When Shoutarou Tatewaki first meets Sakurako Kujou, he knows his life will never be the same. Initially believing her to be responsible for a disappearance in the neighborhood, he later learns of her true talent: analyzing bone specimens. Sakurako has quite the collection of reconstructed animal bones, but she wishes she had more of the human variety, much to the chagrin of those around her.
Soon, Shoutarou begins accompanying the eccentric osteologist on the many different unsolved cases she comes across—usually in the form of decomposing bodies. But with so many incidents happening around them, could there be a larger mystery at work in their lives?
Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru is a story of two unlikely partners, each showing in their own way that bones can tell how one died, but only people can tell how they lived.
Sakurako-san is another one of those unfortunate anime which could potentially have been really good had it just done a few things differently, but instead sadly ends up fumbling upon itself thanks to a handful of slip-ups. It's quite similar to Hyouka as far as its theme and plot progression goes, but the pacing is significantly worse.
The story follows a normal high school boy named Shoutarou who has a not-so-normal friend called Sakurako. She has an unhealthy addiction to bones of all things, and finds it fascinating to study their history. By some strange coincidence, whenever the two of them are together they just so
happen to get themselves accidentally involved in numerous bizarre cases, usually where a corpse or a skeleton is found and they have to figure out its story. So it's a mystery anime, which is definitely something I appreciate since we don't get to see too many of them nowadays, and it's also one of the more interesting genres in fiction in my opinion.
Unfortunately however, Sakurako-san is not what I would call a "satisfying" mystery anime. The reasons being a) it's episodic, and b) it's rushed. All of the cases in this anime are resolved in either 1 or 2 episodes, resulting in a myriad of short stories instead of a longer ongoing problem. And quite frankly this is a very bad thing for a series of this genre. Think about it; a complete mystery story needs:
1. A foundation to establish the setting of the case
2. A problem to be solved needs to pop up (like a murder for example)
3. The detective must look around for clues
4. After all the clues have been gathered, the detective must be given time to think about them and try to put the puzzle together (which of course lets the viewers do so as well at the same time)
5. The case must now be solved, the truth brought to light and, if possible, the culprit arrested
6. Finally everything must be wrapped up and the aftermath of the entire incident presented
So all-in-all, that's quite a lot of ground to cover. In fact, that's way too much ground to cover in just 1-2 anime episodes. There's simply not enough time to go through all the steps properly without either rushing it completely or making the mystery so simplistic that it's not even interesting to begin with. And this is the main problem with Sakurako-san as an anime, namely that it time and time again tries to do too much in too little time.
Instead it almost feels like the anime is trying to cheat the system by skipping a step or two. The whole investigation and pondering phases are almost cut off completely. How? Well simply by making Sakurako be absurdly overpowered as a detective. By that I mean to say that it doesn't matter whether the case in question ends up revolving around human biology, psychology, chemistry or 19th century painting techniques; no matter what it is, Sakurako knows everything. She can figure out any mystery within minutes with almost no clues to work with. In other words:
a) Every case ends up feeling very unimportant due to how quickly and easily they are solved
b) It gives the viewer almost no time to think for themselves (which is without a doubt the #1 most important thing in a detective story so this is a huge problem)
c) There is very little semblance of tension since you always know that Sakurako is going to save the day within the next minute no matter what
d) It significantly lowers the story's sense of realism as it doesn't really feel believable a lot of the time
e) As soon as a mystery is resolved, we're back to the status quo again. In other words it kind of feels like the story doesn't even matter in the long run. Although there are brief tie-ins to previous story arcs on rare occasions, it's not anything particularly noteworthy
So I've talked a lot about Sakurako, but what about Shoutarou, our supposed protagonist? Well... there really isn't a whole lot to say about him. He's just "there" as a sidekick, and Sakurako is the one always dragging him along and calling the shots. It's almost like his sole purpose in the show is to be someone for Sakurako to show off to. There are also a bunch of other characters in the show, but they're about as forgettable as it gets. Really the entire anime revolves around Sakurako herself and no one else, which would be common for a detective series, but given that she's hardly what I'd call a well-written detective for a mystery story I still can't consider it a good thing.
