Saturday, 22 February 2014

Sakura Trick - Episode 7

In case you haven't already noticed, Haruka and Yuu will kiss pretty much anywhere - something which threatens to become a problem when they do so while forgetting that Kotone and Shizuku are still in the room!

Having avoided too many awkward questions under the auspices that Haruka was "only trying to undress" Yuu (admittedly not the most helpful of reactions in those circumstances), we can now continue to the culture festival's after-party, which takes place at Kotone's rather luxurious indoor swimming pool.  While the group gets to enjoy the pool and both Haruka and Mitsuki find themselves press-ganged into learning to swim, some unexpected drama appears in the form of Kotone's little sister Shinobu.  Unsurprisingly, she's none too happy that her big sister is now effectively living with Shizuku, especially given that she's apparently engaged, although both Kotone and Shizuku's misery at the prospect of the former being forced to return home is obvious.  Thus, there's only one thing for it - a swimming contest between Shinobu and Shizuku to decide Kotone's future.

With that problem out of the way (while also demonstrating the disadvantages of swimming with a stuffed toy animal on your back), it's a rather less urgent problem that Haruka has to deal with in the second half of this episode - namely, Yuu's desire for a particular scarf, the last of which has been bought by Shizuku.  This calls for a shopping trip and a hunt for a suitable alternative scarf - although perhaps all that's required is to ask an assistant whether they have more stock out back?  Then again, with as fickle a nature as Yuu has maybe another scarf entirely will fit the bill after all.

Having felt a little like my enjoyment of Sakura Trick has run its course after a couple of middling episodes of late, this week's instalment really did the... err, trick... of winning me over again.  Although its drama was resolved incredibly quickly and in an ill-paced fashion, bringing Kotone and Shizuku's relationship into the limelight was a refreshing change from the constant focus on Haruka and Yuu (who, let's face it, have the least complex relationship in the series), which in turn allowed our dose of the show's main pairing to concentrate on some pretty enjoyable humour and sweetness without feeling too much like more of the same.  If Sakura Trick can continue to put sufficient focus into the rest of its cast in this fashion, it stands a far greater chance of keeping things fresh and entertaining, so I'll certainly be hoping for more of the same from the rest of its second half.

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