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This Week in Anime - Is Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Worth Watching?


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Fred Lougee



Joined: 01 Oct 2018
Posts: 32
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 1:50 pm Reply with quote
Venti wrote:
I agree with Johny, this is one of the top 3 shows of the season for me. I 100% disagree with their points of Sakuta being an unlikeable character, for me he's one of the best protagonists in recent history. Sure, he's a bit of an ass sometimes, but who isn't? He has flaws just like any other human, but his pros far outweigh them. Anyone who would throw away all their devices to protect their little sister from cyber bullying is good in my books.

Also, the romance between Mai and Sakuta is great as well, it progresses in a completely natural way, and you can see both from their actions and words how much they care about each other as the show goes on.

I just really wish This Week In Anime would give more balanced perspectives on shows by making use of the two person format and having two different opinions of the show rather than both more or less saying the same thing. It would make for much more interesting reading if there were some genuine disagreements about what they thought about the show, but that's my opinion.


There's a fable which Aesop never wrote, but should have, about a town, the name of which translates as a portmanteau of the Greek words "You're Right". English writings have referred to the town as "Amirite", a compression of the phrase "Am I right?".

The story goes that it was a rather ordinary town of the Greek Classic Period in most respects, save that it was ruled by a council which held that logic and reason were infallible and rules to live by should be created from these. Things went well for many years under this system, but gradually the townsfolk became unable to dissent from the council and the council's reasoning processes became detached from reality. One person would propose a theory, present it, then ask the question "Am I right?", the rest would mull it over in their own minds, and as soon as one other person responded "You're right." the rest would accept it as factual. Instant consensus based upon a single agreement.

Travelers stopped passing through the town because they found the folk there "odd", eventually people forgot there was even a town there, until one day someone asked why nobody ever went to "that place" and not getting any satisfactory answer went to investigate, only to find empty ruins. Perhaps the Amiriteans, in their folly, banned sex completely...or maybe the Gods just got tired of watching them make further idiots of themselves.

Sounds silly, but it's an indictment of exactly what you are complaining about. Echo chamber discussion. I notice that an inordinate number of people who post comments to this feature are here to abjectly disagree with the views expressed. "That's interesting but I see it differently and here's why..." And my original intent today was to disagree as well, but I read your comment and had to reply to it.

Most of the times I have read this feature it seems to be a format of two of the reviewers reinforcing one another's opinions. And they have the moxie to ask if Bunny Girl Senpai is flawed??? Their entire concept is fatally flawed if it is based around this echo chamber opinioneering. Yes, any time you post opinions and allow for commentary you will always find those dissenting to be in the majority, but when you have two people backing one another with no counter opinion there is a tendency for reason to go out the window and wild assertions to be treated as facts.
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ThatGuyWhoLikesThings



Joined: 04 Jul 2013
Posts: 489
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 1:52 pm Reply with quote
I like Sakuta because he definitely does have a bit of a prickly personality, it's just a result of him no longer caring about what other people think of him because of his experiences. He's pretty convinced that, once society has formed an opinion on you or has decided how things should be, it's damn near impossible to change their mind, so he's not interested in trying. He's said a few times now that he thinks it's important to be honest, both to yourself and others, and I think that's true. Mai's situation does force him to actually fight against that mood, and while he's gotten a bit less cynical about it all, he's not any less apathetic about it. He's a cynical, frank (sometimes to a fault) jerk who does ultimately mean well in spite of his hangups. Don't forget that the Japanese title of the show outright calls him a pig, so it doesn't have the highest opinion of him.

And I like that most of his cases of helping these girls are because he had a personal interest or stake in it, not because he just felt like helping them. Heck, he initially had no interest in helping Tomoe until her words started reminding him of Kaede.

I think the comparisons to Monogatari are pretty superfluous, especially seeing as how the "guy helps girls solve supernatural shenanigans" sub-genre has been around since the days of Key's trifecta of games that anyone who was in anime fandom in the mid-2000s would know about, Clannad, Kanon, and Air. It's fair if you want to say it was inspired by shows like Monogatari, but it's already done more than enough to make itself distinct. The themes it's going for, a rejrction of social norms and the expectations people have of you, are incredibly tailored to Japanese culture in particular, so if you haven't done research on that kind of thing (I didn't until just recently), there's a good chance it'll fly over the heads over most casual viewers.

