Summer 2012: First Impressions (Love, Elections & Chocolate and Sword Art Online)
Wooo! Not many more shows to cover now! Next I sampled some chocolatey student politics and an MMORPG gone wrong……….Love, Elections & Chocolate and Sword Art Online.
Love, Elections & Chocolate (Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate)
I think I’m getting a bit broken now, because I kind of enjoyed KoiChoco – even if it is utter crap. It has all the hallmarks of the bog-standard eroge including, but not limited to, the childhood friend wake-up scene, the instant harem, the horrendous hair & uniform designs and snarky male lead. It also has pretty hilarious attempts to be ‘unique’ such as the laughably over-designed school, the beer-tap in the club room, the male lead’s strange way of seeing the world (adding masks & propellers to characters??), the random statement that students on income support work in a factory after school and the whole OTT student politics thing complete with homicide! Yeah, there is absolutely no way you can say KoiChoco is a good show.
Still I did find myself entertained, and I think a major part of that was the acting – there is a great cast here and they sound like they’re having fun with the show. The little over acting scene at the traffic lights was amusing, and I did laugh at the token effeminate gay friend’s teasing of the male lead while eating phallic sweets……I am so shallow. I absolutely hated the character designs – they’re really over designed and creepy looking, but the background work is pretty.
In general it’s fairly obvious from the writing and production that this is the same team as Haganai & OreImo – I enjoyed both of their initial episodes too, before I started to hate myself for picking them up. I’ll be giving the show another few episodes to see if I’m still entertained, but I’m not optimistic!
Sword Art Online
Yeah this was a pretty solid opening episode – much, much better than Accel World’s anyway. As suspected SAO is very pretty and well presented, but at the moment I can’t say I’m completely captured by it – the characters are just too shallow right now. The high stakes in SAO make it a lot more exciting than Accel World (where death in the game just means you can’t play it any more – whoop-dee-do) as is SAO death means death – but at the same time it does raise problems. What happens to the gamers real body? Is it up to their friends & family to hook them up to life support? What if no one knows you’re trapped in the game? Do you just die of starvation & neglect even if you’re charging through floors like a pro? SAO actually raises the issue of needing to eat, but then doesn’t really give us any answers which is kind of irritating. Still these are minor quibbles, and the fact I bothered to give the show any thought at all is a good sign.
As I said the production is very solid and the visuals are extremely pretty – I really liked the design of the world. Voice acting is very competent, although we’re only introduced to two characters & the pantomime villain in this first episode. I expected more from the music though, this isn’t Yuki Kaijura’s finest work, and the ED is pretty generic.
Still this was a very well-rounded opening episode & I’m definitely interested in watching more of SAO.