Saturday, January 11, 2014

Sakura Trick

Not only the cherry blossoms, but the lilies too are in full bloom! One of the series was looking forward the most this winter season is , the anime adapting of the yuri yonkoma manga "Trick" by Tachi.

Being a fan of the yuri genre, was anxious to finally see a series air again that revolved around a true yuri relationship at its core, like "Aoi Hana", "Sasameki Koto" or "Candy Boy". A welcome change after many shows that at most suggested yuri pairings or showed superficial yuri tinted shenanigans merely to reel in viewers, like "Yuru Yuri" or "Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya".

"Sakura Trick" is about Haruka and Yuu, two close friends who upon entering high school, decide to do something bold to make their relationship special. What will sharing a sweet kiss mean for their friendship and the world around them, will it all change?

Absolutely adored the first episode, can best describe the show as a light hearted school comedy with yuri romance, all in very sugar coated and sweet atmosphere of cute girls doing cute things.

Right now, there's no telling how far Haruka and Yuu's relationship will go or if will really blossom into romantic love. While am confident that the show will be enjoyable all throughout its run even if the romance between Haruka and Yuu does not evolve beyond its current stage, do hope that the couple's relationship will grow.

Can imagine some viewers may question how Haruka and Yuu's relationship should grow beyond the two girls being officially recognized or labelled as begin a couple, since this first episode already shows them kiss. Although their behavior towards one another suggests they already have a much deeper and caring relationship than they themselves may realize, there's still plenty left to explore.

Plus, let's not forget about their friends Kaede, Yuzu, Kotone and Shizuku. Where Haruka and Yuu are the explicit yuri couple, Kotone and Shizuku seem like they will be the playful romantic pairing, while Kaede and Yuzu look like they a close friends-of-a-lifetime pair.

Animation by Studio Deen is excellent, everything is rendered with a lovely soft color palette with most of the detail going towards animating the girls, who all look irresistibly cute.

Did notice the studio uses a lot of plain color backgrounds or cutscenes featuring the girls' specific hair ornaments, not unlike what studio Feel did in "Minami-ke". Could that be due to the challenge the studio has in translating the specific pace of a yonkoma manga into flowing scenes?

Might sound odd coming from someone who labels himself as a yuri aficionado, but do regret they included so much fanservice that obviously showcased the girls' thighs and bosoms. For a yuri series like this one, it is unnecessary, especially considering the copious amounts included. Personally wouldn't mind if they toned that down a bit.

Yuu is voiced by Iguchi Yuka, she also voiced Maria in "Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai", Norie in "Tamayura", Index in "To aru Majutsu no Index", Mako in "Girls und Panzer" and Tsukihi in "Bakemonogatari".

Tomatsu Haruka voices Haruka, she previously voiced Saki in "Kakumeiki Valvrave", Asuna in "Sword Art Online", Ichika in "Ano Natsu de Matteru", Shizuku in "Tonari no Kaibutsu and Lala in "To Love RU".

Twin-tailed Shizuku is voiced by Igarashi Hiromi who also voiced Hina in "Papa no Iu Koto who Kikinasai", Yayoi in "Inu to Hasami wa Tsukaiyou" and Seira in "Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Love Come wo Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru". Her cousin Kotone is voiced by Aisaka Yuka who doesn't seem to have any other roles credited to her name yet.

Kaede is voiced by Fuchigami Mai, she has voiced Iona in "Arpeggio of Blue Steel: Ars Nova", Miho in "Girls und Panzer" and Petrarca in "Outbreak Company". Toda Megumi who voices Yuzu does not appear to have voiced many other characters.

Despite small flaws like the unnecessary fanservice that does not entirely fit a yuri genre series, really adored the first episode of "Sakura Trick". Am confident it will be one of my favorite shows this season and it might very well become even one of my favorite yuri genre series.

What did come to mind though as I watched this first episode of "Sakura Trick", is that "Girl Friends", one of the best yuri stories I have ever read, definitely needs to get an anime adaptation.

If you're looking for a sweet romantic comedy about yuri couples, then you should definitely watch "Sakura trick".
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