Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka? Review

This is review number three hundred and one. This anime is still part of the Spring 2014 lineup and I’ve been on this damn lineup for a while now. Don’t worry though. I can see this lineup wrapping up soon. It all depends on how fast I can keep up. Anyways, the anime I’ll be reviewing is called “Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka?” or “Is the order a rabbit?”. It’s a twelve episode anime about cute girls doing some random sh*t. It’s a pretty great show but I do have some complaints. Not about the show but something more general. Anyways, let’s read on.

Story

Cocoa is a new transfer student in this small little town. She’ll be staying at this place called “Rabbit House” and she’s asked to help around the shop. It’s a coffee shop with two employees Cocoa immediately started bonding with. Along with two other working girls, this show follows their everyday life having fun and fooling around while they work.

Taking the Pants Off

First of all, I wish you all a very happy new year. I hope this 2015 will be bright and full of positive sh*t for everyone. I have a lot of things on my plate this year so I can already tell this 2015 will be a blurry one for me. There’s no point wallowing in regret though. On a positive note, I recently achieved three hundred anime reviews. I inched my way there and damn it, I did it. With that big achievement under my belt, I immediately watched the next anime in my review poll. It’s a cute girls doing cute things anime and my heart immediately sunk. I saw the anime last year and I only had the motivation to write it now. After purposely avoiding Soul Eater Not, knowing that it’s a cute girl doing cute things anime, I just kind went into a dark place when I saw this anime. I’m in my 300 reviews now and I have to tell you, reviewing these shows isn’t really all that fun. I would love to rip on otome anime. I would enjoy writing long posts about a shounen anime and all of its components. For me though, nothing sucks worse than reviewing a slice of life anime about four/five girls drinking tea and having fun together. The main reason is because they are all the freaking same. It’s the same four panel style anime with the same group of girls in the same usual routine doing nothing but act f*cking cute. The most annoying thing about these anime is that they aren’t really bad shows nor are they great. They’re good to mildly entertaining. The first episode of “Gochuumon Usagi wa Desu ka?” felt like your ordinary cute girl doing cute things anime. As I progress through the episode various show flashes over my face. Non Non Biyori, Kiniro Mosaic, Tamayura, Yama no Susume, and A-Channel all came to my mind the minute I saw the first episode. Yes, I’ve seen this sh*t before and I actually reviewed it countless times before. It’s simply a sweet and fluffy show. They’re cute marshmallow shows that basically have no story to dissect and no compelling characters to write two paragraphs with. They’re just cute shows with all the same goddamn content. Here’s the interesting part though. Despite marshmallow shows being exactly the same thing recycled over and over, it still keeps on being released. I think there is one per season and it has remained a standard fixture in every seasonal lineup. As much as I hate to admit it, there’s really only one reason why marshmallow shows are here to stay. Here’s a GIF to this undisputable proof.

I was completely complaining to my laptop screen in the entire run of the first episode but soon kept on watching this anime despite my complaints. There’s one thing I think every anime fan in the entire world love and that’s absolutely cute anime characters. Get a couple of chibi characters, let them dance for two minutes and you basically have a hit. Marshmallow shows are easy and redundant but they are all really good anime that you just can’t help but watch. I also mention that these are all really effective slice of life anime. After a hard day’s work, nothing decompresses stress more effective than watching a slice of life anime. It’s simple and it’s relaxing. It focuses on nothing but serenity and the slow moments of life. Take the beauty of slice of life and add cuteness in it then you have something much better. Marshmallow shows are not only relaxing but also oddly hypnotizing. As much as you hate seeing the same thing done over and over, you can still watch one of these shows and enjoy them. It’s really weird but it’s this strange power that marshmallow shows have over us that proves this kind of sh*t is here to stay. It’s a little bit scary but then you look at the GIF and you just go “awww”.

