Pia Carrot 2 DX

August 17, 2007

Based on a computer dating simulation game in the mid 90’s, Pia Carrot 2 DX is another one of those games to have made a crossover to the anime side. Since there are several sequels for the pc game, there are also several OVAs and a movie for this anime series as well. So this particular one is actually the 3rd sequel because the 2nd one is without the DX title. Or maybe it’s just an extension as I’m thinking DX may stand for deluxe. However, this is the only Pia Carrot series that I’ve watched.
As a typical OVA, this series has only 6 episodes with approximately 30 minutes of service time, I mean air time. Like most Japanese dating simulation games, this is another one of your usual harem animes. Sort of. This time, the setting here is a restaurant called Pia Carrot. According to the game, there are several outlets and chains of the Pia Carrot restaurant and this particular series focuses on 1 of them.
Since it’s a restaurant themed anime, you’re expecting lots of pretty waitresses in sexy and revealing outfits, right? Well, not so revealing as to what I can see. It’s pretty decent though the skirt may be short (but not that short). But other than that, what else is there to see in this comedy-cum-romance anime? Let’s find out, shall we?
Episode 1
This episode opens with a Pia Carrot girl, Tsukasa Enomoto, in a witch outfit doing her delivery through the streets. No, that witch costume isn’t the Pia Carrot’s uniform. But Tsukasa is a cosplay maniac as you’ll find out. Then another girl, a would-be staff of Pia Carrot, Azusa Hinomori is seen rushing somewhere and she and Tsukasa cross paths.
Meanwhile, high school goer Kouji Maeda and his best pal Shinji Yano are walking back after school as Kouji asks Shinji about his summer part time job. Though he says he has hand in his application but I’m not sure for what. And they’re still talking about it at the park. While they’re at it, they saw Tsukasa riding down the stairs railing and it seems she’s lost and can’t find her delivery place. Also since it’s hot, she took off her witch costume. Don’t worry, she isn’t naked. Beneath that outfit reveals a Pia Carrot waitress uniform. Kouji saw how cute that girl is in that uniform as Tsukasa goes off in a hurry. Because Kouji is drreaming, drooling and still saying how sexy that outfit is, Shinji tells him that it’s a Pia Carrot uniform.
Back at Pia Carrot HQ, Tsukasa is fixing her witch costume cape but she cut too much of it. Then another Pia Carrot staff, your typical brute and crude gal, Miki the kitchen cook, is angry that the vegetable delivery guy, Koutarou Dainimotsu, hasn’t arrive with her vegies yet. Miki saw Tsukasa and asked what’s wrong. Tsukasa delighted in seeing Miki and says that she’s just what she needed. Koutarou finally arrives and quickly rushes in with the vegies. But he got scared when he saw Miki using her superb chopping skills to precisely cut Tsukasa’s cape and says how she’ll punish Koutarou when he arrives. Don’t mess with this gal. Koutarou quietly left the vegetables there and slowly sneaks out. But Tsukasa soon rushes out when Miki mentions that there’s someone worrying about her in the hall.
At the cashier, Aoi Minase, is making a bet with Ryoko Futaba, the manager of this chain, if Tsukasa will come back in time. Of course Ryoko says that it isn’t right to make her employees as bet subjects, much to Aoi’s disappointment. Just then, Tsukasa comes in and says her delivery’s complete. Aoi seems relieved that she didn’t make the bet. She could’ve lost embarrassingly. While all this is happening, Kouji is staring from outside the window and saying how cute is everything and decides that he’s gonna work here as his summer part time job. Uh-huh, some bragging about destiny and such crap when Azusa crashes into him because she’s running late for some job interview. In the process, Azusa also drops her pendant. Kouji’s got 1 of his hands on Azusa’s breasts (not on purpose) and when Azusa realized what’s happening, she slaps him, just like any other girl would. Kouji picks up the pendant which says "Looking for someone". To Azusa’s embarrassment, she snatches it back but not without Kouji teasing her after that. Since Azusa isn’t the one who would take such mocking easily, she gets mad and calls him a pervert. As the 2 started arguing, they attracted a crowd of busybodies. Those people have nothing else better to do than to watch them argue.
Shinji intercepts and drags Kouji away. Well, the crowd seem disappointed as they disperse. Yeah, really got nothing better to do. Another Pia Carrot staff, Mina, who’s Azusa’s little sister, is watering some plants when she spots her sis outside. Looks like Azusa didn’t make the cut in her whatever job applicant because her interviewer called her on her handphone and hangs up on her. Nobody likes to be kept waiting. Mina greets her and finds out Azusa’s been fired again. And she’s not even employed yet! Obviously Mina mentions because she’s always late and suggests she work here. Plus, there’s an employee dorm nearby so getting to work late won’t be an issue. Azusa looks at her pendant and recalls that earlier incident with Kouji and gets annoyed. Mina’s confused on what’s going on but Azusa says it’s nothing.
Next day at pool amusement park, Kouji and Shinji are relaxing and as expected, Kouji is oogling at the girls there. Shinji spots Azusa from afar. Meanwhile it seems Tsukasa enjoys being in the spotlight as she’s having her pic being taken by several photo maniacs (or perverts rather) in her cosplay outfit. While Kouji spots her and remembers her as the witch he saw yesterday, Shinji walks towards Azusa. Kouji doesn’t know where he’s going and just continue to relax.
