Friday, November 30, 2012

"Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo" Thoughts So Far (Episodes 1-8)

Before this current anime season kicked off, my first glances at the synopsis’s of the shows were actually kind of negative. The only shows that struck me as something to watch out for was Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun and the continuation of Sword Art Online. Everything else looked like it would be generic, stale, and boring. Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo in particular was a show that early on I decided to not watch due to my initial thoughts. However after some time passed, I began reading all over the internet how the quirky and likeable cast along with the beautiful visuals was turning Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo into one of the must watch shows. Seeing how I was already caught up on my other anime, I decided to add Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo to my regular watching schedule.

The first episodes are no different than any other slice of life type show; we spend most of the time introducing all the major characters that we will see interact with each other for the coming episodes. The main focus of the show is put on Sorata and his every day teenage struggles. Kanda is portrayed as a typical high school boy who has no idea what his ambitions might be. To make this worse, the dormitory he lives in is full of other teenagers that are all very well known in their field of choice. We have the computer genius Ryuunosuke (not the murder crazy guy from Fate/Zero), anime creator Misaki, writer Jin, and world renowned artist Mashiro. All of these characters have unusually remarkable talents and have already secured their place in society well after they graduate high school. This is one thing that I like about the show, it is very easy to connect and be brought down to Sorata’s level of understanding. He was just like I was in high school, absolutely clueless on what I wanted to take up as a trade. To make things worse all of his roommates are a little off (you know, weird). Misaki and Mashiro are a little too comfortable with themselves (or maybe just oblivious to modern society’s rules) so they walk about almost stark naked and Jin spends his nights with multiple mistresses. This is where the show puts it main focus on for the first six or so episodes; trying to get Sorata out of this building. The only reason he remains living in the building is because of the cats that he has picked up around town. The dormitory on campus does not allow pets so over the course of the first couple episodes he tries to find homes for his pets. Nanami, a work-a-holic who has a crush on Sorata, eventually helps Sorata start looking for homes for the cats because she feels that ever second he spends living around the rest of the cast is more time for him to become just as weird as them. Everything was going as planned until Sorata became exposed to Mashiro. Mashiro like I stated before is a child prodigy when it comes to art. While she is extremely skilled in drawing, she lacks all the common sense that a high school girl should have. Sorata finds himself preparing her laundry, meals, and pretty much everything else you can think of. This is the real focus of the show; the growing bond between Sorata and Mashiro. Sorata at first resents Mashiro due to the fact that she can pretty much do anything she puts her mind towards with little to no effort. Over the course of a couple episodes however, he finds that this resentment is actually admiration in disguise. He begins to become more and more interested in Mashiro to a point where he actually does not mind living with a bunch of weirdoes. He also in the process picks up computer game designing as a possible profession thanks to some help from Ryuunosuke.
That lengthy summary basically catches you up to speed on what is going on. After these past eight episodes, I feel very connected and attracted to the show. I actually want to see how things develop between Sorata and Mashiro but at the same time I also want to see something flourish between Sorata and Nanami. Also it’s not only the character development that has me hooked but the visuals the show sports. Everything is very bright, colorful, and defined. You might find this a little weird but I love the way the eyes are drawn in this show. They are very inviting and match very well with the character’s facial expressions. When they become surprised, you see the eyes contract in unison with the facial expressions. All of the characters are stunning in their own ways and this is quantified by the voice actors’ performances.
Each character’s voice actor seems to match their respective character very well. They are able to express their character's emotions very well as shown in many scenes such as when Misaki has a mini breakdown when seeing Jin and Mashiro having their date.

This show doesn’t feel fake or generic at all and in fact feels strangely mature for a slice of life high school anime. Sorata deals with real problems that kids his age have to face. Figuring out what you want to do in life is extremely hard for most of us. I was hooked on this show after episode four and wish in a weird way I didn’t pick it up until it finished airing. Every week I strain myself waiting for the next episode to come out. If you are looking for a relaxed yet somewhat deep slice of life show to watch, I strongly recommend Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo to you. It definitely caught me off guard and blew away my expectations. 

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