What can I say? I’m a sucker for cute and sweet stuff.
This episode of Sakura Trick is most definitely better than the first one. With introductions and character establishments out of the way, the material finally gets to the more slice-of-life (given that romance is a slice of life) aspect of the show. Of course, there’s no shortage of yuri over here, with both sweet and passionate moments from the two couples in the spotlight.
The first half of the episode was dedicated to Kotone and Shizuku and the issues the former has about Kotone’s true reasons for staying at her place. There is some sort of tension that developed here, but it was handled in quite a playful manner. However, I must say that the part where Shizuku opens up to our main duo was good to see, since it does inform us of Shizuku’s insecurities without being overly dramatic.The way it was presented may have killed some of the mood it set, but it does prevent the anime from falling into a long, angsty spell. A good compromise, if you ask me.
But perhaps what I like about this show so much is that behind the kissing and the drama, there’s a lot of body language and visual cues that manage to convey very important things that the characters and simple narrative does not explicitly state. For example, even though we see Kotone and Shizuku get some developments of their own, this part was still kind of a vehicle to drive Haruka and Yuu;s relationship further the “lovers” side of their relationship. Note that Haruka started thinking about how Yuu might really feel about their kiss not too long ago. Haruka might be a raging lesbian, but she still concerned about whether Yuu really likes doing that kind of stuff with her or not. She was instantly reassured by Yuu. She never spoke that entire scene and just offered herself to Haruka. That’s romance that’s both explicit and subtle at the same time, if that even makes sense. We also have to notice that right after, we see her trying to hide how she liked it. Yuu definitely has a thing for Haruka, but she prefers to be more reserved about what they do in public.
Kotone and Shizuku shows a different kind of dynamic. The former gives an aura of a laid back, sociable person, while the other is shy and tries to keep others at an arm’s length. Here, the relationship is defined clearer, with Kotone obviously being the “top”. Her easygoing personality does lead to her being somewhat oblivious to Shizuku’s insecurities, but she more than makes up for it with by fixing the problem once she knew about it. The anime does not say yet whether or not Kotone and Shizuku are going out, but knowing that they’re close enough to kiss each other in the lips makes guessing easier (or harder) for those who are not sure.
As a side note, it was amusing to see Haruka’s wild imagination being voiced and animated, as it made the jokes a little funnier than in the manga. She clearly wants to pair off her friends, but I’m kind of happy that Kaede and Yuzu still has that non-romantic BFF air to them. I like my yuri, but I also like seeing friends being friends. this doesn’t stop Haruka from shipping them anyway, much like a true yuri fan.
The second part of this episode was a smorgasbord of Haruka x Yuu moments, as well as friendly interactions between the core cast. The issue of Yuu not doing very well in her classes serves as a nice background to develop the main pair’s relationship even further. The jokes play into Haruka’s desire to have as much memories with Yuu as possible, to the point of imagining Yuu getting held back and calling her “Haruka Onee-sama”. But when the other girls tell her that failing means expulsion, she instantly shows deep concern for Yuu and wants to help her out as much as she can. It’s interesting to hear Haruka say that she won’t have a reason to come to school without Yuu being there. I think that really speaks volumes about her affections.
Her friends attempt to help Yuu with her studies, but to no avail. Yuu is simply not very interested in studying. Yuzu suggests associating learning with embarrassing experiences, which of course triggers Haruka’s teenage imagination yet again (With a nice bonus of the rest talking about her in the sidelines). The day ends without much accomplishment, so Haruka and Yuu stay in the school for a little longer. Yuu suspects that Haruka has an ulterior motive for them staying, but Haruka intanly breaks down and pours out all her pent out worries. Cue the most romantic study session I’ve ever seen. The kisses, the tone of their voices, the orange sunset, the music. It was perfect.
Given that they kiss for so long during this time, it’s hard to imagine much being accomplished in terms of learning, but it sure did strengthen their relationship. The thank you kiss on the cheek was probably the one I liked the most in this episode. Nothing beats true and heartfelt gratitude. In a show where deep kissing is the norm, the simpler kisses come of as more special and heartwarming.
Sakura Trick is not really about girls kissing as much as the synopsis would want you to believe. Here, kisses are the way the characters convey their affections. As they say, actions speak louder than words, and there was certainly no lack of action here. It doesn’t really matter how a relationship starts, what matters is what they do with it. You can make an interesting “will they, or won’t they” love story, but that doesn’t mean that people already together can’t have a love story of their own. In fact, true love is something that stands the test of time, so starting out with an already intimate couple really makes watching it interesting in its own right.
P.S. – Sorry for the wait, I was very busy with studies and extracurricular events in the hours directly after I watched this. Hopefully, I’ll be faster in the coming weeks. As an apology, I give you this: