Yet another arc that ends at two episodes. I’d be lying if I said I’m not bummed out about that. The writing and pacing hasn’t taken a hit but these stories have such solid hooks are populated with some increasingly endearing characters. To see them develop and end an episode sooner makes me wish there was more. That feeling may be even more pronounced with Nodoka since, unlike Futaba, we’re only just now getting to know her. Now, she’s off to join Tomoe in the “very likable but no longer important” club.
Still, Bunny Girl Senpai succeeds yet again in delivering a solid resolution that even sneaks in some feels along the way. Last episode established the clear skill cap between Nodoka and Mai and here, you see how much more apparent it is. As per Sakuta’s advice, Nodoka ultimately gives up on trying to imitate Mai and after many takes, manages to complete the commercial shoot. It’s a nice moment but shortly following it and adding insult to injury is seeing Mai perform as part of Sweet Bullet. Not only does Mai get the singing and dancing down to a science, she even pulls some improvisation to keep the show going when one of Nodoka’s peers make a mistake. Geez, why don’t you have her perform while juggling pins on a unicycle to show how much better she is. Oh wait, you already have Nodoka’s mom congratulating her “daughter” for becoming the featured singer for the next single.
As you can imagine, Nodoka doesn’t take any of this very well at first. Purely speaking objectively, I do admire that the show just let the reality sink in. It’s line with a lot of the plot points we’ve seen before, how no one really ever gets their way and must learn to deal with what’s thrown at them. And really, I wasn’t expecting Nodoka to suddenly become an Oscar nominee overnight or anything. Even so, watching Nodoka so frustrated and self hating was making for a very depressing experience. Anyone who’s felt inferior to their siblings (me personally, I’m a middle child so the complex used to run both ways) will find this development hitting very close to home. For crying out loud, you see Nodoka consider drowning herself at one point. What the hell, Bunny Girl Senpai?
Fortunately, it all works out in the end thanks to the efforts of Sakuta and Mai. The latter’s involvement I find particularly interesting as you could argue she learned a lesson herself. I’m with Futaba, I think Mai also wished she could trade places with Nodoka, perhaps assuming that she had it easy. But after training to be an idol in such short notice and after seeing how uneasy Nodoka’s mother actually is, Mai realizes the error in her thinking. And after seeing Nodoka think so low of herself, she feels the need to step in and tell her to be happy about what she should does. The letters Nodoka wrote to Mai when she was little may even support this observation further. Having her half-sister admire her work let her start enjoying acting more and yet, she never really came to recognize her sister’s work and help her enjoy it until now. Maybe that’s why she told Sakuta not to peak at the letters (props to the latter for doing so anyway). She might’ve been ashamed of herself. Thank goodness, she came around to help then.
The only issue I really take with this reconciliation scene is that you actually see Mai and Nodoka physically revert back to their original appearances (I guess they didn’t switch bodies?). Going to be honest, the visuals combined with such crunchy sound effects felt straight out of a horror movie. So creepy…
Well, enough of that imouto. Time to move onto the imouto this series has been teasing since the beginning! The one. THE ONLY. KAEDE AZUSAGAWA.
For real, I am really looking forward to Kaede’s arc. I’ve gleamed over this but I have actually found her character really charming as time goes on. Yeah, she has a brother complex but it’s gotten funny in a way that most, more imouto-obsessed anime aren’t. Part of that is the fact that Sakuta very clearly just sees his sister as his sister (and yes, I do need to state that since this is an anime). I think it’s also just clear that Kaede has been losing her “war” since the very beginning and that “struggle” just keeps getting funnier every episode.
It’s now time for us to start taking her character seriously. I’m going to miss that oneside (please be used in the ED) but I am glad to see her back in her school uniform and try to step out of her shell. Of course, knowing this show, something supernatural is about to happen again.
Thanks for reading!
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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