I watched Koichoco and messed up the Aspect Ratio (Experiment Series)

It’s time for another experiment. It’s all about changing the ways we view things by forcibly abruptly modifying a video in different ways imaginable and listing both positive and negative findings. Remember all those BD/DVD, TV, Blu-ray comparisons pics online? Well, this is nothing like that.

The video aspect ratio is the ratio a video keeps when it is normally played. It can manually change to different ratios though this however seldom happens as the original video mostly does the job. But why would you change them in the first place? Why wouldn’t you if the predetermined ratio isn’t of your liking? Everyone has their preferences. Me, I’m all for a full screen picture, no window borders, or volume controls visible. I only want to see picture. I want to see the video without being distracted from the story.

This experiment is going to keep me distracted.

But before I get distracted, these experiment are missing something. A brief explanation or description for every experiment should be in order so we know what we’re up to. Makes sense? Good.

You like chocolate? I like chocolate. Everyone lies chocolate. I don’t like chocolate.
Not that much anyway.

Experiment Messing With The Aspect Ratio

Subject: Koichoco
What episode is this?
First Episode.
Am I following this show? Negative.
Am I fan of chocolate? Double negative. This is not a grammar mistake.

Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate, or Koichoco for the layman, is probably one of those shows many skipped before even picking it up. I am not following it but hey, I was going to do an experiment and Koichoco was there and I was also there. The next thing I knew I was messing around with the aspect ratio. The next thing I knew I was holding nothing in my left hand but I was mysteriously holding a snickers bar in my right hand. It was a good day. It was a good day to do an experiment. It was a good day to not be allergic to peanuts.

What’s there to like? What’s there to love about Koichoco? I don’t know the answer to either of those questions and I don’t pretend to know the answer to them so soon. All I know that is that a show with such title can only be about chocolate, how to make chocolate and/or the adoration of chocolate. Koichoco is just so ready and eager to prove that point. And there’s a good reason why chocolate is part of the English international wordlist everyone is familiar with much like taxi, television, and vanilla, but only not as useful.

With chocolate as your subject only the sky is the limit.

* 4:3 ratio looks like anime subbed by [SSP-Corp] anime straight from the early 90’s era. I’ve never been a big fan of this aspect ratio. It is seems so.. so unnatural like they couldn’t get the whole picture to fit the screen so they left these two black bars to the sides because something has to be there.

Koichoco starts exactly like 90% school anime do. A guy sleeping in on a school day, a childhood friend regularly committing trespassing so early in the morning, a long walk to school. It is becoming clearer and clearer Koichoco’s story will become your average school anime faster than you can say slice-of-life. It isn’t starting to look that good unless you’re into school, harem shows, or chocolate. Chocolate.

I know this right now: Koichoco will be featuring after school antics. That’s right, we’re moving into school anime territory where there are laid-back teachers, sempais with glasses, and where credit courses are synonyms for after school clubs.

* 16:9 is basically the same ratio that your average ratio is. Full screen, no black lines anywhere, the same it was meant to be watched. Quite boring for this experiment but necessary to prove the point that while some ratio are plain out there there are also normal ones. Normal ratios for normal vision. Normal vision for normal ratios.

Story-wise Koichoco is what one would expect of the genre. Much like the anime viewers had realized that all underwear shots are covered by a ray of lights and if you have a problem with that then take it to mother nature. I don’t know why anime revolving around clubs are such big hits, but I take it that the majority of anime fans like them therefore the industry keeps animating them.

Koichoco could be about anything really (chocolate being kept in mind) as long as it is about guys and girls with unbalanced sex ratios inside of a crowded room and a questionable teacher running it. All I know is that these are truths apply for similar shows. Unlike when Anime had me erroneously believing that in all clubs the ratio of boys and girls is 1:6 in all situations. As for me, the content is king, and if you’re making an after school club anime, make the effort of making it memorable. Make me remember it years from now either because it was so good or because it was so bad it keeps coming back when least expected. Give me something here.

16:9 doesn’t alter in any noticeable way the viewing experience so that’s that. On the other hand, Koichoco is daring enough to take a quick shot at itself while openly presenting the possibility of having less anime in the next seasons.

* With 2:21:1 it feels like we’re watching the DVD release of this episode instead of a TV version. Black lines both on top and bottom look so much better than they did in 4:3. Black lines to the sides just look wrong. The lesson learned is that whenever you don’t feel like waiting for the HQ releases of a show just change the ratios to 2:21:1 or the like.They will not look as proportionate or as high quality as those of DVD would by it may do the job if you’re into this type of ratio. And btw, those are really 1 on the pic above and not sevens. Please, don’t make fun of my fonts. We all know how I feel about fonts.