Ryoko is going over the applicants’ resume with Aoi relaxing nearby. When Ryoko mentions about potential candidates like Mina’s sis and a guy, Aoi gets all excited. Uh-huh. I think Aoi wants to flirt too as she asks Ryoko to hire that guy. Ryoko mentions that Shinji is her cousin and can only work once a week at Pia Carrot. Aoi looks at the ‘other guy’ and seems a little disappointed. Azusa seems to have a habit of being late. But it seems she’s lost and thinks she’ll be late for her interview again. Wait a minute. A job interview at the pool?
Back to Tsukasa, she’s doing her usual posing high on some diving platform and as usual those fans (it’s a much more nicer way of calling them) are taking her pics like mad. Just happily snapping away. As Tsukasa does her trademark pose by request of 1 of them, she slip and fell into the pool. Everyone doesn’t realize what’s happening and are still snapping away like crazy. They think it’s all part of her act. Can’t they tell that she’s drowning? Well, at least they realized it a little too late as 1 of them ‘wakes up’ Kouji by accidentally stepping on his face. An irritated Kouji asks what gives and that gu’s asking him for help. Kouji rushes there as Azusa spots him from a distance.
When Kouji arrives, the guy who went and asked him for help pushes him into the pool. What the? Don’t tell me they all can’t swim and are just standing there watching. Tsukasa is about to lose her consciousness but envisions and saw her ‘prince’ coming to save her. Kouji manages to pull Tsukasa out safely. When she comes to, she suddenly gets emotional, hugging him and crying. Kouji then saw Azusa watching from afar but the latter make donno and walk away. Tsukasa then realized what’s happening and pushes herself away from Kouji and runs away. You know, those fans of hers are really annoying. Because they continue to chase her and asks her to do more posing. Idiots. Shinji arrives and asks what Kouji had done to that girl. Kouji didn’t answer
The next day, Kouji’s late as he’s seen rushing somewhere while Koutarou seems happy because he’s got a lot of time and is thinking of taking a shortcut through the park. Koutarou gets the surprise of his life when Kouji suddenly ran across in front of him, casuing Koutarou to brake hard and fell off the bike as Kouji kept running. Now Koutarou’s gonna be late. Back at Pia Carrot, Tsukasa’s acting weird and spacing out when another employee, Kagurazaga, asks why is Tsukasa acting like that. Miki gives that ‘prince on a white horse’ at the pool reply.
Kouji finally arrives and is greeted by an unenergetic Tsukasa. That is, until she saw his face and suddenly blushes. Umm… She’s fantasizing about that prince thing again. No time to lose as Kouji says he’s late for a job interview and rushes in quickly. Tsukasa’s still daydreaming when Azusa too arrives shortly for her job interview. Kouji enters the interview room and Aoi says that he’ll have to pay for being late and have to live in the employee’s dorm and tells him not to be late again before asking Ryoko to hire him. She agrees and does so. Wait a minute. That easy? Or are they desparate? I guess as a part time waiter, it’s okay. Kouji’s relieved but the door opened hitting him and making him bang his head on the wall. It’s Azusa and she’s apologizing for being late. Aoi says how energetic she is and hires her straight away. Just like that too? Kouji and Azusa are surprised to see each other. With that, wee see Tsukasa saying "Welcome to Pia Carrot". Maybe she’s glad that her prince has come to her.
So you’d probably guess that the love-romance thing is gonna be between Kouji and Azusa. But since it’s not like they got it right the first time, you’ll be expecting lots of quarrels and misunderstood situations from the 2. And at the end, that hate turns into love. Or maybe it’s love all these while, just in a different form. Of course, there are other people who has a crush on these 2 and will put their uncanny relationship to the test. Read on…
Episode 2
Kouji is climbing up the stairs of the employees dorm slowly, gumbling, complaining. Maybe he could get there faster with all those heavy luggages if he stops complaining and channel all his energy getting there. Azusa on the contrary seems happy about moving in as she pushes her luggage cart, which whizzes by Kouji, who thought he’d seen a ghost. Because of that, he crashes down. Azusa saw him and says "Oh no, it’s that guy" before rushing off. Kouji awakens to be freaked out once more to see Tsukasa in her doggy suit. Well, that cosplay maniac says that it’s just her pyjamas. Soon, Tsukasa too rushes off and says something about some early shift tomorrow by Aoi. Kouji’s reflecting on that ghost incident and thinks he’s just seeing things. While saying that this dorm has weird things, Aoi then pops out of her room with her hangover feeling, shocking and surprising Kouji again, who thinks it’s yet another ghost. That’s the 3rd time already. Aoi wonders what’s going on as she heads back to her room toilet and saw her face pretty messed up with make-up and lipstick. Aoi screams as she thought she saw a ghost. Hahaha. That one is enough to even scare a ghost away.
Next morning at Pia Carrot, Aoi is deliriously happy telling Ryoko that the restaurant manager, Kinoshita, has invited her on a business trip. But Ryoko says that she’s actually substituting the boss for this trip. This shocks Aoi very much and realize that the boss isn’t coming with them on this trip. I see Aoi has a thing for the boss as well. Feeling disappointed, Aoi soon rushes off to make a schedule for the trip. Azusa’s serving a customer and much to her annoyance a male customer is oogling at her breasts even though his girlfriend is sitting next to him! Yeah, she pulled his ear in jealousy. Serves him right. While Azusa is complaining how revealing the uniform is and that the male customers are staring at her, Kouji makes a snickering comment. Azusa gives him ‘that look’ which makes Kouji look away and do something else. As Aoi calls Tsukasa to have a chat with her on the upcoming trip, Mina and Kagurazaga tells Kouji and Azusa that the company has business trips every year and everyone has to attend. Kouji and Azusa looked at each other and then look away with a "Hmmph!".
