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REVIEW: Pet Girl of Sakurasou Episodes 1-6 Streaming


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Stark700



Joined: 30 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:30 am Reply with quote
Well, I'm definitely enjoying the series so far although there are some problems and cliches like the review mentioned. I wonder how the series will progress but Rita and Ryuunosuke sure are entertaining to watch in some of the recent episodes.
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ConanSan



Joined: 13 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:07 am Reply with quote
Really the biggest issue is that damn imoto episode that came out of a grand total of nowhere and makes em worried about the DVD/BR version of the show.

Really don't need to see a pre-pubescent girl's fully exposed body in my Art School Drama-Comedy by way of Nodame Cantabile.

Other than that, been really good.
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dtm42



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:36 am Reply with quote
You can usually tell a Mari Okada script because no-one quite does horrible melodrama like she does, and this show has that in spades. Especially - and I cannot tell you how much this pisses me off - when the characters have shouting matches. Okada seems to think that SHOUTING IS DRAMA. But that's not all. Even in quieter moments she completely overplays the self-loathing, turning characters from introspective to just plain whiny.

I give The Pet Girl of Sakurasou props for being much smarter and more willing to explore character feelings than other series of its ilk. But the premise is still there and it still has a ways to go in getting the drama right. Judging that we're eleven episodes in and that still hasn't been fixed, I doubt it ever will (the show is two cour).
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jymmy



Joined: 11 Nov 2011
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:54 am Reply with quote
Nice review. It's true, the series is impressive in many small ways but ultimately nothing special (or really that good). Before the screaming angstfest of episode 10, the understated poignant moments were the best. Much like Ano Hana, also with Mari Okada as scriptwiter, though the characters there at least had things to scream hysterically about.
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Vaisaga



Joined: 07 Oct 2011
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:03 am Reply with quote
People yell when they get worked up. This is not breaking news.

Personally I'm tired of the whole "a show like this should obviously be bad but it's not, what a surprise!" attitude. It's as if something is destined to be bad if it has a certain premise, which is a load of BS.

Anyways, this show is a lot more impactful if you're some one like Sorata who's experienced feeling inferior due to the skill of those around you. A lot of people can relate to that.
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Exaar



Joined: 19 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:18 am Reply with quote
This is easily one of my favorite shows this season - I find the cast extremely likeable, and contrary to the reviewer's opinion, both I and my girlfriend (who I watch it with regularly) find that the humor works just fine - there's usually at least one joke which has us both laughing out loud per episode, and sometimes quite a few more.

I really think people make too much of the premise - a show is not its premise, its what it becomes over the course of its run, and this show has really impressed me by introducing me to an entire range of characters I find endearing and fun to watch. As stated, it downplays the fanservice in return for genuine drama and introspection, and it works for me. In my personal opinion, in the run of rom-com type shows this season, Pet Girl is not quite as good as My Little Monster, but blows 'Say 'I Love You'' out of the water.
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dtm42



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:29 am Reply with quote
Vaisaga wrote:
People yell when they get worked up. This is not breaking news.


Well duh. The real problem lies when writers think that drama is nothing but shouting, and that simply having two characters shouting at one another is all you need to do for drama.

There are some great elements to the script, how the characters are more than just fanservice vehicles or one-note archetypes. Every tenant at Sakurasou has issues that are holding them back, and I like it when the show explores those issues. I just wish the melodrama didn't constantly shoot the show in the foot.

Vaisaga wrote:
Personally I'm tired of the whole "a show like this should obviously be bad but it's not, what a surprise!" attitude. It's as if something is destined to be bad if it has a certain premise, which is a load of BS.


When you have a premise as obviously cringe-inducing as a genius but socially inept pet girl, people will automatically assume the worst. Good stories can be made with almost any premise - there was that rather sweet cockroach girl Manga that had a brief Anime adaptation a little while back - but you've got to look at the reason behind the premise. Why did the writer choose the premise they did? In The Pet Girl of Sakurasou's case, to target those Otaku who dream of cohabiting with a beautiful and talented but socially awkward girl who is completely dependent on the everyman protagonist. Appealing to guys like that is not a good start, and you can't blame people from being turned off by such a premise. This was covered in the review, so I am surprised you would ask about it.

And anyway, if you have low expectations then it's a pleasant surprise when they are matched or exceeded.

Vaisaga wrote:
Anyways, this show is a lot more impactful if you're some one like Sorata who's experienced feeling inferior due to the skill of those around you. A lot of people can relate to that.


