Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka? Was a series of 4-panel manga written by Koi and published in Manga Time Kirara Max. From April to June of last year, it got a twelve episode anime adaptation from White Fox Studio. You may remember them from their work on Jormungand, Steins;Gate and their one fail that I’ve seen, Katanagatari. How does this one hold up? Let’s find out. This is GochiUsa.
Our tale begins with our main character, Cocoa (she’s Cocoa but she’s not quite loco), moving to a new area. There’s just one problem, she can’t find the family she’s supposed to be staying with. She stops at a cafe called Rabbit House to ask for directions where she meets young Chino. Luckily for her, Rabbit House turns out to be the place she was looking for. What a fortunate coincidence. While working part time in exchange for room and board, Cocoa meets several other girls, Rize, Chiya and Sharo. Rize works at Rabbit house with her and Chino while Chiya and Sharo work for two other cafes. Various hijinks ensue since this is a comedic work and the story is minimal.
With that in mind, let’s talk about the comedy. GochiUsa has a style of humour that’s a lot like K-on’s. You’ve got a cutesy and zany group of girls working their hardest at tasks related to a specific thing and the humour is largely derived from their interactions with one another and their various quirks. The big differences are that they usually aren’t working together in this and they introduce some really bizarre supernatural elements. The series does somewhat take advantage of the comedic possibilities presented by them working for competing businesses, although it really doesn’t do a lot with it, preferring to keep their relationships cutesy and amicable while downplaying any conflicts that may have been brought up. It also makes some jokes about the supernatural elements, but they’re easily the weakest part of the series. Honestly, a lot of it is just repeating the same ventriloquism joke with slight variations. I will say, to the series’ credit, most of the humour does work really well. I will also give GochiUsa credit for having some really well done cute moments throughout the series.
The characters are pretty simple. In all fairness, they are a bit better developed than a lot of slice of life comedic casts and they do have a good mix of characters who can play off of each other really well. I will also give the series a lot of credit for having a lot of really strong character interactions that extend beyond just comedic bits. There are some strong touching and heartfelt moments.
There are some real positive aspects to the art. The backgrounds are nicely detailed and the animation really flows well. The series is also really good at drawing rabbits, when they don’t get lazy with it. The character designs are kind of standard too. They don’t look bad by any means, they just aren’t anything special.
The vocal cast does well. Sakura Ayane, Minase Inori, Uchida Maaya, Taneda Risa & Sato Satomi all give fine performances. It is a little strange hearing Hayami Show play a perfectly nice, normal guy when I usually hear him voice complete villains like Tenzen, Aizen, Zarbon and Muraki. Don’t get me wrong, he’s good in this, but it is a little weird. I like the music too, it really suits the series.
There’s certainly some les-yay. Sharo has a crush on Rize, and that’s actually stated in the series itself. There are also two different pairs of girls who can communicate psychically with each other, I’m guessing by the same mechanism that allows Akari and Kris to speak with each other while competing in the semi-finals during Battle Athletes. Cocoa is also really intent on having Chino call her “sister.” It would be suspect even without a younger girl referring to an older girl as “sister” being a fairly common shoujo-ai trope. Don’t ask me why it’s common, I don’t really understand it either. The ho-yay factor is going to be a 6/10.
GochiUsa is a funny, entertaining, cutesy and really endearing series. It’s not a complex series, nor is it the most original series out there, but If you want something light and fluffy for a quick laugh, it would be a really good choice since most of the jokes do work well and it has some really good character interactions. For myself, I give it an 8/10. It knows what it is and it does it really well, although not perfectly. Next week I’ll look at the second series of Natsu no Arashi.