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Sakura Trick – 03 »« Sakura Trick – 01

Sakura Trick – 02

「もうひとつの桜色/放課後はハリーちゃんと♡」 (Mou Hitotsu no Sakurairo / Houkago wa Harii-chanto)
“Another Sakura Color / After School With Hari-chan”

This episode was both epic-level kawaii and totally hot. Kissing, kissing, and more kissing!

She’s Jealous, Isn’t She? Isn’t She? Isn’t She!?

Last week’s preview made me suspect that we’d get some movement from another couple, and boy was I right! I picked up pretty early on that the reason why Shizuku (Igarashi Hiromi) was mad wasn’t because of the kiss, but because Kotone (Aisaka Yuuka) didn’t mention her in her reasons for liking her house. And backing up for a second, they’re living together!? Suddenly this is like Chu2koi, except with more development from all of the couples, ZING!

In all seriousness, yuri kisses. Just…yes. And the fact that their kissing got Yuu in the mood just upped the ante another amazing level. The essence of good comedy is in defying expectations, but it works well for relationship-focused stories as well.

Haruka no Ecchi

One of the best things about this show is watching Haruka’s reactions to yuri activity. While many yuri characters seem like they’re playing around, Haruka strikes me as openly and unabashedly gay, and it’s hilarious to watch her react to anything that gets her fancy going. Her being jealous about Yuu-chan is great, but it’s when others are shocked and she’s excited that I crack up! I like it, it’s refreshing – rather than beating around the bush and “insinuating”, she’s pretty clearly a lesbian. It’s nice for a yuri show to be clear about this for once.

Best. Study. Session. Ever.

No, not the one with Hari-chan, though Yuu falling asleep on Haruka was pretty adorable. And no, not the volleyball one, because seriously, where are the spats? (I know not to ask for bloomers anymore, sadly.) The one I’m talking about is the glorious, wonderful, and ecchi one that took place after all of those.

I haven’t figured out Yuu yet, to be honest. While Haruka is unabashedly gay for Yuu-chan, Yuu shows signs of being not that interested, like maybe she doesn’t mind but it’s not really her thing, and then she asks for more and kisses Haruka on the cheek. Is she a tsundere? Is Yuu-chan a soft tsundere? Because that would be marvelous. Hell, it already is.

Looking Ahead – Can They Keep This Up?

My big question about this series is this – how will it hold up when the blistering pace of new kisses recedes? New as in new couples, not as in new situations from the ones we’ve already seen, because I’m pretty sure those are going to keep going. So far so good though! So far very good.

Related: Show picked up. Screw it – a yuri season is a good season!

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – More kisses! Another couple gets their moment while Yuu is all tsundere about kissing Haruka #桜Trick 02

Random thoughts:

  • Haruka, stop shipping all your friends together. That’s our job!
  • Onee-sama!? *nosebleed* As the guy who tells everyone to call him Onii-chan (or nii-sama, or aniki, or nii nii…hint hint), I totally understand!
  • That’s a hedgehog? You’ve really let yourself go, Sonic. Sorry–Sonic-chan.
  • Strip teaching? It’s like that scene in Billy Madison, except for less failure. And less Chris Farley, thankfully/unfortunately.
  • Now you know how us guys feel when we suggest something perverted, Haruka. Welcome to the club!

Check out my blog about storytelling and the fantasy novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: Stupid monsters, Don’t break the chain, Nerds & the miracle of human consciousness, and Urgency & the rush to come. My current combo counter: Writing chain, 6 days long. Editing chain, 0 days long.

Full-length images: 09.

 

Preview

End Card

January 17, 2014 at 1:40 pm
50 comments »
  • January 17, 2014 at 1:45 pmkatsudon

    This show is going to give me diabetes, it’s just so cuteeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. I hope Haruka’s delusion gags don’t just end with this episode though, as they were hilarious. (that, and they should keep blaming Yuzu for everything)

    • January 17, 2014 at 3:36 pmJohnHayabusa

      Another great yurilicious episode! Thank you for making another review of this yurilcious anime, Stilts.

      Lewd kisses
      Spats and a nice rear
      More lewd kisses
      A new yuri couple
      Did I mention more lewd kisses?
      Strip lesson time
      AND more lewd kisses!

      I kind of notice that there is a look-alike of Love Lab’s Maki in one scene. And now the only thing that is missing from making this a perfect yuri show (I think) is a teacher x student couple. Though I do not know if the two teachers will kiss each other eventually.

    • January 17, 2014 at 6:17 pmfragb85

      Yuu summed it up in one statement: MORE! MORE! MORE!

      Bonus points for actually saying it in English.

  • January 17, 2014 at 1:45 pmGiorno Giovanna

    Absolutely loving this show.

