"Rascal" Sakuta Azusagawa is a blunt high school boy who is shunned by most of the other students at school after he supposedly got caught up in a violent incident. One day while at the library, he comes across one of his older, fellow school mates Mai Sakurajima who also happened to be a popular actress on haitus. Mai was dressed up in a revealing bunny girl suit but no one seems to take notice of her or even see her. Sakuta soon learns Mai could no longer be seen when she is in certain areas and that was why she was wearing a bunny girl suit. He believed it had something do with what was was rumoured as the "Adolescence Syndrome", a phenomena when certain supernatural things happen to people and those around them due to their terribly troubled mind and mental state. Both he and his own little sister had experienced such painful phenomena once before. As Mai's existence becomes worse by the day to the point where she can't even buy food for herself, Sakuta becomes the only one she can depend on. As time goes by, Sakuta soon becomes involved in other cases of Adolescence Syndrome and having experienced how painful it could be, he decides to help anyone he comes across who suffers from it.
This show is based on a light novel series called, "Rascal Does Not Dream of..." by Hajime Kamoshida best known for The Pet Girl of Sakurasou. The show covers about six out of the nine that's been published so far starting with the show's title "Bunny Girl Senpai" followed by "Little Devil Kohai", "Logical Witch", "The Idol with A Sister Complex", "The Sister Watching The House" and "The Girl". If you pay attention to the OP, you can actually see the titles shuffling around before it ends up at Bunny Girl Senpai.
One look at the poster for this show and you'd probably be thinking, "Another brainless harem show for the guys," and that was the reason I wasn't going to watch this. Then I saw the hype on Twitter and decided to go for it. Turns out it's still a harem show but it isn't filled with mindless sensual fan service. It's there as usual with most Anime shows but rare and feels like a natural part of the show mostly apart from your opening bunny girl suit. Well, maybe the odd awkward camera angle too but again, very rare. Funnily enough it even takes a brief look at the subject of objectifying the female body.
Right from the very first episode I was already impressed. It has its serious moments that can be really relatable if you're the kind of person that finds it hard to get along wtih others. At the same time, just as it feels like it's getting serious you'll find yourself laughing because it effortlessly slips in a lot of dry humour. Daru from Steins;gate probably has a contender as far as the "perverted gentleman" is concerned. It has a good balance of humour, seriousness and mystery despite the silly idea of Adolescence Syndrome but just look at how silly Haruhi was and how popular that grew. In fact, the two shows feel very similar. Both have girls in bunny suits and mysterious supernatural things happening including a time loop similar to Endless Eight with jokes to break things up when it gets a little too serious. However, this show probably has the more witty dialogue and it's quite heavy on romance too. Romance fans will probably enjoy watching the relationship develop between Mai and Sakuta as the two open up, tease and support one another.
As expected from A1 Picture's branch studio, their 3D still needs work and art's not great to look at. 2D art is nothing impressive either with the odd quality drop such as characters looking oddly out of ratio but nothing too drastic like in the Anime adaptation of Persona 5. Nothing stands out in the music either - well, apart from the ending which changes characters depending on the scenario. If the overall presentation was better this show probably would have been perfect. Image here is a wallpaper from the official site.
If you enjoyed the supernatural wackiness of Suzumiya Haruhi but want something a bit more toned down, less fan service with some friendship, family themes and more romance, you'll probably enjoy this. It has some great moments that'll either leave you laughing or watching with a smile so, don't let that bunny girl poster fool you into thinking it's just another harem fan service show. The odd episode after the second half of the show has extra scenes after the ending so don't miss them. Not that you would if you enjoy finding out who appears in the little gathering that changes with each new scenario.
A later movie "Doesn't Dream of a Dreaming Girl" based on volume 6 of the light novel series, takes place in December after the series focusing on Shoko Makinohara, Sakuta's childhood friend and why she is split into two entities; one old and one younger. With the older Shoko stuck at Sakuta's home, he was going to have to resolve her adolescence syndrome somehow so he could get back to his normal life while helping Shoko in the process. It's as good as the series with a new original "syndrome" mystery for you to follow as well as heavy romance.
In the second movie, "Rascal Does Not Dream of Sister Venturing Out" Kaede wants to advance and attend the same high school as her brother but her grades aren't up to the requirements. Not to mention her extreme social anxiety meant she still struggles wherever there are people around. And so Sakuta and his friends do their best to teach and support her despite the school councillor's suggestions.
Pretty good movie, mostly filled with family and friends support. No syndrome to solve this time but it does leave a big cliffhangar into the next syndrome and season. I think there's a big hint as to what the syndrome is.