Tuoma Inaba is a country boy who's determined to make a big splash in Tokyo, but things start to go wrong the moment he arrives to take his college entrance exams and a gorgeous call girl turns up in his hotel room. Tuoma'... more »s not too bright and he fails all of his entrance exams, but not before he's fallen for Meiko, who's heading for the prestigious Keio University. Meiko is only interested in dating a fellow college student, so Tuoma lies, telling her that he passed the Keio entrance exam. Now Tuoma has to lead a double life, pretending to be a Keio student while attending a Tokyo cram-school. His life gets even more complicated when he goes to stay at his uncle's house and the door is answered by the call girl, who turns out to be his cousin Urara. Urara is a high school senior who has loved Tuoma since they were both kids, and she knows that her cousin is lying to Meiko. She also knows that Meiko has a boyfriend. Things are going to get messy. Sakura Diaries deals with mature themes, but it is not as explicit as the cover art suggests. Instead it's a funny and surprisingly sophisticated sex comedy about a naive young man whose obsession with one woman blinds him to the love of another. It's an old story, but these first episodes suggest that Sakura Diaries may have some surprises in store. Rated 17 and up for nudity and sexual situations. --Simon Leake« less
"I'll review this two ways: Maturely and then how I really feel.First, The Sakura Diaries is a refreshing take on the trials and tribulations of teenage love. In fact, it is a refreshing take on love, regardless of age, race, country of origin or even animated vs. live action. The struggles of the characters will ring true with you wether you are a man or a woman. The story is griping and despite big laughs throughout the episodes, spiked with pain, humiliation and embarrasment for characters and viewers alike. It's a definite must-see for people who love a good disaster unfolding.Now the second review:
...I avoided this series because I was afraid it would be exactly what it turned out to be: A romantic nightmare with overly-gratuitous nudity.However, what I wasn't prepared for was a grown man who couldn't stop watching [nearly the] WORST and most dysfunctional love triangle ever put to video.Urara (which in Japanese translatest to Oo-La-La), is like, 16 and in love with her 18 or 19 year old cousin, Tounma.
Tounma, doesn't know this chick from Adam and she bursts into his life at the absolute WORST time. If you know anything about Japanese culture, college entrance exams cause dozens of suicides every year. Not only does she do it at the wrong time, she teases the poor [guy] with sexual advances and then constantly freaks out when his poor, virgin, male brain snaps and tries to go for it.
(You never do figure out if she is crazy, a tease, or just plain STUPID) And poor Tounma tries to do the right thing, but who can hold out when the hottest chick this side of lolitta is running around the house naked all the time?About the 3rd volume, one character describes her as mentally ill, not realizing that she is probably DEAD ON. And the lies, oh, the lies, EVERYONE is lying except the biggest liar of them all, a rich jerk who is king of the campus.I dare you to watch one episode and not the rest of the series.
Prepare for MUCHO nakedness, masturbation, INCESTOUS feelings, and not ONE likeable character for a HOST of reasons.Not at all predictable. For a non-horror movie I sure watched through my fingers a bunch. Lot's of "OH-MY-GOD" as well."
aestivalis | USA | 06/15/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Sakura Diaries Anime was based mostly upon the manga made by "U-Jin," a pseudonym for the creator of this very mature title. Although somewhat different from the manga, the anime still keeps some of the character bases and plot developments static. In an attempt to reach a more cultured audience the creator veered from his usual pure perversion and made the title a very deep and engrossing show. Any sex scenes that are in this title are important for plot development and characterization. This is a great title for adults who want to experience a more "mature" cartoon, but keep the kids away from it."
alexii | United States | 11/28/2001
(2 out of 5 stars)
"If I could choose one word to describe this anime, it would be "meh".
Sakura Diaries tries really hard to be sweet, dramatic, ect... and I wont say it's not, to a certain extent, cute. However, there are too many downfalls for me to give it the benefit of the doubt.
The main female character, Urara, is painfuly cute, sweet, and loving, to the extent that one wants to throttle her. She happens to be in love with her cousin, Touma, who is in love with this preppy chick named Meiko. Meiko vows she'll only date a boy from Keio University. Touma, (who seems to have the collective intelligence of a ping-pong ball) decides that the best choice would be to lie to Meiko, and say he attends Keio.. when really, he's stuck in cram school.
I suppose that this would have been a much better anime if only Urara hadn't been so insanely inept and tedious, and they'd left out a good bit of the fan-service.
This anime has it's share of ecchi-ness.. more so than it needs, in fact. If they'd left out some of it, I would have given this a higher rating. It's not that I'm against some ecchi-ness in anime, once and awhile, but the fanservice here was simply there for the sake of having fan-service; not to enhance the plot or characters. I mean, there's the lovely scene where Urara decides to prance around the apartment, wearing nothing but an apron and some underware.. When she sees herself in the mirror, she proceeds to say "So that's what Touma was so nervous about!" (or something to that effect). Now, I'm not sure if that was a "Gee, I'm really hot!" sort of comment, or a "Gee, I'm naked!" revelation.. Either way, it was pointless and dumb. For a character portrayed as innocent and childish, she sure loves to make herself into a peice of meat for men to stare at. (...)
All in all, if you're looking for a sweet, soap opera-like anime that Sakura Diaries tries so hard to be, I'd try To Heart, or Love Hina.. Sakura Diaries most certainly isn't the pick of the litter."
A good series..... but some unnecessary editing
J. Martin | California | 04/06/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Sakura Diaries is pretty much your typical high-school romance anime. Alot like Ranma 1/2 or Hana Yori Dango, only with alot more fan service. The plot is a familiar one, but with a few twists. Boy is trying to get into a prestigious Tokyo school and meets a girl who goes there. He falls in love with her, but she will only go out with him if he is a student at the school, which is proving difficult for him to do. Meanwhile, an old childhood love shows up and the three get caught up in a love triangle. It is a very entertaining and humorous series, with interesting characters and good animation. It is however, a bit risque and if you prefer a more "clean" romance series this may not be for you.I thoroughly enjoyed the series, but was somewhat let down with the job that ADV did. I own a fan-subbed version of it on VHS, and when I bought the DVD version I was very disappointed to find that they had done alot of unnecessary editing, and even cut out some scenes. It does not hurt the plot at all, but I was just upset that they had edited alot of stuff. Aside from that, the series itself it very good."
Was surprised at the lack of hentai....
Erin Foreman | Virginia | 07/20/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"By the cover, you would think this is adults only material. But after watching all four DVDs, I think that this is probably the most realistic love story I've seen. And sex is maybe one fifth of the whole content. Yes, it is a bit racy, but in my opinion, the raciest thing is the cover of the tape. I would say that this is a really good anime for someone who is looking for a down-to-earth coming-of-age story. Probably PG13.I highly recommend it. I'm usually a romantic, but this story displayed love as it is. At least, the ending does."