In the end though, despite the fact that there are tons of issues with Sakurako-san as an anime, they all stem from the exact same source. The heart of the problem is quite simply that the total episode count is *way* too small. They should have taken the same amount of content and adapted it in maybe 24 episodes instead of compressing it into merely 12. Everything comes down to that. The rushed pacing means that every mystery story gets way too little exposition and instead they have to fill the holes by using Sakurako as a cheat code, enabling them to skip out on half the steps in every arc. That's like a band aid measure, it doesn't actually resolve the problem itself whatsoever. What makes the mystery genre so fascinating is the process of solving the matter at hand; you investigate for clues, try your best to put them together, and then finally present the solution. Sakurako-san however basically skips out on all that and just blatantly gives you the answer right away. Talk about taking just about all the fun out of it.
With all that being said, Sakurako-san is still a decent anime which might be worth checking out. It just annoys me because I sincerely believe that it could have been really damn good had it just been paced better (or not been episodic to begin with), but instead we're left with an incredibly flawed final product. Good mystery anime are quite rare to come by, so it saddens me when a series like this pops up with all the potential in the world, only to fall flat for a quite needless reason.
I'm going to start off by saying that I loved! Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru. Personally I thought it had a really great story, character (to a certain extent) and a good sense of enjoyment. Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru is maybe a 7.0 out of 10 on the dark story meter. What I mean by that is the story focuses a lot (judging by if you read the title of the show lol) bones, death dead bodies etc. There is horror in it, however it is natural horror, it's not like an all in your face look at
the bones look at the dead bodes blah blah horror that we usually see in anime's like this one. Another thing I liked about the story was the pacing. Overall the stories pacing of events going on are slow, however the writers do a great job of making this slow pace less annoying by adding additional mystery or mysterious elements. For example they will throw in a detective setting to keep things interesting, like "what was the motive for this murder?" etc. The music is "fitting" for the show. It is the type of music you what expect to hear in a show that revolves around death and mystery. Lastly, the art. The art style used in the show looks like something from late 2010's so nothing too special to point out other than Sakurako is kind of hot. Overall I think this show would be great for anyone to watch in their spare time however I do not think it's for everyone. Overall I give it 9/10 for that nostalgic sense of mystery and wonder.
I wanted to make this review because of my “hatred” for this series. Sakurako-san too long of a name that I can’t remember like, almost, every other light novel name is a pretty bad show, why is it a bad show you may ask? Several reasons.
What can I say about the story? There is absolutely no story, it's just a "bone of the week" show. This show is more so an episodic mystery than a full on series mystery, because of the “episodic nature” the mysteries solved in the show are, in the long run, completely pointless and doesn’t mean squat to the overall "plot"
since they are pretty much forgotten about, oh sure they remember the events but how much did that affect the story and the characters? None.
Though I say this is an “episodic series” there are three mini-arcs that have the mystery case stretched out to 2 episodes so it doesn’t count as an episodic show, right? Since it has a story? Wrong, it is still episodic even if it has mini-arcs because majority of all episodic shows have stories put right in at the end or as it gradually builds up to it. This show does no such thing, it doesn’t lead to a grand conclusion, it doesn’t build upon one another it’s just forgotten. Oh but they reference the previous cases, so you are wrong! It’s as I said in the above passage, it did not in anyway affect the characters, nor did it the story, they don't learn from it and take anything away from it.
Where this show fails is the mystery aspect or should I even call it a mystery? This so-called “mystery” is solved only in a matter of one episode, you can even say in a millisecond before the show even begins, so the three mini-arcs are just useless, like I said, why are they useless? I’m glad you (didn’t) ask, they are useless because of how they are handled, typically, in a proper mystery the main character would have to do some, you know, it’s a really fascinating little thing that I like to call, investigating, this “investigating” thing is quite something it helps build the mystery and makes us learn about the mystery, the motives, and the overall conclusion to said mystery, what does this show have? A hacks main character that knows everything, there, problem solved! We can go home now!
Also there is some brief fan-service that is just very questionable, why was it there? What was the purpose? How much were they thinking when they made this? Why didn’t the creator make a proper mystery, since the “fan-service” was more interesting than the rest of this show, sure it’s only in two, or so, episodes but it just out of place and takes away from the show, and is the only interesting thing going on, you have to pander somehow, right?
Art & Sound
DA PRETTY COLORS! 1000/10!
Despite being a mystery show the colors were oddly bright, it didn’t fit the presentation and comes off as “off-putting”. The art is still good, despite not matching the overall tone of the show, it is just weird. The colors also take away from the atmosphere of the show, unless you just like the pretty colors then you should have no problem with it, this is suppose to be a mystery so you typically expect darker shades of colors but with this it's too bright.
