First of all, I have to apologize for being inactive for quite some time. Real life sucks away virtually all my free time. In fact, I have dropped every anime I’m watching except for Sakura Trick, Log Horizon, Chuu2Koi Ren and Saki. .
So let’s talk about the Sakura Trick anime as a whole. As you might have realized by now, the advancements in Yuu and Haruka’s relationship is mostly hidden by comedic situations and somewhat overpowered by strong sensual moments. While not inherently a bad thing, I must admit that even though I’m a fan of what they’re doing here, the jokes could use a bit of work, especially the ones in episodes 1 and 2 (chapters 1-4 in the manga). It’s fairly easy to get a laugh out of me, but Sakura Trick just didn’t do well in that regard when I’m watching it alone (it does get a lot funnier when I’m watching with friends though). Episode 3 does a better job of amusing me with its comedy, but there’s still something amiss. Maybe it’s because I find Sono Hanabira‘s jokes to be funnier, but I digress. Other people seem to be having a field day with the comedy, and I’m happy for them.
But of course, the highlight of any given episode of Sakura Trick is the deepening of our main couple’s relationship, accompanied by passionate kisses. People are saying that the kissing is starting to get stale, but I disagree. While kissing is, in itself, a dull moment, what carries it is always the emotional implications and, perhaps, its ability to titillate. I find it amazing that even though we get so many, the magic of the kiss scenes never seems to fade. I’m always filled with warm, fuzzy feelings when I see them make out. It’s that feeling of happiness from seeing other people fall in love, or kilig, as we call it in my country.
Now, in episode 3, we get introduced to Mitsuki. When I was reading the manga, I thought that Mitsuki would have a more mature voice, but I guess “TAKAYAMA HARUKA!!!” and her amusingly strange reactions work too. Neither the manga or the anime makes much of an issue about her catching Haruka and Yuu kissing on the floor, but that’s a story for another time.
More importantly, we see Haruka practically begging the student council for them to bring back the cheering squad for Yuu’s sake. Long-term inconvenience for the sake of a friend is something you would rarely do willingly, so even if it was kind of cliched, seeing just how far Haruka would go to make Yuu happy was very nice.
Of course, Yuu was very happy to hear the news, so much that she decided to reward Haruka with the most tender kiss in the anime so far. As I have said before, nothing beats heartfelt gratitude. In fact, that whole scene almost brought me to tears (the music did nothing to help the fact). Yeah, yeah. Call me sappy and all that.
The second part of the episode was more on the service side of things, with school swimsuits that I STILL don’t understand the appeal of, and the camera work. This part of the episode mostly felt like filler, with nothing much really going on except for providing more fanservice and comedy, but the scene in the shed reminds us of the school’s impending closure and how special our main couple’s relationship is, with some sentimentality on the side. Note that while Yuu wants to keep their relationship a secret, which is understandable, it doesn’t mean that she doesn’t like getting intimate with Haruka. Not only that, but we have seen recently that Yuu is going on the offensive more often. I can’t give details about this development right now (lest I incur the wrath of anime only viewers), but I can say that Yuu’s growing love will be important later in the series.
All in all, the anime stayed true to the manga’s formula, with the exception of additional fanservice. It continues to host a fairly well-thought out love story behind the laughs and nosebleeds, which is quite enough for me to consider it beyond just shallow entertainment.
NOTES AND RANTS:
- I haven’t posted any impressions about the latest episode of Saki because of my very busy schedule recently so aside form a dedicated Sakura Trick coverage, I cannot guarantee that I’ll be able to post much of anything in the coming weeks.
- This might be the last time that I would talk about comedic value and fanservice in this anime. I’m sure by now, everyone still watching should have gotten over the fact that the service isn’t going away anytime soon and complaining about it more than necessary is just a waste of perfectly good brain cells.
- For those of you who don’t know what Sono Hanabira is, you fail as yuri fans. Google it immediately. If you liked Sakura Trick, then this might be well up your alley.
- There is no direct English translation for the Filipino word “kilig”. I think the Urban Dictionary could provide you with more insight to what it really means. And yes, if you haven’t already guessed it, I am Filipino.
- How the romantic developments in Sakura Trick manages to elude some special people simply amazes me. What, do you need everything to be spelled out for you or something?