    Haruka Tomatsu as Haruka is amazing. Haruka has such a lewd mind, clearly the lewdest one here, especially with how she gets excited around yuri as much as the audience does.

    • January 17, 2014 at 2:19 pmStilts

      It’s good to have an audience surrogate, especially one as gung-ho about it as Tomatoes :3

    • January 17, 2014 at 4:54 pmwxiagz

      Haruka is best ̶m̶̶a̶̶l̶̶e̶ female lead.

    • January 18, 2014 at 12:39 pmGiorno Giovanna

      So no one watches Hunter x Hunter and Sakura Trick here to get the joke I made.
      Interesting. It is at the opposite of the spectrum after all.

  • January 17, 2014 at 1:54 pmRifuloftheWest

    My word the girls in this show are so adorable!

  • January 17, 2014 at 1:54 pmNitro

    Stilts I think you’re thinking a little to hard about Yuu. I think she’s perfectly normal, she only seems off because you’re comparing her to Haruka, who’s completely, hopelessly, off-the-rails perverted :P

    • January 17, 2014 at 2:04 pmStilts

      I wasn’t really being hard on her (or not trying to be), I’m just trying to figure her out. If it’s just a question of whether she likes Haruka or not, she clearly does, but when you factor in sexuality it’s not as certain that she’s a lesbian–or at least, not as much as Haruka. I’m not sure whether she’s gay, bi, or even a straight girl who’s a little confused, though if I were a betting man I’d have her batting for the home team.

      Or the other team? I don’t know the lingo. She likes da girls!

      • January 17, 2014 at 11:58 pmNitro

        I didn’t think you were being too hard on Yuu, but I thought about it a bit more and I see where you’re coming from too.

        The show is particularly vague about exactly where they are on the friends-to-soulmates scale, and it seems Yuu and Haruka see their relationship at different points on that scale. Even in the first episode the furthest the show went to “define” their relationship (not that it needs defining, but for the sake of analysis…) is that it’s an affirmation of their close friendship, and not directly a confession and becoming a couple. As you’ve pointed out Haruka is blatantly ~gay as heck~ and I think she views their relationship as a full-on girlfriend thing, while Yuu is probably a bit more reserved on calling it as such. Either she thinks of it as “friends with kissing benefits”, she’s having trouble coming to terms with her homosexuality, or she just has single-target sexuality (trope!).

      • January 18, 2014 at 8:13 amStilts

        Okay, gotcha. I misread your original comment as hard on Yuu rather than hard about Yuu like you said. Makes more sense now : )

    • January 17, 2014 at 3:27 pmPancakes

      It’s clear now that she at least likes Haruka in some capacity as she does not try to avoid her “advances”, but not what her true orientation is. The ending where Yuu initiated the kissing could very much be physical teenage lust (i.e. liking the feeling of kissing) taking over rather than bisexuality or lesbianism.

      It’s part of why this setting works so well as a yuri show because you expect teenagers to experiment and be consumed by infatuation. There’s no need to question the characters’ orientation because not even they know what they truly like at this point. It’s all about the intimacy and contact.

      No surprise Haruta is such a perv though, girls are as big of perverts as guys, they just hide it better :P

      • January 17, 2014 at 7:54 pmStilts

        Some women. Others aren’t that good at hiding it, let me tell you. It is awesome >:D

    • January 18, 2014 at 2:32 pmTrunkmonkey

      After watching it again, I think Haruka is maybe the kind gay girl that does not see her preference as different than everyone else.
      Sort of like a few of my gay friends that act and believe that everyone is really just like them but just is not aware of it.

      Yuu on the other hand, knows they are different than other girls. She says so several times during each episode. I really Like how that she is not denying or questioning her feelings for Haruka. I think She likes to keep their relationship a little more to themselves.

  • January 17, 2014 at 2:01 pmWanderer

    Related: Picked up. Screw it – a yuri season is a good season!

    Hurray! This is definitely a series I would love seeing done in your style, as this post shows.

    I wouldn’t worry about material. The OP shows several other characters besides the mains, and it looks from the preview like we’ll be meeting one of them next week. I think it will be enough to allow our characters some slice of life interactions and still manage their make-out sessions.

    PS: Haruka no ecchi indeed! Not only is she an unabashed yuri fan who’s delighted at seeing any traces of gayness and who ships all her friends with each other (even the ones who only show mild signs of it), but she’s also got quite an imagination going there. Really girl, those imaginary “study sessions” with Yuu would have been taking your relationship quite a jump ahead, don’t you think? Not that most of us watching would likely object, but still…

    • January 17, 2014 at 2:23 pmStilts

      Thank you! And yes, I wouldn’t mind seeing the girls REALLY play strip-studying. That would be amazing O.O

  • January 17, 2014 at 2:02 pmKinni

    Yes! Stilts is going to blog Sakura Trick! I was a little worried, so this is awesome.

