Chocolate and other sweets have been banned thanks to the political reign of the Good For You Party, and the new laws are enforced strictly, with force if need be. Smudger and Huntley are two teen boys determined to eat chocolate again. They search out rumored chocolate bootleggers, eventually starting their own chocolate underground distribution.
Based on the the British children's novel Bootleg by Alex Shearer.
It's like Prohibition, but instead of ruthless gangsters making piles of money from illegal alcohol, a couple of high school students try to evade a government abolition of chocolate and all other sweets. Also, the police have giant robots specifically built for sniffing out and arresting chocolate enthusiasts. Yes, it's as ridiculous as it sounds.
Chocolate Underground is only made up of 13 three-minute episodes streamed on the internet, so there's only so much to say about it, although the show does cover a surprising amount of plot in the limited time it has. It's based on a satirical novel about two English boys with the
border-line silly names Huntley and Smudger. If only the anime were any good, because apparently the creators thought in order to make it clear the material is parody, they had to make it entirely silly; the amount of common sense one has to ignore turns the events into a goofy romp.
You get instances like when the protagonists stumble onto a (not so) cleverly hidden secret chocolate party thanks to some research about the history of chocolate. And while the party goers hide when the two first arrive, no one notices minutes later when a police task force dozens strong raids the place. Chaos and hilarity ensue. The two boys, a female friend, and a little sister than go on to open an (figuratively and literally) underground chocolate shop, and eventually lead an action-packed (giant robots, remember?) rebellion against the unfair law. The story even manages to squeeze in a subplot about a turncoat classmate with an older brother in captivity that doesn't really rise beyond a cliche due to the limited length of the story.
Characters are generally little more the pieces to advance the plot. Mostly they don't even rise to the level of one-dimensional stereotypes. Of the two heroes, I think one was supposed to be the spunky go-getter, and the other the more brainy and cautious, but I can't remember if there was any distinction at all.
Visuals and sound are both run-of-the-mill for a 2008 show. They do the job they need to but are utterly forgettable. Also, since the episodes are so short, there is no OP or ED.
The show might be enjoyable as a brief diversion and nothing more. The problem is that the idea of the Good For You Party and people's willingness to surrender simple freedoms for a "better" lifestyle and later regret and realization of their error could have at least left some kind of message to the story, but a last minute plot-twist reduces the villain to a simple corrupt-politician cliche. Apparently there's a movie version coming out with another twenty minutes of material. Maybe that might make this worth the watch. I wouldn't count on it, though.
For all of you who is searching for a short anime , short duration , eerie story but fun , and enjoyable anime ; chocolate underground is what your looking for.
I really enjoyed Chocolate Underground -althought its short and not many like it - because it has an outstading , eerie story that really amazed me . In my experience in anime , I think that most animes talk about love and confessing there feelings and a typhoon of romance or a triangle of love , which I didn't see in this anime .
I'm sure not many will recommend it , but I do
recommend it to all those who are looking 4 a short , not so romantic anime :)
Chocolate Underground is a political satire that takes place in an alternate reality where the land is ruled by a totalitarian government known as the 'Good For You Party'. This government has banned the possession and consumption of sugar, honey, chocolate, and any other kind of sweets you can think of; and have established a police force to enforce this law. In the anime we follow our two heroes, Huntley and Smudger, as they attempt to bring chocolate back to the world.
Story - 6/10
The premise of the series shows promise but is not executed in the way I personally think it should have been.
The show treats itself more like a tragedy than a comedy in an attempt to show how a lack of sweets has affected the populace. The law has left many of the characters depressed and lost without chocolate. Lots of time is spent focusing on the troubles they are facing because, apparently, chocolate is the only source of happiness in this world. Very few parts of the series had me actually laughing, most of the time I was just thinking how people make a living if all they do all day is sit around and brood about the laws. The show uses this to send the message of the consequences of social and political apathy and the search for happiness in our lives, but that doesn't really make for an entertaining show, at least not with the way these guys pulled it off.