The opening song is quite nice, nothing noteworthy, it’s just nice. The ending song is decent. The OST is pretty forgettable since it doesn’t stick out it is just more of a background thing, like it should be, though I feel disappointed on that part. Voice acting? It was alright, voices matched, kind of. Overall I have no real problem with the sound, but wait, the voice actor for Shoutarou didn't match him, it felt too "deep", I don't something about it just doesn't sit right.
With the cast of characters that we are presented to are pretty poorly written. We have an idiotic policeman that just doesn’t do anything on his own he is just that very annoying character, but he isn’t around long, though his presence currently ruins the mood. We also have a teacher, a teacher, a teacher, it really sounds weird when I think about it, I mean what purpose did he even serve besides being relevant for the last mini-arc in which he isn’t even developed, which is another problem with the characters, they aren’t developed at all! One last character is the schoolgirl, she was a useless “love interest but not really love interest” for the secondary main character, she got her own episode, which was just a GIANT waste of time, that I thought of dropping the show since it was just a waste of time, filler if you will, well anyways she is, I guess, the only developed character? So yay?
Okay now I’m done with the side characters let’s get into the main characters. Let’s start with the secondary main character, Shoutarou Tatewaki or “Shounen” (Boy), he is just a very bland character, there is really nothing to him that makes him stand out, he is basically the audience, just there for the “ride”. With the last episode how he met Sakurako it was just very cringe worthy, it just didn’t sit right with me. And he also strong? As in physically strong, which kind of came out of nowhere.
Sakurako Kujou, I hate her bone fetish, it’s just cringy, why are you so fascinated with bones? That's an easy joke right there. Also, what irritates me about her is that she is just the hacks main character; all she does is ruin the “mystery” aspect the show claims it has, why? The purpose of a mystery is to be, well, mysterious! A mystery is what makes the character guess, investigate and piece together what goes with what, but no, she knows EVERYTHING in the universe, which ruins everything since there is no engagement to the show. Hey why not ask her who really assassinated JFK? The show tries to give a “limit” to her hacks power by her saying “Oh I don’t know everything” or something like that, so what? The mystery was already broken the moment the show started, more specifically, when she was introduced, so that little limit was pointless, just stop show, please.
Conclusion, the characters aren’t written properly, in fact, I dare say they are poorly written. Crazy, right?
I hate this show, but I enjoy it for how bad the show is, but I had to will my way through this show like a Shounen protagonist that wills their way through the big fight against the big baddie. I also hate it for how much this show tries to be “serious”. This show also got to the point to where it was very very cringy to watch, I just didn’t want to sit in my seat anymore, but I was just forcing myself, the cringe is real with this one. One thing I would like to know is, why did they stop the magical girl transformation thing that happened in the earlier episodes when she said “Now, let’s solve the mystery” it was just brilliantly stupid, oh look they play it at the end of the show, thank you, it still incredibly dumb but amazing! The best thing to take out of this show.
The mystery is a giant letdown; the engagement is just very low. The characters are poorly written in the way it presents them. Sakurako-san is a pretentious anime that tried to be smarter than it actually is and tried to sound smarter than it actually was, way more than its own good. This show is a try-hard show, it tries way to hard to be serious, more serious than it really should have been. Overall, Sakurako-san is a bad series, just a plain bad series, I would not recommend unless you--you know what there are a lot more better mystery shows out there, I wouldn't tell you to watch this even as a joke since this requires will power to go through, so I recommend to go out and watch an actual good mystery rather than this pseudo intellectual show. This show is just bad and gets a 2.5/10 rating, nothing less nothing more, I don't want to have to do anything with this show for as long as I may live.
Her name isn’t Sherlock Holmes but that doesn’t mean Sakurako can’t solve mysteries. Beautiful Bones: Sakurako’s Investigations, a series based off of the light novel, is a TV anime adaptation that takes place in Asahikawa City. The main female protagonist is a beauty named Sakurako Kujo with an intellect and fascination for bones. She specializes her time in studying bones and examines them like a form of art. Behind those bones usually lies a mystery whether it’d be the remains of an animal or human.
In essence, the series is a mystery adventure. Almost every episode opens up to a story and reads like a book
where we get the introduction of a case, the problem, clues, and resolution. Key players in each mystery case has some direct or indirect connection to the series’ themes. Throughout the show, family has been a key element as we often see how cases relate to deceased relatives and their effects on loved ones. Sakurako often finds herself involved in mystery cases because of a young boy named Shoutarou. Their relationship is rather strange as well as Sakurako refers Shoutarou often as “boy” rather by his given name. There’s also cryptic flashbacks about Sakurako that suggests she has suffered a tragedy that involved the death of a loved one, perhaps bearing resemblance to Shoutarou. But for the majority of the run, the show runs on the structure of an episodic style where mystery sometimes doesn’t see just eye to eye.