These shows always have the same template. It’s just a bunch of girls, usually four or five girls and rarely three, just enjoying their everyday routine. This routine often involves school, walking to and from school, eating out, going out with the gang on someplace like the mall or the beach, having sleepovers and enjoying the seasons change. This routine is made interesting by the various situational gags the girls would pull. Each episode would often be divided into various skits to represent its four panel roots. Each skit ends with a punch line often preceded by the characters having a fun dialogue over a bunch of stuff. Sometimes, there’ll be no dialogue and it’s just some situational comedy but it still ends with a punch line. Recently, some of these marshmallow shows would make each skit related to each other with an episode often revolving about some kind of theme like, for example, snow. Usually though, it’s just big bulky dialogue heavy scenes carried over by the bright personalities of the characters and their lively chemistry as a group. This recycled routine would then be drowned in a tub of cuteness. So, in the end, you’re either watching this to see the girls act cute or to see them poke fun of each other. If you’ve seen a lot of them then you’ll expect to enjoy both. While the templates are all the same, these kind of anime would often standout because of their original theme that is often the main foundation of the show. For Non Non Biyori, it’s the daily life in a rural town as opposed to the hustle and bustle of city life. For K-on!, it’s about the girls in a music club and performing random concerts. For Yama no Susume, it’d be the fun of hiking and camping in the woods. Usually though, it’ll just be an anime about girls in school but they often have their own unique theme as well and you really just have to dig deep to look for them. For example, Hyakko, Yuyushiki, and Lucky Star are all just about girls attending school. No bright gimmicks, whatsoever. For Hyakko, there is this theme of secret adoration for each other. For Lucky Star, it’s loaded with pop culture reference and a big wave hello to KyoAni and the otaku culture in general. For Yuyushiki, there is this subtle hint of yuri folded in the show that is often hard to spot. As I said before, I’ve seen too many of these marshmallow anime and I’ve come to a point where I am beginning to hate them. Anyways, for this anime, the theme that makes it stands out would be that the girls are all part time working school girls and their exploits often happens more in their workplace than anywhere else.

It’s not much of a theme but I do think it does wonders to make this particular marshmallow show look unique. Seeing the girls run around and act all cute in a coffee shop is pretty fun to watch. The show still has its standard template of girls going to school, talking about random stuff while in school and having sleep overs. Majority of the skits though also have the girls grinding coffee, making latte art, and changing from their school uniforms to their work uniforms. The show is about a girl named Cocoa moving into this quaint and quiet little town for school studies. She’ll be staying in a coffee shop called “Rabbit House” and she’s asked to also help around. She’ll be sharing roof with a girl named Chino. She is the granddaughter of the original owner of the coffee shop and she now helps around the shop after school. Cocoa will be doing the same. She’s actually very enthusiastic with her new job and she also think it’ll be fun working with Chino and another girl who likes to carry a weapon at work. The show usually revolves around the girls doing random cute stuff at work and slowly trying to grow fond of each other. There’s really not much here. As I said, the theme is unique but the template is still the same. It’s still cute girls doing cute things and this time, it’s in a coffee shop. I do think the theme is pretty unique to give the show a different spin though. There are some fun episodes where the girls would bake bread, visit each other’s shops, goof around during slow times at their own shops and even do schoolwork after they finish their part time work. It’s not much but the template is altered a bit. It’s not the same bland routine over and over. A small hint of variety is really enough to give this particular marshmallow show a different flavor. After all, a cute girl grinding coffee has a special charm to it.

Like a lot of marshmallow anime though, this anime is carried entirely by its characters. They make up a large percentage of the anime and it’s a good thing too since the other parts are occupied by random bunnies. The girls all have their own bright personality. It’s actually how the show gradually develops them and slowly let the girl bond that make the anime experience a lot more entertaining. The main character is Cocoa. She’s the typical over enthusiastic girl who has a pleasant personality. Think of Yui from K-on but with a go getter attitude and a big obsession with being called “onee-san”. She often acts like the random idiot of the show and it’s often funny when she does something wrong. Her loud personality is actually a great compliment for the rest of the characters since she often acts as the comedy man of the group in a lot of the skits. As the show progresses, she slowly has a great bonding relationship with Chino who started out thwarting all her cuddly advances. Normally, I’d call her character pretty one dimensional but she does a lot of right things though when she’s with the group. Marshmallow anime always have one dimensional characters but the chemistry among them really brightens up a rather bland lineup of characters. Cocoa is often seen having some cute interactions with her co-workers, Chino and Rize.

