This is review number one hundred and sixty six. This is part of the Fall 2012 lineup. As I said before, I’m finishing up on all the anime for 2012 before I tackle a new lineup. The anime I’ll be reviewing is Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo. It’s a twenty four episode anime about a girl who can’t take care of herself so she lets a guy put her panties on for her. It’s a really nice show and I sense JC Staff is slowly getting their groove back. It’s a romance show with a bit of drama. Let’s read on.
The anime is about the residents of a dorm called the Sakurasou. It’s a place where “delinquents” are placed instead of having them in the common dorm rooms. The place has a bad reputation among the students and Sorata Kanda had the miserable choice of living there so he can keep his pet cat. Sakurasou certainly had a lot of eccentric people living in it and Sorate felt that he just doesn’t want to live here anymore. He decided to leave Sakurasou as soon as possible. As more residents move in though, he is soon reminded why staying at Sakurasou isn’t such a bad thing.
Taking the Pants Off
Surprisingly, here is another Shoujo anime you can add from the Fall lineup. This one was done by JC Staff who once lead the pack when it comes to all things Shoujo. The moe revolution shoved them out of the loop but you can just feel a big comeback from this anime. As for Sakurasou no pet Kanajo, it started out bumpy but this anime is really good. It’s emotionally charged and the romance was good. I’m a bit disappointed at how it balances its story though. It lacked some focus but it made up for it with a lot of heart.
My first impressions of the anime were a bit bad because it kinda felt rushed and I wasn’t able to exactly determine what the anime was about. Some people often point out an anime starts slow therefor it sucks, well, this anime tried to overcome that hurdle. It started out light hearted with the eccentrics of the Sakurasou house serving comedy and some fan service on the side. After two episodes though, the show suddenly got heavy. With little character introduction, the show suddenly started talking about the personal matters of the characters and the tension on their relationships. I was a bit surprised because we’re still in that phase where the characters are generic archetypes but the anime was already dropping serious moments and dramatic scenes after four episodes. The rest of the first half didn’t mean much as well. The show had Ecchi, Comedy, Romance, and some Harem elements playing against each other. A funny episode would often have Harem moments and it would end with a sad scene. I’m not really sure what I am getting from this anime aside from some muddled plot points.
There was one thing I’m pretty sure about. The title of the anime is about Shiina Mashiro, the new resident of the house, who is a complete beauty but lacks the everyday energy to provide for herself. The mere task of bathing and putting on panties is out of her reach. She depends on people to get her through the day. She depends on the main character, Sorata Kanda. This was the appeal of the show. It’s about a blonde sexy girl depending on a normal guy to dress her and take care of her. She is basically his pet. The motivation she lacks in putting on her panties is actually consumed by her drive to be good at art, or in this case, drawing manga. So a very talented mangaka artist with stunning looks is depending on someone else to provide for her. There is something very sexy and wish fulfilling about that. As I said before though, the first episodes of the anime were a bit confusing. I can’t tell if this is a plot point of the anime or not. It’s crammed along with other things like a growing harem, some love stories among the characters, talks about the future, talented people crushing the hopes of hard working people and the bitterness of life as you live it. As far as per episode then the format of the anime does work. In a weekly basis, you get a lot done even without little direction but the show seems to be dragging its story instead of developing it.
As the first half of the anime progresses, we get a glimpse of the relationships of the characters. The show also dumps in new characters and new conflicts as it rolls along. The eventual plot points started to take shape and the characters are slowly introduced. The status quo, the setting and everything started to make sense as the anime enters its second half. The first half laid the groundwork, despite the messy progression, and we get a glimpse of what the anime was leading into.
There are three plot points in the anime. These plot points are slowly focused on by the anime as it entered the second half. It was presented very loosely in the first half along with some fan service and harem moments but the buildup of these plot points was give more purpose in the second half.
