With October making moves to run away before I notice it, the autumn anime season gets underway. The Autumn season that, I feel fairly confident in saying, produces more than its fair share of outstanding anime. This much being that it is that last season that will finish in time for the end of the year and as such the anime that their respective studios will form a strong part of how consumers, publishers and other related companies will see them in the next year. And this much seems to hold true again this year with my own initial opinions of the autumn anime being distinctly positive (thus meaning that I need to find more time in my already full schedule to watch them all *hollow, empty laugh*). The season as a whole, however, is not what I am to be talking about this time as today, and indeed for the rest of the season I am to be talking about the second season of Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka or in its TL;DR form return of moe moe coffee shop antics.
As is standard for slice-of-life anime, Gochiusa is splitting its episodes into two shorter sections covering separate, but often tenuously linked, shorter stories and I feel that this is a very strong stance for it to adopt due to its more comedic nature. Whitest it is true that the much slower paced Non Non Biyori of last season also made good use of segmenting its episodes, it is something of a special case in that it uses dead time to generate a relaxing atmosphere and without this the pacing would need quite the reworking in my opinion as there just wouldn’t be enough content to fill out the episodes. Gochiusa on the other hand, being that bit less serious, has more opportunity to flesh out and carry on with gags to the extend where they can carry the segment, this much being very much demonstrated in the latter segment of this episode.
In terms of the actual content of the episode we have a very much standard first episode of a follow on season by which I mean the writing is in such a manner that we can get as many, if not all, of the stories characters in the episode as a sort of reminder of who exists. In Gochiusa’s case this embodies itself as Cocoa wanting to send photos of all her friends back to her parents thus giving her, and by extension us, the excuse needed to go and revisit all of the town’s coffee shops and the various staff who work at them. However this alone is not really enough to make up a segment, so Cocoa’s plans are thrown unto a slight disarray when it is discovered that Chino is really rather camera-shy and as such makes quite the effort to flee her paparazzi imitating friend. A good photo of Chino smiling is eventually taken thanks to an impromptu comedy sketch from Cocoa and Chiya but this is only a temporary solution, for the taking of a really good photo we will have to wait till the end of the episode.
In the mean time though, there are other happenings in store for the cast as attention is turned towards a magazine featuring articles on local coffee shops or more specifically on Ama Usa An and Fleur de Lapin with Rabbit House being notably absent. Drawing attention to the question of “Doesn’t it always seem like Rabbit House is empty?” Now, in general terms I would say that this is setting off some alarm bells in my head as I can’t say that I am overly fond of poverty humor as it often strikes me as lazy, a kind of “we can’t come up with anything funny to write so we will just make the characters poor and laugh at the stupid things that they do to try and get by” a kind of mentality that turned me off Milky Holmes and is typified by that Lucky Star spin-off (Yes, there was a spin-off: nobody watched it because it was bad) that basically exists solely on this kind of humor. This is not to say that poverty humor can’t be funny in combination with something else; the perfect self-contained example of this being Gochiusa’s own Sharo. She is funny to watch because she has to hide the fact that she is poor rather than her being funny because she is poor.
However, my concerns, at least this time, are not well founded as jokes about the poor economic state of Rabbit House are replaced with jokes about the poor physical state of the cafe, said state being as a direct result of Cocoa being there. Still it is very much my hope that this does not become a central theme of the second season as, for me at lest, it is likely to be a shame. Moving on though, the tie in with the first segment needs to be tied in and Chino is noticeably far from producing photogenic smiling faces. It seems like she is the only one who is down about it though as her two school friends (even they get a cameo in the episode!) feel that it is only a matter of time before a journalist visits and that Chino needs to practice dealing with being famous. Their optimism is well founded though as the episode rounds off with a surprise for Chino in the fact that an article on Rabbit House was actually published (It is not really explained how this works but I’m inferring that it is either a different magazine or there has been a time skip), a full double page feature on both the coffee shop and the bar. A surprise that brings a smile like no other to our stoic heroine’s face.