「さくら荘へようこそ」 (Sakurasou e Youkoso)
“Welcome to Sakurasou”

To me, the best finales are those that wrap up everything we’ve dealt with so far, but leave the future open to be whatever we, the audience, want to imagine it will be. Clean up the dangling plot threads, but leave endless opportunities ahead. In this, and by the soaring, glorious feelings that filled me for damn near every second of this episode, made this one of the best finales I’ve seen in a long time. Consider me thoroughly biased, but I say it nevertheless. Here’s why:

Symbols of Love

In romantic fiction, a kiss is something to be held back, hoarded, so that they can be deployed for maximum effect later on. Rare enough is the show that has this many couples that are all equally likable, interesting, and important to us viewers, but rarer still is one hat is willing to give us not just one, but three kisses within a single episode! I’ll talk about the first two, and something else besides.

First is Ryuunosuke and Rita. Oh my gods, I almost fell over cheering at that!! I have alluded to this before, but this kiss actually happened earlier in the source material – during Valentine’s Day I believe, though don’t quote me on that. They saved it for here though, and I’m glad. A good adaptation is one that tweaks the source to better fit the different medium, and this is something that the Sakurasou anime has done well, such as when they gave Nanami a larger role in the first four episodes than she had in Vol 1. Here they saved this kiss to help deliver an unending onslaught of romantic moments, and end the series on a high note. I love it! Only you can tame a dragon, Rittan. And Meido-chan too! Don’t give up, you.

Then there’s Misaki and Jin. I don’t have words enough to properly describe how ecstatic this scene made me, but I’ll try. Jin stealing a page from Rita’s book and going in for the kiss was fantastic, mostly because I was still preoccupied by the last kiss and didn’t expect to be hit by another! Then he went so far as to give her back the marriage certificate, with his information filled in!? She was so anxious to be apart from him, but he blew that all away in one go. This is how you do a finale. They’re giving us everything we ever wanted, all in one final burst. This is the way you end things – with a bang!

Oh yeah, and that something else besides – Chihiro and Kazuki. I still feel that Chihiro has been criminally underused as a character, but the good news is that this meant it didn’t take a lot to give us some measure of closure for her. An innocent little lie as he tries to catch her on the “rebound” after all her kids have left…took you long enough, Fujisawa! Now treat her right, ya git.

Hard Work vs Innate Talent

Let’s talk about Nanami. Nanami has been the poster child of the Hard Work vs Innate Talent argument, on the side of Hard Work. Yet I feel compelled to say once again that this dichotomy is bullshit, and I finally have proof from the series to prove why. (I’m going to get a bit philosophical here, so feel free to skip to the next section if you want.) It can be said that the real dichotomy is in Hard Work + No Talent vs Hard Work + Talent, and that’s closer to the truth. Yet I think we all do ourselves a disservice when we think this way. As humans, we each seek to find those things we’re innately good at, those things we’re “talented” at, under the assumption that these were the things we were “meant” to do, and that we could never become world-class in anything but that which we’re talented at – that it is, in effect, impossible to become great at anything else. This is limiting, and limiting is not always a bad thing – in a world of infinite choices, humans often end up choosing nothing, because we get overwhelmed. So we limit ourselves. We box ourselves in so we can decide.

But just because it’s useful doesn’t mean it’s true. Yes, there are some things each of us will never be able to do – a 165cm tall man probably doesn’t have a bright future as a basketball player, whereas I, who stands at 200cm, had a better shot. But that list is small, the minority. When it comes to the work of our brains – which includes creativity and art – the main ingredients are hard work intelligently applied, and passion that never dies. Did you notice how, by this last episode, Sorata and Nanami – our scions of hard work with no talent – seemed quite, well, talented? Sorata is churning out game ideas with confidence – he’s even making a demo for the review stage when he hasn’t even passed the presentation yet! – while Nanami is scaring people just by reading lines from a horror script in her kitchen. If you just met these character, I bet you would think they were talented. They might disagree. You’d both be right, and wrong as well – they are talented now because they worked insanely hard, lived in a nurturing environment, were passionate about their dreams, and because they never, ever gave up. That’s my kind of talent.

Hard Work, Rewarded

But I got a little ahead of myself, and sidetracked as well. On the hard work front, the problem that many of you pointed out was that, for a few episodes there, it looked like Mashiro was going to get everything, while Nanami ended up with nothing – she would be shipped off to Osaka by her father, losing both her dream and her love in one fell swoop. It seemed like hard work was going to lose to talent (and hard work). And I agree, that would have been terrible. The dissonance implied in such an ending…no, that would have been no good.

Not that I ever really thought that was going to happen. Logically, at least.

Here’s the thing: if Nanami had her dream crushed but she still got together with Sorata, she still would have lost. Love, until it’s at the levels shown by Jin and Misaki, should be secondary to one’s dreams, and should never be considered a consolation prize. No, the path ahead was always clear to me – Nanami would return to Sakurasou for the next semester, her dream still alive. That was why Mashiro and Sorata’s good bye to her on the train platform was so perfect. It was not “farewell”, but a “see you when you get home.” Even in the face of the two kisses that preceded it, that was the perfect way for her to go. Nothing else would have fit.

And she came back! My heart sang when she reappeared, and I’m glad they took the time to show us that, because not doing so would have been the kind of dangling plot thread that would have made me rage. She returned back home, her old dream still alive, only now with her father’s (begrudging) blessing as well! Chihiro-sensei was right when she said Nanami took the child’s way out of just saying “screw you!” and doing it anyway, but, as I expected, it was good that she did that, since that was what enabled her to convince her father. Now she’s back, with her dream still intact, and maybe her love as well. Which brings me to…

It Can Be Whatever You Want It To Be

I said that the best finales wrap up all the loose ends, but leave the future open. It is clear that Sorata’s eyes are firmly turned towards Mashiro – he even admits himself that she has him wrapped around her little finger. Oh yeah, and there was that love confession the other day too. Yet even so, they didn’t kill off the Nanami ship entirely, and that’s okay. Here’s the thing – now that it’s over, each of us can decide how we’d like to imagine it going from here. He’s turned towards Mashiro, but maybe they’ll date for a while, break up, and then Nanami gets together with Sorata. I wouldn’t bet on it, but then again I quite like Mashiro x Sorata. Who’s to say that’s not in the future? Until the author himself (trope!) shuts off a possibility, we can imagine whatever we want.

That’s why Jin said “There’s no need to give up. That means on Sorata too.” Oh, Nanami! That was also why the kiss we got between Sorata and Mashiro wasn’t the full dealio. Mind you, I would have liked to see a full kiss from them, because even that would not have stopped those who wanted to from imagining – hell, even a true Mashiro End wouldn’t have done that, though it would have made it harder. Plus, it would have been soooo great to see! I have to admit though, the long lead up to the almost-kiss, which Hikari broke up (damn jealous cat!) made me howl with frustrated laughter. What a cat tease! But they roped me in good, enough that I had to laugh to avoid cursing. (Okay, I did some of that too.) And now we can even better decide on the future each of us would prefer, even if all signs point to a certain painter/manga-ka for the time being. For the time being. You can imagine whatever you want from here.

Be Weird

The leap forward to the new semester was wonderful, because it provided the true closure that this series needed – not just of the romance, but of the great group of friends centered around a certain old building. A Sakurasou that’s not lively isn’t the Sakurasou we’ve come to know and love, and for this series to end the way it must, we needed that back. Enter Hase Kanna (Yamazaki Haruka), the highest scorer on the entrance exam who can’t sleep with someone else in the same room, and Himemiya Iori (Shimazaki Nobunaga), i.e. Hauhau’s little brother, who got caught trying to peek on the girls’ bath on his very first night in the regular dorms. As soon as these two were introduced, I knew this would only get better. A pervert and a serious girl to be disgusted by him? Great, love it, just what we needed! And then Yuuko is there too!? I loved her exchange with Sorata: “If you say it was actually 66, I’m not your brother anymore.” Hah, of course! It would have been a shame to not use such a hilarious character, but it’d be no fun to have let us know she was coming so far ahead. And as I alluded to before, Misaki-sempai is back with her new house right next door. Erh–that is, Mitaka Misaki is here, since she got a little impatient. Seriously, from the second that Kanna and Iori met, I was laughing non-stop. Just a wonderful way to end it all.

