rascal does not dream of bunny girl senpai; review

after seeing short clips posted by crunchyroll over and over again, i finally took the leap and started this series. and boy, i was not disappointed!

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i’m in agreeance with the majority in that this series is very similar to the monogatari series, which i love irrevocably. when i started rascal does not dream of bunny girl senpai, i was nervous that i would be watching a cheap knock off of a classic, but luckily that was not the case. not only is the monogatari series more eclectic and abstract, it was also severely wordy and for those watching with subtitles this made it difficult to stomach through if you were not up to the task. rascal was immensely more accessible. by making things a lot simpler and adding the good aspects of contemporary anime it left you able to focus on the plot of each character properly.

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this is a personal preference, but i’m happy that although it had a ratio of one man to six girls, it didn’t behave like a harem anime. this is not always executed properly, so i was very impressed that they focused on the protagonist and how he handled each girl’s situation as opposed to making it overly ecchi or moe.

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the story follows the rascal himself, sakuta azusagawa, as he meets girls plagued by “adolescence syndrome,” a strange phenomena that causes supernatural things to happen to ordinary girls. the first girl he was able to successfully help became his girlfriend, the bunny girl – mai sakurajima. the story splits into short arcs as he goes on to help his classmates, mai’s little sister, and then eventually has to face his own little sister as she has been suffering from the effects of her own adolescence syndrome for over two years now. the story attempts to explain the odd occurrences with science, such as quantum mechanics. the overly used trope in anime of schrödinger’s cat even makes an appearance as rio futaba, the intelligent best friend, tries to find a realistic solution for all that has happened. i found this attempt charming, but also lacking in substance. perhaps there was some detail lost in translation, but considering this was a light novel, it isn’t likely.

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the animation didn’t cut corners, and the character designs were all top notch. while they were definitely archetypes that we have seen before, i felt the overall art and animation was well executed. the scenery was also well done. the faceless masses were in cgi but much more seamless in their motions. i complained quite a bit about this in my tsuki ga kirei review. the dancing scene for the pop idol group was spectacular, and i exclaim proudly – all drawn!

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now the part that i have been most excited to talk about: the music. aside from the opening song, i found the ost to be absolutely captivating and stunning. the opening was a bit grating on the ears, and struck me as one of those stereotypical high-pitched anime songs. however, the background music was perfectly fitting for all situations. its composition had a light and mystical feeling to it complementing each story and scenario well. but above all, the crowning glory to this anime was the ending song, which they recorded a whopping five times for almost every girl. the timing was so incredibly impeccable, you almost miss the fact that it was a different girl singing each ending. here’s a video proving the seamless work that went into it. the song is charming and even though i’ve been listening to it for weeks now, it still gives me goosebumps!

*spoilers ahead*

Capture.PNGnow the most important thing i must mention is the fact that the movie is coming out this year. since the movie is supposed to be a continuation of the series, i am optimistic that some of the mysteries left will be explained and that the tragic situation of kaede will be resolved. who is shoko makinohara? what is causing sakuta’s injuries? will we ever see kaede from the past two years again? and why is it always sakuta in the center of all the anomalies? i’m just itching to find out! screenings for the movie are slated for early summer, so hopefully the premiere will only be shortly after. i’m also excited to see that mai will be playing a major role as well.

 

tldr; this series was accessible, charming, and had good pacing. i honestly binged the first half and then and waited anxiously each week for the next episode to be released. although there are still loose ends, a movie is already on the way. i definitely recommend it, giving it a solid 8/10. some parts of the series were slightly basic, which is common when adapted from light novels, which brought the score down a bit, but i felt that cloverworks did a fantastic job with the material that they had.

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