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Old 2014-03-30, 14:07   Link #721
mangamuscle
formerly ogon bat
 
 
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I think the elephant in the room is that many yuri lovers didn't liked Sakura Trick but can't bring themselves to say it out loud. It is hard to recommend it as a comedy, it just made me smile (who wouldn't with a cast of pretty girls). It is hard to recommend it as a slice of life, I did not felt "healed" on one any single episode. It is hard to recommend it as a drama, since the showdown with Mitsuki lacked any real tension and it was only in the last two episodes. When people say they want more Kotone and Shizuki, what they are really saying is that they wanted more depth to the plot and since those to promised some interesting developments, people would have liked to see them more. Heck, even Kaede and Yuzu promised more depth if either Kaede gives up on Yuzu or musters the strength to confess.

In the end Sakura Trick relies heavily in the quick thrill of two girls kissing (aka fanservice) on screen, but the sales numbers are in we wont see another Sakura Trick in the near future; yuri will continue to be popular only as a subgenre in comedies like Yuru Yuri, Kinmoza or Non Non Byori.

Last edited by mangamuscle; 2014-03-30 at 14:18.
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Old 2014-03-30, 14:29   Link #722
The Green One
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The moar Kotone/Shizuku Kaede/Yuzu sentiments seem to me like they just wanted to see more of what had less focus since Haruka and Yuu were the leading characters in the story.

If one of the other pairs had been the leading stories there would of been clamoring for the other pairs instead. We're always interested in what we didn't get to see. For example I would of like to see Rina and Sumi introduced earlier.
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Old 2014-03-30, 15:58   Link #723
Sol Falling
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teja208 View Post
Then came the final episode where we learned that Haruka don’t have the slightest idea of what a “confession” and “going out” means. My guess is that the author probably intended to antagonize Mitsuki as a trigger for both Haruka and Yuu to reconsider their feelings whether they both are currently “just kissing friends” or “actual couple” and finally end with both of them openly confessed their feelings at long last. I would find it acceptable if only it’s merely the case of Haruka never realize that she was dating Yuu and nothing more, but problem here is how it goes so far to the point that Haruka and Yuu hadn’t even grasp the concept of “going out” which left me dumbfold. What about all of Haruka's fantasies she had with Yuu, especially the part where they live together and have baby? Those definitely go way beyond going out. And what about the subtle marriage proposal they had in ep. 8? Did Haruka even understand the meaning behind it? This revelation delivered quite a major blow on my foundation mentioned previously. I was unable understand the author’s intention behind it. All I can conclude is that Haruka characterization in this last episode came off as inconstant, and doesn’t add up to how she was written prior to this episode.
I gotta admit, I certainly see where everybody's coming from with regards to confusion towards the intention behind the conclusion of the anime (or the equivalent events of the manga). Really the obvious impression is somewhat bad and off-putting, and I couldn't say I perfectly understand what the author wanted either. However, I wouldn't go so far as to say that the first season's conclusion is inconsistent or contradicts earlier parts of the story. And, although this is somewhat of a null point unless a second anime season gets greenlighted or people pick up the manga, I want to express my doubts that the development in question jeopardizes any of the enjoyability of the story going forward (in the same sense as you highlighted in your review: the sense of watching over the continuous progress of Yuu and Haruka as they grow closer and closer to each other).

My main reason for not preferring the explanation that Tachi was coerced by editorial pressures into extending the life of her story is because I think it is obvious that she should've wanted a long running series anyways. Consider that from the start the narrative seemed set up to cover the three years of highschool (at least). Additionally, the very purposeful usage of Mitsuki's character (she developed her crush on Haruka from her very first chapter; and stumbled upon Yuu and Haruka kissing/developed suspicions about them from her second). Finally the inherent vaguery involved in how Yuu and Haruka's relationship started. Basically, I think that the combination of all these factors make it very easy to believe that the twist/climax of 'Oh, Haruka doesn't understand romantic love' at the end of the first year was planned from the beginning.

So, if that was the case, the question might become: if Tachi knew that she was going to proceed with this reveal at the end of Yuu and Haruka's first year of highschool, why did she include earlier scenes like Yuu and Haruka making vows of marriage to each other, or having fantasies of domestic happiness? Namely, scenes which seemed to display that Haruka understood the concept of romantic partnership. To that extent, regardless of if those scenes are reconcilable with the climax, I suppose they could be argued as bad writing thanks to the confusion they caused the viewers. Ultimately that kind of thing will have to come down to personal opinion.

