Touma Inaba is the protagonist of Sakura Diaries, and he's a high school graduate trying to get into college. He comes to Tokyo to take the entrance exams for three schools; while he's at his hotel room, a high school girl who claims to be a call girl comes to his room. After an awkward encounter, Touma throws her out of the room. It turns out the "call girl" is actually his cousin, Urara Kasuga, whom he had only met once several years earlier, so he didn't recognize her. Urara has feelings for Touma, but he's too dense to notice.
After failing the first two entrance exams he took, Touma tries to take the entrance exam for Keio University. While taking the test, he meets a beautiful woman named Mieko Yotsuba, who is also taking the entrance exam. Mieko passes, but Touma does not; however, Touma lies and claims that he passed. Touma goes to live with his uncle in Tokyo, and discovers that Urara is his cousin. Touma goes to cram school, while trying to keep up the deception to Mieko that he's attending Keio Univeristy.
Sakura Diaries focuses on a love triangle, with the potential for sexual situations to arise. Touma isn't exactly the brightest person, and he's very awkward when it comes to relationships due to his lack of experience. As I watched the early episodes, I found myself chuckling at Touma and his cluelessness. However, the later episodes of the series start becoming more serious in nature; while there is still some comedy involved in the story at that point, the drama aspect of the series takes over. For how the storyline progresses, this shift in tone works. Unfortunately, I found myself rather unsatisfied with how the series ended.
Content-wise, there are some scenes that include female nudity. There's also plenty of "fanservice" elements included as well, such as panty shots. Fortunately, the "fanservice" isn't too "in your face" or take too much focus away from the story; in this case, the "fanservice" seems to complement the story. Overall, Sakura Diaries is probably one of the better anime that utilizes "fanservice" in its storytelling that I have personally seen.
When ADV Films released Sakura Diaries on DVD, the anime was given a rating of "TV 14." Personally, I would recommend this series to anime viewers who are 16 or 17 years of age and older.
|Sakura Diaries||12||1997||Tsuguo Ozara||Kitty Films||N/A|