But best of all may have been how Sorata, Mashiro, and even Nanami were freaking out the newbies like the true Sakurasou residents that they are. Apparently it only takes a year living in Sakurasou to become totally weird. Good! It’s better than being boring. Bring on the nabe party! I have a feeling there will be plenty more of them in the year ahead.

The Ending

While I would have liked to see a full kiss from Sorata and Mashiro, I couldn’t help but love it when the old 「DAYS of DASH」 came on, and they went through what I think was probably every single one of Sakurasou’s best lines and moments, all in one go. It was a rocket ship down the street named nostalgia, as everything I loved about this series literally hurtled right past my eyes. And that pause – just to remind us of how much these characters have gone through, to remind us of all their pain and effort, they made us wait, made us wonder what was going on – and then the music came back, and exalt! It’s a brand new day my friends, and a glorious one at that! DAYS OF DASH! Needless to say, chills aplenty were had, my friends, chills aplenty, right up until the credits finally ran out.

In concluding this episodic portion, the one thing I always worried about this show was that it would follow in Toradora’s footsteps and rush the ending. Gladly, Sakurasou’s ending, especially these last two episodes, was some of the greatest work they put out. This series ended on a note higher than almost any it reached, and it reached some damn high ones, which were matched only by how deep the lows were (in emotions, not quality). This series was a roller-coaster, and one I’m…but I should save all that for the final impressions below.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – A wonderful finale. All the loose ends were tied up, while the future could be anything we want it to be #sakurasou

Random thoughts:

  • “It’s interesting because there’s more to come.” Was that a sequel hook, Mashiro? Ufufu~
  • Did you catch how Yuuko said she “spent last night with Kanna-chan”? Ahhh, it all makes sense. Now we know who her really noisy roommate was!
  • Also, how about that Nanami blushing when Sorata leaned against her? Fear not, Nanami shippers! She definitely hasn’t given up, that’s for sure.

Full-length images: 11, 23, 30, 31, 35.


Final Impression

Expectations were not especially high for Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo going in. Its art made it look a like Toradora, but the degrading-sounding premise turned a lot of people off. Even I wasn’t sure about it, and when I heard it was 2-cour, I was honestly worried – I wasn’t used to covering multi-cour shows, at least not without a break in between, so I wasn’t sure if I had gotten myself into something I would end up regretting. So what’s my verdict now, here now at the end of it all?

Love & Art

Damn, I’m glad I picked this one up! (I know, you’re surprised.) Sakurasou has been a wonderful trip all the way through, starting from the very first arc, which shattered all my expectations and drove the progressively higher. It would take me too long to list off all of the things I loved about it, but here are a few: art that beautifully suited the atmosphere; the strong emphasis on B-couples rather than a single harem; the spot-on humour, especially Sorata’s tsukkomis; the intense drama that pulled me in and made me love the characters; the fact that characters actually failed, and it made them grow stronger; the slight tweaks to the source material to make it fit the screen better; how much it made me smile, cry, and feel all the emotions usually denied to me in my everyday life.

Sakurasou has been a good romance, and if it was only that then I would have enjoyed it. But it delved deeper, and tackled themes that are both far-reaching and near to my heart. Sakurasou was at its best when it spoke to the nature of art, on pursuing one’s dreams, of dealing with failure, and on working insanely hard on what you’re passionate about. The end of episode 8 still shines as one of the moments of any anime that most resonated with me, when it talked about trying with all your might, and failing, but enjoying it because you dared to try, and picking yourself up to do it all over again. I too love people who live as hard as they can! And that’s only one of many times they spoke on what it truly means to be an artist, to chase after your dreams, to persevere through rushing failures. These were themes deeper than I’ve seen in many a story, and they were treated with deep respect. That helped to elevate Sakurasou to something greater than just a romantic comedy. It elevated it to art itself.

Flawed Genius

I once read an article where Paul Barnett, the creative director behind Warhammer Online, said the following: “I believe WOW is a work of flawed genius. When you dismantle [these works] you can never be sure whether you get genius or flaw.” To me, Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo is a work of flawed genius. I think most of you will agree that there were certainly flaws – even if we ignore the rather cringe-worthy title, it had a habit of trying to force the drama, to the point of handing characters – especially the male ones – the idiot ball (trope!) and making them act seriously out of character in order to propel the story along, or just stretch it out for a little longer.

And yet, there was genius here as well. Even if the drama was sometimes forced, it worked more often than not, giving us some of the deepest lows and highest highs, crushing us with the characters’ depression and then uplifting us with their triumphs. There was undeniable power in this series, at least for those of us who let ourselves be drawn in by these characters who were so real and alive, we who allowed ourselves to ride along with their torrential lives. I watch a show like this, and then I think of the ones that KyoAni makes. Though I have had the pleasure of covering the last two, there’s always something so clinical about the stories they tell. They check off all the boxes and do everything right, but in trying to be perfect, some essential spirit is lost. They’re good, but I don’t feel the art in them, the passion – they feel like they were designed by a group of very smart people, not by one passionate person who slaved away at their kitchen table trying to bring their singular dream to life. Sakurasou was flawed, but it had spirit, and a soul – it was the artistic expression of one man trying to tell the story he wanted to tell. This adaptation brought that forth well, and I love it for that.

Find Your Dream

A good story can be the kindest teacher we could ever hope for. If nothing else, one of the best things that Sakurasou does is exactly what Mashiro did for Sorata – it gives us all, the audience, permission to chase after our dreams. True, it is a story. It is fiction. Yet the themes in it are very real. Through all the trials and tribulations, the best times in Sorata’s and the others’ lives were when they were working wholeheartedly towards their dreams, and let me tell you, they are right. I have had jobs I did not like, schools I did not particularly enjoy, and there was nothing fulfilling about them. But when the lessons sang, when the challenges were interesting and evocative, and when it was my own dreams I was working towards, those were very fun indeed. For some of them, they still are.

Here’s the lesson I take from Sakurasou, and I hope that each of you will take it as well. Even though most of them failed – Jin, Nanami, and Sorata did, and most of them twice or more – they still enjoyed it, and were grateful and happy to have tried. I guarantee that if you put your full and honest effort into your dreams, if you pour your personal, irreplaceable, and vulnerable passion into your work, even if you fail, you will not regret it. Human beings are not meant to slave away at jobs they hate! Better to risk failure, because you also risk having a life you might genuinely enjoy. You don’t have to quit your job and draw manga or create games, though those are fine if you want to. No, you can find art in any profession, as long as it’s one you’re passionate about. When you find that, when you really care about the results – not because it’s your job, but because you actually care, because it is important to you yourself – then your days will be a lot happier. That is art, and it is worth the risk.

Final Words

Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo is a work of flawed genius, a piece of art that sings all the louder for its imperfections. These are characters I have come to love. I loved watching them find romance in one another. I loved watching them come closer to accomplishing their dreams, and have learned more about my own dreams in the process. This has been a wonderful ride, and I am truly glad that I’ve gotten to write about every one of these 24 episodes for you. Thank you for allowing me to do that, and for reading my words.

Now, my fondest wish is that each of you – every single one of you – would heed the lessons of Sorata and the others, and go out and chase your dream. Whatever you do, care about it with your full heart, or find something to do that you can. It’s scarier that way, but the rewards are all the greater for it, because it’s only when you embrace the fear and do what you’re really passionate about that your life can truly sing. It’s only then that you can shine.

Hey. What colour do you want to be? Because it’s your choice.


  1. Haha, Sakurasou was an amazing ride, and I would easily welcome a 2nd season. Though I am really sad to see this end, it has been a whirlwind of emotions. Thank you for covering this Stilts, it is always uplifting reading your posts!

      1. I’ll give you the same answer I give everyone – it will come out “soon” or “around the same time as last year”, and we haven’t forgotten about it. In fact, I was working on it before I started in on this post.

