Sakurako-san episode 4 tries something new this week, and it pays off immensely, so far anyway.
Rather than a single episodic story, episode four of Sakurako-san is the first half a two-part mini-arc, and it was far better than the previous episodes.
My theory as to why this episode was better than those that went before it is due to how much build up there was. The biggest flaw with the other episodes was the focus on Sakurako explaining everything. The reason episode two was the best episode, until now that is, was because there was a lot more build up than the other two episodes.
This episode was nothing but build up. The entire episode was nothing but a set up for the conclusion coming next week, this slower pace really helped the show as a whole. It allowed the atmosphere to develop, and the hints we got were greater in number, but smaller and subtler, something Sakurako-san hasn’t done up till now.
Perhaps the greatest strength this episode had been its unique set up, unlike the previous Sakurako-san episodes this mystery doesn’t involve a corpse or bones. This move simultaneously gives us a break from its gimmick and shows us that Sakurako-san can and will go beyond what it’s comfortable with.
The only question that remains is the quality of next week’s episode. By far the weakest aspect of this show is the explanations from Sakurako, and if this episode was all build up, it’s likely that next week will be all explanation. However, this episode has built up enough good faith for me to give next week the benefit of the doubt.
That said, this episode still hasn’t reached the level of a great episode. While it’s far better than it’s peers (the other Sakurako-san episodes) it wasn’t good enough to overcome the previous episodes. So, while I look forward to next week, I still wouldn’t recommend this show to anyone yet, I can only hope that over the next few weeks the quality will continue to improve, and we might have a good show on our hands by the end of it.