Yuu and Haruka, flanked by Yuzu and Kaede (right) and Kotone and Shizuku (left)
Yuu Sonoda and Haruka Takayama were inseparable during junior high but a cruel twist of fate put them on opposite sides of the class when entering senior highnote Many schools in Japan order seats in Gojuuon order. While "Takayama" is right after "Sonoda," this time Yuu was assigned to the back of a row, pushing Haruka to the front of the next. Forced to spend more time with their other classmates, they should do something special to keep their relationship special. They settle on kissing.They are joined by their friends; Kotone Noda, Shizuku Minami, Yuzu Iizuka, Kaede Ikeno, and Yuu's older sister Mitsuki.A Yonkoma manga serialized in Manga Time Kirara Miracle!, it had an anime adaptation by Studio DEEN which aired in January of 2014.
Sakura Trick features examples of the following tropes:
Accidental Kiss: Yuu does it to Haruka in episode 11-B accidentally. But then Haruka "accidentally" does it to Yuu.
Always in Class One: Haruka and Yuu both end up in class 1, but their names normally put them right next to each other; this time, Yuu gets put in the back of one row and Haruka gets the next seat in the front of the next row.
Artistic License - Physics: It's possible to get from one balcony to the other the way Yuu and Haruka do in episode 1. However, you need to have extremely strong arms and extremely durable skull. Otherwise you're simply dead from smashing your face to the concrete floor.
Aspect Montage: Not so much in the manga, but the anime gets a lot of mileage out of them.
Bad Bad Acting: Shizuku does not put much effort into setting the stage for the test of courage. Then in episode 5 she over acts when auditioning for the part of the witch in Snow White.
While Haruka and Yuu obviously act like a couple, and they have a kiss scene Once an Episode, in the last episode it's revealed that Haruka doesn't understand romantic love and had no idea she and Yuu could be considered to be dating. Maybe it was intended to be a joke about how she was always pulling Yuu into these things but was truly the innocent one all along, but given that the yuri genre is no stranger to attempts to pass off obviously romantic behaviour as merely friendly, it's all a bit suspicious.
Though after this reveal Yuu and Haruka try to explore the extent of their relationship, by making out while saying "I love you," but stop after it becomes too intense. The manga is ongoing and way past this reveal and the two are still in their quasi-relationship.
Kotone and Shizuku could be accused of this as well. While their relationship is pretty straight forward in its meaning there is the fact that Kotone has a fiance, which implies that their relationship will only last till the end of high school. Shizuku is on the fence on whether to appose their relationship because of this or imbrace the time she has. Kotone is doing her dead best to make the best of it,while also trying to get out of the marriage.
An extra of volume 4, that takes place shortly after the event at Kotone's family home, shows Kotone and Shizuku discussing Kotone's fiancé. Kotone lays it out that she absouloutly refuses to go through with it, calling it a false future. Shizuku decides to try and get a job so that she will have more money then the fiancé. The two then promise to be together forever.
Did They or Didn't They?: Chapter 28 has Haruka and Yuu spending the night at Haruka's, whose parents are in Hawaii, and ends with the two kissing underneath a blanket and mentioning how neither one can sleep. Helped is Yuu kissing Haruka's chest.
In a special chapter in volume 4, while Kotone and Shizuku are discussing Kotone's fiancée, they start making out on Shizuku's bed. The shot then fades out and the next scene is Shizuku drying her hair after a shower.
Don't Try This at Home: In episode 9c, Kaede fantasizes on riding on the back of Yuzu on the latter scooter. Immediately a big red X was put over her Imagine Spot with a "Illegal Traffic Maneuver!" caption, and the narrator said, "No, you don't!"
Dude, She's Like in a Coma: Right at the start of episode 4; Haruka is asleep at the end of school, so Yuu decides to kiss her all over.
Everyone Can See It: Averted for the most part, everyone comments on how Yuu and Haruka are a little too clingy for friends, but no one seems to notice the two are in a relationship despite them being very bad at hiding it.
Expressive Hair: Haruka and Yuzu both have antennae that react to their emotions.
Evolving Credits: At the end of episode 8, a Christmas-themed ending plays instead of the normal one, following 8b's focus on Christmas.
Flung Clothing: In chapter 5, during an after-school committee meeting, Haruka flings off her school uniform to reveal a cheerleading outfit underneath. Amusingly, the flung shirt lands on top of Mitsuki.
Haruka attempts this in the first part of episode 4, attempting to bribe Yuu over to sit on her lap with the ice cream she bought. It almost works, until Yuu sees the face Haruka is making, along with her putting the ice cream cone on her lap. She then decides to sit on Kotone's lap some more, causing Haruka to threaten to eat the ice cream herself.
Yuu does this to Haruka at the end of episode 5A, to bring her away from the rest of the girls.
Foot Focus: Episode three has lots of close up shots of the girls bare feet.