    1. Well it’s still quite possible for it to have a second season cuz the novels havent ended yet. So here’s hoping we get to see more of this show, it was a blast cuz the show had a mix of everything really and although I wouldve loved to see more of the romance department, I was still satisfied overall.

  2. This is a very nicely done finale, definitely one of the best this year. However, what could have made this episode even better is to see there’s a second season coming. XD

    You have also done an exceptional job on blogging this series. My thanks go to you, Stilts.

    1. Ahaha, I wish. Though mind you, I’m very satisfied with this ending, so even if we don’t see more I’ll rest well. After all, all good stories must come to an end.

      Still, I would like to see more of Kanna and Iori…ahhhh screw it, bring on another season! When the light novels are all finished, of course : )

      And thank you for the kind compliment. It was my pleasure!

  3. Bravo Stilts! Brilliant writing! Best final words ever. (You had me literally clapping here after reading your blog).

    Great series and I’m glad I picked this up regardless what most people thought when it first started airing.

    Still hoping for the Nanami x Sorata ship though. The LN are not over yet so here’s hoping. *cross-fingers*

  4. I loved this show, and for the most part have nothing but praise for it. Sad to see it end honestly, but the ending was great- closure for all the B-couples, and 3 kisses? I don’t ever recall an anime finale that ever did that. Loved how everything was tied up nicely, and they laid the groundwork for a second season or OVAs if they choose to do so. It was a great ride JC Staff, well done.
    My only REAL complaint was that Mashiro and Sorata didn’t really kiss (Damn you Hikari!) but I like how their relationship is progressing. ^^

    1. That article is really interesting. Nice to know that this little theory of mine isn’t all in my head…though I think stories and Stradivarius violins are different enough that I could still be totally bonkers.

      I think not though. To be human is to be flawed, and we’re naturally drawn to things which are in some ways flawed as well. It’s certainly true of characters – the perfect character is a Mary Sue, and roundly hated. I think it applies to the larger story as well. We can detect the soul in a story, or the lack thereof, even if such a thing doesn’t truly exist.

  5. Thank you for covering this wonderful show Stilts! It was a pleasure to follow the ups and downs of this ride with you.

    Sakurasou was really a surprise for me, I was expecting this to be a more light-hearted affair, and after the first couple episodes I was already getting a bit annoyed that it was going to turn into a harem. Boy how wrong I was, and the themes they touched on (and/or dove headlong into) really made it interesting to watch. It really was the ‘supporting’ characters that made the show great though. Sorata was never really my favorite character, the idiot ball trope aside, he just felt like a fairly generic romcom MC. Fortunately, he pulled through when the drama required it, and the supporting cast was just omg amazing.

    This show will almost assuredly fall into my top 5 this year, though my list is already possibly 3 long between this, SSY, and Bakuman :x.

    1. Hah, for some reason that reminds me of around episode 7, when everyone was afraid it was going to descend into brocon silliness. I was just going “wait for it, this is just a side trip…”, and then WHAM! The Rule of 4, and episode 8 floors us. Just when you think you know it…

      Well, maybe we all learned eventually, at least. It took a while, though ^^

  6. Stiiiilts!! <3 Great final thoughts for a truly great show! My favorite (alongside Chu2) from 2012! Thanks a million for covering Sakurasou! See you in season 2 (hey, I can always hope for a S2, right J.C Staff?! 😛 )

  7. Hikari was possessed by the soul of Nanami.

    Seriously, we should replace “Being _____ is suffering” with “Being _______ is Nanami.”

    The cat was Nanami so we put her down.

    But no seriously, it was a good ending, especially since Yosuke Hanamura seems to have joined the group.

  8. This is a series that has changed my life.

    Ever since I was young, I have always wanted to be a writer. When I was in high school, I never told anyone that it was my ambition. I kept it to myself, thinking I didn’t have enough natural talent and that no one would want to read my work. I decided I would play it safe with my life and just write as a hobby. Now I’ve slowly come to realise that to do such a thing would bring about keen regret in my life. I’d be wasting my youth not pursuing what I truly want to do.

    Sakurasou is just one of the things that made me realise this. It spoke to me about what it means to be an artist and to feel that insatiable urge to create things. I realised that with enough passion and soul – if you truly believe in what you are writing – you can create a story that is capable of moving another person’s heart. Thank you for the heartfelt coverage, Stilts. There were times when your writing moved and inspired me, too, and urged me on to write.

    Most of all, thank you, J.C. Staff for creating such a flawed yet wonderful gem of an anime. I felt your love and belief in this story throughout the entire run. The ups and downs made it feel like a real journey. Everyone who worked on this series, no matter how small the contribution, is, to me, a true artist.

    1. Thank you for the heartfelt coverage, Stilts. There were times when your writing moved and inspired me, too, and urged me on to write.

      To me, there can be no higher compliment than that. After all, why do you think I write here? Why do you think I write at all? Oh, I still do it after the paying job for now, but maybe that won’t always be the case. We’ll see, we’ll see. I certainly aim to, that’s for sure.

      Follow your dream, whatever it is. I look forward to seeing how far you go.

  9. Damn you, Hikari. Because of you, my romcom didn’t end with a main couple kiss. Liplock-block by a cat ;_;

    But, I feel satisfied. Very satisfied. Loved every single episode of this series. And like any show I’ve watched, I’m a little sad to see it go.

    No. VERY sad to see it go xD

    Ah well! Well done, J.C. Staff! You guys have earned a standing ovation! Now, ANOTHER!

    Also, Stilts, thanks for covering this. After watching an episode, I need to vent out all my giddiness, and your covers are just what the doctor ordered 😀

  10. One of my favorite things about (many) Okada Mari shows is how open-ended her endings tend to be. Sakurasou was no exception, it reminded a lot of Hanasaku Iroha where there is this satisfying notion of closure knowing that a certain phase of the character’s lives has come to an end, but also a realistic outlook that recognizes the infinite possibilities that the future holds. Half of Sakurasou’s crew graduating and new faces moving in marks the end of this chapter and the beginning of a new tale, paralleling how Kissuisou closing down sent all the characters in their own way- but not before teaching them a lesson or two. Whether Sorata and co. will achieve their dreams remains unknown, but we do know that they are on the right path, and the tale that was presented to us was what set them on it.

    The flaws with anime drama tends to stem from the fact that writers often feel obliged to pander religiously to genre cliches and traditions- like the super-dense id*ot male lead archetype, or needless brocon and fanservice, and whatnot. Writers will attempt to insert theses things into the story even if doing so would do nothing to improve it, or even damage its overall quality in some cases. Presumably, they do this to appeal to a primary demographic that thrives on these things (typical Japanese otaku demographic) or to keep with industry tradition, or from an unwillingness to innovate or what not.

    I remember Stilts replying to me in a Chuunibyou post several months ago; he essentially said (something like) that in order to add something truly wonderful to the world, you have to take risks, and sometimes go crazy on things. Basically, you can have impeccable execution, but if you’re not willing to step out of your comfort zone and experiment with something new, you’ll never transcend the greats.

    And this is the problem that I have seen in just about every Okada Mari show. She’s great at drama and giving folks the feels and while she does attempt to step away from the norm just a little with one or two unconventional things about her characters/themes/settings, the primary building blocks of all her stories are still mainly comprised of the traditional stuff that makes up dramas in anime; she has never dared to venture too far away from genre convention- she executes the old, tired tropes of her genre excellently, and with one or two minor tweaks of innovation manages to get decent to good mileage out of worn-out old brake pads.

