Ask and you shall receive. Yesterday I admitted that I would not be reviewing the Sakura Trick anime, as I declined the role of excessively creepy thigh-starer the audience was cast in. Luckily for all of us, there are many people who watched Sakura Trick who are not me! Today we welcome back Jocilyn W., to Okazu. I cannot thank you enough Jocilyn – take it away!
Following in the proud Yuricon tradition of “Story A, bordering on PWP,” the Sakura Trick anime delights in being cute, colorful and… feisty?
Originally published in the MangaTime Kirara Miracle! (Houbunsha) as 4-koma, Tachi’s Sakura Trick manga, having already achieved decent marks on Okazu a month or so ago, has been faithfully reproduced in a vibrant pastel 1080p animation by S.tudio DEEN for the Winter 2014 anime season. Thanks to a last minute addition by Crunchyroll, the anime has already legitimately been shown in the West, though it’s so far met with a mediocre regard on various anime blogs.
Our protagonist, Takayama Haruka is a lively and fun soda bottle of raging teenage hormones. Opening as it does on a tumultuous first day of high school, the oft-pined for object of Haruka’s craving (desire may not be strong enough of a word) is revealed to be none other than her bestfriend Sonoda Yu’s affections. Yu, though seemingly somewhat more level-headed than Haruka (note the froggy shaped iPhone case and pantaloons), is presented to the audience as being either reticent and/or thickheaded in her affections toward her bestfriend, as well as possibly a little embarrassed at the prospect. Eponymously, the would-be couple discovers a forgotten classroom strewn with cherry-blossom petals: perfectly setting the stage to allow Haruka’s affections to give flight and Yu’s akogare to tumble into a basket of giggles.
Given that “pairing off” seems to be one of the anime’s chief themes, and that the first episode lands squarely on the first day of high school, two other pairs of female friends are introduced. Chief among them are Ikeno Kaede (of the “Shall we link arms?”) and Iizuka Yuzu (of the denyingly gay), as well as their classmate from middle school Noda Kotone (of the “Yoroshiku Harorin~”, no doubt her future pet name for Haruka) and a new girl bearing a name that conjures in everyone’s mind the image of a green young woman from a well-to-do family, Minami Shizuku (of the “I can’t live up to that image…”).
Art – 3 (*puts on sunglasses*)
Character – 7 (Definitely stronger than archetypes but they’ve really yet to emerge)
Story – 4 (Never before seen: a 4-koma based on the interpersonal lives of cute schoolgirls?!)
Yuri – 9 (Apart from Strawberry Panic!, I feel like this is a hard one to top in anime) Service – 9 (Despite my best efforts, I can’t seem to unclench my jaw)
Overall – 7 (Giving it the benefit of the doubt and rounding up)
Erica here again: Thank you Jocilyn. So much.