I’ve talked about GochiUsa twice before. And now we’re looking at the film. The film came out in ’17, after the second series. Now, the real question is how you make a film out of a slice of life series that has no real story and is basically just about moe girls playing around while working at cafes.
The narrative is pretty simple. Cocoa returns home temporarily to help at her family’s bakery. So, we see her with her family. Meanwhile, the rest of our cast interacts with each other and tries not to feel lonely with Cocoa gone. Which is especially difficult for Chino.
It has all the hallmarks of the franchise. It’s endearing, enjoyable, cutesy and has a grand sense of humour. The film is really good about taking full advantage of Cocoa’s dynamic with her family and the way the rest of the cast copes with her temporary absence.
You won’t enjoy the film if you demand involved, complex narratives from your comedies but I don’t think most people who aren’t Karen do. So, that’s fine. About the only real complaint I have is that the film could take better advantage of having Cocoa deal with customers in her family’s bakery but it’s basically one scene where you barely see her do anything. The film could also show the passage of time a bit better. It feels like she’s only gone for two days instead of the week we’re told she’s leaving for.
There are a lot of enjoyable character moments to the film. Seeing Cocoa interact with her mum and sister leads to a lot of good moments, including a really heart-warming chat with her and Mocha. It’s also nice to see how the other characters respond to Cocoa’s absence. It just really reinforces what an integral part of the group she is. There are also quite a few good comedic moments that stem from their various reactions to missing Cocoa.
The cast remains relatively simplistic but they more than make up for it in entertainment factor and the strength of their dynamics.
The backgrounds and nature scenes are superbly drawn. The characters are very standard moe but they still look good, if you enjoy that style. There’s also some stuff with plush bunnies and a dream sequence where the visuals are pretty interesting.
The actresses do a great job. Minase Inori, Sakura Ayane, Taneda Risa, Kayano Ai, Sato Satomi, Uchida Maaya and all our other returning actresses perform fully up to the high standards that the series has set. The music is nice and fun. It suits the aesthetic well. My one, minor gripe is that it all sounds like it came directly from the series proper. Which is a bit lazy.
Sharo still has a blatant crush on Rize. Which doesn’t come up that much in the film since its more about the familial interactions with Cocoa and her family and the not so familial dynamic betwixt Cocoa and Chino. She really wants to give Chino that rosary and be called Onee-sama in the shoujo-ai trope way. And Chino will say she doesn’t need it but take it any way and be happy about it.
Areas of Improvement:
- Have a bit meatier of a scene where Cocoa deals with customers.
- Have a stronger indication of time passing. A short montage of cutesy scenes would do wonders.
- Have some film exclusive music.
This film is pretty delightful. It has its share of strong moments and all the charm of the main series. If you enjoy GochiUsa, you’ll definitely have a laugh with it since it’s more of the same. So, I’m giving it a solid 8/10.