As for the complaints about dialogue, well, judging dialogue that was originally in another language entirely always struck me as odd, because you can have several different people translate things in different ways, and the end result can look totally different for each one. I've compared the official subs with other translations, and the fansubs were just much better at conveying the original intent. Not that I'm trying to condone pirating or anything, I'm just stating a fact.

As for the Futaba thing, well, I'd like to think there's a difference between total strangers leering at her and showing interest in her exclusively because of her body, and her best friends (who have made abundantly clear how much they value her as a person) commenting on how attractive she is. There wasn't anything "ironic" about it, they were being sincere. Frankly I think you're undermining how sincere the show actually is. You can have some level of self-awareness and still have enough self-respect to take yourself seriously.

Sakuta x Mai is easily my favorite couple of the year. They might not be as emotionally interesting as say, Yuu and Touko (who aren't really a couple yet but that's beside the point), but they have a lovely and compelling dynamic nonetheless, and I can totally believe how much these two adore each other. They have a very healthy relationship, but it's not without it'a share of bumps and struggles.

I'm glad you ended up liking the show more than I expected at least.
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Joshua Zarate
I Pause For PantsuI Pause For Pantsu


Joined: 12 Jan 2017
Posts: 1296
Location: California
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:20 pm Reply with quote
One of my favorite series of the Fall season. The actual article, however, is stretching multiple things to an extensive degree and I’m left scratching my head as a result. Definitely not one of the better moments of TWIA’s lifetime and can possibly be used as an example to maybe do a little tweaking to this format.
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Zof



Joined: 20 Jul 2018
Posts: 200
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:29 pm Reply with quote
I'd agree with most of the points made in the TWA. I'd only add that Sakuta makes perfect sense to me. He's the school loser who just doesn't care anymore because it has been happening so long he's just not self conscious about it anymore. Everybody got to high school and the teasing and attacks turned into being shunned as everybody started growing up, and he was totally fine with that. He has that deadpan way of dropping lines for shock value that anybody with this style of PTSD has. In fact, I'd say they wrote him more honest than Hachiman from Haganai.
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BodaciousSpacePirate
It's Over 9000!It's Over 9000!


Joined: 17 Apr 2015
Posts: 2482
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:31 pm Reply with quote
I don't really expect ANN to go out of their way to find two people who disagree on a show for TWIA, just so that they can manufacture some kind of "point-counterpoint" dialogue. (Weekly reviews have ranged from B to A-, so if anything this TWIA article is a counterpoint to the opinions that have previously been posted on ANN.) I'd rather that they get two people who can talk about something in an interesting way, and if it turns out that they both agree that they don't like the show, then whatever.
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MegaThoR



Joined: 04 Dec 2018
Posts: 1
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 3:02 pm Reply with quote
I gotta say the Mai and Sakuta dialog is spot-on, and perfectly natural for 2 people with a dry sense of humor. How can they be called insufferable? They are perfect for each other and every line is a verbal jousting match. We are watching a mating dance unfold week by week - I just wish there was more time spent with the main couple rather than collecting a harem.

Any other shows that have this kind of Sarcasm X Sarcasm couple? I’ve already combed through the Recommendations page but I can’t get enough of it - need to find more shows with this kind of dialog.
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Zof



Joined: 20 Jul 2018
Posts: 200
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 3:53 pm Reply with quote
MegaThoR wrote:
I gotta say the Mai and Sakuta dialog is spot-on, and perfectly natural for 2 people with a dry sense of humor. How can they be called insufferable? They are perfect for each other and every line is a verbal jousting match. We are watching a mating dance unfold week by week - I just wish there was more time spent with the main couple rather than collecting a harem.

Any other shows that have this kind of Sarcasm X Sarcasm couple? I’ve already combed through the Recommendations page but I can’t get enough of it - need to find more shows with this kind of dialog.