Chino is the soft spoken character of the group. She doesn’t say much but the things she spouts often leaves you smiling. She does a lot more cute things though than talking. I’ve actually seen her character before in Non Non Biyori also played by their smallest and youngest character. They’re both scene stealers but Chino does it best when she just go moe blob on certain scenes like the GIF above. Chino doesn’t do much other than to look cute. Her relationship with Cocoa is really only initiated by the other girl and she doesn’t really do anything big until the later parts of the show when she goes all fluffy when she’s not around Cocoa. I think just seeing her act cute is enough though since she’ll probably the most recognizable character of the anime. The other co-worker is Rize-chan. She’s the straight man of the group often being the most level headed. She’ll finish off most skits by reacting to the funny things her friends would think up. She is also pretty fun when you see her being poked at by her friends and she often responds by just blushing. She is also the gun toting freak of this anime. I’ve seen it done better by other characters but seeing her act like a soldier is pretty fun to watch. She often carry around a gun with her and she loves teaching other characters of various military stuff like close quarter combat. She’s a military nut with a cute exterior. I feel that this personality of hers though is just a forced add on though since the show doesn’t really focus much on her. It already has a theme and her gun toting persona is really just something added on top. She is a diverse character though because she’s a straight man, a gun nut and she is also part tsundere. She often has this fantasy of wearing a bunny girl outfit and she’ll go hard tsundere on other characters while denying it. It’s adorable. She’s just part tsundere though because the designated tsundere of the group is this girl named Sharo.

Sharo is a friend of the group that works at an herbal tea shop where the workers wear rabbit maid suits. She has this adorable crush over Rize that she often tries to hide. She’ll get random fantasies and it’s really fun seeing her hide her affection from everybody around her. I personally like this character though because her tsundere habits are just the big highlights of the show for me. The show also told how she fell in love with Rize and you just kind of want to cheer her on the more you see her. Sharo is also special because she has this little plot point about her. She acts like a rich snob girl with beautiful blond hair but she is actually just a pretty poor girl. Still, she puts up the act hoping to impress Rize. Sharo goes to great lengths to keep up the act and you really just feel sorry for her. She’s a poor girl who attends a high class school for rich girls and she is able to manage by working part time at a tea shop. With all that, she also has to put an act just to impress someone she likes. Sharo is the most vulnerable character for me and I really like that side of her. She often shows it when she confides to her best friend, Chiya. Chiya completes the group. She is the kind spoken girl who acts weird from time to time. She is this quirky girl who works at a Japanese sweet shop and she likes thinking up random names for their desserts. In the group, she is usually the type of character that likes to pile on. When Cocoa wants to do something random, Chiya is always there to join in on the craziness. Chiya also has her cute moments but she really shines more in the group dishing out her own kind of random comedy from time to time. Chiya is really close to Cocoa and she is also a childhood friend of Sharo. I love it when Sharo would often be down on the dumps and Chiya would be the first one to console her. They have a very wonderful relationship. With Cocoa, it’s really just random work jokes but they do have good chemistry together. Most of the time, when she’s not hugging Chino, Cocoa is with Chiya having fun being just two girls with the same wavelength.

There are also a lot of side characters. The most obvious one is the talking rabbit. I thought the show would heavily revolve around him at first. The show has a rabbit possessed by the owner of Rabbit House and I was surprised to find out he merely served as filler. He is just a spoonful of more cuteness in case you haven’t had enough yet. He does do his part well and I love how Chino is the only one that knows this rabbit can talk. I always wait for him to do something in an episode though because there is this untapped potential with him that I always hope the show would present. It’s a dead guy inside a female rabbit. It sounds like a fun premise to play around with. It could be a little side story like Nichijou and the robot girl that wants to go to school. Her story eventually started out small until it eventually merges with the show. The talking rabbit does have a plot point but it’s just a small part of the show. In it, a writer who used to visit the old man came back only to find out he had died. In order to console her, the talking rabbit had to reveal himself to her. She became a big time writer thanks to the grandpa and it’s a shame he isn’t around to see her book turned into a movie. A book ironically called “the barista that turned into a rabbit”. Her name is Midori Aoyama and she is also a prominent side character in the show. She usually just bumps into the various casts when they’re out on a stroll or doing some random thing outside. Eventually, the show would focus on her and she’ll say something funny to cap off the skit. She slowly became involve with the gags at the later part of the show but it was a head scratcher figuring out her role at first. The small plot point about her and the talking rabbit didn’t materialize immediately so she just shows up from time to time adding some more dialogue on a scene. She’s an adult but she acts like a child and even joins in on the fun from time to time. Her life as a novelist and a girl who admires the owner of Rabbit House is often a subject on most episodes. The last prominent side character would be Chino’s two classmates. They’re Maya and Megumi. Chino has some skits where she hangs out with them. It’s the usual school routine where they talk and pull some funny lines. Maya is the typical hyper active loud character that talks loud and laughs louder. Megumi is the typical timid character that, like Chiya, often piles on when Megumi would do something random. They do have their moments though and their chemistry with Chino works great. I still love that cute victory pose they thought up and it’s a shame they weren’t a regular for the show.

