Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo is based off of a light novel and manga by Kamoshida Hajime. In late 2012, early 2013, JC Staff put out an anime based off of it. It’s tough to judge anything in advance based off of that since JC Staff has worked on great anime like Flying Witch & Yami No Matsuei as well as mediocre anime like Toradora and rubbish anime like Puni Puni Poemii & Voogie’s Angel. Only the future will tell where this one falls.
Sorata is a student who’s found himself banished to Sakurasou, the dorm where they put all the problem students. He’s there on account of being a crazy cat boy with a living space full of fur & the scent of a half dozen litter boxes. The teacher who runs the dorm, Chihiro, sends him to fetch her cousin, knowing he won’t try anything due to lack of balls. From there, shenanigans ensue.
Let’s start by talking about one of the many major problems that plagues this series. To be specific, the comedy is really ceaselessly obnoxious. A lot of it is based on the characters being loud, over-reactionary and annoying. Some comedies work by giving you a cast that’s enjoyable or with strong comedic quirks that play off of each other well. This one just wants you to suffer for your insolence in assuming that comedies should be funny.
Then we have the romance. Which is horrible. I haven’t seen characters tossed together romantically with this little chemistry since Sword Art Online. The main romance is based around her being completely inept at taking care of herself and him being bland. Then we have the secondary romance based around them being childhood friends. They have less of a chemical reaction than neon with krypton but they’re childhood friends and, therefore, natural romantic interests. Then there are the characters who barely interact before she takes an interest in him for no discernible reason. And he seems outright opposed to it for most of the series, so you know that’ll be healthy and totally work in the long term.
Another big issue I have with the narrative is that the series tries to balance more light-hearted comedy with somewhat more serious romantic drama. I’ve already talked in broad strokes about how both those aspects genuinely fail, but a side issue has to do with consequence. Basically, if you’re going to have some more serious elements you need the characters to have some consequences for their actions. Which never happens in this series. These characters pull some shit that they should not be getting by with in any series that ever tries to be serious. They sneak into the pool, lock their teachers on a roof and disrupt graduation all with everything working out great for them. Not even comedic comeuppance because that might actually be funny and this series is anti-comedy.
I’ve gone on record multiple times as saying that comedic characters don’t necessarily have to have depth, so long as they’re funny. In this, the characters have all the shallowness of shitty harem characters and there’s nothing funny about them. If anything, they may be even more annoying to watch than the cast of Grand Blue.
Probably the worst aspect is that informed characteristics are a big part of this series. We’re told that Sakurasou’s residents are talented but we never see evidence to support that. The greeting animation we see from Misaki is pretty shit. The “genius” Mashiro’s manga is basically this anime. Which, first off, is just self-aggrandising and, secondly, this series is shit. So, if this is the best she can do she’s trash. There’s also the “genius” label for her. She’s supposed to be a genius, but she can’t do basic shit like dress herself.
This culminates with the entire house working together on an animation for the school. And the animation isn’t just badly done, but it has a narrative that would never work for High Schoolers. Basically, it does the small children’s media thing of asking the audience to do things in order to participate. You know, like the Care Bears asking them to say they care. And we, as the audience, are supposed to believe this entire High school is so full of idiocy that the student body would be super into this shit designed for an audience ten to eight years younger than them.
Speaking of the “lack of consequences” Playboy sleeps around, has every VD in existence, but the girl he actually likes is never once turned off by it. For that matter, we never see his health suffer from having every Venereal disease.
The artwork isn’t bad, except when we see wild girl’s garbage animations. It’s just very generic. Complete with bog-standard designs and some failed attempts at visual gags.
The performances aren’t all that bad. They gravitate towards over-exaggeration and can be annoying at times, but they’re one of the lesser evils in the series. The music is mostly pretty bland. If you watch slice of life works, I guarantee you’ve heard much better compositions.
There’s barely any to be seen. The series goes to great trouble to give all the characters het love interests. Even if the romance is rubbish. Wild girl does grope the others once or twice. That’s pretty much the extent of it.
Areas of Improvement:
- Give the characters strong comedic quirks. Them being obnoxious does not make for a strong comedy. Them being funny would.
- Skip the romance. Clearly, Kamoshida sucks at writing romance. So, just make it a straight up comedy without the horribly written romantic drama.
- Don’t tell us how brilliant the characters are if you can’t back it up. This is a pet peeve of mine in general, media that likes to have certain characters tell you how brilliant another is but that never has them do anything to prove it. I can tell you, emotionally stilted girl does not come across as a genius in any capacity. Neither does Wild girl since the animations we see her do are terrible. Nor does the shut in. But we get to listen to the other characters talk about how superlicious talented they all are. So much so that it becomes an annoying element before the series is a third over.
I hated this anime. I hated every mind-numbingly stupid, obnoxious moment of it. I’ve watched some pretty awful comedies lately, but this is the worst of them. I honestly had trouble getting through it due to how unpleasant it was to watch. And that’s why my rating is going to be a 1/10. It’s fucking horrible.