Anime at a Glance: Pet Girl of Sakura Hall

PetGirl3Doesn’t everyone just feel helpless when they see a cat alone on the street in a cardboard box, abandoned? Sorata Kanda sure
does. He also manages to come across them more often than most people would. When he finds his first one, he takes it back to his Dorm in High School where pets aren’t exactly allowed. He managed to get away with it for awhile until the school faculty caught on. Now he’s faced with a decision; take up residence in the school’s Dorm for trouble students, Sakura Hall, or get rid of the cat.

Needless to say, Sorata feels that he can’t just leave the cat back on the street and readily accepts his reassignment into Sakura Hall despite his friend Nanami Aoyama’s protest. He moves in and rapidly finds that one of his dorm mates is a highly energetic ‘alien’ who can’t sit still for a moment, another who is a playboy that is commonly spending his time in the company of different girlfriends, a tech-savant who rarely is seen outside of his room, and a teacher who doesn’t feel like supervising her co-ed dorm is really her job. In fact, Sorata’s new dorm faculty advisor, Chihiro Sengoku, puts him to work right away and has him go collect her niece, Mashiro Shiina, and gives him a picture of a girl who looks roughly 9 years old from the train station.

He ends up finding her sitting by herself and approaches her, but notices that the picture is probably out of date since she PetGirl1seems to be his age. Chihiro later tells him that she is actually transferring into the school and he’s been assigned, against his will, to show her around and make sure that she gets to and from school okay. He heads up to her room the next morning as she had yet to get out of bed, only to find clothes literally the floor as if a tornado had blown through the dorm room. As he looks around for Mashiro he sees a manga on her computer he begins reading through it and finds it’s actually really well drawn and is enjoyable to read when he notices that Mashiro is under the desk in a bundle of comforters and he quiet knocks her desk to wake her up. She crawls out from under her computer desk. Completely naked.

After a single day Sorata learns that Mashiro is socially awkward, has no concept of shame, and doesn’t even really seem to notice other people in general with a stoic gaze and soft voice. It’s also his job to completely look after her, including making sure she does basic every day things like getting dressed, brushing her hair, and not eating food in convenience stores before it’s paid for. Between Mashiro and his other room mates, he reaffirms his goal to move out of Sakura Hall to get back to the regular dorms.

Now if only he could find homes for the six cats he’s found since he’s moved in…

PetGirl2This show is a great slice of life series that I keep going back to watch every month or so when I’m in between shows or killing time on my lunch break at work. Aside from it’s engaging characters, hilarious interactions and writing, and it’s colourful art style,  it really drew me in because every few episodes it went through a climactic story event, the kind that most shows don’t do until the end of the season, and then following up the conclusion in the next episode and kept the ball rolling. The first day I had discovered it on Crunchyroll I ended up watching through the entire series as the residents of Sakura Hall went through their daily shenanigans of High School life. Though it’s a serious show at many points and can capture many of the real frustrations that life thrusts upon you, it’s also an enjoyable RomCom and can keep you laughing through the series. It also has some of my favorite opening and ending themes out of all of the Anime I’ve watched.

Pet Girl of Sakura Hall was licensed for North America by Sentai Filmworks and was based off a light novel with the same name, published by ASCII Media Works.

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