Title: Rascal Does Not Dream of Logical Witch
Author: Hajime Kamoshida
Release Date: November 17, 2020
Publisher: Yen Press
The Rascal Does Not Dream series takes some liberties with its naming conventions that cause some to read them out of order. Still, Rascal Does Not Dream of Logical Witch, the third entry in the series seems to consider this. It fills readers into the past Adolescence Syndrome attacks while also showing significant character growth amongst friends. The outcome of this adventure is a silly opening, slow middle, and powerful conclusion.
Rascal Does Not Dream of Logical Witch takes place over summer vacation as Sakuta doesn’t have very much planned outside of trying to spend time with his new celebrity girlfriend, Mai. However, things don’t really work out that way after discovering that there are actually two Rios roaming around due to this strange event they call Adolescence Syndrome.
The story mostly revolves around why these two versions of Rio exist and how they can possibly put a stop to it. Sakuta isn’t too keen on using his head, but his impulsive attitude and eagerness to help those in need make him qualified to try and fix this.
I would say that Rascal Does Not Dream of Logical Witch has some pacing issues as it loses track of some of the bigger issues while it gets lost in unnecessary conversations between characters. For starters, mostly all conversations between Mai and Sakuta are unbearable. They have 0 chemistry in this entire story and were just expected to believe they are a couple. Sakuta’s perverted mind doesn’t play favorites either; he makes comments about every girl he meets, and people just pass it off as Sakuta just being Sakuta. Sure, it’s funny sometimes, but it downplays how he talks to Mai in the same way he talks to other girls.
This makes the middle of the story a drag because everyone is just holding secrets from each other or withholding information only to say, “oh, I should have told you this sooner.” This prolongs so many reveals and makes each character just come off as lazy. The conversations during these moments are almost painful to read through because you wish they’d just tell each other everything.
Regardless of the pacing, the last 75 pages or so of Rascal Does Not Dream of Logical Witch are amazing. Finally, Sakuta starts piecing things together with all the information on the table. He doesn’t do it in a way that’s expected but in a very Sakuta way, instead. Sadly, a few moments feel rushed, such as why one of the Rios stopped using this social media app. I felt this was just so haphazard after weeks of trying to convince her; the reason why she stopped came off as just silly.
Rascal Does Not Dream of Logical Witch almost lost me for a bit, but it brought it all together in the end. The themes of friendship in this entry are so solid and reminded me of when my friends and I would stay out all night. There are some great moments like those here, and I believe the ending made any pacing issues forgettable.
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