Monday, March 14, 2016

Anime Review: Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru

sakurako san no ashimoto
Source: Opening Screenshot with photoshop camera raw filter

Rating: 7/10

Note: Due to extremely long title, I would be using Sakurano to for ease of reading.

Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru (English: There is a Corpse buried under Sakurako’s  Feet or Beautiful bones- Sakurako’s investigation) features the story of a high school student named Shoutarou who tags along with an osteologist – “Sakurako” who is madly in love with bones and has a lot of knowledge about them, to the point that she could even predict the cause of death and the physical appearance of a person or animal by just investigating the bones. Both of them randomly encounter dead human remains every time they go out for some bone hunting. Thanks to Sakurako’s high level of intelligence, cases that seem impossible to solve are solved without any sweat. But behind all this random “Sherlock Holmes” drama, lies a feint feeling of discomfort, as someone or something might be connected to all the deaths.

I watched Sakurano while it was still airing, it was the first anime that entered my “fall-2015” to watch list. The synopsis looked great, so I though of giving it a try. Also, it is no use hiding that I was somewhat attracted to this mysterious women named Sakurako, thus I ended up watching it just for her.

Sakurano is similar to one of those shows that start with a blast but loose their charm in between and just one or two scenes are enough to mess them up greatly. What leads to their downfall is that they get struck up on those scenes so badly that they loose their pace and thus present us with one or two boring episodes. Episodes that bore you to the point that you might end up dropping the anime.

While Sakurano did mess up, it was still fun to watch due to the fact that it had a very unique and interesting plot. First episode is enough to display the true potential Sakurano’s got. You are introduced to a normal school boy and a bone-nerd Sakurako who bases everything on logic, even human emotions! Shoutarou generally acts as Sakurako’s assistant and accompanies her whenever she goes looking for animal corpses, but unfortunately for Shoutarou and fortunately for Sakurako, they end up discovering human corpses more often. This leads to them solving the mystery behind the death of corpse they find. But a good thing about Sakurano is that although it focus on murder related mysteries, the way they are introduced and their final conclusion is done very cleverly. Its mysterious aura will give you feel similar to that of a supernatural anime.
Another thing I like about the story was that it was very dynamic, it covered vast things while sticking to the original plot. The final few episodes linked many things together and thus made scope for a second season.

The characters in Sakurano are normal people except Sakurako, she is a beautiful young woman with a very logical and mature way of thinking. Her unquestionable intelligence combined with her observation skills and straight-forwardness makes her a very ideal and well developed character. As I mentioned earlier, I watched Sakurano because of Sakurako, and I am glad that I was not disappointed by her. Sakurako’s assistant, Shoutarou really loves to spend time with Sakurako and wishes to learn about bones from her. Although, it is unclear at first how they both met but the final two episodes explain it. Shoutarou has some good character development but still…..he pisses me off a bit.
There are many other characters introduced but sadly they are not given that much screen-time which is a big drawback of Sakurano.

Sakurano has very good art and a decent sound track. It is a delight for the eyes to watched such well made background. The details on the bones is remarkably good. I would rate the art 9/10 for its beauty.
Although the OST is good as a whole, I didn’t like the opening song that much. It is not bad but it I think it doesn’t suit my music taste.

Sakurano is good, so why does it scores 7 and not an eight or nine? The answer is simple, because it made me wanting to drop it not one but many times. When Sakurano began, it had its own charm accompanied by a very good pace. The story progressed very well until the middle of the series came. It got destroyed in just 20 minutes. It became hollow, boring and completely pointless. I will be blunt here and say that all my expectations were almost ruined, I was about to drop it but still continued to watch hoping that it would become interesting again, but it did not, not for a few episodes. Sakurano tried to make it look like it had a deeper hidden sub-plot but it failed miserably. I don’t see the point of introducing a character that is so horribly defined and made to look like a ultimate villain but in truth is a lunatic. The reasons of his actions were completely beyond me. I think we were expected to find him a master manipulator but frankly, only a brainless fool would get manipulated by such a poorly done villain.
Another thing I didn’t like at first was that Sakurano claims to be for those who are “hung up by past” and unable to move on, but it doesn’t go beyond it, we don’t get to see any interesting story that is related to this statement. But I think the creators did it purposely to link the first and a possible second season. I do hope they reveal Sakurako’s mysterious past if they ever decide to make a second season.

To sum it all up, Sakurano is a good anime as long as you feel like watching it. It looses its pace and becomes boring at some points but is still a good experience. The main character i.e. Sakurako is strong enough to keep you watching if you ever feel like dropping it.

Who would watch Sakurano?
People who like anime which discuss the technical expects of its theme will find Sakurano good. Also, people who like mild Sherlock like experience might also like it. But people who want to see an anime with deeper meaning and a well done story might not find it that amusing. In the end, it all depends upon one’s taste and mood.

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