Tokyo Marble Chocolate is a 2-episode OVA series about Christmas and romance. It’s about a couple of somewhat awkward who have trouble telling each other about their feelings, with the two episodes focusing on each of the characters in turn. As a whole it’s a short and pretty sweet love story, and I think it’s worth watching.
I did, however, have some issues with it. Actually, one aspect of the series bothered me so much that it prompted me to write a blog post (which unfortunately never made it through the draft stage) criticising it. This problem is the “mini donkey”, a fantasy animal that is a central prop in the events bringing the two main characters together. I say fantasy animal because there is, of course, no such thing as a “mini donkey”, and I say prop because its behaviour consists mainly of running away from people.
At the time of writing the first draft of that eventually canned blog post, the focus of my criticism of the fantasy animal was its necessity. Why was it even a part of the story? Why couldn’t they have used an inanimate object instead (a cake or jewelry or something) or even a real animal like a cat or a dog? And why does it seem to be so common in anime, compared to other media, to have fantasy creatures just for the sake of having fantasy creatures?
Well, nowadays it doesn’t bother me as much because I’ve seen stuff like Precure and other magical girl shows where the fantasy creatures are almost obligatory, but I still question the decision to include one in Tokyo Marble Chocolate, because it just seemed so out of place. I liked seeing romance blossom between two characters, but the donkey was kind of in the way of my enjoyment of that.