Sakura Trick (桜トリック) is not a new Yuri manga. It’s been around for quite a while, in fact. Last year I even picked up a copy of the magazine in which it runs, MangaTime Kirara Miracle, just to take a look at the series in situ. I found exactly what I expected.
Sakura Trick, Volume 1 is a 4-koma school life gag comic about Haruka and Yu, two newly minted high school students. They have been friends for a while and have become very close. But, when classmates develop a skinship with Yu, Haruka surprises herself by suddenly becoming insanely jealous. She runs away in a panic. Yu and she have a conversation about it and they realize that they both want more than just friendship. They kiss.
Amazingly, this is not the end of the story, just the first 20 pages or so. The rest of the story follows Haruka and Yu and their classmates – another couple Shizuku and Kotone and a not-quite couple Yuzu and Kaede. These last two are more like comedy routine than a couple and my favorite characters so far.
Complications are few in Volume 1. Yu’s older sister, Mitsuki, is the Student Council president, has terrible eyesight and falls for Haruka without realizing it, even though she knows her sister and Haruka have an intimate relationship. Haruka gets jealous when she comes into the classroom to find Yu sitting on Kotone’s lap.
Yu is narcoleptic. Kotone is gregarious, Shizuku is tsundere, but cutely so. Kaede and Yuzu amuse themselves by filling in internal monologue as they spy on Haruka, or pride themselves on guessing Mitsuki’s favorite drink.
On the minus side, Sakura Trick has very little of anything approaching a plot. But, that is typical and expected in a school-life gag comic.
On the plus side, the couples are couple-y and all quite different. The characters are slightly less “type” and slightly more “character” than usual, with the exception of Shizuku (who, in this volume at least, is no more than a twin-tailed tsundere.)
I’ll give it at least through Volume 2 to develop a personality.
Art – 6
Story – 3 There is none, so far.
Characters – 7 Better than I expected, not yet fully developed
Yuri – 9
Service – 4
Overall – 7
Sakura Trick is too dramatic a story to be funny, and too romance-y to be a drama. But it is a comfortably low-stress way to pass the time. Whether it will bear up to the pacing of an anime remains to be seen.