Next day Aoi is driving the bus with the whole jin jang gang aboard, even Koutarou, who’s happy that Kagurazaga’s here too (hint hint). We see Tsukasa sewing something and Kouji wants to see it but she refuses to let him see as it’s for some event. Kouji finds out the 3 guys will share a room right next to the outdoor bath and Kagurazaga seems a little worried but Koutarou seems happy. The bus suddenly brakes, causing Koutarou to band his head on the front windscreen. Aoi’s glad and assumes that Koutarou’s here to takeover and switches place with him. Poor guy. To add salt to the wounds, the rest are having a feast back there.
When they finally reach the place, it’s already evening and we see some romantic flashbacks (or is it daydreaming) of Aoi and Kinoshita. Ryoko comments how big Azusa’s suitcase is and Aoi quips that maybe it’s to buy her boyfriend stuffs. Azusa gets embarrassed and says she doesn’t have one which prompts Kouji into saying how he wants to see who’ll date her. Azusa just walked away and when Kouji saw her suitcase, he remembers that ghostly incident and realizes it all as he starts yelling at her. Azusa yells back and says why is he talking like that. Kouji wants an apology for making him fall downstairs but Azusa says something about his slow reaction as they both continue to argue. Miki comments how they look like a married couple which causes Tsukasa to be in a shock. Yup, Tsukasa’s got a crush on Kouji and she’s spacing out while watching those 2 who’re still arguing.
At night, Kouji invites the guys to an outdoor bath but Kagurazaga tells them to go ahead first when Mina arrives and tells them that Aoi’s calling them for a meeting. Aoi mentions that there’ll be a test of courage thingy. Mina asks what’s the connection between that with the business trip. Aoi replies by making an excuse something like one must have calmness when seeing a scary customer face, thus nurturing one’s mental power. I see. Miki is getting excited as Aoi elaborates that they have to go in pairs to a shrine to retrive something. The first one who does so gets a pair of free tickets to the amusement park, Lettuce Land.
As expected, Kouji and Azusa gets paired together and they freaked each other out and can’t believe they ended up being paired. As they’re still arguing, Kouji decides to play a prank and switches off his torchlight. Azusa gets a little panic and seems to ‘lost’ Kouji and tells him to stop whatever prank he’s pulling. Meanwhile, Miki and Kagurazaga are together and are talking about humans being scared. Kagurazaga then saw a ghost and gets a little scared, screams and soon faints. Miki manages to catch Kagurazaga but felt how soft her chest is. But when Kagurazaga comes to, they both calmed down and continue their journey. At this point, you’ll notice that Kagurazaga’s a girl disguised as a boy with all those subtle hints and his elusive actions. So nobody knows of this yet but I’ll still refer to Kagurazaga as a she.
Mina and Koutarou are being paired together and the latter seems to be quite afraid. Mina says she thought she saw something over there when a ghost appears as they both scream and faint. It’s revealed that the ghost is actually Tsukasa as she takes of the mask and wonders if she’s too scary before continuing to her next ‘victim’. Azusa’s still telling Kouji to stop and come out but the latter seems to be enjoying it. A hand then touched Kouji’s shoulders and asks what’s he doing. Kouji look back to see a ghost and naturally screams and run away. Azusa who happen to see Kouji’s ‘scary face’ also screams and run away. Back at the inn, Ryoko and Aoi commenting how Tsukasa’s doing a great job as they’re sipping their beer away.
Kouji and Azusa arrived at the shrine with the former retelling that ghostly experience. She says he’s being too pushy while he says who’s the one being scared without him. Azusa realized that Kouji’s been hiding so that he could fool her. Kouji mentions that he just wanted to see her act more like a girl. With that, Azusa’s taken aback with those words and they stop arguing and picks up that thingy at the shrine, which is a menu from Pia Carrot, much to Kouji’s dismay. Is he expecting something more? Kouji then saw a ghost behind Azusa and as Azusa turned around and look, her fear causes her to run towards Kouji and cling on to him. Tsukasa saw what happened and spaces out as the 2 hug each other in fear. When they realized that the ghost is actually Tsukasa, she looks sad before running away in tears. Of course both of them don’t know why she’s acting like that but soon gets embarrassed when they realized that they’re hugging each other. Meanwhile, Mina is carrying Koutarou (who’s fainted) back. How unmanly.
The next day on their way back in the bus, Aoi explains that she had planned the whole thing and announces Kouji and Azusa as the winners. Koutarou, at the wheel, lamenting how envious he is when Aoi says how he was being carried back by Mina, much to his embarrassment as everyone laughs. Ryoko quips that the next time they’ll leave all the heavy loads to Mina for her to carry. But not everyone is laughing as we see Tsukasa spacing out and looking gloomy when she sees Kouji happily talking away with the others.
