Cacao, a student at Micro Grand Academy, wakes up one morning to find a girl made of wood sleeping in bed with him. She is Hinano, a tree spirit who possessed the body of a wooden puppet after Cacao messed up his magic teacher's spell. Having taken an instant liking to Cacao, Hinano enrolls in his school. Between Hinano, monsters, two strange twins and their four-eyed cat master, a demon boy, odd teachers and students, and the fact that he may have the potential to be one of the greatest magic users of all time, Cacao's life seems to have taken several turns for the worse...and the weird.
Anime Production : AIC
Director: Tsuneo Tominaga
Episodes: 20 episodes
Genres: Comedy, Romance, Sci-Fi, Shounen
Duration: 25 min. per episode
Original Run: 9 October 1999 – 25 March 2000
Cacao, a student at Micro Grand Academy, wakes up one morning to find a girl made of wood sleeping in bed with him. She is Hinano, a tree spirit who possessed the body of a wooden puppet after Cacao messed up his magic teacher's spell. Having taken an instant liking to Cacao, Hinano enrolls in his school. Between Hinano, monsters, two strange twins and their four-eyed cat master, a demon boy, odd teachers and students, and the fact that he may
have the potential to be one of the greatest magic users of all time, Cacao's life seems to have taken several turns for the worse...and the weird. Meanwhile, the city is being threatened by alien monsters which take the form of trading cards that are packaged into chocolate bars. They show up at random times for the school defense force S.M.A.T. to battle and ... ahhh I give up!
Trouble Chocolate series features Cacao, a student at Micro-Grand Academy studying magic. One day, while his magic class teacher, Ghana, is performing a spell to summon a tree spirit, Cacao finds and eats some chocolate, which turns out to be 200 year old magical chocolate. After eating the chocolate he becomes drunk and causes a wreck. During this, he interferes with Ghana's spell, letting the spirit, Hinano, escape. She inhabits the body of a marionette, who then moves in with Cacao.
Subsequent episodes of Trouble Chocolate have little connected storyline. Maybe in the last 2 or 3 episode they back into storyline but rather than that, the show itself is a gag-parody of other anime. For example, two other characters, Murakata and Deborah, are constantly shown professing their love to each other, set to absurdly explosive special effects and backdrops, as is common (to a lesser extent) in many anime. According to what I heard and read, ToroChoco is a funny blend of Urusei Yatsura and Saber Marionette J but in the end, I can’t even see where the blend is. This anime tried to blend the element of trading card collectible which is probably in that year is popular, magic and sorcery like Harry Potter, sci-fi robot like Terminator and super sentai like Power Ranger show, and supernatural love comedy like Twilight movie (maybe not exactly like that but Bella loves The Vampire Edward and Living Tree Fairy Marrionette loves Cacao, got the catch!) resulting the weird comedy-gag combination ever.
The animation is average for modern TV anime, with crisp computer coloring and animation. The character designs are cute and appealing, and would make for some great cosplay. However, pretty packaging can't cover up the fact that the rest of the show is lackluster.
While the show was released back in 1999, this anime looks as good as recent titles. The colors were vibrant and fit well with the overall tone of the show. The picture was sharp and provided some great detail for the characters and backgrounds.
The background music sounds like the piano riff from "Daydream Believer" played over and over again. The opening is stock J-pop, and not worth mentioning except to make fun of the way they spell 'Choco' (shi-ecchi-oh-shi-oh!). I found it the opening music is amusing and funny but clearly not the one you hear over and over again. The first ending, Ne, Nande... by Yoshizawa Rie is so-so and the second ending, Anata ni Aitakute ~Missing You~ (Millennium Dance version) by Sakura Tange and Kyoko Hikami is so techno remix, I really like that. Try to hear it, it’s fun.
MOST of the characters was named after plant or food, like Almond, Cacao, Guana, Ham-Ham, Mackerel, Papaya, Sardine, Truffle and Wheat. ALL of the characters are simply hollow archetypes of anime (and non-anime) icons. Cacao is a tame wannabe Carrot Glace (Sorcerer Hunters), Hinano is a catchphrase-dropping wannabe Lime (Saber Marionette J), Professor Guana/Ganache is a surfer dude wannabe Gilderoy Lockheart (Harry Potter), and Truffle is a wishy-washy wannabe Mendou Shuutarou (Urusei Yatsura). The ONLY original character in this whole mess is Professor Big Bang, the bipolar transsexual Frankenstein monster. (Which in and of itself is a great big WHAT THE HELL!?!) In the end, ALL of the characters can make you laugh and I really give both the Japanese-language cast and the English-language cast a credit because they success delivering the jokes through out all episodes.