Fun with Acronyms: Episode 9A is titled The SBJK of New Year Debuts as Yuu gave that acronym to Haruka in spite in that episode. So what is SBJK? "Shitto Bukai Joshi Kousei", or "Deeply Jealous High School Girl. In episode 10B, Yuu further extends on this, calling using the initials for "Shuunen Bukai Joshi Kousei" (Deeply Vindictive High School Girl) and "Shinjirarenai hodo Buzama Joshi Kousei" (Unbelievably Clumsy High School Girl) Some fansubbing groups translated the first to "Super Berserk Jealous Kid" or "Super-Begrudging Juvenile Kitten", the second to "Spiteful Bully Jerk Kid" or "Slightly Baleful Jerlous Kid" and the third to "Seriously (or Stupidly) Bad at Jumping Kid" to keep the acronym.
Gainaxing: Yes. Mostly with Haruka's self-declared D-cups, but all of the bustier girls bounce from time to time.
Geodesic Cast: Mitsuki aside, the cast is entirely made of pairs. This extends even to the minor characters: There's two teachers and two minor student council members that appear.
In chapter 7, Yuzu mentions that Haruka has weird hair tufts. Kaede points out that Yuzu has a pair too.
In episode 7a, Shizuku recommended a poolside party for the School Festival, because swimming can help to lose weight. Yet she doesn't even know how to swim.
I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Mitsuki spends many episodes obsessing over Haruka and getting in between her relationship with Yuu. In the end, Mitsuki finally relents and accepts Haruka and Yuu together, and stops pining for Haruka.
Chapter 10/ Episode 5B is built on Mitsuki's Imagine Spot. The Snow White play is speech-only, without the kissing she was imagining about.
Improbably Female Cast: At first it doesn't seem that improbable, as the story is about a group of lesbians and their friends, but then you realize that it's set at a coed school and no males have any lines.
Insane Troll Logic: In episode 8A, Haruka's father said he doesn't want to see Haruka married to "some worthless guy." Haruka took that line to mean he'd be okay with a girl. Lampshaded with a note pointing out her error.
Intertwined Fingers: Though it leads to more kissing than one would normally expect from a yuri anime.
The Last Dance: The school will be merged with another three years later, so Haruka and Yuu's year is the last of the new students. Knowing this, Haruka and Yuu do their best to make the memory of their high school years far more special than others.
Letting the Air out of the Band: The anime enjoys doing this. Someone will be in or thinking of a tender moment... and then someone else will say something that kills the mood, and brings the music to a halt.
Lightning Glare: Yuu and Shizuku do this in episode 5B when both declare they want to play the witch for the Snow White play. Then Kotone and Haruka do this as well for no apparent reason. Yuzu immediately wonders why the latter two were doing it.
In episode 5B, after getting caught peeking in their classroom, Mitsuki attempts to flee. Unfortunately she gets stopped by one of the teachers who scolds her for running in the hallway. She then attempts to claim that she was merely taking large steps, but the teacher tells her not to do that either. In either case, several of the girls in the class approach her and ask her why she was spying on them.
In episode 11, after being spotted by Mitsuki, she forbids Haruka and Yuu from kissing. However, in gym they are told to pair up with their last partner, in which case Haruka's was Yuu, so she uses that excuse to get close. Kaede was told to keep an eye on them, but isn't able to because Yuzu gets a little too excited trying to dance and constantly blocks the former's view of the two girls.
Love Bubbles: Unsurprisingly present. Both more common and more obvious in the anime, though.
Male Gaze: The anime puts a lot of emphasis on the girls' figures, especially their thighs and chests.
Motifs: Takes a while for the anime to work it out, but it ends up with the Sonoda sisters using their flower decorations (with "older sister" and "little sister" to disambiguate if needed), Haruka using a sakura flower, Yuzu using her namesake fruit with her hair tufts, Kaede using a maple leaf, Kotone using a star, Shizuku using a sweatdrop, Sumi using a moustache (which comes from an ornament on her pen), and Rina using her bow.
Not What It Looks Like: Invoked: Mitsuki did catch Haruka and Yuu kissing, but they told her that it was simply an accident. She doesn't entirely buy it.
One Dialogue, Two Conversations: In episode 8a, Haruka invites Yuu to the former's relative's wedding. Throughout the phone conversation Yuu took that to be their own marriage.
Oneesama: Haruka fantasizes being the senpai in this kind of relationship with Yuu, should Yuu be held back a grade.
Once per Episode: Haruka and Yuu kiss at least once per chapter in the manga. The anime adapts two chapters per episode, so there's a bare minimum of two kisses per episode. Averted in episode 9, where there were no kisses on-screen—they kissed over the phone in 9A, and it was implied they kissed off-screen in 9B.
On the Next: Fairly standard for a comedy series— a montage of the next episode's event with the characters chatting over it.
School Girl Lesbians: There's no real doubt that Haruka and Yuu are lesbians. Mitsuki has a crush towards Haruka. Kotone and Shizuku are more ambiguous, but their relationship started with getting physical...
