Ever since Citrus and Bloom Into You, I’ve been tailing the Yuri genre closely and attentively. Those stalking endeavors have lead me to this next Yuri, Sakura Trick. Although quenching my Yuri anime depression through Sakura Trick was top priority on the to-do list, there was something else about Sakura Trick that intially piqued my interest. Thus, it slowly became a question I wanted to immediately solve…
What is the trick? Typically, Sakura (Cherry Blossoms) symbolize renewal, innocence, purity, love and passion. Cherry Blossoms enjoy falling out of nowhere in Sakura Trick whereever love or intense passion is present. If cherry blossoms signify Yuu and Haruka’s flourishing romance, the “trick” part expels that and for solid reason. Narratively, Yuu and Haruka hide their relationship throughout the series and pretend to be “only friends” to the point where even sometimes, they aren’t sure themselves. Thus is where the pieces of the puzzle start to fall in place and the mystery of “What is the trick?” is solved.
On the contrary, I see a different definition. Sakura Trick’s primary stablizer, kissing, also “tricks” us as the audience along with Haruka and Yuu’s peers. The only thing Sakura Trick has to offer that no other Yuri can is excessive kissing between our two mains. Thus, Sakura Trick is easily able to earn the love and attention of fans. Sakura Trick dramatizes this specialty of their’s and puts special, uncontrollable attention into it to make sure it’s watchers continously come back for more. Not only are the characters being tricked, we’re being trick with the frightening-to-abnormally cute appeal of our characters. By having our two mains dramatically and unrealistically kiss every episode and be cute regardless of tone, us as anime flies are always swarming back because who can’t get enough of cute girls kissing y’know? Imagine the drop in viewers once you take off kissing from the cover. Good thing you tricked us, your valuable income source! Honestly, smart move. Review-wise, not really…
I make it sound like I was immune to Sakura Trick’s “trick” but c’mon. You really think I have such endurance to yuri couples? You guys know me by now, if I fall to anything, its going to be highschool girls holding hands. I’m a grown woman baby yet I screech at the sight of two highschool girls calling each other’s names without honorifics. It takes me till after the “moe high” wears off to realize that Sakura Trick held nothing for me and now, as I’m writing, means nothing to me. Effervescent emotions I felt watching Sakura Trick were only for a quick moment. In the big picture, Sakura Trick is far from memorable and taking even more steps back, it was all one big trick as forementioned. Makes me feel a lil’ betrayed inside. If you want to feel momentarily light and fluffy, Sakura Trick is a fine pick as it excels in dousing the audience with fluffy, over-dramatic kissing with every episode. If you’re searching for a story, this ability of Sakura will come off as a shallow attempt to earn a viewer’s attention. Awfully more so than that of regular moe personally speaking. Gosh, someone tell me why I feel more betrayed than normal, I don’t understand!
Let’s expand our horizon past the kissing parts. Additionally, characters were also on the dull, repetitive side with zero change in sight thanks to the virtually stagnant plot. Furthermore, comedy ends up falling flat thanks to my lack of interest towards the characters. Jokes don’t come off strong. Instead of feeling like an attempt to entertain us, jokes feel like an attempt to make sure we don’t leave. Even though the last few episodes started picking up the pace and Haruka and Yuu’s relationship started seeing change, the damage had already been heavily dealt. Plus, by that time, Sakura Trick didn’t have the capacity to suddenly start being serious with itself. Not only was the kissing inappropiate since episode four, timing both comedically and uncomedically was atrocious. It was far too late for Sakura Trick to redeem itself and there’s sadly no going back to it’s potential-filled first episodes.
In the end, Sakura Trick never goes beyond moe nor does it succeed in being a light comedy. You can thank its dull, unprogressive characters and lacking plot for that. Sakura Trick overdramatizes and crams in sexual scenes (scenes are abnormally relaxing like drug-intakes / inappropiate for the tone) in order to earn more attention from us, the viewers, who are a key source of income. Without the sexiness, Sakura Trick has nothing propping it up story-wise and financially. These cons are reoccuring amongst anime of the masses however, I feel to define them in this review specifically because of the amount of potential Sakura Trick held at it’s start. I really thought Sakura Trick could be anotuer big-hitting Yuri for me. It’s truly a shame Sakura Trick didn’t take itself seriously enough to be a decent romance.
If you’re looking for a watch to please you – if only for a moment – take a stab at Sakura. If not, passing this up is a better alternative. On a positive note, Sakura Trick gave me the flutters and smilies countless of times when watching it. Then again, when it comes to Yuri, I’m always getting the smilies. Its been a month and I still can’t get over Bloom Into You. Still squealing at Yuu calling Touko without honorifics to this day.
Thank you for reading!