Sorata Kanda has a real problem - he just can't say no to the cute face of a kitten! However, his lovely strays have finally landed him in trouble, as his dorm doesn't allow keeping pets. Given an ultimatum to get rid of the cats or move out, Sorata makes the mistake of standing up for himself and finds himself exiled to Sakurasou, the home of misfits the school doesn't know what to do with. Yet the more he spends time there, Sorata sees they all have their own incredible talents. None, however, enthralls him more than the latest arrival: Mashiro Shiina, a world class artist who is seemingly incapable of feeding or clothing herself! Since none of the other residents have a shred of responsibility, the onus of 'Mashiro Duty' falls to Sorata; what will become of Sorata and his latest stray, and will he ever achieve his goal of escaping Sakurasou?
PROPER MINDSET So here I am watching this show called The Pet Girl of Sakurasou which is supposed to have some sort of good drama besides being fan service. One minute after the pilot episode begins I am already eye-rolling. We get the usual hentai-premise, a typical boring dork surrounded by hot girls who are all over him for NO FAKIN’ REASON and he is constantly not doing anything with them because it is not a hentai but a comedy. AHAHAHA-oh wait; that is not funny at all. Because all ecchi shows are exactly like that for the past 30 years and this one sure as hell doesn’t attempt to be original in the slightest. PRODUCTION VALUES Let’s start with what most of you will think right away. “Hey it’s a J.C. Staff show; time to fap to badly adapted softporn by some light novel.” Because that is the only thing they are ever doing and if any of you think they are anything more than that, I pity you. The production values are as always mediocre all across the board, from the done-to-death character designs, the cloned-into-infinity school grounds, to the jerky animation, the lazily-written songs, and the loose voice acting. There is no way to score the looks of this show with more than the base score. SCRIPT I wish I could describe the story to you but I can’t. No matter what I write, you will easily confuse it with at least a dozen other shows which so happen to have THE EXACT SAME STORY. So I might as well make a checklist of all the stuff you get to find in here FOR THE MILLIONTH TIME.- A completely average, typical, boring everyday high school male who loves to be obnoxious and to make an ass of himself on every chance he gets- No sex despite all characters being hentai archetypes but nonetheless various excuses to masturbate while watching them not doing it- A school that is somehow able to violate every rule and law in the world without being nuked from orbit - A set of characters who you would normally only encounter in Arkham asylum - Complete lack of common sense - Pandering of all sorts for losers, NEETs, gamers, bored to death high schoolers With that in mind, the plot is about a guy in a problematic school full of horny pussies. He gets to stroke them but never to bang them. And I don’t mean the cats! One day the obligatory mysterious transfer student arrives and he needs to take care of her. And by take care of her I mean to do all things one would expect from deviant porn. Yet he never really does anything with her because this is a comedy. AHAHA-not funny. No, really, that girl is completely autistic and you can do anything you want with her. She won’t fight back, won’t be able to explain the situation to anyone else, and is even doing provocative moves on you like she wants it. So why doesn’t he take advantage of her if he gets what he wants, she won’t mind it, and nobody will ever find out about it? Because for some reason, being obnoxious and a loser overwrites your teenage urges. EVEN SHINJI MASTURBATES TO ASUKA! Aha, but wait, now we are getting to the part where many say the show is very good at. You see that autistic girl is very talented in art and makes the completely average dork protagonist to look like dirt. Not that he already wasn’t with that obnoxious personality of his. So the plot is basically a genius having to rely on a commoner for all the trivial stuff; and by trivial stuff I mean all the erotic fetishes one can only dream of. Because this show couldn’t work as a serious take on the gap between the gifted and the everyday people; it had to be a J.C. Staff show.Now in all honesty it depends on how you get to see the whole thing. If you perceive it as drama and romance with fan service and comedy then of course it is going to suck monkey balls, since there is a ton of the later aspects. But if you lower your bar ssssssoooooo low to the point you somehow believe that any softporn goofball comedy is a masterpiece if it gently scratches a serious topic, then OMG THE ANIME OF THE MILLENNIA IS RIGHT HERE! THIS IS BETTER THAN SWORD ART ONLINE AND AS WE ALL KNOW SWORD ART ONLINE IS A MASTERPIECE!