  • January 17, 2014 at 2:06 pmtomtomr92

    • January 17, 2014 at 2:18 pmWanderer

      We see that girl in your first picture in the OP, along with Yuu and Haruka, so I’m pretty sure it’s not Yuu but another girl.

      • January 17, 2014 at 2:38 pmtomtomr92

        ohhh shit ur right, i Rly thought it was Yuu, must be older sister then, she still looks RLY cute tho

  • January 17, 2014 at 2:09 pmMasterDragonKnight

    Mmmm…I knew you were going to pick up this series, Stilts. Listen to your desires heart! ^^

    As a reward, have this GIF.

    • January 17, 2014 at 8:39 pmStilts

      \o/

  • January 17, 2014 at 3:05 pmDvalinn

    Yay, Stilts-aniki is picking this up! My day is complete!

    Moving to the episode, Haruka is hilarious. We’re only two episodes in and she’s already shooting towards the top ranks of best character this season. Her wild imagination and the fact that she’s so fabulously gay are wonderful, and I found myself cracking up quite a bit at her antics. Love how she constantly weirds out the other characters as well, including Yuu.

    And now we have a beta couple. Cousins too, I think. I don’t have quite the feel for them yet as I do for our mains, but that’s just because we haven’t seen enough of them yet. Kinda odd to bring a ‘she’s acting strange’ gag into this as we don’t know much about her to begin with. Ah well. Also found it interesting that the others did think Shizuka was right in getting pissy when they were still under the impression that she acted that way because of the kiss, because it shows they are aware of consent. As in, they’re not in the type of universe where they’re forceful about it and making the other like it all of a sudden. Nope, all conscientious. Makes it all the sweeter. Or maybe I’m reading too much into it.

    The constant shipping of Haruka’s friends is also pretty funny, as they seem to be totally straight so far. Would make a funny running gag if they constantly acted in direct opposite of Haruka’s imagination.

    Welp, Yuu’s sister next week. That could be fun. This is the first show this season that I’m looking forward to each week, so let’s hope they keep this up.

    Because yuri makes everything better!

  • January 17, 2014 at 3:12 pmdaikama

    Glad to see you decided to pick this one up Stilts. :D Should be a fun show to watch and discuss all season.

    2/2 IMO. Lots of air-time left, but there’s something to be said for consistency, well, as much as you can have with two only two episodes. There’s a couple of other shows I’ve watched this season in which the second episode didn’t quite measure up to the first.

    - I picked up pretty early on that the reason why Shizuku (Igarashi Hiromi) was mad wasn’t because of the kiss, but because Kotone (Aisaka Yuuka) didn’t mention her in her reasons for liking her house.

    Ehh? I though she was mad because Kotone didn’t kiss her on the lips the first time… at least that’s the theory I’m going with. XD

    - I haven’t figured out Yuu yet, to be honest.

    I think Yuu’s interested, but also a bit confused/shy/etc. This kind of “close” relationship with Haruka probably isn’t one Yuu anticipated a year or two ago. Best I can phrase it is that Yuu’s in state of adjustment. Plus, compared to Haruka, almost anyone would seem uninterested. Not that I’m complaining.

    I have to admit I’m a bit impressed with the show. There’s more to it than just the ecchi/yuri draw. I LOL’d a few times this episode just like last one. There are some genuinely funny moments in each episode. One gets a real sense of affection/love between the Yuu and Haruka. IMO, the yuri/ecchi scenes come across as sweet rather than sleazy, and while the show is very high in sugary moe content, it doesn’t come across as sickeningly so.

    Finally, agree 100% with Stilts that strip studying would be amazing… I assuming I don’t pass out from blood loss while watching.

    • January 17, 2014 at 8:42 pmStilts

      I agree, the heavily yuri/ecchi scenes aren’t that ecchi in the way we commonly consider such things. They’re naughty because of how the characters feel about it and because they’re friggin’ adorable, not because they’re flashing boob. They’re titillating with their actions instead of their bodies, is what I’m trying to say.

  • January 17, 2014 at 3:16 pmPancakes

    So much kissing, and they have only just introduced couple #2! I seriously think I am going to need to bring an extra drink (or 3) should this keep up, my double of brandy and soda barely lasted me through this week’s episode (yes, BRANDY AND SODA, you only drink high class when watching god’s work).

