Secret Santa Bonus Review #1: Tokyo Marble Chocolate

Deciding to start with the romance story was not hard for me. What else could there be to do with my wife on our 10 year anniversary than watch two young people stumble and fall in love.

This two episode OVA is split with the first half about Chizuru, and the second about Yudai. Chizuru is no good at love, and Yudai is a coward that is scared to tell his feelings to his love.  Each has their own hang-ups and rather interesting back stories that are shown in the beginning of each of their episodes.

The two start out on a date where Chizuru is going to break-up with Yudai before the inevitable failings of her falling in love, and Yudai is finally going to get over his fears and tell Chizuru how he really feels. The middle, where the two split, is the cause of a mini-donkey that Yudai buys by mistake, thinking it was a rabbit. The mix-up causes them to lose each other for the day.

The following day, a misunderstanding causes them to split, but the mini-donkey now brings them together in the rafters of Tokyo Tower. Unable to shake the earlier day’s issue, the two again split, only to find themselves once more facing each other on a railway bridge. Without words, compromise is reached and a fulfilling relationship is born.

The mini-donkey almost felt so wrong for most of this story. Its integration into the plot, especially its design, was a bit off-putting at first, but I’ll be damned if I didn’t love it by the story’s end. The personality of that little animal was extremely cute, especially when it was protecting Chizuru from the stranger that returned her cell phone.

Animation is well above average with, what I guess you could call, shoujo type character designs. The muted color palette of the backgrounds is accented nicely by the brighter colors of the clothes the main characters wear. Music is also very nice and fits the moods of the story nicely. Each episode has a different ending song for the final montage, and while I didn’t appreciate “Mata Aimashou,” Chizuru’s theme, when I heard it, it’s gotten to the point where it has grown on me. Yudai’s theme, “Zenryoku Shounen,” is also fitting for him, but I liked it more immediately.

Lastly, the story was a bit strange at first, but grew on me as it progressed. We’ve seen couples drifting apart before, but the amount of time devoted to this OVA makes the urgency feel realistic. My favorite thing is how each side ends. We know what the inevitable conclusion is, but letting it happen without words, was a very nice stroke. In the end, the compromise the two make and how they put aside their insecurities, doesn’t need any words. Handling it with just their songs was well done and appreciated.

I really enjoyed this, thanks for recommending this to me Secret Santa.


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