OP: 「Morning Glory」 by (K)NoW_NAME:NIKIIE
「魔の山へ」 (Manoyama Eh)
“Off To Manoyama”
Sakura Quest isn’t a show I’d recommend to everyone, but I must admit that there’s a spunky charm to it that managed to capture my attention before its first episode came to a close.
Before I get into the parts that I liked, I have to address the elephant in the room — I think there are a lot of people who won’t enjoy Sakura Quest all that much unless it manages to click with them. At first, I thought I’d be writing a rather negative post about another P.A. Works show that was about to go down the same route as Glasslip. The main heroine didn’t seem like she was fit for the role, the story of someone being tossed into a situation they’re trying to escape has been countless times before, and the characters all seemed a little too strong in the personality department (as in strong overbearing characters felt extra overbearing and timid ones felt really shy).
However, somewhere between the halfway mark and the end of the end of the episode, everything magically clicked for me. Our main heroine Yoshino started showing us that she’s more than just a recent grad who whines a bunch and is instead a rather thoughtful human trying to make the best with the cards she’s been dealt, the story established itself not as a sob story but one of a rural village trying to recapture its former glory and hopefully the economic stability that comes along with that, and the characters all started to show more depth with not only their words but through their actions and body language. All things that I’m not sure how P.A. Works managed to fit into less than fifteen minutes, but boy am I glad that they did. In addition to that, I think what really pushed the show from okay to good for me was how the story connected Yoshino with Manoyama village. I personally was wondering how the story was going to convince me that a girl like Yoshino who hates the idea of living in village would accept her role as “Queen of Manoyama”. But lo and behold the storytellers managed to connect things in a way that I didn’t see coming and was pleasantly surprised to discover. You can call flashbacks, nostalgia, or memories an overused trick but when it works boy does it work.
Overall, I think Sakura Quest has a lot of potential to be a great slice-of-life or maybe even coming of age show. With the setting in the perfect place for it to occur and characters who are all mature enough to understand the deeper issues that plague the world, I really hope that this show can become a somewhat serious one that uses that slice-of-life style of storytelling to really create a world that we can become engrossed in. And while there are definite issues with some parts of the show like the insanely quick pacing as well as a ton of more characters just waiting to make their debut, I think the overarching storyline and plot can keep things going strong.
In any case, I’ll probably catch you guys again next week for episode two of Sakura Quest. See you then!