||home / november 2002 / feature
Trouble Chocolate - Donít Eat that Chocolate!
By Adam Arnold
"Welcome to 'Cranky' Sakai Town, a place where you can raise a family. Most of its kids go to Micro-Grand Academy. Population one hundred thousand, with hundreds of classes and thousands of after school activities. Micro-Grand students like sports and collecting chocolates in them. Nothing too special, nothing too dull. Just your average school and your average town where this anime love comedy takes place." - Hinano's narration, Episode 1.
Micro-Grand Academy is the Hogwarts of anime; at least that's what you'll think after a first glance. Micro-Grand and the surrounding community are the stage for some seriously bizarre series of events. Everything begins when Cacao wakes up one fateful morning with a splitting headache and a girl in his bed. Instantly his mind shifts to the perverse, and rightfully so since he can't recall anything that happened the day before.
From there, things get downright weird. It turns out the girl Cacao woke up next to is named Hinano, and she is actually made entirely out of wood! Cacao heads off to school, and Hinano naturally follows him. On the way, Hinano gets hassled by a punk kid trying to peddle off his extra chocolate cards for some quick cash. Cacao rushes up and drags Hinano away with him. Aggravated, the kid tosses the card away and the wind whisks it into an alley where it transforms into a giant purple slime monster!
At school, Cacao slowly begins to recall the events of the prior day, thanks to some help from Professor Ganache, his sorcery class teacher. It turns out Cacao was working in the lab and got really hungry - So he ate a piece of chocolate that happened to ironically be laying right on top of the good professor's desk. It turns out the chocolate was over 200 years old (that had to have tasted kind of funky) and it made Cacao all weak-kneed and drunk acting. Then at a critical moment in the Professor's fairy summoning spell, Cacao sneezed and thus broke the precious magic circle and turned the forces of nature on their ear. Can you guess where Hinano came from now?
And that's just the basics! On top of all that is the overly touchy-feely, gag-me-with-a-spoon romance between the school's prom king and queen in the making, Deborah and Murukata. Then there is the S.M.A.T. club that acts as the school's first line of defense against attacks. Think Power Rangers, and you'll get the picture.
By the time Truffle shows up, things are so wacky that it's hard not to find something to like about this show. Based on a doujinshi that evolved into a radio drama and finally an anime series, Trouble Chocolate prides itself on over-the-top visuals slopped together with bits and pieces from a number of other series. Yu-Gi-Oh!'s collectible cards, look-a-likes from Yu Yu Hakasho, the reimagining of Mendou from Urusei Yatsura, and even the wacky monsters from I'm Gonna Be An Angel all seem to be emulated somewhere in this over-the-top comedy series.
Overly cute and definitely fattening, Trouble Chocolate is sure to tickle any fan's funny bone and leave them dumbfounded and dying for more.
- The Micro-Grand Experience -
Micro-Grand Academy - Providing a college preparatory education of unsurpassed quality for students from every walk of life ...and unlife.
Micro-Grand Academy is a community high school that strives to ensure all attending students a warm, safe, and caring community of learning on a lush residential campus, offering students personalized and challenging experiences in preparation for successful careers in the candy industry, productive homemaking skills, and a satisfying quality of life. The respected faculty consisting of fully accredited sorcerers, vampires, and home-brew monsters demonstrate an intense dedication to teaching and offer outstanding professional programs of study as well as programs in the black arts, inter-dimensional humanities, and extraterrestrial sciences. The location, atmosphere, and relationships of Micro-Grand Academy create a stimulating, yet not TOO stimulating, environment for intellectual inquiry in pursuit of truth, justice, and the Japanese way.
Why Attend Micro-Grand Academy?
1. Micro-Grand offers a DIVERSE set of courses that fits every student's needs. Courses range from standardized English Grammar classes to courses in Biological Transmutation as well as a wide array of Physical Education classes. Our courses challenge our students both mentally and physically and ensure that they are ready for the work force.
2. Our facility and staff want our students to SUCCEED. If a student is falling behind in a certain course, we will take an active part in guiding the young minds back to the path to good grades. In many cases, teachers will make arrangements for students to make up missed work or labs.
3. We have the clubs our students WANT to join. Whether your interest is painting or prancing around in tight spandex, one of our unique clubs is sure to fit your interests. Some of our clubs even take an active part in our community's needs, helping to make our school a bigger part of the community at large.
4. Your children will THANK YOU for it! Surveys have shown that Micro-Grand graduates continually show support for their school and wish to have their children experience the same quality education that they gained.
Equal Opportunity Statement
Above all, Micro-Grand Academy is an equal opportunity/affirmative action educational institution and as such does not discriminate in any matter concerning students, employees, robots, giant slime monsters, ghosts, demons, tree sprits or services to its community on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, veteran status, handicap, age, or planetary origin. The Academic institution is in compliance with all known federal, state, and local regulations regarding nondiscrimination.
All prospective students are encouraged to visit our lush campus and tour our facilities to ensure our academy will meet their educational needs. Guided tours can be arranged if set up at least two weeks prior to the planned visit date. Please remember when visiting to stay off the flowers. The flowers do not like to be crushed.
From everyone at Micro-Grand Academy, we look forward to serving your educational needs!
|TROUBLE CHOCOLATE - CHARACTER DOSSIER
An under-active young lad who isn't good with chocolates. Cacao has an unquenchable hunger that often leaves his stomach growling minutes after he's eaten. When Cacao happens to eat chocolate, some unexpected things begin to happen. So at all costs, keep him away from the C-H-O-C-O!
A tree fairy that was summoned by Professor Ganache during a magic spell. Due to Cacao sneezing in the middle of the spell, the magic circle was disturbed and Hinano's spirit was sent into a wooden doll in Ganache's lab. Hinano now lives with Cacao, sleeps in his bed, and makes all his meals for him.
One of those rich kid snob types that has so much money that he can just waste it on trivial things, like flying to school in a Harrier Jet. Truffle has his heart set on Hinano, but could easily have any other girl at Micro-Grand Academy. Hinano's heart is set on Cacao and this causes some serious rivalry issues.
The leader of the S.M.A.T. defense team. Murukata has ravishing dark skin and perfect hair and is every girl's dream... well, not exactly. His heart is set on Deborah and they often can be seen getting all lovey-dovey in the weirdest of places.
One of the many teaching professionals that shape the impressionable young minds of the students of Micro-Grand Academy. Ganache is an unfortunate soul who often becomes the scapegoat whenever Cacao does something stupid.
A strange little alien-like creature that runs a quaint little chocolate and snack shop called the Dagashi-Ya. Ham-Ham can often be found sweeping the street in front of the shop or quietly napping at the register.
Images Copyright VIZ Communications. All rights reserved.