How To Build A Fascinating Harem Starting With A Bunny Girl

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode Review title

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episodes 6 and 7

If I needed any more convincing that Bunny Girl Senpai was an anime worth watching this season, episode 6 which concluded the Laplace’s Demon Arc and episode 7 which introduces a new problem for Sakuta to solve and adds two new additions to his ever growing harem are certainly 2 reasons to be watching.Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 6 - Sakuta and Tomoe

Though, even I have to admit, it isn’t actually a harem. Much like people inaccurately throw the word harem at Sword Art Online just because Kirito has a lot of friends who are girls that he has helped in the past, labelling Bunny Girl Senpai a harem would be to do it a gross mis-justice. Sakuta is solid in his choice of Mai from the very first arc just as Kirito remains clear in his choice of Asuna. Regardless of how many other girls each series has, they just aren’t following a harem pathway and that’s just one of many things I love about both of them at this point.

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 6 - Sakuta

Back to Bunny Girl Senpai though, the conclusion to the Laplace’s Demon story was every bit as fantastic as the conclusion to the first arc was. It brought the pieces together, gave us an emotional release, and the characters grew from the experience. I really liked how they ended up resolving the time loops. Admittedly, this anime isn’t exactly going for a logical reason why these things happen or why they stop. It is very much about the feelings of the characters and coming to terms with them.

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 6 - Sakuta and Tomoe

The next arc seems to be focused on Futaba, though Sakuta has also encountered and entangled himself with another girl Makinohara (who apparently was the girl he met on the beach back when but now she’s younger than him). Based on this episode I would think that the anime was going to deal with Futaba and then focus on Makinohara, but, based on what the rest of the show has done I won’t be surprised if the two cases end up linked somehow.

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 7 - Sakuta, Mai and Futaba

It also seems like Sakuta’s one male friend, Kunimi, may end up playing some sort of role this time around, which would be nice given he’s just kind of been hanging around in the background all this time.

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 7

Still, seven episodes in and we still have fantastic dialogue, some really great characters, the cutest moments shared between Mai and Sakuta, and a little sister character that isn’t actually annoying. Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai continues to go from strength to strength and I have high hopes as we lean into this new arc.

21 thoughts on “How To Build A Fascinating Harem Starting With A Bunny Girl

  1. One thing that I think sets Bunny Girl Senpai apart from the typical “Harem” genre is that nothing is left unanswered, and everything is brought to a lovely conclusion.

    Not all the girls in the series are romantically interested in Sakuta, and the ones that are, are given a chance to express their feelings, get turned down, and move on. During the Koga arc, I was really worried that she’d end up as a clinger-on heroine, like so many harem shows have, but episode 6 not only resolved all those problems, but also made me begin to love Koga as a character.

    So often with the typical Harem shows, even if the protagonist has made a clear choice, there are other girls constantly trying to tear his attention away, or sometimes disguised as “friendly competition” if the girls like each other. It can be funny, but it’s also kind of unrealistic, especially if the guy fails to give the competing girls a proper answer.

    And that’s the thing.

    Bunny Girl Senpai treats its characters like actual people. They each have their mature sides, their childish sides, their strengths and weaknesses. They’re able to work through problems and come out the other side better for it. Even the girl who constantly harangues Sakuta shows a side of worry and compassion in Episode 7, even if her motives might be a little suspect.

    Really, I think that Bunny Girl Senpai is an example of the many problems with the current Anime industry, illustrated by a contrast and refusal to stoop to those lows.

    1. I’m with you in that Bunny Girl Senpai treats its characters like people. It isn’t just that Sakuta avoids the model harem protagonist mould, the girls also refuse to just be bit players in a harem. They are presented as people and while they might develop a crush on the protagonist, it isn’t presented in the same light as we would see in a harem and things do get resolved.
      Thanks for the thoughtful comment.

  2. There’s some discussion in the comments to my post this week as to what is and isn’t a harem…

    Karandi, I’m with you as to the presence/absence of “a completely oblivious and indecisive protagonist” as one of the key traits of a harem anime. Though there are odd exceptions, such as Shuffle – where the protagonist does have a clue even though he remains indecisive up to climax (where he makes his choice.)

    1. Yeah, lots of shows get tagged as harem just because of an abundance of girls around a male character but that kind of misses some of the key points of what makes something actually harem.

      1. well, it depends on how specific you want the categorization of harem to be. personally, i dont see the term harem as particularly specific, so id consider it a broad category, meaning it would deserve a looser definition. i think most common genres have to have a broad definition because they’re meant to be top-level categories. they’re concepts with typical representations, but they dont require those elements. but ultimately, it’s a matter of how useful you want the term to be. but at the end of the day, definitions are determined by usages and common understanding. if two people agree that a harem is a specific type of show where girls center around an oblivious main character, then so be it.

        1. For me it is more the absence of a choice so the audience doesn’t know who the protagonist will end up with, or even if they will choose anyone. If the protagonist is happily with a girlfriend the harem idea kind of goes out the window because there’s no real options on the table.

          1. i mean…i know it wouldnt happen, but there’s nothing stopping him from ending up with everyone, right?

            plus, it still fits the model of main heroine vs side heroines, even if their relationship is more defined.

          2. I just don’t see him as even vaguely interested in the other girls in that way though. He’s looking at them only as someone to help whereas with Mai he seriously approached her with romantic intentions. I guess viewers might ship him elsewhere but I see him as very much being in a relationship which means I can’t also see it as a harem. The two ideas don’t work together for me.

          3. well, my joking aside, you could argue that the romance doesnt necessarily need to go both ways to qualify. as i said, it’s a matter of how clear the definition is, and i think that genres inherently have unclear definitions.

        2. Certainly top level genre descriptors have a degree of fuzziness and imprecision – but that doesn’t mean that they’re without meaning. But it does mean that if you don’t use that meaning or any qualifiers or qualifying remarks that you end up lumping together shows that only have a bare resemblance to each other.

          1. sure, i agree that they should have some meaning, but i would personally argue that a higher-level descriptor would have a broader meaning.

  3. Bunny Girl Senpai has many strengths, but it’s most notable is the ability to talk about real high school problems without being smug, dismissive or “after school special” about it. That’s an incredible feat since many times such themes can come off as pandering or way too much unrealistic. Bunny Girl Senpai has yet to run into that problem, and I think that is what is making it stick so much this season.

    I got more to say on it, but that’s how I could best sum up how it works so well, almost eight episodes in.

    1. Despite the supernatural (or pseudo scientific) phenomena, they really are dealing well with real high school problems in a realistic way. It really does make the story resonate just a bit better with the audience than it might otherwise.

  4. I’m assuming the cat girl gets the next arc as I’m not sure what she’s is there for at the moment, but we have two Futabas in the show so I’m not complaining either! 😉

    1. I was assuming cat girl is the next story, but then I wondered if maybe because she’s also possibly a double if she’s relevant to this one. Not sure but looking forward to finding out.

  5. Bunny Girl Senpai has a harem story structure. Same with the ALO and GGO arcs of Sword Art Online, while the original SAO arc just had harem elements tacked on as extra.
    … and yes, I am prepared to die on this pulpit in defense of the objectively best story structure.

    1. They might have the structure but with one critical difference. They don’t have a completely oblivious and indecisive protagonist at the centre. In both these cases the protagonist has chosen his girl and is perfectly happy with his choice.

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