I even reserved a ticket to see this movie in a theater, because I'm a such a big fan of the franchise. I expected it to be similar to the series'. And it was. But it was too similar.
It felt like the main objective was to remind the viewer of as many scenes from the past episodes as possible. And while it achieved that, it almost entirely lacked the things that I liked most about the anime: Every episode felt fresh, there were minor arguments, some character development, sometimes even a plot that made me want to know what happens next. But the movie felt
like nothing more but a bunch of only semi-related scenes that felt like one déjà vu after another. And the ending was easily predictable after the first interaction between Kokoa and Chino.
Still, the characters were as cute as ever and the humor was the same, too. For these reasons alone I was able to enjoy the movie.
It has been about 2.5 years since Season 2 aired and it's clear to me that I really missed these characters after finishing this movie. For context, I really enjoyed Season 1 and Season 2 hit it out of the park majorly. So, more GochiUsa was welcome.
While some people can say there wasn't much special in regards to this movie. I would disagree myself as we're seeing characters paired up in different situations. Anyways, what's special for one person may differ for you. For me, as long as the comedy is done well and it retains the CGDCT tone like
before then I'm satisfied.
I won't say this movie did better than Season 2 because damn I was getting diabetes from that. But, this movie was still pretty damn good. The visuals are beautiful, the VA and sound was top-notch. And the story was engaging (even if it tried to consistently sprinkle in nostalgic nuggets). Plus the pacing was, in my opinion, perfect for one hour. I thought one hour would be short but that length was perfect.
Overall, if you enjoyed previous GochiUsa seasons, I'm sure you'll like this movie.
Gochuumon wa Usagi desu ka??: Dear My Sister plot is fairly simple, in which Cocoa goes back home to help her sister, Mocha who has been introduced in the anime series and mother with their new bakery. With this however, the main cast especially Chino feels a bit cocoa sick in the process and within this Chino reminiscence times before Cocoa mainly delving into Rize before the anime series. On Cocoa's side of things well we get to know more about Cocoa's life before the anime series but with the added bakery element into it but mainly Cocoa's screentime is to do with her family,
mainly her sister Mocha, her mother does get some screentime but not as much as Mocha does (let alone the interactions between Mocha and Cocoa are much more prevalent than Mocha and her mother).
Gochuumon wa Usagi desu ka??: Dear My Sister like many of Manga Time Kirara adaptations has the slice of life element and moe elements down and this movie is no different. Better yet, Gochuumon wa Usagi desu ka??: Dear My Sister is like it still kept the essences of the anime series intact even when the movie was going off in something entirely new, in a ways it feels like one entire arc of the anime series taken into one piecemeal hour.
LA really liked the interactions with many of the cast members, from Chino talking about her first interactions with Rize to Rize now being the "older sister" to Chino, Maya and Megumi when Cocoa has gone home to Cocoa's interactions with Mocha. The "Dear My Sister" of the title is apt to say the least what with Cocoa wanting to be the older sister to Chino but Mocha is also the older sister to Cocoa when she came home and LA's aforementioning of Rize taking up the "older sister" in the cafe. The anime series touched on this but Gochuumon wa Usagi desu ka??: Dear My Sister is all the more prevalent with this as the theme of the movie.
The animation done now by doA Animation (previously done by White Fox and Kinema Citrus for both anime series'), well doA for the most part kept to the aesthetic of the Gochuumon wa Usagi desu ka? with it's European scenery and buildings. The movie's character designs were the same as the anime series but with some level of flair considering what some of the characters go to (as in a festival so some Japanese aesthetic and costumes comes into play). The animation overall was LA expected and returning to Gochuumon wa Usagi desu ka? even with a change in studio.
The voice work, well LA really doesn't need to say much considering ALL the voice actors returned for the movie. The only thing would be Mocha voiced by Ai Kayano gotten a bit more screentime in the movie compared to the anime series but that was a given and Ai Kayano is as eccentric as Mocha as ever. LA's favourite character in Gochuumon wa Usagi desu ka? and voice actor?, well it's always been Rize and Risa Taneda so yes LA is quite happy that Rize gotten screentime in this movie almost equally as Mocha in this sense.
Gochuumon wa Usagi desu ka??: Dear My Sister was what LA expected from a Gochuumon wa Usagi desu ka? movie, but with some backstory between certain characters here with ALOT of interactions and hijinks between it's cast and that only sweeten the deal. Yes LA was satisfied with the movie all things considered, from it's character interactions, slice of life plot and the entire "older sister" theming the movie had going, it was a pleasantly cute experience much like the anime series.