It goes without saying that too much of a good thing can turn into something bad. So when you have what seems to be the umpteenth reiteration of a teenage love drama set in school, how do you differentiate yourself from the rest of the pack? Fate/Stay Night decided to add supernatural fights and shows like Nyan Koi! decided to add talking cats to the mix. On the other end of the spectrum, the more realistic end, you might say, you get Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate (Love, Elections, and Chocolate). It had the makings of a good show, so what went wrong?
Political Intrigue… in School?
Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate started off as any other unassuming romance anime would. It brought out its ensemble of characters, the love-oblivious main character, the smitten childhood friend, the soft-spoken love interest, and the quiet kuudere among others, but suddenly veered off in the wrong direction. Instead of showing us teenage angst, the directors of this show decides to give us a story filled with backroom deals, hit-and-runs, and dirty politics. Then again, I have to commend the original creators of the visual novel for attempting to try something unique with their story – if only it was believable.
A Campaign to Save His Club
The main character Oojima Yuuki starts a campaign in order to save his club from being abolished by the student council’s new policies. With the help of his childhood friend, Chisato, they transform the Food Research Club into their campaign’s headquarters, and everything goes down from there. What were the creators thinking while they penned the story? I’m all for political intrigue and backstabbing in my anime, but please do it in a setting that’s appropriate. Nay, in a setting that’s reasonable. To assume that these high school students have the know-how to run a “government” that accounts for over six thousand students is ridiculous. And to think that kids their age care for politics and would engage in these kinds of political dealings is just ludicrous. What’s more, throughout the course of the story, the various political factions commit more than a few crimes – a hit-and-run and a kidnapping, to be precise. While I was watching this show, all I could think about at some points was, “Where are the teachers?” Are they in no way involved with the student politics like they would be in a normal school? But I digress, this is anime. If you’re able to ignore this glaring mistake, I think that you’re going to find a few things to like in this show.
When the show isn’t busy pandering on about dirty politics, it shows some promise, particularly in the character growth department. I, for one, felt that the highlights of the show were when character relations were explored. Case in point, though the tumultuous relationship between the Shinonome sisters was cliched, it was still heartwarming and provided more interest than the droll politics of the show. In addition, the traumatizing events that Chisato hides and the scars that Mifuyu conceals add another layer of intrigue to the show – but not the political kind. It’s human interest – and that’s what Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate should have been aiming for from the start.
It Sure Looks Pretty, At Least
The show is a pleasure to look at most of the time. It definitely takes after the visual novel and preserves some of the artistic stylings of the original, even if the colors are a little more bland. So yes, Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate is excellent in terms of art. However, there are a few dips in the quality where you can tell the animators were in a rush to get it done. But for the most part, this is a rarity. On another note, the music of this show isn’t something you’re going to remember years after watching it. The only standout piece of music from this show is the opening theme song and even then, it’s nothing amazing.
I know, I know. I completely bashed the show in the beginning and I barely gave it any redeeming qualities, but don’t let that completely deter you from watching this show. It’s satisfactory. Its good, even. It’s just not something I’d call the next Clannad. In fact, why don’t you go watch Clannad if you want a high school romance anime done right? But there I go again, I need to stop bashing this show.
The Verdict: 6.5/10
It’s not the next anime masterpiece, but it’s bearable.
Here’s a few pictures from the show to help you feel better. Click on the thumbnails.