Awakening From A Dream, And Life Goes On

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode Review title

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 13 Review

Reminder: the poll is now open for you to vote on the best and worst anime of the 2018 Autumn Anime Season. Be sure to jump in and have your say. Voting closes on the 29th of December.

Part of me is a little disappointed with this final episode, and the other part is happy that this anime ended more or less as it started. The tight focus on the characters and their experiences as well as the need to face situations as they are rather than how we’d like them to be carried right through to the end.

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 13 Shoko

However, this arc feels to be one of the least resolved of the series and given this is where it has ended I can’t help but feel a little bit like this wasn’t the solid ending it could be. Future movie announcements or not, it would have been nice for this final episode to have given us a solid resting place. Then again, in terms of character progress it kind of did.

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 13 Kaede

Kaede is awake with her old memories (though missing the two years she’s just lived) and wanting to go back to school and even meet her old friend. Sakuta met up with Shoko again who helped him deal with Kaede’s return. He also finally managed a date with Mai on her birthday. It’s a lot of progress and we leave these characters in a place where they haven’t got to the end of the journey but they are very much moving forward and it is hard to argue that we could have got a more satisfying conclusion.

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 13 Sakuta

Actually if I was going to criticise anything, other than the running animation which still isn’t great, it would be Sakuta early in this episode. While his heart-break and confusion were understandable their depiction wasn’t exactly subtle or nuanced and to be honest as he ran wailing it almost became laughable to the point where it jolted me right out of the moment. By the mid-way point of the episode it had managed to draw me back into the drama of the situation but this was perhaps the first time I really struggled to stay with an episode and the emotions it was trying to convey.

However, these are fairly petty complaints of what is an awesome series. I’m looking forward to writing a full series review of this one.

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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

A Journey Forward Equals The You Now Being Abandoned

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode Review title

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 12 Review

Bunny Girl Senpai continues to impress as Kaede, who should be a stereotypical and fairly bland little-sister-character, continues to show that she is anything but. Over the last few episodes they’ve built her up beautifully and as Sakuta explains to Mai and Nodoka what happened with Kaede and his family it is really sad. But instead of dwelling on that, we see Sakuta continue to support Kaede and we watch her flourish under his attention and her own determination until… well let’s just say the end of the episode is absolutely a cliff-hanger designed to force you to watch the final (as if we weren’t already going to).

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 12 Kaede and Sakuta

Though, it is at least a cliff-hanger done right with real stakes built up over time and the situation being as complicated as it is and the emotional mine-field that it is, it is unlikely to be wrapped up in the first couple of minutes of the next episode. I’m actually invested in finding out how this situation resolves and I think they are going to struggle to bring it together in a single episode, but Bunny Girl Senpai has been full of pleasant narrative surprises so far so I have absolute confidence it will succeed.

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 12 Kaede

Mai once again is a little bit sidelined and her work is a convenient excuse to send her away. However, unlike other stories where sending a character away means everyone just kind of forgets their existence, here Sakuta’s father asks him to introduce Mai in the future and we know that Sakuta will call Mai if needed. She is gone but not forgotten.

However, Sakuta and Kaede are more than enough to carry the majority of this episode. The dynamic between the siblings has always been interesting and here we see them at their finest. The trip to the zoo is glorious and fantastic to watch and seeing Kaede that enthused and bubbly just brings a smile to your face.

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 12 Kaede School

I do also like that they aren’t over-simplifying Kaede’s fear of going to school. Their repeated attempts to walk there, the meeting with the guidance officer before even trying to go, Kaede wanting mentally to go but her body being unable to take the steps, it all just adds to the grounding of this series in reality even as it uses supernatural elements to exaggerate the drama of being a teenager.

Another incredibly solid episode and the only criticism I’ll give this one is that I have to wait a week to see how it ends.

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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

The Panda Girl Removes Her Armour

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode Review title

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 11 Review

Bunny Girl Senpai continues to impress with its dialogue, particular the timing of responses and pauses. There are moments where just listening to the characters is such a distraction that I need to go back to pay attention to what they are actually doing. 

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 11 Sakuta

However, and this may prove an unpopular opinion, but after eleven episodes of watching delightful characters have interesting interactions, what troubles is that there is no escalation or ‘more’. While we turn into Kaede’s story, which is one I’ve been waiting for and has so far proven interesting, the tone and feeling of this anime is exactly the same as it has always been. And while it might fit the ‘if it isn’t broke don’t fix it’ mentality, as other anime step up their game for their conclusion, Bunny Girl Senpai remains exactly as it always has. It’s still brilliant mind you, but it doesn’t quite shine so much in amongst the pack as other anime are now coming to the end of a cumulative emotional journey.

