Posted by psgels on 29 March 2013 with categories: Anime Reviews, Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo



Teenaged romance shows are a dime a dozen, so it has to take something special for a series to catch my interest. For that, the past Autumn Season was a source of gold. Kamisama Hajimemashita was awesome, Sukitte Ii na Yo was a surprise hit, and Sakurasou also seemed like the series to bring new life in the shounen romance genre. It kinda did, but if you want to stay with that impression, then don’t watch the second half.

Sakurasou really managed to set itself apart with its execution. From the outside it looked like an average romantic comedy, but when you started watching it became clear to me how good the chemistry between the characters was. The banter had a lot of comedic gold in it, and it was full of energy. Scenes were well set-up, and there were a number of really sharp characters in this series, whose lines pierced through all pretense. That made this series a roller-coaster of emotions that was actually really well balanced.

The level of writing really was good there, and consistently so. I can only recall one bad episode, which randomly introduced incest for no reason whatsoever). You’d expect this level of writing to get better as the series goes on and gets more chance to build up, but somewhere along the way it just loses its spark. Especially the final third just misses the energy and wit that made this series so addictive at the start.

The early parts of this series are about hard work versus talent, and working hard towards your dreams, and coming of age. The show ends with a love triangle and a silly subplot about a bunch of dorms being closed down. It totally lacks any kind of impact, and the series ends with a melodramatic ending that is too scared to really resolve anything. The only good parts about the final third is where the creators focus on the themes that made the first half so good, but there are unfortunately too few moments to really salvage the series.

It’s a shame, really. I really endorse series evolving and changing. Doing the same thing over and over gets boring. But if you want to change your attention, you have to make sure that you have something interesting and logical to follow up with. Sakurasou didn’t and just got bogged down in its genre conventions that unfortunately spoiled what could have been such a good shounen romance.
One-Sentence Review: If you are interested in Sakurasou, my tip is to watch until episode 16, and let your imagination fill in the climax, because if you do you’ll get a really rewarding and witty romance series, instead of having to sit through the downer climax that follows…
Suggestions:
Kaze no Shoujo Emily
True Tears
Yumekui Merry

18 Responses

  1. Kiraly says:

    Same.

    In the second half I liked the MC lashing out at Mashiro when his game idea was rejected. It was unexpectedly realistic from an anime.

  2. TheUltimateReaper says:

    Underwhelming endings. I’m not liking this trend that I’m noticing as I consume larger and larger amounts of anime. Still it was nice I guess. I’m really getting sick of the lack of plot resolution though. I’m getting real sick of half ass endings. I wouldn’t endorse only watching part of anime, but I can understand where your coming from.

    But seriously? Why are manga writers, and animation production companies so afraid to write good endings that resolve plot and provide impact? I hate wondering. It’s not like this ending failed or anything, but the climax was lack luster.

    • AidanAK47 AidanAK47 says:

      “But seriously? Why are manga writers, and animation production companies so afraid to write good endings that resolve plot and provide impact? I hate wondering. It’s not like this ending failed or anything, but the climax was lack luster.”

      One word. Sequel. That and most companies pick up a manga at it’s most popular which most of the time is the point where it isn’t finished.

      • gurdlo says:

        Or maybe they just suck at writing fulfilling conclusions. Thats a thought

        • anona says:

          maybe some do suck, but i believe most of them can do good work if given the freedom and time to do so. they are pros after all, most of them know what they’re doing. the main reason really here i think, is that the companies care more about profit and will there milk a title if they can. and unfortunately most nonvocal (and also the majority)of the audience that actually give money to the companies isn’t that critical of what they watch.

      • Andmeuths says:

        It’s a Light Novel. Not a Manga….

        An ongoing Live Novel, and an anime whose sales are complete, utter rubbish. No second season here, I’m afraid.