We know fictional Japan is spending too much money when we have clubs dedicated to chocolate. Not that I’m looking down on what cacao has given the world such as coffee, kit-kat bars and some type of fancy M&Ms at the supermarket. No, cacao is good for many other things. Yet, my mind is still thinking, are you kidding me with this club? I know we’ve made school anime about anything before but we’re pushing the limits here. I sure hope there is something more to Koichoco than simply chocolate.

Same as I can’t help but give it to Koichoco for originality for not being a literature, astronomy or music club anime, one thing Koichoco does right is in making me interested in knowing why the protagonist is seeing things others can’t. What’s his secret? What’s the reason behind? How does this play in the story? Is it a side effect of consuming large amounts of cacao? Who really knows. Like other MCs before him, Protagonist-kun have some kind of superpower to “see things others can’t”. 2:21:1 or not Koichoco is still the school show where school antics occur, childhood friends are there, and newly not-yet-introduced characters abruptly trip over and fall onto the protagonist the moment they meet him. It’s like an unknown force.

They saw him but they could not stop. It is a force beyond their control.

*Deep voice* A force beyond control

* 2:39:1 looks so much better than 2:21:1. Like an anime with a 6 rating, the ratio on the former was ok but far from great. They look similar but the former puts more emphasis on the main picture while the latter put more emphasis on having both the picture and black lines keeping a proportional a ratio. It’s a hard call between the two that it could go either way depending on taste. One is slightly wider, the other one isn’t. Which do you like better, which one is your thing.

Koichoco hasn’t realized its true potential and that’s where it exactly gets interesting, that there is a powerful contrast between a girl not well-off economically who goes to a factory to work after school and a school having a dispensable chocolate club. Koichoco is onto something here. My biggest concern is that Koichoco has such fervor for chocolate to the point of being too serious about it, same as the student council and their meetings was. Everyone in Koicho is –

They are taking this too seriously.

Koichoco’s seriousness is misplaced like a Xmas tree on Halloween or quality in a Syfy original movie. This conjecture is not based on the plot. It is based on Koichoco being entirely different than how it originally introduces itself to the audience. By this point we’re guessing that it is really your regular school club show but with attempts at a much darker plot.

5:4 is the narrowest ratio in the list in VLC. 5:4 is too narrow. We mean it is completely noticeable, even narrower than 4:3. In this ratio it was possible to still watch the video but far from an attractive choice. If 2:39:1 and the like provide a different experience 5:4 is plain awkwardly distributed like it is missing a third of the original picture. This is not the screen ratio you want. Go for 16:9, go for 4:3 or any other that doesn’t look like the video ratio is completely messed up. This I recommend.

Where did the initial plot about an attempted murder go and why is it being replaced about idle disputes about saving a chocolate club? A perfect and understandable question that only Koichoco can answer. Is there something vital we’re missing? Our thoughts only lead us to believe that Koichoco is part parody part slice-of-life, and the abysmal difference between the rich and the disenfranchised where the latter go to work and the former spend their indulging in the greatness of chocolate. I don’t know. There’s something really off about that.

Above of all it, Koichoco is a story about regular situations, a regular story (but with chocolate), and characters with a passionate, though their teeth may disagree, love for chocolate. Aspect ratio or not, that about sums it up.

Experiment Results

A video can be modified for personal viewing. The optimal way to watch a video is up to the viewer, there are however optimal ways the eyes are most comfortable in. Narrow aspect ratio as it so implies compresses the screen creating unnecessary unnatural lines around the video. These lines aren’t supposed to be there in the first place, which it is apparent as they are awkwardly there in the screen sticking out like the sorest thumb. So is the case for 4:3 and so is the case for 5:4. Alternative options are ratios like 2:21:1

After this experiment you learn to appreciate the standard aspect ratio all videos come in. I’m still not a fan of 4:3 and of vertical black lines and the like for I prefer the standard full screen video ratio where I can see all whole picture with no black lines and the subtitles properly. Keep your aspect ratio at its default setting. It’s best viewed that way.
No, really. Just do it.

3 thoughts on “I watched Koichoco and messed up the Aspect Ratio (Experiment Series)

  1. Anyway, the dark undertones are not for show. They really are there in the plot- they are the plot, and the whole after-school silliness veneer might as well be Madoka have cakes with Mami Tomoe while the Puella Magi system continues chugging on.

    Alright, that’s a rather extreme comparison, but I would like to disagree with you that this is a completely typical Harem anime. From four episodes, it really seems to be much more of a character drama than anything else, with an element of Politics built into it.

    There have been quite a few animes about being in the Students Council. I think there have been even fewer about trying to get elected as it’s president, against a backdrop of character drama.

  2. This experiement actually provides a lot of information to just how many aspect ratios are available To me, the one I always used is 16:9. I like my videos without black bars and “unstretched”, but I guess everyone does too.

  3. Helpful info. Fortunate me I found your site by accident, and I’m shocked why this coincidence did not took place earlier! I bookmarked it.

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