Tag Archives: Bunny Girl Senpai

Reflecting on Anime in the 2010s and the Turbulence of Life

If there is any a more potent reminder that time is starting to move more quickly, it is the end of a decade. In just a few more months, 2019 will end, marking the beginning of another 10 years. Before I inevitably forget to write my obligatory end of the year post welcoming and hoping for a better next year, I wanted to take some time to talk about Anime in this decade, what affect it has had on me, and where I see myself going.

A Decade of Anime: A Medium Growing Stronger

I’ll admit that, given my younger age and relative inexperience with older series, this next statement is going to be incredibly biased, but anime in the 2010s has been a truly wonderful experience. It seems to be the case that as the medium has grown in popularity, especially in the West, the diversity in its genre’s and overall storytelling has gone up. Part of it is likely due to the overall growth allowing for experimentation and risk at animation studios, such as at Studio Trigger. However, part of it also seems to come from the influence of and involvement of cultures and people outside of Japan, such as with LeSean Thomas and Kevin Pinkerton.

Many Studios, including the previously mentioned Trigger, alongside others like Madhouse and Ufotable, have been pushing against the grain when it comes to anime’s generally less polished nature. Ufotable in particular has done amazing work, and has seen great success in this this year’s Demon Slayer.

The mainstream acceptance of anime in many more places across the western cultural landscape has also meant an increased an number of fans getting involved in the medium. Of course, in the short term, as someone who writes about anime, this generally benefits me, but it also means that those who enjoy it are less likely to be isolated from others who share the same interest. More discussion can only serve to enhance and expand understanding of these shows, which will serve to enrich future discussion.

It seems as though anime in the during this decade has gone through sort of cultural shift that video games went through in the later part of the 2000s. As more people became familiar with video games, and the medium started getting mainstream acceptance, people came to see it as just another thing people do. Anime has, slowly, but surely, gone through roughly the same process.

2010 Anime’s Affect on Me.

I try not to treat certain eras of any given medium of entertainment as a monolith, because every era can be defined by a quite a number of things. However, Anime in the 2010s did seem to be noticeably different, for a lot of the reasons I already mentioned. The result of this, at least for me, is that I have only become more fascinated by the possibilities of anime.

Another effect is one that I have mentioned pretty often at this point, but is worth repeating here: without a lot of the shows from this decade, I probably would not have gone as deep down the rabbit whole into anime as I have. Growing up with anime has defined a large part of who I am, and through all my ups and downs it has been there with me, even if only in the background.

Anime with the Most Personal Impact

I have watched a lot of anime, most of it from this decade. However, I wanted to quickly shout-out some of the shows that have had a pretty profound impact on me and on my general approach to life.

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai

After seeing the goofy English title and a few small snippets from the first episode, it was hard to imagine that this show was going to have any serious impact on me, but man am I glad to be wrong. Bunny Girl Senpai is a show that I can only really describe as deceptively wise, in that it is a show whose messages can only really come from people who have a lot of life experience. Granted, that is nothing special in an of itself, but it also came to me at a point in time when I needed to hear it.

Yugioh!

I could probably write an entire separate article even longer than this one likely will be about how much Yugioh and other cards games influenced me as a person. But, as is true a lot of others like myself, I would have never gotten into the card game if it were not for the anime it spawned. The show kept me entertained for hours, and I would always go onto YouTube and rewatch a lot of the duels from the show, and While I do not play much of the game or even keep up to date with the latest series anymore, the franchise still has an important place in my heart.

and finally…

March Comes in Like a Lion

I don’t know if I need to say much at this point, but I will say a little anyway. Rei Kiriyama has been one of the more relatable characters that I have ever come across, and his story, despite being fairly distant in subject matter, is incredibly saddening even just on a human level. The feeling of the not knowing who you are is a universal one, and March Comes in Like a Lion conveys it incredibly well.

Looking Forward to the Future

I think what I am trying to say with this post overall is that anime is in a really good place, both for me and as a community. There are so many wonderful elements of anime to enjoy, and it is definitely much easier to be a fan than it was in the past. Here is to another decade of anime, making friends, and enjoying life.


How do you guys feel about anime in the 2010s? Let me know in the comments below.

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Almost-Final Thoughts: Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai

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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.

The Characters

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.

Puberty Syndrome

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.

What Bunny Girl Senpai Gets Right About Being a Teenager

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Bunny Girl Senpai, for as ridiculous as its title might imply that it is, is actually one of the better shows I’ve seen in a while. It’s writing is genuinely interesting and engaging, and it’s characters, while somewhat archetypical to the Slice of Life genre, have more than enough personality on their own to be story centers. It also happens to get a lot right about being a teenager in the modern world.

