First Impressions: Sakura Trick

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Yuri and Yaoi have their interesting place in the world of anime.  Often used as a tool for fan service and sexual tension.  Suffice to say it goes beyond the discussion of whether it’s right or wrong, but rather if anime writers and directors can make it into an engaging show that isn’t hentai.

strick2Haruka and Yuu are starting off High School and luckily are put in the same class. They’ve known each other for quite some time before so they are as close as one would expect. However we also learn that Haruka seems to have a deeper desire for Yuu, one that would include her obvious desire for the same gender.

After Yuu gains the attention of some classmates, Haruka becomes jealous which is quickly noticed by Yuu. Alone in an abandoned classroom, Yuu suggests they do something together that could create a memory that only they together would do. Which Haruka takes the opportunity to suggest a kiss. This kiss triggers a deeper desire from Haruka to seek out the love of Yuu, seemingly much to Yuu’s embarrassment.

Sadly this is where the show gets one of its biggest issues. Yuu seems quite clear from the beginning that she has no interest in being that close to Haruka. However this doesn’t stop Haruka from pushing herself on Yuu over and over. Cute, you might say. However it just turns very awkward and uncomfortable to watch.

Which in itself is puzzling to me. In my experience with anime, it always seems as if the male and female chemistry never addresses kisses unless it’s a typical “fall, connect lips, punch” trope. Yet here, it seems forced and far overdone to the point of being uncomfortable.

From beginning to end the viewer is bombarded by fan service. Crotch shots as well as boob giggle galore. You quickly start to realize just what was the focus audience the director was going for. Even down to the moaning and obnoxiously long kiss.

These issues in themselves would be something I could endure, however with nothing else to offer it becomes hard to justify watching.  There’s no humor here so I can’t call it a comedy.  There’s no deep plot here so I can’t call it a novel.  There’s no character chemistry besides the obvious forced love focus.

strick1Visually, Sakura Trick is beyond terrible. Yes the character art at times looks decent, but that’s quickly overshadowed by the terrible use of CG. The entire environment and most open shots are using exclusive CG. It also doesn’t help that it looks amateurish. Often flat and without tone.

The work put into this show gives off either a lack of care, budget issues, or a sign the producers seen no hope in this show being successful.

As I pointed out earlier, it becomes quite obvious from the start who this show was aimed at. A male audience that enjoys girl on girl love and fan service. However with that said, this is a terrible show for that audience. Lacking any redeeming qualities in story, presentation, or characters; that audience would probably be best suited to watch hentai.

thumbsdown

THUMBS DOWN!

FIRST IMPRESSION VERDICT:

THUMBS DOWN! DROPPED!

Bads:

  • Obvious fan service
  • No redeeming qualities
  • Boring and awkward

Anything promising?

  • Cute characters
  • Clothed hentai if you fancy

First Impressions are based on a single episode and don’t necessarily reflect the series as a whole. Unless dropped, we will continue to give updates on thoughts and impressions of the series as time goes by.

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Co-Founder of OtakuSpirit.com and Co-Host of the OtakuSpirit Animecast. A huge fan of anime since the early 1990s, consuming over 800 shows. While he's late to the collecting scene, he's found a lot of joy in filling his DVD/Blu-ray collection as well as collecting figures. Once a week, he posts unboxing and feature videos on anime goods to YouTube.