Episode 3
Kouji’s complaining that he’s gotta do vegetable delivery when he saw a group of photographers taking photos of Tsukasa in her cosplay outfit. He overhears some jealous ladies talking about how Tsukasa may not win tomorrow’s cosplay contest because she’s in a slump. It looks like Tsukasa’s a little clumsy too. When they saw that, those jealous ladies seem a little happy now that they’ve got a chance to beat Tsukasa in tomorrow’s contest. Soon it’s going to rain when Koutarou announces that the rehearsal’s over and she’s to get ready for tomorrow. The photographers too leave in high spirits.
The next day, Tsukasa’s looking unenergetic at Pia Carrot. Aoi notices this and wonders what’s wrong. Kagurazaga mentions about tomorrow’s cosplay contest and therefore Tsukasa may feel nervous. But Miki replies that it may be the prince on white horse thingy. Aoi thinking for sure that they’re both in love, Tsukasa and Kouji. But she’s just got a hunch and speculating. Not that she’s really sure of it. The other Pia Carrot staff are in the kitchen making lots of preparation for tomorrow’s party. Kouji learns from Mina that it’s the latter parent’s death anniversary, thus Azusa has gone to the graves. Is that a guilty look on Kouji’s face?
We see Azusa back home spacing out and lying on her bed when Kouji knocks on her door. Azusa isn’t surprised though as Kouji’s nervously trying to say how nice her pendant is and such. In short, he’s trying to apologize. Azusa isn’t amused and she gave him some lecturing before she closes the door. Before she could to do, Kouji decides to give her the tickets to Lettuce Land. The reason why Kouji’s acting all nice is because he found out from Mina about their parent’s death which caused Azusa to be lonely, bla bla bla. But Azusa said she doesn’t want to go with him though Kouji mentions she could bring along Mina with her. Azusa mentions how Mina is afraid of roller coaster and crowds which soon pisses off Kouji that his kindness isn’t accepted. Before you know it, the 2 started squabbling. Ryoko arrives to ask them what in the world are they making a racket at this time, in the middle of the night. Ryoko also mentions that everything about the party has to be ready before it starts at 2pm and tells them not to be late. Of course they both had to listen to the manager as Ryoko soon walks away. Kouji then quickly asks Azusa to take the tickets but Azusa still insists. With the 2 being loggerheads with each other, Kouji just dropped the ticket in front of Azusa’s doorstep and walked away while Azusa just closed her door.
At the rooftop, Kouji spots a depressed Tsukasa sitting all alone. Tsukasa is surprised to see him and then a flashback of that Kouji and Azusa hugging each other incident. As Kouji tries to strike a conversation, Tsukasa fantasizes him as her prince taking her away on a white horse. Her daydreaming is interrupted when Kouji compliments on her rehearsal today and with lots of words of encouragement. More of that daydreaming before Tsukasa says she wants to show Kouji something.
Azusa is looking at her pendant and wonders why Kouji came to her like this suddenly. Another flashback of that hugging incident. Azusa then reflects what she had said to Kouji earlier on. She feels a bit bad and guilty and opens her door to find the ticket lying there. She picks it up and head towards Kouji’s room. Though she’s in front of his door, she’s contemplating and rehearsing of what to say when the elevator door opens. Azusa saw Kouji coming out with Tsukasa and the 2 looked happy and laughing together as the duo head into Tsukasa’s room. Azusa then felt shocked and a little sad. She must’ve feelings for Kouji but doesn’t realize it yet.
The next day it’s raining and preparations are on the way for the wedding party. As Kouji’s yawning, Azusa’s wondering why when Mina asks her what’s wrong. Azusa replies that it’s nothing and tells her little sis not to get close to that Kouji pervert. Aoi receives a phone call saying today’s party is cancelled. The reason being the girl that’s supposed to get married suddenly ran off with another man! Uh-huh. Everyone is a little disappointed, not so much because of the runaway bride, but all their efforts in the preparations will be wasted. But Kouji is happy because he gets to go cheer Tsukasa on her cosplay contest. With that, Aoi suggests that they all too go and cheer on for Tsukasa. Shinji soon rushes into Pia Carrot and Ryoko tells her staff that Shinji’s in charge of the cosplay contest and wonders if he could hold the cosplay contest here instead as it’s raining outside. Kouji is surprised to find Shinji doing this. While Aoi as usual thinks how cute Shinji is, Shini leaves to gather everyone else. With that, Ryoko mentions how lucky they are and that their preparations won’t go to waste.
As the cosplay contest is in session, you could spot several Di Gi Charat characters making their cameo appearances. Those characters must be famous, making such appearances in several animes. As expected, the arrival of Tsukasa is being greeted with those photographers snapping away like crazy. Everybody loves her. Those jealous ladies can’t believe that she’s so energetic today. Kouji learns why Shinji could only do this part time job once a week as Shinji says that he’s got a nice cousin to rely on. Also, Koutarou seems to be the emcee for the event as Kouji too finds out why he had to do the vegetable delivery. Shinji says that Koutarou is the other guy in charge. As Koutarou introduces to contestants, the Pia Carrot staff cheered on Tsukasa when it’s her turn on stage. Shinji is a little surprised that Kouji’s into cosplay but Kouji says just a little only. Azusa’s spacing out when she watches Kouji who’s really into it.
The contestants strut their stuffs on stage, even Dejiko! Nyo! In the end, Koutarou announces the results and it’s clear that Tsukasa wins the Cosplay Queen title. Everyone rejoices. Miki swings her butcher knives in joy, almost slicing Shinji. Close shave. Tsukasa is quite happy and gets even happier when she saw Kouji giving her the thumbs up. And in Azusa’s mind, though she congratulates Tsukasa, but can’t help wondering what happened the previous night.