  3. AidanAK47 AidanAK47 says:

    One thing that really pissed me off about this series was this weird mentality it had towards talent. I liked that they presented a more realistic approach to the trying hard angle. The old “All you need is to work hard to succeed” bull from shounen shows was flawed logic because it seemed to assume that talented people don’t also work hard. But then this show goes the opposite end and paint that if you have talent then god will lay down a golden road to success….bullcrap! Worst of all there are examples of how that is wrong in this very show! Look Sorata, your whole woe is me and hard working people don’t stand a chance act is all well and good. But mate you have only been working hard for half a year. Maybe even less. And you are giving presentations, developing game outlines and even passing evaluations with your idea’s. Congratulations, you have accomplished more that any average high school student. But here you are throwing a hissy fit because you couldn’t create and release a commercial game while you are still a f*cking teenager! There are people who work all there lives and cannot get that far. Yes, Mashiro was offered a job as an illustrator and is a manga artist. But for f*cks sake man, she spent her entire life drawing and painting. More that your less than a f*cking year. To the point where she doesn’t even know the bare essentials of living. She worked her ass off and you are pissed that you don’t get a lifetime opportunity handed to for for half a f*cking years work?! Hell, it’s not as if you were beaten by someone who was more talented than you. You were beaten by an idea which is a cheap cash in. You were beaten by and idea that was not better, just more marketable! Which is exactly the thing which screws over most talented people! Stupid bastard.

    So yeah, that hampered my enjoyment a bit.

  4. Emma-hime says:

    For those familiar with the source material was this conclusion on Okada’s hands or did the novels start going arseways too?

    • AidanAK47 AidanAK47 says:

      This is just based on the novel illustrations but from what I can tell the whole Sakurasou closing down business was all anime original.

  5. YourDream says:

    To be fair, I think you were expecting too much out of Sakurasou’s ending. While the graduation ceremony was painful to watch, the final episode was fine. It left things open ended for a possible sequel (which I would love to watch), and it patched up all the romances that were floating around for the most part. Sure the second half had some drag, like the dorm rooms closing down, but it had great parts that I enjoyed as well. In particular, I thought the climax with the two senpais was done really well and the part where Aoyama breaks down was especially heart-breaking.
    And let’s be real: compared to the Robotics;Notes ending, this ending is amazing. =P

  6. Emma-hime says:

    I’d have to disagree on the part with Aoyama breaking down, that felt very overdone/off the leash.

    • anona says:

      you have to consider the character in question here. i think that was accepteble considering that it was aoyama. those actions were not out of character. i would also say that it was done well.
      but people might really feel that it’s overdone if they won’t even consider doing and saying those things if they were put in the same situation.

  7. boa_sting says:

    Throughout the show I thought its greatest strength was to turn crap into decent entertainment. The number of really dumb and overused setups that were transformed into something better, was staggering. e.g. half the cast tails behind two characters going on a “date”, or generic fanservice setup misunderstandings. Then it had the Sakurasou closing arc, the worst idea yet, and then failed to muster its magic.

    Though it wouldn’t have fit the narrative and message of the show as is, I thought it would have been more interesting if Aoyama actually left for real. Not necessarily on a sad or defeated note, but actually closing off a part of her life and actually giving up on Sorata.

    The one character I was missing from the later episodes was Mashiro’s editor. I think exploring Mashiro’s development, reasons for quitting painting, reasons for drawing manga, etc. could have been great… except that maybe the reasons were not actually that interesting after all. The last episode shows a scene during the ending voice-overs where she’s watching some adults looking at a painting and then watches some kids reading a manga. Was that the first time we saw that scene, or when was I sleeping earlier on (which episode did it happen)?

    Oh yeah, and Sorata’s bad voice actor. Where have we seen such a failure before in a leading role? Wait, oh yeah, SAO Kirito.

    But overall I thought the show was surprisingly decent usually.

    P.S. Mashiro has some kind of autism spectrum disorder, or…?

