Sakurasou Hits Home With Me

Nanami and Sorata

I managed to watch the whole series, Sakurasou no Petto na Kanojo, in a couple of days on my iPad. I brought it along with me when I was on a business trip in April. My first time watching the entire series on such tiny screen. Sakurasou, as most anime fans called it, was an easy series to watch – it has its share of happy moments and then it has its share of sad moments. Typical.

The reason why I decided to write about this series is because of the two categories of characters found in the series. One category being the super talented students and the other category being the not-so-talented-but-very-hardworking students.

If I am to categorize myself within these two groups of people, I’m in the latter group. I by no stretch of imagination am a talented kid. All my life I had to work hard to be where I am. If I don’t put in the effort, I’m average. Or worse, below average. However, if I put forth all my might into something, sometimes I get the results I desire. Of course, there are times I’d be very disappointed.

Mashiro

The main character, Kanda Sorata, had his shares of disappointments. After finally found his goal in life, he was hit by failures upon failures. The worst moment was probably when he was rejected while Shiina Mashiro got an offer even though she didn’t try. Mashiro was on the opposite side of the spectrum. She’s super talented. I suspect she’s the sort who doesn’t need to work hard to achieve ground-breaking results. She worked hard because she loved to. Sorata worked hard because he had to. There’s a huge difference in that.

Similarly, Mitaka Jin suffered inferiority complex when around Kamiigusa Misaki because of the very same difference. Although the romantic feelings between these two characters are mutual, Jin was determined to make a name for himself first before pursuing a relationship with Misaki.

Aoyama Nanami, an aspiring voice actress, sacrificed a lot for her dream. Devoid of parental support, Nanami had to work part-time jobs after school while attending voice acting classes other days. While I don’t have similar experience, I’m sure it’s very taxing to be always on-the-go and hardly ever be able to attend social functions with friends.

Sorata

What hit home with me is when Sorata was shocked into realization – “you can play catch-up all your life but never even get close (to the talented group)”. The fact that he and Nanami worked so hard but it was for nothing. And that hard work doesn’t pay off.

Growing up, I’m always hanging out with the smart kids. It’s not like I planned it; it just so happened. These friends of mine would score straight As without having to study. They’re natural. Being with them, I didn’t study either. While they passed with flying colors, I merely passed. Back then, I didn’t care too much but there came a point when I’d question myself the huge difference in ability between me and them. Upon realization, it was frustrating.

Having said that, I think I could resonate with Sorata when he became depressed and angry at Mashiro. I’m not saying I agree with his actions. At the same time, I won’t say that’s it’s a pity he feels sorry for himself because being in that position isn’t something easy. Seeing someone close having grand goals and score every single time while he failed repeatedly is hard to take in. I’d say cruel, even. It takes a lot of courage to keep one’s head held high after going through what Nanami and Sorata went through. They worked hard. Really hard. They didn’t just sit and wait for miracles to happen. That’s something I find admiring – the persistence.

Whether hard work pays off, it’s not for me to say. It has too many variables to have an absolute answer. I’d like to believe though that hard work does pay off. What about you?

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12 thoughts on “Sakurasou Hits Home With Me

  1. Most definitely! 🙂 I’ve also had my fair share of disappointments, and there are even times that I would question my abilities and compare myself to others(a horrible habit), but most of the time, whenever I really work hard for something, it tends to pay off. I am really happy for that luxury. But it is rare when I don’t see some amount of effort input from those who really want it, no matter how talented they are…At least from the people I’ve come to know in my life. My favorite character in the series is Nanami. Out of the whole cast, she works the hardest. I’d like to think I’d have her determination if ever put in those circumstances. And the romance aspect of the series was great. RyuunosukexRika were my favorite pairing!^^

    • It takes time to stop comparing oneself to another, I think. I spent quite a while to rid off the habit. Once I succeeded, it’s a lot more fun doing things these days – I do the best I know how and that alone is sufficient.

      Yeaps, Nanami worked the hardest among the bunch. It was heartbreaking to see her went through so many rejects and had to overcome so many hurdles yet not finding a slightest hint of promise of success. =( Knowing her though, she’d try again and again right?

      Haha, those two are so cute together!