Episode 4
Azusa is having a dream about her parents giving her the pendant as her present. When her parents left home, Azusa tried to chase after them, saying they forgot something. The scene changes as she saw herself crying at hospital and saw a young Mina asking what’s going on. Azusa is then awakened by Mina’s call as the latter scorns her for waking up late. Mina explains about the Autumn Gourmet Fair, that’s why they have to get up early and do some preparations. Azusa sapces out when she looks at her pendant.
At school, Shinji finds out that Kouji’s still doing his part time job. Kouji says that Ryoko didn’t know what to do without him and brags how the girls idolize him (yeah right). But Shinji isn’t that dumb and says Kouji might’ve broke too many plates so much so he can’t stop his job, which is true. We see some flashback of Kouji dropping the plates and Aoi extending his period, seconded by Ryoko. As the 2 walk home, Kouji says he’s late for work and rushes in. Don’t be too hasty because he just broke another plate. Azusa saw Shinji and recognizes him as that cosplay manager. She asks if he’s Kouji friend. Shinji apologizes for anything Kouji has done wrongly on her. Azusa says it isn’t like that and quips that he seems like Kouji’s guardian. So the 2 seemed quite friendly as they both chat more on about Kouji.
Kouji is in a hurry getting dressed when he bumps into a girl, Rumi Kinoshita. Though Kouji rushes off in a hurry, Rumi stops him and says things like his shirt isn’t tucked in. Yup, she does some ‘sprucing up’ on him and quotes "That’s how a waiter should look". Then she just waves goodbye and says "See ya". Luckily Kouji manages to get her name and finds out that she’s supposed to help with the upcoming fair. After she’s gone, Kouji thinks how cute she is. Every girl is cute to him.
Aoi unenergetically and depressingly welcomes her customers and seating them. She’s not concentrating so much so she mix things up. Rumi suddenly enters in time to take care of things. She seems lively, energetic, full of passion and knows her stuff very well as the others looked on impressed. Tsukasa tells Kouji that Rumi was last years Cosplay Queen but retired this year. He also finds out that Aoi’s depressed because the boss is getting married and Rumi is the boss’s younger sister. So much for any chance to flirt with him. Kouji then gets excited while Azusa and Tsukasa looked a little surprised.
At the dorm, the gang are having their meal together. Aoi is drunk and is still all upset about it. Dangerous. She’s in a mood swing. Kouji is sleeping next the them as Mina covers him with a blanket. They notice Rumi isn’t here yet as Miki suggests that she may be on a date. Aoi is still talking about wedding dresses and marriage, which should’ve been hers as she’s crying the next minute. Miki then asks Tsukasa if she has a wedding dress which the latter replied yes. Soon the girls head over to Tsukasa’s room. While Kouji’s asleep, he’s talking in his sleep "Looking for someone", then snickers. Azusa notices this and gets a little annoyed. She takes away the blanket and wishes for him to catch a cold. Is this acceptable even if that guy’s a jerk? Meantime, Rumi is lost, the reason for her delay but she manages to find the place in time.
The girls are now in Tsukasa’s closet and Azusa is admiring her extensive cosplay collection. Aoi wears a wedding dress as Kagurazaga explains to Azusa how everyone choose costumes before the cosplay contest. Azusa thinking back about the time where Kouji and Tsukasa came out from the elevator together. She’s feeling guilty that she had misinterpreted the situation. At the same time, Kouji wakes up with a little cold and finds no one around. Rumi arrives and Kouji is a little surprised to see her. Rumi asks if the party’s over. Soon Kouji and Rumi took a walk and had a little chat. Rumi reveals that the map her brother gave is confusing, causing her to get lost (not that scram, get out meaning lah!). Rumi thanks Kouji for walking her to the station as they see the illuminating lights of Lettuce Land at a distance. Kouji asks if she likes amusement parks, which she says she does and asks him to take her there next time. Rumi then peck his cheeks before running off and saying how she’s really looking forward to see him next week. Does Rumi have a crush on Kouji? Well not to say that she really does. It’s more like she’s the friendly kind of girl.
Azusa is sitting alone in her room when Kouji comes knocking on her door. She’s apologizing for making him catch a cold though Kouji isn’t sure what she’s talking about. Kouji nervously asks her if she still has those tickets to Lettuce Land he gave her, which she says yes. You know it’s going to be one of those situations whereby they could hear their heartbeat thumping when they stare at each other for so long and blushing. Azusa asks him if he wants to go and when in which Kouji replies on their next day off. Some shy shy talk before they bid each other goodbye and wonder what’s this pain in their chest. It’s called love.
Next day at Pia Carrot, Azusa and Kouji bumped into each other but they’re more apologetic to each other and didn’t get into an argument. Aoi is feeling something strange about those 2 when she suddenly gets headache from last night’s hangover. At Lettuce Land, Kouji and Azusa are having fun together. If you look closely, you could see cameo appearances of Rabien Rose and Puchiko from Di Gi Charat. It’s evening and our 2 lovebirds are riding in a ferris wheel. Kouji asks about pendant and apologizes for saying weird things. Azusa doesn’t mind and that she said the same things to her parents back then. Some more flashbacks of her parents. Then on the ground, Azusa apologizes for crying for a stupid reason but Kouji says it’s okay. Azusa lifts her gloominess herself and says she shouldn’t be a crybaby.
