What’s the show? Rascal Does Not Dream Of Bunny Girl Senpai, Episode 12.
So how’s this episode? So this episode was kind of predictable, to the point me and the irlwaifu were more or less predicting the events of the episode before they were happening. But likewise the ending of this episode (while no less predictable) offered such a great sense of unease that I’m at a loss for what will happen next week and that’s kind of frightening.
Predictable in a bad way? This is ‘Bunny Girl Senpai’ we’re talking about, it could never be bad no matter how predictable it got. It’s more the fact that we’ve cottoned on to the kind of show it is and so when there was mentions of zoo’s and schools and late night shortcuts all those pieces fell into place as expected. It’s a ~nice~ kind of predictable, like being around a friend who’s usually smarter than you but you manage to guess the next comment they’re about to say out of the sheer virtue of having known them for so long. If that makes sense…
I’m sure it made sense to someone. And what’s the “frightening” aspect you mentioned? Well, despite being heavily foreshadowed the episode ends with our beloved little sister Kaede reverting back to her ‘original’ pre-amnesia version. I.e. the Kaede we’ve all grown to love over the past 12 episodes is ostensibly gone and we’ve got some foul imposter in our midst! Except, this isn’t an imposter, this is the ~real~ Kaede… we should be happy that she’s found her way back to herself. But as creatures of habit we can only share in the look of discomfort that paints Sakuta’s face as both he and the audience has grown to love the 3rd person speaking Kaede who has blossomed so much in the intervening time.
I see… so what does this mean exactly? I’ll put it like this, up and until this point puberty syndrome has always been a disease with a clear “antagonist” (I put that word in inverted commas because it’s not entirely true). Mai had to deal with the threat of disappearing forever, Tomoe had to deal with not being loved by the right person, Mai and her sister had to deal with their toxic feelings for each others existence. The only one who (arguably) didn’t have a “villain” was Futaba who was simply dealing with adolescent self-loathing which she learned to live with anyway. Here we are given the ‘cure’ to Kaede’s long-running amnesia problem by her original memories and personality returning but that in of itself is a new villain because we the audience were attached to the Kaede that we’d presumed was the one and only.
Right, I understand now. So with one episode left (not including the movie scheduled for 2019) what do you think will happen? I don’t know! And that’s what’s terrifying! Do I think the show will seriously get rid of the Kaede we’ve come to love and saddle us with OG Kaede? Maybe. I mean, I’d like to think we could find a happy balance between the two like what happened with the two Futaba’s resolution but again, the show has made itself unpredictable again, which is both humbling and frustrating! I like to be the smartest person in the room and for a while I was during this episode, but now I don’t know how this show is going to end and that’s scary! Either way though, I can’t wait to see how it all pans out!
Previous Rascal Does Not Dream Of Bunny Girl Senpai Reviews:
The Power of Perception – Episode 1 Review
But What If They Forgot You? – Episode 2 Review
The Science of Love – Episode 3 Review
Groundhog Date – Episode 4 Review
Life Is All About The Little Things – Episode 5 Review
Different Types Of Love – Episode 6 Review
A Girl Divided – Episode 7 Review
Reconnecting – Episode 8 Review
Separation Anxiety – Episode 9 Review
Finding Yourself – Episode 10 Review
Exit Strategies – Episode 11 Review
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5 thoughts on “An Endangered Species – ‘Rascal Does Not Dream Of Bunny Girl Senpai’ Episode 12 Review”
One thing I enjoyed this episode was the depiction of the trials of the family, and Sakuta’s eventual coming to wholeheartedly accept Kaede as she is, rather than trying to force her back into the person she was before.
I’ve been kind of overdosing on the amnesia storylines this season, because in addition to this one, there’s the one they’re using for the play in Bloom into You. Plus I just rewatched The Disappearance of Yuki Nagato, a ‘spinoff’ show that really doesn’t get the credit I think it deserves because too many people wanted to see something else with those characters (i.e. another Haruhi-focused series, which I would not have liked). That one has two of the main characters handling the amnesia / personality shift of a third main character with just the epitome of understanding, even faster than Sakuta does here, and then having to deal with the shift back after memories return.
One thing I’m a bit worried about is that I wonder if the show will handle the fact that the Kaede-san who has returned is, not unlike the Kaede-chan we’ve known so far, a fairly broken person. She was so broken that she induced herself into amnesia and disassociative personality disorder. One might argue that maybe her brain has been working through those problems and can deal with it better now, but it’s still an issue. So I hope the writers remember that and don’t just make Kaede-san a perfectly well-adjusted person.
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Considering there’s a whole episode still to go I don’t think things will be as simple as “Kaede’s all good now” especially given Sakuta’s borderline horrified reaction to her returning to her old self (I don’t think I’m incorrect in assuming that’s his expression). The Kaede we’ve grown to love (Kaede-chan as you put it) will hopefully return in some capacity…
“The Kaede we’ve grown to love (Kaede-chan as you put it) will hopefully return in some capacity…”
Hmm, we’ll see. That’s not something that tends to happen in any of these amnesia / disassociative personality stories. I don’t know if the *real* conditions work that way or not.
I agree Sakuta was deeply shaken and stunned (I don’t know if I’d use the word horrified), but I think it’s not because Kaede-san is back, but more that he’s lost another person that he’s been close to, likely closer than he ever was to his sister’s original personality. And that might morph into a bit of regret as he realizes that he has wished for this in the past.
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Loved this episode, and as I said on Karandi’s post. Bunny Girl Senpai is looking to end with an arc as strong as the first, and that’s fucking great.
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Yes this episode certainly left us with a dilemma for next week. Kaede is ‘back’ to how she is ‘supposed to be’ and yet like Sakuta the audience is pretty horrified. So what next? Love that this show keeps me guessing and manages to defy my expectations in the most brilliant of ways.
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