If you’re a fan of the series, you’ve probably stumbled across a truckload of hate being piled on the show, heck, even people who enjoyed it have considered it to be a guilt watch. The formula of Yuri and Kissing had certainly been an invitation for people to hurl the word objectification and dismiss the show for trying to be different. As someone who loves Sakura Trick, it is frustrating to see that it is so gravely misunderstood.
Let’s first look at one area this show has constantly been attacked, fanservice. I can understand a person being uncomfortable with fanservice in the series, but vocal haters are using this to draw their conclusion that the show is trying to objectify lesbians, its even to the point that they think the kissing is nothing more than service to the audience.
Now, there is something really wrong with the idea that girls kissing automatically equates to objectifying lesbians, is there not a need to view the situation in context? Their very first kiss establishes that they were special to each other and the second an attempt by Haruka to reaffirm this. They aren’t the normal cliche and drama fare, it may seem trivial, but these are all indicative of character motivations, quite the opposite of sexual objectification.
To address the fanservice aspect, it is introduced mostly in the form of gratuitous shots, not by means of people falling on each other and magically ending up in a 69 position. It can put some people off, yes, but it in no way affects the characterization.
“There’s no plot” is something that always comes up and this is one complaint I can’t for the sake of me understand. I take it they meant that there is no major conflict in ST, which is true, just that it shouldn’t be a problem in a Slice-of-Life series. In fact, comparing ST to other SOLs, the passage of time is clear and the characters show progression.
It is quite common to find heavy-handed drama in romance, throwing as much nonsense as possible at an established couple to show their relationship is so strong that they survived through: being framed of cheating, miscarriage, being separated for years, family opposition…
Some might find the idea of taking a grenade, getting stabbed and getting thrown in front of a train for the one you love is romantic, but I just find it plain creepy. Why talk about your love for a person through what you would and could do for them and not through the things you appreciate about them. There is a world of difference between being in love with a person and being in love with the idea of being in love.
Here we have something a little different from the norm, a romance which focuses on showing the intimate side of a couple. A show which rejects the idea that a romance must be depicted through overcoming attempts to tear the couple apart, one that chooses to express romance with romance.
Sakura Trick certainly isn’t in your face with it’s character development, it is all very subtle and focused more on what is seen and not said. Sadly, it is a subtlety which goes unappreciated. Even among those who can feel the characters it is difficult to convey them into words.
If we simply look at the start and end, we will have realized our MCs have come a long way since they first started their high school life. Yuu started off as being very confused and out of her element trying to accommodate Haruka’s feelings yet, at the end, we have a reversal where, under pressure of Mitsuki’s constant interference, Yuu is the one speaking up for their relationship and Haruka only wants to avoid conflict.
Haruka on the other hand was open to her passionate feelings from the start, what she didn’t know was whether Yuu would reciprocate. Initially hesitant and worrying, Haruka becomes confident of her place in Yuu’s heart.
To end off, I’d like to touch a little on why I wrote all this. Now, I’m not deluded enough to believe someone with a negative disposition toward the series would change their mind after reading this, you’re not changing someone’s mind over the internet. What I do hope, however, is that those who do like the series to come to understand there is nothing wrong with liking it, that there is genuine value in the way the show portrays it’s romance.