What They Say:
Sorata is a normal student living in an abnormal dorm and has one goal: ESCAPE! But those plans are thrown when a new student moves in.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Based on the light novel series that began in 2010 by Hajime Kamoshida which also spawned a manga adaptation in 2011, The Pet Girl of Sakurasou is a new twenty-four episode series from JC Staff. The property has proven popular enough that it’s also getting a game adaptation in 2013, right in the middle of the shows run, which definitely will help draw some attention to it. JC Staff can be a bit hit or miss with the shows they do, but right from the start this show looks to hit the right comedic buttons for me as we’re introduced to the students that live in Sakura Hall.
The hall is one where it seems that certain problem students are placed in so that they can all be kept together rather than spread weird trouble all over the map. There’s downsides to that though as they can exceed a lot of things by being together. In the midst of this group of unusual students that get by the numbers introductions quickly at the start is a young man named Sorata who seems to be quite simply normal. His whole goal is just to escape from this hall at this school and get back to a normal life. There are those tha tknow him that understand he’s not the type that really belongs in there, which we see at the start of the school season, but he’s just plain out of luck in how things have conspired to put him there.
What starts to change things for him and his view of staying in the hall is the arrival of a new student named Shiina, a very quiet but appealing young woman who takes a liking to him in her own particular way rather quickly. When we get the basic group of residents in the hall together for food and lighthearted fun, it works well to show the dynamic at play here. It also doesn’t hurt in a way that Sorata is essentially assigned to making sure she gets to school safely and set up right. Where it gets complicated for him in a bigger way thouhg is when he goes to her room to get her for school and discovers she’s quite the artist and has done up a very romantic manga of their encounter and what she may really want out of it. It’s girly to be sure but it’s also something with a lot of appeal that’s thrown into a huge amount of sex appeal when she ends up appearing naked before him. Her almost disconnected and mildly naive nature here makes her an ideal pet in a way as she’s just looking to be told what to do by Sorata. Which makes his problems all the more involved since she also seems rather inept.
The Pet Girl of Sakurasou gets off to a decent start here as it introduces us to the residents of the Sakura Hall where all the odd and unusual high school students live. Thankfully, nobody is outright bizarre when you get down to it, though there are some eccentric ones. I’d almost say I know some really stranger people in my own life than are represented here so far. It takes a bit, but it’s the second half where things start to show more of its true colors as the “pet girl” is introduced in Shiina. She’s not got a lot going on here it seems but there’s potential for some interesting layers to be revealed if she is actually doing all of this with a reason rather than just being bland and simple. I’m curious to see if it’ll actually develop into something, but with twenty-four episodes I don’t have high hopes for it to do good stuff sooner rather than later, leaving me with a bunch of mendacity. On the other hand, few shows so far this season are making me laugh and with the humor here and the gorgeous looking designs and animation from JC Staff, it may be worth sticking around for that alone.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
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