Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru – 12 [END]

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This is not what he wanted to find under the tree this Christmas

My Christmas gift to you is the gift of a fluffy reunion between Sakurako and Shoutarou. Not that I made this anime…so I guess I don’t really have a gift. Except for words. Do you like words? Here are a bunch of them:

The way I see it, this isn’t the finale I wanted but it isn’t completely unwanted either. It felt more like a regular episode, actually, due to the lack of excitement. Afterall, there’s no real tension ending the series with Shoutarou and Sakurako reuniting because we knew without a doubt it was going to happen. And of course, that reunion had to happen in the most cliche way with Shoutarou sprinting all the way to her house in tears, spurred by a sudden burst of emotionally-charged nostalgia. There was disappointingly no suspense despite their attempts at sparking such with Shoutarou’s dramatic reactions, but we do get a mini mystery out of it and the wrap-up is nice and coherent without giving away too much.

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The story of how Shoutarou and Sakurako met really wasn’t all that interesting. They just bump into each other and solve mysteries together, much like how they act how. It basically goes like this…as per usual, Shoutarou jumps to conclusions and assumes the worst from Sakurako. Then Sakurako explains her true motives until Shoutarou calms down enough to join her on their first case. The only difference between then and now is Sakurako taking more relish in teasing her brand new toy with a smile. Since then she’s gotten a little more exasperated with her assistant, especially when he denies her access to bones. But really, this felt just like a run-of-the-mill mystery you’d see in the middle of the series.

The focus was clearly supposed to be on Sakurako and Shoutarou, so finding the senile grandma wasn’t a very complicated case. We jump from finding the bone to immediately interrogating the old lady in a nursing home. We’re not told exactly why Sakurako is so hasty with her accusations (and how she got it right on the mark). At this point we’re just supposed to believe in her almighty skills of deduction. I will admit that the sudden jump from getting down on one knee to comfort her into calling her out as a murderer was a shocking twist. The mystery was too brief to hold any weight, but at least it had that neat little gimmick to spice it up.

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The highlight of the flashback was really the conversation Sakurako had with Shoutarou after the case was done. The two of them re-quote each other from this conversation many times, and now we actually get to see the context of it. Sakurako initially warns Shoutarou not to look too deeply at her. Yet throughout the series, Shoutarou takes an intimate look into the psyche of Sakurako and does his best to understand her. In the process, he reveals his own self to her, and the two get to know each other more. Looking into the “abyss” is actually a beneficial action in this case, as it lets them truly understand and accept each other for who they are. It’s only people like Hanabusa that you do not want to get close to, because they are truly…abysmal.

It was a nice moment to look back that Shoutarou was able to use to win Sakurako back over. However, I’m not sure I dug the whole bit with Shoutarou sulking around town like a lost puppy. Then he ran all the way to Sakurako’s house and made up with her in a matter of minutes. I didn’t expect her to need much persuading given how much she didn’t really want to part with him, but wow, what a boring way for them to meet up again. Couldn’t it have happened through one last murder case where they had to work together? Or through finding a clue leading to Hanabusa? Anything other than Shoutarou just forcefully showing up at her house and being like “CAN WE STOP FIGHTING?”. That is far too sensible for an anime plotline!

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So the finale is pretty dull, especially after the frothing-at-the-mouth catfight business last week. That was intense. This episode was a pretty average, quiet episode that had a pleasant ending. Perhaps I should appreciate these calm finales more, because I did enjoy it in the end even though it wasn’t the usual big bang ending I think of when I hear “final episode.”  I was expecting more along the lines of a final showdown with Hanabusa…but I think leaving that as a loose end here is better now that I think about it. One episode isn’t enough time for them to get a lead on where to find him and then capture him. It’s also probably not enough time to do that, make Shoutarou and Sakurako have a satisfying reunion, and show all the characters again for one last time. Leaving him as this ominous force that even Sakurako can’t quite control despite her incredible talents actually gives the finale a little edge. It also allowed for that parting shot with him declaring war on Sakurako in the most unsettling way possible. He’s a creepy one…and he lives on!

All in all, Sakurako was a good show. The mystery with Aa-cha was my favourite, as the series started off on a really strong note. The other mysteries were a bit of a hit or miss for me, especially anything involving too much of Yuriko. The tendency for the show to devolve into soap opera levels of grandiose statements made it difficult for me to stay on board sometimes. My guess is that the formulaic structure for the mysteries was starting to get boring, so something else was needed for an added flare. So they threw in a bunch of drama and shocked reactions from Shoutarou at every little thing. It got ridiculous at times. Which is sad because some of the best mysteries, such as the one about the cursed painting, were great because they dedicated so much time to regular conversations. I know this show can do subtle well, like the way it wove all the mysteries to relate to each other and how it feels to lose someone, it just chose to dive into the deep end of the Drama Queen pool far too many times.

I enjoyed watching Sakurako, blogging about it, and discovering which commenters are the most likely to keep bones of their victims in their houses on display. Yeah, that’s right, I’m onto you! Anyways, this was a good show in a really bland season of anime, so I’m grateful I didn’t get stuck blogging something worse.

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A neuroscience graduate, black belt, and all-around nerd. You'll either find me in my lab or curled up in my rilakkuma kigurumi watching anime.
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2 Responses to “Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru – 12 [END]”

  1. BlackBriar says:

    An odd choice ending the series with a prologue episode. Didn’t see that coming but it did serve a purpose giving more emphasis on Sakurako and Shoutarou’s relationship by showing exactly how it began. Eccentric and charming nonetheless, so I was able to give this sudden turn in direction a willing pass.

    They’ve been at their certain activity for so long, it’s not the same when they’re separated and I bet they came to the realization one couldn’t function without the other. Plus, I laughed when Shoutarou’s reasoning for ignoring Sakurako’s warning to keep distance was because he wanted to escape his everyday life.

    The final minutes after the credits with Hanabusa gave the impression of an open-ended finale. However, enough was done for me to make do with what’s already here so it’s best not to hope for a continuation. In honesty, though nice, to me, this is the kind of show I don’t imagine anyone going to the trouble of creating a sequel.

    Overall, I enjoyed watching Sakurako just for what it was: A decent series with admirable characters, an acceptable plot despite some over the top melodrama and it was nice to look at thanks to the impressive coloring and animation. Among other things, now that this is over, I’m probably going to miss seeing Hector a lot. I never thought I’d like an animal character so much. Too adorable.

  2. Highway says:

    I definitely want more of this anime, because I just loved Shizuka Itou in this role. Shoutarou didn’t bother me that much, although sometimes it was “remember he’s a 17 year old kid.”

    All in all, the quality of what they were doing was as good or better than most of the procedurals on TV, I thought. Sometimes Sakurako was a bit combative or antagonistic outsize of what I thought she should be, but that was more the character’s nature than poor direction, I think.

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