It’s incredible what good writing can do for an anime. This episode threatened the relationship of Mai and Sakuta with cliche highschool anime shenanigans and strengthened the maturity of their relationship all in 24 minutes. I’m going to start by briefly talking about the characters that played the largest roles: Tomoe, Rio, and Mai and then the episode overall. Also, the opening song is an absolute banger and should be topping charts in every country.
Tomoe was my least favorite character in this episode, because her role was the most predictable. She’s someone that Sakuta has had prior experience with (although not pleasant) and was necessary to introducing a love triangle. Her situation is made more unique because of the “adolescence syndrome”. I did enjoy the use of adolescence syndrome to reintroduce Tomoe back into the story and push the plot forward (literally).
The argument for her could be made that all of the characters have predictable tendencies. The idea is they’re all normal highschool kids that do normal highschool things, but have this super natural affliction as a side effect. My argument is that Tomoe isn’t as interesting as the other main cast. Mai is a part time model and actor, Rio is the Walter White of the coffee underground, and Sakuta is the smoothest male on planet Earth. I mean, c’mon. To be fair we’re still early in the series and wouldn’t be surprised to see some more development from her.
Walter W- I mean Rio Futaba, the king pin of the coffee underground, always plays an important role in these episodes. She’s interesting because her purpose is to give Sakuta nuggets of knowledge and help solve the mysteries of adolescence syndrome. We actually witnessed some vulnerability from Rio this time around. She admits to liking Kunimi who is already in a relationship. Sakuta even highlights this as being pretty normal, which is out of character for her. Not much else to say about Rio other than she’ll definitely play a large role going forward and I really want some of that coffee.
The character of Mai Sakurajima just gets better and better with every episode. The actions of Mai make this the best episode yet! It takes a level of maturity to confront the person who “messed up” in a relationship. Mai coming to Sakuta at the end of the episode displays a level of trust and says “I know it was a misunderstanding” without actually saying it. The relationship between Mai and Sakuta is very endearing and so above usual highschool relationships. These are seinen romance level plot developments and it doesn’t even feel out of place.
The Episode: The episode was fantastic if you couldn’t tell by my appraisal above. The show does a great job of keeping you guessing. Always has you thinking you know what’s going to happen, but takes a different direction. This episode was dedicated to reintroducing Tomoe as the third piece of a love triangle and strengthening the relationship of Mai and Sakuta. I didn’t talk about Sakuta because I didn’t want to spit back the whole episode verbatim, but I really enjoy his character. I don’t know where he gets his confidence from, but I want some of it. He’s calm, confident, and intelligent; three traits our male protagonist don’t usually have. He doesn’t go along with Tomoe’s proposal until he feels a rational reason to. He’s direct with his feelings towards Mai and is serious about them. Sakuta cares deeply about how she feels and makes a conscience decision to give her space and clear things up later after the misunderstanding. The best part about that decision is that it actually works! The best episode yet and satisfies every romantic bone in your body. If you haven’t started Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Senpai please give it a try, I promise you will not be disappointed.
Thank you for reading!