    Basically, Okada Mari seems to be an excellent writer who clearly has what it takes to create a true dramatic classic; something unprecedented and genre-breaking. She just needs to break free of the conventions and traditions of the genre so that she can freely exercise her impeccable skill at giving people the feels without restriction- when she is able to do that, then I think we may just be in for some kind of once-in-a-decade experience- but though Sakurasou clearly showcases how good she is at making drama, it also demonstrates that she is still far from that point…

    And finally, thanks to Stilts for covering this show. Sometimes with the heartwarming things you wrote, I think you did as much to inspire people to chase their dreams as the show did in of itself!…;)

    1. While I won’t speak to Hanasaku Iroha since I haven’t seen it (I’ll get to it eventually!), remember this – Sorata’s denseness, Yuuko’s brocon tendencies, and all the rest all come straight from the source material. I never heard of nor sensed any overt rewrites for the anime, Okada-san just shuffled around and tweaked and fine-tuned the thing to go great on the screen. Here, the singular artist, the one crazy son-of-a-gun with a vision was Kamoshida Hajime, the original creator. It was he that took the real risks – and yeah, he didn’t go all the way, he used some well-trodden tropes, some that even bend into cliche, but there was genius in what he did as well, flawed though it may have been.

      If what you said was accurate for original material she has worked on, you may very well be right, though. Of course, with anime it’s always tough – as with KyoAni, you know there are a bunch of other people dicking with the story, trying to smooth it out to make it more palatable to more wallets–I mean, people. Leave the sharp corners, says I. They’re what makes the whole thing interesting.

      Oh, and I think Kamoshida-san just thought Yuuko was funny. I agree – that girl is totally nuts!

      Finally, thank you. If I inadvertently helped encourage people to chase their dreams…well, I can rest happy with that. Very happy indeed.

      …holy hell, it’s late, I need to go to sleep!! *shuffles off to bed*

      1. I never heard of nor sensed any overt rewrites for the anime, Okada-san just shuffled around and tweaked and fine-tuned the thing to go great on the screen.

        True enough, I kind of overgeneralized…XP

        Here, the singular artist, the one crazy son-of-a-gun with a vision was Kamoshida Hajime, the original creator. It was he that took the real risks – and yeah, he didn’t go all the way, he used some well-trodden tropes, some that even bend into cliche, but there was genius in what he did as well, flawed though it may have been.

        The man behind it all. I think we can agree that his vision was the nexus of everything here. But if what I’ve been reading around forums is correct, then it’s a shame really that the anime didn’t get to see Kamishoda-san’s vision unto its true end, given that from what I’m hearing (correct me if I’m wrong) the light novels have either just ended, or are soon to end in a few months. Another cour might’ve been nice- although trust Kamishoda and Okada to tweak a premature ending into being satisfying nonetheless…

        If what you said was accurate for original material she has worked on, you may very well be right, though.

        Hanasaku Iroha (Her premier original work to date) was more slice-of-life than rom-com. The overarching plot tried to be a mature, coming of age tale and whenever it tried to be dramatic it did things very well- but these moments were interspersed with the needless shenanigans that are the staple of the slice of life genre- when drama was online it was great, but when it was offline, it felt a lot like Tamayura ~hitotose~, competent but ultimately mundane slice-of-life conventions; I think her unwillingness to go full crazy and just completely dump genre conventions did end up holding the show back in many people’s eyes…

      2. @ junglepenguin

        I’ll get to it eventually! I just have a rather, uhm, substantial backlist, and Japan never does me the favour of slowing down enough to clear the sucker out. How rude!

        @ Zen

        The light novels are going to finish shortly, at volume 10 (I don’t thiiiiink they’ve been released, but 9 and 10 have been pending for a while, so maybe). That’d give us enough material for an OVA or four to test the waters, and then a 1-cour sequel to finish the series off. I can hope…

    2. I bit off topic but for Hanasaku Iroha it was really the producers that insisted on conventions.

      When P.A works contacted her about writing an anime original project her first proposal was for it to be about a young woman’s first work experience after having gratuated from school, the proposal was rejected and producers asked her for something involving highschool girls. So she came up with highschool girl having to work at an inn. (though they were geishas at some point in the writing process as well)

      1. Lol, what…geishas huh? I guess true creative freedom is hard to come by in anime these days- where even established names like Okada don’t get to do as they please. Although I suppose the reason why many Hollywood directorial names have more freedom is because they usually make sure that they’re the producers for their own movies as well, besides simply mandating/writing the script and directing things to the boot (James Cameron, Peter Jackson, Christopher Nolan)…different bureaucratic dynamics- whereas in the anime industry, no single person tends to have such overwhelming control, and risk-averse, money-grubbing buffoons nigh always vastly outnumber visionaries so guess who wins when creative control is dispersed? Well, not that they win totally, things still turn out good, but by not taking any risks, they destroy any chance of transcendence…

      2. But you have to give P.A. Works a little leeway on Hanasaku Iroha since it was their tenth anniversary show and they kept with something they could pour their soul into but not do something that was outside their comfort zone.

      3. What Zen said. That’s why, strangely enough, a lot of the best shows are actually adaptation – because those had the singular genius of a passionate artist behind them, whereas for originals it’s so often dispersed throughout many others. Which makes it a miracle that shows like Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann and Madoka managed to happen at all, or rather, at the level they did.

      4. Well Okada was contacted by P.A works to work on their 10th anniversary project back in 2008 shortly after True Tears ended and P.A works wanted to work with her again (remember folks, animes are not made overnight!) so she wasn’t quite that well known at the time.

        Also even when there’s people in anime given a real creative license they tend to be directors,not screenwriters and Okada’s worked with some of them but in those cases it’s very much a collaboration.

        Take Aquarion Evol, that Aquarion franchise is Kawamori’s baby and he’s also a high up at satelight so he’s got plenty of control over the show, he hired Okada late in the preproduction process because he wanted to work with her but there was already a story written though some changes were made after Okada joined.
        When he hired her to work on AKB0048 he had already come up with the setting and character designs were already done before there was a script and Okada was asked to write something based on those.

        Or take Sayo Yamamoto, TMS gave this young female director full creative control to do what she wanted with the Lupin franchise, she decided she wanted to work with Okada, so you could say the show is a collaboration between the two of them.

        Okada’s one of the rare screenwriters known enough to cast a shadow on the director she works with,that’s already quite something

        Hell,just look at Sakurasou,all you ever hear about is Okada,hardly anyone mentions director Atsuko Ishizuka who is quite talented herself , JC staff were lucky to get her “on loan” from Madhouse, she worked on a few shows at madhouse but never really anything close to a light novel adaptation like Sakurasou, she was more known as an “art house” director.
        Take this music video she directed or this mindscrew scene from the Aoi Bungaku episodes she directed.
        I’m sure she’ll be a name to watch out for in the future.

  11. Well, we all know that sooner or later Sorata and Shiina will start a relationship, just read the LN. Im just a little sad that they didn’t show the passionate kiss.
    Anyway, it was a great show with many up and downs.

  12. Woot at Rita kissing Dragon.
    Woot at Jin kissing Misaki. (Dragon still traumatized by losing his first kiss he had to be carried by Sorata. XD )
    Woot at Sorata kissing…… OMG Hikari, GTFO!

    Overall, this is a good show, just hope those 2ch rightwing fags in Japan don’t jeopardize a second season by sabotaging its BD sales (as seen by how they were spamming the BD’s Amazon Japan page reviews) for its ridiculously perceived “Korean pandering”.

  13. No surprise for the reason Hauhau’s little brother got exiled to Sakurasou (peeking in the girl’s dorm bathroom on his first day).

    Though it was wise for Okada Mari to put aside for now the true reason for Kanna’s decision to move into Sakurasou – the dorm of “outcasts”, as the truth is simply too explosive (in a comedic way) and requires more time to explore, which is not possible now as we’re already in the last episode.

      1. A second series is dependent on its BD/DVD sales.

        If it ever gets licensed, please do support their BD/DVD sales.

        If you’re fluent in Japanese, please directly support their Japan BD/DVD sales.

        That’s the only way to counter these 2ch rightwing fags’s attempt at sabotaging the series’ BD/DVD sales due to their delirious nationalistic crusade against this wrongly perceived “Korean bias” show simply because the graduation ceremony didn’t feature a Flag of Japan or the national anthem.

  14. Stilts, you ever consider doing a separate blog on inspirational writing? The stuff you’ve done here is as good as some of the best out there, IMO.