The finest example in existence is an old movie called His Girl Friday. You'll feel right at home. Otherwise, the two smartasses as a couple thing is totally Bakemonogatari. It's literally the only other place I've seen it outside of old hollywood romance movies like His Girl Friday. Oh, Medaka Box has a little, so does Gamers! and so does some of the delicious interaction between Rintarou and Kurisu in the first Stein's;Gate.
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XerneasYveltal



Joined: 09 Jun 2015
Posts: 492
Location: Philippines
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:00 pm Reply with quote
I have yet to watch Bunny Girl Senpai, but the usual first impressions of the series that tend to scream "Is this a budget Monogatari?" eventually reached me.
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Sisyphusson66



Joined: 04 Dec 2018
Posts: 1
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:45 pm Reply with quote
This discussion highlighted a number of the problems I have with the show. However, I would add that it is not just that Sakuta is a jerk most of the time, or any of the other issues I might have or those mentioned, but the fact that they don't seem to be doing anything with the flaws to develop or make the characters better. Case in point Tomoe's arc. For most of those episodes I was pleased with what they were doing with Mai, seeing her growing concern for her relationship and support for Sakuta. Yet all of this growth and potential development was wiped out at the end of the arc, as it was all a simulation. Tomoe fades into the background, Mai reverts back three episodes, and the only thing Sakuta learns is to be more sincere (which only really lasts that moment he finally really confesses to Mai).

The show just doesn't seem to really give its characters any real character development that manifests itself in ways that result in changes to actions and interactions. At least, that is my opinion.

Also, in terms of how it relates to Monogatari, and it could just be my own bias towards Monogatari, but Bunny Girl Senpai for me feels like it is trying to imitate it in a number of ways, but for me the most stark imitation is in the characters. Mai is to an extent Hitagi spoiler[(both experience impossible physical phenomena as a response to painful issues with their mother's actions that led to near sexual assault/uncomfortable sexual situations, fixed with the help of a boy they did not want help from)], Tomoe's role similar to Mayoi spoiler[(both are known to the protag and old friend character, but not known or seen by the protag's love interest, offers fun banter with the protag and insight at times)], and Futaba reflects Hanekawa spoiler[(the genius, both split into different selves due to stress and conflict within the self, triggered at some point by the protag getting a girlfriend, and both in love with someone unavailable, adding to the stress)]. Even the Mai x Sakuta relationship mirrors Monogatari's, as spoiler[both have the male character start to take studying seriously at the behest of the female character, with the goal of going to the same college.] These similarities I perceive are not necessarily a problem. But for me they make the show impossible not to relate to Monogatari, and I don't think that it is doing enough to differentiate itself from that series.

This is by no means the worst show this season, far, far from it, nor is it a bad show. I think it is adequate with some good characters and themes, but never goes further than that.
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Nico_Astray



Joined: 08 Jan 2017
Posts: 23
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 6:13 pm Reply with quote
While I can understand liking the show, I can not understand validating this with saying the characters are good.
Sakuta is a dick and the show constantly reminds you of the fact. The charactersall behave like they're in a reality show.
The only personality trait Sakuta has shown is being a deviant. Maybe this is all like Oregairu, where the first season was a cynical comedy and the 2nd season actually picks up the source material, but at least there I liked the characters.
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GlassesMan



Joined: 19 Jun 2015
Posts: 205
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 6:14 pm Reply with quote
I understand that people disagree with the reviewers- sometimes I do to- but I'm not crazy about the nature of some responses. I watched episode 1 and I thought the dialogue wasn't that good either(like the reviewers), and other fans of the show saying the reviewer's opinion is shitty without acknowledging it is really turning me off from even touching episode 2, since it's my opinion too.
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Catsplay



Joined: 24 Sep 2015
Posts: 257
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 6:36 pm Reply with quote
Man I'm not a fan of the reviewers takes on Sakuta as a character and the show itself. It's one of my favorites of this season and seeing it just ripped apart on this site is a major shame.
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ThatGuyWhoLikesThings



Joined: 04 Jul 2013
Posts: 489
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:00 pm Reply with quote
GlassesMan wrote:
I understand that people disagree with the reviewers- sometimes I do to- but I'm not crazy about the nature of some responses. I watched episode 1 and I thought the dialogue wasn't that good either(like the reviewers), and other fans of the show saying the reviewer's opinion is shitty without acknowledging it is really turning me off from even touching episode 2, since it's my opinion too.


Complaining about dialogue in something that's in an entirely different language, that you can only understand because of subtitles that are dubiously translated at best, just strikes me as odd.

Nico_Astray wrote:
The only personality trait Sakuta has shown is being a deviant.


