We all knew it would have to end eventually but it was still a hell of a ride.
During the latter half of 2018 I tried avoiding most of the airing anime in the hopes that the community would help me figure out which shows I would actually enjoy, and to allow for optimal binging pleasure. Unfortunately those hopes would be dashed as the hype surrounding my favorite titles drew me in against my will. It probably started with the latest season of My Hero Academia which had it’s ups and downs with pacing. Then there was of course Steins;Gate 0, the mid-quel to one of my all time favorite series — which only made it 5 episodes in before I cracked and began consuming. But today I’d like to talk about series I didn’t know I needed so much, Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai.
“Puberty syndrome – Abnormal experiences rumored on the internet to be caused by sensitivity and instability during adolescence. This year, Sakuta Azusagawa, a second-year student at a high school near Enoshima, meets several girls that are experiencing this “puberty syndrome.” For instance, he meets a wild bunny girl in the library. She turns out to be an actress on hiatus, Mai Sakurajima, who is also his senior at the school. For some reason, no one else can see this enchanting girl. How did she become invisible…? (Source: Crunchyroll)
So we’ve got a supernatural teen rom-com on our hands with a title that looks like it had to have began as a LN huh? <Google search checks out>. I’m sure this won’t be an emotional roller coaster of feels.
But you know what? I wrote that last sentence thinking I was just being sarcastic, something I know works so well in writing, but didn’t realize just how wrong I was. A Pubescent Low-Life Series (Yet another name for Bunny Girl Senpai) is actually a more light-hearted series than I initially expected, and in hindsight never sent me emotionally spiraling like I thought it might. Yes, each arc had its moment when the girls had to overcome their issues to cure their puberty syndrome. However there was never any doubt as to whether or not they would succeed.
ultimately you just knew all of their problems would be fixed in no time at all. I’m not sure if the tumultuous twists and turns of this show have a funny irony to them, or if I’ve just become accustomed to the staples of the genre. Bunny Girl Senpai employs numerous anime clichés. Early on in the season I think this worked in the show’s favor, but it became tiresome in the final few episodes.
Actually if I’m being completely honest, I was really disappointed by the finale of the season. It felt rushed and scattered, as if it was trying to fit two storylines with 3-4 episodes worth of content into one. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it ruins the show, but it left a bad taste in my mouth and makes me worry about the possibility for a second season. I guess we’ll just have to see how the movie later this year is received.
There are still several mysteries the show has left unaddressed, and that I hope aren’t glossed over in the movie. What are the details behind Sakuta’s puberty syndrome? Is Shouko Makinohara a figment of his imagination? What’s going to happen to his and Kaede’s mom? Hell will Futaba steal Yuuma away from his girlfriend? The people demand answers!
But for the time being, I’m going to refrain from giving this show a score. Part of me wants to rank it high, but after the latest episode another part wants to rank it kinda low. Ultimately I have high hopes for the movie and a second season, but only if they can recreate the magic of the early episodes. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for it.
On a more positive note I adored this anime’s OP as well as the band’s actual music video for the song. Which do you prefer?