The Comedy of the show is pretty decent. It’s not really all that funny and it’s just the cuteness of the characters that make each moment entertaining. The jokes are all bland, in my opinion. I’ve seen it done over and over that it has lost its charm. I guess that’s one aspect of marshmallow anime that I can’t quite enjoy repeatedly. Some shows would up the ante with physical comedy but it often feel forced. This show has a weak comedy but close up shots of the characters acting flustered and even Chiya’s stupid face is really enough to balance things out. If there’s one thing I don’t like about this show though, it’d be the cuteness being overdone. Some scenes are setup just right. Like the GIF above, the cuteness can really overwhelm you but often times, the anime also try to add cuteness to the dialogue and it doesn’t really feel right. I remember this one scene where Cocoa wrote something like “I’m dead” in ketchup and Chino rushed into Rize’s room screaming “Cocoa died of ketchup!!” and I wasn’t really impressed. It’s not funny and it’s a bit overdone. The anime is littered with a lot of overdone cutesy dialogues that I am not a big fan of. The anime does a lot of things right though so this overwhelmingly sweet part of the show is easy to overlook. It’s often balanced out by some really wonderfully executed scenes.

gochuumon23

I manage to draw this review out but I mostly just talked about cute girls doing random stuff. This is a pretty entertaining show. It might be the same thing over and over but these shows are simple. Simple is easy to appreciate. Simple can also be very entertaining if done right. White Fox did a great job with this anime. The animation is solid and the pacing is pretty amazing. I’ve seen some boring marshmallow shows but this one is entertaining through and through. There are no lull moments and I appreciate that. White Fox is also proving to be a pretty consistent studio so far. Jormungand would be the only exception to their consistently great lineup but I can tell that they’ll do more great shows in the future. If they decide to keep producing more shows then I can tell they’re on the steady up rise. This is Hiroyuki Hashimoto’s directorial debut and I actually quite like how he handled this anime. His years as a key animator have proven gold for this anime because the high quality animation makes the cute scenes ten times more effective. He has a good sense when it comes to details so I think he has a talent for directing anime. Anyways, just like otome anime, I am slowly growing a sense of hatred for shows like these but I think reviewing them would be fun from here on out. Hopefully I can avoid them though because my motivation dies whenever I marathon one of these anime. With that being said, I would like to have another season of this anime if possible. More talking rabbits cannot be bad for you.

Sight and Sound

Koi’s character design is full blown moe. It’s cute on top of cute. The girls all have big heads and big expressive eyes. It’s not the most original of designs but Koi has a nice way of making the designs stand out. As always, it’s all about the details. Anybody, really, can draw a cute girl with a big head but adding small details can give you an idea how talented the mangaka is. From the small details of the eyes (to make them more appealing) to the details on the hair, everything is absolutely impressively drawn. The remarkable thing about Koi’s design is that they are really incredibly presented with clean lines and consistent looks for every panel. Four panel manga is actually a haven for some lazy ass writers from time to time so it’s nice to see an author really take the time to give heavy amount of details for each panel. From the way the hair falls on the shoulder to the way the hands are positioned to even the action lines, everything is just top notch. White Fox is able to capture all the bright elements of Koi’s design into the show making it really appealing to watch. I particularly love how even the bright color palette and Koi’s light touches on the colors are adapted into the show. In the anime, the girls look absolutely adorable. I particularly like the uniforms of the girls. Each uniform look diverse and they nicely fit the personality of each character. Along with the bright colors of the show, it’s hard not to fall in love with the visuals of the show. My favorite would be Sharo’s uniform with the typical maid frills but with rabbit ears on her head. The show even does it right by exposing some skin from time to time. Which reminds me, the design is also pretty great with its fan service.