He's cynical, incredibly honest, very devoted and loyal to the few people he actually cares about, apathetic to just about everyone else and what they think of him, he's shown to be a little self-conscious of his scars, he gets enjoyment from teasing people. Just because you don't care to pay attention to his other character traits, doesn't mean they aren't there.
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MiloTheFirst



Joined: 10 Dec 2014
Posts: 239
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:21 pm Reply with quote
I am not gonna lie, as much as i am enjoying this show i can't help but blatantly notice the similarities with the monogatari formula, and the sense of "trying to profit from doing the same thing as something else which was a huge commercial success" comes back to me every week. that been said, Aside from the kizumonogatari films which i consider a standalone masterpiece, i actually consider this a better show as a whole (visual representation aside), as much as some people might rightfully complain about the inorganic the dialogue is at times, monogatari was too self indulgent with is verbosity and araragi's relationship with senjougahara always felt forced to me. Or mc here never struck me as a jerk. He says insensitive remarks to convey accurate feelings, and i find that refreshing, rude as it may I can't see how asking his friend's girlfriend i wether she was in her period was as mean spirited add the things she had said to him prior to that, if anything it was a subtle way of telling her to fudge off. Like wise when he told futaba that he probably wouldn't have help her as much if she were ugly was a clever way to tell her to be proud of her assets while proving through actions that she had peers that trust her so much to tell her that point blank, The one when he points out she looks erotic in a yukata Seemed to me as him being her wingman as per usual.
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MiloTheFirst



Joined: 10 Dec 2014
Posts: 239
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:41 pm Reply with quote
ThatGuyWhoLikesThings wrote:
I like Sakuta because he definitely does have a bit of a prickly personality, it's just a result of him no longer caring about what other people think of him because of his experiences. He's pretty convinced that, once society has formed an opinion on you or has decided how things should be, it's damn near impossible to change their mind, so he's not interested in trying. He's said a few times now that he thinks it's important to be honest, both to yourself and others, and I think that's true. Mai's situation does force him to actually fight against that mood, and while he's gotten a bit less cynical about it all, he's not any less apathetic about it. He's a cynical, frank (sometimes to a fault) jerk who does ultimately mean well in spite of his hangups. Don't forget that the Japanese title of the show outright calls him a pig, so it doesn't have the highest opinion of him.

And I like that most of his cases of helping these girls are because he had a personal interest or stake in it, not because he just felt like helping them. Heck, he initially had no interest in helping Tomoe until her words started reminding him of Kaede.

I think the comparisons to Monogatari are pretty superfluous, especially seeing as how the "guy helps girls solve supernatural shenanigans" sub-genre has been around since the days of Key's trifecta of games that anyone who was in anime fandom in the mid-2000s would know about, Clannad, Kanon, and Air. It's fair if you want to say it was inspired by shows like Monogatari, but it's already done more than enough to make itself distinct. The themes it's going for, a rejrction of social norms and the expectations people have of you, are incredibly tailored to Japanese culture in particular, so if you haven't done research on that kind of thing (I didn't until just recently), there's a good chance it'll fly over the heads over most casual viewers.

As for the complaints about dialogue, well, judging dialogue that was originally in another language entirely always struck me as odd, because you can have several different people translate things in different ways, and the end result can look totally different for each one. I've compared the official subs with other translations, and the fansubs were just much better at conveying the original intent. Not that I'm trying to condone pirating or anything, I'm just stating a fact.

As for the Futaba thing, well, I'd like to think there's a difference between total strangers leering at her and showing interest in her exclusively because of her body, and her best friends (who have made abundantly clear how much they value her as a person) commenting on how attractive she is. There wasn't anything "ironic" about it, they were being sincere. Frankly I think you're undermining how sincere the show actually is. You can have some level of self-awareness and still have enough self-respect to take yourself seriously.

Sakuta x Mai is easily my favorite couple of the year. They might not be as emotionally interesting as say, Yuu and Touko (who aren't really a couple yet but that's beside the point), but they have a lovely and compelling dynamic nonetheless, and I can totally believe how much these two adore each other. They have a very healthy relationship, but it's not without it'a share of bumps and struggles.

I'm glad you ended up liking the show more than I expected at least.


I completely agree with everything you said, except the part about "pig"in the title, i am pretty sure this is used as a humorous reference to sakuta's masochism. In japan pig is a cliche for what Queens call a partner that willing ask for their abuse. Wether he means it or not he has out right told mai he enjoys it when she steps on him, similarly when futaba has throwed some verbal abuse his way. There might or not be some subtext regarding all the public humiliation/over work he has put himself through while helping the girls but even if there isn't i think since bunny girl is in the title throwing a jab to this quirk of him is fun by itself
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