Sakurada Reset is set in the titular town that has people filled with special abilities and are isolated from the outside world. Among its residents are Kei Asai, who has a perfect memory that can't be tampered with, and Haruki Misora, who can reset time up to 72 hours back whenever she sets up a save point to set the time back to. Both of them are members of the Service Club, a club where the two are assigned to handle unique dilemmas coming from ability users. Unknown to them however, the Service Club is part of a larger chain of events transpiring within the town.
Sakurada Reset has gotten some rather divided reception among fans due to how it chooses to execute its storytelling. It goes the route of the Monogatari franchise in that good chunks of the series feature characters being in long-winded conversations where they talk about their abilities and perceptions of their everyday lives. What made this approach popular among Monogatari fans was that this was accompanied by the colorful and eccentric personalities of its cast. This is not the case with Sakurada Reset throughout much of its run, as characters barely emote as they talk nor express anything resembling a human personality. This unfortunately makes the characters come off seeming like robots or "talking heads" (depending on how you view them), and makes it quite a struggle to get through roughly the first two-thirds of the anime series. This is especially bad with Haruki's character, as she sounds almost robotic talking, not able to think independently, and seemingly only exists for Kei to use her reset ability whenever he's in a pinch.
The handling of the character abilities is also a bit of a mixed bag. In concept, all the characters have specific restrictions and conditions they have for utilizing their abilities. To its credit, this keeps the characters from getting too overpowered within Sakurada Reset and they have to think carefully over the best means to utilize their abilities for varying situations. For instance, Kei's "perfect memory" lets him recall events from prior resets that Haruki made, since she forgets of events that occurred following the previous "save point" she set prior to a reset. However, the show's rather subpar animation does hinder how spectacular some of the more fantastical abilities of the series are rendered such as Sasano's ability to enter the world of a photo for a limited time and Ukawa's ability to manipulate the properties of objects.
As far as the story goes, much of the first two-thirds of Sagrada Reset is focused on exploring the town and introducing a number of ability users, a number of whom have personal problems related to their abilities that Kei and Haruki have to resolve. On the one hand, the series does do a solid job with dabbling into each character's problems, with Kei having to do much of the guesswork in figuring out how to resolve each crisis. In addition, hints are usually dropped about the larger situation that Kei and others gradually find themselves getting into. However due to the mentioned issue with characters barely seeming human throughout much of the series, it does kill quite a bit of investment for the audience to give a hoot about what goes on throughout much of the series.
Miraculously, the final third of Sakurada Reset offers a considerably improved experience over its early two-thirds if you are able to press on that far. The larger conflict that comes at hand at this point in the series offers a clash of philosophies over the abilities given to people within Sakurada and puts Kei's abilities to the biggest test in resolving the crisis. The storytelling is genuinely more engaging with some major characters forced into making hard decisions to aid one another and having some genuinely engaging dramatic developments in which the characters actually emote more often. This easily makes the final third of Sakurada Reset the best point within the series to watch through and a good reward after struggling through the stagnant first two-thirds of its run.
Overall, I suppose I found Sakurada Reset a bit of a mixed bag. While it has a unique premise with solid exploration of its world and characters, elements of its design and direction such as its subpar animation, heavy focus on character conversations, and almost-robotic character interactions hinder how receptive many viewers would be to viewing the series. The final third of the series is a considerable improvement with how the characters express themselves due to the raised stakes of the conflict they find themselves in. But this alone is not enough for me to believe it improves the quality of Sakurada Reset as a whole, and is certainly an area where I can see the show's divided reception comes into play.
Rating: 6 of 10
Someday I’ll be gone To somewhere that we belong And God has never played his role 'Cause I’m the one who saves my soul It’s a perfect world we’re longing for
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