… not. For me? Well I can only place it a bit above a typical run of the mill ecchi comedy, which in turn is a bit above sea urchins and fruit flies. CAST Now I know many who loved the themes of the story. It is rather easy to identify with a guy who doesn’t excel at anything and be envious of a girl which was born to be better than you when it comes to important things. It is also cute to see how even the elite can be in need of the nobodies for the everyday things we take for granted. At the same time the show is not exactly doing much with the theme since it is as I said to the most part an ecchi comedy than romance or a social drama. Sorata is so obnoxious and scared of sex that I would hate him no matter how smart he was. And Shiina is basically an emotionless puppet that is ok to sleep with everyone just to get ideas for a shoujo manga; I couldn’t imagine her as nothing more than one of those huge anime pillows.And then it’s the whole romance aspect of the show. If one can call it that. Beats me how exactly the main two characters fell in love with each other in two episodes if all I ever saw them doing is random ecchi stuff. And I never got how all the chicks with issues always run to cry on the lap of the most boring and obnoxious male they can find, magically falling in love with him. There is literally a guy who has seduced every MILF there is right next to them; a jigolo of comfort who even does it for free. Why don’t they run to him for support; he obviously knows more about girl problems than the loser protagonist. Self insert character bullshit like this totally put me of. LEGACY Down to it, the anime is not complete garbage but it is far from a great one. If there is one show J.C. Stuff did right, that would be Toradora. There weren’t such BS there, the romance felt more plausible, the fan service was very toned down. Pet Girl leaves comedy and turns to drama in the second half but it is sort of hard to like the change in the mood. Wouldn’t it be far better if it was a drama all along? And would it kill them to have sex instead of this done to death ecchi jokes? Those things are exactly what would make this anime to be great instead of just another comedy which tries a bit to be good. Not completely garbage as almost anything J.C. Stuff ever made, enjoyable for the casual romcom fans, but not exceptional.And by the way, the anime is not a complete adaptation of the light novels it is based on. If any of you are thinking about reading the rest of the story in the novels, be warned that they end in a way that infuriated everybody who liked the anime. So yeah, it’s a lose-lose situation.
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.
Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo is an average anime. I'm not saying it's bad, just that it's completely in line with what you would expect from a romantic-comedy set in a high school whose protagonists are teenage kids. It's entertaining and enjoyable if you like this type of anime, but it doesn't deviate much from the standard clichès of the genre for what concerns the plot and the characters, especially so for the male lead. I wonder why anime creators seem incapable of producing a male lead with some personality. After you've seen a number of anime like this, with always the same kind of indecisive, wishy-washy, boring and clueless male protagonist, it gets very frustrating: there's no understandable reason as to why he should be surrounded by multiple girls who inevitably end up falling in love with him. In this case, you have this completely normal high school kid who has no idea about what he wants to be when he grows up whose life gets turned upside down when he meets a girl who is a prodigy at painting and with very clear aims for her professional career, but is at the same time completely inept at looking after even her most basic everyday-life necessities. So boy meets girl with an additional twist given by the fact that it's mediocre-boy meets genius-girl. This plotline gets repeated and kind of hammered into you because there's two of the secondary characters who are in the exact same situation. And how this is presented and developed makes for a good watch. Apart from the predictable protagonist threesome (boy + two girls vying for his attention), there are at least five other secondary characters (once again, anime stereotypes) who are likeable, all have a back-story (at times overly-simplified), a definite personality and undergo some development. Apart from the prodigy girl meets average boy theme and the trivialities about finding what you're passionate about, fighting for it and working hard to make your dreams come true, there's also the topic related to the value of friendship and interpersonal relationships. Obviously regarding the love story, our male lead is absolutely clueless as to the girls (and his own) feelings. So it's all very innocent up to the very end. No surprises. Overall, it's enjoyable and at times emotionally involving, but not particularly memorable.
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