The most sugary sweet, diabetes-inducing moe show there ever was finally makes its encore in the second season of Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka. You better prepare some tissues (no not *that* kind you perv) before you kick things off or you may suffer the risk of dying from excessive nosebleeds. Studio White Fox will not be held legally accountable for any such incidents.
Anyway I'll try to keep this short because you should already know exactly what to expect from this if you've seen the first season (which you should have if you're reading this). Although it's naturally very similar, I personally think this season
is slightly better than the first one, because it has a bit more focus on the show's main strength, in other words moe. I don't think there's ever been an anime which makes me rape the screenshot button as often as this one does, and there's a good reason for that. Especially Chino has an abundance of unbelievably cute scenes this season, which is surely intentional given that she's the series' main poster girl as far as pure moe goes.
The character cast is overall the same as always, with the one exception of Kokoa's older sister Moka who is introduced for the first time this season. In a nutshell, everything that Kokoa wants to be good at but isn't, Moka is. In other words, she's basically a "better" version of Kokoa, much to the dismay and jealousy of her younger sister.
The art style is about as cutesy as it can possibly get, even more so than I recall it being in the first season, which in this case can only be considered a good thing. The more the merrier, right? As far as the new theme songs go... okay I'll just say this: the OP is similar to the one of the first season and certainly isn't bad, but nothing special. The ED however... oh my god. I'm sincerely at a loss for words. It is my personal pick for best ED of 2015, and the reason is simply that it contains the most outstanding 90 seconds in the history of moe. It is seriously the most nosebleed-inducing thing I've ever seen. Similarly it's also the first time I've ever seen an anime's first episode discussion thread being filled with more comments about the godlike ED than the episode itself, just to put it in perspective. I seriously can't praise it enough.
In any case, if you watched and enjoyed the first season of Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka, then there's no reason you shouldn't watch the second one as well. It does everything the first one did, except it does it better. If there's any anime which can truly showcase what the very epitome of moe looks like, it's probably this one.
Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka?? can be described as an anime that builds upon the foundation which has brought it success in its prior season. It gives the fans more of what they desire without making substantial changes to most if not all elements.
As in the previous season, the story of GochiUsa is simplistic in featuring cute, barista girls do cute things. The episodes for the most part are standalone, meaning they are not directly tied to the events of those before them. Still, there is a finale, and a satisfying one which is handled well at that. The story is not all that unique,
even with the cafe motif and the Mediterranean town-like setting, but I definitely do not have a problem with this.
I think the pacing is fine for an anime of this genre, as well. It gives the characters time to interact with others one-on-one, in small groups, and all together. I believe these dynamics make the story more engrossing, especially when there are duos or trios between characters I would not expect.
Additionally, the comedy is done well. It’s not ill-fittingly over-the-top. There’s just the right amount to where it adds to the moe.
Next is the art. Just like the story, the art is quite moe.
White Fox, the studio behind such series as Steins;Gate, Hataraku Maou-sama, and SoniAni: Super Sonico the Animation, has experience producing in cuter designs and more serious designs. This time, it is joined by another capable, versatile studio in Kinema Citrus. You may have heard of its works, the likes of Black Bullet, Barakamon, and Yuyushiki.
Even with a second studio helping, I have not been able to notice with casual eyes any differences in the art style between both seasons. This certainly is not to the detriment of GochiUsa because the art is as wonderful here and remains consistent throughout.
The female characters’ designs are not all that realistic with their large, colorful eyes and colorful hair, and that is the point. These designs make them all the more cute. For the occasional, (older) male character, these and other physical features are portrayed more realistically. Still, I believe this dichotomic style conveys the characters’ personalities well enough.
The backgrounds, on the other hand, are beautifully photorealistic, as well as unique. Roads, buildings, sceneries, and landscapes remind me of those I’ve seen in photographs of Mediterranean cities, like Venice, Italy. Overall, the backgrounds definitely are breathtaking and memorable.
Let’s move on to the sound.
The seiyuus know what they are doing and are as fitting as ever. Between this and the first season, their voice acting skills don’t improve here. But they don’t need to at all. In fact, I am not sure how they can do any better.
GochiUsa’s orchestral, classical-style music is fantastic. Just one statement before I begin: I want to buy this soundtrack.
The background music is fitting for the story and the Romantic atmosphere. Perhaps it is because many soundtracks sound similar that the background music does not stand out to me always. If this is the case, then the OST receives my attention because of how original and consistent it is. There are no pop or EDM arrangements here. I respect both of these genres within anime soundtracks, but I just believe adding them would have interrupted the excellent flow here.
And it gets even more phenomenal with the OP, the ED, and the insert song. These have the same orchestral, classical styles going for them and add vocals and buildup to the mix. This second season of GochiUsa may have the best combination of an OP and ED I have ever heard. It certainly is for the anime I’ve seen this year. When I first heard the OP, I did not think the ED could be even cuter. ...I was wrong. Although, I admit I could be biased because I love moe. This is moe overload.
Now, we move on to characters.
The characters as a whole are well-rounded enough. With a relatively large cast such as this, it can prove to be difficult to give characters meaningful personalities and development, and I think GochiUsa accomplished this. The characters may rely on the deredere archetype for the most part, although the their personalities branch out from this archetype in order to create different perspectives of it.
In addition, they react and interact with each other and the situations around them in plausible ways.
I personally do not relate to the characters’ personalities all that much. However, I do empathize with their reactions, interactions, and developments. These characters are enjoyable to watch, either way.
There also is character growth throughout the series for them. This growth occurs most often in intimate, one-on-one situations or in small groups. As I stated before, this also happens for character pairings and groupings I do not expect.
All of the characters, with just one or two exceptions in the supporting cast, are portrayed and developed nicely. Speaking of the supporting cast, it is very good, considering how many characters there are.
If you enjoy a simple yet effective story of cute girls doing cute stuff, you probably will like Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka?? Although, I highly recommend watching the first season beforehand if you have not done so yet. Relax, and enjoy 24 episodes of moe in that case. For those of you who have seen the first season and are curious to know if this is worth watching, I can say this definitely is. The story, art, sound, and characters are as wonderful as ever. Indeed, it’s as satisfying if not a little more so than its predecessor since there is continued development of the characters and their relationships. I’m definitely content with it ending here if it must, and yet, I admit I would be overjoyed to have a third season of Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka?
With the end of the year fast approaching, it is time for all of us to reflect on what the anime industry offered us this year. And after seeing a wide variety of shows, I believe 2015 should just be called the Year of the Moe. This year, not only did we get shows like Hello!! Kiniro Mosaic and Wakaba*Girl, but now this one too: Gochiusa...2!
Gochiusa 2 may not appear to be as appealing as other Fall 2015 shows such as One Punch Man and there may be a good reason for that. To some people, a slice-of-life approach may be too slow-paced for them.
For others, just looking at the artwork within the poster for Gochiusa 2 may be a turn-off for them. And there's always that group that says "Why would I ever watch a show of cute girls doing cute things (CGDCT)?"
And you know, they are all technically correct. They're right - it is slow-paced, it uses a heavy "moe" appeal, it is very CGDCT, and, at the end of the day, nothing happens. But even with that aside, Gochiusa 2 is very charming in its own way and it does not fail to impress even within its own very tiny little slice-of-life niche.
Let's start off with the story and characters. Obviously, as with every other slice-of-life out there, there is no story and no character development. Without these important elements, I have no choice but to nitpick at the "small" things - it is, after all, these small things that set slice-of-life anime shows apart from each other.
The premise for this show has got to be one of the most absolutely unique settings that I have ever seen in anime. To summarize, you basically have five girls living in a quaint, cozy Italian-style town full of wide streets and alleyways that are lined with restaurants, supermarkets, and brick-and-mortar shops. And for me, I appreciate this change in scenery. Too many times have I seen in anime the overused and clichéd "group of friends in the same high school or same class or same club" setup. Gochiusa 2 breaks away from all of that. In fact, the story doesn't even focus that much on their time at school, but if you want to be technical about it, the five main characters attend three different schools (one middle school & two different high schools).
Additionally, Gochiusa 2 utilizes its unique premise to its fullest extent. It does not pigeonhole characters into one particular setting (can you imagine if Gochiusa 2 only showed the girls working in their respective cafes 24/7?). In every single episode, the girls are constantly on the move throughout the city. They might end up at a park, a supermarket, their workplaces, their homes, their schools - which all the more proves that the entire premise is used.
