「夜明けのギルド」 (Yoake no Girudo)
“The Dawn Guild”
After all this time, we’ve learned about the backstories and motivations of the women at Chupakabura…except Yoshino!!! It was an easy thing to overlook because the first couple episodes delve lightly into Yoshino’s situation and her resolve to stay. What the hook of this latest arc does is reintroduce her earlier struggles now that she’s gotten more used to her position at the agency by using the reality show format as a vessel for her development.
It was an interesting idea for Chupakabura’s 20th anniversary celebration to fall within the same time frame that Northern Living decided to hop on over to film a special on the girls of Chupakabura. There were many funny moments with the villagers reacting to the camera’s presence such as Erika acting even more uncharacteristic during the filming, Sandal evoking the spirit of Kevin Costner from Field of Dreams to lend positive energy to the upcoming celebration, and Kadota’s impulse to jump into any scene that’s going on around him.
Knowing how reality shows tend to be portrayed in TV dramas, I expect that there is an ulterior motive in their interest in Manoyama and the decision to hire Ptolemaios, a high-profile rock band that was featured in a soda commercial, to their festival. The band did show up during the next episode’s preview, but Amamiya seemed determined to get material on any conflict that would arise on Yoshino’s end, so I could see the network trying to create a situation that she would have a hard time solving.
Speaking of which, his main concern was the normalcy of Yoshino’s struggles. Even though Yoshino acts as the glue that helps keep all the girls focused and together, it does discredit her to say that after all this time, she’s still called normal. She comes from the same background as Maki and Sanae, except from a younger point-of-view as someone who struggled to find employment in the city. Her change from being rigid about being stuck in the countryside to openly embracing Manoyama was a development that occurred early on.
The next episode could try to resolve her insecurities about being labeled as normal, but for someone who became the Queen of Chupakabura, can cheer up or negotiate with very upset people, can come up with goofy plans like presenting a somen delivery machine made from an arcade game, and would eat an ume and mayo sandwich, it feels odd that Yoshino is considered to be the most normal person in the room. I guess it would stem from sharing her friends’ troubles of being camera-shy, especially since she’s comfortable with people not knowing she was the 100,000th guest at Chupakabura as a kid. The stakes are mounting with guests arriving a night early to the celebration. The stage is set for what should be a great way for Yoshino to realize how she stands out.