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Visual novels are notoriously difficult to adapt. They provide just as much detail as light novels, but the story’s told through multiple routes, rather than a linear one present in a light novel. In this case, the adaptation often has to choose between progressing the story and developing the characters. Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate seems to be taking the storyline route, while giving some characterization along the way. This being said, it’s difficult to characterize all the heroines in a visual novel without it being seen as a blatant harem. In visual novels, the main protagonist chooses a heroine after the primary route, and the development becomes centric around the pair; given this, one heroine is developed fully, while the other ones are developed in alternate routes [parallel worlds so to speak, after finishing all the routes, you understand each character, but it doesn’t insinuate a blatant harem because only one heroine is being characterized at a time].
Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate seems to revolve around three heroines. There are numerous other side characters, but their existence is almost solely for comedic purposes; characterization is minimal among them. The first contender would be Isara Aomi, the financial aid student. She seems to have taken a liking to Oojima, but it’s highly unlikely for her to win [she’s outside the primary group]. The second contender would be Chisato, the childhood friends. The trope of a romance between childhood friends is almost synonymous with a romantic ending, one would typically assume for her to win. But given the current developments, the third contender is being characterized more than her, this could mean one of two things: She’s being given the development last [a final, or true route so to speak], or the third heroine, Mifuyu, is being projected to “win”. It’s a bit too early to tell which of the two will win, in Mashiro-iro’s anime adaptation, Sena was characterized first with her route, but Miu ended up winning.
The mechanics, and seriousness of how the school works in Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate seems to be attenuated by the usual, jocular mood of the series. It’s an odd mixture: a relatively serious concept intertwined with ecchi, romance, and comedy. Although the latter genres are often given more coverage, the former half isn’t abandoned. The majority of the episodes either began, or ended with a shift to a more “serious” and “darker” mood; although it’s a bit sporadic, it didn’t seem forced or rushed.
Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate has likable characters, enjoyable interactions, and an interesting premise. It’s a matter of whether it decides to brush lightly on what it excels at, or if it decides to go in-depth on one of its aspects. The romance in Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate seems a little weak at the moment, most of the feelings shared so far are one-sided; there isn’t a lot of “development” outside basic interaction, and presumed details. Visual novels are given ample time [thousands of lines; an average episode only has a few hundred] to develop a heroine; an adaptation results in significantly less lines [the heroine has to share her lines with every other side character and development].