Who doesn’t love chocolate? And elections?
Well, the main love interest in Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate – Love, Election & Chocolate in English, and often abbreviated Koichoco – doesn’t like chocolate, and being that I live in a so-called swing state, I’m keeping my telephone ringer turned off until November. And apparently nobody loves Satsuki, or at least nobody cares much for this figure, because it’s languished in the bargain bin of just about every online retailer on the planet. Being the fool that I am, I bought it for full price when it came out, not expecting that it’d be shunned by everyone. However, with the anime scheduled for broadcast in just over a month, I figure now’s a good time to take a look at Satsuki and the Koichoco world.
Satsuki is manufactered by MegaHouse in 1/8 scale, standing about 21 centimeters tall. She was the first figure in MegaHouse’s High Priestess line, and I assumed that this series would comprise characters of dignified and mature bearing. Then I saw that they’re making a figure of Sena Kashiwazaki – the crass, emotionally-insecure quasi-pedophile of Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai – in this line, so I guess my assumption is wrong.
Satsuki is not a particularly complex figure, but she does have a removable face. As usual, MegaHouse provides no instructions but disassembling her head is fairly straightforward. She also comes with a base shaped like a Hershey bar.
Since nobody bought this figure, and with the anime hitting televisions and torrent sites very soon, I think that this is a good opportunity to talk a bit about the eroge that Satsuki comes from. Satsuki does indeed come from a porno game – or an adult visual novel, for those inclined to be pedantic – developed by Sprite. I’d link the game’s website but it seems that Sprite has walled it off from overseas visitors. That strikes me as being a bit fascist in temperament but then again, if my industry were being assailed by insane, agenda-driven foreigners, I suppose I’d circle the wagons too.
The game is a romantic drama set in the elite Takafuji Academy, a rather large and upscale high school in Japan. The game’s protagonist, Yuuki Ojima, is a member of the Food Research Club, whose members basically do nothing but hang out together and eat junk food. One day, Satsuki Shinonome – a candidate for the upcoming student council presidency – releases a policy manifesto outlining her plans to impose austerity upon student organizations – namely, by wiping them out. Their idyllic, gluttonous tranquility threatened, the Food Research Club members thrust forth their own presidential candidate – Yuuki – to thwart Satsuki’s plan and preserve their existence.
Yuuki Ojima (on the left) is the protagonist – a fairly average, all-around nice guy, amateur stalker, and an expert baker of the Ojima Roll. Everyone calls him “Oshima,” which he hates.
Chisato Sumiyoshi is the main love interest of the game, a synthesis of tsundere and childhood friend personality types. Outwardly brash and confident, she becomes extremely insecure whenever any other female makes moves on Yuuki.
Mifuyu Kiba is a close friend of both Chisato and Yuuki. Of frail health and a gentle disposition, she is one of the more mature and even-keeled characters in the game and often provides encouragement and level-headed counsel to both of her friends.
Michiru Morishita is a mysterious young girl who shows up in the Food Research Club room one day. She’s taciturn and seemingly borderline autistic, but she seems to have an odd type of attachment to Yuuki. She’s also one of the few people who doesn’t mispronounce Yuuki’s last name.
Isara Aomi is a polite, hard-working, impoverished, peripatetic young girl who is a year younger than most of the game’s cast. She is on Takafuji Academy’s financial aid program – which causes some friction with her peers – and works at a fast food joint after school. She is a sweet and earnest young girl who quickly becomes friends with the Food Research Club members.
Nozomi Edakawa (call me Non-chan!) is the energetic mad scientist of the Food Research Club. She is hyperactive and somewhat prone to injecting English terms into her speech.
Oboro Yumeshima is the vice president of the Food Research Club and is the only other male member. He’s also blatantly gay for Yuuki. Unfortunately, he doesn’t get a story route.
Hazuki Shinonome is a 23-year old teacher at Takafuji Academy and serves as the faculty advisor for the Food Research Club. She’s an easygoing, friendly young woman who enjoys drinking beer and eating snacks. Unlike her younger sister, she’s a bit immature, a bit irresponsible and is quite informal – she is “Hazuki” to Chisato, “Ha-chan” to Nozomi, and “Shino-nee” to another member of the Food Research Club. Yuuki stiffly refers to her as “Hazuki-sensei.”
Satsuki Shinonome oversees the finance department and is the frontrunner for the student council presidency. She is calm, collected, and of regal comportment, unlike her older sister. Seems to enjoy paizuri.
I played through a bit of the game, which doesn’t deviate much from the conventional mechanics of its genre. I thought it started off a bit slowly, but it picks up after moving from the initial introductory stuff to the business of campaigning and lobbying. Unfortunately, you’re locked into going through Chisato’s route on the first playthrough, and I wasn’t too enthusiastic about her character since I wanted to mack on Satsuki and the game wouldn’t let me. Though after playing for a while, I thought Isara was the most appealing character. Also unfortunately, you spend a lot of your time with the other Food Research Club members and I didn’t think that they were as interesting as some of the other oddball characters in the school.
Curiously, the Wikipedia article lists different voice actors for the original PC game and the upcoming anime adaptation, which is a bit strange since I thought the game’s voice actors were perfect.
Back to the figure. Satsuki is wearing the standard Takafuji Academy girl’s uniform, a cropped jacket, a white blouse that appears to be struggling to contain her majesty, and a turquoise dress cut dangerously high. While not a particularly sexualized outfit, it’s obviously designed in such a way to provide that sort of appeal, at least on a nuanced level. Particularly with Satsuki, as she has the largest listed breast size of the game’s student body and is second only to her sister, overall. Satsuki’s substantial chest is highlighted by her dress, as are her legs, and also her narrow waist and broad hips. She may not be meant to look sexy but there is certainly an erotic element to her overall look.
Satsuki comes with two faces, one smiling and one frowning. Both expressions are appealing, but I think that her frown is more enigmatic, and I like that expression on her a bit more. She could just be expressing aggravation, or displeasure, or that might even just be her normal look, since she doesn’t seem to smile that often. She could also be expressing disquiet or anxiety, and that’s how I viewed her at first – from some angles, her sideways glance looks rather like she’s afraid of something.
Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate is known in large part for its distinctive artwork by Yuu Akinashi, and while it would be very difficult to transpose its soft, watercolor-like look to a PVC figure, at least Satsuki remains faithful to her original design. Particularly in the design of her face, which retain the same small pupils and sharp, narrow eyebrows of her artwork.
Her pose and demeanor are open to a number of differing interpretations. With her happy face on, she’s striding confidently, effecting an aura of competence and certitude. Or perhaps she’s smiling breezily, girlishly brushing her hair back. With her sad face, perhaps she’s standing fearfully, afraid of something lurking in the shadows. Or maybe she’s nervously playing with her hair ornament while Yuuki’s political machine rolls right over her and her aspirations.
I think that maybe MegaHouse released Satsuki too early; they might’ve been better off waiting for the anime to drop. Koichoco was quite a popular eroge, but it’s still sort of a niche title, like most eroge, and I’m sure Satsuki would’ve sold tons better after the anime hits TVs.
Satsuki doesn’t look like the sort of figure I’d normally buy but I’m still quite happy to own it, even after paying full price. Satsuki is sexy without looking slutty. Her school outfit is easily discernible as such, but is still distinctive. On the surface, she’s nothing special, but a moment of contemplation reveals a lot of subtleties to her look that I find to be very appealing. Add to that an attractive personality – at least, as far as I can tell without having gone through her game route – and this is a figure that I like a lot.
If you want a Satsuki of your very own, HLJ has her for just 3,060 yen. Cheap!