Coffee Moon continues its gorgeous gothic style meets Groundhog Day tale of Pieta’s repeat of her birthday, February 7th. The end of the first volume had a dire situation that Pieta rushed to stop while her doppelganger watched. Coffee Moon Volume 2 has a third addition to Pieta and Danaela’s conscious experience of the time loop; Chiaro. Coffee Moon Volume 2 expands the mystery of this noir world with a dark magical girl feel yet still has time for adorably funny moments.
Written and illustrated by Mochito Bota, translated by Ko Ransom, lettering by Phil Christie, and serialized in English by Yen Press, the second volume begins with Pieta rushing to save Chiaro. Her other self—let’s call her Dark Pieta—warns that Chiaro will suffer because of Pieta. After Pieta rescues Chiaro, the next day, when February 7th repeats, Chiaro also remembers the loop. Now, with Chiaro’s help, they try to figure out what is happening and how to stop it.
Coffee Moon Volume 2 Opens a Big Mystery With Pieta
It seems Pieta is the first in the loop and the only one seeing herself. It’s clear since Dana and Chiaro assume that her 1,035 days on repeat caused her to lose her mind. Chiaro surmises there is a tie to Pieta and an unknown desire to repeat the day and not face tomorrow. And Pieta is strong, with abilities she doesn’t realize are possible. But introducing those while not answering any of the questions from previous volumes leaves you lost as you read.
Still, there’s a niggling fear that creeps through the series because Dark Pieta seems angry at how ungrateful Pieta is about her good fortune to repeat her birthday. It reminded me of films where people break their time loop only to find a swift demise or suffer an unimaginable tragedy. This also ties together with the religious sect, a disappearance, and even the weather. How it all ties together is unknown. But we learn where the title came from, a fascinating tidbit about reflecting the moon on your coffee.
Challenging to Invest in Relationships
Given how Coffee Moon Volume 2 unfolds, it’s difficult to feel invested in the bonds the characters form. Moments where the girls hand out together, smiling and enjoying themselves, bring smiles but little else. There’s too much left unanswered, and the series needs to pick up the pace.
The gloomy noir feel of the series, appealing as it is, does not outweigh building a story and characters readers can get behind. It’s complicated in a series where unknown factors create a reset for everyone save Pieta. Plus, of the character personalities readers briefly glimpse, Pieta is the least fascinating. Her overly sunny disposition feels more disingenuous and jarring as the story progresses.
While the mystery in the first volume was enough to hold interest, Coffee Moon Volume 2 drags with little to get excited about and even fewer questions answered. Some parts earn a chuckle, but little makes sense as you read, and that can only last so long. Although I want to get into this series, the story nor the characters deliver enough worthwhile entertainment.