthy and possibly dangerous from a psychological perspective.  The way she clings to him – literally and figuratively – crosses the line into the pathological.  Thing is, I think Yuuki is extraordinarily patient and understanding, and when he finally snapped – which was perfectly understandable – he nailed the situation exactly.   I can’t look at the way Chisato compulsively forced him to eat chocolate over the years as anything but sad and a little scary, and anything but a normal or healthy grief response.  She fetishes Yuuki as a replacement for Daiki, and maybe even loves him in a way – but that’s not a basis for a healthy romantic relationship.  They’re both driven by guilt and he’s actually the one I feel sorrier for, because of the burden Chisato has placed on him as the last barrier between herself and total breakdown.  He shouldn’t have to accept that responsibility, and he shouldn’t be her hostage for life because of her grief over what happened with Daiki.  At this point I can honestly say that there’s no chance the writers could craft a scenario where Chisato and Yuuki wind up romantically together at the end that I’d find believable and desirable – and I hope they don’t try.

[Pomf] Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate - 10 [E9DCE670].mkv_snapshot_04.03_[2012.09.14_13.21.59]Fortunately there are still other possibilities in the “Love” thread (perhaps it’s a good sign that Love and Chocolate are separate entities in the title) and even more, the “Elections” side of things continues to be the best part of KoiChoco, with no signs of going off the rails.  Yuuki actually leads in the latest poll, but Chisato has betrayed his interest in the financial aid students to Mouri-Kaichou, who comes down on Yuuki with an order – not a request – that he cease and desist any mention of the aid students until after the election.  This bares the previously touchy-feely relationship between Mouri and Yuuki for what it is, and it again raises the specter of a political equation that’s quite powerful in the real-world – is it better to take a principled stand and risk losing an election, or keep your mouth shut on the grounds that if you lose, nothing will get accomplished?  It all sounds reasonable the way Mouri lays it out, and as Otto von Bismarck said, “Politics is the art of the possible”.  But at what point does the selling of the soul begin?

[Pomf] Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate - 10 [E9DCE670].mkv_snapshot_04.20_[2012.09.14_13.22.32]Yuuki’s trip to the hospital might have revealed no injuries as a result of his accident, but it conveniently revealed a lot about Mouri-kaichou, and about the “Kana” whose name was etched on Michiru’s harmonica.  At this point one should refer back to the very beginning of the first episode, when Ougibashi Kana was introduced.  She was spying on someone – “General Affairs and the Security Commission working together”.  An envelope with “around two million yen”.  And information that “Yakumo-kun” would want to know.  The most logical assumption at this point is that Oosawa was cutting a deal with Moheji’s people, and this is the deal Moheji was referring to last week, and what Oosawa was this week – a pre-arranged plan where Moheji would win the election.  My guess is that it was a power play within the Security Commission – the Kitohira Faction reasoning that it would be better to lose the election (as the top Republicans did in 1912 by choosing conservative William Howard Taft over progressive Theodore Roosevelt) if it meant taking control of the party in the long-run.  And Kana was sent to the hospital in a coma in order to keep proof of that deal from getting to Mouri-kaichou, who later cut some sort of deal himself to provide for Kana’s welfare in the hospital.

[Pomf] Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate - 10 [E9DCE670].mkv_snapshot_04.49_[2012.09.14_13.23.01]Most of that is conjecture, but what’s confirmed came as Yuuki sat as a prisoner before Mouri and his top henchmen after eavesdropping on his phone conversation outside the hospital.  I suspect we’ll get the rest next week, but we did finally get the dope on Michiru – she’s an “S-agent”, a spy for the Security Commission, keeping tabs on Yuuki.  She’s also in possession of Kana’s harmonica, and says she “Came to Takafuji to find her.”  She also has the ability to see auras, apparently, and absolutely no sense of embarrassment over showing off her backside.  I’m glad to finally have some sense of what Michiru is doing here, if nothing else, though all the pieces of her story don’t fit together yet.  She makes quite an impression in her brief scenes, but it’s nice to have some idea of why she’s in the story at all. 

