Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai

Title:Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai
Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai
Keywords: , , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - CloverWorks
SETO Asami
Sakuta Azusagawa was in a public library when he spotted celebrity classmate Sakuragawa Mai--dressed as a playboy bunny. As if that wasn't strange enough, nobody else seemed to be able to see her.

13 episodes
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Initially, I wasn't sure which keywords to assign to this show, because episode one was somewhat confusing and didn't make it clear just what this series would be about. The incident in the library was bizarre and left me curious, but afterwards the plot seemed to drift into mundane high school life as if nothing unusual had happened at all. I wondered if the show was trying to be a comedy or a drama, and if I should take it seriously (or if it was taking itself seriously). Sakuta is mildly shocked by what he sees in the library, but not enough to ask some pretty obvious questions, so I wondered if it had all been meant as little more than a joke. With time the odd premise of the show becomes clear: stuff that ought to be impossible--like the same day, June 27th, repeating again and again and apparently only Sakuta is aware of it--keep happening. Whether it was a matter of science fiction or the supernatural remained unclear. The concepts that the characters offered to explain it--'Observation Theory' or 'Adolescence Syndrome'--didn't make a whole lot of sense and were hard to follow. Apparently Adolescence Syndrome is basically any sort of weird, inexplicable stuff that happens to the adolescents Sakuta and Mai or any two characters with a major disagreement over something. Early on, it seemed that each arc was sort of a half-hearted meditation on a philosophical concept, like 'Schrodinger's Cat' in arc one and 'LaPlace's Demon' in arc two; later even this is dropped and strange things just happen. I don't think I ever fully understood the concept behind any of the arcs. If, for example, I were asked to explain the second one, I would say it was something about if a person has a deep, unresolved emotional problem time will keep repeating until they fix it--but don't quote me on that. A constant source of frustration for me throughout the show was that we never get much of an explanation of just what's going on. Then, when the two parties make up, the problem just seems to go away.

Fortunately, a complete understanding of what's going on isn't completely necessary. Despite the confusion I was left kind of curious about where this would go from here. Also titillating was the bit at the end of episode one where Mai needs a place to stay since apparently Sakuta is the only person who hasn't forgotten who she is. While watching episode two I noticed that the humor in this show was some wit to it, like the time Sakuta jokes that Sakuragawa must be an imposter because she isn't being as arrogant and obnoxious as she once was. It's frustrating that this show is a mix of witty dialogue and weird stuff posing as theoretical physics. I like the former but wish the premise had stronger legs to stand on. The final episode left me thinking that the story was somewhat incomplete: apparently, this arc isn't about Adolescence Syndrome, since the problem doesn't vanish after the right solution is found. I wondered if this might actually be a two-season show, because the disappointing outcome for Sakura's sister Kaede was not what all the previous arcs had left us expecting. It wasn't terrible, however—Kaede (who suffers from amnesia) has made some progress and there's reason to be guardedly optimistic about her plight. This arc was an anomaly, and regarding the rest it seemed to me that we never really get a satisfactory explanation of what just happened and the romantic conclusion that we get instead seemed like a poor substitute to me. But this show got a good deal of praise on ANN, so maybe the average viewer will enjoy it more than I did.

P.S: Apparently a movie by this title is scheduled for release in 2019.

Last updated Sunday, January 06 2019. Created Friday, October 05 2018.

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