The Power Of Perception – ‘Rascal Does Not Dream Of Bunny Girl Senpai’ Episode 1 Review

What’s the show? Rascal Does Not Dream Of Bunny Girl Senpai, Episode 1.

And wh—wait, I don’t remember this show being on your ‘Fall Anime Watch List’? What gives? Well it was initially but if I’m being perfectly transparent as soon as I saw the English title of this show I was like “nope, not having that”!

That’s an oddly specific reason to not watch a show, I mean what’s in a title anyway? A title is everything, you ever get in a conversation with someone and they ask “Oh what are your favourite anime?” and then you’re too embarrassed to say the title because it’s something stupid sounding like ‘Rascal Does Not Dream Of Bunny Girl Senpai’?

Come here often?

Pfft, like you have conversations with people… I do on the internet! Also, I kinda hate the word ‘rascal’.

What do you mean, it’s just a word? Well you know how some people out there ~loathe~ the word “moist” well for me it’s like that but with “rascal”, just typing it makes me turn up my nose—and don’t ask me why, I don’t know why!

…You are one weird son-of-a-bitch you know that? Well it’s gotten me this far, hasn’t it?

So does the phone match the cosplay? More or less.

Oh right, this is supposed to be a review. You know we shouldn’t waffle on like this, who the hell is going to read though this pointless back and forth when all someone is looking for is just a quick succinct opinion on a new season anime! You want a quick succinct opinion—this show is amazing, I feel dumb for ever having judged it by it’s dumb title—this show is amazing, this show… is, ahem, amazing.

So good then huh? Did I oversell it a bit?

Just a smidge. Gomensai.

I believed it all.

What’s the show about then? Our protagonist Sakuta Azusagawa has a run in with a wild bunny girl (that’s a girl in a sexy bunny costume—not an actual half human-rabbit hybrid—this is anime I feel the need to clarify). And it’s not just any girl its Mai Sakurajima, a famous actress who’s taken a hiatus to attend a normal school life. He first meets her dressed in the bunny costume in a public library but despite her fame and outlandish costume nobody around seems to notices her. Turns out Sakuta is pretty knowledgeable about what he ~thinks~ is going on here—it’s something called “Adolescence Syndrome” and it can manifest in many different ways. For example Sakuta’s younger sister Kaede was the victim of online bullying and death threats and in-turn cuts manifested all over her body without a source. The “Adolescence Syndrome” was ‘cured’ by removing all Internet sources from their house and stopping going to school.

Words can hurt.

Wait, stop, I’m confused. Shhh, just go with it.

Is this one of those weird, vague pretentious anime like Bakemonogatari? You remember Bakemonogatari, my Number 1 anime of all time! I’m so proud of you! (If you want to see how things first started on this blog my Bakemonogatari review was the 2nd review I ever posted!)

Man, you never miss an opportunity to promote yourself do you? I do what I can. But no, I think Bakemonogatari is a cheap comparison. Not to say it’s inaccurate, it’s just kind of easy. The Monogatari series is more about rapid-fire reference filled dialogue and witty wordplay set against a vaguely supernatural backdrop but anchored in the normalcy of everyday life. It’s also very artsy and pretentious. But this show doesn’t feel as unique, but at the same time it doesn’t feel like it’s trying too hard. My one sole complaint about Bakemonogatari, and it’s not even a complaint because I love it about the show, is that it’s trying so hard to be unique that it becomes endearing—at least to someone who eats that shit up. Whereas this show—

She’s just a senpai, wanting to be noticed.

Stop calling it “this show” it has a name you know. I know it does, but don’t make me say it…

You’re going to have to get over this issue one day, might as well take initiative and make it today! Tch! Fine—this show… ‘Rascal Does Not Dream Of Bunny Girl Senpai’ makes its odd premise, its quirky dialogue and character interactions feel naturalistic and casual—even if the dialogue is the kind of dialogue that a movie poster would promote as “sparkling” and “quippy”—two words I don’t think I’ve ever used myself.

Sick burn.

Probably because “quippy” isn’t a word… #justsaying… Ahem. So in conclusion, I think this series is pretty damn fantastic, it’s very much about that ~weird things happening amidst a normal setting~ aesthetic that I love. Plus the characters are all endlessly interesting and their interactions bring me such joy that my face actually hurt from smiling so much while watching this episode. I don’t know where this show is going, I don’t know if it’s going to stay as good but it’s quickly sprung to my favourite of the current season anime. I could go on and on, talk about how great the soundtrack is, how flawless the animation is—all the little background details, but ah, this review is already getting long and I should probably wrap it up!

Neko.

This isn’t an awards ceremony, nobody is playing music to try and get you to wrap up your speech quicker… I want to thank ‘Highway’, a prolific commenter on my blog who leaves novel length comments for recommending this anime to me—he apparently knows me better than I know myself! I want to thank CloverWorks for making this dream a reality; it wouldn’t have been possible without you! I want to thank the author Hajime Kamoshida—

Yep, great joke. Flawless execution. Shuddup…

So much happened in this episode it felt like 3!

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18 comments

    1. It’s much more grounded in reality than Monogatari, I think. I didn’t really make a connection to that show at all. It’s also not Shaft-y at all. Maybe the interplay between Mai and Sakuta in this show is similar to the interplay between Hitagi and Koyomi, but that’s really where the similarities end, and Mai and Sakuta are a lot more normal in what they talk about and how they talk about it.

      I’d certainly recommend it to anyone. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I have to say I’m glad you liked it, although I didn’t think you’d enjoy it this much. I love the tension in this show, pretty laid back in the first episode, but the second episode just kept it going and ramped it up. I also really liked the background action, the character design and the clean art. I even like really little things, like the way Sakuta is carrying his bag in his introduction cut in the OP. Whatever this show is selling, I’m buying.

    And I think they really softpedaled the English title. “butayarou” is significantly more derogatory than ‘rascal’. Yarou itself is on the order of “son of a bitch” or “asshole”, and adding ‘pig’ to the front of it certainly doesn’t soften it much.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. For me personally this so far has been the best anime that I have seen the entire season. It’s truly amazing. I had never expected this show to be this good. (Especially not with a title like that lol😂😂). I would have totally passed over this one had I not seen Karandi writing about this one. I love the characters in this series, and the conversations have been amazing. I can’t wait to see the next episode today😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was also going to pass on this one because of the stupid name, but I resolved to at least start every new episode that came out on Crunchyroll over the first week of the new season. I really got hooked by this first episode. It may not end up working out, but it definitely got me interested in seeing where this show was going. I did however have that awkward moment when I had to mention the name of the show I was reviewing to someone and I nearly choked trying to say ‘Bunny Girl Senpai’ without cringing.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. This one was my favorite of the ones I watched so far. I think the Monogatari comparison is kind of silly, I don’t really see it. I get Haruhi vibes but just for the dialog and nothing else. I explain it all in my post from yesterday. Any way, glad you didn’t give up on this one too quickly 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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