Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai
by Theron Martin,
How would you rate episode 6 of
Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai ?
As expected, episode 6 concludes the arc focusing on Tomoe. The episode plays out exactly according to expectations, with the only real mystery being the specifics of how things came to the inevitable climax and conclusion. The only real surprise is the revelation in the episode's final seconds, which is a whopper for a number of reasons.
But first, how does Tomoe's story wrap up? That Tomoe has been falling for Sakuta has been obvious for a while now, but even though she's said before that she respected Sakuta and Mai as a burgeoning couple, it's not so clear that she means it. The ensuing conflict is predictable; she genuinely wants to be Sakuta's friend and see him together with Mai, so she hopes to resolve their fake dating in a way conducive to that. However, she also can't let go of her growing feelings, no matter how much she tries. This is a standard scenario in a lot of teen romances, but most of those don't involve the ability to generate time loops so inevitable decisions can be delayed. Sakuta's eventual speculation that not only this newest time loop, but everything going back to the original one, is just a case of Tomoe subconsciously testing future possibilities makes for an interesting angle. That would mean that this case of time looping is less about correcting mistakes (the traditional approach) and more about sifting through possibilities, but it's more important for finally bringing Laplace's Demon properly into context. All of this is handled pretty well in the script, although Tomoe's climactic speech to Sakuta gets a little long-winded.
The episode has other highlights as well. The Sakuta-Mai relationship continues to be adorable, and it's becoming more evident that this isn't just a case of Sakuta winning Mai over by saving her, getting to reap the benefits of a high-class girlfriend in the process. Sakuta may honestly be the best possible match for Mai and vice versa; they just complement each other's idiosyncrasies too well. The care with which Tomoe's tasteful swimsuit was chosen and designed also has to be respected, as it finds an ideal balance between childishness and maturity, just like Tomoe herself. Mai finally appears again in the Playboy bunny outfit, and the brief facedown between Sakuta and Tomoe's would-be paramour is handled just right. The end of the arc is also pretty satisfying.
This brings us to the surprise at the end. Sakuta running across another girl for another arc was fully expected, most likely the Umbrella Girl from the opener. However, the name Shoko Makinohara stands out. That name was thrown around in earlier episodes as being Sakuta's first love, with the implication that she wasn't in the picture anymore. Sakuta not immediately recognizing her also suggests that either many years or some other factor could be in play, but more significantly, she's supposed to be the heroine of the sixth and seventh novels; Science Girl should have been up next according to novel order. I'm not familiar enough with the source material to know if that means a significant deviation is happening, but it sure looks like it. Seeing how that plays out next episode, especially with Mai right there, should be quite interesting.
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