|A very good cast, good comedy, steady character development, great ED, extremely fun to watch||It ended, OP not as strong as season 1|
There are times when shows just completely live up to your expectations and actually fail to disappoint you. This was definitely one of those times. I was a bit late to the party when it came to the original Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka, didn’t really watch it until well after it had finished. But going into this one I had pretty high hopes as the first season really clicked with me. In that sense this season was everything I could have asked for. It took what was a really strong show and just went a step further in the second season. We got to know the main cast much better than we did at the end of season 1 and they were more fully developed as well.
You could really feel the cast growing up. It reminded me of those shows I watched while I was younger where you’d see the cast grow up and go through new challenges along the way (like Home Improvement). Now this isn’t like that in the sense that the cast hasn’t grown or changed in appearance, but they are more complete people than they were when the series itself started. This season took those elements that worked so well in the previous season and used them to the fullest while also moving forward the passage of time and letting the cast grow bit by bit.
One really impressive thing with this season is that it doesn’t just rely on what worked before in terms of the cast. We know Chiya and Cocoa are great friends, we know Syaro really likes Rize, and we know that Chino, Megu, and Maya are friends. But the show makes sure to mix things up. This season advances the friendship between Cocoa and Syaro well beyond where it was in season 1. Where in that season they were friends, but mostly connected through Chiya. This season has them spend more time together and show that they are good friends in their own right. The show makes these less explored connections stronger while also delving further into the ones we already know about.
We learn more about the friendship between Chino, Megu, and Maya through this season. Getting to see how that trio met and learn more in depth things about Megu and Maya individually. It’s such a strength for the show that they continue to develop these relationships that pulled people into the show in the first place. It doesn’t stop to rest on the status quo, but continue to push things forward.
Of course the setting of the show hasn’t changed. In some ways I feel bad that I let what sounded like such a simple premise turn me away from the show originally. It’s such a simple setup when you think about it. Cocoa is a girl who is moving to a new town and living as a guest in another family’s home. That home happening to be a café called Rabbit House. There she meets a younger girl named Chino who she decides to become the older sister of. Cocoa starts working at the café and meets new friends while living in this town. It’s really that simple. Just the story of a group of friends who grow closer over time and deal with simple troubles of daily life.
Despite such a simple premise, the show just works. You can call it a “cute girls doing cute things” show and certainly it qualifies at that. But, there is real depth to it. It’s a lot of fun watching this cast not only doing silly things, cracking jokes, and overreacting to situations, but also just growing closer. All of the characters have their own situations and backgrounds that define them. It is actually quite a funny series that isn’t just about the cute cast. They have a good mix of individuals with some character playing the silly role more often (Cocoa and Chiya especially), but everyone tends to have a silly moment. It’s a real strength for the show I think that no matter what is going on, I could watch an episode of this series and leave with a positive outlook on the day. This show can just outright cheer you up.
The main cast is actually quite strong and the core of the entire series. Cocoa, Chino, Chiya, Syaro, and Rize are a strong group of individuals. Just putting them into any given situation together will lead to some great entertainment. Everyone takes good steps forward as characters and as friends this season.
There was some real growth for Cocoa in this season. We got to learn more about her family and we got a better picture of why she is the way she is. The show gives us a better picture of why she became a girl so focused on becoming a better big sister. It is impressive to see how much better we can understand Cocoa after this season. She becomes much better friends with Syaro and her relationship with Chino continues to evolve. She remains one of my favorite members of the cast because she is so straight forward, even if she is a silly person at heart.
It was another strong season for Chino who is arguably the real main character in the show. She continues to grow a lot and is much more grown in terms of personality after two seasons. Going from a girl who was very quiet and struggled to reach out. Now she’s a girl who truly cherishes her friendships and who also realizes that while she does want to take over the café in the future that she can have other interests. This season really let Chino explore other interests and deepen her friendships with the other main cast members along with Megu and Maya. In some ways she reaches a breakthrough as well in how she feels about Cocoa and what she can admit to herself about that.