The first plot point is about the various romantic relationships of the characters. There were two main love stories that were nicely told by the anime. First is about the triangle between Shiina Mashiro, Sorata Kanda and Nanami Aoyama. Sorata looks up to Shiina because of how she dedicates her life to her craft without skipping a beat. All the while he was taking care of her, he slowly finds a soft spot for the girl that might lead to something big. It might if Shiina wasn’t such an air head but could there be a chance that she might be thinking of Sorata too? Meanwhile, Nanami has known Sorata since they became classmates and she thinks he is a cool guy after taking in an abandoned cat in the streets and went as far as going to the delinquent dorm just to keep it. As the anime progresses, the feelings gradually intensify and the moments got a lot sweeter.
The other love story is the one about the crazy energetic girl named Misaki Kamiigusa and her childhood friend and acclaimed playboy, Jin Mitaka. This one was a bit mature for the light hearted nature of the anime and I am a big fan of it. They have a really complicated relationship brought upon by both of their reluctance and stupidity that drags on until they are adult. Well, a certain event has now called for both of them to take charge of the opportunity of lose each other forever. There was something really bitter sweet about this one and again, mature for its look after the details of their relationship is greatly explored. It’s a lovely story about how saying “I love you” is no longer enough.
The second plot point of the anime is about the bond the characters have living in Sakurasou. There were a lot of personal conflicts and arguments pushed out in the anime but the residents look out for each other and they give advice when someone needs it. They are a happy bunch of eccentric people that welcomes both the good and the bad times together. The comedy aspects of the first half didn’t made sense at first until you realize the anime was displaying how close the residents are to each other. Their bond is eventually put through the wood chipper after a big trouble comes their way that threatens to break the bond they cherish.
The third plot point is about the characters chasing after their dreams or career or realizing their future. Some experience the sweet kiss of victory because of their amazing talent while others face the bitterness of life as they stand in defeat. This was a very beautiful aspect of the anime because it really embraces the good and the bad. There were some characters that sacrificed a lot just to reach their dreams only to be deemed not good enough while others live on with the fact that they can never be as good as the other person no matter how hard they try. It’s pretty good because we’ve all been there. I personally felt the bitterness of rejection while someone effortlessly got what I was aiming for all because she is a half born American with big boobs despite being only seventeen f*cking years old. Yes, the anime nicely demonstrate the unfairness of life in a very distinct way. A lot of things were rushed in the anime but not this one. It doesn’t really need a lot of exploration because people understand that life is a bit unfair and have come to live with it. The sad realization of the fact makes up for some great drama scenes though.
The characters are the biggest sell of the anime. The first half was a bit messy but the characters really carried the load. All of them started out pretty generic but the show gave them enough time to really transform. There were some characters that really made a lot of changes as the anime progresses and I really admire that. Sorata and Shiina, at first, did nothing impressive because they remind me of a certain blue haired denpa girl that claims to be an alien and her cousin. The two slowly transformed though. Shiina doesn’t stay as an airhead for long and Sorata doesn’t remain as a bumbling idiot crushing hard on an oblivious girl. The various personal conflicts the anime presented really did a lot to change the characters. Some of them even broke out of their archetype to show just how fully rounded they are. This energetic girl would soon show her vulnerable side, this uncaring shut out would soon start showing his caring side, this playboy would reveal he is actually a stick to one guy and many more surprises that can really change your perception of the characters.
There weren’t a lot of side characters but they did their role pretty well. I am guilty of wanting to see more of the side characters like Sorata’s classmates or the fellow painters in the art club Shiina is in. The side characters did their role well though and the anime was able to give them some appropriate time to shine.
This anime started out a bit questionable with the sad attempt of drawing viewers in with harem, comedy and other things but that really affected the value of the story. I’m just glad it was able to bounce back up come the second half but there were still some flaws in the anime. For one, it wasn’t able to balance all three plot points. They might as well be three separate stories because one plot point often gets toned down for another to shine through. There is a way to nicely balance all three of them if the anime established them clearly early on. The anime ends with not all three plot points getting a decent progression. It’s either we’ll get another season or it’s in an extra OVA episode. I’m hoping for the former. The story lacking balance was not that bad though because there were enough emotional moments in the anime to make up for it. There were some really good romantic scenes in the anime and even better dramatic scenes that can really suck you into the story of the anime. This is admittedly harder than balancing the story so I’ll give the anime a pass. It’s a really good anime despite its flaw.
