Think of the most talented and crazy people you have ever met, and then think of them as high school students, and this will give you a form of the characters you will find at Sakura Hall. The Pet Girl of Sakurasou might not seem like much on the surface, but dive deeper and you'll quickly realise that you're watching a brilliant slice of life which ticks all the boxes and more for what a good slice of life/comedy should be.
The show firstly introduces us to Sorata Kanda, a seemingly everyday guy who doesn't really belong in the Sakura Hall but has ended up there because of rescuing stray cats and being kicked out of the schools normal dorms. To begin with the guys one goal is to escape from the crazy-ness that is Sakura Hall, but as time progresses he comes to regard the place as home and the other members of the place as his friends. The other residents of Sakura Hall include Nanami Aoyama who is training to become a voice actress against her parents wishes. We have Misaki Kamiigusa who is very talented in making anime and has become somewhat famous for it already. Misaki's childhood friend Jin Mitaka also lives at Sakura Hall and writes the scripts for Misaki's anime, although he doesn't always have confidence in his abilities. We also have Ryunosuke Akasaka who is very smart when it comes to computers and very rarely leaves his room, but lastly and by no means least we have Mashiro Shiina who is a world famous artist who has come to Japan in order to learn how to draw manga. Our plot throws Sorata and Mashiro together quite quickly because while Mashiro is a brilliant artist, she doesn't really have much common sense when it comes to the real world, leaving Sorata on "Mashiro duty" and looking after her during her time at Sakura Hall. To begin with our story is quite lighthearted and the first few episodes spend a lot of time on the comedy while also doing some decent character development with the students at Sakura Hall, however it's by far the later episodes of this show which really shine. Once you've gotten to know all this characters, and as the series gives us a deeper look at them all, you realise there is far more to this characters than what first meets the eye, and in time the show evolves into a really strong slice of life which is teaching you what it means to grow up, and to have goals, and to be around people who are far more talented than yourself and don't even realise how different they are. The series does a really great job of dealing with all these emotions and so much more, because of course at this point in the review I've neglected mentioning that Sorata and Mashiro have feelings for one another which grow and are developed slowly, but greatly, over the time we spend with the show.
While it's true that of the 24 episodes in the series, not all add a lot to the story itself while others do a lot to develop the characters, but even so there isn't a signal episode of The Pet Girl of Sakurasou which won't leave you with a smile on your face, or have you laugh out loud at some point during the episode, because that's what the show does and always manages to do with its solid cast of loveable characters. The cast grow and mature and learn a lot during the time we spend watching them, and by the end you can see a great deal of difference in every signal one of them, and feel proud to have gotten to watch them grow and watch all the crazy things these kids got up to. The first three episodes of the series, however, don't do the show justice and you really do need to get through four or five before you realise how special the series is; they aren't bad episodes by any means, they just don't feel as though they have as much depth as the episodes which come after, and once you watch the episodes which have more depth you realise how truly great this series is, how great these characters are, and how much you really feel for them. At heart The Pet Girl of Sakurasou deals with issues we've all gone through at some point which makes it really, really easy to be able to relate to these characters and understand what they'd going through, which is likely what gives the thing such emotion and such a powerful hold over the viewer. Even if you can't relate to what the cast go through, even just watching the relationship between Sorata and Mashiro grow is very pleasing because the series doesn't rush it, it takes it slowly and leaves it feeling right and leaving the viewer happy in the knowledge that this is how things should go, they shouldn't rush into anything and it portrays real-life better because generally a relationship and two people having feelings for one another developers slowly over time, which is how the show deals with it.
As far as the animation goes the series always looks very pretty and well done, and it isn't scared to put more effort in when needed. There is a certain scene about seven episodes in of fireworks and the kids running back to Sakura Hall with them in the background, which is very pleasing on the eye. Character designs are all quite unique too and it's hard not to love these characters one way or another. Overall the series is handled extremely well in terms of animation.
To consider the soundtrack for a moment; that too is handled very well and goes from being quite light and crazy to quite mature and more emotional as the series progresses and the tone of it matures and grows. Again, alike the animation, the soundtrack is handled very well and is always pleasing on the ears. The series also has two really great opening songs along with the first ending being amazingly catchy, the second ending lets things down a bit, but not too much to be a bother.
Overall The Pet Girl of Sakurasou is a brilliant series about growing up and finding your way in life. It's certainly one of my favourite shows now and rightly so, because everything it does is handled really well, and we have a loveable and crazy cast of characters. As long as you get through the first three to four episodes you'll struggle not to fall in love with it and I'd highly recommend the show to every anime fan.
"Completely underrated, from what seams to be a simple situation comedy, turns into a well constructed drama about deep issues that torment us not only as teenagers but adults as well. A good laugh is guaranteed with the bonus of being something more then that, smart, intelligent and well delivered. Must see" -Macedos39 from aniDB.net
I couldn't put this in any better words myself, so i thought i would put that quote in here.
This has to be my favorite anime of all time, you get attatched to each character as the show goes on. The multiple couples in it really keeps the show alive and making you want more. I can't wait for a second season.