School Play: Technically it's just the main characters putting on a play for the culture festival, but it plays out the same.
The Scream: Happens at the end of episode 11. One of the characters experiences a significant revelation about herself, and screams as a result. All the while, the camera quickly zooms out from her and cuts to several locations around the school as her scream echoes.
Serious Business: In episode 11-A, Haruka, Yuu, and Sumi investigate the third years to see what they like, and notice quite a few of them eating pudding. Then in 11-B Mitsuki is seen buying pudding too, and Sumi asks her. The former replies that it was an offhand remark about helping her to study, and it ended up spreading like wildfire, causing the other girls to also eat pudding as a result to help study for their exams.
In Episode 2B (or Chapter 4), Haruka's imagination of of a relationship with a held-back-a-year Yuu smacks of Maria-sama Ga Miteru, with tie adjustments and stuff. The anime even put on appropriate music to fit.
"Shut Up" Kiss: Chapter 2, Haruka is throwing a tantrum, so Yuu kisses her out of it. Haruka then attempts to invoke it by threatening to make more noise (possibly giving them away to a teacher) unless Yuu kisses her again.
Sibling Rivalry: Yuu and Mitsuki, over whether Yuu should be so close to Haruka.
Strong Family Resemblance: Mitsuki is just an older Yuu with long hair and glasses. Same hair color gradient, same eyes, she even has identical flowers in her hair. Lampshaded by Haruka in episode 5a, but Haruka didn't notice... Mitsuki is crushing on her just like Yuu does.
Super-Deformed: The girls during part of the ending credits. Most of the extra segments also depict them this way.
Suspiciously Specific Denial: Mitsuki is often caught up in these, attempting to explain away why she always seems to be near Haruka and Yuu.
Sustained Misunderstanding: In episode 8a, Yuu, due to being partly asleep and the phone connection breaking up slightly, assumes Haruka's call for a wedding was for their own wedding, rather than being invited to one. This carries on until they get to a dress rental shop, and some new confusion between the two in episode 8b.
Take a Third Option: While assigning roles for the Snow White play, Yuu and Shizuku express interest in playing the role of the witch, and everyone has trouble deciding who should get it. In the end, the group has both of them play the role.
Tempting Fate: In episode 4, Haruka imagines Yuu telling her she'd be less scared if they kissed during a test of courage event. She thinks it'd be wonderful if the latter says it, but concludes it's just wishful thinking. So it totally catches her off guard when Yuu says exactly that.
Test Of Courage: The premise of ch8/ep4-B, though it only gets scary because of outside events.
Thanks For The Mammaries: Haruka is subjected to this at first accidentally by Sumi, but then intentionally by her and Yuu shortly afterwards.
In episode 5's extra segment, Shuzuku hums the opening for a bit.
Episode 8, from the dancing game that Yuu plays.
Yuzu hums a snippet of the opening in episode 9, as she and some others walk to the park.
This Is Reality: Yuzu insists that they're not in a shoujo manga, and thus Haruka wouldn't lick food off of Yuu's face. She's right on both counts; Sakura Trick is a seinen manga, and Haruka only ate the scrap after wiping it off.
Those Two Girls: Yuzu and Kaede fall into this because they lack the yuri to draw attention.
Tomboy: Yuu also somehow has this kind of trait, despite being shorter than Haruka.
Two-Teacher School: Not that teachers show up often, but there's two of them, who look suspiciously like grown-up versions of Mio and Ritsu from K-On!note The author has been making K-On! doujinshi before s/he drew professionally.
Unrequited Love: Mitsuki falls for Haruka, but unfortunately has already lost to her little sister.
UST: Yuu and Haruka, their makeout moments seem to never be enough. Its only a matter of time before they move beyond just kissing.
Visual Pun: After Kaede wordlessly laments her lack of chest in one end-of-episode short, we see this◊ title card.
Wardrobe Malfunction: Episode 7a promises one in the title, and delivers: Mitsuki's bikini top falls off.
Wham Line: Dropped by Kaede near the end of Episode 10-A when she was speaking with Mitsuki.
Kaede: I've been wondering for a while now, but are you okay with that kind of stuff?
Kaede: Well, I understand how hard it can be to come out about something like that, but I personally wouldn't mind if they just told me.
Kaede: As for Yuzu... She might be surprised at first, but I think she'd accept it pretty quickly.
Mitsuki: Um, I'm not following you here.
Kaede: I'm talking about how Haruka and Yuu are going out.
Wham Shot: 11A gives us the standard kiss between Haruka and Yuu, but right afterwards it's shown that they were caught in the act.
What Is This Thing You Call Love?: After Mitsuki confesses to Haruka, Mitsuki realizes the Haruka doesn't know the difference between loving someone as a friend and loving someone as a couple. Later Yuu and Haruka talk about this and realize they don't really know what their relationship is, but plan on finding out together.
Word Salad Title: Okay, sakura are vaguely relevant to the first chapter, but "trick"?