Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru (TROYCA) – Genre: Mystery
Episode 01 – “The Princess Who Loves Bones”
Mystery, I feel, is a genre that is criminally underutilized in the world of anime, and while there are many recent popular series that play out in ways that a classic mystery would, such as Death Parade and Rokka no Yuusha, they’re still a fairly far cry from the traditional idea of the genre. I would say the last, really good mystery series I’ve seen is Gosick, which aired back in 2011, so imagine my excitement when I saw a new mystery series, featuring what appeared to be a very domineering woman interested in dead things, was airing this season.
Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru roughly translates to “a corpse is buried at Sakurako-san’s feet” and stars the eponymous Sakurako-san, who possesses the mildly eccentric proclivity towards anything bone-related. Shoutarou Tatewaki is regularly invited on her bone excavations around town, and their relationship may, on the surface, seem like your typical cool, dominant woman dragging around the meek, younger boy (which I am totally into, by the way), but we already see in the first episode that their dynamic is more complicated than that.
Sakurako-san initially comes off as an intelligent, mysterious, and poised woman, and while I still believe that she is all of these things, there are many moments where an unexpectedly immature side emerges, usually thanks to the responsible Shoutarou’s goading. For example, Sakurako-san gets incredibly defensive when Shoutarou berates her for trying to steal the skull they find on the beach. Not only does this give her character depth, but that type of gap moe for cool girls is a trope that I personally just find really cute.
So what of the mystery? Well, after a very quick analysis, Sakurako-san declares that what appeared to be a double suicide is instead a double homicide, and the matter is kind of left floating in the air. I’m a fan of that because it insinuates that the two main characters aren’t out looking to solve crimes. Sakurako-san simply wants to immerse herself in the remnants of the dead, and that will likely be the modus operandi for the entire series.
“I was born in a city where time has ceased.” ~ Shoutarou Tatewaki