Alright, now onto the characters. The main characters are all very colorful in their own way. Each of them are quick to quip up a funny response to whatever another character has to say. Of all of the main characters, I would say Rize is probably the most interesting. Her military-like mindset and personality shows up throughout her conversations with other people. She is charming in her own way way and her presence injects a new level of humor into the series as a whole.
However, given this, I wouldn't say that the characters are completely perfect. Aoyama, for one, was (in my opinion) a weak supporting character. Too many times she just "happened" to be where the girls are (even if they weren't working at their cafes, she would just randomly show up into the scene). She would then say a few lines before falling out of the scene and showing up in a later scene (or in the next episode). She really didn't serve any purpose, and her presence was really treated more as an avenue for a couple more quick jokes. Basically, she was a gimmick; I would argue that nothing would have significantly changed even if she was left out of Gochiusa 2.
Secondly, the characters were a little predictable due to the nature of their relationships with each other. I know this might seem weird at first, so let me use two of these relationships as examples: Rize-Sharo and Kokoa-Chino-Megu-Maya. Rize and Sharo share your typical kouhai-senpai relationship. And like many kouhai-senpai relationships out there, Sharo plays the "what if Senpai notices me" card way too many times throughout the entire show. As for Kokoa, Chino, Mega, and Maya, they share more of a big sister-little sister relationship (at least from Kokoa's point of view, lol). But again, similarly with Sharo, Kokoa plays the "why don't you love your big sister" card too many times and hence there is a little bit of predictability on that front. Given this, I believe that this predictability issue is relatively minor - remember, slice-of-life anime is very limited in what they can do since they don't really have a plot or character development. And plus, their actions (at least within the context of those relationships) are just slightly different in execution every time that they are used, but despite that, their jokes/reactions/dialogues do share a similar basis.
As for the art, I mean, you can kind of tell from the poster and literally the first thirty key frames. It is certainly different but also certainly not worse from the first season - the artwork is much more illuminated, colorful, and, well, "fluffier." It certainly adds to the moe factor that I kept mentioning earlier and it does so very effectively. The producers also heavily integrate cutscenes throughout the show as a way to integrate somewhat exaggerated yet hilarious reactions from the main characters.
The sound is pretty awesome too. The OP and ED - like the artwork - have a very distinct moe factor to it. It is literally cuteness layered on top of cuteness and has the power to crush even the most cold-hearted man out there. One cool thing I really liked about the sound too was that the in-show sound was well cued with the characters' reactions. At one moment, the music would be very light, and then it would change to a grinding halt when the characters tell some really lame (but charming!) joke. This was done extremely well, so props!
(Also, the seiyuu for Tippy is on point. So on point.)
Overall, if you're looking for a slower change of pace to things with well-integrated humor and art and a extra dash of charm, I recommend this show. Now that you're done reading this super long review, let's go shop for a Tippy plushie together. Awh yes.
+ Good art, music, and sound cues
+ Colorful characters
+ Very, very unique premise
+ Episodes flowed well despite no obvious plot present
+ There is SOME thematic content (specifically that relating to friendship), but I wouldn't say this is the main focus of this show.
+ Props/items used in the first season do carry over into the second season. Yay for consistency!
- Slightly predictable reactions or dialogues
- Weak supporting characters (just a few of them!)
~ Moe appeal
***If you're not really into the neutral factors that I indicated above, I strongly recommend you to set aside your predispositions and give this show a shot. I'm pretty sure there are some shows out there where you are like "Yeah well that's a dumb premise" or "that character sounds lame" but after you start the show you're into it. Try it before you buy it!***
Story: 6 (including the premise + flow but excluding the plot itself since there isn't one)
Art: 8 (bring on the moe!)
Final judgment: In a larger context, this is definitely one of the better slice-of-lifes I've seen out there. Without the weak points I indicated at first, this would have easily gotten a 7.
With the advent of constant bashing of many anime fans being distraught by the amount of moe-blob anime taking over the majority of the seasons since 2009, its telling that the genre has long overstayed its welcome. I'm one of those people that simply does not pay attention to the trends going on and simply goes to something with an open mind no matter what tag the anime just so happens fall under. There is always this sense of surprise always lurking in every genre I come across. Of the moe-blob anime that has been on my radar for a while was Gochuumon wa Usagi
On its debut in 2014, Gochuumon wa Usagi desu ka, I thought, was a good first season to start introducing the cast of girls that we would follow into their ordinary and cute daily lives. What kept me from loving it was that it seemed like a very "safe" moe-blob anime. The antics and situations from half of the episodes did not really grab me as much as how I would hold my moe-blob anime to a higher standard than most people do. Going into season 2, I was hoping that the studio developing Gochuumon, White Fox, would try to add more depth into the cuteness and maybe some subtle character depth. Now it seems my wish was definitely granted after I was finished with it.
Gochuumon is, by and large, the most sugar coated anime you could ever feast your eyes upon. The girls are about as kawaii and cuddle worthy that you might literally get asphyxiated by the amount of kawaii essence that pervades the atmosphere. This does not just include how adorable the character designs are. Right down to the voice acting talent that is on here: Ayane Sakura, Inori Minase, Maaya Uchida, Risa Taneda, Satami Sato, Kayano Ai, Sora Tokui, Rie Murakawa, and even Saori Hayami making a supporting appearance. All of them perform their roles extremely well and at their most heart inducing cutest. The cute catchphrases all the girls repeat and their unique quirks offer a wide variety of charm that captivates you to watch more of these girls say funny and cute dialogue.
As slice of life anime go, there is no plot to critique on. All you would have to go on is to analyze how the characters grow on you on an emotional level. Some of them do try to add development over the course of the show, but sometimes they keep them static, which can succeed on either side. Gochuumon fits more on the latter side, however there is some level of development. Not exactly from the individual characters, but from their relationships to each other that starts to expand on their cute and hilarious situations. The 2nd season provides more to make the relationships feel genuine from how these girls treasure each other as friends. I even felt like I was close with them as I watched their progression from all these episodes from season 1 to season 2. That kind of closeness you feel when you watch anime that center around a group of friends and you can feel attached towards, whether it be comedic or dramatic in tone, is always a great sign that you did a good job writing-wise.
For the individual characters themselves, they are just about as charming and adorable as before in season 1. There are some new things in season 2 that give our previous characters more material to increase their likability. This includes how their personalities have different edges to them that we never thought before, like Rize-chan having an adorable shyness to her when she is attempted to get cuddled by someone and Chino-chan getting more mature from the point of view of Cocoa and the others. There is a bigger emphasis on Chino-chan and her friends Megumi and Maya than in season 1 which I was appreciated to see the writers not ignoring some of the supporting cast. I would also love to mention a the newest character that really won my heart this year and that is Cocoa's big sister, Moka-chan. Seeing her wanting to cuddle with all of the girls and visit them often was an absolute riot and adorable to see. My only wish is, if there will be a season 3 as I'm writing this, that they give her even more screen-time than before.
Moe-blob anime art is prototypical, with girls big eyes as big as their hands, colorful and shiny hair, and small figures despite their age. Sometimes I feel as though I can get high off of the cuteness of Gochuumon, that is how strong the moe can get from this show. Now, how does can this be distinctive from all other anime like it? To me, it all comes down to how well the animators can make a scene that involve a quick chibi quip with the right timing or using hilarious facial expression to make a cute moe anime charming. Gochuumon does this well from how expressive the characters emotions are that feel charming to see from most of the scenes in the show. Although I wouldn't say the art hasn't changed a whole lot, there certainly feels like it has more pizzazz to it, but this could just be from how long I've seen season 1. Nevertheless, because I've warmed up to these characters going into season 2, the humor and expressive art started to grow on me better.
I just wanted to mention one more thing that I think is a sentiment of what makes Gochuumon the ultimate "watch to make yourself happy" anime. While the music in the show is not super special to even remember, the OP and especially the ED are remarkable to say the least. The OP and ED both have a sugar coated J-Pop vibe to the singing and vocals that fit well with the atmosphere of the show being an adorable slice of life moe anime. The ED is probably one of my top five favorite EDs of any anime ever. With its infectious vocals, rhythm, lyrics, and absolutely adorable dancing by our three little elementary girls Chino, Megumi, and Maya, there is no song on earth that could suppress your depression for the entire day.
