Da Capo III
Hatsune Island was once known for it's cheery trees which blossomed year round. It's been 20 years now since the last bloom, and for most its nothing but a memory or story told by their parents. Yoshino belongs to a newspaper club at school in crisis: they have no good story for their upcoming issue. The club decides to investigate the old story of the cherry blossom tree which can grant a wish. That night they gather at a grand tree and make a wish. The tree comes to life, and cherry trees across the island blossom once again. Adding to the mystery, each of the group receives a text message on their phone from 1951.
While trying to unravel the mystery of the cherry trees, Yoshino meets a young girl he's never seen around town before. Sakura seems like any other girl, but her connection with the cherry trees is only one of her secrets.
I HATE writing reviews about shows like Da Capo III. It's like yelling at a puppy that's done wrong. When you scold it you feel bad because it's cute. But it's still wrong! I didn't expect anything amazing, but I really really wanted to find the good points in Da Capo III. And as hard as I tried I couldn't find many.
It looks lame from the beginning, but hints are dropped indicating the story might go in good directions. When Yoshino meets the young mysterious girl named Sakura, it has all the fixings for a good plot (or at least a decent one). Then it goes absolutely NOWHERE. It does the "each girl gets her episode" thing, which is tough sell considering there are 7 girls in 12 episodes. What's truly bad about that is nothing is accomplished in the other 5 episodes either. It makes passing references to the newspaper club trying to solve a mystery, but almost no effort is made on that front. A rival newspaper club threatens to take Yoshino. Nothing comes of that, and it's eventually blown off in a way that's a bit insulting to the viewer. The blond girl (with ribbons) mentions she and Yoshino were lovers in a past life, and it digs into that back story. It tries sorrowful drama, but fails because Da Capo III is too timid for real drama. The result is so severely gimped it's kinda painful to watch. The main story is too mysterious for its own good, and once it finally gets to the end... completely drops the ball with an unfulfilling end making little sense.
Yoshino is a generic blank slate, and the girls are so ill defined with vague personalities they collectively become a pile of anime trope mush I had a hard time telling apart. I suppose the fact that I couldn't keep them strait makes it plausible Yoshino can't decide between them. It's suggestive he'll choose the blond (with ribbons) due to various happenings, and her character getting more development than the others. When he didn't choose I almost stopped watching, but as I was on the last episode anyway figured I'd see it through.
It's like Da Cappo III forgot that the typical harem junk is supposed to be filler for the real show, and reversed what was important. The story and characters take a back seat to the same junk done many many times before. For an anime lacking the spine to do anything daring, it has a lot of guts being incredibly lazy with the "resolutions" in the last two episodes, which is insulting to the viewer. Da Capo III is a huge waste of time. If you want anime girls doing the harem thing, you can do much better than this. There are some gorgeous visuals centered around the cherry blossom trees, so I guess there's that.
Sakura: No matter how many seasons came to pass, spring would always return carrying the scent of fresh cherry blossoms.
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