For a while, I felt that all the shows that tend to deal with mystery doesn’t quite live up to expectations since it takes a while until things become interesting. While shows like Hyouka and Gosick took a while to develop, they eventually became interesting towards the end.
At a glance, Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru feels somewhat similar to Gosick as the teenaged male protagonist plays a supporting role while the female lead is the main detective as they solve various mysteries.
The story focuses around a teenage boy named Tatewaki Shoutarou who have just entered high school. One day, he meets a young woman named Kujou Sakurako who is an otologist that is obsessed over bones. Eventually, Shoutarou tags along to solve various mysteries ranging from murder, deaths, perceived curses among other things. What secrets lies from solving these mysteries that will lead them to a mysterious man who are behind the ones they are solving.
From the looks of it, I felt that the premise is interesting considering that there is a huge age difference between Shoutarou and Sakurako. As a result, I felt that the interactions between them are interesting for the fact that they are not really developing a romantic relationship with each other, especially since Sakurako is already married. Their relationship is more like Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. With that in mind, it’s quite obvious what roles Sakurako and Shoutarou take from this comparison as the former focuses more on solving the mystery while the latter gather the finer details that she might have missed during the investigation that is important in solving it. While some of the mysteries are nothing special such as the story regarding Yuriko finding a mysterious envelope that is part of a strange tradition, most of the mysteries are part of an underlining story of Sakurako eventually going after a mysterious criminal who is referred to as Hanabusa who manipulates others to do his bidding.
On the other hand, the mysteries of course reveal some hints of her past. Some of the things that got some focus is her younger brother that died and of course how she learned how to become an otologist from Sasaki who is one of the teachers at the school she attended while one of her cats was dying from poison. To me, it was interesting to see how Sakurako became obsessed with bones and how she grew to become a good detective to someday catch the mastermind that possibly killed her younger brother, cats and various victims.
While the foreshadowing was interesting, I felt that some of the mysteries were somewhat lackluster. As mentioned earlier, the one involving Yuriko was rather disappointing and does not really have any relation to the overall story. On the other hand, there are some that are just strange such as the two girls who were manipulated to kill their best friend. In short, the mysteries are somewhat a mixed bag. Even so, I felt that the interactions as Sakurako and Shoutarou finding clues to solve various mysteries make the sohw enjoyable and interesting to watch.
As a whole, while Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru is not perfect, but if it had 24 episodes like Gosick did, I felt that they could spend more time developing these mysteries and of course get closer in catching the mastermind. After all, it took a good amount of episodes until the mysteries became interesting. Someday if this show is lucky to get a second season, aside from improving on the mysteries, hopefully they will get closer to apprehending Hanabusa.
The Bottom Line
Strengths: Good visuals and enjoyable interactions with Shoutarou and Sakurako as they solve mysteries. I liked how most of the mysteries give some hints about Sakurako’s past and hinting who is the mastermind.
Weaknesses: Some of the mysteries are somewhat a mixed bag and lackluster. ¶