Post Reply Sakura Trick : Teenage Kiss All Through The Night
Content Overlord
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F / San Francisco
Posted 3/7/14 , edited 3/8/14
Written by MasakoX

Being a teenager isn’t easy. That tumultuous time where nobody understands you, school is dragging you down, everyone seems to be obsessed with getting laid and you feel that you’re ugly and horrible. It’s also a time for experimentation and emotive discovery as you approach adulthood and realise what it is you might be partial to. Despite its initial impression of being a purely fanservice show, Sakura Trick is actually a lot better than I thought in exploring the confusion when it comes to that barrier that separates platonic and romantic relationships.

I was initially sceptical when I heard about this show. This is, undoubtedly, a yuri title. The story is about two friends named Haruka and Yuu; they are about to start their first year at high school together and leave the comfort of middle school behind them. What Haruka worries about most though is Yuu drifting away from her and leaving her all alone like she was before the two of them met. She wants to cement their bond in an unforgettable way. That way is through a kiss; at first Yuu is shocked but she slowly warms up to the idea and they both embrace the chances in which to…well embrace. This is a prime example of two teenagers [of whatever gender] taking their friendship to the next level and solidifying the bond that they have. It’s quite charming. Shame that the ploys for male viewership have to get in the way.

Yes, for most anime of this ilk to become an anime, it has to have its sexual [ecchi] content amped up more than the original. A prime example of this modification is the series A Certain Magical Index. The manga and anime differ wildly in terms of style and content with the the former being far more elegant and tasteful and the latter being a lot more moe. It pleased some, confused others and mostly degraded the source material in terms of artistic impression. Sakura Trick suffers from this but not to nearly as much of a degree. At least the panty shot hasn’t made an appearance…yet. The lack of more steamy content actually enhances the romantic bond that Haruka and Yuu share and makes it feel more wholesome.

Once you get past the yuri element, you actually find a cute slice-of-life story of six friends in high school sharing their three years together and making the most of their time there. The other four girl characters [Yuzu - the plucky tomboy, Kaede - the cynical sidekick, Kotone - the buxom flirt and Shizuku - the nervous stoic one] have their part to play in the series and it’s also clear that they’re paired off with one another too but it’s a lot more drawn out and subtle than the main pair. I liked Sakura Trick mostly for its narrative quirks and off-beat visuals for chronicling scene changes, character movements as well as emotions.

So what do I think of Sakura Trick? I like it! Not because of its female-orientated plot [seriously there are NO guys in this show]. I like it for its charm and character. It’s not a cookie-cutter anime with generic characters and bland storytelling. The show has funny and original visual cues which are coupled with a cute main couple. I want to watch a show which feels like you won’t forget about it a couple days after watching it and Sakura Trick succeeds in doing that.
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50 / M / Texas
Posted 3/10/14 , edited 3/11/14
I love Sakura Trick and this is a well-written, fair review of the series.
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Posted 3/10/14 , edited 3/11/14
I cannot completly agree with MasakoX. Any addition of fan-service has been minimal to the point of hardly noticeable. Sakura Trick and Saki I think have been a good way to test the waters to see if people want more yuri anime. And while I like them well enough, I would like something with a little more heat; nothing on the same scale of porn mind you.
What I really love about Sakura Trick is that while the episodes are very episodicthe characters do grow and develop over time.
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Posted 3/11/14 , edited 3/11/14
Excellent review, it sums up the qualities and drawbacks of this anime perfectly.

This is a fantastic show, but you do have to forgive and fight through some of the fanservice moments. The biggest problems is sometimes the scene will very quickly shift to a close-up of one characters breasts for no particular reason, or add a weird amount of bounce. I find it does detract from the show, but doesn't happen often enough to have major impact.

Be aware, the title of one episode is "swimsuit fanservice" or something, so I'll forgive them that one for at least being upfront about it.

But the emotions are genuine, and you do feel a great deal empathy with the characters, so I would still rate is a must-see.
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36 / M
Posted 3/11/14 , edited 3/12/14
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69 / M / Minnesota
Posted 3/30/14 , edited 3/30/14
Excellent review.

I think what makes Sakura Trick so effective and powerful, is that it is just about kissing. That's all, just kissing. By sticking to that one thing, they have a clean metaphor: (kissing = intimacy) -- and they can then talk about intimacy: what happens when intimacy is first achieved, how it changes people's lives and actions, what challenges it, and most interestingly, how intimacy relates to friendship and love.

Intimacy and love are not the same thing, and Sakura Trick's characters discover that in a very clear and enlightening way.
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