“Sakura Trick” Review

mezashite-sakura-trick-01-ce6a102e-mkv_snapshot_07-19_2015-11-14_22-13-50

“If we act cute, they’ll give us treats.”

It’s been a week of firsts for me. First hentai, first actually 300% cliche anime, and now first shoujo-ai series. That’s not to say I’m unfamiliar with the genre. Far from it – I was introduced to yuri type anime way back in the day just like everyone else, but most yuri I’d experienced was fandom-related. I’d never actually seen an anime that puts it right in there.

Just a bit of a warning, this may contain a few spoilers!

I have to say, I like it. Sakura Trick was adorable as can be, and it’s very unlike most romance stories I’ve encountered. Most of the time, the romance is like a big reveal at the end. Yuu and Haruka are already the best of friends, and the quickly realize it might be more than just friendship they want. The big kiss is just about the middle of the first

a3517e4da801401923657764b6066ed61bafacee_hq

“While she’s asleep, I can steal her hair clip!”

episode (as these episodes are sometimes two separate stores in one) and the big reveal at the end is actually (spoilers!) whether or not they love each other.

The entire series is also a kind of slice of life story where Yuu and Haruka are just starting high school and become friends with four other girls. Two of them, Kotone and Shizuku, room together, and it’s revealed early on they also have a thing for each other. They, too, are childhood friends, and they are almost completely opposite. I really love how open they are – they hold hands and snuggle while just walking to school. At first Shizuku is frustrated about the attention, but she comes around to the outgoing Kotone.

Yuu and Haruka, however, feel the need to hide their relationship. At first, they are unsure how others will react, but later on, they hide it from Yuu’s sister Mitsuki. The

sakura-trick-3-1

“Did I leave the stove on?!”

problem is, Mitsuki has never actually met Haruka, and the second she does, she falls in love. But she doesn’t realize this until the last episode, because she’s been getting jealous the whole time without realizing it.

This anime is so wonderfully done. It does have a few annoying fan-service bits, but nothing besides a few waggling skirts and bouncy boobs. Sadly, not even these were necessary and kind of detracted from the entire point of the anime. I found myself thinking “I just want to see a cute love story about two girls, not watch a pair of boobs, okay?” It wasn’t nearly as bad as some of the others I have seen, however.

Final Words:

Despite it’s minor flaws, it’s a very good anime. It’s got cute, snuggly, and real life issues high school girls might deal with. Though, it’s a bit sugar-coated, as most of the genre might tend to be. Overall, an excellent presentation with minimal unnecessary fan-service and complex characters.

I would give this anime…8.5/10 (rating scale)

If you like this anime, you might also like Servant x Service, Azumanga Daioh!, Inu x Boku

Pictures from opening of anime, (x), and episode 3

Advertisements

“Hayate the Combat Butler” Review

So, as you might have noticed, it’s been quite a long time since I’ve used this blog. Since

11817_1

“How very dare you!”

then, I’ve changed the name to go along with my new book-in-progress. Besides, I’d rather write anime reviews than have a set schedule of writing stuff. So, this blog won’t necessarily be a weekly thing, rather I will be posting as I watch series, with occasional character profiles sprinkled in. Feel free to browse the other posts, as I’ve removed all non-anime and non-Japanese posts.

Anyway, enough dawdling! Having finished Hayate the Combat Butler about a week ago, I had been throwing the idea back and forth of even writing a review since it’s not as fresh in my min as I’d like it to be. But, I figured it would be a nice place to start reviewing again. Either way, the first series (noted as “seasons 1&2” on Crunchyroll) is very lighthearted and funny. It’s designed as a comedy with slice of life elements.

Nagi Sanzenin is an extremely rich girl who is the product of a trust fund, and to top it off, she’s actually very smart, though headstrong. She lives in a gigantic mansion with her maid Maria, her pet tiger Tama, and her old semi-retired butler Klaus. On the other hand, Hayate is an unfortunate high-schooler with absent parents who’ve places him in a huge, unbearable debt of 150 million yen (1,325,991 USD according to Google). Of course, a 16-year-old has  no way of paying this back, even though he’s been lying about his age since he was 8 to get some kind of job.

The story starts when Hayate runs into Nagi (who has run away again) at the park and plots to kidnap her for the money. Nagi misunderstands and takes it as a confession (it also doesn’t help that Hayate is too nice to actually do it), but then she actually does get kidnapped by real criminals. Hayate saves her, of course, in the most rediculous way possible, and she sort of adopts him as her new personal butler. The irony being that he’s had so many physical jobs, he literally makes the perfect butler.

So begins the story, where Nagi is always getting into trouble, skipping school, and trying to constantly hint that she loves Hayate. He’s completely clueless, of course, and along with tons of pop culture references, the entirely female cast of characters (save Tama and Klaus) begin to fall for Hayate who is still completely clueless.

It’s actually a very entertaining anime, filled with rediculous situations. The third series “Cuties” is not nearly as well done, and they even hired a new animator, so I don’t necessarily recommend that one. However, I’d have to give this anime a 7.5 out of 10 on my ratings scale, and encourage you to check it out at least once.

Picture source (x)

Anime Review: “Okami-san and Her Seven Companions”

right01

“Stay away from my chocolate!”

“Slice of Life” types of animes seem pretty popular these days. This one popped up on Netflix, so I decided to give it a whirl. It turned out to be pretty good.

Okami-san, as she is called by many students due to her personality, is a tsundere type character that belongs to a school club called the “Student Aide Organization.” This club, consisting of six other members, does favors for students in exchange for favors to them instead of accepting cash. Favors can be anything from escorting someone home to helping ensure someone wins a contest.

One day, Okami-san is followed home by a boy, but he is so shy, he can’t even face her when she calls out. The boy, named Ryoshi, suddenly confesses his feelings for her, and she gets angry because she doesn’t know how to react. She asks him why she likes him, but leaves while he is in the middle of talking. As it turns out, he is in her class, but he is so quiet, she’s never noticed him before. Okami’s friend and roommate Ringo decides to suggest to the club president that he joins, and atfirst Okami-san is very upset, but she eventually concedes.

As the anime goes on, the relationship between Okami-san and Ryoshi develops as they carry out favor requests. The story reveals quite a bit about her past, leading to why she acts the way she does, and why she refuses Ryoshi’s kindness. Even when Okami-san loses her memory from a bump on the head, he is honest about the situation and doesn’t take advantage of her. In the final episodes, it is revealed just how strong Ryoshi has become, and makes Okami-san open up more to him, even if she is still tough-looking to the rest of the outside world.

It’s a very endearing anime, and though it’s a simple story, I got attached to the characters pretty fast. Ringo and Okami’s friendship become a central part of the story as well as the relationship between Okami-san, Ryoshi, and the other club members. It’s a great little anime, with only 12 episodes, but it’s worth a watch from all anime fans. I give it an 8 out of 10!

For more information on my rating system, CLICK HERE!
Did this anime pass the Bechdel Test? Yes! 3/3

Picture Credit: http://www.anime.com/Okami-san/