Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai
by Theron Martin,
How would you rate episode 4 of
Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai ?
With this episode, the series formally begins its second story arc – and that means that the focus is shifting to a new girl. However, I am pleased to say that my biggest concern going into this episode is proving unwarranted so far: already-established Best Girl Mai is remaining involved, and it looks like her participation may remain as the other girls take their turns.
Of course, that also depends on Sakuta not killing his chances with misunderstandings, although the end of this episode suggests that won't be a big issue. He's certainly being persistent in the early stages of the episode, as he finally succeeds in getting Mai to formally go out with him. Then time resets Groundhog Day-style a couple times (I'll get back to that in a minute), and on the third time around he's caught in a compromising position with Tomoe, aka (literal) Butt-Kicking Girl. Interestingly, Mai shows up again, willing to hear him out that something else was really going on, by the end of the episode. Maybe him declaring his love for a month straight convinced her that he was serious, but even under circumstances like that, it's not often that an anime guy gets this kind of break. Mai is also starting to show more personality, and her reactions to Sakuta's efforts in this episode are both endearing and adorable.
Meanwhile, Tomoe's particular brand of Adolescence Syndrome apparently involves causing a time loop over her unwillingness to deal with a guy her best friend's crushing on, who's actually interested in her. Frankly, that sounds a little weak compared to the circumstances of Mai and Sakuta's little sister, so either there's more going on or the story is relying on “everything seems more dramatic when you're a teen” logic. Trying to connect it to the philosophical construct Laplace's Demon, which theoretically involves knowing the future if you can calculate the position and momentum of all matter in the universe at any given time, is also a stretch unless there are greater complications to Tomoe's situation. However it's justified, I suspect that we haven't seen the last of the time loops, and her case may be more interesting if she represents a potential romantic rival to Mai. I'm not at all buying her logic behind this fake-dating scenario.
Throughout all of this, Sakuta remains the personification of dry wit. While that's still amusing at times, some additional expansion of his own character as he deals with the girls would be welcome; all we've really had so far is the revelation that he cares enough for his own sister to throw his phone away to help her out. The animation also continues to impress with the amount of movement in the backgrounds of scenes. Right now it's progressing well enough, but the story will need to tie its philosophical underpinnings into its content more smoothly if it wants to reach for more standout quality.
Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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