She then decides to go get some ice cream. I think they both really like each other by now because Azusa’s making her hand like a gun and ‘shoots’ at Kouji and he pretends to get shot in the heart. The signs of love? While Azusa’s away, Rumi spots Kouji and calls him. Kouji asks why she’s here. She replies that it’s a coincidence and pecks him on the cheek. That kiss comes with an explanation that since she wanted to come here so badly and couldn’t wait, she begged her brother to bring her here today and says the next time will be waiting for Kouji to take her. She then bid him goodbye and rushes off. Unknown to Kouji, Azusa has seen the whole thing as the cream of the ice cream drops to the ground (your typical cliche of someone who has witnessed something so shocking). Well, that’s just 1 cream. The other one, Azusa used it to throw it at Kouji’s face. Though he tries to explain, Azusa just laughed and says that if he’s gonna go with 2 girls, then he should do it better. With that she storms off, feeling a little sad as Kouji stood there in total shock.
So all that lovey-dovey feelings just went down the drain just like that. By the way, this is the only episode in which Rumi will appear in this series. After this, who knows where she’s gone to. And I suppose having her appearance in the opening credits is just for show. Just kidding.
Episode 5
Aoi is still depressed and not over the fact that Kinoshita is getting married. It’s back to normal between Azusa and Kouji as the former chides the latter for putting the wrong orders to the wrong tables. Though Kouji says the customer seem quite happy and doesn’t mind, soon the usual arguement ensue like Azusa calling him a womaniser and there’s a long beeeeep in those sentences of theirs. Oh my, that’s not good for customers to hear. So while they’re at it, Aoi, Miki, Mina and Kagurazaga are chatting about Christmas is only 10 days away and Aoi’s thinking she should find someone new to date, so does Kagurazaga as she says even though it’s a play. Of course everyone else doesn’t know what Kagaurazaga’s talking about.
Koutarou, who’s as usual late, rushes into Pia Carrot, trips and drops his load of veggies in front of Miki, who’s upset that the veggies are ruined. But Koutarou says that there’s a bigger problem and that’s Tsukasa has been sent to hospital in an ambulance. Everyone is in shock. We then see the accident spot whereby a truck has crashed into a post and Tsukasa taken away in a stretcher as onlookers watched. Koutarou explains he followed the ambulance and saw Tsukasa taken to the emergency room. Aoi suggests everyone to go but Ryoko says that since there are lots of customers, it’ll be troublesome if everyone goes together and have to take turns.
So in the train, Kouji, Azusa and Koutarou went ahead. Kouji’s wondering how he ended up like this. Before you know it, the 2 started arguing. Koutarou’s observing them and thinks how similar the 2 are. They both told him off not to say anything and continued arguing. Azusa later says that they shouldn’t be arguing like this and wonders if Tsukasa’s okay. Kouji hopes so too. At the hospital, Koutarou asks Azusa if she has a handphone she should turn it off, which she does. Then a flashback of what really happened to Tsukasa. She was doing her delivery and a truck driver was having his lunch when his truck suddenly rolled downhill. The truck driver realized too late as he tries to chase for it but it’s heading straight for Tsukasa at the junction. Too late, truck hits the post as Tsukasa who’s walking ahead of the truck looked back to see what happened. The truck driver crying next to his truck. Suddenly, Tsukasa got stomach pains and the truck driver rushes to her side and asks what’s wrong before calling the ambulance.
Back at the hospital, the gang are relieved to find out Tsukasa isn’t involved in the accident but instead she just had appendix and the surgery was successful. Soon the gang at Pia Carrot learn about this from Azusa’s call and are also relieved. Shinji arrives at the hospital when he spots Azusa and calls her. As Koutarou’s leaving, he saw them talking quite friendly together and jumps to a conclusion that the 2 may be lovers. Then we see Kouji and Tsukasa together as the latter gives Kouji a key and asks him to keep it a secret from everyone else. Kouji promises he would as they made a yubikiri. All in good timing, Azusa comes in to see that and is a little surprised and is spacing out. I thought she started hating this guy again? Maybe not. Shinji comes in too but Azusa leaves in a hurry as they wonder what’s going on.
At the river bank, Shinji saw Azusa sitting alone there. He approaches her and gives her his coat so that she doesn’t catch a cold. With that, the 2 started walking at the same time it started snowing. Meanwhile, Kouji is sneaking into Tsukasa’s room nervously. What’s he up to. But the next day after school, Shinji asks why Kouji is carrying such a big bag. Kouji replies he needs to bring it to someone and some talk about secrets. Because of his slip of tongue, Kouji mentions about the stuffs to Tsukasa. He realized it too late but Shinji just walked on. Kouji’s wondering with his attitude. Koutarou then shows up from nowhere and says something about that girlfriend thing. Kouji says that Shinji doesn’t have 1 but Koutarou tells him that he saw Shinji and Azusa at the hospital together, much to Kouji’s shock.
