After the first two episodes I was ready to write that this anime was going to be the best show of the season. After 13th episode all I can say is that this representative of a modern trend to give unbearably long names to stories didn’t live up to my expectations. And, frankly, that upset me a lot.
Yeah, I didn’t have an illusion that it’d be the next Monogatari — but it didn’t look like an impossible task for “Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai” (omg) to become something like another “My Youth Romantic Comedy is Wrong, as I expected” (why do they torture us, eh?), which is not a flawless but lovely anime.
Aobuta has some problems. First of all — it has absolutely amazing Sakurajima Mai and her arc was the strongest one. Whereas I should’ve listened to Kratos-sensei and kept my expectations low, I got excited following the story of her disappearance. Their adequate dialogues with Sakuta, her behaviour and, in general, the tale of her vanishing from the world was emotional, cute and funny. And despite my grumpy attitude towards the rest of the show, I can’t force myself to say anything bad about Mai-san. Scenes when she showed up were the reason, basically, to patiently move from one boring tale to another, even duller, later on.
Heresy or not — other girls’ stories, which were, probably, meant to be dramatic were… not so dramatic. Repeating the same day? Having the copy of yourself? Bodies exchange? We had either seen that or Sakuta and his harem just weren’t convincing enough. When you know that everything is going to end well — you expect the anime to offer more (yeah, I’m spoiled) than just a plot moving from one point to another, periodically making pauses to show heroes tearing up or dramatically running. The show could be darker, or funnier; dialogues could be more meaningful, heroes relationships could be more realistic, comparing to “- Oh, Mai-san, I kind of forgot about you because I’m helping out yet another woman right now. – No worries, Sakuta-kun, I’m so understanding and calm that I don’t care much”. We didn’t have any doubts that Araragi would dodge sex flying at him from all directions, because Senjougahara made it clear what’s going to happen if he didn’t. With Sakuta it was impossible to be so certain… or maybe it was impossible to care. In addition to all that relationships oddness, the idea of the syndrome itself is questionable. I mean, okay, something mysterious happens and that prepares the stage for the “real stuff”, which is human emotions and relationships. But all Futaba’s attempts to explain what’s going on “scientifically” seemed like an attempt to fill some time with something. The show wouldn’t lost anything if we just had abnormal events as a matter of fact.
I liked, though, that the series felt more or less finished. Yes, we didn’t learn anything about the syndrome and imaginary Shoko-san didn’t become less imaginary (even though she wrote notes) — but Kaede’s situation was resolved and Mai-san got acquainted with Sakuta’s parents. Great success.
P.S. Anyway, I’ll try to buy a figure of Sakurajima Mai (wearing school uniform, you, perverts) when they come out =) And I genuinely hope that we’ll get at least one special episode focused solely on her.