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Bunny Girl Is Simple, It’s Complicated, It’s Like Life

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode Review title

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 10 Review

There was an almost moment when I thought that maybe this is the episode where I wasn’t in love with Rascal Does Not Dream With Bunny Girl Senpai. And I will admit, even stepping back, this episode feels a bit rougher, less polished, and a little bit less together than previous entries. The two episode arcs of the mid-season haven’t felt quite as fleshed out despite dealing with some fairly heavy issues, and this most recent one dealing with Nodoka and Mai definitely feels either stretched too long without doing much, or conversely too short without long enough to delve into some of the issues mentioned and ultimately glanced past.

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 10
You can tell instantly it isn’t Mai, brilliant right?

However, as I said in the post title, things here are both simple and complicated, just like life. And it all gets a little bit messy and while the situation of the body swap, or appearance change, or whatever it was is resolved, their emotional drama doesn’t just vaporise the instant they come to terms with their situation. So while from a narrative point of view this was a lot less satisfying than some of the earlier arcs, from an emotional point of view, there’s a lot going on here that should be celebrated.

Not to mention, this episode of Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai gave me one of my loudest laugh out loud moments this season when  Mai smacked Sakuta. Now, there have been plenty of moments in this series where slapping Sakuta was probably justified. Here though, Sakuta is literally the innocent bystander. Her reason for taking her anger at Nodoka out on him? She literally cannot slap herself because Mai, or at least Nodoka in Mai’s body, has a job the next day and can’t show up looking like she’s been slapped.

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 10 Sakuta got slapped

Normally I find the girl-slaps-guy (either innocent guy or even guy who accidentally fell prey to the usual anime tropes and ended up walking into the bathroom or whatever) kind of tired and problematic for a number of reasons and it seldom comes across as funny. Occasionally it ends up a little bit satisfying when the character getting slapped deserves it, but mostly I’m left wondering why include it at all. 

That wasn’t the case here as it just hit the perfect note at the perfect moment and I genuinely couldn’t keep myself from laughing, to the point where I had to pause the episode because I couldn’t read the subs. Yes, I am aware my sense of humour is a little odd sometimes and that it is inconsistent in when it finds things funny.

Bunny Girl Senpa- Kaede proves while she's best sister

The other moment I really loved about this episode was Kaede presenting herself in her uniform to Sakuta. While this didn’t get a lot of play during the episode, they seem to be setting the scene for Kaede and Sakuta to deal with their family situation, something that has been mentioned but ignored for the duration so far. This set up going on in the background of the Mai and Nodoka story was pure gold and honestly it took a bit away from the main plot line of the episode because I was more interested in learning more about that.

Still, any episode that can make me actually appreciate an idol performance like this, is worth noting just for that.

Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 10 Mai in idol performance

But in case it feels like I’m implying the Mai and Nodoka plot line wasn’t worth the time, I think I should reiterate, that Bunny Girl Senpai knows how to write a scene. Nodoka might be in Mai’s body but her argument with Sakuta when he tries to leave early and ends with Nodoka telling him to go die was perfect. Despite being in Mai’s body and looking like Mai, that dialogue was definitely not Mai. It looked bizarre coming from a character that looked like Mai. 

Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 10 Nodoka tells Sakuta to die.

All the way through the episode, even when the girls were talking, whether they were in their own appearance or not, the dialogue was distinct enough to carry the characters and make you believe that they had in fact switch places. So Bunny Girl Senpai hasn’t lost its touch, and now it’s just a matter of three more episodes. If it can land those, this will definitely be up there in the runnings for my favourite anime of the year.

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Karandi James
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RASCAL DOES NOT DREAM OF BUNNY GIRL SENPAI 1/4 SCALE PRE-PAINTED FIGURE: MAI SAKURAJIMA BUNNY VER.
RASCAL DOES NOT DREAM OF BUNNY GIRL SENPAI 1/4 SCALE PRE-PAINTED FIGURE: MAI SAKURAJIMA BUNNY VER.

Who Else Felt Their Heart Shatter At Yuu’s Denial of Love? Excerpt

Bloom Into You Episode Review Title

Bloom Into You Episode 9 Review

This week Bloom Into You delivered the sports carnival that the student council had been preparing for. As you would expect with any school based anime, the student council ran around before hand checking lists, gathering supplies and generally looking officious and busy. You would almost be forgiven for thinking you were watching any of a dozen other anime. Except, that Bloom Into You manages to make even the most common of events uncommonly interesting to watch…

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Karandi James
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BLOOM INTO YOU FULL COLOR MUG CUP
BLOOM INTO YOU FULL COLOR MUG CUP

The Grass Might Look Greener From Your Side of the Fence

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode Review title

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 9 Review

This show is just good. Over and over again, Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai defies my expectations about what it will do next and where it is going and yet it manages to take us somewhere great that I never knew I wanted to be. For instance, I expected that this week, now that Futaba was back together again, that the focus would shift to Makinohara, but instead she barely got a cameo when she came to check in on the cat. Instead, the focus goes squarely back to Mai and, more importantly, Mai’s sister.