Kouji is observing how happy Azusa is back at Pia Carrot so much so he isn’t concentrating on his job. Kagurazaga then comes along and mentions how Azusa came back last night with a guy’s coat. Aoi (like instigating) says how suspicious all this is to Kouji. Kouji then reflects on what Koutarou said earlier on. Later Kouji is seen chatting with Tsukasa in her hospital room. At the same time, Azusa receives a phone call from Shinji saying that he’s caught a cold. Azusa feels guilty and feels that it’s her fault and decides to go visit him. Looks like that busybody Aoi is eavesdropping on the conversation. At Shinji’s place, Azusa apologizes for taking his coat as the 2 chat while Shinji rests in his bed. We find out Shinji’s used to living alone since his parents are abroad and how he’s glad Azusa’s here. Azusa blushes. Shinji smells something burning and Azusa realized that her porridge is ruined.
Next day at Pia Carrot, Aoi is wondering why Kouji and Azusa are so happy when Kagurazaga mentions that it may be Christmas spirit. But Aoi is sceptical and sense something weird. Miki tells them that they come home at midnight for several days but not together. With that Aoi says "That’s an unexpected turn". Do these busybodies have no life and nothing else better to do? At the hospital, Kouji is helping Tsukasa sewing some clothes and at Shinji’s home, Azusa is keeping him company and nursing his cold. Soon a Christmas themed Pia Carrot as everyone celebrates. Tsukasa is out of hospital and is in a Santarina cosplay outfit and Kouji as her reindeer. The 2 are quite lively, getting into the mood of Christmas spirit and livening up the place. Shinji arrives and is greeted by a blushing Azusa. His cold is gone too and he mentions how Kouji and Tsukasa looked good together. You know, I’ve got a feeling that when they mention about somebody being with someone else, that character gets concerned and into a spacing out mode. That’s what happened to Azusa. More spacing out from her as Shinji wishes "Merry Christmas".
Episode 6
Azusa and Shinji are together at an aquarium. Are these 2 dating? Anyway, Azusa mentions how a hammerhead shark looked so much like Kouji and Shinji replies that it’s the face of Kouji when he’s in trouble. It seems Kouji and Tsukasa too are at the aquarium. Are they dating as well? Kouji hears a familiar voice and gets freaked out by a giant whale. He comments how that looked like Azusa. Birds of the same feather flock together. As usual when Azusa and Shinji are chatting, Azusa spaces out whenever Shinji mentions Kouji’s name. Haih.
At Pia Carrot, the gang learns that Kagurazaga manage to get a main part in a play so she decides to leave first for her rehearsal. As Kagurazaga gets herself into a room to change her dress, Koutarou spots Kagurazaga and blushes. He’s having a bouquet of flowers in hand and is dressed quite smartly. Furthermore, he’s saying how he’ll do it today. Must be a confession. Though Koutarou’s nervous, Kouji rushes in and nearly crashes into him. Of course Kouji’s surprised by Koutarou’s dressing and asks him why but the latter says nothing. Kouji then uses a skeleton key to open the locked door. When the 2 guys fell through, they saw Kagurazaga changing and realized that he is a she! Kagurazaga screams as the 2 look on in shock rather than oogling at her body. So Kagurazaga doesn’t have enough time to put on some clothes and temporarily hides in a locker.
Meanwhile Aoi notes how late is Kouji and Ryoko thinks she should fine him. Tsukasa panics a little and says she’ll go look for him. Oh no. Azusa still spacing out. Aoi adds that if Kouji doesn’t show up, soon her plans to buy chocolates for Valentine’s Day is in jeopardy. When Ryoko asks Aoi if she had already found a new boyfriend, Aoi says maybe, which causes Azusa to space out even further. Haih. So Kouji and Koutarou learns that Kagurazaga’s pretending to be a boy for a play because she’s playing a role as a girl who tries to save her country as a man. Reminds you of Mulan, doesn’t it? So Kagurazaga thought she’d practice it in real life and apologizes for any misconceptions. Yeah, Koutarou’s crying. I realized that this guy’s a gay. No wonder he’s so happy previously when things involved Kagurazaga. Tsukasa’s eavesdropping their conversation when Kouji says how he’ll cheer her on and wishes her all the best. Tsukasa thinks that Kouji does that to any girl who work hard.
Later, Koutarou’s on a bridge. Still crying and ripping his love letter apart. Love hurts pal. He gets shaken a little when Miki passes by and yells what he’s doing. This causes Koutarou to fall off the bridge. Shinji arrives too late to stop him from falling. Later after Koutarou is out of the river and is drying his clothes, he explains to them about Kagurazaga. Miki says that since Kagurazaga isn’t a guy, that’s why he’s heartbroken. Shinji asks if that’s the reason for him to commit suicide. Koutarou say it isn’t the case as it’s Miki’s voice which scared him. Besides, the river’s too shallow for anyone to drown. Miki then remembers the test of courage incident when she grabbed Kagurazaga by her chest. After some talk, it seems Koutarou may be trying to hit on Shinji. Better back off Shinji. Then they saw Tsukasa over the bridge. Tsukasa tells them about what Kouji said earlier on and Miki replies the Kouji leans towards the "I’m nice to every girl" thing but there’s 1 exception, which is Azusa. Tsukasa gets very worried and spaced out. Miki continues that how they’re like enemies and always fighting but now he’s acting strange being nice to her. Koutarou chips in to say that maybe that’s his real love. Shinji and Tsukasa getting even more worried as Miki and Koutarou went on with their ‘analysis’. While they’re at it, Shinji and Tsukasa are still spacing out. Hello…
At Pia Carrot, Kouji and Azusa simultaneously thinking of refiling a customer’s coffee when their hands touched. Aoi mentioning how weird and it’s getting on her nerves. Is she more interested in the drama between those 2 than working? Anyway, Kouji and Azusa have a little chat, shy shy, blush blush, weird laughter, talking about that aquarium thingy. Yeah, it’s really getting on my nerves. So much so their talking and action are somewhat ‘synchronized’. With Aoi, Miki and Mina watching, Miki’s saying how this is the end of the world. It’ll be the end for them if they don’t get back to work. Tsukasa spacing out when she looks at the 2 being so friendly.
