What’s the show? Sakura Trick (2014).
And what’s it about? Well depending on who ask it’s either the pinnacle of Yuri anime and an utterly sublime romantic experience or an obnoxious unrealistic exploitative exercise in mediocrity that reduces these kinds of relationships to a fetish.
Yuri… yuri… OH! That’s girl on girl action, right? *sigh* Yes, if you want to be that reductive about it…
What? That’s what it is! This is love, it’s pure, it’s wholesome, it’s idealistic, it’s… it’s…
It’s for perverts. Excuse me?!
I mean that’s WHY you’re watching it, isn’t it? You’ve said in the past you don’t care for romance anime, so why does this show get a sudden glowing seal of approval other than the fact it’s two ‘cute girls’ making out. Which let’s face it, is totally your aesthetic (by the way I’m using the term ‘aesthetic’ under protest). I… I… well, uh…
I’m waiting… Okay, fine. I admit the initial reason I bought this show on blu-ray (yes I bought it on blu-ray, I need girls kissing in HD!) was because I was down for some sweet sapphic action between a couple of frisky anime high-school girls, but you know what, the fact of the matter is not only did I become completely and utterly engrossed in the intricacies of their relationship that I found myself clutching at my chest and crying on no less than 5 occasions but also… also I just want more women to be lesbians…
Ah… err… wait, what?! Bare with me a second, I’m going to go on a tangent.
Always with the tangents… but do go on… So here’s the thing, I kinda hate heterosexual relationships in media, be it live-action TV shows or movies or anime or books, whatever I just find it boring. And before anybody mentions heterosexual harem anime/manga that’s different because a) it’s already something so different from reality and b) I don’t think most harem scenarios are attempting to convey a realistic relationship—
—Focus! Right so, it’s also why whenever there’s two women in an anime who show affection towards each other I inherently ‘ship’ them because I want more depictions of same-sex relationships in my anime! All women should be lesbians! It’s the ideal!
But it’s not ideal, because men do exist whether you like it or not. Ugh, don’t remind me.
Please don’t mention the P-word. B-but the fucking patriarchy!
Oh god, this review is as good as a write-off. Hey, if you’re for some reason still reading this, Hi Irina, also I’m sorry. I don’t even know what he’s doing anymore. Don’t you talk to Irina you shitlord. Also, just because you don’t agree with my opinion doesn’t mean it’s not worth being heard!
Who are you talking to right now? I don’t even know…
Great, perfect! So, uhh… can we get a cohesive opinion on Sakura Trick the show that doesn’t devolve into wanting all women to be lesbians and breaking the fourth wall? Fine. Uh, so Sakura Trick it is… I, ah… I don’t know what it is! See, here’s the thing, I know how I feel about it, but because I belong to the straight male demographic, my opinion will ever be skewed toward a voyeuristic opinion as opposed to someone who’s either lived or is trying to live that life.
Fine, then don’t talk about that, talk about how it made you feel? You mentioned something earlier about ‘crying’? I love Haruka and how honest she is with her feelings towards Yuu, she’s so direct with her intentions. I’m less keen on Yuu though, her personality is too childish, but their relationship is so intimate and fraught with little anxieties that I overlook her character flaws and focus on them as two halves completing each other and fulfilling emotional and physical needs.
And their relationship is at the centre of the anime? More or less, but and I didn’t think I’d be saying this, but by the end of the anime I was wanting Yuu’s older sister Mitsuki to be the protagonist, because the character arc she goes on from when she first appears to the end of episode 12 was terrific. I know it’s a cliche, but I actually put my hand over my mouth and gasped at what she did at the half-way point of episode 12. I won’t spoil anymore but I think it was an incredibly ballsy choice for the show, even if it didn’t really affect anything afterward, which I guess is expected in this kind of show.
And all the other characters in the show? They’re all paired up from the start and there’s not much to their relationships, some get more developed than others. I think Shizuku and Kotone were my favourite pairing, but I think any kind of noteworthy development to their storyline is probably stymied by the fact that they’re side characters. I’d love to know if they end up getting to be together after they finish school, considering Kotone is already arranged to be married to someone else, guess I’ll have to find the manga!
Sounds like a lot of drama could be mined from such a plot line? So here’s the main problem with the show, most of the side characters have more dramatic or complex relationships or situations than Haruka and Yuu. That’s not to say the central relationship isn’t interesting it’s just I wished the show gave as much time to the side characters as it did to the main, but then again I guess that’s kind of an unrealistic expectation.
Well we got there in the end, didn’t think we would for a minute… final score and recommendation? I can absolutely understand why some people don’t like this show or think it’s pandering to perverts who just want to fetishise cute girl’s kissing each other. And I went in expecting that and what I got out of it was so much more, yes I enjoyed watching the girls kiss, but I enjoyed the moment after it more, seeing how much this physical connection meant to each of these girls was heartwarming and genuinely touching, it moved me to tears after all! Feel the love, 89 out of 100.
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