    Even though the ending felt like one that winded down, it was essentially like watching the sun set on certain aspects of Sakurasou, yet seeing it rise on new beginnings with parts of it unchanged – Misaki moving next door, Aoyama still with the family and Mashiro being…Mashiro. Love it with how the writer set an open-ended ending there. There will probably be no lack of imagining on the parts of Sakurasou fans as to how the future days will pan out, especially so for the Aoyama/Sorata/Mashiro triangle. Fantastic scene with Jin and Misaki, loved/hated the part with jealous neko jumping in, and absolutely loved how Rita handled Dragon and Maid. You go girl!

    It has been a wild ride, and when I first started I had to admit there weren’t high hopes for the show. By episodes 3 and 4, however, I got hooked. The emotional rollercoaster ride had begun and never quite stopped for me after that. Watching the characters struggle, go through their various challenges, stumbling, failing, picking themselves up, succeeding in their own ways, changing and giving it all they’ve got etc. Just as I’ve believed earlier, one of the winning formulas of the show was its ability to relate to the human heart and soul. Though we might not be as crazy as the Sakurasou family or have the same kinds of struggles, the various themes of the show resonates with what’s in the hearts of many deeply yet retains the fun and incredulity of anime. So many moments that lifted me up whenever I felt down in regards to my dreams.

    Of course, I also had the temptation to compare this to the Key rollercoasters, but the drama was different. The characters were different. The humor was different and the nature of Sakurasou compared to the Key shows was essentially different. In a nutshell (perhaps I overgeneralize), it felt like shows such as Kanon and Clannad impacted mostly on human emotion, while Sakurasou felt more inspirational, almost as though it was holding up a ‘Do something, Chase your dreams!’ signboard throughout the entire series. 🙂

    Even with the flaws (parts of overdramatizing evident), it just felt there were no serious schisms in the flow of storytelling.

    To conclude, it would be fantastic to have a second season. But to be given the space to imagine what the lives of these wonderful characters that have brought me through such an amazing journey is equally awesome, if not more.

    What color do you want to be? Anything we want it to be, Mashiro, as long as it takes us to where our dreams lie.

    1. Ahhh, thank you. No, I had not considered that! Though I doubt it will happen…not because it doesn’t sound fun, but because any time I’m not writing here I devote to my creative endeavors. While inspire I may, I prefer to do it as Sakurasou has – by telling a wonderful story.

      Hopefully. Maybe, just maybe, you all we be able to tell me whether that’s the case some day… ; )

  15. Thank you for covering Stilts! Not much I can add to your great post and everyone’s comments… I truly looked forward each week to watching this series as well as read your review and everyone’s comments! Thanks everyone. Now to wait on the next great romcom!!!

  16. Knew it, the final was bullshit. Another series that ends pointlessly with no conclusion; Nanami is back, the imouto is in, Misaki-senpai is a next door neighbor and no resolution in the love triangle.

    Sadly, I wasted my time the first sixteen weeks of this show. Enough of this kind of series for me.

    Syaoran Li
  17. Ended alot better than expected. For a minute there I thought they were going to abruptly pair up Mashiro and Sorata when Sorata’s feelings weren’t quite clear yet. Its clearly shown he has special feelings for both Nanami and Mashiro. He does have an attachment to Mashiro after takeing care of her for 1 year but also has an attachment to Nanami because when it comes ot achieving their goals they are very close to each other as they are basically on the same level. Mashiro eventhough she has issues she is too perfect when achieving something to the extent of the person helping her easily feels disheartened.

      1. Sorry Stilts, I’m new to this, and thank you for hiding it behind the “Spoiler”.

        Anway, regarding the relationships Sorata has with Mashiro and Nanami are clear ond obvious. That is all I wanted to say.

  18. I’m Ok with this ending. Boy, first Psychopass, then Shin Sekai Yori, now Sakurasou. We’re getting very good endings. After this episode… It really makes everything that has happened “fulfilled.” Nothing was lost. I was so wrapped up in the romance part… I couldn’t imagine how this could end well for one side AND the other… And I forgot how they could pull this ending off, which I think it’s a gecko ending as well because the LN made it more certain of who Sorata chose. But this was the best possible closure to the story they could give, and boy did the writer nail it over the head perfectly with a sledge hammer of epicness. I think this episode seals the deal for a nomination for “Romance Comedy of the Year.” Of course, we’ll have to see how J.C. Staff handles HenNeko in the spring as well as all the other Romance Comedies… But this is the kind of Anime that was so well written and pulled off that it would be difficult to top it. Very difficult. 10/10.

    1. Totally agree with all the recent good endings this has been a really satisfying season of shows. Nothing worst then a abrupt or crap end to a good show but glad Sakurasou pulled through.

    2. A good ending indeed! Even so, I’m hesitant to proclaim it a Best of quite yet. We still have three more seasons to go through, and who knows what we might find there? Though I did call Ano Natsu de Matteru out as best romance after Winter 2012, so maybe there’s something there : )

  19. After watching the end of Shin Sekai Yori, I needed this. That was a great way to end it with closures, leave taking, romantic gestures, arrivals, and humor. It looks like they stayed close to the LN and left it open for another season, though from what I’ve read it wasn’t clear if Nanami had returned in the LN (but I’m glad she did). I was expecting Rita to blindside Ryuu with the kiss but that was epic (I cheered). The recap at the end was also nice to see. Great characters and I’ll miss them. Hopefully we’ll see them again soon.

    May your color, whatever it is, turn out to be bright.

  20. Just want a comparison. Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo and Little Busters….which anime is better? Both seems to have same genres which are comedy, romance and school. Although Little Busters have not yet end but soon, quite relevant to compare with Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo right? I don’t know…just finding very good anime to watch currently 🙂

  21. That really was magnificent ending. Seems J.C. Staff learned from Toradora, because this episode was just them taking the time to wrap up all the loose ends and making it a goodbye to old friends. It gave me the fuzzies for sure. Not to mention the Days of Dash popping up again.

    This show itself was a big rollercoaster ride, and I loved it for it. It turned out to be way better than I expected and it really was one of my favourite shows this last half year (has it been so long? Damn). I’ll miss it, really, watching this during every Tuesday lunch. These characters really grew on me, and it was a joy watching them grow and develop throughout the show. Though the show did stumble at times – with ridiculous fanservice eps, or characters acting stupid during the Misaki-Jin arc – I do feel that it’s a show that’s way bigger than the sum of its parts, and I can forgive those problems compared to the overall impression it left on me. They really made something special here.

    Also thanks to you, Stilts, for covering this from the beginning. Reading your posts was just as much a recurring ritual as watching the show itself was. Your thoughts and analyses really nailed the show’s essence, and they were a joy to read. *bows*

    1. Thank you.

      And yes, I’m glad that J.C.Staff (and this production team in particular) learned from Toradora. My one true fear about this show, which I held since the very beginning, and they stuck the landing flawlessly. Bravo!

  22. At first, I was skeptical when they decide to get a pervert into Sakurasou, then I realise Sakurasou is for all that are not “normal”. Well, great show, but still don’t give me enough vibes like Toradora, maybe I am just one that prefer old shows more.

    1. To me, this almost must be compared to the first 2/3’s of Toradora. A lot of what stuck with me from that show was in the resolutions at the end, and without that, Sakurasou doesn’t have as good of romantic chops. Yet when we go for the other themes it wove in, Sakurasou dominates. As a pure comedy, it still holds the potential to surmount its spiritual successor…but only if we get another season to finish it off. As is, it is great in different ways.

  23. Like it ! especially when Jin decided to marry Misaki when he come back from Osaka (Even though Misaki submit the marriage proporsal before Jin return, lol). Quite disappointed because Shina and Sorata didn’t kiss, but it end well. Perhaps, this is why I always love romance, the emotion, drama, conflict and everything ! Thank you for blogging this series Stilts 😀

  24. So we have come a full circle, Kouhai-kun has become Senpai, Misaka and Jin are married, and new generation of weirdos came to Sakurasou!
    All the kisses, and one near-kiss were great fun, and the main triangle is not entirely resolved… Leaving competing ships to sail away into the sunset exchanging broadsides!
    While the romcom is very strong with Sakurasou, I am afraid there are some very strong contenders for the title of romcom of the year, in the form of both OreShura and Haganai, both of them tackling theme of first steps into romantic world by cast of weirdos and socially unfitting…
    Where Sakurasou shines more, is in the drama section dedicated to theme of talent and hard work, and their role in creative art. I think people will be always arguing about the degree success depends on both of those factors, but I think it is almost always a mix of those 2, never singularly one of them…
    But when you ask me what I liked the most from the series, is that warm, optimistic feeling that leaves you smiling on a dark, cold winter night.
    Thank you creators, for Sakurasou, thank you for coverage, Stilts!

