Satsuki has the right idea
Welcome back for another excellent week of KoiChoco. The school camp continues, and we move more heavily into the relationships between the members of the cast.
Much like last week, this week focused on three relationships: Yuuki and Satsuki, Yuuki and Chisato, and Satsuki and Hazuki. In fact, there was quite a bit less of the other characters, but this really can’t be called a detriment, as the development we got among these four characters was excellent.
Yuuki and Satsuki
When we left last week, Yuuki was still in Satsuki’s room, hiding from the girls searching for the “pervert” who had crept into the girls’ dorm, and she was about to ask him for something. Turns out that she was after a game of Shogi, which she then proceeds to demolish him at. But the real interaction is their conversation, where Yuuki insists again that his kiss with Hazuki was an accident. In a brilliant response, and indicating her feelings for Yuuki, Satsuki asks “What if I forced myself on you with a kiss? Would you still call it an accident?” Just like we saw with Mifuyu first, then Chisato last week, the refreshing directness of the characters lends a welcome weight to this show, and allowing us to view them more as real people rather than stereotypical TV characters. Satsuki lets him off the hook rather than pressing it, but it’s now obvious how Satsuki feels about Yuuki.
We also get to hear some of the mystery of Hazuki, and it turns out that Satsuki doesn’t really know much about why, but prior to Hazuki’s leaving home, she stopped interacting with the family altogether. Perhaps Yuuki, who is closer to Hazuki, can find out more about it? She couldn’t even find out more from her mother. Yuuki agrees to help, and as they finally escape the dorm, he restates his intention to find out, but Satsuki is more interested in his answer to the other question. Unfortunately, they are interrupted by Hazuki, who has recovered enough to go out and get another drink, and then totally breaks up their conversation with a face full of liquid for Yuuki.
Would Yuuki write a kiss from Satsuki off as an ‘accident’? The circumstances are certainly completely different, as Satsuki’s not drunk, and obviously likes him. Yuuki looks like he knows that as well, and he definitely likes Satsuki’s company, having earlier semi-seriously chosen staying with her forever over turning himself in. And how much does Satsuki want to force a kiss, and how much would she rather that it just happen? It certainly seems like she’d welcome one any time.
Yuuki and Chisato
I’m right here, Yuuki.
For typical camp entertainment, the club holds a Test of Courage in the school halls, with Non-chan’s morphing scare machine (which, predictably, isn’t particularly scary). Yuuki and Chisato are paired up together, and Chisato definitely looks preoccupied after their bath conversation yesterday. After Yuuki expresses concern at Hazuki and Isara’s screams back behind them, Chisato wonders why he’s not concerned about her. But when she obviously fakes a scare, Yuuki doesn’t worry about her or take her seriously. Maybe that’s the thing that hurts her the most, because it’s what she wants, his serious consideration. Yuuki promises that she doesn’t need to worry, that he’ll always be there for her… but he doesn’t love her romantically. Obviously hurt, Chisato doesn’t understand why, and runs off as Hazuki and Isara walk up.
This could be a definitive rejection of Chisato’s romantic interest. Given where we are in the show (episode 8 of 13), and the circumstances of their relationship, I don’t see how Chisato can change Yuuki’s attitude towards her. What tactics could she even use? Certainly throwing herself at him won’t work, and it wouldn’t really fit in this show. Will she appeal to Daiki? I think it would have to be something related to their Chocolate Ritual, and indeed, the OP sequence has a scene of an impassioned Chisato at one of those times. Ultimately, tho, I think she’s out of the running, which is a bit sad, because she’s turned into a very likeable and interesting character.
Hazuki and Satsuki
Seriously fall in love with me!
The most development in this episode came for Hazuki, and indirectly with Satsuki. We had seen their disagreement before, and there had been no real explanation for their animosity. This time, as Yuuki walks back from the bath, he encounters Hazuki again drinking outside, and decides to ask about her dislike for her sister. Hazuki complains about Satsuki taking her boy, and when Yuuki asks her to stop teasing him about that, she turns serious, and honestly confesses to him. And when he tries to blow it off as a joke, she stops him. She knows she shouldn’t as a teacher, and had been holding back because of Chisato, but if her rival for Yuuki is Satsuki, then why should she lose to her sister? So when Yuuki stalls in answering her, she decides to settle it, by calling Satsuki and offers her a contest. The prize? Information… and Yuuki.
