Almost-Final Thoughts: Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai
Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations
With the end of the fall anime season also comes the end of one of my favorite anime experiences of the year: Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai. I think I can speak for a lot of people when I say that this show was surprisingly good. Its promotional material may have made it look like a gimmicky, uninteresting Slice-of-Life, but in reality, the and characters of the show are some that many can relate to, including me. The show still has a few episodes left until its ultimate conclusion, but there are a few things I wanted to talk about in regards to the show. If anything significant about my opinion changes, I will do a follow-up. But, until then, here are my almost-final thoughts on Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai.
One of the defining elements of a Rom-Com Slice-of-Life show is that each of the girls in said show receives some amount of development, either in relation to their feelings with the main character or regarding themselves. Some discover their true feelings, others realize that they are satisfied with the way their life is, either way, they progress. It is not often, though, that this progression genuinely feels like it focused on the character at hand. Bunny Girl Senpai, however, has characters who do feel developed.
In each of the main arcs of the show, Sakuta helps the girls with their problems not because the show needs some sort of forward momentum but because Sakuta, as a the focal point around which the show’s plot develops, feels like a much more developed character in his own right. It is because Sakuta feels real that his expression of concern towards Mai, Futaba, and the others feels real as well.
However, this is not to imply that each of the other characters are not interesting on their own as well. Even Tomoe, who’s arc feels the weakest among all six of the main characters, still exhibits oodles more personality then the best characters from some of its other genre competitors.
A top all of the show’s characters, however, sits Mai. Being Sakuta’s main love interest she gets the most screen time and it is well deserved. Mai comes across much like the average high-schooler would: exuding a youthful confidence while also hiding some insecurities that Sakuta helps her deal with. Her back-and-forths with Sakuta are arguably one of the highlights of the show, and not to mention that she is, in fact, best girl.
I talked about Puberty Syndrome a little bit in a different post I wrote about Bunny Girl Senpai, but I think its something that is worth talking about again. Canonically, Puberty Syndrome is the manifestation of a teenager’s worst fears and insecurities.
To me, this is one of the best aspects of the show aside from its characters. Each of the girls has something that they are going through, and when those fears and doubts become extreme, they end up warping the reality around them. For Mai, her fear of dropping out of showbiz forever lead to the people around her, including Sakuta for a little while, forgetting who she was. In Nodoka’s case, her jealousy of Mai made her and Mai switch identities. For Sakuta’s little sister Kaede, the mean things that people at school said about her online made her feel so bad that she started getting physical injuries because of them.
In each of these character’s cases, their fear became so real that it literally became their reality, and that’s how it can feel being a teenager: like the world is coming after you and there is nothing you can do stop yourself from getting hurt. Overall, the show has been great and I hope the show’s conclusion is great as well so I don’t have to come back and writer a bunch of negative stuff too.