    1. But when you ask me what I liked the most from the series, is that warm, optimistic feeling that leaves you smiling on a dark, cold winter night.

      Here here. At the end of the day, it’s the feeling that matters, and Sakurasou brought forth some great ones.


  25. I never felt like the male personalities of Sakurasou acted out of character. Jin established early on that sometimes you can feel two ways about the same thing. This anime did a great job of building on that principle in my opinion.

    Mari Okada’s work is often called out for “over drama” or “forced drama” even when people like the results. I can’t help but feel like the anime fandom has been trained to see certain things as bad even when they aren’t and even when they are liked. I guess it just isn’t cool to like exaggerated anime drama.

    Lovely anime, sad to see it go.

  26. Great ending to a great series. I’m glad that this show took its strong points (i.e. characters) and gave each and every one of them a happy ending!

    This episode was great, and they managed to wrap up all the relationships between the characters. For a two-cour series, this show managed to model extremely complete characters. In fact, the characters in this show could compare with Hyouka or Toradora. Fantastic work by Mari Okada, and hopes that she adapts more similar series (or just make a season two).

    All that should be said has already been said by Stilts (I don’t know how can you write so much in so little time!), and thank you Stilts for providing such great episodic reviews punctually!

    This show was fantastic, and the six months that I spent following this show finally came to an end. Gonna miss this show so much!

    Oh yeah, and 「DAYS of DASH」 is super awesome! So happy to see its reappearance this episode!

    1. …said by Stilts (I don’t know how can you write so much in so little time!), and thank you Stilts for providing such great episodic reviews punctually!

      Masochism, pride in a job well done, and a complete inability to shut the hell up even when I’m tired and would like to be finished. Which might feed back into that pride thing. And practice too? Yeah, that hard work has to come in there somewhere, eh?

      Thank you *bows*

  27. A fitting end for a great anime. Finally Rita is getting her reward with that full on kiss!

    And since the light novel is still ongoing, I guess there is a hope for season two?

  28. I can’t really explain it, but when Sorata revealed his latest game concept as a horror mansion thriller, I couldn’t help but break out laughing. I immediately thought to the recent boom in horror indy games like Slender, House of Horrors, and Amnesia.

  29. Yes, yes, yes to your “love should be secondary” talk. We are our best at being ourselves when we are pursuing or have accomplished our goals and dreams. Finding love is about being comfortable with who you are and what you do AND findingsomeone that naturally fits in your life and accepts you for who are, flaws and all. Love is absolutely not a prize for those who work hard, though its still fun to watch in movies and tv, partly because it gives us hope for the future….

    1. Agreed. It is a wonderful, beautiful thing when found and deeply shared, but it cannot compensate for the shattering of a dream. Better to pursue the dream while young, because it’s easy to find love when you can’t help but shine.

  30. RE. EP 24/Ending: LOL at Ryuu falling for Rita’s obvious trick. I very seldom like anime deviations from source material, but I must agree that was a very good decision by the director/writers to leave their kiss until the end. Ryuu x Rita (x Miedo-chan) came from a long shot to become my favorite couple of the show. Just too cute. Hikari (cat)’s jealously was a great little comedic moment – totally didn’t expect that.

    While I much prefer a “happy” ending over the alternative (i.e. Sakurasou closed down, relationships strained, etc.), I was surprised at just how nice and neat everything was wrapped up. Literally, other than who Sorata ends up with (shipping for Sorata x Hikari and Mashiro x Namami :P), every issue was resolved favorably. Glad to see Nanami back, but to do so in such a quick, easy manner left me feelling like all of the past drama over her leaving was a bit of a troll. The fact she even could return alone was a huge bonus for Nanami fans and would have been enough for me. Sorata’s sister actually passed as her test number was inverted? OK… Masaki had to file the marriage certificate since Jin giving it to her (nice touch there IMO) after kissing her evidently just wasn’t enough. Though pleasant to watch, all in all, I found the ending a too formalistic.


    Sakurasou really surprised me. It’s not the type/genre of anime I typically watch, but I liked the character designs in the PV and the premise seemed interesting so I gave it a shot. It must have done something right because 24 eps later, I’m still watching.

    Probably the most surprising thing was that Sakarasou was able to elicit a strong emotional response from me. Not because “real men don’t cry/show emotion/etc.”, but early on the show seemed to be primarily a Rom-Com – Sorata taking care of a highly talented, cute, yet oblivious in some aspects Mashiro (i.e. daily life skills), Masaki’s over-the-top antics, and Maid-chan’s viper tongue. Yet slowly, even stealthily, the show become more serious culminating (for me) with Nanami’s breakdown. That scene really struck home as a real life scenario in which a lot people could relate.

    Although I also thought the show stumbled at times with forced drama, like Stilts I also thought those scene still worked for the most part. At times I was frustrated by the lack of progression in the relationships as well. Yet Sakarasou as a whole managed to overcome its flaws and deliver a quality LN adaption which IMO sets itself apart and above most mainstream anime. I am impressed by the show’s ability to present serious RL subjects without becoming overly dark or dramatic all the time. As a result of watching Sakarasou, I’m now reconsidering watching some shows that I previously decided to skip.

    1. Housewife Misaki really iced the ending. She’s become my favorite genki character and I didn’t think anyone would ever top Minorin.

      The one character who’s overreaction to things took away from the story was Sorata. If they had toned down the yelling and reactions (such as when Mashiro asked for a kiss) it would have made his really dramatic moments (and even the comedic ones) stand out.

      Mashiro x Nanami and Sorata x Hikari? Yes! Somehow the idea of Sorata shipped with a yandere cat is rather appealing.

  31. Dammit, Ryuunosuke, you lucky bastard! You have NO idea just how f-ing lucky you are!!!!

    The cat cockblock makes me think of Family Guy moments when a random animal would just pounce on someone’s face out of nowhere, lol.

    And Mashiro’s, “Take it off.” Sorry, but, HHHHNNNNNNNNGGGGGGG!!!!!

    1. Sorry, but no. She should only say easily misunderstood things to Sorata! (Or the other girls. They’re fine too.) No love for Hauhau no otouto! Let him go after the freshman girl…I think he’ll have trouble enough trying to win her as is :3

  32. Well rounded ending that’s conclusive, but also gives new opportunities for the future. As dramatic as everything has been, one can’t help but be sometimes captivated at what happens as it is a keen reminder of what we should be pursuing in our lives. A joy to watch through the anime, and thanks for putting in the effort and writing these posts!

  33. As for the out of character over drama or forced drama and why it’s so likable in the show is because of Mari Okada composition skills. She’s also doing AKB0048 and that show is off the wall but thoroughly enjoyable, also tempest is another show this season that she also adapted and that has fantastic overdrama, insanley gripping and addictive. She definitely has a knack balancing what is needed to progress story but enough drama to make it more exciting. The fact she has 3 shows this seasona and all insanely rollercoaster rides, this was a good season.

    a lot of things can go wrong in a JC staff adaptation but this is one work that really benefit from her experience at screenplays and adaptations.

    As for Sakurasou it’s definitely a great fitting end to a nice series. It shall be missed. I wanted a Sorata and Mashiro kiss though 🙁

  34. I honestly think this was one of, if not THE best anime finale I have ever seen. It had everything I wanted and everything it needed (Days of Dash!, all the flashbacks and most emotional and significant lines…I have never seen that before and I was on the verge of tears). It pieced everything together but left the future wide open. And best of all, even though I’m so sad to see it end, at the same time I am just indescribably satisfied. It really doesn’t need anything more (but hey if JC Staff gives us some, I wont complain!).

