Time to say “hello” and “goodbye” to the Sakurasou cast
|Sporting a look that felt unique in anime with a warm, rich, and saturated color palette, Sakurasou is a show that felt special to me from the first episode. It just felt like it had a heart to go along with the obvious comedy and embarrassing situations. The question was whether it could it live up to the potential that it was showing.|
|Oh hello there Highway and Kara! When I first heard the plot of Sakurasou I was not that impressed, but after you get into the series it was so addictive afterwards because the characters are amazing just like Misaki? She was my favorite of the series and I even grew to like Mashiro.|
|Sakurasou didn’t really do anything differently compared to most other series like this, but it managed to set itself apart early into the series through it’s great story and characters. Paired with J.C. Staff’s great animation, Sakurasou worked really well, all around.Well, you might have noticed that there was a lack of Sakurasou on the latest post of MetaFap, and here’s the answer as to where it went. So it’s not quite a real ‘episode review’, but all of us felt bad for Sakurasou being shoved into MetaFap it’s entire run because none of us had time to blog it for real.|
When Sakurasou started in Fall 2012, I had some hopes for it, but they were tempered with the knowledge of other disappointments from JC Staff. But with a new director in Atsuko Ishizuka, input from series creator Hajime Kamoshida, and a series composition by Mari Okada (who was in the same position for favorites of mine HanaIro, Zetsuen no Tempest, and most especially Toradora), it seemed to have enough of a chance to be something special. And as the first few episodes played out, it was clear to me that they’d captured magic with this series. When that first arc of four episodes finished, it felt like they could have wrapped them up, called them an OVA series, and been considered an instant classic. Thankfully, they kept going, even if I was worried they could keep it up. And indeed, the show kept almost the same 4-episode arc format throughout, with every “mini-finale” episode more satisfying than most anime series finales. Personally, I thought every episode was good, even the (in?)famous episode 7 with Yuuko’s introduction. While so many people focused on the silly imouto, there was significant progress in the romantic aspects of the show in even that episode, and a lot of laughs.
The best series have consistent themes, and Sakurasou might have been the best show I’ve seen at using its main theme in a multi-faceted way. Telling a story of talent *and* hard work, and highlighting the differences between those who seem to be talented and those who aren’t, it ends up showing that even those with a talent you admire still have deficiencies. A repeated motif of looking up to people ahead of you, and realizing that not only are there people ahead of you, but people behind you, and even the people ahead of you in one thing are looking up to you in another way. There were no perfect people in this show, and everyone grew and matured over the course of the show. And this kept the show from focusing too much on Sorata, Mashiro, Namami, and their love triangle. The side couples in this show – Misaki and Jin, Rita and Ryuunosuke – were amazing, with their own development, their own trials, and their own resolutions.
In the end, I think that Sakurasou may have eclipsed Toradora for me, not really from the romance point of view I was expecting at the beginning, but from an overall heartwarming experience. It didn’t eclipse Toradora’s signature “mou ichido” moment but, apart from the absence of that single moment, the emotions and progression were head and shoulders above. And even if my preferred relationship, with Nanami, was put on hold for the time being, I still loved the way the show ended, and it leaves me half hopeful for a second series.
It’s not hard to tell that I like most of the series that JC Staff creates from Index, Railgun, Toradora so I was going to check out Sakurasou even thou I thought the storyline was kind of boring and thankfully this series had some really fantastic characters like Misaki! I mean from the first time she appeared on the screen and I was instantly hooked on her crazy personality and that never give up attitude of hers. Besides that fun character I actually found Mashiro to be very interesting; however with her being voiced by Ai Kayano I did think she was a copy of Inori from Guilty Crown especially with her quiet voice. Along with those two girls we have Nanami! She was bossy and half of a tsundere at the start of the series, but I knew from the start that she would fall in love with the main character, that and she kind of dropped the ball near the end of the series falling back into the friend zone…
So with great characters I was addicted to the comedic moment of the series like every scene with Rita and Ryuunosuke? Those were fantastic moments along with Misaki who wins the award for best driver in anime today! I just would not ask her for a ride for fear of my own life; however I was surprised after watching Mashiro crack some strange one-liners like every mention of plan C? We also met Sorata’s little sister Yuuko who provided a few laughs based on her reactions towards certain things…so what else was funny about this romance comedy? Not a whole lot I mean if I want laughs normally I would go with something like OniAI and Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun from the same season that Sakurasou premiered in! So yeah again Sakurasou has some funny moments; however it is not really my go to series for laughter.
Wrapping up this was a fun series with great characters, dramatic events and lots of feel good moments that make it an enjoyable series. That said it was very slow at the start so I recommend that you watch it in extreme marathon mode or give it a test run of five or more episodes? For those that did watch it what are your thoughts on a second season of this or do you think it ended with enough content to stay as it is? Personally I could go for more if the two new characters bring something different to Sakurasou in terms of some artistic talent.
Hmmm, well I took over for Jrow about halfway through and I don’t even remember why I started Sakurasou in the first place, but it was definitely worth it. It pulled of all of the right emotions during it’s run and despite it frequently annoying me (or to be more specific, the characters annoying me), the end of the arc would always right itself in a really amazing manner. …Minus that one where Sorata took out frustrations on Mashiro and didn’t apologize, but even then that eventually worked itself out by the final episode. The characters would all take huge tumbles and experience the sense of total defeat a lot, but they would alway manage to get over that somehow together. Not just between the obvious couples (and then the love triangle), every character seemed to have a great bond with one another. They really were a close group of friends and watching them overcome obstacles together was absolutely the best. Even better, everyone seemed to have their own issues, making them all distinct characters. Sure, some issues were tied in with others (like the whole thing with Jin and Misaki), but every character came out over that in their own way. Despite Sorata being the main character, the other characters all had their own stories going on and Sakursou was really great in that all of those separate stories wove itself into one. Maybe not as distinctly as something like Drrr!, since Sakurasou had so much more unity (which worked well in a different way), but it was still great overall.
This last episode was like more of an extended goodbye more than anything, but it fit right in with the rest of the series perfectly well. I can’t get over how amazing the ending was. Yes, Jin and Misaki left. However, right away we got the introduction of two new Sakurasou residents who fit in there just as well as anyone else did (plus we have the addition of Yuuko in there too). Even better, they might have no idea what happened before them, but even from just walking in the gates, you KNOW that they’re going to experience as much fun, drama and wackiness as the previous residents. Sakursou isn’t over by a long shot. …Which is also why I’m okay with that ambiguous ending for Mashiro and Sorata as well. Things don’t need to be resolved for that right away because it’s obviously just the beginning for them. Oh how I wish for those new characters to get their own series (and then their kouhai as well, because you know it would be just as fun), but even if Sakursou doesn’t get a sequel or spin off or anything, the feeling that it left with is still pretty great.
Farewell, Sakurasou! It was fun while it lasted.