However, my main concern is about avoiding exaggerations of what Haruka did or did not understand after the climax. Basically, the idea of cancelling their earlier relational progress, which is important to the overall enjoyment of the story. So, first of all, about the scene of the marriage vows. During the marriage kiss scene, Yuu and Haruka kept talking about 'sealing their vows'. Basically, the scene was not about something concrete relating to their relationship status like Yuu/Haruka saying "I'll marry you", or thinking "we're married now". Rather, the point was that they were making vows to each other in the same sense of the vows made during a marriage ceremony. The same vows made by the couple which were actually getting married, Yuu and Haruka made to each other. Emotionally, that would be something like the equivalent of "I, [name], take you, [name], from this day forward, to love and to cherish, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness or health, till death do us part." Although Yuu and Haruka could not actually get married by doing their kissing at that time, they were emotionally making that promise to each other, so it is something which I don't think is weakened at all by Haruka not specifically understanding romantic love.

Next there's the scene with Haruka imagining her and Yuu having a baby together. Basically that was Haruka envisioning her and Yuu in a stereotypically happy depiction of domestic life, indicating Haruka's long term desires/commitment for their relationship. However, rather than being a future Haruka explicitly thought of through all the intermediary steps (like 'dating'), it seems perfectly possible that it was just an idle fantasy perhaps modeled after the relationship she saw between her own parents. The main idea is that exactly because those fantasies or even the concept of getting married (for two women) are so far away from the pragmatic concept/reality of 'dating' (which is something with a bit of a casual, tentative vibe; a 'dating' status does not even have the commitment level of fiancees, it's just 'going out') that there doesn't have to be a contradiction between Haruka wanting to do those things, and not having a concept of romantic dating. Rather, upon retrospection the whole 'living together' fantasy was actually pretty funny in that instead of some sort of newlywed life, it almost seemed like it was moreso a fantasy of Haruka taking care of Yuu (like a mother and child, or wife and deadbeat husband). In that case you can actually see it as foreshadowing towards Haruka's lack of romantic/romantically sexual awareness in their relationship.

So in summary the scenes of Yuu/Haruka's romantic 'progress/development' in the first season of the anime should probably be viewed through the lens of emotional progress/development. Although Yuu and Haruka really did get closer, that was in terms of their emotional connection and not really sexually. The thing is that I basically think that Haruka's awareness of romantic love will be inherently connected to to this awareness of sexuality. Everything regarding the emotional side of romantic love, Haruka is already properly progressing with Yuu.

In fact, none of the emotional development of Yuu and Haruka's relationship (i.e. having made marriage vows to each other, or wanting to live together and raise a family) is/was threatened or contradicted by the events of the last episode. Haruka herself knows that even if she says 'suki' to other people, her relationship with Yuu is special beyond the meaning of that regular 'suki'. However, for the moment Haruka can only express that emotional status via the symbol of a kiss. Because Haruka doesn't understand sexuality, she is unable to symbolize their emotional connection at any higher physical level. In this way, I don't think viewers have to feel that any of Yuu and Haruka's emotional progress was at all cancelled out by the developments of the first season's ending. Rather, what the conclusion brings is simply a new stage (the physical one, and a stage of developing sexual maturity) for Yuu and Haruka's relationship to progress (towards proper lovers).
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Seasonal enjoyment ratings:
HappinessCharge Precure 100/5 :: Stardust Crusaders 80/5 :: Mushishi S2 90/5 :: Akuma no Riddle: 15/5 :: Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san 24/5 :: GochiUsa 33/5 :: Soul Eater NOT! 18/5 :: Love Live! S2 80/5
Summer: Sailor Moon Crystal 20/5 :: Hanayamata 33/5 :: Locodol 30/5 :: Yama no Susume 60/5 :: Momo Kyun Sword 11/5
God-tier yuri oneshot mangaka: Minase Ruruu
Yuri Precure otaku manga: Shinozaki-san ki wo ota shika ni
Awesome shoujo manga: Last Game

Last edited by Sol Falling; 2014-03-30 at 16:52.
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Old 2014-03-30, 16:34   Link #724
Kazu-kun
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If it's not the editor's doing, then it's just bad writing.