As they play their Shogi game, Hazuki turns out to be much better than Satsuki presumed, and is also much better at the mind game. Playing off Satsuki’s interest in Yuuki, Hazuki’s own progress with Yuuki, and ultimately their family – revealing that they have different mothers, and Hazuki’s mother died and that Satuski’s mother had been their father’s mistress, even before Hazuki’s mother’s death – she succeeds in riling Satsuki up enough to slap her, disrupting the game and leading Hazuki to declare herself the winner. Satsuki isn’t done yet, tho, as she continues the game in their heads, but is definitely losing. But Hazuki decides to tell a story to pass the time, about this time she fell and cut her head. Cut heads bleed a lot, and this was a cause for concern, that she’d need a transfusion, and she’s Rh-. Which also turns out to be Satsuki’s mother’s blood type (and presumably not Hazuki’s mother’s). And then the coup de grace: Hazuki’s mother had had a hysterectomy years earlier. So Hazuki and Satsuki are actually full siblings, but Hazuki didn’t find this out until years after her mother had died. But what of her own mother, who had treated her with nothing but love, even as her husband fathered a child with another woman? Does accepting Satsuki’s mother as her own mean betraying her mother’s memory? This is why she left home, and will have nothing to do with them. Of course, this changes Satsuki’s attitude towards her sister, as she now knows the reason for the animosity, and that it’s not just Hazuki’s stubbornness.
Hopefully this can be a long-term reconciliation, at least between the two sisters, although the issue of their competition for Yuuki’s affections is unresolved. But I personally wonder about Hazuki’s reasoning. It’s a fact that for approximately 5 years (we’ve heard before that Hazuki is 23, Satsuki is 17), she had one mother, who loved her. And that mother passed away. I personally don’t see why it’s a repudiation of that love to accept that you were born to another mother. Perhaps this is one of those ‘Japanese Culture’ disconnects, but it seems like the only improprieties were that their father loved two women and had a child with his mistress. And I don’t think that impeaches his integrity much, as even in the face of family pressure to divorce Hazuki’s mother and marry his mistress, he wouldn’t do it. I view this as mostly immature stubbornness on Hazuki’s part, to not realize that love isn’t an either / or thing. Why can she not hold the memory of both of her mothers dear, and acknowledge the love both of them have. And maybe that love between Satsuki’s mother and Hazuki could grow, with that acknowledgement. I know that I have a tendency to make these kind of feelings-based conflicts too easy, but love isn’t a finite resource, and maybe one of the biggest things that people need to learn in the world is exactly that.
Forced to play “Where’s Michiru?” games
Still bad is that we have no clue about Michiru. She did have a small role in this episode, as first she saw Yuuki and Satsuki together, and presumably that they almost kissed, but then later covered for Yuuki when the Food Club was discussing the ‘pervert’. But we really need to find out more about her.
Also, we did have some election intrigue, as the crafty Public Safety commission folks know that Yuuki is the dorm pervert, and that he was in Satsuki’s room most of the night. Will the Katahira faction use this information against Yuuki? Or even against Satsuki? President Mouri realizes that Satsuki isn’t going to use this against Yuuki, but is definitely worried about their other opponents.
I can’t come up with anything ugly. This series just gets better and better, and the introduction of the romantic parts hasn’t taken anything away from how well-written and enjoyable the story is. There’s still no stereotyped characters, still almost no slapstick, or even stupidity. Everyone acts like people in this show. Because of this, Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate has really moved up to being my favorite show for this season. The way it’s handled every personal interaction, the seriousness of the way their relationships are handled, it really feels like a ‘grown up’ show, while still being fun and romantic. And the election hasn’t been sacrificed to comedy either, with good information coming through, and serious situations still to come.
As we start winding up to the climax of the series, I’m wondering more and more where the romance is going. Is Chisato really out of the running? Has Satsuki peaked too early, and will the reconciliation between the Shinonome sisters mean they focus less on Yuuki? How will they work Isara and Mifuyu back into the story? And lastly, will Michiru get out of moe-moe jail and become a serious contender?