In the Fall 2012 season, J.C.Staff released its anime adaptation of “Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo,” otherwise known as, “The Pet Girl of Sakurasou.” This title is sort-of misleading as the main female character, Shiina Mashiro, isn’t exactly like a pet but, rather, requires care and attention like a pet. This story also focuses on the main male character of Kanda Sorata, who has the (un)fortunate duty of taking care of Mashiro every day.
J.C.Staff has been known to produce stories of unlikely “couples” and most of the series produced like this are quite popular. One of the more famous odd pairings can be found in “Toradora,” which came out in the Fall 2008 season and ran to the end of the Winter 2009 season. J.C.Staff’s first foray into the anime world came in 1987 with the OVA “Yotoden,” a.k.a “Sengoku Kitan Youtouden,” which consisted of three episodes running 45 minutes each. This was later turned into a movie in 1989 called “Wrath of the Ninja,” which was basically just a condensed version.
Anyway, I’m getting off topic here. J.C.’s release of “Sakurasou” has been just as popular as “Toradora” was when it was released. This time around, there really isn’t too much that’s different. Essentially, there are a few relationships going on here:
Sorata is being fought over by two girls. Mashiro, naturally, and another girl named Aoyama Nanami. Nanami is Sorata’s classmate and she has had a wicked crush on him from the beginning. Mashiro, who arrived at Sakurasou pretty much emotionless, develops feelings of Sorata as time progresses in the series. Of course, in typical fashion, Sorata is clueless when it comes to stuff like this.
The other relationship has nothing to do with our main protagonist and, instead, focuses on Kamiigusa Misaki and Mitaka Jin. Misaki has loved Jin since they were kids but Jin has always kept her at a distance. Basically, those two are their own, little side story that gets explored a few times.
Lastly, there’s the relationship between Akasaka Ryuunosuke and Rita Ainsworth. That one is more than a little dysfunctional and is better observed than read about.
So, what’s the point here? J.C.Staff has somehow managed to personify dysfunctional high school relationships, put a positive spin on it, throw in some teenage angst and self-discovery, wrap it up in pretty good artwork (most of the time) and make us like it. The whole work is a giant bundle of feelings; even if those feelings aren’t always pleasant. The story itself is pretty solid but there are a few problems here.
In the first place, Mashiro’s character is completely unrealistic. At a point in the series, around Episode 12, her character changes due to some things. Where she was once emotionless, she now tries to come to grips with new feelings that she hasn’t had before. Up to that point, this was always the case as we can see her developing, but the changes have accelerated after that point. Then, you throw in Nanami, who is also developing, but is so far inside the embarrassment close that you just want to reach through the screen and smack her around a few times. Lastly, there’s Sorata. A protagonist can only be so clueless. I think J.C. went a little far in making him as clueless as he is. However, he has his good points and does have a genuine sense responsibility when it comes to the people he cares about.
All-in-all, it’s worth taking a look at if you’re into the romance/comedy/high school genres. J.C.Staff manages to bring their usual quality to this series and it will certainly keep you entertained. Most of the relationships are dysfunctional, and each of the characters have their own personality quirks that makes them unique, but that’s to be expected. I mean, who wants to watch a high school-based romantic comedy where the relationships are normal? That’s just no fun.
- Airs: Tuesday, 00:30 JST (GMT +9)
- Studio: J.C.Staff
- Genre(s): Romance, Comedy, School
- First Aired: 09 Oct 2012
Banished from normal housing for the crime of adopting stray cats, Sorata Kanda’s life has gone to the dogs and now he’s been impounded in Room 101 of Sakura Dormitory, a notorious den of troublemakers, geniuses and weirdos. Meanwhile, Mashiro Shiina in Room 202 is the cat’s meow of the art world. However, she’s so unfocused and dysfunctional that she needs a full-time keeper to survive day-to-day life while she puts her career as a famous artist on hold and studies to be a manga creator. That’s too big a task for Chihiro, Mashiro’s cousin who lives in the same dorm and also happens to be Sorata’s teacher. But given Sorata’s weakness for taking in small, cute but sometimes not completely loveable creatures, could he be the one destined to take over Mashiro’s grooming, feeding and general, er… domestication? Well, if he’s not, too bad, ‘cause no one else is stepping up and he’s stuck with it and her! Heavy petting gets redefined, the Dorm’s the only thing likely to get housebroken and hopefully no one will get neutered as who’s on whose leash becomes anybodies’ guess in The Pet Girl of Sakurasou!