It a shame because it could have been pretty epic. Well, at least it's still pretty enjoyable.
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Last edited by Kazu-kun; 2014-03-31 at 00:32.
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Old 2014-03-30, 22:42   Link #725
shigeru212
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mangamuscle View Post
I think the elephant in the room is that many yuri lovers didn't liked Sakura Trick but can't bring themselves to say it out loud.
The problem is not that I don't like Sakura Trick but that it didn't live up to expectations.

When I first read the synopsis, I had a feeling that the show was going to an elite offering; it turned out to be a solid offering but that doesn't mean that it is a bad show or that I didn't like it. The problem is that while it offered the additional yuri I would like to see in more slice of life comedies, it failed to do some of the things that other slice of life comedies have done well, like balanced distribution of screen time for the main cast. It also could have improved on the comedy and minimized the screen time for the drama, as it wasn't very compelling for the most part.

I would have liked to see the Mitsuki and Rina yuri scenes animated. I have a feeling, although Rina didn't get much screen time, that they would make a very cute couple.

Last edited by shigeru212; 2014-03-31 at 01:09. Reason: grammar
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Old 2014-03-31, 00:25   Link #726
justsomeguy
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I don't dislike what's in the show, but I think that there's too little focus on characters other than Haruka and the Sonoda sisters. The two teachers have cameos in the OP, but almost never appeared. There's the Shizuku-Kotone relationship, but that got very little attention. Sumisumi and Rina joined the cast way too late; while Sumisumi remains and might take a major role, Rina graduated, and her interest in Mitsuki got too little attention as a result. I got the sense that the show wasn't much deeper relationship-wise compared to a standard SoL, and the last episode surprisingly confirmed that. Looking back, the only part of the show that I can definitely say was my favorite turns out to be the ED, the rest was just too forgettable other than the constant Haruka-Yuu kissing. The writers (or is it the mangaka?) seemed really hesitant to be more ambitious with the series.

Score: 7/10.
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Old 2014-03-31, 05:31   Link #727
Biohazardous
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Shigeru I agree with you in thinking Mitsuki and Ruri would make a good couple. We can only wait and hope to see if we get more.
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Old 2014-04-01, 01:32   Link #728
teja208
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
In fact, none of the emotional development of Yuu and Haruka's relationship (i.e. having made marriage vows to each other, or wanting to live together and raise a family) is/was threatened or contradicted by the events of the last episode. Haruka herself knows that even if she says 'suki' to other people, her relationship with Yuu is special beyond the meaning of that regular 'suki'. However, for the moment Haruka can only express that emotional status via the symbol of a kiss. Because Haruka doesn't understand sexuality, she is unable to symbolize their emotional connection at any higher physical level. In this way, I don't think viewers have to feel that any of Yuu and Haruka's emotional progress was at all cancelled out by the developments of the first season's ending. Rather, what the conclusion brings is simply a new stage (the physical one, and a stage of developing sexual maturity) for Yuu and Haruka's relationship to progress (towards proper lovers).
Thanks for the followup response to my review, I seems you also put much thought into this, especially with this last paragraph. Of course, I will be waiting to see where will HarukaxYuu be heading next when s2 comes around.
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Old 2014-04-04, 01:24   Link #729
Chiaki_chan
Kubo GO TO HELL
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post

In fact, none of the emotional development of Yuu and Haruka's relationship (i.e. having made marriage vows to each other, or wanting to live together and raise a family) is/was threatened or contradicted by the events of the last episode. Haruka herself knows that even if she says 'suki' to other people, her relationship with Yuu is special beyond the meaning of that regular 'suki'. However, for the moment Haruka can only express that emotional status via the symbol of a kiss. Because Haruka doesn't understand sexuality, she is unable to symbolize their emotional connection at any higher physical level. In this way, I don't think viewers have to feel that any of Yuu and Haruka's emotional progress was at all cancelled out by the developments of the first season's ending. Rather, what the conclusion brings is simply a new stage (the physical one, and a stage of developing sexual maturity) for Yuu and Haruka's relationship to progress (towards proper lovers).
yeah after Kiss-friendly ............... Sex-friend yeah
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Old 2014-04-04, 06:01   Link #730
teja208
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Whatís Wrong with Sakura Trick?: When Authorís Objective Doesnít Match Fansí Expectat

Upon reflection on what went wrong with Sakura Trick, Iíve finally arrived at a conclusion: the authorís objective and fansí expectation are incompatible.