Review is solely opinion so please don't hate
The premise may be simple but the direction it takes pulls the plot forward giving it more depth. The idea is fresh and though the art aspect of it isn't exactly a new concept, it manages to stay original. I always often bag on it for being a bit too similar to Honey and Clover but I still enjoyed Honey and Clover's story as well so I'm not necessarily complaining. Even though the change of heart part was a bit too easily accomplished, it still manages to grip you with interesting characters, a fun love triangle and bits of romance. And for you skeptics out there, you can't say that the speech didn't move you or leave a lump in your throat. Though it may not be entirely original, it is still bold, fun, and intense, and still manages to grip you in an original fashion.
The animation is real easy on the eyes. It is very easy to watch for a newcomer. It also has nice textures and backgrounds look great. The character models are some of the best I have seen to date. But thats to be expected of 2013... The animation doesn't disappoint in this anime and you will surely notice how beautiful it looks.
The sound however didn't affect me too much. The soundtrack was a nice touch to scenes at times but often it goes unnoticed. The op and ending didn't really appeal to me and I often skipped them and continued enjoying it. The sound doesn't hinder the anime at all but it doesn't necessarily enhance it either.
The characters are all very interesting and have unique personalities. They all have their own artistic style which is a really nice touch. The love triangle was very fun to watch. It wasn't as obvious as other love triangles but the outcome always felt like it would end up in one of the girls' favor. Don't want to spoil it for you guys. One thing I have to note is Sorata's outburst and rage when receiving the letter that requested more of Mashiro's skills rather than Sorata's. It felt very real and was one of my favorite scenes in the anime. The characters are a joy to watch and are the whole reason this anime was so intense and enjoyable.
I may have given it higher but averages are important. This anime is a lot of fun and drama. Things get really dramatic and I can't help but to enjoy those kinds of things. The characters, story, and script are what all make this anime shine and Sakurasou puts the finishing touches on with the beautiful animation. This should be a definite watch for avid anime watchers. Sakurasou is a nicely wrapped giftbox with a nice present inside. Although some may not like the present for odd reasons, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo (or "The Pet Girl of Sakurasou") took me by surprise. My friend recommended the show to me quite a while back and after putting it off for a bit, I decided to give it a try.
When the show starts it seems to be another, slightly above average show. It was a little bit funny here and there, had an interesting concept or two, but all in all I did not expect anything outstanding from it.
Then the show continued.
The show got funnier as I understood how each character worked and I came to understand them more. Then the show gets serious, while still remaining touching. Overall I did not expect this at all.
The animation is just great. Nothing revolutionary, but it does what it needs to do very well. You can see this kind of well done animation in most newer shows around now (around 2013). It does what it needs to do, and in a few rare cases goes above that when needed.
The music and sound effects are spot on, again, fufilling their purpose and sometimes going just above that. The one thing that really stands out are the voices of the characters, which stand out and resonate very well with what they are trying to do.
If this show shines somewhere, it is here. The characters are... people. They are crazy, zany, different, unique, and more real than almost any other show out there.
Many of them have strange tendencies, quirks, or attitudes, which are all have a reason to be. They all have things they are good at, dispite whether they know it or not, and they all react very organically to each other. Some clash, love, hate, turn to, shy away from one another all very logically and emotionally.
Hopefully you will grow to love (and maybe hate) some of these characters as much as I did and still do.
The show is worth the watch for anyone who likes a touching story and a bit of comedy, but be forewarned. The story gets very sad, depressing, and quite touching at parts. I cried a bit when watching the second to last episode, along with a few others along the way.
The show is really worth sticking through, dispite its slightly lackluster begining.
...and I have to bring out one last thing that always must be addressed (but not spoiledif possible). The ending. The ending is good, conclusive, and well though out... but
It is not a big spoiler, but the show kind of ends on the whole "and everything continues the way it was" type of ending, although it was finite enough that it did not upset me too much.
If you enjoyed this show, want to see others like it, or want to know what it is similar to I will point you towards these other shows [shows are normally order or relevance]:
Angel Beats- Like this show it as interesting characters, is very funny, and gets more and more touching the father you go.
Working- Another comedy which falls less into the "drama" side and more in the side of "interesting characters and a good amount of laughs." If you liked the comedic style of Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojou then you will most likely enjoy this.
The iDOLM@STER- Again, has all very unique characters, but by comparison is must more of a feel-good show, as it very rarely gets sad.
Clannad- Fits so well to "funny show that turns sad" your tears of laughter will turn into tears of sorrow. Be warned about this show, it is a great work of literature.
I have watched my fair share of anime, but only a few have ever made me smile, laugh, get angry, and yes even cry sometimes more than this, the story was amazing and fairly original and kept me intrested from one episode to the next, a definite yes to anyone who is wondering if they should watch this, if you like to be happy watch this, if you like to be sad dito and if you like to have a story that one sec has you ready to cry and then bursting into laughter the next, yes watch this! YES YES YES YES YES ALL OF MY YES!......So in short one of the best anime I have seen in a while now all I can do is burn some of my food each day and hope those offering please the gods of animes and allow a second season!