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Sakura Trick – 12 (END)

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「プリンと美月の決意/桜Trick」 (Purin to Mitsuki no Ketsui / Sakura Trick)
“Pudding and Mitsuki’s Decision / Sakura Trick”

The two sister yuri love triangle comes to a head as the sakura petals fall.

Graduation Party

As what basically amounted to the last hurrah of gags before the series came to a close, the graduation party had a fitting “ending” feel to it. It was immediately nostalgic, as Mitsuki & Rina’s graduation signaled our graduation from this show, and let us enjoy all of the girls being themselves one last time – with an undercurrent of emotions running through it. From Sumisumi’s moustache fascination to one last Mikan-san joke, they were strong jokes at the end. I’m a sucker for sakura-colored graduations, and this party + the second half had that instant nostalgia fuel in spades.

Kaede’s Crying!?

One of the biggest surprises this episode was Kaede. I was totally stoked when I saw the impersonation in the preview last week, and we got into it and it was funny, and then what the heck Kaede is crying!? Now, for my money I wanted to see what Yuzu and her talked about – I feel like these two lacked development, even if they truly aren’t the yuri couple I wish them to be – but sometimes it’s the yuri you don’t see that’s the most tantalizing, eh? That, plus Kaede crying one more time later on, and the oddly wistful (or bashful?) look she had on her face at the end makes me think something is going on there…but from now on, I guess that’ll only exist in my dreams. Nothing dirty though. Okay, nothing too dirty.

These Sisters Are So Alike

As if it wasn’t clear before, these sisters are so alike! From the pudding on down, they’ve made a strong case for why Mitsuki fell for Haruka by Yuu already liking Haruka and Mitsuki liking all the same things as Yuu. Yes, there’s a difference between pudding and love – though not as many as you might think – but that made the love triangle work a little better for me.

The one place they’re different, though, is that Mitsuki knows her own mind. Eventually. I guess she didn’t know it at all for the longest time, but when she made that leap, she went all in. I was totally jealous of Haruka when she was blissfully enjoying being fought over by two sisters, but then Mitsuki breaks them up and confesses!? Damn girl! This love triangle is coming to a head!

Haruka Doesn’t Understand Love

From my past experience, both personally and in others, I find that high schoolers tend to jump to love too quickly. They don’t have all the scars painful life experiences they’re not appropriately jaded they don’t have their defenses up because they haven’t been hurt before. That made it all the stranger that Haruka told Mitsuki she loved her – be still, my beating heart! I thought they really were going to go down the harem route there! – only for Mitsuki to realize that Haruka doesn’t understand love. Then what was all that with Yuu all this time!?

On further thought though, it makes a sort of sense. I shouldn’t conflate my own personal and observed experience with the only way to do things, and besides, there’s an added vector – they’re both girls. Crossing from a close female friendship to love has to be a blurrier line than it is between men and women or two men, just by the nature of close female relationships. At least, the ones that aren’t acrimonious…girls can be mean!.

“This time, it wasn’t an accident.”

Whatever the case, it’s clear that Mitsuki got shot down. She did show her onee-chan credentials when, in addition to being elegant while being shot down, she chooses a parting gift that doesn’t end up with her taking more from her imouto’s girlfriend than she should have. What I’m trying to say is, if she stole a kiss on the lips now, that would have been not cool. She deserved something though, and that was a beautiful way for that possibility to disappear.

Not that Mitsuki is without options. There are flags going off all over Rina, and they’re going to the same college together. I’ll still be secretly wishing that the Yuu x Haruka x Mitsuki OT3 gets revived at some point, but good luck Rina. You still have a shot.

Yuu-chan Doesn’t Understand Love Either

I was getting ready to say that Yuu is unlucky with all the dense women around her, but no, she’s one of them too. The whole scene in the sakura-covered classroom had a nice atmosphere, though I felt they dragged on their exploration and confusion a bit long. But Yuu and Haruka both said they loved each other, and they kissed more, and that embarrassment afterwards hnnnnnggg!! A good ending, I think, even if they’re still both bakas.

A Sakura Trick

Some things change, and some things don’t. The whole gang is still together, but Haruka and Yuu are being a little more open about their relationship, as they go to school amid the sakura petals once again. A nice ending, with just a touch of magic. That’s how a yuri anime should end.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – The love triangle comes to a head & is resolved as some of our girls graduate, & they all grow up #桜Trick 12 END

Random thoughts:

  • Hair swish! Taking care of long hair is a pain, but it’s awesome at times like that.
  • One thing I loved was how Kaede and Yuzu came back in, ready to try again on the impersonations, but Mitsuki said it wasn’t necessary. She’s so kind ;_;

Check out my blog about storytelling and the novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: Right, not best, Three lessons from the editing desk, The easiest to not do, and Realism, cynicism, & the unreasonable man.

