a.k.a. Sakura Tsushin
Touma Inaba, a inn keeper’s son and country bumpkin, travels to Tokyo to take entrance exams for college. The night before his big tests, a mysterious call girl pays a visit to his hotel room. This girl happens to know his childhood name and that he would be staying here. There seems to be more than meets the eye to this simple “call girl”.
summary by Kei
Highs: Interesting characters; a few unpredictable moments
Lows: Low quality music; too much fan service
Let the hentai creators stick to hentai and the romantic comedy creators stick to romantic comedies. That’s what U-jin, legendary hentai creator, should have thought to himself before making Sakura Diaries into an anime.
Music means a lot in an anime, and it’s definitely a shame to hear a bad soundtrack. The music (aside from the opening theme, which is decent) tends to drone on with the same handful of tracks playing in every episode. All of the music inSakura Diaries seemed very generic which didn’t leave me entertained at times. While the character designs seemed prepackaged as well, it’s their personalities that stole the hearts of viewers. Be it Touma’s runaway imagination, Urara’s innocent methods to cheer up Touma or Kohji’s “sage” advice, the actions of some of the characters often left a large smile on my face.
A big controversy with this anime is deciding if it is a hentai series or not. My verdict is that it is indeed not a hentai anime (despite being created by a hentai author). This show does, however, boast quite a large amount of fan service. In most cases, it was just too much for me to handle; I found it to be very unnecessary. To put it simply, there was too much ecchi for the romance crowd and not enough for the hentai crowd.
While this anime was entertaining for the most part, it does have nudity in it. This anime is definitely one for the eighteen-year-old-and-up members of our student body.
Highs: Airy opening song; well developed characters
Lows: Aggravating protagonists; anticlimactic ending
Here’s another suggestion for the “you know it’s bad anime when” list: dramatic scenes end, and you yell a vulgarity followed by a long sigh of irritation. This happened with me far too often while watching Sakura Diaries, despite its good qualities.
The first thing that caught my attention wasn’t what I saw but what I heard. The opening theme song, Kimi ni Mado Kara by Kuwata Takako, is quite pleasant to listen to. Being lighthearted and fresh, Sakura Diaries starts off on the right foot with this song. Beyond that, this anime wastes no time to delve into its characters. In just the first few episodes, a lot is revealed about Touma and Urara, and we also learn quite a bit about many of the side characters. Throughout the rest of the anime, both main characters are put into situations that allow you to see who they really are…
… and I don’t like them. If anything allows you to disconnect emotionally from an anime, it’s finding the protagonists to be constantly exasperating. Here’s the rundown on both main characters: Touma is a wishy-washy and arrogant, incorrigible liar who lacks self-esteem, while Urara is a naïve, coquettish bubblehead who can’t think of any way to cheer up her sex-starved cousin other than prancing around him half or fully naked. Considering that U-jin usually makes hentai instead of romantic comedies, I’d cut him some slack if his characters were thin stereotypes, but they have no excuse seeing as they were fleshed out so well. On top of that, the ending was poorly done. The series was working up towards an incestuous relationship between Touma and Urara, and the final episode just recklessly throws it all away.
Sakura Diaries has a glaring problem with characters; in a first for me, the characters are fully developed, but I can’t find any reason to root for them. In the end, they ruin what could’ve been a decent romantic comedy. If you ever happen to see this anime on a store shelf, walk away.