  2. I could totally relate to the story too. I like to think the hard work DID pay off with Sorata and Nanami – even if they felt they were going nowhere, I’m sure if they looked back they would spot a massive improvement in their own talents. So despite the crushing disappointments, I don’t think the hard work they put into achieving their dreams is something they should ever regret.

    • Yeaps, always be positive right? Even though the direct outcome isn’t what they wanted but the process itself – the learning process – is something to be appreciated.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, froggykun!

  3. Bonjour

    Cool, that you were able to watch it that fast

    I think the message of the show is a bit bad, punishing the characters who try their hardest is a little questionable, yet it is a change in the often so positive anime worls. Im sure that the aimed audience made similar experience to them, but failing constantly? It was hard to watch the “untalented” Sorata and Nanami to keep on trying even though they achieved nothing. Couldn’t they had a little success? I wish them all the best, nevertheless =)

    Sure, working hard is a positive characteristic of a person, but at some point it’s just fruitless stubbornness to purchase an unrealistic dream. In creative jobs you need a breeze of talent, at least.

    back in school I only was hard working in the classes I was interested in ^^ I never really understood the workings of math, especially in the later topics I was plain bad. Well, in my following schools, I stayed away from too elaborate math, which helped my scores 😀

    • Haha, I find that the story is being quite mean to Sorata and Nanami since they never once succeeded but as you said so yourself, it’s rather rare to see an anime such as that. In a way, it’s a good thing no?

      “In creative jobs you need a breeze of talent, at least.” .<. I still like to think that eventually, a hardworking and supposedly "not talented" person will find his/her success someday. While he/she isn't born with the required talent, through hardwork, researches and other forms of creativity (creative thinking maybe?), I'm sure a person can always find a place in creative industry.

      • Oh right I somehow forgot about the importance of learned skills, thats also a part of talent ^^ Well, learned skills weren’t really portrayed in the anime, aside from Sorata having a pile of books in one episode. Learning skills is always a necessarity, too bad the anime who portrayed a starting career life ignored it.

        • You know what, should there be a second season (which I don’t think will ever happen since the story is pretty much done), I want to Sorata and Nananmi to soar and succeed. >.<

  4. Hard work definitely pays off. To use your example of classmates being naturally smart, I’ve discovered that it is not natural at all. Although a lot of people say they “don’t study”, they actually tend to pay very close attention in class or flip through textbooks every now and then. They might not consider it studying, but those little things add up. From my own experience, putting in more work into something will always give you a better result than if you didn’t put in any effort.

    • I don’t know. The classmates I mentioned spent their time chatting (me included) during classes. I’m not sure how the education system or class structure is in Canada but here, a class can easily contain 50 students. We tend to choose seats “out of range” from the teachers and some teachers simply didn’t care that we talked while they’re teaching. Whether or not they flipped through their textbooks is another story altogether.

      It’s probably true if a person putting in effort will always get a better result, but it doesn’t mean it gives that person his/her desired result. I’ve seen people still failing even though they’ve put in tons of effort, but majority achieved the desired results.

  5. With the execution of the anime, whether or not hard work pays off is indeed questionable, but at the end of the day, I think Nanami and especially Sorata did gain something from all those persistence – their mindset changed, and they grown stronger as individuals. *spoilers* For example, instead of running away from home to pursue her dreams, Nanami actually gained proper acknowledgement from her father by the end of the series. Sorata, of course, grown by far the most, even though the path to get there is bumpy. He cries, he weeps, he angers, he couldn’t control the envy and jealousy of talented people like Mashiro, but at the end of the series, it seems he’s more open, and instead of worrying and comparing himself to other people, he was just churning out his own projects at a steady pace. He seems like a “new” person by the end.

    On another note, Rita X Ryuunosuke is ftw, though I would love to see more of them.

    • Yeaps, like froggykun mentioned, despite their rejections/failures, Sorata and Nanami did learn something from the process. They may not have achieved their dreams yet, but their accumulated knowledge will surely be an advantage as they continue walking down their paths. And like you mentioned, they overcame the most difficult hurdle by the end of the series – believing in themselves.

      Haha, looks like Rita X Ryuunosuke pairing is getting a lot of fans approval!!

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