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 11 Mai

Still, that isn’t reviewing this episode, it is comparing, so let’s veer back on track. Mai deals with the photo in the magazine and her status as Sakuta’s girl-friend in a sensible and clear manner. One of the many things I appreciate about this show is they don’t just drag things out and over-dramatise them for the sake of it.

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 11 Kaede

Half-way through this episode though we switch to Kaede’s story and this week she turns the cute up to 100. I’m not a fan of little sister characters so the sheer amount of charm Kaede brings to this story is almost unprecedented and she has most definitely become a character I really adore. Watching her smile while holding out her notebook with her goals was a really adorable moment as was seeing Sakuta both support her and temper her goals with reality. The fact that he isn’t just mindlessly cheering her on and saying ‘you can do it’ but rather is helping her to break her goals down into achievable steps was one of the best moments of the year because it was so grounded in reality.

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 11 Sakuta and Kaede

Though, with two episodes left to go, Shouko’s story still unrevealed and Kaede still in kind of an emotional limbo, I guess there is still more drama to be had. Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai continues to be an extraordinary watch and taking the whole season into account is most definitely a solid viewing experience. Its use of narrative arcs has kind of kept it from building to something that is over the top emotionally, but it has certainly left a far more lasting impression than anime that simply go for sensationalise in the moment.

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SEISHUN BUTA YAROU WA BUNNY GIRL SENPAI NO YUME WO MINAI ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK
SEISHUN BUTA YAROU WA BUNNY GIRL SENPAI NO YUME WO MINAI ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK

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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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.

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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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

Tuesday’s Top 5: Surprisingly Good Anime in 2018

Tuesday's Top 5

I started this list in 2017 and unsurprisingly Spiritpact took out my top pick for surprisingly good show. The sequel didn’t have quite the surprise factor, though it was still pretty awesome.

Now, I will make it clear, this is not my list of best anime from 2018. That will come once the Autumn season has ended and I can do my final evaluation of the shows. These are anime that I expected nothing from, or very little, and what I got was actually pretty decent. These shows surpassed anything I ever thought they would so even though they all still have a few rough edges, ultimately these are some fun anime to check out if you passed on them initially or looking at the name makes you want to run and hide.

When looking at the list below, I’m aware a lot of them come out of the Autumn season. That’s because of all the seasons this year, Autumn was the one I expected little from most of the shows (Spring and Summer had definitely lowered my expectations) and then there were just so many shows that I have thoroughly enjoyed. However, this list are the shows that surprised me by being good, so I’d love to know what is on your list for 2018.

Please Note – Potential spoilers below.

Honourable mentions this week go to: How to Keep a Mummy and Run With The Wind.

Number 5: How Not To Summon a Demon Lord

For an ecchi filled harem isekai story about a guy who enslaves two girls on arrival (accidentally of course) this anime could easily be dismissed as trash. Those who dislike fan-service of any sort probably will dismiss it and move on as will those who by default dislike isekai stories. However, How Not To Summon A Demon Lord proved itself a fairly enjoyable romp full of interesting characters and some fairly solid magical fights. The fan service moments certainly pushed things to the limit at times, but the story being constructed was surprisingly good and they certainly paced things so that every time the thought of maybe calling it quits something very good would happen and draw me back into the story. Ultimately, I ended up really having a lot of fun with Diablo, Shera and Rem and I actually kind of hope this one gets a sequel.

Number 4: DAKAICHI -I’m being harassed by the sexiest man of the year-

Having read the manga of this one I was curious about its transformation into an anime and was expecting something so much worse. I’m not going to say it is all smooth sailing and there are certainly plenty of actions that would cross the lines some people have drawn for themselves, but this one has been a surprisingly fun ride. I really enjoy Takato as a character and even Junta has grown on me as the season has progressed. There are some incredibly sweet and touching moments and the more extreme aspects of the manga have been toned down (which will probably annoy those who wanted to see those scenes brought to life but I’m kind of happy with the alterations that I’ve noticed). All and all, I expected that my curiosity for this one would be short lived once it started and instead I’ve been falling more and more in love with this story since episode 1.

Number 3: Voice of Fox

Anime shorts don’t normally last long on my watch list so I’m really surprised that I’m not only watching this one but how high up my favourites list it is most weeks. Certainly not a perfect story by any means, it really isn’t wasting its time in each episode as it progresses what is a fairly competent and interesting story and a character who is fairly likeable. Sure, it could all go belly up in the final weeks and maybe I’ll change my mind about where on this list it should go, but considering I expected almost nothing from it, I’ve ended up really looking forward to and anticipating the episode each week. That and Hu Li’s singing voice is out of this world good. Would love an actual album of just that.

Number 2: Cells At Work

No surprise this one made the list. I kind of expected the show to be cute enough but get repetitive and dull. Instead, I enjoyed it each week and found the characters a true delight. Again, this anime wasn’t perfect by any means, but considering my expectations the silly smile on my face each week from the opening song on was very unanticipated. That and this show delivered on the cutest characters of all time (losing out only to Mii-Kun from How to Keep a Mummy), the Platelets. Yes, we all need more platelets in our lives.