Though not all jokes guarantee a laugh, Gochuumon season 2 is good enough, along with season 1, to warrant the distinction of being one of those great anime that is best to watch when feeling down or to put on during bed. Most slice of life are for that purpose, but Gochuumon is one that proves to be one that can be like that but also be enjoyable at the same time. There is no way this review can sway any of the anti-moe brigade into being interested in going anywhere near Gochuumon with a ten-foot pole. Then again, nothing will.
If you haven’t guessed this already. Gochi Usa is by no means an extraordinary show. It is in a sense just another show about cute girls doing cute things. It is not anything revolutionary nor does it seek to add a story within it, but if there is one thing that I can give GochiUsa credit for it’s the ability for the show to relieve me of my stress and put a stupid smile on my face at the end of each episode. And you know what? That’s good enough reason for me to like this show.
The story continues the daily life of Cocoa and
the others at the Rabbit House Café as they go through with their lives. Honestly speaking trying to find a story in GochiUsa is like trying to find a good plot in porn. Gochi Usa's main selling point is it's cute characters and its abundance of moe moments, and I don't see why there are people who watch this show expecting something else and hating on it when they fail to find whatever they are looking for. Gochi Usa doesn't have an actual plot. The characters don't have much depth to them. The show doesn't really add anything to the formula that has become commonplace for most shows about cute girls doing cute things, but what Gochi Usa does do it does beautifully, and that is being fucking adorable.
There is another thing that Gochi Usa did surprisingly well though, and that is it's soundtrack. Frankly speaking, the soundtracks in GochiUsa are simply beautitful. There is quite the variety of tracks used in the show, and every track fits each scene like a glove. There are also quite alot of instruments used in the show, ranging from the clarinet to the xylophone. Kawada Ruka is very underrated as a composer, and I would love to see more tracks from her in the future. The opening and the ending are both pleasing to the ears for the most part. Not anything special but it warrants a mention.
On the other hand, the animation for the show is mostly standard. The animation isn't the show's strongest suit, but the show makes up for it with vibrant colors, and well drawn backgrounds. The character design isn't anything special but it does the job well. The main characters in the show look absolutely adorable, so I guess the character designers have done their job right.
The characters are more and less the same as last season, excluding some minimal development between the characters. By themselves the characters aren't very interesting but thankfully GochiUsa does a great job in character interaction. Watching the characters mess around with each other during their daily lives is quite hilarious and also heartwarming at times. There was a new character that was introduced this season though, and that is Cocoa's older sister Moka. A character that, although interesting, doesn't stay long enough in the show to actually be that memorable.
I'll be honest with you, GochiUsa isn't anything special. It doesn't really try anything new nor does it try to break any boundaries within it's genre, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the show is bad. What many people fail to realize that a show doesn't necessarily have to be ambitious nor deep to be enjoyable. Sometimes something as simple as GochiUsa is more than enough to calm me down after a rough day and make me feel all warm inside.
Gochuumon wa Usagi desu ka was a really enjoyable slice of life series with fun characters and strong comedic moments. I think that we're probably going to see a pretty comparable level of work with White Fox's second series of it, but first, let's briefly talk about the first series. Cocoa moved into a new area where she's staying at the Rabbit House Café and using sister to describe Chino, the younger girl who runs Rabbit House. The two of them have friends from two competitors and a friend who works with them and the five of them engage in hijinks. There's also a rabbit
that houses the soul of Chino's grandfather and talks.... because. So, let's see if the second series provides new and improved hijinks for us.
Like the first series, there's no over-arcing story here. Cocoa has been at Rabbit House with Chino and their other friends for a year. They play around, get their work done and shenanigans happen. The comedic value is largely derived from our major characters, their quirks and their interactions with one another. Taken as a whole, it works really well. The situations they find themselves in readily lend themselves to comedic possibilities and most of the jokes that you get are amusing. About the worst you can say about the comedy is that some of the jokes are kind of obvious and that does weaken their impact.
The cast in GochiUsa is still not the deepest or most complex. However, they are incredibly endearing and entertaining. They're varied enough that they can play off of one another really strongly for comedic purposes and there are some really good non-comedic interactions too. This series does more with Megu & Maya than the first did. It also brings in Cocoa's sister, which leads to some very funny moments and Aoyama's editor. She barely appears but both the scenes that feature her are really hilarious.
The strongest aspect of the artwork is definitely the background details. White Fox does a superb job of making the buildings, plants and various other background objects detailed and vibrant. The characters look decent, but they're also pretty standard for a moe style.
The performances in this are really well done. We've got Sakura Ayane, Minase Inori, Uchida Maaya, Taneda Risa, Sato Satomi, Hayami Saori, Tokui Sora, & Murakawa Rie in prominent roles and all of them give really strong performances. The music is also really well done.
This series builds on the first, including developing the relationship with Sharo and Rize which outright involves romantic feelings on Sharo's part. Cocoa really has a thing about getting younger girls to call her sister and I remain convinced that she's thinking of it in the shoujo-ai trope way. This series also gives us Mocha, Cocoa's actual sister. Basically Mocha's interactions with all of the girls save Cocoa read as a bit yuri. Chiya also gets involved in a fair bit of les-yay in this series. It's all very cutesy and somewhat subdued because the series doesn't want to go full canon with it, but it's certainly there.
Gochuumon wa Usagi desu ka series two is a thoroughly enjoyable series with endearing characters, strong comedic elements, and superb acting. If the moe type of slice of life series isn't your thing, it's not likely to change your mind but if you enjoy that type of series sometimes, you might want to give both series a watch. Which brings me to the final score. Overall, the second series builds off of the first and provides a somewhat improved experience. Which is what a good sequel should do. As such, my final rating is going to be a 9/10. Next week, I'll talk about yet another sequel to a series I've reviewed with Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan series 2.
Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka is basically everything right with the world. If you want some heartmelting adorable anime, this should be the obvious choice. I watched first season one year ago and I almost got diabetes. Well, recently I watched Kiniro Mosaic and it made me think that I perhaps got used to cuteness over the course of the year, so maybe second season of Gochuumon wouldn't work that well on me. But no. This anime is just total moefest, it grabs you by your heart and won't let go.
Animation is really well done. Art in this anime is absolutely STUNNING. It's incredibly good
looking anime. How about story? Well, no story for you, it's just adorable slice of life. But there was one thing all episodes had in common. The fact that I watched all of them grinning like an idiot.
Characters are all great with wide range of personalities. There is not even one single bad character. And it's pretty hard to pick a favorite, but I think I liked Sharo and Chino the most. Voice acting is brilliant and makes for a good comedy scenes, if you listen carefully.
And since I am sucker for good openings or endings, I gotta say - the opening is nothing too special, but the ending... Oh, the ending. ED of this anime has to be one of the cutest I've seen in MONTHS. Very catchy song and adorable animation.
So, I guess you know my opinion about this one. I absolutely recommend this to anybody looking for some heartwarming diabetes inducing anime with no plot. Very relaxing experience!
(This review has been adapted from my blog/reddit thread. Spoilers ahead!)
In the final episode of the second season here of Is the Order a Rabbit?? (two question marks to signify the sequel), the girls go on what’s called a “Ciste.” Basically a treasure hunt. They use a map that contains clues that lead them through town until they discover a chest where goodies are had and traded.
When I was kid, one of my best friends had a birthday party where his mother set up a treasure hunt. I remember all of us peering over the map, running around the house looking for clue after clue.
It was simple but fun, and, best of all, we found the chest tucked away in the closet by the entrance. Inside was enough candy to last a week, but, being boys, we finished it all before the night was up.
Rabbit?? may not be gold or jewels or even candy. But it’s still a tiny treasure worth seeking out.
Rabbit?? (have to keep those question marks) returns, and with it comes Cocoa, Chino, and the rest of the gang once more.
To put it bluntly, this anime is more or less the first season all over again. The moe-filled, slice-of-life structured show does not extend beyond cute moments, high comedy, and feel-good outcomes. The most tension seen is Chino wading through a shin-deep river, and even that ends up creating some jokes and cuteness. In short, its content that feels the same as what happened before.
