Shoutarou Tatewaki is a normal high school student with a serious demeanor who hangs around with Sakurako Kujou. Sakurako is an extraordinarily beautiful woman in her mid-20s from a rich family who loves "beautiful bones." The two live in the city of Asahikawa in Hokkaido, and they get involved in various incidents regarding bones.
First thing, do not let the tag of "animal abuse" turn you off from this anime. It almost turned me off becuase I thought "ew why would I want to watch animals get abused" but this anime has literally NOTHING to do with animal abuse. The first episode opens with a small kitten that had been hit by a car (you see it for maybe 5 seconds) and apparently that's enough to warrant an "animal abuse" tag on AP. Other than that, there are animal bones shown, as the main character is an osteologist and collects them and one other instance where a deceased animal is shown for, again, all of 5 seconds. *shrug* Continuing on... Sakurako's Magical Girl Transformation "Bones symbolize life and embody death." - Sakurako Beautiful Bones centers around Sakurako, a rich and beautiful woman who spends her days surrounded by bones, and a high school student named Shotaro. Somehow, these two stumble upon each other and together solve some difficult crime scenes. Sakuroko uses her extensive knowledge of bones to decipher how a person died while Shotaro is there to ensure she doesn't run off with the body for her private collection. I really was not expecting this anime to draw me in so much. Although dealing with bones obviously means dealing with death, I mistook that this would be a light-hearted anime somehow, but episodes 2 and 3 seriously drew me in and gave me chills. Learning about how the people lived and how they died creates a connection between the viewer and the character, even though when you meet the character they are already dead. Throughout the anime, you never really learn a ton about the two main characters, especially Shotaro. It's really hard to describe him as anything other than "high schooler who follows Sakurako around". He offers some humane advice to the callous Sakurako at times, and she enjoys having him around because of how innocent he is, and also for other reasons that I will not spoil, but know that nothing about their relationship is romantic. It is 100% platonic. Some things are implied here and there, but you really only get to know them on a surface level. Though I don't think that takes away from enjoying the anime as a whole at all. Besides the investigation taking place in episodes 2 and 3, one of the most bone chilling moments in the anime was the ending. And when I say the ending I mean literally the last 10 seconds in the last episode, after the credits are done rolling. I can't really go into detail without spoiling something but just know I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO HYPE FOR A SECOND SEASON IN MY LIFE JESUS PLS ;-; 8.5/10 would recommend for anyone who enjoys a good mystery.
After reading the synopsis I wasn't sure there was any reason why I should watch this, I was expecting to find it boring and clichèd. So it was a surprise when it actually turned out to be quite good. It's entertaining and mildly amusing, with really good animation and drawings. So if you like detective/mystery stories, you could give this a try. Obviously there are some major flaws regarding the plot and character development - or lack thereof - which is why I rated it as I did, giving it a 5.5/10. The story is about Sakurako, a rather eccentric osteologist (FYI: Osteologists identify and provide information based on the scientific identification of bones, whether they are human or animal. Osteology can be employed in a wide range of research topics and is frequently used in forensic science) and Shoutarou, your typical high-school kid who tags along with her acting as the voice of what's fit and proper in society. The format is episodic for about half of the anime, whereby some bones or a body turn up somewhere in the vicinity of Sakurako and she starts investigating in order to solve the mystery as she is much more intelligent than any police officer could ever hope to be. Truth be told, the mysteries aren't that banal. At a certain point an overarching plot centrering on a psychopath called Hanabusa starts to emerge, but it happens way too late and the plotline is left hanging - this and another couple of things just hinted at during the episodes that don't get any explanation make it obvious that the creators developed it intentionally like this in view of a second season. The other setback regards the lack of character development. Sakurako is one cool lady and her relationship with Shoutarou is fun to watch but also heart-warming at times. And that's basically all there is to it, Sakurako doesn't develop and Shoutarou is kind of lacking not only under the development perspective, but also as a character per se. We get a little bit more insight about him only in the last episode, but again: too late and too little. As I value highly good character development and most of the time I am profoundly annoyed by episodic stories, I cannot bring myself to give this anime an average rating. Nonetheless, it isn't a bad watch, not at all.
Sherlock + Bones + xxxholic = Sakurako’s Investigations. Inelegant, perhaps, but this is probably the most accurate way to review Sakurako. Because, I think, if you are a fan of any combination of those three shows, then you will almost certainly enjoy this one. But, immediately, beware two major downsides to the series: filler and a cliffhanger finale (which was also kinda filler). While no one episode ever feels especially extraneous, the show’s weakness is its…not infrequent inability to tell a particular story within the typical time constraints, with several mysteries being handled as two-parters more out of convenience than narrative necessity, often leaving us with an eye-rolling amount of pregnant pauses in conversation and wistful staring into tea cups. Which is particularly surprising given how tight the rest of the writing is—for its single-episode mysteries, of course, but especially for its protagonists, where, no matter how many expository narrations or quick flashes of memory we, as the audience, are privy to, the most relevant information can be found within their stumbling inability (or unwillingness) to describe the exact nature of their association. It is top-notch character work, and, more often than not, the thing that pulls us through the series, seemingly as much the point of the story as solving mysteries. Which is spectacularly emphasized when a season-long plot build-up finally bubbles to the surface near the end of the run, bringing forth a Moriarty for Sakurako’s Sherlock to overtly tangle with—and whose defeat, it is made quite clear, will come inextricably (somehow) from the strength of the bond between the protagonists. It’s a wonderful bit of narrative synergy. …that goes nowhere because the finale is a (semi-)filler episode about how the protagonists met and ends on a massive cliffhanger and, no, there isn’t any indication that there’s a season two in the works. (Yet. (Fingers crossed.)) Which is something you need to keep in the back of your head. Because Sakurako is worth your time—but it may not be worth the ache of unfinished business.
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