I might be the only pervert to notice it but the design also has a side of sexiness to it. Most moe design would make the characters look as childish as possible. Koi’s design has some great emphasis on the legs and the curves of the characters. Notice the exposed skin, they’re on spots where you can really show off a character’s body and still admire the uniform. Throughout the show as well, there are moments where the girls are half naked. I think the first episode featured Rize in her bra and panties. There were some great details on her..um..parts and I also love how the heavy details flow into her bra design. Its round and it compliments her curvy body. I think that’s the great thing about Koi’s design. It’s not just simple cute characters that drown you in cuteness but they can also take off their shirts and entertain you. I personally stare at the bra. They’re so nicely designed that it’s making me crazy. The show also subtly sexualizes some of the girls but not to point that it’ll overrun the cuteness of the marshmallow show. It’s just harmless eye candy form time to time and it’s mostly Rize or Sharo because they have the best bodies.

The animation is pretty great. Like any marshmallow anime, they often have high quality animation because there’s not a lot to really animate. Making a characters mouth move is pretty easy so making them fidget while they talk, make them blush and have their eyes dart around while they’re being shy is something any studio can really do if they put effort in it. White Fox does its best to truly make each scene nicely animated though and, like I said, I love how consistent they are. The cuteness is nicely intact while the girl does their various random activities and that is pretty impressive. It takes a great deal of attention to detail to pull that off and I’m glad White Fox took its time to give us some great high quality animated scenes. Even simple scenes like the characters flipping pancakes looks great because of how the animation gives it justice.

The anime’s OP is “Daydream café” by Petit Rabbit’s (Ayane Sakura, Inori Minase, Risa Taneda, Satomi Sato, Maaya Uchida). It’s a really cute song. I love how the characters blended well together and I also love how the lyrics go on top of each other. The pacing is really lovely and I can’t quite get tired of hearing this goddamn song. I don’t know about the lyrics. I bet it’s something cute or something about friendship. Beware though, this song is absolutely catchy and I had this in my head while counting down the New Years. The OP sequence featured all the characters and a nice summary of the anime. It features all the quirky attitude of the girls and a few of the small plot points scattered all throughout. Every character is given a chance to go moe and it’s topped by the high quality animation that makes the show fun to watch.

The anime’s ED is “Poppin Jump♪” by Chimame-tai (Inori Minase, Sora Tokui, Rie Murakawa). It’s another cute song featuring the characters. It’s as great as the OP with a fun chorus and a pretty great paced verse. I also love the instrumentals of the song as it makes it all the more fun to listen to. The ED sequence features a deck of cards spinning. Each episode has one girl as a card like Cocoa as the Joker and the cards spin and spin then stopping to reveal Cocoa as a Joker again. Sometimes even the color of the deck changes for each ED sequence. It’s pretty wonderful.

Overall Score

8/10 “Sweet and fluffy with loveable characters and a great animation to truly make each scene adorable”

I would be the first to tell you that if you’ve seen one sweet and fluffy cute girls doing cute things anime then you’ve basically seen them all. With that being said, I still enjoyed this anime greatly. The characters are all pretty likeable and it’s not hard to get into the show’s groove. With the hypnotically cute animation and the great looking characters, this show will entertain you from start to finish. If you like marshmallow shows then you should check this show out. If you’re a fan of high quality animation featuring cute girls then you should check this show out as well. If you want to see a slice of life anime done right then you’ll enjoy this show a lot. I recommend it.

5 thoughts on “Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka? Review

  1. High quality animation indeed that green kimono scene up on there I want those kimono for they exude fine fabric and lush colouring O_O that is very good animation

  2. This is the reason why I don’t review everything I watched :p Well, couldn’t manage it even if I wanted to.

    For it’s defense though, I think GochiUsa is still superior, if not slightly, to it’s peers. The endearing characters perhaps had something to do with it, or the atmosphere, or a little bit of both. It’s a pretty relaxing and laid-back show.

    • lol. i kinda promised myself i will watch and review as much anime as i can without being choosy. this has bit me in the ass since. i love what i do though.

Thoughts~

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s