Sakura Trick is a twelve-episode yuri anime series based on the manga written and illustrated by Tachi. Studio Deen is responsible for the anime adaptation, which aired from January 9th 2014 to March 27th 2014.
The plot begins with main characters Haruka Takayama and Yuu Sonoda starting high school. Since their school is set to close in the next three years, they are the last new students.
Haruka and Yuu decide to do something to make their relationship special, so they kiss.
Sakura Trick is a very much slice-of-life anime, with a strong focus on the actual yuri that takes place. Haruka and Yuu aren’t the only couple in the show, but it is those two who get most attention.
Haruka Takayama is a very friendly and cheerful person, though she does get jealous easily when others get close to Yuu. In addition to being one half of a yuri couple, she gets excited when seeing others and wholeheartedly approves of the yuri couples she does see.
Yuu Sonoda is the youngest member of her family, and effectively Haruka’s other half. She absolutely loves sports, but is lacking in practically every other subject.
The secondary couple in Sakura Trick are Shizuku Minami and Kotone Noda. Shizuku is introverted, and not too great at expressing herself. Kotone, on the other hand, is energetic and playful. She enjoys teasing her friends.
Kaede Ikeno and Yuzu Iizuka make up the third pair of girls, but they are not in relationship with each other. Kaede enjoys playing pranks, and is actually fairly perceptive. Yuzu fills the role of the sane one of the group, and is often the recipient of jokes or outbursts from the others.
Towards the end of the series, it is hinted at that Kaede and Yuzu’s friendship may be moving towards something more.
There is also Mitsuki Sonoda, Yuu’s older sister. She is the student council president at the start of the series. She is more studious and serious than Yuu, though she does space out at times. She becomes suspicious about the closeness of Haruka and Yuu, and finds herself thinking of the former a lot.
Of course, in a yuri series, the relationships are important. Whenever Haruka and Yuu or Shizuku and Kotone share a tender moment, the background music really helps to convey the atmosphere.
Their relationships aren’t always straightforward. However, seeing the girls approach those challenges and overcome them is part of the appeal.
It isn’t all serious, though. There are plenty of comedic moments that may have you laughing out loud. Sakura Trick manages to balance tender moments with humour. One brilliant moment in the first episode has Haruka and Yuu pull off a physics-defying flip from one balcony to another.
As far as yuri goes, Sakura Trick may just be one of the best series in the genre. The girls kiss each other on their own terms, the relationships work, there is drama and comedy.
Sakura Trick ends satisfactorily, though the fact that the manga is still ongoing means there is hope for a second season. There is also the aforementioned relationship between Kaede and Yuzu which has the potential to bloom into something.
Yuri at its best. Interesting characters, great comedy and tender moments all wrapped up in one sakura-coloured package.