That’s not necessarily a negative because it’s all done well. The execution exists in each aspect. Those cute moments? Chiya’s mega-pout and Syaro getting cuddled are way too adorable. That high comedy? Lots of overreactions and puns and misplaced expectations. Those feel-good outcomes? Chino finally smiling and Cocoa being a big sister form some heartwarming scenes.
Despite being an almost-replica of the first season, Rabbit?? does take a couple of steps to make this new season feel just like that: new. Mocha, Cocoa’s older sister, gets introduced as a new character. Focus gets placed on more than just the main girls, extending to the fathers of Chino and Rize as well as Chino’s closest friends Maya and Megumi. None of these steps are major – indeed, they could arguably be expected – but they at least demonstrate the anime’s intent to separate itself, however slightly, from its first season.
The narrative does have a couple of snags, though. Tippy’s origins (which is the only fantastical part of the show) still go unexplained. Not showing the older girls going on their own treasure hunt seems like a mistake. And refusing to give more of Chino’s mother’s background represents a lost opportunity for the anime’s big-sister theme. Not to mention the anime succumbs to repetition on occasion.
These issues are minor, however. Especially when clever scenes like the stalker circle or Mocha’s whipping-out-her-rolling-pin running gag ensue. Or when the anime ends the season how it began – with many a picture.
All in all, Rabbit??’s narrative does not do much, but it at least accomplished what it set out to do: make its audience smile.
Rabbit?? continues to serve up sweetness with its art and animation.
The cast find themselves in the same Italian-esque city: the cobblestone streets, the crowded buildings, and the convenient bridges. The setting occasionally switches to other locales, like a mountainous region or the inside of one of the numerous cafes, but, for the most part, the anime produces shot after shot of the quiet, quaint town.
Besides these detailed shots, Rabbit?? plays with its art to aid its comedy. Colored backgrounds help to indicate emotion. Dazzling lights accompany specific actions taken by the characters. And imaginative scenes follow right along with the exaggerated nature of the show. Combined with the various reaction faces, the art adds purpose to its prettiness.
Despite focusing so much on the artistic side, the anime also manages to keep its animation at appropriate levels. Most scenes feature mouth movements as well as character actions that befit the situation, like Cocoa doing the moonwalk or Rize trying to balance Tippy on her head. But since the anime mostly relies on snappy, static shots of the characters for comedic effect, animation does not go anywhere impressive.
Being a second season, their designs remain mostly the same. Each girl champions a color: Rize is purple, Chiya is green, and so on. This gives them a lot of color symbolism (purple for wealth, green for generosity, etc.) that agrees with their respective character traits. Their colorfulness, alongside their frilly outfits and shorter statures, turn them all into the cute-looking characters they are meant to be.
The ending track, besides being fantastic in sound (more on this later), also deserves a shout-out. Chino, Maya, and Megumi dancing along to the song in different ways is way too adorable, but the ED also includes an awesome idea. At the end of the song, a small scene of (one of) Chino, Maya, or Megumi plays of them playing rock-paper-scissors with the audience. It’s quick, it’s cute, and it’s fun – just like the anime itself.
Similar to the story, the characters of Rabbit?? are more or less themselves all over again.
Going through a quick list makes this apparent. Cocoa overprotects Chino. Syaro crushes on Rize, deals with her poor living situation, and hypes herself on caffeine. Chiya creates crazy treats and goes with the flow. Rize’s tomboy obsession with the military has never been stronger. And Chino behaves beyond shy.
To be fair, Cocoa and Chino have more to their characters than the other main three. Cocoa vies to be a better bigger sister to Chino because she feels that she has just not been doing all that swell of a job thus far. Her older sister Mocha spurns her on even further when the young woman demonstrates, through her relationship to Cocoa (and the other girls), who Cocoa can be.
As for Chino, she learns to appreciate Cocoa and others more. Not just for their kindness but also for their sincerity. She slowly realizes that they do a lot for her, and they do their best to make her happy. To them, she’s more than just a veteran barista – she’s a close friend and family member. And Chino discovers this, too.
While the anime does not focus all that much on Syaro, Chiya, and Rize, Rabbit?? makes up for this lack of attention here by placing it elsewhere. Namely, it’s given to Maya, Megumi, and Mocha.
Maya was introduced in the first season, but in this season, she’s around more. With her increased presence comes more to her character. She is normally carefree and energetic, but what the audience gets to see is a young girl worried about her future life with her friends. Rather mature for the child.
Megumi gets a lot more focus, too. The most accurate way to describe Megumi is ditzy. She remains blissfully unaware of troubles, keeping herself happy at all times. But this trait hides itself when her ballerina background surfaces. She’s no longer defined by her naïveté. Instead, she proves her dedication, gracefulness, and strength.
Admittedly, these are small (very small) character developments. But, considering that Maya and Megumi are small side characters already, it’s nice to see them change no matter how slight it may be.
Mocha, unlike the other two, makes her debut this season. Her loud personality replicates Cocoa’s, proving that the young woman is, in fact, Cocoa’s older sister. That’s her defining trait: being a big sister. She plays that role incredibly well. Not just for Cocoa but for Chino, Rize, and all of the other girls. Mocha stays around for only a short amount of time, but she leaves a lasting impression on everyone through her mixed combo of mature advice and immature cuddling.
This mature motif, albeit a simplistic one, can actually be seen within the whole cast.
Cocoa, Megumi, and the others are steeped in maturity. For example, composure, seriousness, and elegance follow Rize, Syaro, and Chiya respectively. Aoyama, the wandering author, has trouble following through on her responsibilities (immaturity), so Rin, a new character and Aoyama’s editor, arrives to keep the irresponsible woman on track (maturity). And the two groups of girls – the older and the younger – get (rarely) compared with one another.
Again, the motif is not grand, meaning it’s not explored all that much. But it’s consistent, turning the cast into (slightly) more than just a bunch of cute and comedic characters.
Easily (perhaps unanimously), the single strongest part of Rabbit?? is its ending track.
In one word, the ED is fantastic. Chino, Maya, and Megumi both take turns and work together singing. The beat is extremely catchy. The pacing ranges from slow to fast. The silly lyrics make the song fun. And the instruments, like the xylophone and the accordion, create a feel-good tone that persists all the way through the piece. The ED is fitting, fun, and, well, fantastic.
It’s so amazing that the rest of the music pales in comparison. Not that the other tracks are horrendous to listen to, but nothing else within the anime comes close. For instance, the OP, while similar in its multitude of singers and happiness, does not have that same charm and catchiness to it. The OST feels even weaker, consisting of everyday, slice-of-life tracks that are there mostly to follow the appropriate mood.
Again, neither the OP nor the OST are awful. In fact, the OP is pretty cute and well sung, and the OST has some nice tracks such as its main cultural-and-trumpet tune and the bittersweet music-box piece. But they just do not have anything on their ED counterpart.
The voice acting performances bring back that strength (but obviously not to the same level as the ED). Maaya Uchida as Syaro stutters and frets her way to victory. Inori Minase a Chino whispers cuteness. And Ai Kayano as Mocha cuddles and calms the crew with her big-sister voice.
I absolutely adored this one. Every single episode had me clapping, smiling, or otherwise laughing at the shenanigans.
A huge amount of credit goes to the various characters; I liked all of them. Rize’s composed attitude contrasted with her occasional spats of cuteness. Chiya’s carefree nature. Syaro’s constant worrying about the situation and fretting over Rize. Cocoa trying her hardest to impress Chino. And Chino slowly but surely learning to lighten up. The main girls were a big bundle of fun that never stopped rolling from the moment this season began, and I couldn’t have asked them to do much more.
The rest of the cast brought their best, too. Mocha was a wonderful addition. Not only did she act as an awesome older sister to Cocoa and the other girls, but also she brought with her hilarity and poses that rivaled everyone. In fact, she instantly became one of my favorite characters from the entire series. Maya with her energy and Megumi with her ditzy behavior also made the season that much more entertaining. As did Aoyama, Tippy, and the other minor characters.
And as a huge moe fan, the incredible amount of adorableness made me more than giddy to witness. All of their smiles, all of their blushing, and all of their actions were pure, unfiltered cuteness that made the entire season that much more amazing.
In short, I loved it.
