Review: Rascal Does Not Dream of a Dreaming Girl

Rascal Does Not Dream of a Dreaming Girl is a sequel / follow-up to last year’s delightful Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai. It’s very much more of the same, and that’s a good thing. The series ended without resolving the curious case of Makinohara Shoko, and now the film delves into that mystery. For those who enjoyed the show’s combination of romance, drama, deadpan humor, and the X-Files, the movie proves quite satisfying.

The largely unexplained paranormal phenomenon “Puberty Syndrome,” a key plot device of the anime, is again central to this story. As seen in the show, protagonist Sakuta has encountered two different versions of Shoko, one older and one younger. Puberty Syndrome turns out to be the culprit (big surprise there). I don’t want to spoil anything, but this film had multiple serious gut-punching scenes; I found it quite moving.

Of course, this Rascal isn’t just about dramatic plot twists. The series’s snarky sense of humor still pops up a number of times. Sakuta, Mai, and Shoko have the starring roles here, but all the major characters from the anime put in meaningful appearances. The sound and animation are solid but not particularly spectacular. The ending felt a bit deus ex machina, but that’s par for the course with this series, so I can’t really complain. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and would recommend it to anyone who liked the anime.

Rating: 5/5

Rascal Does Not Dream of a Dreaming Girl is no longing showing in American theaters, but can be seen in Canada today and tomorrow. Stay tuned, also, for an alternate review of the film that will post later today. Featured image courtesy of Aniplex of America.

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