Fall 2018 Anime

Dreams Of Looking Forward – ‘Rascal Does Not Dream Of Bunny Girl Senpai’ Episode 13 (Finale) Review

What’s the show? Rascal Does Not Dream Of Bunny Girl Senpai, Episode 13 (Finale).

So how’s this episode? I haven’t seen a lot of what people are saying about the finale but what I have seen, seems kind of low-key disappointed at least by comparison to the rest of the series and I feel like I need to address that.

So wait, let me get this straight, you’re addressing an issue that might not even be an issue just because you saw a couple people have a ‘not even that negative’ of a reaction to it. Yes, you got a problem with that?

Me, thinking about no more weekly Bunny Girl Senpai.

No, no, not at all go ahead then… Expectations can be lethal, after all we’re dealing with a show that as far as I can tell nobody was even remotely interested in before the start of the season (maybe just passingly curious) that’s now become one of the big hits of Fall 2018 anime. So suddenly, a show that nobody had any expectations of, is suddenly foisted with ~high~ expectations for its finale just out of virtue of how good its previous episodes were! Maybe I’m oversimplifying by saying its just people’s expectations that were ‘out of order’ but personally I thought this episode was as good as any other from this show. I mean, were people expecting 100% closure? If so, they should have read up and discovered the easily findable fact that this series is ongoing, and there’s a feature film coming in 2019. So obviously things weren’t going to be wrapped up neatly.

Sakuta just can’t catch a break, can he?

But shouldn’t a finale have a sense of closure? It does though, Kaede’s story turns out to be just as much about Sakuta and it’s full of powerful moments like him screaming and running into the rain as his grief for losing Kaede-chan overwhelms. Or the realisation that Kaede-chan knew she was going to disappear soon and left her diary as a way for Sakuta to come to terms with the loss. Maybe there’s more ambivalence than people were wanting, but I’ve always prefered ambivalence then things being spelled out to the letter. Yes, we don’t know what’s Shoko’s deal or where she came from or if she even exists, but that’s what the movie is for! And answering that question doesn’t matter right now, what matters is Kaede is okay–even if it’s not the Kaede we all fell in love with.

Sadness as a gift, is an interesting way of looking at it. But then again, being sad something is gone means it was important to you and that in of itself, is powerful.

And what about Sakuta and Mai? There’s perhaps a sense that their relationship doesn’t grow, after all he doesn’t even get a kiss, but what I see is that their relationship deepens and that’s something that’s far more rare than simple escalation of romance and intimacy. The scene with the two of them cuddling beneath the same coat on the overlook is what building trust in a relationship looks like. Sakuta hurt Mai by not confiding his grief in her, but Sakuta made a grand gesture that spoke more than words by rushing by Shinkansen to see her before her birthday was over. Actions speak louder than words–it’s something all of us could take a lesson on.

Best couple 2018.

Right, so overall thoughts on the final episode? I feel like there was more than enough closure to make things satisfying from a narrative standpoint while still leaving enough unanswered questions to justify the coming movie and from that point of view there’s not much more I could ask for! An excellent season finale to an excellent anime that’s undoubtedly going to produce an excellent continuation with the eventual film.

As long as some version of Kaede is happy, then I’m happy too.


Previous Rascal Does Not Dream Of Bunny Girl Senpai Reviews:

The Power of Perception – Episode 1 Review
But What If They Forgot You? – Episode 2 Review
The Science of Love – Episode 3 Review
Groundhog Date – Episode 4 Review
Life Is All About The Little Things – Episode 5 Review
Different Types Of Love – Episode 6 Review
A Girl Divided – Episode 7 Review
Reconnecting – Episode 8 Review
Separation Anxiety – Episode 9 Review
Finding Yourself – Episode 10 Review
Exit Strategies – Episode 11 Review
An Endangered Species – Episode 12 Review


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3 replies »

  1. I agree. The Kaede closure was good enough for the season finale for me. It all tied back to the beginning when we first see the scars on his chest. Also on them not kissing, the final moment between them felt natural. I really enjoyed the whole thing and had no expectations going in.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I mean, what kind of closure do people want? They finished the arc, and really it had about the only finish it could have had for Kaede, and honestly the arc wasn’t about Kaede, certainly not like the other arcs were about Mai and Tomoe and Futaba and Mai and Nodoka.

    It was a grand gesture for Sakuta to go see Mai while it was still her birthday. But the real test is in the future, that instead of finding solace in his imaginary friend he goes to Mai for support. The real bedrock of a relationship is not making the same mistakes again. I can also understand how he ended up with Shoko helping him, because he wasn’t really thinking, and felt like Mai was out of touch. But instead of sending Mai that message without any detail or feelings about what’s happened with Kaede, he would have been better off seeking help from her then. Everyone wants to be wanted in a good relationship.

    Liked by 1 person

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