Now let us first explore what the fans expect out of series like Sakura Trick. Actually, itís more about what yuri fans who watch/read ďcute girls doing cute thingsĒ series like those in Kirara magazines want in general. You all should probably aware by now that having male appearing as a main character in this kind of series is considered a rare sight and mostly uncalled for. Do you know why? For yuri fans, itís because males usually get in the way of their GirlxGirl pairing. The setting without male MC creates a yuri goggle friendly environment by which yuri fans can feel safe and secure to ship females to their hearts content. See, the point is NOT the males themselves, but the feeling of being safe and secure from anyone and anything that can get in the way of their ship. LOL now do you began to see where Iím coming from?

Iím going to make a metaphor of what went wrong with Sakura Trick. The author is the cruise captain (letís call that cruise SBJKxU) and we are her passengers. She promised us that she will take us safely to the destination. Although the captain managed to take us to the destination without sinking SBJKxU as promised, she rocks the cruise too much at times causing some of the passengers to experience sea sickness. She also took some unexpected detour along the way to some places we donít really enjoy. In the end of the tour, we were pissed off at the captain despite arriving to the destination safely.

I noticed that most of the complaints from here and other sites are directed to the in-story development that could threaten to break up the official couple. Whether the threats themselves are effective in breaking the couple or not isnít an issue, the problem is the fact that it exist, and that alone is enough of a eyes sore to those who donít want to see anyone or anything that could disturb the progress of the couple they are rooting for aka their ship.
  • Yuri fans who wonít give seal of approval until they heard legitimate love confession of the girls
  • Kotone being engaged
  • Mitsukiís crush for Haruka
  • Harukaís obliviousness to romantic love

All these factors are undesirable to certain group of fans since it can threaten to break up or at least slowdown the progress of the couples. Can you fault them for being pissed? After all most of Kirara published works, as highlighted before, provides a safe and secure environment for shipping GirlxGirl, and with this series in particular, it promotes official couples kissing, so naturally the yuri fandom expect to feel even safer and more secure than ever before compared to other works under the same magazine.


Ok, enough of the fans expectation, now we look at things from the authorís view, Tachi-sensei. I am not certain myself what the author want and neither did Sol Falling, but he proposed an idea that author want to develop things emotionally first before moving on the more sexual and sexuality awareness stage of HaurkaxYuu relationship. He is in an opinion that right now at the end of 1st season, Haurkaís incapable of expressing higher level of physical intimacy beyond that of kissing because she hadnít fully comprehend romantic love or sexual orientation, and next season will likely take HarukaxYuu relationship to a new level although since I havenít read the manga, I canít say for sure myself.

Whether Sol Fallingís opinion is the same as the authorís objective or not is beside the point. The point is that he somewhat succeed in adjusting his mindset to make it compatible with what the author wants to write allowing him to appreciate the series in a way that not many readers/viewers can see. I have to say that this is no easy task, since I attempted one right after watching ep. 12 and it didnít work out until I read his reply on my s1 final impression review.

Sometimes the authorís intention behind the work aligns with what the fans want and sometimes it doesnít. However, sometime fans seem to be under the false expectation that author clearly understands them and must cater to their every whim which may or may not be the case. I admit that this is the case with my initial impression of Sakura Trick. When I first learned about girls kissing in this series, I instantly thought, ďYeah finally, an author that can understand what yuri fans truly want from a ďcute girlsĒ series. I bet s/he is just like one of us.Ē This turns out to be a misconception. Now that I know the author is a female, and after some thought, I think her style is more suited for shoujo style yuri than seinen oriented yuri. It shoujo style yuri genre center more around girls taking things slowly while pondering over their homosexuality than seinen. This is just my opinion, but I think young female audiences may be able to better sympathize with Haruka than adult male audiences who are dying to see her and Yuu and/or Mitsuki on top of each other, for example see Chiaki_chanís post above me. In short, the author is taking it slowly, while we guys tend to be more impatient so to say.

