DVD Review: Love, Election & Chocolate – The Complete Collection
19/02/2016 Leave a comment
The title of this anime is just as unique as the series itself but what can you expect to receive from the product in general and, more importantly, is it any good? Well lets find out in our DVD Review of Love, Election & Chocolate – The Complete Collection.
In Japan, participation in extra-curricular activities is as fundamental a part of an education as chalk and gym shorts. However, not all students are overachievers, and for those like Yuki Ojima, groups like the Food Research Club are welcome havens in which to slack off. But what’s a slacker to do when the radical new candidate for Student Council president announces her intent to get rid of clubs like the FRC?
Well, getting the help of the current Student Council president is a good start, but his suggestion is so counter-intuitive that it’s crazy: Yuki’s going to run for the Student Council himself! And yet, it’s SO crazy that it just might work. Especially when Chisato, the chocolate-adverse president of the FRC – not to mention Yuki’s best childhood friend – and members of other targeted school clubs start to join the swelling FRC army. But can this army of goofs and goof-offs coast all the way to political victory? Or will someone have to step up to the plate and take one for the term?
Having heard nothing about this show I was sceptical about what it would offer and yet after five minutes of the disc being inside my player I realised that we had a unique story on our hands. Love, Election & Chocolate is the title and interestingly enough that’s exactly what it offers; but at its core it’s a fun, light-hearted school campus approach to political warfare with a love-story as a bitter after-taste. Does this mean it’s bad? Not entirely; it’s actually a great series that offers a unique variety , some cameo references and charm that’s not seen that often. It’s basically something different and it’s worth your attention.
So; what exactly happens? Well in the run-up to the new Student Council Elections front-runner Satsuki Shinonome reveals that all School Clubs unworthy of funding would be scrapped if she was to be elected Student Council President. Of course this news means that the Food Reasearch Club, which spends most of its days eating different types of chocolate and sweets, would be abolished. To stop this from happening the members of the club elect Yuki Ojima to run for Student Council President and with help from a few unlikely sources they compete for the top spot at the school. As you would expect this brings all-sorts of complications and challenges to our rag-tag bunch of characters and yet they find themselves pulling through in some rather comical ways.
It’s a definitely a narrow-minded story; but strangely enough it works exceptionally well. The main talking point of each episode is to promote Yuki Ojima’s awareness and his ideals for a better student council to the public and as such we see various different types of activities taking place. For instance one particular episode sees the group attempting to fund their election campaign while another episode will focus on the speech being delivered to the public. Whatever the topic at hand maybe each episode is nicely coated in playful banter between characters; namely Yuki and his childhood friend Chiasto, as well as comical references and situations that lead to misunderstandings.
This is where the romance element of the series, and elements from the visual novel the anime is based off, appears as it painfully clear that both Chiasto and Yuki have some sort of affection towards each other but are unwilling to speak it. This further comes to fruition when new female characters, such as the scholar student Isara Aomi, become closer towards Yuki through unavoidable situations. You could say this show offers two different types of storylines; on the one side we have Yuki’s attempt at becoming the Student Council President and the troubles it brings while on the other side we have the relationships between selective female characters. Fear not this isn’t a harem; but it was potentially close to being one – especially in some of the more ‘raucher’ scenes that took place. Politcal School warfare and female troubles are what’s on offer; with some chocolate and sweets thrown in to the mix; just as the title suggests and each have their own significance in the series.
As with most Sentai authored releases the amount of bonus content is small; but what we do have is enough to satisfy our lust of curiosity. The series is spread across three DVD discs with each disc featuring four episodes and a piece of bonus content – so we have got a nice spread across the entire set.
The first DVD disc features an extensive amount of trailers for other Sentai licensed shows, some of which have yet to receive a release in the UK, while the second DVD disc features the textless opening and ending animations.It’s the third DVD disc, which sees the inclusion of the Bonus OVA episode, that will get more interest from those who enjoyed the series.
It’s an episode which sees Chiasto and Satsuki showing their affection for Yuki by making food for him; and as such Yuki finds himself as a prize for the girl that makes the best food. As you can imagine its your typical harem situation; but these harem elements of this episode very rarely made it into the main series so its nice to see an alternative spin of the characters here in this bonus episode.
Overall it’s a pretty bare-bones release; but due to the way it is spread out across the three discs it offers the impression that you are getting more than you actually are. But as i always say; its better than nothing.
Media: DVD 9 x3
Running Time: 1:42:18 (Disc 1 & 2), 2:07:38 (Disc 3)
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 224kbps (Japanese)
Subtitles: English (Yellow)
Resolution: 720 x 576 (576i)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Widescreen
Frame Rate: 25 fps
Love, Election & Chocolate is a series I wasn’t expecting much from but after a short period of time I realised that this series has a lot to offer to those willing to give it a try. The idea behind the series is politics with a bit of romance and banter thrown in for good measure; it’s a unique mixture and somehow it all manages to pull through for an entertaining watch. It’s not just the story that’s well presented either; but it is also the combination of colourful characters, each of which seem to have their own unique personalities, as well as the events that unfold in a timely manner.
The story itself focuses on Yuki Ojima attempting to become the Student Council President so that Clubs scheduled for cancelation can operate as normal; however throughout this endeavour he discovers the sinister side of the respected candidates and a darker side of the school and it’s scholar system. Spoilers aside; saving the Food Reasearch Club isn’t the only thing on the agenda and its now his job to become the Student Council President so that he can fix the issues at hand. Of course however this is only one side of the story; as elsewhere we have the playful banter of the Food Reasearch Clubs members and, more importantly, the blossoming romance between childhood friends Chiasto and Yuki. Like i said; it’s a nice balance and they all blend nicely together with some, extra quirks, thrown in for good measure – and that is not something i was initially expecting.
Story elements aside, as you will want to watch the series after all; this DVD release provided by MVM Entertainment is everything you would expect it to be with no real issues or disappointments to report. In-case you weren’t already aware this release is an English-subtitled only product and as such no English Dub is provided; fortunately the English Subtitles have been taken with care as not only are they easy to read but when multiple characters start talking at the same time the colour of the subtitles change. For instance by default the subtitles are yellow, but when two characters are talking at the same time the important dialogue will remain yellow while the unimportant dialogue will be white. The result is that it is easy to focus on the important dialogue, unlike some other Sentai titles which opt to have all dialogue in yellow. Bonus content remains questionable, with only trailers and textless songs being included, but the bonus OVA episode is included and adds some more laughs to a rather satisfying series.
Love, Election & Chocolate offers an interesting story set around politics and deception, but shrouded in this is playful banter and cameo references (including one to Puella Magi Madoka Magica) is a love-story that gets deeper with each passing episode. In shorts it’s a great series and fortunately thanks to this well-produced DVD it’s also a great product to own. Sure enough a Blu-ray version is being released (so i’d recommend going for that one) but as far as DVD quality goes then this is just great.
Love, Election & Chocolate – The Complete Collection will be available on DVD and Blu-ray from the 22nd February 2016.