Name: Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai
MAL Score: 8.51/10
Genres: Comedy, Romance, School, Supernatural
In the Fall 2018 season of anime, several popular and critically acclaimed shows came out, and standing above them all was Bunny Girl Senpai. While it was airing, it was difficult to avoid the show because of the way it engulfed the community, and I caved in eventually and watched it. Commonly drawing comparisons to both the Monogatari Series and The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, it certainly had some big shoes to fill. So could Bunny Girl Senpai live up to these expectations, or did it fall flat?
Sakuta Azusagawa is an outcast at school, mainly due to rumors of a violent past. The other main character, Mai Sakurajima, is also an outcast at school, but for a far different reason. She’s a celebrity who’s currently on hiatus, so she faces the struggle of people being intimidated by her status. One day, Sakuta sees Mai wondering around in public, wearing of course a bunny girl suit. No one really seems to pay her any mind though, other than Sakuta. It turns out Mai has a disorder known as “Puberty Syndrome,” which makes her invisible to others.
After Mai’s arc, the show keeps introducing more girls who also struggle from “Puberty Syndrome” in different ways. Puberty Syndrome reflects the issues that a character has, and gives them a supernatural ailment. Bunny Girl Senpai takes a Monogatari-like approach, and has the plot afterwards mainly focus on Sakuta helping these girls with their supernatural problems.
If you go into this show expecting something like Monogatari or Haruhi, you will be severely disappointed. It’s best to look at the show as its own entity because of the stark difference in quality. Bunny Girl Senpai doesn’t really have the witty dialogue required to pull off a show like this. It tries to be a comedy while at the same time being an emotional drama, which is difficult to write well. There’s definitely moments of good writing here and there, but overall it’s too inconsistent to be super entertaining.
Along with this, Bunny Girl Senpai attempts to be more than it actually is. By this I mean it introduces unnecessary concepts to make itself seem smart, when it really isn’t. An example of this would be when Mai turns invisible, one character uses Schrödinger’s cat to explain it. But turning invisible isn’t really a confusing concept, so it’s pointless to introduce something else which would only add confusion. Shortly after this, Laplace’s Demon is used as an explanation as well, which again adds confusion to an initially not confusing concept.
In terms of the characters, I didn’t really find any of them super annoying as a whole. They all functioned decently well inside the story, but I don’t think anyone really stood out. The girls all felt like I had seen them somewhere before in a different anime, and Sakuta felt almost like a Kyon reject. In terms of animation and art, the show looks above average overall, but nothing too notable came from this category. The highlight of the show however was the sound track. I find myself continuously going back to listen to the ending theme. The opening, while not my favorite musically, was able to spawn some memes, so that’s something.
With all its flaws and limited upsides, I consider Bunny Girl Senpai to be average overall. I definitely wouldn’t consider it a masterpiece as some do, or call it bad, just an average 5/10. I can understand the enjoyment one can get from this show, but when the aforementioned Monogatari and Haruhi exist, I don’t know if there’s much of a reason to watch this show anymore.