Is the Order a Rabbit?

Alt title: Gochuumon wa Usagi desu ka?

TV (12 eps)
3.653 out of 5 from 4,042 votes
Rank #3,752
Is the Order a Rabbit?

Cocoa arrives in a new town in spring to start high school. She gets lost and pops into a coffee shop called "Rabbit House", which turns out to be where she will live. All the characters are so cute - tiny but cool Chino, soldierly Lize, gentle and Japanese Chiyo, sophisticated but down-to-earth Sharo. They are joined by Chino's class mates Maya and Megu, and a regular at the shop, Mr. Blue-Mountain Aoyama. Everything is so cute every day at Rabbit House!

Source: Crunchyroll

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There is this thing in anime that drives toward kawaii, to see the cuteness in people and things.  That's perfectly fine, if there is some sense to controlling how much and to what extent.  This we find in Is the Order a Rabbit?  There is a cuteness that is sweet, but  the contents of Rabbit? is saccharine sweet, almost nauseatingly so. Haven't we learned our lesson from Strawberry Marshmallow?  Is the Order a Rabbit? makes the same mistake.  The five girls are unqualified kawaii, but their antics push them to make the cute girl sexy.  We find the five in all sorts of fanservice, in acts of dressing, odd poses, the gratuitous swimsuit scenario and visits to the baths.  The typical fare, and then you ask ... what are these girls up to?  And in a series of vignettes you basically reply ... same-old-same-old.  If nothing else, Cocoa's friendliness is infectious ... getting others to realize this, there's your premise. The series spins the varied personalities of the five main characters.   Cocoa is a transfer study who come to a picturesque European town and finds employment in a local coffee house, the Rabbit House.  Cocoa is characteristically hyper-upbeat.  Contrasting Cocoa is Chino, the coffee shop owner's daughter who is hyper-subdued.  Chino rebuffs all attempts of Cocoa becoming the hyper-devoted 'big sister.'  Rize is the gun-toting military-minded girl who moderates these two girls' activities.  Chiya is a 'pure Japanese girl' whose kindheartedness makes her the perfect hostess of her sweets shop.  She employs Syara, a girl whose elegance and good taste hides the fact that she is dirt poor, something she doesn’t want other to discover.  Add to this mix Chino's grandfather who has been reincarnated as a short-eared rabbit, and Aoyama, a novelist who has been inspired by him (though she never finds out the secret of Tippy the Rabbit).  Then there is Maya and Megu, Chino's livelier classmates who are usually up to some mischief. The humor is the best thing to Rabbit?, and it runs from the gentle (usually on rabbit-based themes) to the sketchy (based on fanservice).  And the humor spins about of a set of twelve unrelated and disjointed episodes.  And the plots are predictable down to the Christmas episode near the end of it all.  Still, I found myself laughing at some of the jokes which often come fast and furious, when it does. The animation is based on elaborate background scenes which introduce us to the simpler settings where the girls engage in conversation in any of the inns, pools, baths, and shops the girls frequent.   The technique is standard, creating almost chibi-style characters doing grown-up stuff.  Like children acting like adults and not quite getting it right.  One quaint feature is the closing theme, where a roulette wheel of playing cards spin and flip, usually displaying one of the girls on a face card (Cocoa is the Joker, go figure!).  No closing feature is exactly the same and you concentrate to catch the nuances. The music is peppy though not sensational.  It tries to engage the cheerful spirit of the comradery which develops throughout the season. There are more seasons for Is the Order a Rabbit?, but seeing the first, will the same-old-same-old persist?  You can get sick if you get too much kawaii.


White Fox bought us season one of Koi’s nine volume manga in anime form back in 2014. The whole thing is a relaxing life cleanser (“lyashikei”) from the universe-of-cute in which nothing ever bad happens. As such it is undemanding to the point of driving the audience into a coma. Nothing really happens and nothing is ever going to happen yet this got spun out for three seasons, one film and a game. So, it has to have something going for it. The story is set in a small German medieval town that has somehow been magically recreated in contemporary Japan. We can only guess that such places exist or is this just fantasy? It all forms a beautiful backdrop to a world in which rabbits seem to be a dominant theme. They are everywhere in this story. The story (for what it is worth) revolves around the lives of seven teenage girls and a couple of adults. Three of the girls are in middle school and the rest in high school. They all, at one time or another, work in one of three of the town’s cafes all of which have some kind of rabbit theme or motif. The central character is new girl Cocoa Hoto although she is by no means the most interesting character. The honour of most colourful individual actually goes to the military-obsessed tomboy Rize Tedeza who, despite her dominant persona, moonlights occasionally as her feminine alter-ego “Rose”. None of which makes much sense as the rest of the time she is either dressed in high school uniform of her waitress uniform both of which involve skirts. Between this and her wonderful long hair she sems to be a feminine as they come. Another quirky and unexplained part of the plot is the rabbit that lives at one of the cafes called “The Rabbit House”. The creature appears to be the reincarnated grandfather of one of the girls (Chino Kafu) but when he speaks the girls always assume it is Chino throwing her voice. Madness. So, you get the picture. It is all a big marshmallow The girls do fun things like dress as maids, go to Christmas Markets, do jigsaw puzzles, have sleep-overs, learn ballet, etc. Heck. This is not exciting yet neither is it in any way offensive. It is all very pleasant, like snuggling up in a duvet. It lacks flavour but makes up for it in colour. Despite the writer’s best efforts, the girl’s personalities all kinda merge into one where it is hard to tell them apart (with the possible exception of Rize). The characters lack diversity but it seldom matters. They are visually different. You watch it for the cute and stay for the cute. It is CUTE with a capital “C”. This is planet-Kawaii so strap in and let the whole darn thing wash over you like a pleasantly incensed waft of warm air on a winter’s evening. Don’t expect too much in the way of fan service nor expect many of the usual tropes in season one. No beach scenes or high school culture festivals yet the girls are fond of baths. It is good clean fun (pun intended) with only the very occasional mention of bunny girls despite the obvious inferences throughout the story. Family entertainment through and through. Difficult not to like but hard to really love. Anime chewing gum.

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