Number 1: Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai

I almost did not watch the first episode of this one. I saw the title, saw the promotional art and I sighed. I avoided the first episode and watched other things. I took notes on what was going onto my watch list. And then I decided I’d give it five minutes of my time. This is now the top of my Autumn season watch list and has been pretty consistently my favourite show every single week of the season. Great characters, great writing, interesting plots, and pacing that never feels too slow or too rushed. While I will continue to make fun of their running animations, I love this show and it is one that truly convinced me that every show is worth trying (even if only for a minute).

So I’d love to know which anime have surprised you this year with how good they have been. Be sure to leave me a comment below and next week I’m going to look at my top 5 anime for visuals from 2018.

Bunny Girl Isn’t About Getting What You Want

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode Review title

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 8 Review

Time and time again I think about how great Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai has been. The characters are solidly constructed and while they are most definitely character types they are each treated respectfully, the interactions and dialogue between them are golden, and the overall story never allows itself to get bogged down for too long as we move smoothly from one arc to the next. However, for an anime that at its core seems to be about Sakuta saving all these girls from themselves I really appreciate that so far the solution hasn’t been in caving in to their every request and providing them what they wanted on a silver platter.

Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 8 Futaba and Sakuta

Whether it was Mai, Tomoe, or now Futaba; they’ve all wanted something fairly ill-defined but as they reached for it they found themselves getting more than a little bit burned. And, while Sakuta might be a catalyst, the girls aren’t completely passive in waiting for him to solve their problems. Mai had to come to terms with what she really wanted and ultimately returned to show business. Tomoe had to let go of Sakuta and accept that ultimately he was with Mai, and she also had to stop worrying so much about what others would think of her and act in accordance with her feelings. Futaba had to accept herself and ultimately ask to be rejoined with herself in this episode. It makes each case feel distinct in that the girls have their own problems and they each face them in their own way, but ultimately they are all just trying to do the best they can.

Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 8 Futaba

Futaba is an excellent point though, because she returned to herself even knowing that she still wouldn’t get the guy and that realistically nothing had changed. She just had to learn to face it and stop hating herself. But while the focus was on Futaba and Sakuta this week, I was pleasantly surprised to see Kunimi get a bit of a look in because I’d been hoping that this ‘friend’ would actually get some more screen time. I was a little miffed when he declared he was going to make up with his girlfriend, mostly because so far she’s come across as a horrible person, but it all kind of fits with the story so far in that the girls aren’t getting a kiss from the handsome prince and getting a fairy-tale ending. They are facing the harsh and gritty reality that their particular phenomenon allowed them to avoid momentarily.

Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 8 Sakuta and mai

Before finishing up this week I do want to mention that Mai and Sakuta remain beautiful together and every scene they are in is golden. That said, the agency asking them not to see each other is just kind of depressing because it kind of indicates we’re going to have less of those moments for awhile.

Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 8 Fireworks

However, week after week this anime delivers compelling characters, builds a great story, and leaves me feeling satisfied. While this current phenomenon was probably the least explored, part of that probably comes due to centring on Futaba who is usually the one to hypothesise a way out of the situation and she was too close to this one to assume the usual role. Really looking forward to next week.

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.

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 5: The Real Fake

Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 5

There’s something fairly brilliant about this show when it delivers what I worried it would do and yet manages to make me appreciate it anyway. Sakurajima Mai is in fact sidelined quite substantially this episode, being sent off to film on location elsewhere after an early scene with Sakuta and then literally just getting to phone it in for the remainder of the episode. And yet, this didn’t hurt the show as much as I feared it would.

Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 5

Also, Sakuta is definitely the protagonist who is going to rescue all the girls from their various problems just by being the selfless male protagonist that we’ve seen in so many of these kinds of shows. It isn’t just the main girls. He even stops to help random classmates find phone straps on the beach. He’s a walking monument to selflessness when it comes to helping all those defenceless girls, and normally that would annoy me to no end. Yet, he’s so incredibly likeable as a character. You certainly can’t relate to him because he’s so incredibly unbelievable as a character, and yet I can’t help enjoying every minute he’s on the screen. And not just because he stomps on the face of arrogant athletes who spread disgusting rumours about the girls who turn them down (though I must admit that was a pretty fantastic moment).

Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 5

Tomoe as well really stepped up. She still can’t match Mai for chemistry with the male lead, and I don’t think they are trying to. It seems that this is not going to be a harem where the protagonist allows there to be ambiguity about whether he’s made a choice or not. Sakuta has clearly chosen Mai and is settled even if her accepting his confession got reset by Tomoe (and wow, I just realised that could be a serious future complication if Tomoe decides to replay a day until Sakuta accepts her confession, because ouch). But Tomoe, in her own insecure way has charm, and she’s certainly no slouch when it comes to holding up her end on the interesting dialogue this show has been delivering since episode one.

Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 5

So while this episode did dive headlong into a path I kind of wished it wouldn’t, I’m really glad it did. This episode was another solid effort and one that was highly entertaining. Clearly Tomoe’s arc isn’t done just yet and there’s clearly more to the whole Laplace’s Demon idea that is yet to be uncovered, but overall the charm of this series hasn’t worn off just yet.

Friday’s Feature: 3 Reasons That Bunny Girl Anime is Worth Trying This Season

Bunny Girl Senpai - Episode 1 - Mai Sakurajima and Sakuta Azusagawa

While it has probably become apparent from my episodic coverage of Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai, this absurdly titled school-romance-comedy thing with a bit of the supernatural thrown in has really managed to grab my attention in a season packed with titles that I was greatly looking forward to. The anime I took one look at the promotional artwork and the title, rolled my eyes and clicked start on episode one expecting to dislike, drop mid-way through the first episode and maybe write a snarky first impressions post of ended up sucking me write in and forced me to pay attention to it. Then over the first three episodes is proceeded to tell a very endearing, if slightly emotionally overwrought, story before episode four transitioned us fairly solidly into a new arc that has enough promise to make me believe that maybe this anime is going to maintain its consistently high standard.

Bunny Girl Senpai - promotional image
Though if you are expecting Mai to remain in Bunny Girl costume, you are probably out of luck.

So other than the fact that I like it, why do I actually think you should try it (assuming you haven’t already)?

01. The two characters we primarily follow during the first three episodes, Sakuta Azusagawa and Mai Sakurajima, are individually both fairly ordinary characters but when thrown together they have some incredible chemistry and the dialogue flows between them in a way that is almost mesmerising. Both characters like to verbally push their conversational partner but exchanges between the two are almost light-hearted sparring matches with each one making sure not to miss their beat and working to score points off the other.

Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 2

Now I wouldn’t actually say the dialogue is natural sounding as both characters pull off some retorts in a split second that most people would take at least a moment to frame. They are also very big on discussing things like the ‘atmosphere’ of the school and how people are perceived and while this is contextually appropriate it doesn’t exactly lend itself to sounding natural. But then again, that isn’t really what this anime is looking for. Everything about the situation the characters are found in is a gross exaggeration of reality and so the dialogue sounding that cut above what the average teens would discuss fits perfectly with the ideas this story is choosing to delve into.

02. And on that note, the basic premise of this story is pretty great. It isn’t original. Even Buffy the Vampire Slayer had an invisible girl (and it wasn’t original then), made so by being ignored by her peers, so the concepts at work here about rumours and hearsay having an impact on the way reality is perceived isn’t breaking new ground. It doesn’t need to. The concept is still fascinating and it isn’t the over-ploughed ground of the isekai or high school club anime where cute girls/boys do cute/silly things. There’s plenty to explore with this concept and the first arc covered over episodes 1 – 3 clearly demonstrated that this anime has a firm grip on its writing and pacing to do a decent job of exploring the issues at hand without dragging them out or rushing to a hasty conclusion.

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senapi Episode 3

It also makes me wonder what else will be explored and whether things will come together in the end or if each situation is just going to be a stand-alone arc and either option could be fine provided they continue to deliver stories like the first one.

03. Finally, Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai knows how to ride the audiences’ emotions. Admittedly, those who dislike overt emotional manipulation may find it a little twee but if you strap in for the ride and just go with it, this anime will take you through the whole array of human emotions having you smile or laugh at one line of dialogue before plunging you into introspection and then we’ll transition into being contemplative, annoyed, or even really sad or embarrassed and these transitions feel perfectly natural while watching the episode (largely because we’re kind of riding along with Sakuta’s emotions as the story unfolds).

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 3

While I won’t declare this anime perfection (just watch some of the running animations and I’m still kind of scratching my head about the scene where Sakuta kicks that girl in the butt after she asked him too) I will definitely say this is an anime worth giving a go to this season and so far the ride has been great. While I’m not a huge fan of scores, this one is currently sitting third for the season on MAL beaten only by JoJo and Fairy Tail that both have massive brand recognition and it has come out ahead of SAO and the two isekai entries of Slime and Goblin Slayer.

For a show that had almost no buzz prior to beginning, it has definitely made an impact on viewers and while jumping on a bandwagon isn’t a great reason to watch an anime either, there are some really good reasons why this anime might be worth your time.

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 3

I’d love to know your thoughts on Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai so if you’ve watched any of it so far I’d love to know what you’ve thought (no spoilers if you’ve read the source, please).


Thanks for reading.

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