Rainy Cocoa is a short series, with only two minutes per episode.
It takes place primarily inside a small, often quiet café. But, as with most small cafes, it’s made up of bright, sometimes conflicting personalities.
Aoi is often mistaken for a girl, which is one of the first things we learn about him, though it doesn’t seem to have much bearing on the story itself. One day, he has an unfortunate run-in with a stranger before happening into a job at the Rainy Color café. When the stranger he ran into before, Keiichi, starts coming to the café as well, can they start to get along?
Because the series is told in such short snippets, it’s hard to keep track of a real plot shared between the episodes. Really, it’s about boys in a café who chat about various things.
Rainy Cocoa isn’t really my cup of tea (haha, get it? … sorry, I’ll stop), so I tried to think about it from the view of someone who’s more into these types of shows.
It’s definitely a cute series. Nothing too deep happens, and I think the very short episodes might make it more palatable to some viewers. This isn’t a show you sit down and watch when you want to really get into an interesting series. It’s something you enjoy here and there, to uplift your spirits (maybe a post-Evangelion palette-cleanser?).
That said, nothing really… happens. I understand that it’s hard to really highlight deep characters in two-minute episodes, but the end result is what really matters here. And the end result is a cast of characters mostly defined by how energetic they are. There isn’t much more depth than that – some characters sit quietly and chat, others kick doors open and yell. There’s your varied characterization.
The voice-acting is pretty good, and I enjoyed listening to it. Some of the voices were a little gimmicky (I think a few times they were trying to make the voices of some characters sound a little higher than their actor’s actual voice, and it was a little unnatural at points).
What I did enjoy was the snippets after each episode with the cast chatting. There was a lot more energy and personality in these. I didn’t always find the jokes funny, but it was more interesting than the animated episodes.
Overall, this is not a series I will continue on my own, but if you like quick, feel-good series about cute boys, it might be worth checking out.
Animation and Art
The art of Rainy Cocoa is very iffy at times. Some characters are so well drawn. But others, like Shion, have designs that I just couldn’t enjoy (it took awhile to get used to the giant triangle eyebrows). It has a fantastic use of colour, with lots of bright characters against the soft wooden aesthetic of the cafe.
The animation is nothing special, but it’s okay. Since there are so few characters, you don’t end up with a lot of weird background filler like some series do.
At the end, I feel like I don’t have much to say aside from “not good, but not bad.” This isn’t a series that’s likely to blow anyone away visually, but it’s certainly no reason to look away.
The boxset art is alright. I like the colours used in it, and the art they chose for the front is a good representation of the series.
The inside is just pretty much a black void of plain plastic, and the extras consist only of trailers.
For a fan of the series, it might be worth it. Especially considering the set isn’t too expensive, at only about $15. I would recommend checking it out first before buying it though.
If you’re already ready to nab the Rainy Cocoa boxset, you can get it from Funimation here.