But relate to the point of absolute self-loathing? I dunno. I've never hated anyone who was better than me, and I've been surrounded by incredibly smart and talented kids all my life. Rather than despise them I instead looked up to them. Hating people who are better than you at something seems very immature to me. Part of being an adult is accepting that some people are just blessed with more talent or beauty or charm or potential than others, and that's just the way it is. You simply have to do the best that you are able to, be proud of when you do well and be thankful for the abilities you possess. Even an average person is by definition better than half the population, so being average isn't something to be ashamed of.
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jymmy



Joined: 11 Nov 2011
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:41 am Reply with quote
Vaisaga wrote:
Anyways, this show is a lot more impactful if you're some one like Sorata who's experienced feeling inferior due to the skill of those around you. A lot of people can relate to that.

Nope. That's a copout excuse. You shouldn't have to experience the same things as a character to sympathise with them. Take that idea too far, and you begin hating characters that remind you of yourself in unpleasant ways (See also: "Shinji is a wuss who should just man up"). Now, I can understand through plain old empathy how Sorata feels. No one's saying the frustration of genius and its effect on others is a weak point of the series. As far as I can tell, everyone in this review thread rather finds it one of the best-done aspects of the series.
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dtm42



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:01 am Reply with quote
jymmy wrote:
As far as I can tell, everyone in this review thread rather finds it one of the best-done aspects of the series.


Not me. Maybe you were still typing your post when I submitted mine, but I think Sorata's self-loathing and inferiority complex is way over the top.
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DuskyPredator
It...it's not like I post for you or anything!It...it's not like I post for you or anything!


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:48 am Reply with quote
The review makes notes about what everyone watching this show notices, that it premise sounds so aweful but is surprisingly smart, and shine a little away from the fanservice you would expect. Some people still seem put off by the premise though, while some others think that it should get extra points for the fact it uses such a bad premise.

And personally I have actually found the humor good, some of the delivery by Mashiro's voice actress is quite impressive, and there is some nice timing too. The tired harem jokes are low, but it is not really the whole show.
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Yttrbio
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:00 am Reply with quote
Saying "despite the premise" sells the way the premise is used short, I think. It's more subversive than simply a gimmick to draw in viewers (though it's also that).

The genre convention is for the viewer to get that feeling of beneficent superiority over the helpless female character. The first episode plays this up a great deal, which turned off a lot of folks. By the third episode, though, this has been inverted, and we discover that Mashiro's the one helping the helpless Sorata. That protective feeling was something he was clinging to in order to avoid looking at the truth of what he is, and more importantly, what he isn't.

I thought it really challenged the genre and the viewer's understanding of what the core of the genre is.
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here-and-faraway



Joined: 21 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:38 pm Reply with quote
Like the review and other posters state, I had written the show off as soon as I heard the synopsis. I have no idea why I gave episode 1 a try ( I think a very lazy Sunday morning), but I'm glad I did. It isn't a masterpiece, but I agree that the characters are very likable and, well, deep. The show reminds me a bit of Honey and Clover.
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Vaisaga



Joined: 07 Oct 2011
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:42 pm Reply with quote
dtm42 wrote:
Well duh. The real problem lies when writers think that drama is nothing but shouting, and that simply having two characters shouting at one another is all you need to do for drama.


True (Godannar had waaay too much shouting in it outside the robot battles), but Sakurasou has plenty of quiet dramatic moments in it.

dtm42 wrote:
but you've got to look at the reason behind the premise. Why did the writer choose the premise they did? In The Pet Girl of Sakurasou's case, to target those Otaku who dream of cohabiting with a beautiful and talented but socially awkward girl who is completely dependent on the everyman protagonist. Appealing to guys like that is not a good start, and you can't blame people from being turned off by such a premise.


Well you can't really know an author's intent unless you're the author yourself. Sometimes it's apparent, but in Sakurasou's case it's a bit more than that.

If anything I'd say it's more a bait and switch premise. A cute girl that relies on you for basic needs? I can see how that could be appealing. I think what's at the core of the otaku preference for this sort of thing comes from the rise of female independence in Japan. Guys want girls to need them, but if the girls are off being all successful and independent on their own, what purpose do they have for guys? Especially anime nerd guys. Alone forever orz

But specifically in Sorata's case he saw Mashiro's dependence as him finally not being on the bottom rung of the ladder anymore. In face of all these geniuses who left him in the dust, here was some one he had a higher ranking than. This conciet only made it more shocking for him to learn that Mashiro herself was a genius, and a super famous and successful one at that. That destroys the appeal for the otaku mentioned above because Mashiro doesn't need them (specifically) and she's already getting along fine in the world by herself. She is superior to them.

