Sakura Trick Episode 1: Sakura Sketch

Sakura Trick 1-1It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone what a guy who has the main characters of Sakura Trick as his avatar would think of its premiere episode. Aside from some issues too obvious to ignore, I have to say that I really liked this first episode.

As far as the objectives of this anime are concerned, I must say that the anime handled them just fine. The anime did a better job of establishing the main plot of the anime than I expected. In fact, I’m willing to say that if you’re looking for a better Sakura Trick experience, the anime is definitely the way to go. It’s well animated where it counts, and the overall atmosphere is mellow and relaxing.

Sakura Trick 1-3Because of some of the staff here are from Shaft, there are obvious similarities between Hidamari Sketch’s style and this one, and it’s a choice that I neither like nor dislike. It definitely adds to the anime’s mood more than it takes away. However, these sections are a bit distracting, not to mention that they also act as blatant time-fillers, which is kind of annoying when you think about it.

The first episode told us of Haruka and Yuu’s relationship before high school, and how they suddenly became more than friends. Nothing much else happens in the first episode, but given that it covers the first two chapters of the manga and the short chapter 0, I can’t really complain. Most of Sakura Trick is composed of ordinary, if not silly, conversations that add more to characterization than they do to the overall narrative. It’s not really a bad thing per se, as this is still technically a slice of life show.

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And of course, there are kisses. Lots of it. I wasn’t expecting the kiss scenes to last as long as they did, but they’re welcome surprises all the same. But what really impressed me was how they handled the kissing scenes. Normally, kissing in anime is presented as a still moment after lips lock, but here, they are definitely animated better, with Haruka and Yuu’s heads and bodies moving throughout the scenes. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anime kiss scenes better animated than the ones here, but given that this is one of the anime’s main selling points, I shouldn’t have expected less.

Sakura Trick 1-6Sakura Trick is not without its shortcomings, though. For example, there is simply way too much fanservice than I had anticipated, especially in the opening sequence. It’s like the staff felt the need to sexualize their characters even more than they already are. Maybe this is just me, but I found this to be more distracting than titillating. The anime would be better off with less of it. There’s also the lack of animation in between key events, but that’s probably just a consequence of the veranda jump scene which looked even more ridiculous animated. I really have to question the physics behind this feat:Sakura Trick 1-m3

All in all, Sakura Trick had a solid first episode, and is probably my favorite among the five or six preview episodes I’ve watched so far. But yeah, the only thing left to say here is that it’s DEFINITELY better than Pupa.

P.S.: Regarding the use of CGI in Sakura Trick, or any anime at all, I advise everyone to not watch your anime in tiny PC monitors. Go ahead, try it.

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6 thoughts on “Sakura Trick Episode 1: Sakura Sketch

  1. I’ll stick with the glorious Yuru Yuri X Hidamari Sketch dream crossover of mine and leave the petty “OP and ED fanservice overload” rants to those bothered by them. It’s not going away anytime soon. Anyway, if it helps boost sales, whatever.

    • I wouldn’t dismiss criticisms regarding fanservice in this anime as “petty.” If anything, the emphasis on female body parts just shows that the anime staff isn’t confident enough that the content of the manga is enough to produce satisfactory results. It’s a reasonable decision if it doesn’t alienate the already established audience. Besides, most of the in-episode fanservice, which is mostly composed of boob-jiggling and questionable camera focus, can easily be avoided to result in something more tasteful.

      The fanservice is not going away, yes, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

  2. I think I’ve never really payed as much attention to the animation as I did in Sakura Trick.
    As you said it’s not that good in certain scenes, while it really shines in others.
    And even though I also think they shouldn’t have payed so much attention to stuff like the boob physics, I think the ecchiness of this anime is not just bearable but even welcomed in certain scenes.
    Not only do the kissing scenes look really fantastic, I’d also say that it’s not just the mere display of thighs pressing together and the girls squirming around that I liked, I also liked the sound of it.
    Call me a pervert for that, but I really enjoyed it and I wish to see more of that in the next episodes.

    • >… I think the ecchiness of this anime is not just bearable but even welcomed in certain scenes.

      I have to admit that physical contact is indeed important in a growing relationship, and I welcome that kind of thing. But the problem is that most of them are just plain unnecessary and does not add anything positive to the scenes they’re present in. More often than not, fanservice here seems to try to appease the male gaze rather than compliment the yuri. However, when Haruka and Yuu are holding each other and kissing, I find that how they handled physical contact was actually pretty tasteful.

      And no, you’re not a pervert for enjoying this stuff. It’s just natural.

  3. Pingback: The Ridiculous Sakura Trick “Controversy” | Shirogane no Suiren

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