The Ninth Bone – “Grandma’s Pudding”
What Sakurako-san has consistently done so well is tie together seemingly isolated events and character moments, building off of a shared theme, and it’s never presented in an overt, “this is the message we want to convey, please listen” sort of way either. Unlike other similar mystery series, there are very few, if any, throwaway events or characters, as we’re still calling back to Yuriko’s grandmother’s death, and that specific event is tied in beautifully with the secret behind Shoutarou’s own grandmother.
Sakurako-san is very much about what people, and even animals, leave behind following their death, beyond simply a set of bones. In typical mystery fashion, the way information is presented and the way the truth is revealed is what makes the story engaging, rather than necessarily the content of the story. It’s a case of the sum is greater than its individual parts, which is an element that many of my favorite series, like Durarara!!, implement and I wish more anime series did it well.
While Sakurako-san has been very thoughtful with how its characters move through each mystery and develop themselves, this episode threw a veritable wrench in the system at the very end with an introduction of a completely new character. At least, I believe it’s a new character unless I’ve just been unobservant for the past 9 episodes. Regardless, this development feels incredibly jarring because there’s no visible connection between her and the story, and it’s hard to say whether whatever importance she brings to the plot will feel warranted or not.
“Some things have value because they’re pointless, right?” ~ Sakurako Kujou