Screenshot 2018-12-03 20.36.21.png

One of the main things that it gets right is the stress of insecurity. As a teenager, sometimes it really does feel like the world out to get you, and that every minor inconvenience can be catastrophic because teenagers often care way too much. This can be seen clearly in the first arc of the show with Mai. Mai’s fear of being forgotten and not having enough attention manifests when almost everyone eventually forgets her, including Sakuta. Sure, Puberty Syndrome isn’t actually real, but that’s also kind of the point.

Puberty Syndrome as a storytelling mechanic is meant to show the exaggerated worry of teenagers in real life. Everyone has a different internal fear that manifests as something different.

Screenshot 2018-12-03 20.29.47.png

The other major thing it gets right about being a teenager is relationships. Whether they be casual friendships or romantic endeavors, almost every relationship in high school is important. The friend groups teenagers form in high school are often people they see every day and are likely to spend time out of school with. In Bunny Girl Senpai, Sakuta shows this extremely well. As was shown in one of the last few episodes, Sakuta has been friends with Futaba and Kunimi since middle school, and their friendship has remained strong throughout high school.

Screenshot 2018-12-03 20.31.12.png

Friendships with females can also become more complicated. Speaking from a lot of personal experience, I had many female friends that I was interested in dating because a lot of them were super cool. Sure, a lot of it probably had to do with hormones, but nevertheless, the feelings remained there. Those types of feelings can also be seen in the show’s second arc, in which Tomoe must pretend to be Sakuta’s girlfriend for almost a whole month, and ends up falling in love with him. Proximity to others can have a deep effect on how teenagers, and people in general, feel about each other, because the more you hang out with someone, the more you come to understand and appreciate certain things about them.

There are also a few details that feel a lot more accurate because of the technology available in 2018. One great example in Bunny Girl Senpai is when Tomoe is studying in her room but then pulls out her phone to watch a video on YouTube only to have an ad playing that features Mai. Seeing Mai then reminds Tomoe of her fake relationship with Sakuta. A small detail such as that, while not adding much on its own, does help with the atmosphere of the show.

At the end of the day, Bunny Girl Senpai is a Supernatural Slice of Life series so a lot of its events can be classified as unrealistic. However, in order to have a good Supernatural show, it does need to be based at least somewhat in reality, and Bunny Girl Senpai has that more than covered.


What do you guys think of Bunny Girl Senpai? Has the show been relatable to you in some way? Let me know in the comments below. Also, if you want to support the Aniwriter through donations or are just feeling generous, consider buying me a coffee on Ko-Fi. Otherwise, thanks for reading and bye for now, Friendos!

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 1 Reaction

Welcome, weebs and authors alike, to The Aniwriter

If there is one thing I like to avoid in talking about a show, it’s using other shows to describe them because it seems unfair to categorize the interesting parts of one show as just a reskin of a different show. I see this happen with a lot of different shonen series that inevitably get compared to Dragon Ball Z, even though many of those shows have a lot more to offer than just being a different Dragon ball. With that being said, I could not watch this show without immediately getting reminded of one of my favorite shows, Oregairu.

Oregairu

Bunny Girl Senpai is about Sakuta, a high school kid who happens to see one of his senpais walking around in a bunny costume. However, as he comes to find, there is a lot more to it than that. Sakuta starts to take an interest in his senpai due to, as it is revealed later in the episode, most of his high school class wants nothing to do with him. When he talks to his senpai Mai, he finds out that she suffers from adolescence syndrome, and now that she has gone on hiatus from being a movie and tv star, people are starting to ignore her existence.

Screenshot 2018-11-06 16.02.09.png

The immediate parallels should be obvious. Both main characters had events happen outside of their control that made it so their high school class ostracized them, and both immediately met a female character who is in a similar situation for a much different reason. Kaede also seems to be playing a somewhat similar role to Yui from Oregairu, although their personalities are much different. One thing that seems to be different between Hikigaya and Sakuta is their willingness to embrace their outsider status. At the beginning of Oregairu, it seemed as though Hikigaya did not care much at all about the social caste he has found himself in, whereas Sakuto seems to be in a much different situation.

Kokoro Connect.jpg

A more subtle and buy much less obvious comparison to make would be with Kokoro Connect. The main premise of Bunny Girl Senpai centers around the idea of Adolescence Syndrome, which are the strange occurrences that happen due to the sensitivity and stress of being a teenager. Kokoro Connect, while never directly linking its premise to this idea, seems to be largely based off of it.

Screenshot 2018-11-06 16.14.11.png

Even on its own merits, however, Bunny Girl Senpai seems to be just as interesting, and maybe even more so than those shows. While not exactly having the greatest production, it is good enough so that it does not matter much. The story so far has been incredibly engaging, despite only being one episode in. I would be lying if I said that I knew exactly where the show was going, but I think it will be good nonetheless.

Also, random last minute shoutout to the music, cause it was low key really good.


What do you guys think of Bunny Girl Senpai? Let me know in the comments below. Also, if you want to support the Aniwriter through donations or are just feeling generous, consider buying me a coffee on Ko-Fi. Otherwise, thanks for reading and bye for now, Friendos!