Next day, Kouji and Tsukasa just came out from a cinema. Tsukasa’s saying how moved she was while Kouji just kept yawning and thinking he would probably enjoy that Rambo one next door. They saw Shinji and Azusa coming out of the same cinema as well. Shinji, just like Tsukasa, is saying how moved he was too while Azusa, just like Kouji, kept yawning and also thinks she’d enjoyed that Rambo one. But Azusa pretends to tell Shinji how good the movie, the character, etc was. So the 2 couples eventually met. Shinji and Tsukasa seems to click when they talked about the movie, their expressions and thoughts about it. Shinji then mocks Kouji how he’d probably doesn’t know how to appreciate such movies and would prefer that violent B-grade Rambo one. Kouji and Azusa feeling a little annoyed. Birds of the same feather… Shinji then suggests a double date to Lettuce Land on their next day off. It seems Shinji’s parents have left him several tickets to make up for their time abroad. Shinji gives a pair of tickets to Kouji and whispers to him that he plans to confess to Azusa there and tells him to do the same to Tsukasa.
While Shinji is walking Azusa home, she’s looking at the bright lights of Lettuce Land and has those flashbacks of moments with Kouji back then. Shinji asks what’s wrong as he ‘breaks’ her flashback. Azusa just apologized and say that she has bad memories of Lettuce Land but also have important ones and wants to leave it there. Shinji then realized and is in a little shock as Azusa ran off apologizing. So we know who’s heart Azusa’s belong to. Likewise Kouji and Tsukasa are on a swing at a park. He too has flashbacks just like Azusa’s. Tsukasa’s a little worried when she looks at him and goes on to say how wonderful Kagurazaga is that she has worked so hard to achieve her dream. Thus she has to try her best too as there’s an international cosplay contest and asks Kouji to come cheer for her again. Kouji energetically says he will. Then Tsukasa says he must also try his best as she salutes him before rushing off. Kouji realized a bit as he tries to chase her but Tsukasa’s already gone. Looks like Tsukasa has given up the fight as well.
Next day at school, Kouji is being punched by Shinji. Is it jealousy? Nope. Don’t jump to conclusions yet. Kouji would of course asks what gives. Shinji replies that he decided to confess to Azusa by letter. Kouji wonders what has it got to do with punching him. Shinji remarks how dumb he is, that he should stop running away from it and be honest with his feelings and then asks him to deliver the letter on his behalf to Azusa. Shinji then opens his shoe locker and tons of gifts come falling out of it. I guess this guy’s got lots of admirers and he doesn’t mind it.
At Pia Carrot, Kouji’s at the front door when Azusa comes by. So the 2 talk with Kouji passing that letter. Azusa gets a little spaced out and some flashback of those words said by Shinji and Tsukasa. As Azusa’s reading the letter, Kouji then says he’s got something to say to her. Azusa too has something to say to him and in the end, they both simultaneously say "I love you" as they embraced each other and kissed. By the way, if you’re wondering what the letter says, the final scene shows the letter "Don’t lie to your true feelings. Good luck Azusa. P.S.,  By the way, I think the face of the guy in front of you is a bit swollen so forgive me about that". See, Shinji’s a good guy after all. He doesn’t want to snatch away the only girl that his best pal has.
The end. Please come again.
So as typically expected, our 2 protagonist finally realized their love for each other and admitted it, embrace and kissed. I expected that too. Is this what you call give and take? Since it’s the end for this series, but I suppose it’s just the beginning for them. What really happen to the other staff of Pia Carrot? My guess is that they all continue their normal lives serving customers and probably will look forward to Kouji-Azusa as the new hot item on their menu. Speaking of which, the characters are just sufficient for this series.
Since this is a year 1999 production, the anime’s drawing, art and colouring would of course looked old-school as it’s from that era. So even though you have bishies and cute waitress girls but the dull and ‘worn out’ colouring make it look less appealing. Probably that’s because I’ve seen too many recent and high quality animes. But it’s not to say that this anime is that bad. It’s just okay for me.
The titles of the episode have some sort of a dessert in the name of love in it, which is quite appropriate for a restaurant themed anime. Okay, maybe except for the last episode. Minami Nagasaki, the voice actress for Azusa, sings both the opening and several ending themes of the series, though I don’t find them appealing. One thing I realized after the series end is that, this series doesn’t have any hentai or ecchi element in it unlike it’s game version or earlier series. At least, nothing that I could consider it to be one.
If you like short teenager romantic series with some drama, then this one is quite okay if you’re not too fussy. The next time you patron a Pia Carrot restaurant chain (if ever there’s one. But there’re several maid cafes and such in Japan), be sure to enjoy more than just your meal. Because there’s live love drama going on as well. You may get your money’s worth and probably more than what you’ve bargained for. Isn’t that value for money?

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