「ミネルヴアの杯」 (Mineruvua no Sakazuki)
“Minerva’s Sake Saucer”

Seeing all of the characters in Sakura Quest grow together is an amazing part about watching all of the episodes up to this point, but I feel like Episode 18 would work well as a standalone episode for how great the narrative is told. You’d miss the context of the events from 17, but it’s able to tell a touching story within the half hour just from the interactions between the girls and the elderly residents of Warayiba. Through 18, we see Yoshino learning and understanding why the mountain life and culture is important to the people that live there despite being the region of Manoyama at the highest risk of vanishing first. I liked how the beginning establishes that Yoshino figured out right away that the hostage situation and push to withdraw from Manoyama was a call for help from the residents, and gave her a reason to assist them in getting the rest of the town on their side about keeping the bus route.

From another angle, Sanae learns this lesson as the Professor shows how the residents have been using the internet to build a digital archive so that even if the town were to vanish, at least their history would be recorded on a permanent database. As a result, it sprouts up inspiration for Sanae and Takamizawa to collaborate on an on-demand shuttle service now that the residents have means of using a cost-efficient online ordering system. It was nice to see Takamizawa gain some resolve to fight for Sanae’s online shuttle idea in light of his recent insecurities about losing his job to self-driving buses. Even my choice for best girl, Maki, made a great impression by partying hard with everyone else.

The impact that helping the Warayiba residents out with their winter prep and daily routines has had on the agency resonated well with me as it was moving to see how each of the girls get invested into the residents’ plight. At the end of the day, it highlights how the success of the agency’s ideas come from both adapting to advances in modern technology, and the need to fight for the town’s identity to still remain prominent.

How wonderfully everything turned out made it all the more tragic when the episode ended with the Professor’s death. I was surprised that they would kill someone off that quickly, but it fit in with the foreshadowing that the pervy old man provided when he mentioned the lanterns burn out in times of tragedy. It was also the twist of fate that gave the girls access to the treasure he had in his basement, Everything from his last message to them being a secret way of telling them to go for it under an alias that nodded towards their first encounter to Sanae’s realization on what he meant by planting his roots in the town as she read his research made the final moments of the episode meaningful and emotional.



  1. I was surprised that he died. This is not the kind of show you usually expect to have deaths in it and I figured he would hang around to give them cryptic clues for the rest of the treasures.

    Thanks for the sweater dress screencaps. With all the men looking for girlfriends we saw in the women tour episode I do not see how Sanae is able to walk around without being mobbed. I guess she must have shut them all down hard before the show started.

    1. Didn’t surprise me in the least. When the show scene-shifted to the professor home alone going about his ordinary daily life immediately after the bus situation was resolved, the first thing that crossed my mind was, “Oh, he’s gonna die, isn’t he?.” And sure enough, less than 5 seconds later…

      1. It was the same for me. Basically everything was resolved, so there was no reason to show him chilling at home if something bad wasn’t about to happen to him. Also, they were talking about how he was already pretty old and retired and all that…

    2. The set-up to when the professor was chilling out after the bus was resolved made it seem clear that he’d die, but I didn’t think Sakura Quest would pull the trigger granted that they haven’t killed off alot of the older people, and spared Kadota after he got a bad flu a couple episodes ago.

      Glad I could supply some quality caps. Wanted to make up for lacking some of the jacket pics from the last ep.

  2. I think we just saw the nicest group of kidnappers in fiction. That’s quite the cozy hostage situation they have there, maid service considered.

    That ending didn’t feel as sad as I believe they intended it to be because it went by too fast. I looked at the time and the death occurred only 3 minutes before the end of the video, which didn’t allow enough time to really sink in for me.

    This ski resort has a van shuttle that operates very much like the on-demand bus. In fact I’m surprised this town didn’t think of doing this sooner.

    1. It was too quick to process all at once. He fell over, Yoshino got the call, and suddenly, everyone’s at his service. I’d imagine the purpose of rushing his demise was to create a window of opportunity for the professor to give the girls the treasure without having to humble himself for helping him out.

      I notice that resorts or hotels tend to have shuttle services, especially in touristy cities. Warayiba is a small enough area where they could’ve done it earlier, but Takamizawa explained in the episode that the biggest problem that faced the on-demand shuttle was money.

      The town’s transportation agency found that the logistics behind people making the service on-demand through phone calls racked up a large bill, and it wasn’t until the online ordering service idea came about where they felt that requests wouldn’t be as expensive to process.

  3. I grew up and currently reside in a town that was formerly in the boonies. It was as back water you could go in NJ, USA, and what I realized after 30 years of living in a back water town is that an outdated location doesn’t disappear. Every town and city goes though a period of popularity and unpopularity, and the way the location rise from the ashes is by gentrification. New home owner becomes today’s residents and new residents will create new conviences and trouble to balance that out. Yes, recording the ups and downs is the modern way to write a town down on the history book but most importantly people is needed if a town has to change.

    With our rising population people are looking towards remote areas to meet the occupancy needed for housing residents. This will include travel to and from work. Which will create travel for pleasure and recreation.


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