Dec 16, 2011
Well, this was a surprise. From the various comments that I've seen, I didn't have much expectations of this OVA after the experience that was Boku no Pico. In fact, I was expecting a mediocre work in comparison. Thankfully, it seems that I was proven wrong.
Pico to Chico is the second title of the renowned Pico trilogy and undoubtedly its turning point. In this OVA, Pico, the protagonist, has his first encounter with Chico. The story takes an interesting twist as it deals with Chico's experiences in learning about the human body and its pleasures, which many viewers could relate to.
Essentially, we witness the growth of an innocent boy who discovers a whole new world to explore. It is a journey of exploration as well as self-discovery. The events of this tale are presented with exquisite pacing and execution- each scene flows seamlessly to the next. Although a conventional means of storytelling is used, especially with regards to the vanilla depictions of "intimacy," it is exceptional in execution. By the time the conclusion is reached, you will crave for more on the life of Pico and Chico.
The arguably profound imagery and engaging dialogue from the first OVA are still present. One example that really stood out to me was a toy near the beginning that took on a phallic shape, as if to foreshadow the events to come. However, like the other images of this series, what I just said was just merely one interpretation of it. I would mention more on the dialogue, but it may very well be a crucial spoiler. I will say, however, that it is particularly gripping and will have no problems holding anyone's interest, dealing with topics such as servitude. Each line is masterfully crafted to serve as a building block for the relationship between the two main characters.
The art and animation are superb, with little to no changes from the first OVA. The character designs for Chico and his sister are very appropriate for the tone of the work. Backgrounds and scenery are presented with clarity, and are a sight to behold as well as to analyze. The "intimate" scenes are fluid and delivered succinctly, ensuring that the main messages aren't missed. I found myself watching intently in order to appreciate the beauty of the visuals of these scenes, almost forgetting that there was much more than eye candy involved. You can really tell that Natural High had a field day with this one.
Sound is excellent, as usual. The OP/ED, "Natsuyasumi," is a catchy song that really fits the atmosphere of the OVA. Voices are as they should be, and the characters' personality really shine through when they speak (a bit more on that later). The soundtrack works much like the song, but one important thing to keep in mind is how the tracks help emphasize innocence and intimacy. Without them, important scenes wouldn't be as engrossing as they should be.
What really makes this OVA stand out from the rest of the trilogy, however, are the characters. Pico is still a protagonist shrouded in a bit of mystery, as we question his motives for meeting Chico and introducing to him another side of human nature. Chico is developed extremely well, especially since the story focuses on his growth. By the end of the episode, we can really see the changes he underwent from starting out as a curious and naive boy. The relationship between Pico and Chico is also key here, as the chemistry between the two is just perfect. Going back to dialogue and voices, we can see that each exchange offers some insight on their individual personalities, especially in regards to Chico and his childish demeanor. A prominent example of this is the manner and context in which he says "ochinchin." The choice of this word suggests a youthful personality, and his tone helps to exemplify that.
Some might argue that a flaw in character is Chico's sister. She is just there and doesn't interfere with the boys' relationship. It could even be said that she is simply a character for unnecessary fanservice! However, we must realize that Chico's sister serves as a catalyst- through her own character, she creates a foundation for the two boys to build on, sparking their curiosity and thus initiating the story with a boost in speed.
What can I say? This title is definitely something that I'll remember. From the thematic exploration to the bonding relationships, the second title in the Pico trilogy has no issues with engaging the viewer. Pico to Chico has many aspects that make it a truly "interesting" work. This is definitely something that can be rewatched multiple times to firmly grasp every detail. Still, it may be too "excessive" for some audiences, and that is quite unfortunate.
If you're still wondering whether or not Pico to Chico lives up as a successor to Boku no Pico- it does, perhaps even surpassing it. I would strongly recommend this title to any aficionado that has watched Boku no Pico. Also, don't forget to check out the third title of this installment - Pico x Coco x Chico. Without it, the tale of the Pico trilogy would be incomplete.
What did you think of this review?