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Sakura Trick Complete Collection Blu-ray Anime Review

7 min read

Haruka and Yuu’s lips aren’t just sealed, they’re lip-locked!

What They Say:
Haruka and Yuu have been best friends forever and they’ve sat next to each other in class since junior high. But, on the first day of high school, the new seating plan has them separated!

So, since everyone knows that long distance relationships don’t work unless the parties involved put extra effort into it, they decide they need to do something special to permanently seal their friendship. However, deciding to kiss each other awakens a whole new level of feelings, and it doesn’t help that some of their classmates seem to be “involved” in similar circumstances.

What’s a girl to do when her best friend suddenly seems more like a girlfriend? It’s a life lesson that the school curriculum isn’t normally prepared to teach, but our two young heroines are about to get a private education you’ll never forget! Discover the truth about the birds and the… er… birds, as two young ladies learn to deal with the pros and cons of intramural osculation in SAKURA TRICK!

The Review:
Audio:
Sound quality for the complete collection of Sakura Trick remains crystal-clear throughout with no noticeable interruptions or peaking. Audio levels remain equalized at all times and I can personally promise you that the kissing is so audible that it will feel like someone actually loves you. Both discs are brought to us in DTS-HD Master with only the Japanese dub available.

Video:
As someone who watched this show while it was airing, the blu-ray release’s crisp video quality actually surpassed my expectations for the series. I never considered Sakura Trick to be all that visually appealing (Apart from the making out) so seeing how defined this release was is still very impressive to me. Of course, it comes in 1080p HD and sports a normal 16×9 aspect ratio. The color levels are gorgeous and the entire series’ simplistic art style really adds to its atmosphere.

Packaging:
There’s nothing remarkable to report in the packaging department. Here we have a typical Sentai release with no slipcover, box, or anything fancy- just a bunch of adorable lesbians hanging out with one another on the front an overwhelmingly cutesy back cover. The layout on the rear portion of the case is actually one of the better designs I’ve seen in recent memory and I’m surprised that so much detail was able to fit into such a small space while still maintaining a level of simplicity. Once again, though, bonus points for the lesbians.

Menu:
Sentai Filmworks isn’t exactly known for their extravagant DVD/Blu-ray menus and, as expected, that reigns true here as well. Both discs in the complete collection follow the typical format of “Just pick your episode and get on with it.” The original art that accompanies them is, of course, adorable but the lack of depth leaves yet another unmemorable selection-screen.

Special Features:
In terms of special features, there isn’t really anything to write home about. Yes, we get the textless OP and ED songs and yes, the OP is fantastic, but there isn’t really much else apart from a few trailers. If you’re looking to check out previews for Wake Up Girls, Gourmet Girl Graffiti, Strawberry Marshmallow (OVA), and Tonari No Seki-Kun, though, you’re in luck! Disc two has all of these trailers available for your viewing pleasure.

Content:
Oh man, where do I begin? For those of you that are unfamiliar with me, I love yuri. And even though I’ve started almost every single yuri review I’ve written with that disclaimer, I really need to force that one in this time. You see, Sakura Trick isn’t like Citrus or NTR- it’s on the pure side of the spectrum. The interesting thing about yuri as a genre is that you normally get one of two things: a hypersexualized make out-session or a pure, joyous trip to the park on a Sunday where two girls accidentally hold hands. Sakura Trick is both of these things. The end result? Well, let’s just say that this series is so cute that it is actually vomit-inducing. Allow me to explain.

Sakura Trick follows a group of girls who had just finished with middle school and are looking to move on in life and love. The primary focus amongst this group, however, is the pairing of Haruka and Yuu. Haruka and Yuu have been friends for as long as they can remember. But when the evils of high school rear their ugly faces (Spoiler alert: They don’t get to sit next to each other anymore), they realize that they need to do something in order to kill the distance growing between them. And what do they do, you ask? Well, you guessed it- they kiss. And then they kiss again. And then again and again and again for twelve whole episodes. If I had to take a guess about what percentage of this series is spent with these two making out, it would probably be around 25%. And you know what? Everything about it was fantastic. Despite the constant lip-locking, there isn’t really any moment that feels hyper-sexual. It’s just some good, old-fashioned girl-on-girl tongue wrestling. I’m not going to complain about that. Are you?

It isn’t all just kissing, however. Sakura Trick also comes equipped with a plot just as simple as its art style. Haruka and Yuu, although clearly loving each other, try to keep their relationship a secret. And even though they’re absolutely terrible at it, it does add the lovey-dovey factor in that often times they’ll feel distant from one another only to come tumbling back into the other’s arms an episode (Or half-episode) later. Eventually, all of the other girls start to get in on the lesbian thing too- some couples more so than others (Though none are particularly as open as Yuu and Haruka). So at the end of the day, we now have an adorable yuri kissing-fest filled with so many cherry blossoms that you will actually be blinded by purity.

Now, here’s one more thing that I feel like most people want to hear. This is, by no means, the kind of show that you should watch with your friends. In fact, you shouldn’t even tell anyone that you’re watching this. That will just lead to them asking, “What’s that?” and then you’ll show them and they will never look at you the same way again. Sakura Trick ended my last relationship. Okay, that’s a lie- but I’m sure this has been the case for at least one couple somewhere out there. The point is, this is something you should watch when you are alone and sad just so you can feel like there is some good in the world again. In fact, the world only sucks so much to begin with because it wasted all of its affection on creating Sakura Trick- one of the most adorable and endearing yuri series on the market. Hell, if the plot of the show was just a bit more interesting, this might even be a top anime overall for me.

Do you like cute girls? Watch Sakura Trick. Don’t like cute girls? Watch Sakura Trick anyway. You will change your mind. I guarantee it.

In Summary:
It’s hard to do justice to a series like this as its really something you need to experience firsthand. Sakura Trick won’t blow you away with its story, its art, or even its characters- but the entire twelve-episode journey will give you that feeling of butterflies in your stomach that you haven’t felt since giving up on life. It is so cute that it is actually infuriating and this is something you really don’t get to see anymore. It’s yuri being executed exactly the way it’s supposed to be. Sakura Trick possesses an equal blend of innocence and intimacy that parallels the subconscious of anyone that still has a heart. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for something different to watch or if you’re a seasoned shoujo-ai fan, Sakura Trick is the perfect demonstration of how powerful the world of moe can be and is an essential watch for fans of the genre.

Features:
Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0, English Subtitles, Textless Opening/Ending Songs, Trailers from Sentai Filmworks.

Content Grade: A-
Audio Grade: A-
Video Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: A-
Menu Grade: C
Extras Grade: C+

Released By: Sentai Filmworks
Release Date: September 13, 2016
MSRP: $59.98
Running Time: 300 Minutes
Video Encoding: 1080p High Definition
Aspect Ratio: 16×9


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