The Pet Girl of Sakurasou Review

 

Studio: J.C. Staff
Publisher: ASCII Media Works
Genre: Drama, Romance, School, Slice of Life
Release: S1 (2012)

“What color do you want to be?” Shiina asks Sorata. Undetermined, he answers opal “not because they shine in every color, but what I meant is that my color isn’t very clear.” Well, Kanda Sorata just transferred to the infamous Sakurasou high school dorm where all the supposed crazy eccentrics stay. Thing is, unlike the others, he hasn’t found what he wants to do with his life yet. Well, he’s about to, but only after a kaleidoscope of emotional events to come: mostly painful, ironic, and funny, with a tee-bit of feeling jealousy to the girl he thinks he likes (or just admires)- This is The Pet Girl of Sakurasou! (Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo in Japanese)

The main theme of this anime circles around ‘ordinary people who work hard to the bone but get nothing vs. talented people doing nothing yet get everything‘ argument explicated in a weird yet heartfelt mix of drama and comedy.

Did I already say Sakurasou is full of crazy eccentrics? Let’s have Sorata introduce to you his housemates!

First off is the crazy alien Kamiigusa Misaki– a senpai of Sorata who’s so talented that she writes, draws and animates her own anime! She has this personality of having no restraint to what she wants to express, like so:

Next up is Mitaka Jin– a master player dubbed a “maharaja” by Sorata who dates and sleeps with any and every girl he likes- even married women are no exception! He’s also a childhood friend of Misaki.

Here’s Chihiro Sengoku– the teacher of their school assigned to supervise Sakurasou. Known for having an Amazoness archetype, she’s an alcoholic desperate to tie the knot before her ‘best-before’ date lol.

Last but not the least, is Akasaka Ryuunosuke! Living next door to Sorata’s room, he’s a talented software developer, although a shut-in, who never goes out and goes to school unless needed. Everyone communicates with him via Maid-chan, a computer AI he himself designed. Well, he never really shows up. For awhile.

Compared to all those wild creatures he lives with, it’s safe to say that Sorata is the only normal guy around.

Normal…perhaps also ordinary and predictable? Boring, even? Anyway, Chihiro-sensei asks him to fetch her nephew who came from England after school. It turns out to be Shiina Mashiro, the girl who will later ask him what color he wants to be. He takes her home to Sakurasou.

Since Shiina is going to stay in Japan to finish her studies, Sakurasou held a hotpot welcome party for her.

The next day, Sorata’s goddess-like image of Shiina is shattered when he saw how untidy her room is upon waking her up for school. He finds her buck-naked and dazed after working an all-nighter for her manga.

Obviously she has a problem with self-management, which is why the dorm elected Sorata for Mashiro duty!

Despite finding her manga to be abnormally amazing, Sorata never knew who she really was…

Eventually he finds out she’s a world class painter who went to Japan to learn to make manga.

All the people in Sakurasou, though crazy and abnormal, are all talented and gifted people who know what they want to do in their lives. This eventually depressed poor and ordinary Sorata.

Actually, he only transferred to Sakurasou because it was illegal for the stray cats he picked up to stay in the regular dorms. Well, he has a soft spot for kitties so he couldn’t leave them alone. The moment he entered Sakurasou, he proudly vowed he’ll find owners for the cats and leave as soon as he can!

What does Jin think about that, though?

Jin explains to Sorata that he’s just beating around the bush since he never put any effort into finding owners for the cats. He even volunteered to take care of them so Sorata could finally leave. Boom.

In Sorata’s mind, he’s the only normal functioning human in the dorm and every one else had a screw lose somewhere. He would keep complaining and pointing out their crazy antics just like how a straight man in a comedic duo would- which is funny. Things like that would keep happening in a funny matter, but would then eventually get dramatic as Shiina gets serious upon receiving constant rants from Sorata.

There’s this one time where after a weird turn of events, Shiina was able to let Sorata escort her to a love motel because by actually being there, she could improve the story for her manga. Knowing this, Sorata was still blinded by their ‘dangerous’ situation and scolds her still. Oh, did Shiina gave him a spot-on earful:

Flashback time! Sorata remembered when he asked what Shiina was doing all her life.

To which she answered casually:

Said answer by Shiina was totally disregarded by Sorata, who was looking for a more substantial and life-worthy answer- understandable given that Shiina was completely lacking at the self-survival department at the time. Apparently, he later realized that painting pictures IS her life, ergo can’t be any more life-worthy and substantial than it already is. It appears that he had no right to scold her because unlike her, he was a rantful jerk with no purpose in life. Time to go to a downward spiral of udder depression!

This is where I’ll stop with the story- better watch it to find out what happens next! I haven’t even gotten to the ‘ordinary people who work hard to the bone but get nothing vs. talented people who do nothing yet get everything‘ thing yet. But I guess you pretty much already know who those talented people and ordinary people are. More characters will be introduced to take the story to a full circle!

RATING: 8/10

Story
Visuals
Audio

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