Anime Review: ‘Is the Order a Rabbit?’ Cafe-Based Cute
Cocoa Hoto moves into a new town to attend school, and comes across a cafe named Rabbit House. After being crushed by the reality that this coffee serves coffee, and not rabbits to cuddle, she realizes the cafe is her new home. To pay for her accommodations Coco works part-time as a waitress in Rabbit House, along with elementary school student Chino, and military buff Rize. Along the way they make friends with waitresses at rival cafes. The series follows these girls’ day-to-day adventures, from cafe work to their school lives.
Is the Order a Rabbit? is based off of the four-panel manga by the same name. The viewer can sense this original format by the way the story transitions between scenes and ideas. Each episode is split into two main stories, though both carry similar themes. For example there is a water-based episode where one story follows the group’s trip to a public bath, and the other running through the rain to see a movie. One overarching theme throughout the series is rabbits. Each of the cafes feature rabbit mascots, with one featuring girls in rabbit ears, and the town is filled with wild rabbits.
White Fox does a beautiful, simple job with the animation, with soft lines and bright colors that bring the peaceful cafes to life. The overall effect of the show is calming; it does not try to impress you with flashy visuals or dramatic plot twists. Instead of pulling you in, it simply leaves the door open for you to wander in as you please. Is the Order a Rabbit? does not do a lot, but does it very well. It begins its basis with the characters and builds them up from there. Each story, no matter how short, gives us a deeper insight into the characters and how their relationships with one another work. Overall this is not a series about a cafe, or rabbits, but a series about a group of friends experiencing life together.
There is one issue that I take with Is the Order a Rabbit?, and that is that it has a very standard sense of cute. Now, what exactly do I mean by that? By “standard cute,” I mean that it is very calculated, that cute is what the series aims for. From the characters to the varying cafe uniforms, and most importantly the overarching rabbit theme, this is the type of series you are supposed to look at and go, “Oh, well isn’t that cute!” Though usually I do not have an issue with series like this, I feel like the first episode tries way too hard to be cute and quirky. But… the characters ended up charming me.
Apparently I was not the only ones charmed by the series, because a second season titled Is the Order a Rabbit?? is set to release in Japan on October 10. If you want to catch up on the series before then, all the episodes are available on Crunchyroll. The website will also be simulcasting the second season of the show.