Epilogue:

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Final Impressions:

Sakura Trick was one of the two surprise hits (along with Mikakunin de Shinkoukei) that I picked up this season. I was trying to dial it back you guys, but after Sakura Trick exploded onto the screen with multiple yuri kisses in the first episode, how could I not? Yuri shows are usually more subtle, all innuendo and hints, while they hardly ever show them doing the deed. I couldn’t not blog this kind of goodness!

As it turns out, Mikakunin de Shinkoukei had a more in common with Sakura Trick than I expected. Both started out very strong, mostly because of misplaced expectations – in this case, most of us assumed it was a regular yuri show, not a lusty yuri show. A good mistake to make, I feel, because it made the first half of the series a constant stream of awesome. But both shows ended up weaker in the second half as the rapid pace of kisses or revelations evened out, and we were forced to get by on lighter faire. It never got bad, though there was the odd episode that felt almost entirely life fluff, but the stretching started to show. Perhaps this would have been better as a 10-episode series, though if they had developed some of the other characters (especially Yuzu and Kaede) more, and brought in ones like Rina and Sumisumi earlier, it might have worked better. Still, I can’t complain.

Another pleasant surprise was the animation style. With use of stylistic cuts reminiscent of director Ishikura Kenichi’s work on Hidamari Sketch (I’m told…I’ll get to it eventually) or the more recent Acchi Kocchi, it made for a visually diverse experience. They also never skimped on anything, whether it was animation (especially on the kisses) or all the seiyuu’s skills in bringing their characters to life. A good all-around effort from Ishikura-san’s team over at Studion Deen.

In the end, this was an uncomplicated show, but an enjoyable one. Though I managed to write thousands of words about it – but I think we can all agree that I’m nuts – it’s not a series that needed to be thought about too deeply. We’re here for the cute girls kissing each other, and that’s what we got. After all, cute girls ought to be together, don’t you think?

End Card

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March 29, 2014 at 12:07 am
22 comments »
  • March 29, 2014 at 12:35 amName (required)

    need moar rina

    • March 29, 2014 at 8:08 amJohn Hayabusa

      Great yurilicious anime and the best kind in a long while. Though I am happy for Yuu and Haruka, I feel bad for poor Mitsuki. I hope Rina keeps her happy in their college life. This anime definitely deserves a second season. In the meantime, I am looking forward to see which next season’s shows are yuri bait.]

  • March 29, 2014 at 1:05 amPancakes

    Nearly spilled my Black Russian when Mitsuki so nonchalantly revealed her love (infatuation) with Haruka. Thankfully I’m too sophisticated for such a mistake, so ended up pounding it all back at once. Oh yeah.

    Never expected such an admission in the final episode, but looking back on it, it’s a good way to bring this series to a close. Mitsuki finally accepts the one true religion of yuri, Haruka and Yuu can now openly embrace their obsession with each other (giggled like mad when Yuu started kissing Haruka in front of her sister), and Kaede’s stream of emotion leaves open the possibility of further shenanigans.

    Overall Sakura Trick did what it set out to do, provide a reinvigorated take on the “cute girls doing cute things” routine by having its characters involved sexually as well as romantically. All about the fan service, but unlike some other similar series never tried to hide what it was under layers of serious plot lines or fabricated drama. For a weekly dose of sugared moe and yuri goodness cannot really ask for or expect more. Gets a 7/10 from me purely for the entertainment value; trying to judge this show on story or character development will lead to disappointment.

    Now the long (agonizing) wait for Yuru Yuri season 3 later in the year :D

    • March 29, 2014 at 9:24 amStilts

      Pancakes for most sophisticated yuri viewer, hands down. Pound em back, sir!

  • March 29, 2014 at 1:41 amRin

    “I’ll still be secretly wishing that the Yuu x Haruka x Mitsuki”

    Really? Well, shippers never rest I suppose, even when there is no chance they’ll ever get what they want. lol

    On another note, I’m not sure Yuu doesn’t understand love. I think she does but it’s letting Haruka figure things out at her own pace.

    • March 29, 2014 at 9:23 amStilts

      Ahaha, I don’t actually think it will happen, nor will I be sad if it doesn’t. It was just an great dream while it lasted : )

  • March 29, 2014 at 1:46 amechykr

    Kaede is a bit like HomuHomu, normally cool and composed on the outside, but actually the most passionate and loyal on the inside. When pushed to the extreme, her true self would come out. The cheerful (but still clueless) Yuzu would be her Madoka.

    If this ever gets a season 2, I hope to see more KaedeYuzu.

