I haven’t quite figured out what I feel about Sakurako-san no Ashimoto yet. It’s a pretty familiar anime premise on paper, but an odd mix of elements in practice. There’s that almost KyoAni like art style, for starters, paired with content that would seem thoroughly out of place there. It’s a show that clearly has aspirations to be something edgy and smart, but can’t shake the LN affliction of being too in-love with its own dialogue.
This week’s “bone” unfortunately relies on the can’t-miss crutch of adorable little children in danger to prop it up. It does manage to produce a mild sense of sadness, but there isn’t a whole lot of “there” there to the mystery itself. Good mysteries are hard to write – very hard – which is why most anime that try to build around them are inconsistent or worse. It’s too early to say whether this will be on of them, but so far I’d place that aspect of the series somewhere in the middle of that pack.
Perhaps we’ll get a spike when the story focuses more on the tragic event in Sakurako’s past which made her call out “Soutarou!” when Shoutarou was putting his life on the line attacking the drugged-out creeper that was returning to the scene of his crime – such recurring mysteries are often more important to a series’ success than the weekly ones. As is, I just wish we’d had more focus on the mother of the children at risk in this ep, and what drove her to such destructive style – when the boogeyman showed up, that pretty much put a stop to any subtlety and pathos in the episode.
Tantei Team KZ Jiken Note – 02
I did have this show listed as a sleeper – though that was before I knew it was a short – but I think my affection for Tantei Team KZ Jiken Note is genuine. First off, 10 minutes is long enough for a show to make a bit of an impression – and this one is well-suited to that length, in fact.
There’s nothing especially revolutionary about this series – I just like it. It’s a straightforward kids show that doesn’t talk down to the audience, and features quite interesting and likeable kids dealing with the sort of mysteries 6th-graders might actually have to deal with. And I rather like the way Aya-chan is slowly coming to understand why it’s so hard to make friends, and why it’s so easy to be our own worst enemy.