More than half the population of the small town of Sakurada possesses a unique ability. From being able to remember everything you see, to being able to inhabit the body of cat, the possibilities are endless. Haruki Misora, has the ability to reset the world by 3 days, erasing everything that happened within that time frame, and her and everyone elses memory of those events along with it.
However, Kei Asai has the ability to remember everything he see’s and can therefore remember things after one of Haruki’s “resets”.
Based on the Light Novels of the same name, Sakurada Reset focuses on these two individuals working together by using their powers.
In recent years, David Production have become one of my favourite Anime studios, being responsible for a number of shows that I’d consider favourites and among the best Anime I’ve ever seen.
And what makes David Production so interesting as a studio is their tendency to adapt whatever the heck they want. They adapted Level E years after the Manga ended because they felt like it, and they took on the task of adapting Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, a series that started running over thirty years ago and only got adapted this decade. David Production make stuff that nobody else dares to make. They always seem to do what they want, when they want, and their adaptations are often top tier, with many of them mirroring the source material almost perfectly.
So naturally, every time this studio makes something, I’m excited to see what it will be, as it’s almost always guaranteed to be a unique, well-handled adaptation that suits my tastes.
And this season they’ve given us Sakurada Reset, an intriguing, but slow paced and some what monotone, spin on the all too familiar “time reset” story that has become commonplace these days.
I love these kinds of stories. Re:Zero was pretty great last year, and David Production’s own adaptation of Jojo’s 4th part, Diamond is Unbreakable, had an entire section of its story dedicated to a time reset that was handled masterfully. So in all honesty, I’m not fussed that we’re getting another story like this. They’re right up my alley, and they can be good fun provided the execution is spot on.
But, at this point in time, that’s where the issue with Sakurada Reset lies with me.
The story has set itself up nicely and takes place in a small town, where the inhabitants are blessed with special abilities. Most of these abilities are simple conveniences that are extremely limited such as “having a good memory”, but one of the protagonists, a girl named Misora Haruki, has the ability to reset time within a span of three days, with the drawback that she can’t remember anything from before the reset. Luckily the other protagonist, Kei, has the ability to remember everything he see’s, making his power the perfect companion to this resetting ability.
So yeah. It’s a cool set up and a fairly unique take on the usual reset idea.
But what’s the point?
It’s only been one episode so far, so obviously I can’t judge the narrative all that much, but currently the show has given me very little indication as to what the significance of any of this is.
It’s a cool idea and there’s a lot of potential for some really great things to happen here, but I haven’t been given any real reason to feel invested in the narrative as of yet, because there’s no real purpose or motivation for anything that’s been presented other than:
“This is how our powers work. We’d make a good team, right?”
It’s early days however, and judging from the last couple of minutes of this premiere episode, things do look like they’re going somewhere, so I’m willing to give the show a chance to prove itself, because I really want to get invested in this solely due to the concept behind it.
Another issue I have with Sakurada Reset’s execution however, is the portrayal of its characters. Perhaps it’s just me, but they all felt very monotonous the entire episode. They spoke in very dull voices and didn’t seem to have an awful lot of personality to them. Seeing as these kinds of shows tend to be at their strongest during moments of emotional pathos, I hope that the cast eventually grow out of this robotic attitude and begin to feel like actual people as opposed to constructs that spout dialogue.
And of course there’s also the pacing, which was pretty slow, but I didn’t mind it so much. Sure, a lot didn’t happen in this premiere episode, but given the kind of atmosphere this show is likely going for, it feels fitting and I found it relaxing as it made the show a lot easier to follow, keeping my attention.
Speaking of the atmosphere, that’s one of the things Sakurada Reset manages to nail. There’s this air of quietness to its narrative that feels very sincere and mature, something I wish I’d see from this medium more. It’s not revolutionary, but it’s definitely a nice change of tone from what I’m accustomed to seeing.
Visually, the series isn’t too bad. It’s far from David Production’s best work, and it could use a little polish in some areas, namely the character designs, which are sleek and colourful, but lack uniqueness. However, this is likely due to the setting of the series, which is far from extravagant, so I suppose you could blame that, which I will. The backgrounds are gorgeous however, and the animation, while we haven’t seen anything particularly outstanding yet, does its job really well and looks good. I’m expecting to see a lot of fantastically directed scenes over the course of the show, seeing as the director was one of the episode director for Tsubasa Chronicle, which happens to be my favourite Anime along with that other one I never shut up about.
The shows sound design is also excellent, with this episode in particular having a heavy abundance of cicada’s chirping in the background to emphasise the Summer season in which the shows events take place. A lot of people may have found it annoying and intrusive, but I liked it. The music is also great, with a solid soundtrack and a kickass opening theme accompanied by a fantastic opening sequence. David Production always make the best openings and tend to choose the best music to go with it, and once again they’ve done an outstanding job here.
As things currently stand, Sakurada Reset isn’t great, in fact it’s only just meeting my standards for “good”, but it has a lot or potential and the base concept that composes its narrative is interesting. However, the execution of that concept needs a lot of work, and there needs to be some kind of direction to make this whole thing an interesting and engaging piece of work.
This show is going to be two cours in length, so there’s plenty of time for it to grow into something special. Fans of the original light novels have assured me that this winds up getting really good over the course of the story, so I’ll cling to that.
It’s a David Production show. They know what they’re doing. Or maybe they don’t and have just been lucky this entire time.
I look forward to seeing how this one develops. This could wind up being the best show of the season if it hits all the right notes. I suggest you all watch it closely. It could just end up being great.