Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sakurasou no Pet no Kanojo - 04

[rori] Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo - 04 [1746BF2B].mkv_snapshot_05.27_[2012.10.31_09.27.17] [rori] Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo - 04 [1746BF2B].mkv_snapshot_14.29_[2012.10.31_09.36.32] [rori] Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo - 04 [1746BF2B].mkv_snapshot_21.49_[2012.10.31_09.44.13]

Well, that was out first strong series finale of the season.  Wait – it’s still October??


[rori] Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo - 04 [1746BF2B].mkv_snapshot_01.01_[2012.10.31_09.23.23]Sakurasou is a lot of things, most simply a very good anime.  But it’s also an interesting mass of contradictions and an intriguing mix of genres. It really strikes me that this is a fascinatingly original and creative take on teen romance that’s somehow, at its core, very conventional and predictable.  I think that’s why each of the last two episodes has started out looking like something bold and exciting, and closed with an ending any anime or manga fan has seen a hundred times before.

[rori] Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo - 04 [1746BF2B].mkv_snapshot_01.44_[2012.10.31_09.24.06]I like Sorata just fine as a lead – anybody who names his cats after different Shinkansen trains is OK in my book – but I can’t help but think this show, good as it is, would have been even better if it had been like Mashiro’s manga, with the guy as the erratic artistic genius and the girl as the sensible and nondescript schlub who has to take care of him and falls in love.  That would have been truly different, outside the expected norms of manga and anime.  As it is, both Mashiro and Sorata are interesting characters in a fairly standard premise, and that dichotomy is always present in everything that happens in this series.  Rather than something truly original so far it’s a standard teen romance done very competently, with occasional brilliant flashes of creativity. 

[rori] Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo - 04 [1746BF2B].mkv_snapshot_02.10_[2012.10.31_09.24.31]Now, that said, if the execution is as good as it is with Sakurasou, I don’t think we’re really owed anything more than that.  And without question this is a beautifully executed series.  It seems to have been the absolutely Platonic ideal of a series for JC Staff – it suits their look perfectly and the content is smack in the heart of their comfort zone, too.  There are echoes of Ano Natsu and more than echoes of Toradora, as Okada Mari finds her mojo again and Ishizuka Atsuko channels Nagai Tatsuyuki (which is a good thing to do in my book).  I like pretty much all the characters even if, as deployed, they’re all pretty much stock roles for a series like this.  Each episode is paced such that it has a beginning, middle and end – the art of intra-episodic pacing being one rarely mastered these days, and one JC Staff seems especially good at executing well.

[rori] Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo - 04 [1746BF2B].mkv_snapshot_06.54_[2012.10.31_09.28.44]To give due credit, what’s surprising is that we’ve gotten what feels very much like a series finale – albeit a thoroughly orthodox one – after the fourth episode.  With so many eps still to go perhaps this is where Sakurasou will truly break out and become something less a product of what’s come before it and more its own animal.  All in all the relationship between Sorata and Mashiro has moved very, very quickly considering this is two cours, which makes me wonder what the series has in mind from here.  Is it going to be that rare anime romance that focuses on the couple and not the courtship, or will the focus turn to Sorata’s quest for self-identity?  Will it become a romantic triangle as Aoyama-chan makes her move?  Will it become a series of “routes” in the VN sense, where each of the residents of Sakurasou (I really want to see Hochan’s Akasaka-kun already) takes center stage for an arc as they chase their dream – or dream romantic partner?

[rori] Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo - 04 [1746BF2B].mkv_snapshot_10.24_[2012.10.31_09.32.14]The other thing that stands out about Sakurasou is that it definitely has the capacity to be profound, which presumably falls to the mangaka’s original work.  There have been moments of real emotional truth in each episode, and while a bit too self-aware I especially liked Jin’s comment that talented people draw others to them, and that those people get torn apart.  As Sorata says, though, it’s usually the case that they tear themselves apart.  It’s hard to be with someone smarter or more talented than you, no matter how much we’d all like to rise above such things.  Even if it remains at heart a conventional story rather than a true ground-breaker, Sakurasou seems to have a good sense of human nature and a deft way of showing it off – and if predictability is the thing that limits its upside, it’s that keen emotional radar that provides assurances that it will never be less than an entertaining and involving show.

