WARNING: Contains spoilers to Season 1.
It’s time to make a return visit for the Rabbit House cafe, as the young girls behind the counter and their friends (and a talking pet rabbit who appears to be the reincarnation of the grandfather of one of the said girls) return for a second series of cute and cuddly adventures.
Cocoa Hoto is still lodging at Rabbit House, living with Chino Kafu, the granddaughter of the original owner and the most mature of the central characters despite being the youngest, and working alongside the military-obsessed Rize Tedeza. When not working, or at school, Cocoa is still happily meeting up with their friendly rivals: Chiya Ujimatsu of Ama Usa An, and Syaro Kirima of Fleur de Lapin. Plus there are Chino’s classmates Maya and Megu, and regular Rabbit House customer and novelist Aoyama Blue Mountain.
Most of the episodes are individual stories, primarily gag-based rather than dealing with the development of the characters. In this second series, the gang visit Rize’s opulent house after she sprains her ankle, where they end up dressing as maids; Chino takes up ballet lessons; Cocoa and Chino accidentally get drunk eating liqueur chocolates; Chiya worries about being separated from Cocoa as they progress towards the next school year; and during a camping trip, Syaro gets drunk on caffeine and makes everyone dizzy during a dance.
Having said this, there are some key developments in the story in this collection. The biggest one is a visit from Cocoa’s older sister, a baker named Mocha, who stays at Rabbit House for a few days and invites Cocoa’s friends to a picnic, and expresses her fondness for everyone via cuddling seemingly everyone around her. It is from Mocha that Cocoa gets her obsession with being a dependable “big sister” to Chino.
Once again, the comedy is the main draw of the series, although there are some elements of the humour that feel off. In the opening episode, one of Chino’s classmates reveals they have a “crime prevention buzzer” to protect themselves. One assumes this is the same as a rape alarm, but they can’t call it that in such a child-friendly show. It would certainly feel out of place for someone so young to talk about such a thing.
The quality of the animation in Is the Order a Rabbit? is also worthy of mention. Directed by Hiroyuki Hashimoto (Mahoraba, Magical Girl Raising Project, Laidbackers), the setting, with its European-style architecture despite being a Japanese town, is attractive. When it comes to describing it, it feels like it is using a kawaii aesthetic to spread gemütlichkeit – and if that remark doesn’t result in me ending in Private Eye’s Pseuds Corner, nothing will.
As before, this collection from MVM is limited in terms of what it offers to the viewer. Again there is only a Japanese dub available, the extras only consist of textless opening and closing titles. Once more, the theme tunes are performed by the cast, with the opening song, “No Poi!” performed by Petit Rabbit (the five central characters), and the opening “Tokemeki Poporon♪” by Chimame-tai (Chino and her classmates).
There has been no indication as to when the third series, Is the Order a Rabbit? BLOOM will be released. This series debuted in late 2020 however, and is available to stream on sites such as Crunchyroll for anyone who wants to see more of the girls.