Tokyo Marble (Hot) Chocolate

I’m so glad I got to hear Zenryoku Shounen in an anime series. It’s such a nice song (and it’s in Ouendan 2, which is a Good Sign for any song).

Predictably, I really, really loved Tokyo Marble Chocolate. Production I.G. made a clever choice in splitting the story between the two “parts” and telling the same story from two different angles. The story itself is quite nice, with misunderstandings between a young couple where both parties lack the self-confidence to be in a relationship. Of course, delicate dances of misunderstandings usually don’t happen quite this way in real life, but, a quick reminder in case you forgot: this is film, and, more importantly, anime film.

For a short OVA series that gives you only the briefest snapshot of a relationship, you get a feel for the characters very quickly. It’s only a two days of their relationship that we see, but it’s a touching portrait of love gone wonderfully right. And, actually, upon watching the “boy part”, Zenryoku Shounen, I noticed parallels with Eureka Seven. The most obvious one would be Yuudai’s “dream” sequence after being knocked out, which was almost a direct reference to the amazing episode 48 of Eureka Seven, with the mini-donkey (which, by the way, is awesome) acting as Gulliver. You could almost say that the link between Chizuru and Yuudai is the mini-donkey, at least in this snapshot of their lives–again, kind of like how Gulliver linked Dominic and Anemone (quite literally).

i also loved the art style, once I got used to it (which took a whopping 60 seconds)–it’s simplistic, which lends an air of universality to the characters and their emotions. Anyone could feel this in love that you’d have to be a cold-hearted bastard to not sympathize with their plight.

And I like how we never see Yuudai say “I love you” to Chizuru. It’s the most important issue to both characters, but the deliberate exclusion of this line on Yuudai’s behalf (Chizuru does, of course, write it on the lid of the present she was planning to give to him as a break-up gift) just means that there’s no need to say the words in their situation as you understand it after both parts: they just embrace, and cut to credits. It’s understood that Yuudai doesn’t need to speak the words he’s so afraid to speak–Chizuru has already worked it out for herself during the dance.

In conclusion: anime needs more bizarre animal-like creatures who join two people together into a loving relationship. This is a hitherto unexplored domain of anime tropes.

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NOTICE SHAMELESSLY STOLEN FROM G.K. CHESTERTON

I cannot understand those that take anime seriously, but I can love them, and I do. Out of my love I warn them to keep clear of this blog.

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