Sakurada Reset: Episodes 9-11 (Review)

By: EyeSpyeAlex

I’m back with and playing catch-up on the last three episodes of Sakurada Reset! While life in the real world has been hectic, life for the residents of Sakurada seems to be relatively mundane. Well, as mundane as life can been for residents with special abilities. Missed my last review? Catch it here!

Sakurada Reset seems to be a big fan of surrounding major events with loads of fluff. This is a move usually seen in longer running anime, so it’s surprising to have in what will only be a 24 episode series. The focus on the past few episodes has been on relationships, leading up to trying to revive Sumire Soma. What should have been episodes involving exploring characters in depth turned into flashbacks and filler.

There was a huge focus on Haruki and Kei coming to terms with their role on Soma’s death, told through a look into the past. While this should have been a look into deeper conflicts the two felt for themselves, it was incredibly superficial. While Haruki solely focused on whether Kei hated her, Kei only barely managed to struggle with his emotions over Soma’s death. He overcame grief by reasoning that Soma knew why she needed to die, so him having Haruki reset over this kiss was irrelevant.

There’s also a push to have Haruki befriend more people. An entire episode is devoted to Haruki befriending Nono-san, with nothing substantial happening. It was hard to sit through because it was abundantly clear that this was a filler episode.

Speaking of Sumire Soma, there was no suspense or build-up to her revival. Kei enlists the help of Murase and Sakagami to pull Soma out of one Sasano’s photograph. Then, they succeed. It’s incredibly anti-climatic, and becomes even more so when Soma tells Kei she can’t yet tell him why she died.

While most of the episodes were filled with nothing substantial, we do learn more about how Kei lives alone in Sakurada. When Kei took that fateful train ride into Sakurada, he met with The Bureau on the same day. The Bureau offered Kei a large sum of money and lodging in Sakurada, if they could buy his past. This explains why Kei has no parents, and why no one has been looking for him. Hopefully we find out why The Bureau is so interested in Kei.

On top of that, the reality of the MacGuffin is also revealed…sort of. Kei realizes that the MacGuffin isn’t an item that can control all the abilities in Sakurada. It is Kei, who as a catalyst, became friends with people who could assist him in reviving Soma. I can buy this theory to a certain extent. However, Kei is given the stone MacGuffin by Tsushima in an earlier episode, and I don’t recall him mentioning he got it from Soma.

Overall, there are a lot of plot items that need to be resolved in a meaningful manner, and we won’t get that with filler episodes. This show has a lot of promise to be great, but it needs a lot of work. It’s fine to create suspense, but having characters flat out say something can’t be revealed yet isn’t suspenseful, it’s lazy. It’s one thing to try and create melodrama by having melodramatic characters, but give them a personality. I feel like part of the reason this show is so difficult to get through is because all of the characters are flat and speak in monotone. I hope next week’s episode can provide a little more substance and feel more like an anime and less like a cold-reading.

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