Reviews

Dec 26, 2015
Symphopathy (All reviews)
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?