Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo was not only one of the first anime I ever watched, it was literally number 3. At the time I thought it was a revolutionarily well-written story, an opinion that has changed a lot over the years, first for the worse, then to a more neutral impression as the immediate memories wore off. In retrospect, maybe it wasn’t the most impactful show, but it was a very formative experience for me as a new and green member of the anime audience.
Sakurasou is still the show I think about every time an anime introduces an eccentric transfer student, when the main character lives with a bunch of weirdos in a dorm, when a main character visits their family during winter break, and when a school club or school is faced with the danger of being shut down. It was the first 2-cour anime I watched, and thus it also came with the longer characters arcs, filler episodes and climactic endings that longer series have time for. These are the reasons why I initially really liked it. Later on, when I had more experience with anime, I came to realise the problematic nature of the show’s portrayal of Mashiro, as well as the somewhat (or very) unhealthy obsessions of the main character, Sorata.
However, in the end my memory of the show is still fond. The reason is that, in a way, Sakurasou is the first show that really got me to discuss anime with other people. First on Reddit, then on Twitter, now on my very own blog. The particular topic of discussion was whether Mashiro is a well-written character or not (back then I said “yes”, now I concede to the counterargument), if I recall correctly. It was a fun time. Thanks, Sakurasou.