Spoilers might only be seen by you.
Okey, first of all this anime series wins the award for most misleading / longest title ever. It’s not entirely incorrect, but don’t form any impressions by its title. They will be wrong. Now, the best way to watch this series is to go in completely blind. If it’s your thing, you will enjoy immensely. There’s a good chance I describe it to you and you think that you can skip this one. Honestly, it’s very well made, the characters are engaging and the story is intriguing so before you go on, please reconsider watching it before continuing.
Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai started as a light novel written by Hajime Kamoshida and illustrated by Keeji Mizoguchi. The anime adaptation was made by Cloverworks, directed by Sōichi Masui and written by Masahiro Yokotani. The story is easily included in the genres of psychological and supernatural. Again, you could always reconsider pausing from reading any further and watching it. I personally would also consider it a slice of life, just slightly eerie.
Sakuta Azusagawa is a student with a bad reputation that has left him isolated from the school’s most popular groups. One day he sees Mai Sakurajima, a teenage actress from his school, in the library. She is dressed in a bunny outfit and is being completely ignored by everybody else as if she was invisible. Dubbing this phenomenon as “Adolescence Syndrome” he befriends Mai and together they set out to solve the mystery. As it turns out, it will not be the last.
The first hook that grabs you here is not the supernatural aspect. It’s the characters. Sakuta is the outsider that does not play by the rules. He has no problem being antisocial or being branded an outcast, which is incredibly refreshing. If you’ve ever seen a teenage drama in which the popular kids are cooking up a plot and you wish the unpopular ones would walk up to them and steal their thunder, you are going to love this. Sakuta and Mai are an unlikely but extremely likeable pair, and they are neither shy nor stupid.
Discovering the rest of the cast is also a joy, but I will mention two in particular that will get involved in their own phenomena later on. Rio Futaba is one of Sakuta’s only friends, a member of the Science Club (apparently by herself) and the one that provides Sakuta with possible theories to the events he becomes entangled with. Kaede is Sakuta’s reclusive sister. She’s suffered a traumatic event and won’t leave the house. She’s slowly recovering and warming up to Sakuta’s friends.
The reason why I consider the series a slice of life is because despite the supernatural events, life continues. Sakuta and Mai will become a couple, not shy and bashful but a lot more grownup than the usual scared-of-each-other approach that permeates other shows. The characters are not stereotypes, they act and behave like real teenagers. And yes, sometimes Mai will seem more mature than the rest but she’s actually working as an actress and living on her own. She’s had to mature faster than everyone else.
Extremely recommended for an anime with light supernatural tones and smartly written characters. Definitely a show that will be both comedic, eerie, warm and a bit of a tear-jerker where it needs to be. You’re better off going to see it without learning too much about it. Even if you don’t think it’s your thing, the characters are just so well crafted that it’s impossible not to be drawn in. I would definitely love to watch another season.
That will do for now.