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 9 Sakuta, Mai and Nodoka

Turns out Mai’s sister, Nodoka, is sick of being compared to her talented older-half-sister and sick of feeling inferior and for whatever reason (adolescent syndrome strikes again) she has ended up inside of Mai’s body with Mai now occupying her own, blonde haired vessel. Fortunately we aren’t playing ‘guess who’ or anything as cheap as that. Bunny Girl Senpai plays this straight by having Mai, in Nodoka’s body, make things clear to Sakuta from the word go by stepping on his foot, and we instead turn our attention to the underlying emotional issues even while both girls try to live as the other and keep up their work commitments.

This was a great episode for a number of reasons. Firstly, the new story is interesting and we’re focused on Mai again, who is a great character, and introduced to Mai’s sister who is equally interesting. The relationship between the two is muddied significantly by the intervention of their respective mothers and yet as always they don’t over-dramatise things and rather let more subdued and much more human reactions strike a chord with the audience and tell the story.

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 9 Mai and Nodoka

Secondly, Mai and Sakuta are together for significant scenes in this episode, even if Mai isn’t in her own body. I will admit the banter between them seemed a little more subdued, but given Mai is the subject of the current phenomenon it seems fairly sensible that she is in a more contemplative mood at the present.

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 9 Nodoka inside of Mai

All and all, another solid episode from an anime that continues to do an excellent job present the emotional trauma of normal life and relationships using supernatural phenomenon to get their point across.

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Karandi James
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SEISHUN BUTA YAROU WA BUNNY GIRL SENPAI NO YUME WO MINAI 1/8 SCALE PRE-PAINTED FIGURE: SAKURAJIMA MAI
SEISHUN BUTA YAROU WA BUNNY GIRL SENPAI NO YUME WO MINAI 1/8 SCALE PRE-PAINTED FIGURE: SAKURAJIMA MAI

Tada Doesn’t Fall in Love Series Review: The Classic Hollywood Tale That Doesn’t Quite Stick

Tada Doesn't Fall in Love Episode 10

I will admit that Tada Doesn’t Fall in Love was one of the more consistent titles of the Spring season, but being consistently above average isn’t really something that will get you a rave review. That said, while dismissing this title might seem easy, there’s still quite a bit of charm to be found here. That said, there will be spoilers in the review.

Review:

Let’s take our typical stoic high school protagonist who lacks parents, has a strong sense of responsibility, and a single hobby that we can exploit to make him seem well rounded and have him literally bump into a foreign princess on student exchange in Japan. It is all pretty formulaic and if you’ve seen the likes of Roman Holiday, you already know more or less what you are in for.

Tada Doesn't Fall in Love Episode 2

Teresa, as the blonde foreign Princess, is adorable in her excitement over Japanese culture, her involvement in the photography club, and her general outlook on life. She’s sweet but not to the point that it makes the viewer nauseated or unable to see her as a real person, and she’s certainly fairly responsible about dealing with her obligations regardless of personal feelings which becomes the major point of tension toward the end of the series as you might expect.

Tada Doesn't Fall in Love Episode 5

Even Tada, as dull as I made him sound in the opening paragraph, is actually quite a solid male lead. While on the surface he is much like any other anime protagonist, there’s a depth to how he represents his fairly repressed emotions that makes him quite an interesting guy to watch. Examining the clutter in the cafe his grandfather runs that he works in or around his house there are endless traces of the personality of Tada and his family. And that is something I have to praise the series on all the way through; there’s a phenomenal amount of background detail in most settings filling the club room, the cafe, and Teresa and Tada’s rooms with enough things to give a sense of who these characters really are.

Tada Doesn't Fall in Love Episode 9

The romance that develops between these two is pretty standard and goes through more or less what you would expect. The very close friends but are they more position lasts through most of the first two thirds with Tada’s jealousy only really being triggered when Teresa’s fiance shows up. While there’s potential there for high school drama and tension with your standard love triangle, the show actually avoids going for the low hanging fruit and for the most part Charles, as the fiance in question, is quite an interesting contribution to the cast and ultimately the resolution of the series hinges on his decisions far more than anyone else’s. He definitely could have taken the ending in a very different direction had he decided to play the jerk.

