Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka? triumphs over the entirety of the year on cuteness, hands down. Young girls in gloriously frilly uniforms serve up drinks with latte art of submarines and tanks. Classmates who get drunk on caffeine and waitresses with exotic naming conventions for food and drinks live just around the corner. The rabbit cafe also doubles as a bar in the evening, staffed by a kindly older father and an overly fluffy “rabbit” grandfather that looks more like a basketball wrapped in sheep’s wool than anything else. It’s a haven for aromas, sights, and taste buds, and a place I could imagine making my regular morning stop on the way to work.
There wasn’t a single moment in this series that I didn’t enjoy, but it was the first episode that captured my heart and left an impression for the remainder of the show. It set the environment for Cocoa and her new friends. Like the beverages that Rabbit House serves, the girls offer a myriad of possibilities. Like the earthy, chocolate-tinged roasts, to the lighter, caramel and citrus infused brews, the main trio of Cocoa, Chino, and Rize are very different in temperament, but impart a common comfort to the heart. I can’t help but feel at ease around these girls and laugh with an openness I don’t often release outside of a close circle of people.
When I discussed some time ago the latte art that the girls practice in the opening episode, I was still in the habit of ordering lattes and mochas almost every morning before work. But over the past several months, I’ve turned instead to my own home coffee maker and have started carrying my trusted Thermos to the office. I choose my own beans every other week and grind them at home to my preferred consistency every night so they’re ready to wake me up the next day. There’s almost an adventurous excitement to deciding my beans for the next couple of weeks at the store. Sometimes I strike out with roasts too strong for my tastes, and other times I find a delicious addition to favorites that I purchase time and time again. When Chino brews three cups of coffee using a vacuum pot, Cocoa is able to discern the differences through both scent and taste, but is yet unable to name them. As much as I enjoy the beverage, I am still unfamiliar with many different roasts and brewing methods. I view it as an ever-evolving choose-your-own-adventure!