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


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garreto



Joined: 20 Aug 2006
Posts: 1
Location: Racine, WI
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:52 pm Reply with quote
Yeesh,

I haven’t posted in the forum for years, but felt I strongly disagreed with the reviewers on their very narrow viewpoint on Sakuta as the series’ protaganist.
Sakuta is an irreverent and indiscriminately jaded character that finds peace in making light of and poking fun at the nuances and societal norms of high school kids.
He doesn’t, nor should he need to show character growth in the exposition and solutions to his friends’ issues. This should be left for the eventual arc of when they delve deeper into Sakuta’s past.
Also, if I had my own issues to tend to while everyone else jettisoned their issues onto me, I’d be a dick too.
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omnistry



Joined: 03 Mar 2005
Posts: 924
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:14 pm Reply with quote
Sakuta says the dirty stuff just to be funny, IMO. It’s why he’s been one of my favorite protagonists. He’s written the same way as Paul Rudd or Seth Rogen in a Judd Apatow movie: good-natured, but can’t help but make a funny wise-ass joke when the time calls for it.
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Suxinn



Joined: 23 Jan 2009
Posts: 28
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:22 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
There's some worthwhile material to be mined here, and I think the show just needs to be more sincere to be good.

Oh man, this is such a good way to put it!

I think I liked Sakuta a bit more than the reviewers did (I think I've been watching anime so long I'm a bit inured to these types of characters/"jokes" now), but I can definitely see where they're coming from about this show. It definitely feels like the author has something really vital and real he wants to say about adolescence, but he also doesn't want to fully "commit" to them (for lack of better words) so he adds in these pithy, sarcastic, "ironic" quips in order to defuse the serious drama. It's kind of like the show wants to show vulnerability but it also doesn't want to leave itself too vulnerable.

In fact, now that I think of it, that aspect of the show is also very "high school" -- I'm sure many of us also had times when we've deliberately used sarcasm or irony after a serious situation so we wouldn't appear vulnerable. The show is just, unfortunately, not quite deft enough to pull that off without also inadvertently muddling its own messages.
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AnimeFlyz



Joined: 31 Aug 2015
Posts: 135
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:49 pm Reply with quote
I never really get these skits. Most of the time its just the 2 of you bitching about the entire show but then saying "oh but that isnt to say there arent things I do like". It gets hard to continue wanting to read.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 7780
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:55 pm Reply with quote
I think Mai and Sakuta are the personality types they need to be for this series to work at all. As one of the the title characters, Mai needs to be your basic ice queen on the surface, shaped by her experiences with fame, unflappable and self-contained, defending herself with her dry wit, so that her bunny outfit seems like something she'd do, and her outwardly calm acceptance of her bizarre situation is in character. But that's also the sort of character who walks a fine line between being sympathetic and being a snobby bitch you can't care about.

That's where Sakuta's personality comes into play. Usually the foils to characters like Mai tend to be more obsequious or nice guys like Kyon who can sort of hold their own, but still end up either being nonplussed half the time or being led by the nose by the dominant tsundere who they try to keep from exploding on them. Sakuta is refreshing for all his faults because he can keep up with Mai on every level, from snark, to compassion, to keeping her on her toes. They can both dish it out and they can both take it and it works to both characters' benefit. They may both be deadpan in their conversations, but their seiyuu let you hear the smiles that don't show on their faces while they're good-naturedly sniping at each other.

Sakuta could easily have turned out like Tomoya Okazaki in Clannad, whose teasing always seemed to me to have a mean-spirited edge to it. Fortunately, I don't detect any meanness in Sakuta, even when he's baiting the other girls besides Mai who aren't as well equipped to give as good as they get.
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TexZero



Joined: 25 Oct 2017
Posts: 110
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:05 pm Reply with quote
I don't get the dislike of Sakuta and i doubt it's a cultural barrier.

But to me it feels like the reviewers have a highly romanticized view of what highschool and normal human behavior is and never grew up the hard way. Sakuta to me is very much a character based around the concept of Steel sharpens Steel. He doesn't care because society doesn't care.
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VerQuality
SubscriberSubscriber


Joined: 01 Oct 2016
Posts: 43
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:09 pm Reply with quote
Although I have yet to watch the show, it's interesting how all the defenses people in this thread have written about ??? sound exactly like they're talking about Araragi (which explains some of the comments: Arararagi is basically a male tsundere, and people always argue at which point the tsun act stops being cute and is instead just abusive).

It's also interesting how negatively people are interpreting this review: it sounds like they liked it well enough, but felt it was hewing too close to a formula it felt it needed to follow, instead of going off and playing to its own strengths (which is a fair criticism of 90% of light novels).
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Hiroki not Takuya



Joined: 17 Apr 2012
Posts: 1018
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 11:36 pm Reply with quote
Fred Lougee wrote:
Venti wrote:
...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....
The cautionary tale of "Amirite"..
Well, you're right! Surprised However, I think you miss that this column isn't supposed to be analysis or review but an entertaining way to recommend (or not...) viewing a show. I check in for the snark and sometimes watch if the show looks good enough...
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chitosyuuyuu



Joined: 04 Dec 2018
Posts: 2
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:10 am 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.


