Will this final episode of the second season of Is the Order a Rabbit?? be a rabbit too? Well, there will be rabbits at times, but the season finale is more like an occasion to smile and achieve a goal.
What They Say:
Bunnisode 12: “The Treasure is Your Decisive Moment”
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
At this point, only the dedicated fans or the truly, truly curious will be watching Is the Order a Rabbit?? It’s not a show that in any way depends upon plot or story to drive what happens. While there is a rough continuity to events (this episode picks up after the girls have returned from their camping trip in the last episode), it’s not required to have watched the previous episode—or any of this season’s episodes for that matter—to understand what is going on. About the only thing anyone would need to do is read up on the personalities of the characters and away you could go.
Which brings us to the heart of Order Rabbit’s appeal: it’s all about the characters. This season has been interesting because of the slow changes that we see in the girls as time passes. While Cocoa may be a scattered-brained klutz, her genuine sisterly feelings for Chino really have begun to have an effect on our very demure, silver-haired, middle-school barista. Where once Chino was quiet and withdrawn to the point of almost being anti-social, she now can relax a bit with friends and has even warmed up to Cocoa. Her increasing comfort with others comes through in her new hobby: taking photographs. During the trip Chino took lots of (really good) pictures and has now become something of a shutterbug. So, we spend some time fooling around the cafe taking pictures.
But then Cocoa finds a “ciste” map hidden behind one of the pictures in the cafe. It’s apparently a treasure map game where you find the treasure box, take something from it but then replace it with a treasure of your own and then re-hide the treasure chest and place the map somewhere else where someone will come across it. (I’ve seen this before in anime as an episode of Aria did something similar). Everyone else (Rize, Sharo, Chiya, and Chino) has done it before…except Cocoa, who isn’t from this town. So, Chino agrees to take Cocoa on a treasure hunt, along with Megu and Maya. The reason why Chino asks to bring along her middle school friends is because this was how Team Chimame was formed, as we see in an extended flashback: Megu and Maya first became friends with Chino by inviting her along for a ciste map adventure.
The adventure itself is cute enough, with silliness and cuteness abounding. But what it really shows us is how much Chino has changed. It would be hard to imagine Chino taking time off from work and goofing off with Cocoa (it takes no imagination to envision Cocoa slacking off from work) and having a childish adventure like this. When it happens that Team Chimame manage to complete the treasure hunt but Cocoa can’t (the treasure chest was hidden in an area that only small children could enter), Chino immediately thinks about finding a way for Cocoa to be able to do the whole treasure hunt thing, so there is a further ciste adventure for the older girls.
For those who have missed Mocha, we do get a brief look in on the Hoto family and we even see Cocoa’s mother for the first time.
As it’s the end of season, we get a highlight reel with the credits accompanied by a special ED song “Nantonaku mirai” (Unknown/Uncertain Future) by Petit Rabbit’s (the seiyuu for the main five girls who also sing the opening theme).
Is the Order a Rabbit?? basically offered the same fare as the first season, though we also got to see more about the characters, especially Chino and Cocoa. For Cocoa, we got to meet her elder sister Mocha, the inspiration for all of her madcap (and largely failing) attempts to be a dependable older sister to Chino. It explained a lot about her past and her personality. Chino, on the other hand, we saw begin to open up a lot more as the effects of Cocoa’s constant attempts to be a big sister finally began to have some impact. While in earlier times (the first season) Chino was more often annoyed than pleased by Cocoa’s behavior, it seems clear that the good intentions behind Cocoa’s actions (there really is nothing but sincere goodwill behind everything Cocoa does for Chino) have reached her. It’s not that Chino wants to be smothered and petted by Cocoa, but she has come to appreciate what it means to have a sibling and to experience true friendship that feels like family.
It’s not that her father or her grandfather (in rabbit form) are cold and uncaring, quite the opposite, but after her mother’s death and then her grandfather’s on top of it, it would seem that Chino retreated into a defensive shell. Megu and Maya, when telling about the first time they met Chino, note how quiet and reserved she seemed. It’s not that Chino is now a bundle of nervous energy like Cocoa, but she does seem much more open and expressive and even somewhat more tolerant of Cocoa’s goofball attempts to be an older sister. This kind of gradual character growth is really quite nice and shows that Koi, the author of the manga this series is based upon, knows that even with episodic, character-driven shows, you need to have a certain amount of natural development and progress or you risk the characters becoming stale.
This is probably something little noticed, but is likely one of the reasons why Is the Order a Rabbit?? continues to be such an enjoyable show. While it is mainly goofy humor and silly jokes illustrated by great daydream and reaction shots, the characters do actually grow and change over time, especially from their interactions and deepening bonds between them. Thus, the show and characters do not feel stagnant. It’s that slow but noticeable forward movement that helps keep the characters alive.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
Apple iMac with 12GB RAM, Mac OS 10.10 Yosemite