[Pomf] Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate - 10 [E9DCE670].mkv_snapshot_04.55_[2012.09.14_13.23.06]Some one-cour shows are probably best off being one cour (and some two-cour shows would be, too) but KoiChoco is definitely a series I wish had been longer.  There’s just an amazing amount of plot in this premise, so much so that most of the cast hasn’t been fully explored as a sheer concession to time.  And despite the increasingly uncomfortable Chisato storyline, I’m not growing tired of anything the show is throwing at me – the various threads are still interesting and still evolving, and there are still mysteries to be solved (such as why Yuuki seems to see things most of his classmates don’t, for example).  KoiChoco delivers an amazing amount of bang for the buck – content-wise it’s one of the densest series to air in quite a while – and one of the better VN adaptations we’ve seen in the last several seasons.

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  1. s

    I was going to drop this show at episode 4 or something, but then I kept seeing your lines of praise for it while browsing through your posts. I am so glad I didn't drop it and also wish it was longer. There is so much plot here and the election isn't a device for the harem aspect. Unfortunately, I have felt nothing but contempt for Chisato these past weeks. She interrupts everything good and is indeed disturbing. I do emphasize with her, but there's always a time to move on and she's in high school, for God's sake. Other than that I'm rooting for Satsuki. Season 2 please.

  2. S2s don't happen too often with dating VNs, but I guess anything is possible. Maybe they could do a different route, but since the other elements of the plot are equally as big as the romance – if not even more important – I don't see it.

    Still – I've clearly made a few converts with this show, which is nice to see.

  3. T

    I don't want Yuuki to end up with Chisato but I really hope they find time grow into a normal person. I think Yuuki's freak out was perfect and very well done and I am glad that it is out there so she can develop beyond yandere childhood stalker.
    On the Elections side the backhanded deals are awesome. Going in I though that the election side would end up being very gimmicky but now it is my favorite part of the show. Not really Yuuki's campaign but just the importance the government of the school has and how intense they actually get over everything.
    As for love interest I think it has to be Satsuki at this point. Chisato has to be out do to pure crazy and not enough time for total redemption and Satsuki definitely has the most interesting conversations and the best chemistry with him.

  4. M

    Yeah, this should have been 2 -cour!!! Although I knew michiru is a spy, the anime indeed made it more intriguing. He's the perfect scriptwriter for this!!! since that scene sure reminds me of a certain harem anime(he
    s also the scriptwriter to my surprise) where the childhood friend is also psychotic.

    Anyways, more exposition next week this time about Kana. since this has only 2 episode left, I wonder if they could put the grand debate between the 3 candidates…

  5. s

    It's 13 episodes I think.

  6. 13 is a BD extra though, isn't it?

  7. A

    This series does remind me somewhat of Senjou No Horizon in that the plot is complex with lots of interesting themes and storylines being weaved into the storytelling.

  8. E

    Yup. This pretty much explained the politic situation in this school of crazies. Why is this show only one cour. At least they could make it 17 episode just like Kokoro Connect. Damn. It. All.
    I am still rooting for Satsuki. Their relationship is the most healthy one.
    Also, I wonder if Oojima dan Michiru's supernatural powers are explained in the novel, or play any important role in the plot.

  9. d

    So what is Enzo's top 2? I used to like natsuyuki but the ending was a bit forced; especially Shimao's change of heart.

    And Yes Shuffle was great. Childhood friend was leading till she went pyscho and then …. happened. Moral of story: When naked girls attack guys in anime, and the guys dont respond it is a no deal??

  10. Jinrui and Natsuyuki.

  11. H

    I didn't have as much of a problem with Chisato as you guys did last week, but I think the accident pushed her over the edge as far as being able to deal with her relationship with Yuuki (but no, I still don't see yandere, because I think there's a huge difference between pathologically clingy and "willing to visit violence on others," which Chisato has not shown at all). I think this was the show's way of writing her out of the 'love interest' spot, and hopefully opening up a path to 'actual friend' and hopefully 'healthier person'. I do hope that Yuuki's confrontation of her can help her get over Daiki.

