Let’s make it official: I really like Bunny Girl Senpai and I am now 100% committed in covering the whole show for the blog.
Maybe that was becoming obvious considering that I’ve been covering the show for this long and grew more positive about it along the way. Still, I was a pretty big skeptic early on so it’s best to just make that clear here and now. Do I still think the dialogue is clunky? Yes but the show has proven to be smart in spite of that. Am I still worried that this show might lose steam? Not anymore; certainly not after this episode.
Admittedly, I kind of knew what to expect here. Tomoe ended up actually falling in love with Sakuta, compromises their “break up”, and Sakuta must hammer in the fact that he still loves Mai. It’s a no-win situation for Tomoe, one that could only end in heartbreak. Even so, this episode ends Tomoe’s arc on a strong note.
If there’s a recurring theme throughout these past three episodes, it’s that Tomoe, like any teenager, wants things to go the way she wants. She religiously uses social media because she wants to appear popular and not the bumpkin she used to be. She hesitates on rejecting a popular boy asking her out because she doesn’t want to be ridiculed. Hence why she had Sakuta pretend dating her as it was getting her out of an uncomfortable situation. Now that she is in love with Sakuta, she enacts a new time loop, repeating their last date over and over again because she wants Sakuta to love her back and she doesn’t want to see the future where he inevitably goes out with Mai. She even lies to herself that she’s aware what she’s doing this to avoid feeling guilty. Whatever the situation may be, Tomoe is afraid of what the future may hold and she doesn’t want the stability of her youthful existence to go awry.
Naturally, Tomoe gets forced to learn her lesson the hard way and that’s where Sakuta comes in. At first, he goes along with the loop, presumably in the hope that Tomoe would get tired and call it quits. Once it became clear that she won’t stop and is lying to herself over what she’s doing, Sakuta decides to take matters into his own hand. I particularly like that he ends up telling Tomoe to her face that he doesn’t love her and that she needs to move on from it. A bit amusing considering that this comes after the two characters pretending to break up as a fake couple. It still does the trick though. It’s blunt and it’s harsh but it also forces Tomoe to accept that even with the ability to literally reset time, life won’t always go the way she wants. She can’t get Sakuta to reciprocate her feelings and she has to deal with it.
To be honest, I leave this conclusion feeling a little torn. I still really like Mai and I’m glad that her and Sakuta are still the main pair as I quite like them together. But much like Tomoe ended up falling in love with Sakuta, I ended up really liking Tomoe, almost as much as Mai. On one hand, getting rejected by Sakuta is exactly how this arc should end but the other, it was heartbreaking to watch Tomoe accept defeat. And sure, what she tried to do in this episode is not okay but her reason for her actions are still sympathetic and it’s a bit sad that they were all in vain. I got to hand it to Bunny Girl Senpai, it does know how to toy with the viewer’s emotions.
It is a bit extreme that Tomoe ends up resetting time all the way back to the beginning of the arc. You probably could’ve just kept the story continuing after the break up scene with no problem. I also have to question how some minor scenes still play out despite the context of Tomoe and Sakuta’s fake dating at play. Then again, allowing Tomoe to go back to the start allows her to owe up to her mistakes better. She ends up rejecting that athlete in earnest this time around and while she probably did get ridiculed as a result, she also finds new friends along the way. In the end, her fear of rejection and need to maintain a status quo was truly all in her head.
I am glad that, true to their word, Sakuta and Tomoe remain the best of friends. What I am curious though is whether or not this is the last we’ll see of Tomoe. I’m afraid that it is and it’d be a shame as Bunny Girl Senpai has been doing a pretty good job keeping Mai relevant. Hell, Futaba has maintained a solid supportive role and this anime has yet to start her arc. Personally, I’d like to see the same treatment done for Tomoe.
Regardless, Bunny Girl Senpai is clearly gearing up for the next big event. It’s quite the hook too as by chance, Sakuta runs into Shoko for the first time in years. The only problem is that for Shoko, it appears to be the very first time.
- Heh, Sakuta fails the exams at first but thanks to all the time-based shenanigans, he retakes them with all the answers memorized. Guess he now has a shot at the university Mai is applying for. Thanks Tomoe!
- Wow, we actually get to see Mai dressed up as a Bunny Girl again. I was convinced she would never wear that costume again now that her case of Adolescence Syndrome has been resolved. I’m not complaining though…
Thanks for reading!
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