Is the Order a Rabbit?? (Don’t forget that second question mark.) is technically more of the same, but that’s not saying a whole lot. The execution is all there: heartfelt slice-of-life scenes, nice art, fun characters, fitting music, and loads of entertainment. Yes, a tiny treasure, but a treasure all the same.
Story: Good, more of the same but with execution in droves
Animation: Good, detailed and comedic art, okay animation, and cute character designs
Characters: Fine, while Cocoa, Chino, and the rest are simple characters, their maturity motif this time around does not go unnoticed
GochiUsa is the third series from my arbitrary holy trinity of shows from the modern era of moe. These three are KinMoza, NNB and GochiUsa. In my opinion, these three are the epitome of the modern time's CGDCT SoL anime, and with all three having recently had a second season, their formula seems to be working.
This is a review of both seasons of GochiUsa without any spoilers (as if they actually exits)
As is with these SoL shows, the main focus of the show is on the characters and their interactions with each other, rather than on any kind of storyline. Each episode is split into
three or four separate scenes, each usually playing completely separate from one another. Most scenes are comedy oriented, but most of the show's emphasis is on the characters being cute mofos. GochiUsa is set in a France-esque city full of tea and coffee shops and a load of rabbits.
The "protagonist" of the show is a young girl named Cocoa, who comes to live and work in a small coffee shop called "Rabbit House" and meets Chino, the landlord's daughter. Cocoa and Chino have almost opposite personalities, with Cocoa, being loud and energetic, acting as the fool; and Chino, a quite and shy girl, often acting as the straight-man in the comedy sketches.
The other girl who works in Rabbit House is Rize, the seemingly calm and collected twintailed girl, who has a slightly unhinged liking of military equipment and always carries around a Glock on her person. Then there is Chiya, she lives in a traditional Japanese-tea house, and acts as the mellow "Ara ara" Nee-san arche-character. Finally is Syaro (or Sharo) a blonde sensitive girl who despises Rabbits, gets drunk off coffee and is absolutely the best girl.
Another point is the etymology of the girl's names. Almost all the names in the series are some tea/coffee related pun, with personal favorites being 'Kafuu Chino' (Cappuccino), 'Tedeza Rize' (Thé des Alizés) and fucking 'Hoto Cocoa', which I'm not even going to explain.
Finally there is also Tippy, who is the soul of Chino's dead Grandfather trapped inside the body of an Angora Rabbit. I don't even know. Also go Google Angora rabbit if you want to laugh at evolution.
Animated by White Fox, the studio that can seemingly animate anything at all, the animation quality is as good as it feels necessary for such a show. The comedy scenes are in a proportionally drastically changing style, switching between the standard and deformed styles for the punchlines. One part that does stand out are the backgrounds. The notable ones are those of the traditional Germanic/French town with timber frame buildings and cobblestones streets.
There isn't too much to say about the soundtrack for the show, the two OP songs are almost identical and I'm pretty sure I developed some kind of diabetes from season 2's ED. The OST is rather short, and is full of calming piano pieces that play in the more relaxed portions of the show.
I'd say that the overall feel of GochiUsa is somewhere between that of KinMoza and NNB. It is a mix of comedy and pure SoL with most of the jokes being slapstick reactionary gags that aren't all that funny, but don't have to be because of the charm of the characters. That being said, there are some actually funny moments and the whole show is a hoard for reaction-face connoisseurs such as myself.
The whole show is comfy overload, and sometimes this can be too much. I found the first 6 odd episodes were very slow, and next to no comedy was apparent. The episodes seemed dedicated into introducing us slowly to the main cast of characters and showing their endearing sides (ie- The trope/fetish filling parts). However, the show soon comes into its own, with season 2 being a much more enjoyable watch.
Just a minor peeve here: the geniuses down at anime HQ decided it was a great idea to name the second season the exact same as the first, but with the addition of an extra "?". Great. As well as being a ground-braking and meaningful idea for the franchise, "?" is also not detectable by search engines and so a search of "GochiUsa?" will bring up the same results as "GochiUsa??". Should have been subtitled with something along the lines of: "Which Gochi would you Usa?" or "Now with more Heartburn!".
Length- 2 cours/ 24 eps / 10 hrs
Release- Spring 2014 + Fall 2015
Studio- White Fox
Source- 2011 Manga by "Koi"
If you have a) any knowledge of moe and slice of life, b) a love for moe and slice of life, c) an intense hatred for moe and slice of life, or d) read enough of my posts to notice a common pattern in subject matters, then you would be aware of the basic recipe for success of such shows: the construction of a world that's charming and relaxing, and a cast of characters who are teeth-rottingly adorable. However, after 2 seasons of Is the order a rabbit? | Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka?, it has become apparent, that the show's
charms extends far from the norm: the endearing atmosphere and the intimate closeness of the viewers' emotional investment with the characters onscreen, are the harvests grown from a well-soiled foundation of creative and thematic ideas that enrich such emotions of interconnectivity, similar to the communal sense of harmony felt by a well-knit village, where nothing ever goes wrong, has an abundance of cute wild rabbits but has no issues of desertification (probably a wrong use of terms, but you get the drift…rabbits ruin gardens), or the precious closeness between best friends, where the culprits includes a dead-pan loli who wears a rabbit on her head, whose body has her grandfather's spirit trapped inside, and a genki girl who has a sister complex (and is dead proud of it).
Ever since the debut of the hit series, Lucky Star, and the even bigger hit 2 years later, K-on!, the anime world has been engulfed in a surplus of such shows, where a group of cute girls laze around and engage in innocent activities, such as drinking tea, go on class trips and visiting spas. The simple premise of a plotless peek into the perfect lives of fictional characters has essentially established a new creative ground, where the rules of enjoyment are completely re-written. Instead of relying on the intense inner conflicts of a damaged main character, the political intrigues behind the intergalactic war's frontlines and the bitter backstories of characters for enjoyment, as you trudge deeper into the pessimistically predicted dystopia, the slice of life genre offers you an alternate utopia, where no conflicts exist. A truly great realisation of such a concept is a show that can somehow retain one foot within comprehensible reality, but also offer an experience that enrich the audience with a warm blanket of optimism, and an inspiring alternative viewpoints on the curiosities and hidden wanders that IS normal life, on Planet Earth. Why invade Mars, when you can have a treasure hunt, right here in your own town?
As a show with no arc-based or overarching plotlines, GochiUsa 2 consists of individual adventures embarked on by Cocoa, Chino and their friends, as they explore the streets of their town, enjoy the company of each other, whilst also learning to enrich themselves through the different personalities that exists within their group. What makes the entire experience irreplaceable, are the irreplaceably unique personalities of our main cast. Despite the inevitable fact, that each of them are moulded from the well-worn common tropes of anime characters, the personalities of our 4 main leads in particular, are polished to such an individualistic and interactive degree, that it's utterly impossible to associate these characters' voices, expressiveness and character 'signatures' with anyone else but them alone. In a combination of conservative but well-utilised character designs and a well-casted and scripted voice actors, the creators have invented a group of characters, that are individual people who are as unique as human beings themselves.
Cocoa's eternally happy, certainly, but her adorable charm stems from her ironically childish attempts to be grown-up and sisterly towards her juniors, resulting in the even more ironic fact, that Chino (though reluctantly at first), Maya and Megumi all admired Cocoa's childishness and her effortless ability to inject fun into every situation or place they are in. Cocoa's bubbly disposition and her addictive enthusiasm essentially provides the group dynamic with both a creatively comedic printing press, but also the heart of a child that always finds the best fun to be had. Other characters in the group: the gun-toting but self-conscious Rize, the bashful but criminally huggable Sharo and the mild-mannered but always scheming Chiya; all contribute admiringly to the main group, as each of them manages to inject a sense of multi-coloured diversity to the relational environment, which allows the show to be flexible in their depictions of character interactions.
But in the centre of it all, Chino's relationship with Cocoa is one of mutual misunderstanding, but eventual acceptance with a sense of affection that's akin to the closest of sisters. Expanding on the foundations of season 1, where Cocoa's quirky, clumsy but honest attempts to make Chino accept her as an older sister has found its mark on Chino's well-guarded heart, season 2 continues its thin but vivid thread of relational developments between these 2 girls. Cocoa's genki personality and her ability to befriend everyone and everything, stems not only from her personal motto; one that's optimistically admirable, but realistically suicidal; but also the viral nature of the lively energy that radiates from her presence, which the show depicts through both her actions and her friends' realisations, in regards to the impact Cocoa has on their group dynamic: time and schedules seemed to have lost their relevance and photos started to descend into that pit of absurdity and goofiness.
