Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai
Series: Seishun Buta Yaro
Original Run: October 4, 2018 – December 27, 2018
Genres: Drama, Psychological, Supernatural
Sakuta Azusagawa’s life takes a turn for the unexpected when he meets teenage actress Mai Sakurajima, dressed as a bunny girl, wandering through a library and not being noticed by anyone else there. Mai is intrigued that Sakuta is the only one who can see her, as other people are unable to see her, even when she is dressing normally or attempting to stay away from celebrity life. Calling this phenomenon “Adolescence Syndrome”, Sakuta decides to solve this mystery, while continuing to get closer to Mai and meeting other girls who suffer from “Adolescence Syndrome” as well.
Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai has one of the most misleading anime I’ve ever watch, all of the promotional art and description make this series sound like your run of the mill harem romance. Right from the start with the first episode, I realized I was in for a much darker and more complex story. Bunny Girl Senpai is a story about Sakuta Azusagawa, a listless high schooler who cares little for what the people around him think about him. His life is changed when he meets a teenage actress named Mai, wearing a bunny costume in public and is seemingly unnoticed by everyone.
This series was an absolute gem with an intriguing story that revolves around the difficulties of adolescence. Each of the characters that Sakuta meets has some form of hardship that manifests itself in supernatural ways, stuck and unable to move past their troubles. Each of the characters and phenomena is different, but are central to unlocking the mystery of what is affected them. Sakuta attempts to rationalize these phenomena with his friend Rio, who is always spouting pseudo-scientific theories about metaphysics. Each of the story arcs also took some unexpected turns, and I was glad that they did not always wrap up in the cliché ways that you would expect them to.
I rolled my eyes a little during the first episode when they tried to explain the theories, and none of them really stuck to me. However, the various experiences presented through metaphor throughout the story were relatable. The relationship between Sakuta and Mai always managed to make me happy, both of them delivering witty banter deadpan, breaking out of their usual composure only with each other – it was a romance that I could honestly enjoy. It is also worth mentioning that the opening theme of the anime is extremely catchy, I found myself humming along to it even after I had finished the series.
Sadly the anime leaves off unfinished, only adapting the first five volumes of the nine-volume light novel series. Though I absolutely loved this anime, I must admit that I felt dissatisfied that the story was not wrapped up and left so much on the table still. Thankfully, a movie sequel was released, which adapts the sixth and seventh volumes, which I’ll be watching soon to hopefully get some closure. While not perfect, Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai is definitely one of the stronger anime to be released in 2018 and is worth a watch for those that are fans of psychological anime.