DVD Review: Sakura Trick – The Complete Series

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Sakura Trick offers up one kiss too many from my perspective but what can one expect to receive from this DVD release of the series by MVM Entertainment? Well let’s find out!

Synopsis:

Haruka and Yuu have been best friends forever and they’ve always sat next to each other in class since… well, since they were just girls in junior high anyway. But on their first day of high school, they’re stunned to learn that the new seating plan has them on opposite sides of the classroom!

So, since everyone knows that long distance relationships won’t work unless the parties involved put extra effort into it, they decide they need to do something extra special to permanently seal their friendship. However, deciding to kiss each other awakens a whole new level of feelings, and it doesn’t help that some of their classmates seem to be “involved” in similar circumstances.

So what’s a girl to do when her best girl friend suddenly seems more like a girlfriend? It’s a life lesson that the school curriculum isn’t normally prepared to teach, except maybe in French class, and our two young heroines are about to get a private education you’ll never forget! Discover the truth about the birds and the… er… birds, as two young ladies learn to deal with the pros and cons of intramural osculation!

Our View:

Being honest; I did not enjoy Sakura Trick and I found it rather painful to watch. This isn’t to say that I don’t enjoy two girls kissing each other, even if it did make it relatively awkward to watch at times; it’s just that the series doesn’t really go anywhere or seem do anything; it’s just an excuse for these girls to kiss each other in the most sexual, but innocent, way. I can understand that some people may enjoy the content this series has to offer, as it dives deeper into friendships and relationships between close characters; but for me I can’t see its appeal – but alas this is just my personal perspective.

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So what exactly happens? Well the events of the series follows childhood friends Haruka Takayama and Yu Sonoda as they enter a new high-school and begin to start a fresh new life as high school students. The problem is that Haruka and Yu, who have been inseparable for many years and want to continue this tradition, find themselves separated from one another in their new classroom and each begin to make new friends around them. Concerned that Yu might forget her friendship with Haruka she decides to get Yu to kiss her so that they can share a secret with one another and cement their friendship forever.

Now, with this secret in place, Haruka and Yu attempt to act normal around others; a task which is easier said than done when Haruka’s desire for kissing Yu get’s stronger by each passing day and as a result their friends and family soon begin to noice that things are not entirely as they seem.

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That’s pretty much it; and so each episode within this twelve episode series, which you could consider to be twenty-four episodes as each episode is separated into two different stories, sees Haruka trying to engage with Yu in more ‘Kissing Antics’ – each of which become more pervese and erotic – while attempting to keep it secret from others. On the flipside however we have family members and other friends trying to uncover the ‘cagey’ relationship that Yu and Haruka currently have as well as keep their own ‘secrets’ hidden from view. Of course when I talk about kissing I am not referring to just a quick peck on the lips; I am referring to tongues and potential salvia between these two female characters – hence the rather arkward aspect of being able to watch the series.

Interestingly enough it’s not the kissing aspect that puts me off this series but it’s also the rather obscure, and slightly unique, animation and pacing style that Studio Deen have opted to take. It reminds me of Kill Me Baby and Hidamri Sketch where the story swiftly jumps from location to location with different topics being discussed and in some instances the animation style reminds me of the Monogatari franchise with limited drawn areas and fast-changing scenes.

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On the plus side the animation is stronger and more detailed than the aforementioned series and at times it can look superbly detailed; but alas these detailed scenes only relate to the moments when Haruka and Yu begin kissing one another. Make of Sakura Trick what you will; but from my perspective it’s a series that offers very little and delivers nothing – well that is except for two girls kissing each other for no-other-reason than to cement a friendship; although at times I Just get the feeling that Haruka is just one big pervert.

Extras:

As per usual only a limited amount of bonus features have been included; namely opening and closing songs- which in my eyes are just as bad as the series itself – as well as a selection of trailers for other anime releases.

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In short; no real surprises are to be had with this release except that the subtitles are presented in white rather than yellow and that the trailers are of titles which have been released previously in the UK via MVM Entertainment. These discs may offer a small selection of content; but at least its better than nothing – and in some cases – at least it’s relevant.

Specs:

Media:  DVD 9 x2
Region: 2
Running Time: 2:19:50 (Disc 1) 2:19:22 (Disc 2)
Video: MPEG-2
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 224kbps (Japanese)
Subtitles: English (White)
Resolution: 720 x 480 (480p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Widescreen
Frame Rate: 25 fps

Overall:

Having not reasearched anything of Sakura Trick before giving it a go I was disappointed to discover that it’s a series which sees two close friends become even closer through kissing rather than some sort of slice of life anime. You could say that a developing story is in place; but from my perspective it’s just a poor excuse to watch two characters kiss each other in various, rather romantic/erotic, ways.

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Sure enough some fun can be had with the stories, and some outbursts from characters are quite comical, but it does nothing to savee the series from being boring and a bit of a time waste. But alas this is just my own view.

In regards to this DVD release by MVM Entertainment then everything is as expected; well nearly. Strangely enough the subtitles are presented in White (as opposed to the traditional Yellow) and that six episodes are evenly spaced out across the two DVD discs; which results in constant picture quality throughout with no issues to note. It seems like MVM Entertainment opted to have the discs authored to their own standards rather than relying on Sentai Filmworks as majority of the content seems tailored to their audiences.

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Sakura Trick wasn’t a series to my liking, for the reasons of being relatively boring, a rather unengaging experience and just a poor excuse for girls kissing one another; however those that enjoyed the story-pacing and presentation of Kill me Baby and Hidimari Sketch will no doubt enjoy what Sakura Trick has to offer. Just do not watch it in public during the ‘questionable’ scenes; as you’ll most likely get questionable looks from other people.

Score: review-stars-2

Sakura Trick – The Complete Series is now available on DVD and Blu-ray within the UK.

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About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

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