    As an addition to the Sakura Trick drinking game: if any fondling occurs chug the entire drink in your hand. Why a new rule? Because Yuu-chan now has the hots the Haruka. There be a physical study session coming up soon, guaranteed

    Good man for covering this Stilts, it was too perfect a choice not to :P

    • January 17, 2014 at 8:45 pmStilts

      Brandy and anime?

      *hands Pancakes a trophy* New #1 commenter here, everyone move out of the way, #1 commenter coming through!

  • January 17, 2014 at 3:30 pmTassadar

    See Stilts, I told you back in the Winter Schedule 2014 topic that you are so picking either Saki or Sakura Trick..! Hooray!!

    • January 17, 2014 at 8:47 pmStilts

      Blast, foiled again! You know me too well, sir

  • January 17, 2014 at 4:25 pmanontop

    So much PURITY!

  • January 17, 2014 at 5:15 pmMoon Slayer

    My body was not ready for that.

    All the episodie was so much HHHHNNNGGGGG to me.

  • January 17, 2014 at 5:20 pmFreddeh

    Stilts, I’m pretty sure you’re enjoying writing this almost as much as I’m enjoying watching this show.

    We have a problem. And it can only be solved with MORE YURI (Trots off to rewatch Saki S1).

    • January 17, 2014 at 8:48 pmStilts

      You are not wrong! Not on either of those counts ; )

  • January 17, 2014 at 5:37 pmCaptain Hussain

    More kisses? I hope my body can take it.

  • January 17, 2014 at 6:12 pmfragb85

    Protip to Haruka: Being a lesbian in love while wearing yuri googles and shiping others is a bad idea. It will break her pure maiden mind. And speaking of which, watching this show with goggles on is also a bad idea as it will make one go blind.

    The more I watch (and rewatch) these episodes, the more I find that it likes to focus on more on the romantic side of yuri rather than the sexy side. I’m okay with that because it’s so sugary sweet it give me diabetes. After all, just these two episodes have more kiss scenes than my entire list of favorite romance anime combined!

    • January 17, 2014 at 8:48 pmStilts

      Wait, Haruka has a pure maiden mind? *boggle*

      • January 18, 2014 at 6:43 amBear

        She’s purely interested in maidens!

      • January 18, 2014 at 8:14 amStilts

        Ahaha, you’ve got me there!

  • January 17, 2014 at 9:02 pmkevinball

    Thank you for picking up this show. I love you Stilts <3

  • January 17, 2014 at 11:42 pmVaans

    This anime is going to give me heart attacks.

    But it’s worth it!

  • January 18, 2014 at 12:49 amFlareKnight

    This series is so over the top that it really is a ton of fun to watch. Definitely loving how openly gay Haruka is. There’s just no getting around it. Things were pretty intense in the first episode, but just completely took off here in terms of her character just going full lesbian. Nothing wrong with that either, it sure makes things pretty fun.

    I do wonder about Yuu since it’s so much from Haruka’s perspective that Yuu is still pretty vague as a character. Though to find out they might have to slow down the pace of the kisses and I’m not sure that’s a sacrifice I’m ready to make XD.

  • January 18, 2014 at 4:55 amewok40k

    Hell, this show has become my fave romantic comedy of the season already, pushing past all others into distant group lagging behind lone front runner.
    From throwing more kisses to us than many show does entire season, to girls desperately second-guessing the other’s thoughts and feelings, to SECOND pair getting it on, and third one already being shipped by SHIPPER ON DECK! (one of my fave tropes!)

  • January 18, 2014 at 5:21 pmThe Moondoggie

    I was trying not to get my hopes up about this week’s focused couple. But they went and did it anyway. Nice episode. Hope it will be more sugary next week.

  • January 18, 2014 at 10:21 pmMekem

    It may be just me, but this series seems to have an old school feel to it, what with the OP, the ED, and the girl with those baggy socks.

  • January 19, 2014 at 1:07 amBenigmatica

    Well, it seems that another yuri couple was born on this episode!

    Can’t wait to see Yuu-chan’s sister screaming “TAKAYAMA HARUKA!”

  • January 19, 2014 at 4:34 amamado

    yay, yuri season it is indeed.

  • January 19, 2014 at 6:52 amRukia

    Wait. Where are all the men? Why are these female characters kissing? :[

  • January 19, 2014 at 12:22 pmMagoiichi

    Always a grin on my face when I watch an episode of this duhuhu

  • January 20, 2014 at 5:46 pmRincewind

    Haruka is a legend!!
    Not only is a raging lesbian, but she has her yuri googles always on full power!!
    Her reactions in this episode are beyond words!

    And sneaky Yuu, triying to use her cuteness to get Haruka’s homework… it’s super effective!! (almost!)

    And everyone, remember always this… It’s all Yuzu-chan fault!!