I’m impressed with this episode of Bunny Girl Senpai in two ways. First, is in regards to Tomoe’s arc itself. More on that in a bit. There’s a lot to relate with her character. Second, is this anime actually can get away with keeping Bunny Girl Senpai’s screentime to a minimum.
That isn’t to say Mai is no longer relevant. This show did the smart thing of having her catch on that Sakuta is pretending to date Tomoe and that he has a good reason to do so. Even though she ends up filming for a drama offscreen, her presence is still felt as it ends up playing into the dynamic of Sakuta and Tomoe’s relationship (again, more on that later). I would really like the spotlight on her again but I am glad that the show is getting creative in how she would still be relevant. Of course, with more arcs and more girls to introduce, this show will need to stay creative with Mai’s role in the story, especially if it’ll procrastinate on her and Sakuta hooking up (or worse, friend zone her). Time will tell how that goes.
On its own, Tomoe’s arc has been quite good. This girl is definitely the more typical teenager but that actually makes her very easy to relate with. A bumpkin moving to the big city and taking the opportunity to look and act like one of the “cool” kids to gain friends. She certainly has that social network addiction — constantly checking her phone, responding to messages, taking selfies, and checking in on all the viral trends. Everything about this character reeks of desperation and understandably so. We’ve all been there in some way during high school or knew someone who has.
In a way, Sakuta is actually a perfect fit for Tomoe. He’s not a popular kid nor does he desire to be one. Hell, he doesn’t even have a phone of any sort. That alone makes him a polar opposite. He definitely acts like a boyfriend too. He supports Tomoe with the path she’s taken and checks up on her when she isn’t feeling well. Him defending her against the nasty rumors spun by that athlete who tried asking her out is also what a good boyfriend would do. I was afraid Bunny Girl Senpai would have him get beat up and let it be a pyrrhic victory. Instead, the show actually lets him actually kicking the guy’s ass and I love it. Sakuta might be fighting dirty but then again so was that athlete so it’s fair as far as I’m concerned.
There does seem to be a consequence with Sakuta genuinely playing the role of the white knight. With how much care he’s shown to Tomoe, it seems natural that she is beginning to be smitten over him. She claims she’ll settle on being the best friend she can be but you know something is going on when she stares glumly at a new commercial starring Mai. Considering Futaba’s theory that Tomoe could still reset time, is it possible that she might use those powers against Mai and have Sakuta all for herself? With apparently one episode left in this arc, you just know that Bunny Girl Senpai has to have something up its sleeve.
- I get what this show was doing with the penguins but the metaphor it makes on Sakuta and Tomoe’s social life is really clumsy. Why don’t you have these characters look at Rorsharch inkblots while you’re at it?
- The part where Mai hands clothes over to Kaede is really sweet. I’m liking how this character is gradually stepping out of her shell.
- I genuinely don’t know the light novel chronology but it seems like the show is gearing up for Futaba’s own arc. It was dawning on me that she and Yuuma seem to be buddies.
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