I actually disagree a lot with the reviews on ANN, but this article made me want to actually open an account to say so. It's less that they don't like it which happens often but their view on sakuta and the show itself is so WUT to me.
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Fred Lougee



Joined: 01 Oct 2018
Posts: 34
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 2:05 am Reply with quote
Hiroki not Takuya wrote:
Fred Lougee wrote:
Venti wrote:
...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....
The cautionary tale of "Amirite"..
Well, you're right! Surprised However, I think you miss that this column isn't supposed to be analysis or review but an entertaining way to recommend (or not...) viewing a show. I check in for the snark and sometimes watch if the show looks good enough...


That seems a healthy and reasonable way to proceed.
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Marzan



Joined: 29 Mar 2009
Posts: 349
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 3:06 am Reply with quote
Scalfin wrote:
Yeah, considering that Nick and Steve have a bit of a record of grading characters based on their high school resentments and have mentioned that they were the dramatic kids (basically the US version chuuni except with the drama club or terrible poetry), I think part of their reaction is due to the character reminding them of the peers who could take the wind out of their sails with dry quips and scoffs.


I didn’t know the bit about being the ‘dramatic kids’ That explains so incredibly much of the ‘reviews’ I’ve read from them. And in that context, of course they’d dislike a ‘I don’t care about your opinion’ guy like Sakuta.
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JacobC
ANN Assistant Editor


Joined: 15 Jan 2008
Posts: 3663
Location: SoCal
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:02 am Reply with quote
I mean, the only dramatic kids I see around here are the people in this thread doing ridiculous shit like making up their own melodramatic Aesop fables about the dangers of groupthink—in a forum thread where way more than the two people accused of agreeing with each other too much are now all wildly agreeing with each other in an effort to shut down criticism. Look in a mirror guys, this is kind of embarrassing. You really don't have to be so performatively offended that someone didn't like an anime you'll probably barely remember in five months.
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Clarste



Joined: 06 Feb 2012
Posts: 413
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:09 am Reply with quote
I more or less agree with the reviewers about Sakuta. But what I would emphasize more is just he seems too perfect. Which maybe sounds a little contradictory given how much the reviewers disliked him, but the fact that so many others don't is kind of the problem here?

A lot of people simply don't think of his rudeness and objectification of women as a problem at all. In fact, some people in this topic are applauding him for his ability to honestly say what he thinks at all times. But that's exactly what makes him a bad character, imo. He's an outlaw who's too cool to care what people think of him, says what he likes with no fear of alienating people, and he gets rewarded for that by easily making friends (and girlfriends) with anyone who bothers to get to know him. He's too cool for school, and literally has no flaws, as far as the show is concerned. There's even a moment in the second arc where we're reminded that he could also beat anyone up in a fight if he really wanted to, which just made me roll my my eyes. He's no less of a power fantasy than Kirito from SAO.

Now, I do think he's redeemable as a character if the author is willing to focus an arc on him and truly tear him down before rebuilding him. But frankly, from what we've seen so far I'm not especially optimistic about that. This is a writer who thinks Shroedinger's Cat metaphors are clever, after all, and as much as I love quantum butt physics, not allowing Sakuta's own personal issues to be relevant to why he'd be stuck in a time loop with Tomoe was frankly the moment I lost all faith in this series. He was basically just involved in that because he's the main character, and that's what main characters do, with a side helping of "calm and objective man helps hysterical woman overcome the problem that he's far too attractive for his own good."

Sakuta is basically the sort of character that Hachiman was deconstructing in SNAFU. A cynical high school student who thinks he's (emotionally) smarter than everyone else and is always the best person to solve any problem. Except in this case he actually is.
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Jonny Mendes



Joined: 17 Oct 2014
Posts: 843
Location: Europe
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:17 am Reply with quote
Clarste wrote:

A lot of people simply don't think of his rudeness and objectification of women as a problem at all. In fact, some people in this topic are applauding him for his ability to honestly say what he thinks at all times. But that's exactly what makes him a bad character, imo. He's an outlaw who's too cool to care what people think of him, says what he likes with no fear of alienating people, and he gets rewarded for that by easily making friends (and girlfriends) with anyone who bothers to get to know him.


That's exactly what makes him a great character. Is for anime rom-com what somewhat Dirty Harry is for action crime movies. A cynical anti-hero that go against the usual common sense and correctness.
Sakuta don't give a damn what others think and just do and say what he wants, whenever he wants, just speak his mind but without evil intentions.

And Mai is just the perfect balance for him and the back and forth with Mai is just the highlight of the show.
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Animegomaniac



Joined: 16 Feb 2012
Posts: 3163
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:40 am Reply with quote
Jonny Mendes wrote:


And Mai is just the perfect balance for him and the back and forth with Mai is just the highlight of the show.


Why isn't it the show though? I dropped the show after the second arc because they were playing the "have a harem while he dates" card which I loathe.

I also found the show not as smart than it thought it was, or rather, the show was stealing content and ideas from LNs that actually are smart and I found that to be rather irritating.
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