    I thought the rest of the story this week was pretty amazing, and think the show is doing a tremendous job of piecing the story together. It's almost like a giant domino setup, where we've been seeing people set up sections of it and for the ending we're going to get a huge payoff.

    I think the show's set up a Satsuki ending, and I doubt anyone will really complain about it, even the people in the show who were Chisato supporters (Mifuyu and Hazuki), especially if Chisato can transition her relationship with Yuuki into a much healthier one. The concern that Satsuki showed in coming to 'enemy territory' to find out about Yuuki shows that she's gone past worrying that other people will know she's interested in him.

  12. L

    This is why you shouldn't date little girls. One (the teacher's little sis) is too typical, while the other is batshit mental. Get with the teacher and give us a decent ending, spineless protagonist-kun!!

    To be frank, the peeudo-blind dude annoys me more than the childhood friend.

  13. K

    KoiChocco really deserves a 2nd season, considering the amount of intrigue, plot, and characters introduced. This show would have perfect pacing if there were 2 cours scheduled. But with only 1 eps remaining, it seems like it will become too rushed, with too many threads hanging loose.

    I had initially thought this show would be a typical harem/ slice of life adaptation, and mistakenly dropped it after 1 ep. But after seeing Enzo praise this show week after week, I’m glad I decided to pick it up marathon it at ~ep 7.

    Satsuki is just too cute. Her tsundere tendencies are just the right balance. She teases Yuuki without being demeaning, and shows her dere side without devolving into a moe-blob.

  14. I believe there are two episodes left.

  15. A

    either if keep up yea ten dollars will say we s2 of this.

  16. E

    Too bad nobody translates the visual novel, lol.
    I have just found out that the source material in indeed good to begin with, because it got 1st rank once. (October 2010)

  17. B

    Okay so like is there no such thing as a goddamned THERAPIST in Japan? Why in the hell is Chisato not undergoing professional treatment for her fairly obvious PTSD symptoms? I understand that anime so the parents are absentees but presumably they still exist and I just can't believe they never noticed their daughter's problems or, at the very least, that Yuuki (who seems to fully realize how unhealthy this is) never sat them down and explained what was going on. I don't need everything in anime to be realistic, I am willing to suspend disbelief in a lot of cases, but batshit crazy like this going completely unnoticed is really stretching my abilities on that front.

    On the plus side Satsuki was ultra kawaii in this episode which made the whole thing worth it.

  18. b

    Chisato's behavior here does seem disturbing but I thing it was a good wake up call for her. Her love for Yuuki is just making him a replacement for her brother but now that Oojima snapped her and told her that he's not Daiki, Chisato needs to prove that she loves Oojima as him. She needs to move on now and see Oojima as a true person by her side and not Daiki 2.0.
    I trust MAL more that this is 13 episodes and that is plenty of time for Chisato to make a comeback after this but seeing her still down in the preview doesn't help.
    As for the other developments, it's really interesting too but I feel that for high school students, this politics stuff is a bit too much. It makes an interesting story I guess.
    Weird, I find myself supporting Chisato now since everyone seems to be in Satsuki's side. It's probably my tendency to root for the underdogs though I'll accept whoever wins. They both gave some fighting chances and seemed balanced in their flags and developments so yeah.

    I heard somewhere that Chisato is the default route of the game and that the other routes will be unlocked only after you finished hers so there's a chance that it's still Chisato who will win. Of course, VN adaptations always mix and mash routes and since I haven't played the VN I can't say what ending they will do. Either way, I love this show.

  19. S

    Of course you're supposed to feel disturbed by Chisato's behaviour. Everybody feels it, and for an anime to do so well in every other attempt at conveying emotions I seriously doubt they so horrendously failed at this.
    Chisato's demise (from what the viewers has seen since episode 1) is supposed to be even more tragic since the obvious love interest is broken and a pairing impossible.

  20. I hope you're right, and not just giving the show too much credit. I'm still on the fence.

  21. B

    Hazuki route. Hazuki route. Please, oh please, Hazuki route!

    In hindsight, I really should have expected Michiru to be the mole. She has been stalking Yuuki since episode 3- when he had already decided to run for presidency- after all.

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