With the amount of mystery, it’s hard to deny that there’s some pacing issues. The first episode only sets up the general concept of the series while the majority of the remaining ones mostly adapts a non-linear story. However, it still offers enough thoughtful mystery-thriller to hook the audience. This is because every mystery involves bones and as each bone is different, there’s a diverse range of ways the series takes interest about itself. Sakurako’s interest about bones is also highlighted easily with her fascination. She’s the type of woman with a level headed coolness and possesses an intimidating intellect. On the other hand, Shoutarou is more of the typical schoolboy who tries to make a difference. The two are hardly alike but does manage their time together to solve cases. Other prominent characters includes Yuriko, a girl who attends the same school as Shoutarou and sometimes also gets involved with mystery cases. Most of the other characters that we see in the show plays a supporting role that includes a teacher, police officer, or even a family dog. A few of them also gets some characterization but mostly related to the cases. Because the show isn’t really all about the ‘who’ but rather than the ‘why’, the characterization of the series is generally dense.
Mystery shows like this is also crafted by its thrilling atmosphere. There are some episodes that are prime examples of this such as the case of “The Cursed Man”. Then, there are some rather sincere cases about family like the one about Yuriko’s grandmother. This can be a hit or a miss and sometimes can feel distracting. As I’ve mentioned before, pacing of the show is really a nag. At times, it offers a twisty, stylistic mystery with promise while other times leaves disappointment in the eyes of a boring resolution. It still relies on some old school mystery formula and recycled ideas that isn’t so thrilling. This doesn’t help by Shoutarou’s personality as he is a guy with little characterization but plays as more of a supporting player at each case. Sakurako is also a character that is quite mysterious from the very start. Throughout some episodes, she sometimes gets moments that triggers her past memories. As the show progresses, I think it’s safe to say that sometimes, it’s more about coping with death rather than mysteries themselves. It offers a more realistic side for this show as well as an emotional one based on character stories. It can even feel like the time when you find an old picture album in the attic and appeal with a sense of nostalgia. At other times, the show retorts to its comedic side with some humorous scenarios and dialogues. By general means, the comedy feels pretty natural through conversations. And finally, don’t expect much romance. While the promotional poster seems to look like a teaser, there really isn’t love story angle.
Produced by Troyca, this is their first independent project. Previously, they’ve worked on Aldnoah Zero so do expect some character designs to look familiar such as the case of Shoutaro. But on a visual front, the series is pretty well crafted. Sakurako’s character design is made to look her like a beauty with a haughty personality to reflect her calm nature. The setting also has a serene-like feeling to it with modern decorations and a few noticeable scenes are colored like an art. Prime examples of this includes Sakurao’s declaration when she decides to solve a case. Facial tones are generally standard that expresses their personalities. And finally, we got the bones. While I’m not an expertise at examining bone specimen, I think it’s easy to tell that the show makes them look credible with their structure.
While the soundtrack isn’t anything special, it does carry a quiet atmosphere throughout the show. The series may be a mystery but most of the time retains a style that fits with its lighthearted OST. The OP and ED theme songs also gives away some symbolism with hints about Sakurako. I would say that perhaps Sakurako’s voice is the most distinctive in the show. She displays a sharp tongue with an intimidating voice when involved with cases or bones. When she’s not involved, there’s mostly an indifference about her voice tone. Shizuka Ito translates her character well into the show by bringing the personality of a detective to life.
It’s not a spellbound mystery or literature crafted from Sherlock Holmes’ detective stories. This series stands out more as a mystery that deals with the coping of lost life. Bones is the reminiscence deceased, a physical aspect that serves proof of their existence. And when someone discovers that, it can feel a bit nerve wrecking. What this show does makes it look less malevolent but rather thrilling as each bone has a story behind it. Whether you take that mystery as a successful way of storytelling may be a bit of hit or miss. In retrospect though, this show rides on its premise well with a mixed bag for presentation.
Do you collect anything? These anime characters do. And their collections are on the… bizarre side of things. Maybe you should keep your distance from these strange anime collectors and their selection of oddities.
In Japan, with Spring comes the hanami (flower-watching) season, in which the nation's most famous flowers, cherry blossoms (aka sakura), begin their short but breathtaking cycle of life, from when they first bloom to the day they float to the ground. Let's join the celebration!