    • March 29, 2014 at 1:56 amc2710

      Mikan x Kaede needs more screen time

  • March 29, 2014 at 1:58 amc2710

  • March 29, 2014 at 2:37 amewok40k

    I am betting my Yuri Goggles there was more than talking going on offscreen when Kaede went next room with Yuzu.
    http://randomc.net/image/Sakura%20Trick/Sakura%20Trick%20-%2012%20-%20Large%2011.jpg
    Why? Because I’ve seen similar body language on Haruka na Yuu before!

    • March 29, 2014 at 3:53 amc2710

      Like Stilts-sama mentioned…. Hidden yuri may be the best yuri

    • March 29, 2014 at 9:26 amStilts

      They just had to tease us so heavily at the very end. It could easily be nothing, but…c’mon, look at that!!

      *runs around fangirling*

      Kaedekko!

    • March 30, 2014 at 7:21 amKah

      How great is ponytail Yuzu? :D

  • March 29, 2014 at 5:44 amDvalinn

    Kaede crying kind of took me off guard as well. I suppose it’s because she’s the less expressive of the duo – Yuzu is as an open book with her emotions, while Keade always has her pokerface. So to see that facade break down actually kind of hit me hard. She may not have shown it expressly, but she really did respect Mitsuki a lot (maybe she was even the inspiration for her going to the student council). The whole ‘school’s closing down’ angle and the finalistic tone was used rather well throughout the entire show, for that matter. It added a touch of melancholy to the whole thing.

    As I expected, the show’s climax ended up being Mitsuki’s going-away party, and they did it rather well. She finally confessed too (and got shot down) capping off her growth before she leaves the cast. That’s a nice way to end it…and she has a future with Rina, possibly. Goodbye, Mitsuki!

    As for Yuu and Haruka being bakas at love…I have to admit, I was kind of thinking ‘wait, you hadn’t realized you’re a couple yet? What was the Christmas episode all about then?’ at first. It seemed kind of inconsistent. However, it could be that I’m just looking at them from my perspective. I suppose I can accept that these two are still relatively young and inexperienced – this is the first true romantic relationship they’ve ever had, and unlike Mitsuki, aren’t aware of the full depths of it yet. Having them end with proclaiming their love for each other (which Mitsuki rightfully pointed out, something they hadn’t put into words yet) and kissing yet again felt fitting though. No cop-outs of them breaking up for some stupid reason in this show, no siree.

    So in the end, I really enjoyed this show. The couples had chemistry, the jokes were funny and it was just a pleasant watch throughout. It also went far beyond the usual yuri-teasing that never leads anywhere in most shows and actually showed the trials and tribulations of the relationships of these girls. Gave us quite a variety of yuri too, and inserted some realism into this rosesakura-colored narrative to give it a little more substance than most of its ilk. It did stagnate a little near the middle, true, which keeps it from being near the personal top of the season list. Still, I’ll miss these characters. And that’s always a sign that I’ve enjoyed something.

  • March 29, 2014 at 10:48 amRedRocket

    10/10 for kissing yuri girls doing cute things compared to the implied yuri shows like Hidamari Sketch for what ever Sakura Trick did poorer than the other shows the actually going there trumps all.

    8/10 for slice of life I give no 9′s and save my 10 for Aria.

    I wonder which high school would be worse to be a guy in? To Love RU where the girls are mostly straight and all guys but the main are comic relief. But the other guys can’t do anything about it because the main male has 4 supper heroes who could fight even with Iron Man at a minimum in his harem and a future father in law that can blow up the earth by himself not to mention the fleet. Or this show where guys don’t even get to say a line and all the girls are gay.

  • March 29, 2014 at 4:10 pmAugustus

    Demand a second season for this yurilicious series.

    btw, poor Mitsuki…a unrequited love

  • March 29, 2014 at 7:29 pmanontop

    can we get at least 50 comments here?

  • March 29, 2014 at 9:17 pmkyurenjo

    Thanks for the reviews Stilts-san! =)

    I know there is not much can be written from this anime, but I am happy to see my fav author write this enjoyful series (and Log Horizon). Let hope for great series again next season!

    • March 30, 2014 at 10:20 amStilts

      You’re too kind *bows* But keep it coming, nyahaha!

      Next season looks to be a good one (though I say that every season, lol), so hopefully there’ll be more fun to have!

  • March 29, 2014 at 9:20 pmMM

    this series goes into my list of top yuri series. I do hope they make a second season sometime soon or at least close in the future. The overall series was cute and a bit intense (cough, cough ahem) but it was quiet enjoyable. Thanks again STILTS for the reviews each week. :3

  • March 30, 2014 at 8:20 am~fineyristensen

    Innocent schoolgirl yuriness galore a la anime, thank you for giving this simple show such deepness Stilts !

  • April 3, 2014 at 5:44 pmTranHere

    Show Spoiler ▼

    I think the manga (4-koma) is still on-going, so maybe we will get a second season hopefully?!