    Unlike most anime that just make me cry or smile when they are over, SakuraPet did both AND left me with so many things. It taught me. It changed me. It made me realize things I never even considered before, and not a lot of shows do that, especially so thoroughly. I am going to miss SakuraPet so much, but the lessons it taught me will stay with me always.

    Thanks so much for your insightful and amazing writing for my favorite series of Fall/Winter season, Stilts Onii-san!

  35. Just saw the last episode, and I accept it as an end – or a beginning… ToraDora, meet your current champion. Fin – except:

    Real Show Spoiler ▼


    Other than that, splendid, splendid. Well done, bravo!

    1. No effort, honestly offered and generously expended, is a waste. Just as Nanami’s last two years were not a waste, neither were those of the cast and crew. If even for just a few more smiles – which they certainly earned from me at least – it was worth it.

      1. But…but…*drops to knees, head in hands, forehead to floor, rolls side-to-side*

        It was definitely worth the journey. Do you think Mashiro told Sorata’s sister there was no room in the painting to get her used to rejection early on???

  36. I was ultimately disappointing (after being fairly mad) at the sorata/mashiro kiss scene. I don’t want to conflate immaturity of the characters and immaturity of the show. Because yes, the characters are still immature and the show wasn’t afraid of showing that (the idiot ball moments which I typically did not have a problem with unlike most) but it was fairly good at maturely dealing with the characters immaturity (why these moments of “forced drama” ultimately worked in the context of the show). But in this instance the show dealt with this relationship immaturely. Because it took the easy way out (I’m even tempted to say innocent). I mean, the show and the characters actually switched places in this instance. Sorata and Mashiro pretty much were like, “thanks plot, you just fucked that up.” For me, it was a natural progression of everything that happened in the show and this was a real case of forcing a different direction. And that isn’t to say that the show forced Sorata and Mashiro’s relationship to remain unclear. They could’ve kissed and still not had some clear understanding of where they stood! Maybe I just want to have my cake and eat it too (as a Sorata and Nanami shipper), because that scene was adorable and perfect and the entire time I’m going “please don’t undercut it with a silly gag” because the show has, well, shown that it’s better at handling the characters and their actions and how they feel. It just seems they placed too much emphasis on what those two kissing would ultimately mean, and maybe other watchers would ultimately have gotten the wrong sense of what the kiss meant (or even go the route stilts posited with a dating and a break up). Besides that, I definitely enjoyed the episode even if it placed too much emphasis on revisiting key dramatic moments of the season for my taste. I was also disappointed with the decision to have Misaki move next door (showing up for the hot pot? I’m ok with). I don’t know, it set up this idea of moving on quite succintly in last week’s episode and, once again, undercut it (and having Sorata point it out doesn’t make it any better, it was still a cowardly move).

    All those complaints aside, it was a great season and I did enjoy the last episode even if it was fairly imperfect in my eye (probably a “B” if I had to grade it). But congrats on being a big enough tease that I desperately want a second season! Make it happen!

  37. I’m really glad I dropped this mid-season only to marathon it at the end. Those FEELS, man. They pile up way harder if you watch the episodes back to back. It’s AMAZING. I cried a lot.

  38. Listening to Days of Dash again at the end just reminded me how much more I enjoyed the first half of the show. I think they really kicked up the the melodrama into high gear for the 2nd half and that really bogged down the show for me. Despite the flaws, Sakurasou’s theme on one working towards their dream made it different from an average romcom and hit really close to home for me. I gave up art because I totally lost my confidence at one point, but Sakurasou has become part of my motivation to pursue my goal for art again.

    Hopefully, the series will continue with another season or OVAs because a lot more content is in store from the light novel ;).

  39. Curse this series for toying with me like this! I stopped watching it some seven or so episodes ago because it was clear that it was going to give Nanami her bad ending, and then they turn around and defy all the spoilers I saw by bringing her back anyway. Yeah, that’s exactly what SHOULD HAVE HAPPENED, but did it happen that way in the novels? Because none of the novel materal I’ve heard about mentions it. And if not, WHY NOT?! Being convinced that she was heading home for good and never be able to follow the kind of life she would want has had me depressed about this series for weeks.

    1. Whoops. They gotcha, didn’t they? ; ) I think it’s a high compliment that the story was able to effect you so, and still pull off the story that had to happen…effecting you even more there at the end. What a ride!

    1. I’ll probably be a bit off on this, but it’s when Sorata gets flustered and loses his cool. When his sister says her number was up up on the list and he blurts out, to paraphrase, ‘If you say the number was upside down, I’m not related to you!’. Another time, Mashiro offered him some food from her plate as a ‘gift’, and he shot back ‘You just don’t want to eat it!’. Something like that. Acting reserved, then losing your cool might be a way to describe it. Am I close, people?

      1. Yeah your examples were good. Tsukkomi is the “straight man” in a Manzai comedy team. Tsukkomi is the straight man “butting in” and correcting the funny ones errors or berating him for saying something dumb. With Sorata it’s all the cracks he makes when he reacts to a remarks someone makes that he considers outrageous. Never could figure out if he always said those to himself or outloud.

  40. I was really scared that this would turn into a harem from the first episode (that scene with Misaki sleeping in Sorata’s bed). I am so glad that I was so wrong because this anime easily turned into the best I’ve watched this year. I do hope for a second season; and Stilts, your words definitely captured all the flaws and beauty of this anime. Thank you!

  41. Great series. Can we expect a second season? I know Jin’s encouraging Nanami not to give up on Sorata but personally, I’m still rooting for Sorata x Mashiro tandem – I want to see their relationship blossom further. After all, Sorata did declare his love for her though I’m not sure if Mashiro heard it in Episode 22. And after Mashiro kissed Sorata on the cheek, she did say “A reservation for later.”

    However, if a ever a second season does happen, I’m looking forward to Sorata and Nanami’s “working” relationship as they develop their talents further. Sorata as a game designer and Nanami as a voice actress. It would be nice to see the fruits of their labor finally pay off.

    It would also be fun to see how Rita and Ryuunosuke progresses with their relationship as well probably with Kanna and Iori.

  42. I think it ended quite nicely enough that season 2 is not needed anymore, the one I wanted to see is a look in the future, like Natsuiro Kiseki’s OVA.

    And also if there will be a second season, there will be a new generation of characters in Sakurasou, aside from our beloved cast.

  43. this anime is ended very well… WHY? aside from wrapping all conflicts from previous episodes into a fine wrapper, IT WAS ENDED IN A OPEN WAY… what open way? it means, it can be continued once light novel volumes 9 and 10 is out (which is so far only volume 9 is currently out)

    so guys, season 2 is not IMPOSSIBLE.

    sakurasou is a formidable foe of little busters for best anime of the season. for anime of the year, well both LB! and sakurasou faces good animes from previous season so its to early to say…

    the anime makes a good impact on my personalty because i realate to sorata so if i were to vote now, i vote sakurasou for anime of the season.

  44. Everything I wanted to say, and anything I could say has already been said in Stilts incredibly awesome yet long post.

    Stilts thank you for the input and thought provoking questions and statements you have been making throughout your coverage of this series. You have now brought a new loyal follower of randomc into the mix. I had seen this site around, and visited rarely to see what anime you were doing. When I saw that were covering Muv-Luv: Total Eclipse, I came on and off to check it. Though when I saw that you were covering Sakurasou, I followed it because I loved the series from the start. The presence the show exuded was fantastic, and the journey that I went through watching it is something I will always keep. Though what made it even better was to read the thoughts of someone who saw the same things, but had different thoughts about it. You always write in a way that seems like you’re talking to us, and sharing your own thoughts and true feelings. Though you are my favorite writer on randomc, I have started to keep up with all the other writers as well.

    I just wanted to thank you,


    1. I’m glad to hear that! Of all the ways to get new readers, this is my favorite – sharing an honest experience with you, and coming out all the happier for the interaction. This comment made me smile, as I hope my posts did for you. I look forward to more of the same for a long time to come!

