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Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai // Episode 1 & 2 Review

Heart-Break and Mystery of the disa

The reaction I would have to a girl in a bunny costume roaming around a library is a lot different than the hero of our story, Azuusagawa Sakuta. Rather than extreme surprise, Sakuta only musters mild curiosity as his senpai (senior classmate) wanders the halls of the local public library. He is more interested in the fact that literally no one else but him seems to notice her. A seventeen year old girl in a cute outfit should garner much more attention and reaction from a sixteen year old boy. How unfortunate for her this situation is.

The show “Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai” is much more of a mystery than it wants to let on. The first two episode setup what appears to be a rather heart-breaking problem. Sakurajima Mai is a now former child actress who is literally disappearing from the world. The only people that can even see her, hear her, or remember her are her fellow classmates. Fortunately she isn’t alone in this problem. Sakuta has his own troubles.

It is revealed that Sakuta has been casually investigating problems that young teenagers have when they begin to hit puberty. His sister experienced “self-inflicted harm” that she herself didn’t physically do. It all appears mental. Even Sakuta himself appears as though he was attacked by a large animal and has the scars to prove it, but nothing of the sort actually happened. Now it is Mai that is under attack from an unknown force. A force the show has decided to call “Adolescence Syndrome.”

Adolescence Syndrome

The name Adolescence Syndrome or Puberty Syndrome is terrible. It doesn’t really give off the mysterious vibe the show deserves. In fact it just sounds like what all young teens go through, puberty. I have no recommendation for the show which also has an overly long and self-inflicting title. Naming seems to be important to the creators in how referential they are to the character’s names and how they very reverent they are to them. Despite the terrible name, the mystery is absolutely enthralling.

For the first two episodes we have very little to go on. Three featured characters have experienced the problem. Sakuta gives hints that it may be their school to blame. The pressure of social attitudes in school is very obviously going to exacerbate something called Adolescence Syndrome. It also is laid clear since everyone at the school, students and teachers included, are still familiar with Mai’s career.

Inspiration in the Face of Defeat

Mai’s desire to return to acting is inspiring. Most stories would have you believe that once a child actress in an anime was done for good and wanted a normal life. She appears more realistic and entertaining that she actually desire’s going back to the limelight. It is ironic that her passion for it is probably causing her to literally disappear. When she went unnoticed by her own mother it was heart-breaking. She might not have a positive relationship with the woman who doubled as her agent, but not seeing or remember her was a deeply saddening moment for two episodes in.

The mystery is unraveling fast for the show “Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai.” I didn’t expect to be drawn into it as fast as I did at the end of the first episode. I can only wonder how much more heart-break there is to dish out after episode two.

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[Images via Twitter]