What made this 'Cocoa Effect' apparent are individual scenes throughout the season, but the episode 12's ending notes to this wonderful ballad successfully conveyed the preciousness of these girls' friendship and the central link that is Cocoa's sense of fun. The opening venture of Chino's attempt to capture the group 'in their natural element' was initially intended to be an album of incidental pictures of the girls working, conversing like normal human beings…but it didn't take long before Cocoa started a game of taking a picture of someone taking a picture of someone taking a picture of a rabbit above the portrait of a bodybuilder and started having fun with camera framing and perspective tricks. The scene's memorability stems from the individual gags that form a cohesive whole, as the show proceeds to solidify the character that IS this friend group.
Also admirable, is the episode's ability to inject an even more intimate sense of homeliness and nostalgic recognisability to the world of GochiUsa: the childhood memories of pretend-treasure hunts in the neighbourhood with nearby children are memories that are universally recognisable and closely etched into the most precious of childhood memories. The fact that all the characters within this group, who has lived in the town all their lives, remember their own rounds of treasure hunts with Ciste maps, adds an extra layer of communal interconnectivity to this town, as we are led to assume, that everyone in this community has experienced the same childhood. There's even a sense of exclusivity and a rite of passage: being of a young age. The chest found by Chino, Maya and Megumi was hidden beyond a child-sized hole in the stone wall, which hides a shrine-like platform, rightfully described by the trio as a place of sacred value, since Cocoa's unfortunately grown-up state prevented her from completing the challenge.
There's almost a sense of mystical lore-like comradery in completing a ciste map, whose significance is aided by the almost unwritten rules of the game: after finding a map lying around the town, drawn by the original initiators of the game, you use the map's clues to find a treasure chest. Your reward is whatever's inside the chest, however, as a sense of honour, you exchange the contents with something that you own, before hiding the treasure map somewhere else. And thus, the game continues.
Another observation from this game, also seems to suggest a lesson on the true value of treasures: the monetary value of the trio's find are next to nothing, but completing the challenge as friends has given the group an irreplaceable memory. Naturally, the episode ends with Cocoa presented with another map, which inevitably embarks a girl; who moved to the town a year ago; on a new journey, with the chance to in a sense, gain her rite of passage to the town's history of memories.
And thus, another season of GochiUsa ends.
There's something special within this world of rabbits, and the rite of passage to indulge upon the endearing adventures of the girls is as simple as sitting back, and relax, as the show takes you on a journey of goofiness and bliss, etched with the tingle of childhood's recalling. To conclude, Is the order a Rabbit?? is an heart-warming and small show, but wears its giant heart on its sleeve, and doesn't pull its punches when it wants the audience to truly experience humans' curious and wonderfully childish side.
Nearly non-existent; standard moe slice-of-life show fare, which I don't mind. What I do mind though, is the characters.
Cocoa and her friends bored me out of my mind. I could tolerate season 1 but somehow season 2 lost me. I know having deep and developed characters is not the point of this type of show. But for me, I want to be somewhat engaged even when I'm watching a relaxing slice-of-life show, and Gochiusa severely falls short in this respect. Here's why:
Comparing this show to Blend S would make for an interesting case study on what makes a slice-of-life / comedy great.
In Blend S, the characters are unique, distinct, and above all else, interesting. In addition, Blend S also exhibits a certain degree of wit in its writing. As a result, it's an absolute blast to watch how Blend S' characters react to each other's antics. On the other hand, Gochiusa's characters are bland and generically moe. This makes them very boring to watch. After a few episodes, you've seen them all - Cocoa and Chiya's "airheaded" antics, Rize and Chino's retort, and Sharo's occasional "yuri" outbursts, etc etc etc. On top of that, these characters' reactions are so underwhelming that punchlines usually fall flat on their faces. They don't really react in any interesting way or expand on the joke - they just simply "react" very predictably and then move on to the next joke. I became sick of what this show calls "comedy" halfway into the show.
And so naturally, when the jokes and the character's don't work, what's left to carry the show? The moe. But for me, even the moe is extremely boring. It's nothing I haven't seen before - sickly cute and that's it. Everything feels so incredibly uninspired. For reference, I think the absolute epitome of a good moe slice-of-life show is Himouto, Umaru-chan! I think it's fun, witty, dynamic, and utterly unique.
And so in the end, nothing works for me in this show, which is quite unfortunate, considering how I found season 1 to not be this bad. But that might be because back when I watched it (3 or 4 years ago) my tastes weren't as jaded as they are now.
The idyllic setting brings with it some gorgeous scenery and architecture. It's the same old artstyle that season 1 introduced us to. However, I think this style could use some more flexibility and personality. Maybe more interesting facial expressions and more chibi/deformed moments?
Underwhelming. I loved both the OP and ED of season 1, but not this time around. The background music tracks are nice though.
i didnt really like the first season, mainly because i'm not used to the comedy/slice of life genre. i decided to try to get used to these genres by continuing on and watching the second season. the character art is amazing and i just wanted to see more of the characters in this anime.
again, there isn't really much story. i feel kind of delighted that chino's friends are shown more in this season. the op no poi is really good. the ed is also good. the other ops and eds were a meh, but still enjoyable to watch. i've yet to skip ops and eds.
i'd just like to point out that imo, megu's voice actress seems to be a bit off compared to what she looks like. but you know, this happens in real life too, where people may sound completely different to what they look like. i didnt really put this account into my rating but it kinda did bug me a bit.
overall, it's just cuteness overload and i really enjoyed it. i tried my best to just let everything happen and absorb the slice of life genre. some eps were funny, sad or just want to make you smile through the whole episode. i do think when i have more time, i may re-watch and re-live these moments. i'll miss chino-chan. i want to see more of chino :(.
So this is the first time I actually gonna write a review about an anime but it has to be done with an anime such as Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka??! I might be a bit biased through the wall of text I'm gonna submit but I try to support every statement with a good reason.
First of all I have to say that GochiUsa?? was the anime I was most hyped for the past year. No wonder it is also my anime of the year 2015, even though I only watched like 4 animes that were published in 2015. But this is like I watch
and rate anime, I don't watch all of the hyped titles! I only watch the animes with the genres I prefer and that's why I was so hyped for GochiUsa?? I know that most of you people out there are doing it like this too but I just wanted to mention it.
So why do I like Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka?? so much and why is it my favourite anime of the year 2015? Well, I'll tell you in the following rating.
I have to say that there's nothing to rate about the story! People might disagree with me but I think there is nothing you have to say about it. The anime starts where the first season ended and the happy live of all characters continued. To explain it in my words: GochiUsa?? is the definition of a "healing-anime", something you can watch and lean back without concentrating that much because every episode is a heartwarming episode of the main characters being moe. So that's why it is irrelevant to actually give it a rating.
The character style:
Overwhelming! It is the right choice to express the cuteness of this anime. You always knew what they where feeling just by looking at them. The art is also something you just can't forget! The town and every detail in every location was awesome. I personally like the look of the town and since I like it the quieter way I felt the urge to actually live in such a little fancy town like the one in GochiUsa??.
Something that is truly fantastic! When you hear the happy soundtrack after the opening theme (which is also awesome!) you just have to smile because you know there will be a happy start into the episode, following by a funny scene. You know it will happen and that's why you're just smiling from hearing the soundtracks. There is also a heartwarming soundtrack that was already used in the previous season. I think it is good to actually use some of the old soundtracks, you will remember the episode you first heard it and it will give you goosebumbs or a happy feeling. Well, that's how I often feel.
There is no "best girl", every character is the best! Everyone is unique and funny in their own way. I like every character and you will not be disappointed when I say that every character makes you laugh/smile at least one time. There is one supporting character that made me laugh all the time and one time I laughed so hard that I had to stop watching for a few minutes because my heart beat so fast that I just had to lay down and take some deep breaths. Yes it was "just" a supporting character! I really can't say more without spoilering so I hope this is enough to give you an insight about the characters.
