When I read the information on the back cover of the Blu-ray for Sagrada Reset, I had to buy it. Here’s why:
“If you could turn back time… The ability to reset time might seem like the ultimate superpower, but if you forget what was going to happen when you reset it, how would you know what you needed to change? Or if you’d make things better or worse?”
Sounds promising, doesn’t it, and I was hoping for something along the lines of the wonderful The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, but as a 24 episode series rather than a movie. The character mentioned in the blurb above is Misora Haruki, and she teams up with the main character, Kei Asai. Their abilities work perfectly together because Kei has a photographic memory, which even works for cancelled timelines. Theoretically that’s great, but the unspoken truth is it turns Haruki into nothing more than a tool for Kei to use. She can’t remember anything, so she ends up being told what to do by Kei all the time. I’ve heard the words “Haruki… resetu!” enough to last me a life time (as you might have guessed from that, there’s no dub), and the problem that Haruki has a passive, almost servant-like role is embraced rather than addressed by the series. The disappointment didn’t end there.
The town where Kei and Haruki live is full of people with special abilities, and each and every one of them is an idea that is packed full of storytelling potential. There is a girl who can see into the future, but loses her grip on her own identity in the process. There’s a girl who can erase objects with just a touch. There’s a girl who can change people’s memories and a boy who can allow two people to share their memories. I think you’ll agree that it all sounds fascinating.
I don’t know when I’ve been so disappointed. All everyone does in this series most of the time is stand around and talk. There is virtually no action, and little sense of jeopardy or excitement. Talk talk talk talk talk. I have never, ever seen such a static anime. Even when we’re building up to the grand finale, almost a whole episode goes by with Kei sat in a car talking to people. I was hoping things might spring into life at the end, but even the last episode of the series is just as static as all the rest. 24 episodes of this was torture, but I kept watching in the hope that the writers would actually do something with their ideas rather than just have the characters stand around and talk about them. What a waste of time.
But my frustration with this series runs deeper than that, because it focusses on entirely the wrong characters. Haruki is an incredibly boring, characterless girl, who virtually talks in a monotone, and yet she’s all over this series. Just about the most exciting thing that happens is when she decides to cut her hair, and I didn’t like the new hairstyle anyway. And yet there are other characters who are much more interesting, and only feature in a few episodes. Michiru is a girl who draws people into a dream world she controls, and at least she has a reasonably decent story arc. It’s not as good as it sounds, and as I’m typing all this I’m still thinking: that should have been amazing. But then there’s Seika Nono, who is the teenage equivalent of a mad cat lady, and can mentally link with a cat in her sleep; she’s one of the most interesting characters, and one of the few who actually have a character, and yet she gets hardly any screen time. It’s just all so boring, boring, boring.
Man, how I want somebody to remake this and do a proper job of it. RP