Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai is a misleading title for this anime. If anything, the title is a bit of a clickbait title. While yes, there is some instance of the titular “Bunny Girl Senpai” in a bunny suit, this anime is so much more than just that. The “Rascal” is Sakuta Azusagawa, a high school student who serves as the protagonist of this anime. Supernatural occurrences such as someone becoming invisible or a day continuing to repeat happen to people around Sakuta, oftentimes affecting him in some way. It becomes defined as something called Adolescence Syndrome, and the supernatural occurrences happen as a result of a character desiring something and it being granted to them in an inconvenient (to Sakuta at least) or fantastical manner. Sakuta works to find an end to each of these occurrences so he can get on with his life, as well as helping others continue moving forward with their own lives.
The genres that this anime falls under are romance, mystery, supernatural, and psychological. Sakuta plays detective, (although sometimes unwillingly), to carefully uncover the reason besides each incident, and tries his best to help out the afflicted. The issues that cause the supernatural occurrences are often caused by relatable issues that people struggle with today.
For example, wanting to disappear and not be judged by everyone, or wanting to be someone else other than themself. Viewers are able to see the characters struggle through their issue and come out battered, but ultimately better.
One of the best parts of this anime is Sakuta. Sakuta is known for his deadpan expression, and quick wit. He is blunt, but he means well. He doesn’t sugarcoat his words to others, something that sets him apart from many protagonists. And since he is also an outcast at school, he does not care about how his reputation is either. That lets him play a bit of a self-sacrificing role at times for others, showing how much he does care for others despite how his words may paint him. Sakuta only has a few people that he values, but for those few, Sakuta is willing to go beyond the extra mile for them.
Another key aspect of this anime is the romance between Sakuta and the titular character, Mai Sakurajima, or the Bunny Girl Senpai. Sakuta’s blunt nature allowed Mai to see Sakuta’s true nature beyond what their school might have said about him. Sakuta works tirelessly to help resolve Mai’s own battle with her own Adolescence Syndrome, endearing him to her. As the story goes on, Mai is constantly patient and understanding to Sakuta for his constant need to help others while doing her best to support him. The banter between the two is funny and sweet, with Mai constantly teasing Sakuta, and Sakuta still finding ways to get past her own defenses.
I will say though, this anime is full of emotional scenes. It is not all fun and games with each character arc. Each of the issues that the characters go through to form their Adolescence Syndrome is heartbreaking and painful to watch.
This anime is available on Netflix and has 13 episodes. It is based on a light novel. There is a movie, “Rascal Does Not Dream of Dreaming Girl,” but it is not available on Netflix. It is available on Crunchyroll. Personally, I would recommend watching the movie in addition to the series if possible because it is an amazing 90 minutes that continue with Sakuta and Mai’s story.
I would recommend this anime as it is one of my favorites. Don’t let the title scare you off! It is so much more than just a bunny girl.
Photos by author
Writer: Timothy Jung