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Ujin's Sakura Diaries 1 VHS

Review by: Adam "OMEGA" Arnold

Touma is a guy right out of high school trying to get into a good college in Tokyo so he doesn't have to go home and scrub his parents' hotsprings. Well, this underachiever checks in a hotel to be able to study in peace for his entrance exams and the next thing he knows, there's this cute girl, who Touma thinks is a hooker, at his door. The girl is really his cousin Urara, but as he did not yet know that, the hapless intern throws her out into the hall. The would-be "hooker" then sneezes on him.

Touma shows that he is a real loser when he fails his first two exams due to a cold he contracted from Urara. (remember the sneeze?) This leaves only the entrance exam to Kayo, which he doesn't have a shot of passing. That is, until he finds inspiration in a fellow test-taker, Meiko. Well, Touma is a true loser to say the least, and he ends up failing the last exam as well, then goes on to lie about passing it. Now, he's stuck with no way out except to continue lying. Will he ever break this trend? What a loser!

The English dub is probably one of ADV's better dubs to date, with nothing out of the ordinary to bring the show down. The theme song, "From Your Window," sung by Takako Kuwata, is pretty catchy, especially with the images of Urara showcasing various fashions and generally having fun in Tokyo. The ending song, "Love Rides on the Wind," also sung by Takako Kuwata, continues the tradition of the opening, although it isn't quite as catchy. If fact, once the show is over, the volume includes the uncredited opening and ending sequences. The ending sequence sports an alternate theme that is actually quite good.

The only real downer about this excellent title is the way ADV choose to market it. ADV's box and art connotates hentai when the contents aren't. The box sports such misleading lines as, "In this school, every class is sex education!" and "When it comes to sex, she wrote the book on it." Um... Excuse me, this show does not have ANY scenes that give these bold statements any credibility. ADV seriously slipped up here. Besides, wouldn't they have put it under their Soft Cel logo if the show actually had any hentai elements? The fact is, this first volume is no more sexually explicit than Video Girl A. In fact, Sakura Diaries is as hilarious as My Dear Marie (Metal Angel Marie), and, at times, as angstful as Fushigi Yuugi. The only truthful thing that the box says is the first paragraph on the back of the box describing the show. But, I will agree with the suggested age rating of 17+, because it does contain some mature situations... But nothing as drastic as what the box smacks of.

Overall, we're looking at a great anime that shouldn't be overlooked. Sakura Diaries sports likeable characters, humor, and an engaging plot. Definitely a title to pick up if you want a change of pace from the mecha and fighting genres. But, kids, don't let your parents catch you watching it...

Review Info File
Ujin's Sakura Diaries (Sakura Tsuushin) Chapter 1 (ep 1-3) VHS
Dub/Sub VHS, Bilingual DVD
Episodes 1-3
90 minutes
Kitty Films
Victor Entertainment
A.D.Vision, Inc.
Very suggestive at times, but the great story and comedy aspects are this shows high points.
Page 5 - Reviews ANIMEfringe: May 2000 - Page 6 Page 7 - Review 2
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