  8. Anito says:

    I believe that the ending is like that because they are planning in a second season. I mean, the light novel is still ongoing, they released plenty of drama cd’s and they also released a game version with an Original Character. Which means that sales are doing good.
    A second season wouldn’t so vague

  9. Luke says:

    Personally,I think that this anime was quite good and I loved most of the characters.This anime also has a deep touch to reality,that no matter you were born a genius or a plain and ordinary Joe,you still have to work hard to get what you wanted yo achieve.This anime also portrays jealousy,anger,hatred,love,and the tendency to never give up in the human soul.Overall,this is a great series,I am expecting a second season (like seriously? Don’t screw things up..and I am talking to the crew in JC Staff),Overall rating 8/10…Sorata..kun..

  10. Bear says:

    i watched all of this and i don’t know… it wasn’t terrible, but all of the parts that were meant to be dramatic felt incredibly contrived. the protagonists (over) reactions and lashing out almost always seemed out of place… maybe i’m just nitpicking. it was a decent show and worth the watch, but it didn’t really make me feel anything at the parts that seemed like they were meant for feels.

    would watch again because the art, characters and seiyuu were good. drama just felt a little flat.

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  • Bam
    (Saturday, Apr 25. 2015 12:13 AM)
    Ep03 of Arslan was weak. The only reason I’m still excited for the next episode is Narsus. Hopefully Arakawa’s portrayal is as cynically delightful as Tanaka’s.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Apr 25. 2015 12:10 AM)
    @Emma: yeah I liked that. Uses the same digital rotoscoping that was used in A Scanner Darkly. I enjoyed reading ASD more than the movie. Philip K. Dick has a literary style that really doesn’t lend itself to the screen. Interestingly enough Southlake Tales is also heavily inspired by Dick’s novels.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Apr 24. 2015 11:35 PM)
    @Bam: I’ve only partially seen it but seems like theres noticeable dark humour there.
    I saw a trippy movie about lucid dreams lately called waking life.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Apr 24. 2015 07:31 PM)
    Love it or hate it, everyone agreed that it’s certainly an interesting watch and a tantalizing and magnetic film that even if you despise it you would still badly want to watch it to the end. Dwayne Johnson, Justin Timberlake, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Sean William Scott are just the tip of the iceberg in this weird list of celebrities who all play a strange and out-of-character role in Southlake Tales. The movie was ambitious if nothing else.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Apr 24. 2015 07:23 PM)
    I just recently watched Southland Tales for the first time: I gotta say I enjoyed it. This was Richard Kelly’s next big project after Donnie Darko. Not considering The Box this is pretty much the only thing he’s done since and it’s extremely polarizing with the audience; although most people hated it. It’s a satirical dystopian apocalypse story and might be one of the weirder films that strangely never became a cult classic.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Apr 24. 2015 07:18 PM)
    @Emma: Vinland is one of those that stresses me every time I hear its name since I badly need to catch up with it. I also watch Vikings, pretty solid show. It premiered on the History Channel of all channels, mostly known now for the entertaining but laughable Ancient Aliens. I think I might’ve seen Angel a while ago, and Holy Motors just sounds so strange; so I might give it a go actually.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Apr 24. 2015 07:03 PM)
    Ah, good Vinland saga, I am liking how this new arc is starting out and its good that Askeladd is still showing up in flashbacks.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Apr 24. 2015 07:02 PM)
    @Bam: Beyond un chien andalou have you ever looked into anything else by Bunuel? I recently saw exterminating angel and found it a wickedly funny surrealist dark comedy. You may also be interested in a surrealist arthouse french movie called holy motors, which has its moments.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Apr 24. 2015 06:59 PM)
    @Bam: Vikings is actually a pretty good show to check out for people into game of thrones. But the main tv show I am interested in right now is that new daredevil series and am waiting for season 2.
  • ratsgnoF
    (Friday, Apr 24. 2015 06:22 PM)
    It’s going to get a lot better ;D

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