Never before have I been so blindsided by a first episode.

Summary:

Sakuta Azusagawa is a high schooler who is basically seen as the “loser” in school due to an infamous incident involving him called the “hospitalization incident”; where Sakuta supposedly caused three classmates to be sent to the hospital. Because of this, many of Sakuta’s classmates avoid him, and Sakuta tries to keep a low profile in turn.

One day, Sakuta sees a girl at his school named Mai Sakurajima prancing about the library in a bunny girl outfit. Sakuta appears to be the only one who’s able to see her, and Mai tells him to forget everything he saw. As the episode goes on, we learn more about Mai: she used to be a popular child star, but allegedly stopped acting to focus on her high school studies. Even so, she’s still famous at Sakuta’s school, although no one dares to be friends with her.

Sakuta is eventually able to talk with Mai on the way home from school, where Mai reveals that she’s slowly becoming invisible to more and more people. Mai also explains just why she wears the bunny girl outfit. Although Mai is afraid that Sakuta wouldn’t believe her situation, Sakuta reveals that he’s also been involved in some mysterious circumstances of his own, which were caused by his younger sister. Sakuta believes that these mysterious phenomenon were all caused by something called “puberty/adolescent syndrome”, and seeks to conduct further research on it.

I pray to the anime gods that Sakuta’s and Kaede’s relationship remain a cute, non-creepy brother-sister relationship.

I kind of love Mai’s “don’t mess with me” personality, not going to lie.

My Opinion:

Okay, I just wanted to get this out of the way first: The English title that Crunchyroll gave this series is stupid and borderline nonsensical. They also totally missed the chance to call the series something like “Do Rascals Dream of Bunny Girls?”—but I digress.

Before I started watching this series, and based on the promo pictures and summary alone; I really thought this was going to be some kind of overly fanservicey show with a banal plot. And I was fully ready to write some scathing review about how bad the first episode was. But the more I watched of the first episode, the more intrigued I became. I’m actually very surprised; because this show was far better than I expected (although my expectations weren’t exactly all that high to begin with). This turned out to be less of a fanservice show and more of a serious drama with a supernatural element to it.

This show is by no means perfect, of course. While I do like the overall message/commentary on social isolation caused by strict social norms; some of the situations portrayed in this show are a little bit too on the nose. The other students at Sakuta’s school seem just a little bit too obsessed with popularity/being popular… to an almost unrealistic degree. And Sakuta himself is… well. I do understand that he’s meant to be a “says it like it is” type of person, and I understand why he would want to distance himself after what he went through in the past. But I am also real sick of male protags who act like pessimistic, snarky assholes. Fortunately Sakuta is less snarky and more “tired”, but he’s dangerously skirting that “I act like an asshole” line.

This anime fortunately does not have much in the way of fanservice, unless you count Mai in the bunny suit as “fanservice;” but it’s honestly real tame stuff so far. However… I do side eye the presence of Kaede, Sakuta’s younger sister. I understand why she’s so clingy to her brother, due to past trauma. But I really hope this show doesn’t actually push the “little sister is in love with her brother” trope, because that would make me nope out of the show extremely fast.

Overall, this show is… I hesitate to call it “good” but. I enjoyed it a lot at least, and I’m super intrigued about what will happen next. I know that this show won’t be everyone’s cup of tea—I can definitely see this show being a bit too pretentious or navel-gazey for some people. And the series’ sudden introduction of supernatural elements (i.e. the “adolescent syndrome” stuff) might come off as being a bit too ridiculous. However, I did really like the chemistry between Sakuta and Mai, which felt surprisingly natural. The prelude to this episode also hints at a possibly tragic ending. So for now… I’m hooked. I am not sure if I’ll actually have the motivation to blog this series, but I’ll likely keep up with it unless it suddenly turns awful or something.

Out of five:

precure heart2precure heart2precure heart2 and 1/2

This is Rio, one of Sakuta’s few friends. I really like her character design and I hope she gets more screentime.