The show is also very fast paced. With each episode only being about 5 minutes long details about how stuff happens is left out, it just happens. Often times luck and coincidence let the characters just get what they want without working for it. Though this helps to speed things along it sometimes got on my nerves.
Art and Animation - 7/10
All the characters in this show are drawn unrealistically thin. Perhaps they did this keeping in mind that they can no longer eat sweets and are losing weight or maybe just drew them like that for the hell of it, either way I'm not a big fan of this art style. The scenery isn't particularly notable either.
The animation is well done for the most part, with character movements being fluid and realistic, as realistic you can get for an anime anyway. There is also heavy use of CG animation in this series and though it is relatively well done it isn't anything special.
Characters - 5/10
There is nothing special about these characters at all. All are stereotypical and completely forgettable. This is partly due to the short length of the series, not allowing for any of them to mature or display realistic emotions, but still, I've seen shorter series do this better.
If you have a couple hours to kill Chocolate Underground might offer some mild entertainment, but if you're looking for a quality show it would do you good to look elsewhere.
My first review, but I didn't like any of the others here, and so felt compelled to write something on this cute, refreshing fun time.
Synopsis – Chocolate has been banned by a newly risen government entity (The Ministry of Health and Well Being) that has convinced the public that they are acting in their best interest. Two school-aged boys become interested in the idea of bringing chocolate back to the people, and after hearing about a secret smuggling ring, become entangled in a bootlegging operation to “fill the world with chocolate” once again.
A simple premise, and simply executed.
To be honest, I decided to watch
this anime simply because of the dystopian premise. I have a strong love of dystopian literature and media in general, so of course Chocolate Underground caught my eye. I will admit I did not know that it was in such a short format and was dismayed until I got to the third episode or so. Much in the way that chocolate is appreciated best in small bites so as not to overwhelm, this series delivers beautifully in the concise format it's presented in.
As previously stated, the episodes are short (between 3-6 minutes) and there are no opening or ending sequences, other than a short preview of the next episode. The next episode tends to pick up exactly (as in the same exact scene) where the previous one left off. It is not difficult to follow the story at all, as it is fairly simple, though I will admit to watching it all in two sittings.
The simplicity of the story is both a strength and a weakness, in my opinion. For starters, I must praise the production staff and writers for being able to convey so much in so little time and space. There is a brief background for each of the two main characters that highlights their emotional connection to chocolate and the price that the ban has had on all people. For example, Smudger's father is a baker, and the girl that both boys have a crush on (Louise) works in a (former) sweets shop.
Some may criticize the characters for being one dimensional, but I would disagree. There is a deeper feeling, more so with Smudger or Franky than Huntly, about where the characters are coming from and the hardships that the ban has caused. In this way, chocolate becomes more than just a sugary indulgence. It becomes representative of freedom, which is obviously the point that is being driven across.
However, the length can be seen as a weakness as well. The story could have done with more in-depth understanding of the Minister and his creepy right-hand who is singly devoted to the Minister and carrying out his orders. He is a stereotypical A-type personality obsessive lackey who cares about nothing other than enforcing the rules and pleasing his master. I would have liked to understand much more about him and his reasoning, as he seemed particularly unhinged and interesting.
The reality is that with the format done as it was, there was no possibility of going deeper with individual characters. As I said, I appreciated what was done in the short amount of time allotted, but I think a longer format would have been a much better vehicle. Perhaps even just doubling the episode length would have been enough, making the episodes roughly 10 minutes instead of 5-ish.
Overall I enjoyed the series. It was short and sweet, with a lovely ending. There is little in the way of thinking required, but the message is deep enough despite the levity in the show. I enjoyed the light hearted take on a dystopia, unlike something such as Fahrenheit 451, which is quite heavy. However, if messages about personal liberty presented in a child-friendly format is not really your cup of tea, perhaps Chocolate Underground is not really for you.
Let's take a quick jog around memory lane and remember those anime you used to watch and enjoy as kids. Feel the nostalgia and see if your favorites made the list and discover more that other children enjoyed.