Well, you guys already know that I really enjoyed the anime through the whole season. The comedy was awesome and I had to laugh in every episode. The cuteness also gave me much of an enjoyment. The anime has definitely a moe overload and sometimes you just go ~hnnnnnggg... trust me I did it more than just one time... The details also pleasured me and every little detail you'll find is making the surroundings much more lovelier. The slice of life is also a meaningful part of the anime! There is a background story that shows you the growing connections between the characters which is nice. Well, I said there is no story and now I say that the SoL part is meaningful and there is something in the background. I know that I kinda respeak myself but just let it be the background "information" throughout the anime and that's it, not more, not that important to let it count as a real story. Just compare it with the story of Parasyte or Naruto. There you have another plotline, another case.
Now the overall rating:
To sum everything up - 11/10 ! I am serious about it. The anime has a comedy, moe, heartwarming soundtrack overload and thats why I am so overwhelmed. The art and the details where awesome too but I already stated it above.
I know that many people aren't happy to see a wall of text and I am happy if you read my review. It is something new for me to do and it's because the last time I had such an enjoyment was after I found my absolute favourite anime. It's K-On, just for your interest.
Well, thank you for reading my review and I really hope I could help you decide to watch the anime. Or maybe you've read it after you finished GochiUsa?? and now you're just nodding while you're reading my review and just think to yourself: "wow, I thought so too!"...
Moe is a rather one-note genre. The main premise and draw of it is having a bunch of cute girls do cute thing in a rather ordinary setting living a day to day life. So, for the Fall 2015 season, our token moe show is Gochuusa 2, a basic rehash of what we know of the moe genre...and then some.
Story: Gocchusa 2 returns to the town of...wherever we are, back to the Rabbit House cafe, where we return back to the seemingly always barren cafe to witness the little adventures of the girls inside.
As mentioned before, the story of a general moe show
is simple, and as such, Gocchusa's story is rather simple. Every episode is basically another day in the world of Gocchusa and every episode follows the girls in whatever adventure that they go on doing. Things like camping, treasure hunting, work transfer, there's a lot of things. What makes this season different than the last is in setting. Many of the episodes that this season showcases is rather unorthodox, as many of them are outside of the normal 'sit down and talk' and explores a bit more of the world around the girls, which is odd but really a breath of fresh air.
Aside from that, the show does bring a fair chunk of character development particularly with the main two characters, Cocoa and Chino. The show really creates a bond between these two characters which is really quite cute to see.
However, there are a couple bad brews with this show, particularly with just its inherent storyline. And that is, it's boring. While the show has development and has different scenes from episode to episode, there really isn't anything spectacular about it. The tone doesn't shift, and it's just...cute. Sure, there's nothing wrong with cute, but that's all it really is. There's no drama, since everything pretty much returns to the status quo at the end of every episode, and we still don't know how Grandpa Tippy came to be. Aside from its inherent one-notedness (since it's a moe show), there're really no flaws, to be honest.
+ Character development
+ Different scenarios (contrary to what they did before)
- One-note tone throughout
Characters: The cast from season one returns back in full force. Chino, Cocoa, Chiya, Rize, and Syaro all return (mainly because they are the main cast) and participate in every episode. There really isn't many difference in terms of character for them since they all stay within their personality parameters and don't really change all that much. Sure Chino and Cocoa have that closer bond that I mentioned earlier, but as characters, they don't really change.
As for cast changes, the show shifts around its side cast importance quite a lot, putting Chino's friends, Mayu and Megumi more in the spotlight, as well as Grandpa Tippy, while putting the author introduced last season, Aoyama, more into the background. What differs this season as well is the fact that they added in a new character, Cocoa's sister as well as a new rabbit. However, due to the way that these kinds of shows work, all of them really only participate as to what is going on in the moment and don't really change. Yeah, character development isn't all that important, but like the main cast, there's really not all much to say about them.
+ Everyone comes back
- Everyone is still rather one-note
Art: Produced by White Fox, Gocchusa comes back as shiny and polished as ever with its colorful and bright artstyle. There are little to no flaws with the animation and everything looks high quality and very pleasing to the eye. And then there's the ED animation and that itself is...well, I'll talk about that later.
In addition, the more 'comedic' portion of the show showcases itself with the use of exaggerated emotions and comedic facial changes. They're very classic and used often in comedy, so there really isn't much to point out as special.
+ Good, high quality animation
+/- Good, but not unique comedic expressions
Sound: Similar to the rest of the show, the soundtrack for Gocchusa is good, but not really all that special. The OP is a simple moe song sung by the seiyuus of the girls and really doesn't stand out as out of this world. That does not mean it's bad; it's just not really all that special as a song.
The ED on the other hand is...well...you know what, you should just find out for yourself. If you're too lazy to do that, then I'll explain it, I guess. The ED, while the song itself isn't really all that special, is made to be special simply because of the visuals. The song is sung by the VA's of Chino, Mayu, and Megumi and the entire song has all three girls spinning and dancing around and it's just...so...adorable. (Ah, the sound of sirens coming near my home to take me away... T^T)
+ Good songs
- Soundtrack really isn't all that memorable
Personal Enjoyment: Gocchusa is a series that really isn't much different than most moe shows. It's a bunch of girls playing around or spending time with one another in the various empty cafes that they work at, (seriously, they have like no business.) and every episode is another adventure for the viewer. They don't even have many rabbit motifs this time, and that's actually a bit sad considering how chock full of rabbits the first season had.
Did I enjoy this anime?
I wouldn't say I enjoyed so much as I just watched it. Every episode is pretty much the same thing and as such, doesn't really have much variation. Yet, it was still oddly entertaining and that ED was something else... (I'm definitely on some government watchlist now...)
What didn't I like about this anime?
There's nothing really to dislike about this anime aside from the fact that it's just...that. By 'that', I mean it's just what it is. There's not depth to it, and, while I know there really shouldn't be any, there's just nothing really all that interesting about it in the end.
Would I recommend this anime?
It's moe. That's the simple way to say it. As such, it's a cute little show about middle/high school girls that live day to day lives. There's nothing really unique about it and it's just rather plain in the long run. Still, if you want to watch an ordinary moe show, I suppose this is an option you can choose.
I'm going to keep this extra super quick because this is basically season 1 extended. There is a bit more story in this season and a few more adventures (extra points) but the ending is a bit contrived and could have been a bit more climactic (take away said extra points). There are a few new characters introduced but they mostly don't add anything to the plot, but they are fun so it doesn't matter much.
Basically, if you liked season 1 you will like season 2. Don't expect a strong ending and if you like it hope they go for season 3 in the future!
Well since I haven't done a review for Season 1, I'll be going into quite detail here. So, does this anime have the amount of cuteness and sweet sugary goodness which might result in diabetes that it is claimed to have? Well, maybe not that extreme but you bet this anime is brimming with cuteness.
That's basically why I ended up watching this anime: To see for myself just how cute it can get. And the main reason for that can be attributed to the character designs. This is a very good example of a situation whereby the characters do not look their age. In fact,
in most cases, they don't even act their age. But seriously, who the heck cares about that? The important thing is that this anime will most definitely put a smile on your face. And one thing to note about the character designs are the eyes. I absolutely love the unique style used for them as they have the ability to mesmerise me like crazy. Good job, White Fox.
Considering how Gochuumon Wa Usagi Desu Ka is a casual anime series (an anime that lacks an overarching story and much dramatic tension), it need not be taken too seriously. And because of that, I am very willing to watch these kinds of anime. But even among casual anime series, Gochuumon Wa Usagi Desu Ka is one of the better ones that I've seen. On top of having absolutely adorable characters, this anime is also rather funny and the comedy is handled very consistently throughout its course. And even more so, this anime does have fanservice. But the fanservice is utilised in a really sparring and innocent way just as a treat to the audience. And this is where the character designs come in handy. It shows that it is not impossible for characters to be portrayed as both cute and sexy at the same time.
And even more than all that, I personally think that the best part is the relationship between the characters. Through their many interactions, it is easy to believe that they are very close to each other. The chemistry between them just clicks very well. This is especially true between Cocoa and Chino. From the beginning when Cocoa first arrived at Rabbit House to the end, you can see their changing behaviour as they get closer until they learn to accept each other. That itself was so sweet and adorable to watch and it honestly gets me every time.
