Before I go any further, do know that it is a work that evolves mostly around a gay relationship, so if that is somewhat distasteful for you, stop reading this post.First and foremost, Watase has always been an amazing artist whose meticulous attention to details of human anatomy and human expression never fails to enrapture me although Sakura Gari has definitely marked an evolution in her artistic ability. Every single panel within the manga artwork is a spatial experience, and the extremely practiced style that she has for moving the eye from one scene to another is absolutely masterly.
What is so intriguing about this work is that the storyline is war, a war of human emotions with the flashing cannonfire of raging personalities in the mire of societal corruption. Set in the Taishou era of Japanese history when westernization was just beginning to steep itself into Japanese culture, all the doings of the rich are condoned by their wealth, and the ingenuousness of a young student of past traditions is caught in the thick of it. Some may call this work disgusting or sadistic, but when considering how completely veristic the human conscience is portrayed in Sakura Gari, you just can’t help appreciating the beauty of it all despite whatever havoc it wreaks on your moral code of ethics.