This was in some ways Chiya’s best season in terms of growth. We get to see more weak points in Chiya and some of her troubles. The other girls have much more obvious troubles, but we see more about what makes Chiya tick. How she feels about her friendship with Syaro, how grateful she is for Cocoa moving there and opening up her social circle. Chiya is very much a kind of trolling character who does silly things in part just to get the reaction from others. She still isn’t given the most focus in the cast, but is a key member.
I liked how this season helped out Rize. We got to see her household, her family, and perhaps how lonely she can be at times. She is perhaps the most cut off of the main cast. Only Syaro goes to her school but isn’t in the same grade. Syaro and Chiya are neighbors, Cocoa and Chino live together, and it’s just Rize who is a bit cut off. The last couple episodes were key ones for Rize because it lets her spend time with her friends and kind of act like the oldest member of the group which can sometimes be forgotten.
This was also a nice season for Syaro. She makes some strong strides in her problems with rabbits. But she also makes huge steps forward in terms of her friendships. She gets a bit closer to Chiya and we see more of their past. But she also really steps up in terms of strengthening her bond with Cocoa. This season shows more than the last how much she cares. Her family is still a mystery, but we get to see a bit more of what she potentially has to sacrifice because of her more modest background. A very talented girl who is often the straight man of the group, having to react to the utter silliness that is Cocoa and Chiya.
The rest of the cast is good. We learn a lot more about Megu and Maya and the kind of troubles they also have. They aren’t in every episode, but are important people to Chino. We actually expand the cast by a fair amount this season. We meet Aoyama’s editor, we meet Chiya’s grandmother, we meet Cocoa’s sister and mother, etc. The cast actually does grow with Mocha (Cocoa’s sister) getting the most attention of the new characters. She drops in for a few episodes and then leaves. Probably for the best since I found that Mocha was such an overwhelming presence that she did dominate the scenes she was in. Not that it’s a bad thing. It is good to have this hurricane like presence just crash in and create a bit of havoc. But, it was good to eventually go back to the main cast again and the status quo of humor.
Visually the show I think is a step above the first season. It’s a very bright and vibrant series. I don’t think the objective animation is hugely above average, but they make this show look good. The characters especially look really sharp and the show cleverly keeps the focus on them. The background isn’t often as important as those reaction shots, though we do get some very nice background scenes when the focus is on those scenes. In the end I think it’s just a very good looking show. It keeps things bright and never has moments where I go “oh god, what is this mess!?” They can cut back on the details on certain kinds of comedic expressions and it actually is funnier that way. They make the show look great where it needs to and conserve at the right times. Not the overall best looking show of the year, but maybe one of the most effective at looking good.
The audio remains a pretty strong element. The character’s voice actors are all outstanding. They do a great job inserting the right kind of personality into those roles. The music is very good at supporting the scenes. They fit for the scenes and the music even cuts out at the proper times for the intended effect of that scene. The OP isn’t quite as good as the first season, though I still think it’s a good one. Just a song that doesn’t quite have that catchy feel. Not really a shot at the OP itself, but just that the first season had a really good one. The ED though is easily better and one of the best of the year. It’s one of those ED’s that could just kill you with how fun and cute it is. Some good singing and great visuals. Always nice when the cast is strong enough as singers to actually sing the OP and ED for a show. Gives a bit of an interesting touch to it.
This just remains one of the best shows of the year for good reasons. It takes steps forward in terms of the character development and makes the cast all the more interesting. The only real negative is that the season was only 12 episodes and had to end. It’s one of those shows I would immediately be excited about a third season the second they announced it. The comedy worked, the characters were fun, bonds continued to grow, and really never dropped the ball. The show every week made me smile and feel better about the day after having watched it. If a person has seen the first season it’s a given they should watch this and if they haven’t, then they should get on that. You can enjoy the show as it is, but you gain so much watching both seasons. It’s very much more of the same with this show, but the same is some of the best slice of life you can get.
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