In summary, it seems to me that Tachi-senseiís intention of writing Sakura Trick and massage she wants convey through her story doesnít sit well with some of the target audiencesí expectation resulting in some people unable to fully enjoy and appreciate the series. It depends on how genre savvy and fan savvy is the said author and the skill in conveying his/her intended massages through the media they work on, and it also depending on the audienceís individual mindset in accepting and interpreting the massage. Sometime fans need to take a step back from their fandom mindset to appreciate a series from another perspective like Sol Falling and few others managed to do. Of course itís very hard to achieve, and not many are capable of doing it in which case it can be attributed to authorís bad writing. However, not every author has to be fan savvy, and the author is by no means obliged to cater to fans every wishes. Personally, I donít want to say that itís a bad thing try experimenting or doing something different from the majority of fansí general expectation, but even so, I think the author needs to at least be cautious about story element fans donít like to see in your series which may undermine what you are trying to achieve.
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Old 2014-04-04, 12:26   Link #731
Kazu-kun
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teja208 View Post
it seems to me that Tachi-sensei’s intention of writing Sakura Trick and massage she wants convey through her story doesn’t sit well with some of the target audiences’ expectation resulting in some people unable to fully enjoy and appreciate the series.
That's not it. The issue is about how the author is presenting her message, whatever it is. For example, I didn't like that Haruka was so dense in the last episode, but I could deal with it if it didn't feel so inconsistent with her previous characterization, especially the episode when she was talking about wanting to marry Yuu and so on. That inconstancy sees like bad writing to me, and is my major grip with the series. It has nothing to do with my overall expectations of the show.

By the way, Haruka's lack of awareness about romance has nothing to do with sexuality imo. The story doesn't deal with sexuality and probably never will so that's out of the question. Haruka's new stupidity is just Tachi's cheap attempt to drag things out. That's all. Once she's milked the series enough, she'll have Haruka suddenly snap out of it for the end.
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Last edited by Kazu-kun; 2014-04-04 at 13:03.
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Old 2014-04-04, 12:41   Link #732
Endless Knackwurst
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kazu-kun View Post
[...]For example, I didn't like that Haruka was so dense in the last episode, but I could deal with it if it didn't feel so inconsistent with her previous characterization, especially the episode when she was talking about wanting to marry Yuu and so on.
That was the part with the final episode that bothered me the most also. For that reveal to make sense, she'd have to have had the emotional development of a five-year-old for the entire series, when there really wasn't evidence of that.
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Old 2014-04-09, 17:41   Link #733
dr_marronflower
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mangamuscle
I think the elephant in the room is that many yuri lovers didn't liked Sakura Trick but can't bring themselves to say it out loud.
Well, as yuri lover, I must say that I loved Sakura Trick.
It's the thing that I was waiting for. One of those cute slice of life shows, but with text instead of subtext.

Haruka and Mitsuki space cadet moments.
The kisses of course.
The funny moments, like the Mikan-san gag or the "courage test".

I loved it. Was a fantastic anime. And I already miss my weekly dosis of cuteyuri.

But, of course isn't perfect.

The lack of focus in Rina and Sumi Sumi. (And the teachers!)
The ending with Haruka being incapable of understand the concept of romantic love. Kinda feels like all the previous development was... for nothing... we are still in step one.

ŅMaybe an original ending might have been better?

Also, I have no problem with Kotone being engaged. We all know that she gonna be the runaway bride, and gonna escape to marry with Shizuku.
And also I have no problem with Mitsuki and her crush with Haruka. Was in fact awesome. That gay realization was epic.
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Old 2014-04-25, 03:20   Link #734
Marcus H.
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Watching Episodes 10-12 in one go is just like Rina's feeling after eating a lot of matcha pudding. Saccharine suffering.

Sumisumi's cuteness and the triangle between Mitsuki, Yuu and Haruka aside, I feel nothing negative about Haruka not knowing about what love is. It heavily implies that their romance is as pure and innocent as it can be, and at least Haruka took responsibility by wanting to know more about love and loving Yuu. I think Haruka's small step there was enough for Mitsuki to ease her worries about the two. But since the story's far from over, there will be much more for this love story.

A rather satisfactory ending, all in all. Series #196 GET.

EDIT: Did Rina imply some budding feelings for Mitsuki at the end?
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