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The rest of the cast consists of Tada’s family and friends and Teresa’s friend and bodyguard. While these characters will vary in their appeal, they each bring something to the mix. What needs to be remembered though is this is strictly Tada and Teresa’s story and while at times it might seem the support cast have a more critical role, they really don’t. Part of this is because of the episode run count and the other part of it is probably because less is more in this case. While these characters are all charming and work in varying ways, more of them on screen may have just left them open to the obvious criticism that they really don’t have much purpose or existence outside of either of the main characters.

Tada8e

Visually this is a very pretty show. I already mentioned the detailed in a lot of the backgrounds, but just the colours in general and the many views of the sky (stars, rainbows, and clouds all feature heavily) make this a visually satisfying though not extraordinary show. The music is a little on the average side but works. Just don’t expect to remember much after it is done.

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That’s really all there is to Tada Doesn’t Fall in Love. It is a straight forward boy meets girl story where both characters are genuinely nice people who find something in common. While there are plenty of other stories that do something similar, this one does it well enough to make it worth the time for those who are inclined to enjoy these kinds of stories, but it isn’t great enough that I would tell people who aren’t into romance that they should spend their time on it.  I had a lot of fun and found it quite charming but I know even from reading reviews from other bloggers that mileage on this one varied greatly.

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Karandi James

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3D Kanojo: Real Girl Series Review: Average Is Being Generous

Self-proclaimed otaku with a dislike of flashy girls draws the attention of a flashy girl. Must be love.

Review:

3D Kanojo: Real Girl falls into a couple of pretty obvious traps that prevent this anime from ever rising above being fairly ordinary and actually make it pretty painful to watch at times. And I’m not talking about the characters themselves, though many viewers did seem to find Tsutsui pretty hard to take early in the series as he is a fairly unlikable protagonist (kind of the point though).

Real1a

No, what this series does wrong is set up a premise that is pretty standard, made only even vaguely memorable by the strength of the character personalities (whether you like them or not) and then essentially spent the first half of the season eradicating any discernible evidence that the characters ever had a personality outside of their romantic trope. It’s painful to watch as the characters are leached of all defining traits outside of boyfriend and girlfriend from a standard high school romance and even the few attempts to recall that Tsutsui was supposed to be an otaku and Iroha had a reputation for playing around just kind of fall flat as these two generically empty shells of characters go through the motions of every cliche misunderstanding that can occur in such a story.

Real12a

Which brings us to the second trap which is that this anime has nothing new to say or bring to the table. While being derivative or basic genre fiction isn’t a death sentence in and of itself, if you aren’t bringing anything new then you have to at least bring your A game and 3D Kanojo: Real Girl is anything but.

I won’t lie. I actually quite enjoyed the first episode. While I didn’t like the main characters, given they were both pretty unlikable, I found them interesting enough and was curious as to how they would come together. Unfortunately, they got together in fairly quick order and then proceeded to do that on again, off again thing where the story would have them being happy and then just throw a random spanner into the works of one or the other’s emotional make-up to have them suddenly get annoyed at the other for being who they were. It didn’t help that literally every issue the two had as a couple could have been solved by a conversation.

Real9b

However, the narrative isn’t the only area where this anime falls a little short. The pastel colour scheme and character designs work well enough, but are also fairly unremarkable. Then we had some fairly obvious character off-model moments in the latter half of the season which weren’t a complete game over for the series but certainly made watching it less enjoyable as you had to wonder if one of the characters had just turned sideways or if they’d actually morphed into a different human being.

The OP is also pleasant enough but totally forgettable.

Then we have the support cast who all seem like they might be important. And yet not one of them ever brings anything of consequence to the story. Occasionally they are a catalyst for some kind of drama but then they just kind of fade into the crowd of generic ‘friends’ that Tsutsui somehow has and at the end they all go for ramen.

Real9c

Which brings me to my other concern with this series and that is that things get forgotten fairly quickly. Iroha says she can only date for six months. Tsutsui never asks why and the audience never gets an answer. Another character literally frames Tsutsui as a potential child-predator and yet that’s also forgotten. Tsutsui just goes about his normal life afterward and the guy who did it is never actually held accountable for being a liar and making false reports to the police (defamation of character, etc). In fact, he becomes one of the friends in the background. The kids at school go from being completely anti-Tsutsui to exactly as they were at the start which is ignoring his existence, but someone who has gained infamy for potential trouble with the police probably isn’t regaining their peaceful life that easily.

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It all just adds to the overall feeling that no one really knew what the point of this story should be. Nothing has weight and nothing matters. Stuff happens, it is overcome and then the next things happens. While it never becomes unwatchable, nor is there much reason to watch it.

Real10b

Ultimately, there’s no real way to recommend 3D Kanojo: Real Girl. It won’t be the worst thing you ever watched, but it isn’t really something you need to watch either.

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Karandi James

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