Signal Graph by Annabel
It feels like I can reach out and touch
You, who are laughing right in front of me
But even though you’re within reach,
I act tough and lock it in
I pretend I don’t see the overflowing feelings in my heart
Even if the cloudy sky’s looking misty with tears
There’s a bright sky higher up…
A changing signal…
Let’s move forward with our hands held up high
Take me to the future
Which slipped through my fingers before because I was too scared
Because I’ve noticed you and what’s powerfully sparkling inside you
Now I stare directly at it
And take the step forward together with you
Today’s Under Your Radar is covering an anime that’s based on an adult visual novel, Love, Election and Chocolate. The source material, the aforementioned visual novel, is available on PC and PSP (the latter using the anime’s voice actors while the former has a completely different set and has the protagonist silent, as is normal), but has never received any English translation from anyone. From what I understand, however, it forces you into the female lead’s route and makes you beat that before you’re allowed to derail the story by picking someone else. The anime is apparently an accurate adaptation, but takes parts from all of the other routes as well. Those aware of the former should not have been surprised by the ending, but the series received complaints because of who the protagonist ended up with. Oh well.
In any event, if that paragraph wasn’t clear enough, I’ll only be discussing the anime because I lack sufficient Japanese knowledge to read the novel. There are two manga adaptations, but I see no point in looking into them. I also highly doubt that anyone translated the light novel. The series is also sometimes referred to under its Japanese title, Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate (which means the same thing), the abbreviation Koichoco, or the mistranslation Love, Elections & Chocolate. The Anime Network is inconsistent as to whether or not the title uses an ampersand, but the English logo doesn’t have one so I’ll go with “no”.
Love, Election and Chocolate is a fairly straight-forward tale. Some years ago, Chisato Sumiyoshi’s brother died in a car accident after she refused to eat some of his chocolate bar. Ever since, she’s been unable to eat chocolate, but has a little nightly ritual with her childhood friend Yūki
Ōshima Ōjima, the chef behind the famous Ōjima Rolls, where she feeds him half of a chocolate bar and she puts the other half on a plate in front of her brother’s picture. She has never forgiven herself for his death, thinking he wouldn’t have gone away if she’d shared his chocolate.
The two of them, as well as their friends, are part of the food research club at their school. But, one day, the student council president is removed from office due to corruption, and the most likely candidate to win the vote to replace him wants to abolish all of the superfluous or pointless clubs so she can redirect the budget toward other things, and the food research club is on the top of the list. To prevent this, Yūki (who has the most potential votes in the club due to being friends with TONS of girls) has to run for president.
After he gets past the initial hurdles, however, the political stuff gets pushed aside for a while. The series is primarily a romance series between Chisato and Yūki at the end of the day, with Yūki having mixed feelings about being a replacement for Chisato’s brother. At one point, he calls Chisato out on it and points out that he’s willing to stay by her side, but his feelings aren’t feelings of love, and it’s entirely her fault. The two of them eventually sort their feelings out and save their club.
…I’ve already adequately described the series, I suppose. Aside from a few notable scenes where people stand up to more powerful people, two improvised campaign speeches and Yūki’s weird perception of people like imagining a mask (which never gets explained) there isn’t much else of note going on in this series.
The series is available to subscribers of The Anime Network, with the first episode being free, and the series will receive a physical release from Sentai Filmworks.
I don’t dislike this series, but I ultimately see little special about it. While it was sort of enjoyable to see the love story unfold, this isn’t exactly the sort of series I’d suggest as anything but a time-filler. Overall, Love, Election and Chocolate simply fails to leave any impression at all, which is arguably worse than leaving a bad impression.