  45. Best anime that ended so far and I like this one better than Shin Sekai Yori or Psycho Pass. (to be clear, I don’t mean it in a negative way as SSY and PP are good enough but…)
    I just love stories like this that tackles on the very essence of life.

  46. Though I think Shin Sekai Yori had the best ending of the season, Sakurasou runs a close second for me just for being so fulfilling. I loved the director’s decision to use clips from the show to Days of Dash and totally agree with your statement on its effect. Misaki’s line during the pause in the ending sequence also echoes the fact that her character received a lot of attention and development in the second half of the series. For such a generic anime series, the ending was executed in the most satisfying way possible and with the fans in mind.

  47. After Episode 13 aired, I just hope this anime adaption could end with story from volume 8 of Light novel.Too bad the latter half just drag on with drama issue.

    Let imagine what would happen if my hope come true.Sakurasou could be one of the best rom-com that end with high note.Whatever happened, happened.This anime still be the best rom-com of this season.

  48. That slight silence before “EYES to EYES” makes this shot: https://randomc.net/image/Sakurasou%20no%20Pet%20na%20Kanojo/Sakurasou%20no%20Pet%20na%20Kanojo%20-%2024%20-%20Large%2053.jpg
    even more powerful.

    And maybe it’s just me, but in the final painting skit
    Show Spoiler ▼

    Maybe LN readers can share some info bits about this conjecture.

  49. And the award for best cockblocker goes to…drumroll please…..Hikari the cute jealous cat!!!

    By the way, I have survived your onslaught of nostalgia Sakurasou, not a single tear was shed today, but there was a lot of smiles given.

    This ending was the best so far out of the shows I’ve watched this season.Unlimited:Kyosuke Hyobu’s was decent while Robotic’s;Notes dropped the ball and I didn’t ever expect that to happen.

    I think everything wrapped up nicely.Lol@the people in the airport cheering RitaxRyu on.I think they were watching the goodbyes because I didn’t see anybody move.

    Also, Yuuko is the best troll imouto ever hands down, I would love to see a sequel now that she’s moved in <3.

  50. A great show, to be sure. I’ve quite enjoyed it- and the themes speak strongly to me. But rather than point out the opportunities to be had, they only highlight my own failures.

    I want to create. But I also want to be able to pay my rent and eat every day. The two don’t often seem to line up. I love my job, but it’s very exhausting and pulls long hours. I’m usually braindead once I get home- so there’s no creative spark.

    I think the main reason why I’ve liked this anime so much was that- in fiction, at least- I can see success.

    Don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade, but- until I manage to see success with my very own eyes, I’m forever a negative nancy. You avoid a lot of disappointment if you’ve never had high hopes in the first place.

    1. My creative endeavors (writing here among them) don’t pay – right now. Maybe ever, though I intend to try. I do have a paying job in the meantime, though. How do I find the time? Well, I do it after. That and I found a job I could do where, after work was done, I would still have enough energy to create.

      Small steps, that’s the ticket. If you don’t have the time to create now, first you need to make a space for it. Surprisingly, exercise is great for this – when the body is stronger, the mind is stronger too. Some exercise early in the day will leave your mind singing with energy.

      Above all though, you have to not only make a decision to create, but actually do it. Words don’t mean a damn if they aren’t backed up by action. Long ago, I wrote the following thing on my desk, and every time I sit here – every single time! – it stares at me. Here’s what it says:

      “If you won’t work at your dream when the going gets tough, it’s not a dream. It’s a hobby.”

      If it’s a hobby, that’s fine. But if it’s not, make the space for it and do it. Anything less is just talk.

  51. Shows like these are what make me proud to be an anime fan. Most of my friends are not, sadly, and they are really missing out. People often underestimate the lessons we can learn from beautifully told stories. They can offer us an escape from the stress of reality but they can also offer us a new perspective on it as well. Reality/real life is going to knock you down, no doubt about it, but what’s important is how you choose to get back up. I’ve never been one to take risks and as they say: “you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the ones you did.” And of course, I have no regrets on my decision to watch Sakurasou! I hope I have the courage to pursue my dreams like these remarkable characters. Thanks for covering this show Stilts! As usual, your words inspire me to be myself and find my passion.

    1. I think you raise a very good point. Anime is simply a medium for telling a story, just like live action TV/film, or even traditional books. Just because something is done in anime format (or LN/manga for that matter) doesn’t necessarily make it any worse than the same story told via live action TV/film.

      IMO, each type of media lends itself to a particular type of story. Some stories are better told by books, some by live action TV/film and, yes, some by anime (or LN/manga for that matter). Unfortunately as you point out, mainstream bias is hard to overcome.

      1. And some stories just “work” in one media and fail in another. Sometimes it’s the injection of something that may be lacking in one version that is enhanced in another. If I had read Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai! first I might not have watched the anime. The story that made it to the screen has only a passing resemblance to the wonderful anime that I watched. Sometimes the ability to see someones reaction makes a difference in how you interpret a scene and sometimes it’s the interior dialog that is tough to translate into a visual representation that gets lost. It might have been bad acting and direction, but when I’ve watched some live action adaptations (Kimi ni Todoke, Honey and Clover) I was shocked at how the live action just didn’t capture what I remembered of the anime.

    2. Very true, very true! Anime is just one medium, and the absolute best for some stories. Take giant mecha – in almost any other medium they just don’t work as well as they do in anime (or manga)! Well–at least not at anything like the same production costs, and without the risk of Michael Bay getting involved *shuddered*

      In the end though, it’s all about stories. A good story told well can shine in many mediums, and if you are willing to look for it, you’ll find more the more mediums you’re willing to sample. ‘Tis a shame for those who cannot do as much.

  52. Thanks for the long, well-constructed review Stilts. I really enjoyed the ride with your weekly impression as a side dish. It certainly helped me enjoyed the series more when I had didn’t like the series at some point.

    This might be off-topic but, I’ve been diagnosed with depression and anxiety after losing my parents (both mum and dad) and failing my courses non-stop. I’m currently living in a life of nothingness as I have no goals or future in mind.
    However, I would like to say that this series and your words gave me hopes to find a new path for my future. It really encouraged me to stand up and take a step forward and not backward.

    This might sound random but I just want to let you know that your writings have really inspired me and it really helped me a lot compared to other “motivational” and “cheering” things I have listened/read before.

    Anyway, once again, thank you for the review/impression and hope you will write for an interesting series on next season.

    1. Glad to hear I was of service. If there’s one thing I’ve learned – and this show echoed it – it’s that even when life is shitty, even if you fail horribly, if you tried your best to do something great, you’ll come out the other side (eventually, eventually!) feeling great. That means there’s one key to everything:

      You have to try.

  53. Sakurasou did a great job on keeping my mind occupied.

    When my friend recommended Sakurasou, I admit I was a bit nervous at the start because I thought this would be a harem-like anime like Mayoi Neko Overrun, which I highly recommend, although not as much romance in.

    Anyway, the ending left something missing inside me that screams ” Season 2 ” because of the Deep Storyline that progresses throughout the anime. Overall This terrific anime made me feel sad to the verge of tears as other anime I watched haven’t given me that opportunity, save SAO, which, IMO, has a better love story, although SAO’s storyline might be a bit mainstream IMO.

    But Sakurasou took us on a journey wherein dreams can come true if you work hard.
    Personally I would go for Sorata x Nanami ship but it does show that Sorata likes Mashiro on a higher scale. I also dislike the part wherein Nanami doesn’t tell Sorata how she truly feels but that’s just me.

    Also the ending, IMO, leaves much to be desired because I feel that as some new characters have arrived and all the couples just waiting to blossom, a new season would be for the best as it would take us through another emotional rollercoaster and another storyline featuring two new characters, altough it would be a bit different than the cast we have come to love.

    Anyway, Thanks Stilts for this writing about this Awesome Show! It touched me all the way, through all the episodes. Although a season 2 would be nice.

  54. Really hoping that they will announce a secon season soon -finger crossed-. This anime is by far the best romance/comedy/drama I’ve ever seen and goddammit more Mashiro and Sorata pls <3. Anyway, just keep hoping because this anime is the best!


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