Sight and Sound
The character design is pretty amazing. The details on the characters are really nicely done and I love how pretty their faces are. I am a big fan of Shiina, especially. She has blond hair and lovely red eyes that really complements her personality. She also has a nice body that delivers some pretty decent fan service. The rest of the girls also had some nice features to them. They look a bit generic at first but their looks complement their personality as well. The boys really have a nice range in the anime. From normal ones to bishies, there were a lot of different looks in the anime. JC Staff did a good job of really emanating the Shoujo appeal of the anime through the characters. What’d you expect from the guys that did Kimi to Boku? I am a big fan of the bright color palette of the anime. It really gives a nice look to the characters and a relaxed atmosphere for the anime. The nice faded look of the colors also helps emanate the Shoujo appeal of the anime.
The fan service in the anime was pretty decent. The naked bodies of the characters look nice and the various Ecchi moments were decent. Shiina loves not wearing panties and letting Sorata touch her delicates. I am also a fan of those scenes where the girls would get their clothes wet and their colorful bra would show. It’s something a perverted young me used to enjoy seeing (don’t judge me!). There were also some nice bikini and the standard bathroom scenes in the anime. I believe the anime could’ve lived without it and I think it did hurt the anime in the long run.
The animation was pretty decent. There were a lot of running and rolling around in the anime and the animation was able to capture the crazy antics of the characters. There isn’t any stand out moments in terms of animation though except for the CG battle scenes in the middle parts of the anime. The CG nicely blended with the faded look of the anime. As for normal scenes, the animation only stood out during various kissing or hugging scenes. The various comedic scenes had some decent animation as well. I am also a fan of giving a nod to King of Fighters. The characters would often play video games that involve SNK characters that I am a big fan of.
The anime had two OP and two ED. The first OP is “Kimi ga Yume wo Tsuretekita” by Pet na Kanojo-tachi (Ai Kayano, Mariko Nakatsu, Natsumi Takamori). This was sung by the girls of Sakurasou. Their voice really blends well together and I love how they were able to deliver their standout voices. It’s nice to hear the lovely voices of the voice actors breaking out of their character voices. The song is really sweet and it has a cheerful vibe to it that complements the lovely voices of the singers. The OP sequence is about the normal everyday lives at Sakurasou with the characters being happy and doing random things together. The second OP is “Yume no Tsuzuki” by Konomi Suzuki. Again, lovely voice of the singer. The song doesn’t do much to me though. It sounded like a standard OP song for an anime but with a really talented singer doing the singing. The OP sequence features all the characters and their various relationships since it was heavily explored in the second half.
The first ED song is “DAYS of DASH” by Konomi Suzuki. I remember Konomi Suzuki singing that retarded Choir Jail song from Dusk Maiden of Amnesia. Her voice does sound really nice and it sounds mature despite her age. The song sounds really nice and her voice really stands out. It starts out slow and then picks up beat as it hits the chorus. It’s a very lovely song. The ED sequence features a drawn background with no color and heavy shadings. In the foreground, there is Sorata with the picture on his shirt being the only thing colored. As it hits the chorus, the scene started to be more colored and the various characters running started to gather. It ends with Nyaboron fighting in the background and the characters laying the grass. The second ED is “Prime number ~Kimi to Deaeru Hi~ by Asuka Ookura. This was the very first single Asuka has done so that is pretty awesome. The song was decent. It had a nice pace to it and it ends pretty lovely. The ED sequence features the characters swaying their head as the song rolls along. Towards the end, even the house started swaying side to side.
7/10 “The nice story about love, achieving your goal and believing in your friends made for an awesome anime experience.“
This was a great anime. I’m critical about the first half because I’m a sucker for a good story but the show had a nice blend of light heartedness and dead seriousness that made the show pretty amazing. The characters and their love stories was also pretty fun to watch. If you’re a fan of love stories and drama then this anime is for you. I highly recommend this one.