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But I would have to say that my absolute favourite part of the anime was the arc when Mocha, Cocoa's sister came to visit. This arc was just filled with touching moments with some bonding between Cocoa and Mocha. And not to mention, my absolute favourite moment was when Mocha petted Rize on the head. I was just like... "OH MY GOD SOOOO CUTE!!!"
Now, for the animation, while I agree White Fox with the help of Kinema Citrus for the 2nd season did a really good job, I can't say I found that one moment that really stood out. But as for the art style, it was just gorgeous. White Fox may have only filled so little of my watchlist, but they have been consistent with their visuals.
Finally, we get to the songs. Now we first have to talk about the Season 2 ED (Tokimeki Poporon), which has literally become an anime meme for cuteness and I would say a big factor in me ending up watching this anime. It was actually a pretty good song. And might I add, the animation during this ending theme is probably that moment when the animation actually gets really good. It's kind of upsetting when you realise that is where the animation just takes off but whatever. But even for this anime, I would have to give the winners to the opening themes especially my favourite of them all Season 1 OP (Daydream Cafe). I swear I am addicted to the chorus of this song because I literally know how to sing it word for word (almost at least). So overall, pretty good theme songs too.
While this is definitely one of the better anime of its kind, it does not have anything that truly blows my mind. There isn't really anything ground-breaking that Gochuumon Wa Usagi Desu Ka brings into the genre. And there is an opportunity for that which the anime did not fully utilise. The anime could have explored on the backstory of Tippy and Chino's grandfather. That in my opinion might have turned out to be something amazing. But in the end, that never happened. But regardless, all was fine and it was still an interesting piece to watch. And if there happens to be another season for this anime, I would be so excited to check it out. And if that happens, White Fox... do the Tippy and grandpa backstories. I'll be looking forward to it.
The main reason why you've watch this show is because you've watched the first season. If not, then you've something going wrong because this is a season 2.
Story. Again, not much to say. Just a series of Slice of Life comedic events, such as visiting your friend who is ill, doing laundry(apparently), buying stationary goods and eating chocolates. All very cute. In an anime at least.
Art. Stayed the same thankfully.
Characters. THERE ARE NEW CHARACTER!!!! Not telling who cause that's actually a big enough part of this sweet sweet season 2. The rest are still there.
possibly as good as season 1, if not, better.
Overall, worth-while. For those who enjoyed season 1 at least.
I did not embrace this season too heavily at all, since I only moderately enjoyed the first. But, MAN, did this succeed my expectations by far. It almost convinced me to write a full-fledged review on it, but it still did not heavily expand upon its first concept in a significant enough way to justify for this. However, it succeeded in a lot more ways.
Now, THIS caught me off guard. Normally, as I said in my review of the prior season, anime comedies usually never have good story to them unless they are either mainstream ones or are a comedy and a drama. However,
this season unexpectedly brought forth some notable elements and some really good back-stories that were highly enjoyable. Most of it is rather short, but the small doses you take in have a very potent affect.
One thing I forgot to mention in the previous review was that the last season did have a back-story on Chino's grandpa, but it was nothing major. Well, besides making you realize that Cocoa should know the answer to whether or not the barista is a rabbit, given she laid the curse on him.
Well it is still mostly the buildings, they did the quality improve on them quite dramatically. Only for those that are really keen enough to notice this kind of difference, it is still quite staggering to me. I thought the buildings and a few other things looked a lot nicer, but that is a fair trait to have when an anime gets renewed, as I know a lot of comedies usually do not. So, I imagine they gave it their all here.
It offered up a few new pieces that were enjoyable, but nothing too significant.
I said it once in my last review, but I will say it again: the characters are what made the last anime so enjoyable and this one unexpectedly revamped a lot of their personalities to a more enjoyable degree.
Cocoa, right away, has a lot of her more notably bad traits absent here, but they still come and go. However, they made her comedy switch around to where she equally annoys and satisfies her friends now, rather than one side being heavier than the other. Lastly, towards the end, she matures a bit, actually. However, if there is one thing I was rather annoyed about, it is that they could not once give her a serious scene that did not end on an awkward, comedic note that "feels Cocoa" to the other characters. It is basically a slap in the face that she is not to be taken seriously a lot, but I guess that is fair because of the way she is. As the result of her light improvements, she is a more enjoyable character.
Oh, I actually did forget to mention that in the last review, but one thing I disliked about Cocoa a lot, enough where I only mentioned her cause she was the main character, was that whole personality switch she had during her serious scenes where nothing could ever truly be "serious" with her. That happened more often in the prior season where, just as soon as she was serious, it went to comedy. With this season, they did it some more, but at least had a better balance with it that I enjoyed more.
Chino, well, she did not change a lot. I suppose they just made her a bit more outgoing in a few areas, something that a lot of anime comedies always do where a shy character tries to "step out of their boundaries" though the moments that she had were cute.
Rize is also heavily improved, no longer being a sociopath...to a heavy degree, anyway. They successfully capitalized on the character development she had in the prior season and now she actually invites people to her house this time, though she has a rather extremely unfitting moment of character where she...well, I best not say it, but it will make you feel confused.
Chiya, oh boy, did they IMPROVE her. She was already my favorite character in the last season, though now she is only my second favorite. Okay, that sounds negative, but I will get back to that later. Anyway, her sadistic comedy takes a turn for the best and she is noticeably funnier here than she was before. Every scene with her will almost always leave you laughing now, though like Cocoa, she was subjected to a few more dramatic scenes as well and we also see one of her relatives this time around. Of which, we can judge how Chiya got her sense of comedy from.
Syaro was a character that I said in my prior review on how she was a basic character, but she got the biggest revamp out of all the other protagonists. I do not remember if they even mentioned this, or had an experience with it in the prior season, but Syaro can legitimately get drunk on caffeine. Like, she is drunk like you would be when you, well, drink, but she also has the energy and diligence of the caffeine effect. The end result is that she becomes a combined mix of Rize's outgoing nature and Chiya's comedy at times, which can leave hilarious results on the scene. One memorable scene with Syaro had nothing to do with her being the one to get fixated on an energy high after drinking it; rather, Cocoa snatching it from her and doubling up on Syaro's energy as she proceeds to drag her away so fast that she is in absolute shock over the sheer speed of Cocoa after her already energetic state was just increased further.
I do not want to go on too much here regarding the characters in fear I will take up my whole review on it, even though I pretty much did on the last one as well and even worse here. But, one character that heavily stood out to me in the side characters was Megu; bringing me back to why Chiya was demoted. Do not worry, it had nothing to do with Chiya worsening, but just that someone one upped her in my book due to the very breakout nature that Megu had.
Even though she was only a side character in the last season and had a few good moments, Megu is by far my favorite in general now because her style, voice and everything about her is highly enjoyable in this one. She sounds like she would have an annoying voice after hearing her talk more often, but it does not come off to me that way at all. Her personality is unforgettable and I enjoyed every scene she appeared in. In this season, she is heavily fleshed out in comparison to the last one and some of the comedy scenes revolving around her were far more enjoyable than the main ones revolving around Chiya; especially during the semi-last episode. Speaking of, at one point in the anime, she is paired up with Chiya for a comedy bit and it is a PERFECT duo of characters, so look forward to it.
I am not one to up my opinion on an anime based on one key factor and it takes quite a bit to shoot me up from thinking one is okay to great in just a season, and this one heavily delivered on the goods this time around. It is a notable improvement from the last season, something that even veterans would enjoy and I highly recommend it.
It still has a good amount of the bad elements from the first season, but it does slow incremental work on some of those bad parts by balancing it more properly this time. It delivers less cringe-worthy moments and will leave you satisfied after finishing it to the point where you will actually genuinely miss the characters this time around. If anything, I hope they have an OVA one day that explains the central plot of the anime more someday. Perhaps, they might, given they just recently aired another season.
The semi-last episode is what really struck out to me the most, though, and perfectly structured out the comedy so well that I wish I could write my own review on that alone. The way the characters all developed by this point, up to where Chino seemed like the child in comparison to Cocoa here (no joke), was what really got my attention here. I actually found myself laughing at almost every scene, the serious moments were genuine and even Cocoa had one that perfectly made sense for her.
So, again, just give this one a go. I almost want to say you should skip the first season altogether to get right to this, but it is more enjoyable to see how the characters developed from season one.