[rori] Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo - 04 [1746BF2B].mkv_snapshot_10.29_[2012.10.31_09.32.19] [rori] Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo - 04 [1746BF2B].mkv_snapshot_11.04_[2012.10.31_09.32.54] [rori] Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo - 04 [1746BF2B].mkv_snapshot_12.35_[2012.10.31_09.34.25]
[rori] Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo - 04 [1746BF2B].mkv_snapshot_13.04_[2012.10.31_09.34.54] [rori] Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo - 04 [1746BF2B].mkv_snapshot_13.30_[2012.10.31_09.35.20] [rori] Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo - 04 [1746BF2B].mkv_snapshot_14.03_[2012.10.31_09.35.53]
[rori] Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo - 04 [1746BF2B].mkv_snapshot_15.29_[2012.10.31_09.37.52] [rori] Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo - 04 [1746BF2B].mkv_snapshot_16.32_[2012.10.31_09.38.55] [rori] Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo - 04 [1746BF2B].mkv_snapshot_16.52_[2012.10.31_09.39.16]
[rori] Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo - 04 [1746BF2B].mkv_snapshot_17.33_[2012.10.31_09.39.57] [rori] Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo - 04 [1746BF2B].mkv_snapshot_17.40_[2012.10.31_09.40.04] [rori] Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo - 04 [1746BF2B].mkv_snapshot_18.49_[2012.10.31_09.41.12]
[rori] Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo - 04 [1746BF2B].mkv_snapshot_19.20_[2012.10.31_09.41.43] [rori] Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo - 04 [1746BF2B].mkv_snapshot_21.02_[2012.10.31_09.43.26] [rori] Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo - 04 [1746BF2B].mkv_snapshot_21.16_[2012.10.31_09.43.40]
[rori] Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo - 04 [1746BF2B].mkv_snapshot_21.22_[2012.10.31_09.43.46] [rori] Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo - 04 [1746BF2B].mkv_snapshot_22.01_[2012.10.31_09.44.25] [rori] Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo - 04 [1746BF2B].mkv_snapshot_22.32_[2012.10.31_10.21.55]


10 comments:

  1. SakuPet is a good example of how cliched stories with very few special things about them can become really good anime experiences if they get the execution/adaptation/production right. Taking advantage of the medium's strengths.

    Ano Natsu was kinda like this too.

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  2. Of the three JC Shows I'm watching I expected LB to the best, Bakuman a close second and Sakurasou a typical third.

    My surprise when it's the exact opposite (well Bakuman's the same as ever). It certainly echoes Toradora but only a little of Ano Natsu for me, but I agree that it is very much in JC most sweet of sweet spots. The story has them written all over it.

    I don't know if you'll do a season report like usual GE but if I were to call Spring the season of quality then I'd call Fall the season of depth. There's so much good and a few great stuff to watch.

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  3. This show is two cours? With the story moving at this clip I seriously wonder what exactly they are going to fill so many more episodes with.

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  4. "I like Sorata just fine as a lead – anybody who names his cats after different Shinkansen trains is OK in my book – but I can’t help but think this show, good as it is, would have been even better if it had been like Mashiro’s manga, with the guy as the erratic artistic genius and the girl as the sensible and nondescript schlub who has to take care of him and falls in love. That would have been truly different, outside the expected norms of manga and anime."

    Actually I agree with this.

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    1. I can't shake the feeling that such a premise would end up feeling like a shoujo anime. It would have a typical carefree guy who manages to excel with seemingly no effort + the hard working girl as the MC. Cliche right? But then again, the current premise is just as cliche (but with a shounen demographic) and yet it still has me enjoying the series immensely so who knows.

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  5. Hi Enzo, I didn't really know where to posts this but anyways, could you please do a post on your top 10 favourites anime of all time. You don't have to go into great detail, just a paragraph or two on each anime. I'm so curious that it's killing me and I'm sure that others would be interested in reading it. I just get really excited when bloggers write about there top 10 fav animes, so please oh please oh please! Lol I hope this didn't come of rude, but yes it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

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    1. I've thought about that - I'll find the time sooner or later. I've left quite a few hints over the years here if you feel like being a detective.

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  6. I had close to the exact same thought: If they had taken these four episodes, wrapped them up and said "There you go, it's your 4-episode OVA series!" this would be one that would likely be a rom-com genre classic for years.

    I'm almost afraid it has nowhere to go but down from here. I really hope the introduction of Nanami into a more regular cast role, and more active pursuer of Sorata (which is what it seems to be leading to) doesn't overdo it with the over-the-top reaction shots and overly cliched harem competition. Hopefully, these are unfounded fears, and it'll keep the same great quality it's had so far.

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  7. Enzo, have you seen revolutionary girl utena? I was wonder what your thoughts were on it if you have. Thanks

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  8. This feels so much like a finale because that's pretty common coming from the first volume of a light novel, but I'm afraid to tell you it might not keep the same quality through its way. *coughlovetriangle* However, it being two-cours might indicate they'll adapt all ten novels (though the last two aren't out yet) and give the series a decent closing, rather than letting it hanging like most LN adaptations... Or simply that they'll make more money.

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