I’ve heard people saying before that the source material for Sakurasou is actually pretty mediocre; J.C. Staff has just been doing a particularly good job of adapting it. So far, I’ve been fairly satisfied with the show. But unfortunately, this episode might just be one of those moments where Sakurasou’s mediocre source material leaks through. Let’s go over the problem in the bad.
So everyone’s had a shitty day. Nanami finally breaks down when she realizes the truth that the Sakurasou residents have been turning a blind eye to. Sakurasou is going to be demolished, and there’s nothing they can do about it. Sorata gets the results from the game competition, only to find out he’s failed yet again. Well shucks. Oh, and Mashiro? Why, she gets her manga featured on the cover of the magazine and is also offered a position as a character designer for the company that hosts the game competition. I think you see where I’m going with this. Was it really necessary to absolutely crush Sorata and Nanami again while simultaneously elevating Mashiro? It’s not like this hasn’t already happened before. We’ve seen Nanami and Sorata fail to achieve their goals already. The next logical step would be to have them overcome their challenges and succeed, right?
Apparently not. Instead, we get more suffering piled on top. Why is this bad? Simply because we get it already. Certain people might be more gifted than others, and those who aren’t as fortunate have to try harder at life. It’s more than enough to demonstrate this point once. You don’t need to shove it in our faces over and over and over again. When you create such a development where the characters fail at something, you are obvious setting up anticipation for when they succeed. This is the natural order of events, and it would be ludicrous not to capitalize on the expectation. Sure, this may be the path more traveled, but sometimes you really shouldn’t try to reinvent the wheel. Some formulas are already proven to work well. This is one of them. As the proverb goes: “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”. I’m just stating the obvious here, but that’s telling us not to give up because success may be right around the corner. You really aren’t proving anything by completely refuting this and just brutally putting down those who have failed repeatedly.
That is to say, there is absolutely no reason for this kind of development. It’s just rage-worthy. It’s uncomfortable. It makes you squirm and leaves you with unresolved tension. Why the heck would you do this? The answer I’ve come to is, “this guy doesn’t know how to write”. And as much as I hate to say things like this, it’s probably the fact of the matter. Was the author perhaps in a state of depression when he wrote Sakurasou? That might explain why everything is so unnecessarily bleak. Honestly? I don’t know. But it doesn’t matter. Just because we can explain why something is poorly written doesn’t make it any less poorly written. I’m not saying that everything should have been smooth sailing in this latest arc, but the breaking of characters was really uncalled for. Mashiro could still have left Sakurasou without any of this happening. Things didn’t have to get this ugly.
While it’s true that life can be unfair at times, the amount of suffering that Nanami and Sorata are subjected to is just off the charts compared to the word “unfair”. This is just, “Word of God has decided to make your very existence miserable because he can”. Oh, and he’ll also throw in the job offer to Mashiro just to rub salt on the wound. Whoopty fucking doo.