To my surprise, Futaba’s arc has already come to a close at two episodes as opposed to three like with Mai’s and Tomoe’s arcs. Perhaps I should’ve seen that coming given that Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai is slated for thirteen episodes. If every girl got three episodes, the show ought to be fifteen episodes long instead. A bit odd but no matter, I didn’t notice any pacing or structuring issues so water under the bridge.
Moving on to Futaba, there sure is a fair amount to unpack with this girl’s dilemma. Her conflicted crush on Kunimi does serve as a catalyst but just the mere concern over her friendships with him as well as Sakuta leaves her torn. Seeing as how both of them now have girlfriends, that concern is completely understandable. She doesn’t want to make a big fuss about it and clearly hasn’t if the episodes prior are any indication, but she can’t help but feel bothered anyway. There is also the matter regarding her posting all those suggestive pictures of herself on social media. On one hand, she loathes her body and showing it off but the other hand, she kind of finds the experience thrilling anyway. There’s contradictions in all these issues and, as a result, Futaba hates herself for not being able to pick a mode. It’s the kind of inner conflict that a lot of people go through, especially during adolescence. It just so happens that, like with previous arcs in this anime, the issue has been brought to a literal level.
So how does Sakuta help resolve all this? For the most part, by just being a friend. For much of the episode, he checks up on both Futabas and helps each one accept that they are all part of the same person. A couple of moments do stand out. I particularly love how Sakuta promptly gets Futaba (the one with the ponytail) out of a pinch when the latter gets harassed online and sets up two fireworks-themed hangouts with two of them and Kunimi. But all things considered, the resolution is pretty modest, certainly compared to when Sakuta had to scream to an entire school about how much he loves Mai or when he had to tolerate Tomoe’s time looping shenanigans. And I think such modesty is worth noting. It feels very true to life, how oftentimes you just need a great friend to help you remember you’re fine just the way you are. Sure, chances are that you haven’t been literally split apart into two clones by your inner turmoil but the message still stands.
Surely I am not the only one who isn’t a teensy bit disappointed that after this episode, Kunimi and Futaba are still just friends. I mean, I just saw the dude bike across time when Sakuta tells him their friend is in danger. That’s boyfriend material right there! The logic might escape more simply because I’m not entirely sure what Kunimi sees in Kamisato. Every scene that girl is in has her mad that her boyfriend has friends. Who would want that in a relationship? I guess I should let it be. Futaba seems to accept that her crush is taken and has learned to be happy that they’re still great friends. It is an appropriate takeaway for the theme of her arc. So it’s fine…really, it’s fine…IT’S FINE.
At least Sakuta and Mai seem to be going steady. I’m impressed, actually. One of my concerns about this multi-arc approach was that Mai would get sidelined. But to my relief and glee, there always appear to be a scene or two per episode where Bunny Girl Senpai checks up on her. Apparently, Mai’s managers don’t want her publicly dating Sakuta and while that is a nuisance, I have to give points to Sakuta for accepting it as is and wanting to make sure Mai’s life doesn’t get more complicated than it should. That said, Bunny Girl Senpai does seem to be gearing towards throwing a roadblock at Mai again. At the start of this episode, we see an idol on TV who, while interviewed, talks about how much she admires Mai. In response, Mai proceeds to turn off the TV. Now that just sounds ripe for Adolescence Syndrome.
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For all of my Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode Reviews, check out the show’s archive page!
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