Within the first few minutes of Sakura Trick I was pretty confused about what exactly I was seeing. It’s a light-hearted comedy with a cast of all girls, but I was left with an important question. Who exactly is the audience for this show?
In watching this first episode, I couldn’t help but feel slightly guilty for liking parts of it. The relationships in how the characters are matched up just feel like they are ignorant male fantasies of what lesbian relationships are about. Maybe I feel a bit better for realizing that to begin with however the fanservice heavy opening animation did little to ease my concerns.
Getting away from that angle for a bit, I do think that this was targeted at the typical late-night anime audience. That’s how we end up at a point where the characters are hopelessly naive about their new roles as high school students. Surprisingly, I did think Haruka and Yuu worked well together in the latter being worried about losing the one friend she knew from before to other people. How that was resolved wasn’t exactly lacking in fanservice, but the initial kiss between the pair did have a funny conclusion.
The success of this show going forward is going to depend on the gags. Here it was a combination of stereotypes of yuri shows and a bit of slapstick comedy. The results were so-so, but again there seems to be a desire to turn the jokes perverted as quickly as possible. That needs to go away as the characters are designed. This isn’t Seitokai Yakuindomo where the characters are firmly established as perverted after all.
There’s hope for this show going forward, but it’s clear that it isn’t setting out to be anything other than a yuri romantic comedy targeted at a male audience.