As we go further in the series, the whole "Mashiro Duty" thing has been pushed far into the background. In recent episodes the only real sign of it I recall is that Sorata has Mashiro's laundry hanging in his room.

And I don't blame people for being turned off by the premise. I'm just tired of people using the premise as an indicator of quality rather than just the execution. The "This premise means it should be bad, but it's not!" thing.

dtm42 wrote:
But relate to the point of absolute self-loathing? I dunno. I've never hated anyone who was better than me, and I've been surrounded by incredibly smart and talented kids all my life. Rather than despise them I instead looked up to them. Hating people who are better than you at something seems very immature to me. Part of being an adult is accepting that some people are just blessed with more talent or beauty or charm or potential than others, and that's just the way it is. You simply have to do the best that you are able to, be proud of when you do well and be thankful for the abilities you possess. Even an average person is by definition better than half the population, so being average isn't something to be ashamed of.


Well, we are dealing with teenagers here.

And that's all well and good for you. You either had your own set of talents different from the others or you're simply a stronger person. Unfortunately not all people can be like that. Even if I know I shouldn't, these sorts of feelings rear their heads whether I want them to or not. I work my ass off on something, but then some one else does a better job of it effortlessly. I'm sorry, but I have a hard time being all cheerful about that. I do something that's actually better than some one else, but that person's work becomes more popular and loved than mine. Can't be all rainbows and sunshine about that either. Then come thoughts like "I didn't do well because I suck and they're so much better," and "What's the point in even trying when I'll never be as good as that person?"

But the show does use it well enough. Sorata does have thoughts such as being happy when Mashiro failed, but he immediately feels awful about thinking that. He doesn't want to hate her, which is why he drives her away when he's feeling down.

There are plenty of people in this world who'll go so far as to steal from others or even kill them in order to hijack the glory. No such people around here, however.

And in my experience average = invisible. People remember the successes and the failures, but rarely those in between.

jymmy wrote:
Nope. That's a copout excuse. You shouldn't have to experience the same things as a character to sympathise with them.


... Wait, what exactly am I excusing here? I didn't say you had to experience the same to simpathize. I just said it's more impactful. I'm more involved with Sorata and his problems because I look at him and say "I've been there too, man, I know those feels."

dtm42 wrote:
but I think Sorata's self-loathing and inferiority complex is way over the top.


Teenagers, man. They love theatrics.

Yttrbio wrote:
Saying "despite the premise" sells the way the premise is used short, I think. It's more subversive than simply a gimmick to draw in viewers (though it's also that).

The genre convention is for the viewer to get that feeling of beneficent superiority over the helpless female character. The first episode plays this up a great deal, which turned off a lot of folks. By the third episode, though, this has been inverted, and we discover that Mashiro's the one helping the helpless Sorata. That protective feeling was something he was clinging to in order to avoid looking at the truth of what he is, and more importantly, what he isn't.

I thought it really challenged the genre and the viewer's understanding of what the core of the genre is.


What you said.
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enurtsol



Joined: 01 May 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:43 pm Reply with quote
Vaisaga wrote:

dtm42 wrote:
but I think Sorata's self-loathing and inferiority complex is way over the top.


Teenagers, man. They love theatrics.


Tell us about it! Going out with teenage girls............... Laughing
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Melicans



Joined: 01 Feb 2012
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:33 am Reply with quote
A lot of people wrote this one off when they heard about it; not from the premise, but from the title alone. I do think that a lot of people are taking their assumptions back now (hell, it jumped a full seven spots on the most recent The List; given her feelings in the Preview Guide, I was surprised it wasn't an immediate drop).

It may take an episode or two to get into, but Pet Girl is surprisingly deep. It isn't afraid to let the characters fail multiple times, and I think does a good job in portraying the reactions to said failures. Conflict is, for the most part, handled really well, and characters have to continually reassess their understandings of one another (womanizer Jin seems best able to read feelings and hidden aspects of each dormmate's characters, and his own situation, so similar to Sorata's, serves him well as Sorata's best source of guidance). Even the risque humour/situations, which was called out pretty early on, is not done in a way that remotely portrays a 'power trip' to the audience, with Sorata having a genuine desire not to see anyone in a compromising position. The humour in/reason for those situations isn't based around fulfilling some fantasy about controlling a girl; it's about Shiina simply not caring about modesty, and Sorata/Nanami freaking out about it. It's silly and lighthearted, with nothing more behind it.

Pet Girl started out at the very bottom for most people before the first episode had even aired. It may not be the best anime, but it is certainly the surprise hit of the season. And I can't wait to see what the story brings to us next.
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