Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.

22 October 2018: This is a blog post about Seishun Buta Yarō wa Bunny Girl-senpai no Yume wo Minai with the #SeiButa and #青ブタ hashtags in the title

Man, what is it with anime girls and libraries?

I started watching Seishun Buta Yarō wa Bunny Girl-senpai no Yume wo Minai (The Young Pig-Rascal Isn't Dreaming of a Bunny Girl Upperclassman or Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai) because it had a bunny girl. True story. Also because its description sounded chuuni as fuck. It turns out it does have a bunny girl and it is, in fact, chuuni as fuck. There are also straightfaced explanations about Schrödinger's cat early on in the show, but I guess that's all right, since everyone heard about it for the first time in some venue or another. I suppose there's no harm in young viewers learning about it for the first time through this anime.

Sakuta and Kaede
For example, Kaede could single-handedly ruin this show.

I do believe the show is intended for younger audiences (well, younger than me, at least) because it does take some effort on my part to watch the show from the sort of perspective that I think it wants viewers to adopt. If you can do it, you'll probably find the show to be quite good and refereshingly mature in the way it presents its character interactions and plot devices. This intended vantage point sits atop a house of cards if you're a stinkin' grown-up, though, so your mileage will most certainly vary.

These sure are ugly uniforms.

Central to all of this is ol' Potato-kun, Azusagawa Sakuta, who is thankfully much more composed than your typical male anime protagonists. The first three episodes draw attention to the fact that the bunny girl in question, Sakurajima Mai, is a senior-year student a year older than Sakuta. Part of getting into the right mindset to appreciate the show required me to ignore the nagging suspicion that this first arc would have made more sense with Mai as an incoming freshman and Sakuta as a senior, but Sakuta being younger fits my stereotype of the intended demographic. (I.e., younger teens tending to idolize older girls in their schools.)

Mai and Sakuta
This cell phone case would be pretty inconvenient.

In any case, Potato-kun solved Mai's problem in the show's first arc, and seems poised to solve various supernatural problems of additional quirky girls in future arcs, à la Kanon (2006). Because the SeiButa light novels weren't published until 2014, they are most definitely products of an environment with well-known, essentially unavoidable influences. Comparisons with the Haruhi franchise are inevitable, for example. In addition the the aforementioned Kanon, there's also the original To Heart, in which Fujita Hiroyuki serially befriended a bunch of interesting girls and helped them with their (at times banal) problems. (There's no fox ghost who falls out of a tree and gets hit by a car after slipping on some mysterious fruit preserves in To Heart, okay.)

21-22-36. Wait, that can't be right.

I can't quite claim to be fully on board with Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl-senpai no Yume wo Minai, but at least it doesn't irritate the shit out of me. Admittedly, this is a pretty low bar to be setting, but you have to consider there's a remarkable number of different ways for a show like this to go completely wrong. Not being a catastrophe is in and of itself a victory of sorts. Through three episodes, it's not as good as SSSS.GRIDMAN, but it is ahead of RELEASE THE SPYCE, which does position it relatively well among the new shows I'm watching this season.

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