If there is one thing that this season is great at, it’s the fantastical elements. So many fantasy universes, demons, strange abilities, dark creatures trying to end humanity, and so many other elements beyond our human understanding, unless you watch anime and super hero stuff of course. With all those concepts and elements in mind, the easiest way to stand out this season is by being grounded and ordinary. Kado has fantastical elements with an alien coming to Earth, but the way the interactions are made are incredibly realistic and possibly how the situation would go down. Tsuka ga Kirei is a realistic romance about two introverts who are attracted to each other and are dating somehow. It reminds me of my own junior high years. With those two in mind still, Sakura Quest’s world is the most relatable one to me at the moment and the world it presents is the most interesting.
The second I saw the protagonist Yoshino not getting the thirty something jobs she applied and interviewed for, I knew that I was going to like this show. Why? I did something similar and didn’t get a single job from it. A lot like Yoshino right now, I am currently working at a place that I didn’t intent to at first but I like it alright at the moment. Still, it’s not where I want to end up and I feel like I can say the same thing for this certain protagonist. It really captures the millennial not finding a job reality that is common these days. Sakura Quest plays this aspect off in a more comedic route and it works for the most part. More in the self reflective kind of way for me, that’s okay. This anime is still an escapist thing, even if it hits home too often.
Yoshino applied for thirty jobs because she wanted to stay in Tokyo. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on your point of view, the anime doesn’t take place in Tokyo. It takes place in the small town of Manoyama. A small agricultural town that is out of the way and slowly dying. Based on a huge misunderstanding, Yoshino gets the job as queen of the town in hopes that she will find a way to save it. We see this town through her eyes, the eyes of someone who loves and longs for city life more than anything else. At first we only see a bare bones town with nothing to offer, but we are slowly getting more interesting developments and a personality to this town that we wouldn’t care for otherwise. I have to say, the more I see it, the more Manoyama seems interesting. It’s brimming with its own unique sense of personality.
Learning more about this town is centered around how Yoshino is going to save it. In the first four episodes, she tried to sell the town without putting effort in knowing about it. Selling special treats from the town didn’t work because they didn’t know about the treats personally. Same thing for Manoyama’s wood carving. Until Yoshino and her team learned more wood carving in general, they didn’t’ know how to advertise it to the outside world. The end of the latest episode was this team’s first to saving the town.
I know that Sakura Quest’s world is not fully realistic. There are still aspects of idealism in this show. In real life, nothing can be completely solved in the length of an episode or two. The wood carving incident was solved in that amount of time. While that solution is not fully completed and will take over one hundred years to completed, the solution was answered in a short amount of time by a character that spent a lot of time away from the group for a long time. Do things like that happen in real life? Maybe, but not never all the time. In the end though, Sakura Quest is an excellent television show at the moment. I look forward to seeing more of it in the future and hope it maintains this level of quality throughout its two cour run. I highly recommend this show. Give it a try and see if it is for you. This is a plot that has been done before many times over, but the execution has been good so far.