Taku’s First Reaction: Sakurada Reset

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“Reset.”

I tried to make an effort to check out more stuff than usual this season, picking up around eight shows to start with this season. Sakurada Reset was one that actually intrigued me a bit more in the beginning. The premise was interesting enough to draw my interest and I was especially intrigued by the show’s production studio: David Production, responsible for the JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure anime adaptation. I went into Sakurada with decently high hopes…and have sufficiently had those hopes nearly smashed as the first two episodes dragged on with monotone dialogue, bland and lifeless animation, and an overall drag that has only begun to slightly grow better by the third episode.

Story and Characters

So, the aspect of Sakurada Reset that interested me the most and a large part of the reason I picked the show up was its premise. In the small sea-side town of Sakurada, nearly all the residents have some kind of innate special power. These powers are mostly useless and anyone in Sakurada who possesses one of these powers will immediately forget its existence upon leaving the town. It’s a simple-enough premise, but it has a ton of potential to be executed really well in the right hands. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be that sort of situation. The first two episodes seemed to drag on, with an incredibly slow and dragging narrative that did nothing to hook me in as a viewer. Only in the third episode did the show manage to start improving in its progression, and even then it’s only by a small margin.

So, with the plot being so slow, do the characters save the show from its horrible fate? So far, not really as the two main characters are horribly bland and generic. Kei Asai, portrayed by Kaito Ishikawa of Haikyuu fame, is the show’s main character and his personality is practically as bland and uninteresting as the rest of the show. He does little to bring life to an otherwise boring show and features the same monotone voice that most of the rest of the cast seem to share. The biggest disappointment of the cast has to be lead female Haruki Misora, played by the legendary Kana Hanazawa. While Misora seems to be the stereotypical shy girl, this only masks the fact that she seemingly has no expression in her voice. In an unusually poor performance from KanaHana, she seems to have no tone in her voice, instead sitting in a mellow monotone that fails to capture what makes her such a legendary voice actor. The entire cast seem to slip into this monotone drawl that makes dialogue-centric scenes feel like they drag on ad infinitum.

Aesthetics

I feel like I’m going to use the words “bland” and “generic” about a thousand times over the course of this write-up, but it really is the best way to sum up Sakurada Reset. The character designs for the show tend to stay in this, albeit relatively realistic in color scheme, bland and generic style where none of the characters really stand out from one another. The character designs seem to lack individuality between them, which plays as a stark contrast to the vibrant colors and beautiful designs that David Production’s other well-known franchise features en masse. The backgrounds are bland and mostly lifeless stills and the characters themselves don’t leave anything really worth being remembered in terms of design.

The OST is much of the same. While I don’t find it as egregiously poor in design as the rest of the series, it leaves a lot to be desired in terms of its quality. None of the tracks in the OST are particularly bad, but none of them really seem worth remembering. While I say this, I will give a brief shout-out to the show’s opening sequence, Reset. While the rest of the show’s sound is rather middle-of-the-road and leaves little to be remembers, the OP is a nice contrast from that trend and may be one of my more-liked opening sequences from this season.

Should You Watch It?

Honestly, this one is a hard sell. While I could mention that the second arc of the show seems to be getting better, I’d be hard-pressed to recommend picking up Reset over other fantasy-inspired shows this season. The show has a lot of potential to be good, both from the production staff featuring the director of Non Non Biyori and Repeat and the Sound Director for the Nanoha franchise, but it seems to be passing over that potential. At this point, I can’t wholeheartedly recommend Sakurada Reset and frankly, there’s a large chance I might end up dropping it myself if it doesn’t improve soon. It is a two-cour anime, so there is still time for the show to pick up in pace and improve once it gets into its main mystery. However, at this point, I can’t really recommend it over other shows of its kind.

(Sakurada Reset can be streamed on Amazon with their Anime Strike program)

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