Most of the gags and parodies were recognizable but were just not that funny. There were a few bright spots most notably the giant lucky kitty statue that attacks the school. Matcha and Azuki desperately want to be idols, but they lack any semblance of talent. After each of their acting scenes, a cold wind freezes everything in sight.
In the last 3 episode showed me what this series could have been. It drew me into the story and made me care about the characters. It was engaging and finally made the romance between Cacao and Hinano believable. The writers really found their stride with this episode. I really enjoy this anime and whenever I watch this anime, I can always laugh and that was all that matter. This anime isn’t great anime but isn’t worse either.
Trouble Chocolate is not the worst anime I've ever seen–I didn't totally hate it. I have seen far, far worse anime. But it is also nowhere near as good as I was led to believe. Originally released in 1999/2000, Trouble Chocolate is a good recent show that looks to be one of the ones that was going completely digital and not quite mastering it all that well. The show has a lot of bright colors, almost too bright in many instances, but they all retain a good solid feel here.
Personal message and opinion:
I can’t say much about this anime but I grew up with this anime. I was about 10 years old when this anime aired in my nation TV channel. For short, this anime really something for me. Trouble Chocolate has been very popular on the fansub circuit for a long time, and I've heard nothing but good things about it. This anime has a hard time deciding what audience it is trying to target because they trying to blend together elements from so many genres yet not quite finding the right mix. But once you watch this anime, you’ll always remember this anime.
Well, the fact that this anime was quite popular in overseas in United States by given a good score and professional comedy writer, Pamela Ribon actually helped with English dubbed Trouble Chocolate makes this anime somewhat interesting.
Trouble Chocolate is one of the few animes I have completed after only watching the English Dub version and I have to say it was a unique series that had some vibes from Urusei Yatsura.
The story follows a magician-in-training, Cacao, who wakes up one day to find a beautiful girl sleeping next to him. He freaks out and she wakes up, introducing herself as Hinano, a marionette. The show basically follows the two and their friends dealing with various problems that arise in every episode that are loosely related but somehow they all fall into full circle, all while Hinano tries to win
Cacao's love while Cacao isn't interested and obsesses over another thing (Sounds familiar?).
The art was pretty good considering that it was relatively ahead of its time before it became modern and the character designs are pretty eccentric enough to make cosplays out of them. They all looked nice and it fit well with their individual personalities.
The OP is pretty catchy, especially with the way the singer says Chocolate. The EDs are really nice, with the first one having a slow, almost in a remembering type of song while the 2nd ED is fast-paced and is done to the style of Para Para. The show constantly uses a tropical-themed version of the OP throughout the episode which is pretty catch for my tastes.
The characters all pretty much named after a food or plant, and they pretty much follow a typical trope in anime: Cacao is a big eater who somehow gets drunk on chocolate all while ignoring Hinano's romantic advances, Hinano is the "magical girl" who loves Cacao despite his rejections, Deborah and Murakata are the romantic couple who go head-over-heels for each other, Truffle is the spoiled rich guy trying to win the attention of Hinano, and there are other characters who stereotype some other anime tropes.
The show is pretty much filled with cheesy moments that made me groan, but at the same time smile for how silly the jokes and scenes are. It wasn't necessarily funny, but it wasn't boring. It just made me smile for its silly scenes, where, as an example, one of the "villains" and their sidekick is too silly that you can't take them seriously.
This is one of the series that I had fun watching, but it wasn't the best thing I've ever seen. I recommend this if you have nothing to watch or you just want something silly to watch. As I said, I see this as a loose parody of Urusei Yatsura, and boy did it try to parody it.
Trouble Chocolate, is a little obscure for some people, but the good part about it is the fact it's what Rosario+Vampire's anime should've been like.
Well the good news is, it's not a harem anime. The bad news is, it's obscure because it's a parody of other anime. Why is it bad? Not that many people would get it. No problems though, if you like comedy like me (unfortunately some don't) and have at least some experience in the comedy genre, I'll tell you now that Pamela Ribon, a professional comedy writer, helped write down the English Dub's script.
I only watch 4 episodes of it,
and so far it's plot is in the Zatch Bell level (sadly...), and I am hungry for more.