Sakura Diaries Vol. #2 (Mania.com)

By:Roman Martel
Review Date: Monday, February 18, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, December 05, 2000



The Review!
Overall Rating: 4.2
(on a scale of 1-5)
-Disc Ratings-
Sound: 5
Picture: 5
Menu: 4
Presentation: 4
Goodies: NA
Overall: 4.5

-Artistic Ratings-
Animation: 4
Sound: 4
Plot: 4
English Acting: 4
Music: 4
Overall: 4

Intro
Something happens in this disc that makes me change my mind about the main character... good ole Touma. They can be summed up in two quotes from the dub cast...
"I suck." No argument here.
"Silence. Loser!"
I couldn't have said it better myself.

Technical Review
Well this disc did look better picture-wise on my current set up. So I boosted the rating there. Also ADV included the Region coding as well, so that is a bonus. Other than that everything else stays the same. Good sound, a quick menu, and lots of trailers (still in the old format that I preferred, before the trailers were automatically loaded when you started the disc). Technically this is a good disc.

Content Review
Oh wow, where do I start here? Well, it has been quite some time since I saw the first volume of Sakura diaries so I was a bit forgetful of how big a dork Touma was. I mean there are pathetic characters... and then there's Touma. But he's easy to laugh at and wince at and just generally shake your head at as he blunders through life. Then something happens that changes Touma from a pathetic loser to a big time loser. I'll get into what happens in just a minute.

In the first episode we get Touma in a whole lot of temptation. After a party he is walking Mieko home when she gets sleepy and suggests they spend a night at a hotel! Will Touma's dreams come true? Probably not, because this is only the fourth episode ;-) Then in the next episode, Touma tries to recover from his little run in with temptation... and he starts to figure out that Urara might be interested in him. Ya think? But instead of doing a smart thing and maybe opening up to Urara, he does the stupid thing and ... well you have to see it to believe it. Finally we get a sneak peak back into the past. Many of us were wondering at this point just what Urara sees in King Loser. Well, we get to see the start of their affections.

The animation has stayed in the same class, and so has the sound. I stated this in my previous review that the sound is filled with real world sound effects and that there isn't a lot of crazy action or anything (although the Super Deformed moments are pretty crazy). Anyway the sound and visuals works well with the story. Again you got panty shots galore in this disc and lots of skin. So you fans of fan service will not be disappointed.
The plot keeps up the in style and form with its predecessor. My only problem now is the incident that occurs in the episode titled First Encounter. Well, this incident makes Touma totally unlikable. At first Ladycat thought that perhaps Touma had a brain and was using reverse psychology on Urara. But that is sadly not the case. Touma isn't that smart anyway. Instead he does something that even in his own stupid, twisted logic would almost make sense and yet... well it just makes me not like him at all. That's not to say I'm not going to watch any more of the story. I want to see this clown get just what he deserves. But I'm not sure that's gonna be the case. Will Urara put up with his stupidity? Can this moron ever change? I'm curious enough to want to see more. Besides, Urara is likeable, even if she is naive. But Touma is going to have to beg for forgiveness and get some major pain out of this story if he is going to redeem himself.

The acting has stayed up there in quality and I loved some of the lines and the way they were delivered. "Silence Loser!" has got to be the best of the bunch. No one sounds bored or confused or lost delivering the lines so I think all in all it's a good job. Urara's voice actress is a bit much at times, but I'm getting used to her... I think. The music has also retained its grade. The score supports the action and I like the ending and opening themes.

This disc continues in much the same vein as the last disc. The only big change is the way I'm viewing the main character now. That could be a problem later on. It all depends on how the rest of the plot is handled and if Touma gets what he deserves by the end (which is nothing short of a brand on his forehead declaring him loser supreme and Urara to kick him in the crotch... once for good measure).

But I'm not opinionated J

Roman J. Martel
Tell me what you think! E-mail me at...
roman@animeondvd.com



Review Equipment
General Electric Performance Plus (25 Inch), Sony Playstation 2



Mania Grade: NA
Audio Rating: N/A
Video Rating: N/A
Packaging Rating: N/A
Menus Rating: N/A
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 17 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: ADV Films
MSRP: 24.95
Running time: 75
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Sakura Diaries