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Author Topic: Sakura Quest  (Read 2917 times)

Offline Stark700

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Sakura Quest
« on: April 05, 2017, 09:00:55 AM »
1:

The OP song is kinda cute.

Koharu is a pretty normal girl looking to fulfill her dreams. Her job hunting begins with a rocky start until luck changes and her life becomes much more interesting. I must say, the first episode did a decent job at establishing the story. It didn't waste much time and got right into the point. Koharu's character is pretty determined so I'm rather interested to see how this show develops her life.

The part with the green monster in costume gave me a good laugh. Nice start so far.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2017, 09:26:17 AM by Stark700 »

Offline Pebble

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2017, 12:13:17 PM »
1:

This shit is adorable. Miyamori best girl. Shit sorry not Miyamori. I meant Koharu. Koharu.

Anyway its clear PA Works is phoning it in. Just about everything in this show is recycled from some earlier PA Works show. I still like it though because Miyamori best girl.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2017, 12:35:39 PM by Pebble »

Offline Marid King

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2017, 06:11:31 PM »
1:

Kinda...lame. Nothing particularly wrong with the episode, but I'm just not excited for the rest of this.
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Offline TypicalIdiotFan

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2017, 04:05:14 AM »
1:

"Rusty" Venture:  Wha... what the hell was that!?
Brock Sampson:  Chupacabra.  They're all over Mexico.
"Rusty":  No way...

It is the new fluffy PA Works anime.  I don't really need to talk about it.  There's no need, because, see... um... well because I... look it isn't the anime's fault that I have no dicking idea where this is going and whether I should like it or not.  I'm clearly the one to blame here.  I mean, if I can't figure it out in the first episode then there's something wrong with me, right?  I don't want you to think that you're somehow to blame for all this, PA Works!  I mean, you've given us so much that is so good, that nothing can ever end that relationship between us, right?!

RIGHT!?

/quietly

I'll see you next week?
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Offline AC

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2017, 06:09:30 AM »
1:

I feel all so fuzzy watching this... and at the same time, I felt this show is mocking me.

A bit about myself: I work for the Hokkaido Government and I deal with local tourism promotion offices all the time. The problems Sakura encountered are all too real. The erratic bus schedules. The old people-only population. The need to revive towns that nobody heard of. The "what does town XYZ even have??" feeling. When Sakura said that, I wanted to high-five her.

This is perfect light-viewing for me, and I always need something like this every season. It's basically this season's Poco's Udon World, and yes, I do get a lot of Hanasaku Iroha vibe from this show. No surprise coming from P.A. Works.

Question: is it even legal for a company to ask Sakura about how many successful applications she has gotten? Isn't that crossing the line or something?

Offline Zeitgeist

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2017, 05:07:18 PM »
Stupid.
Everything about it is dumb.
I had fun.
Main Girl has a fantastic design.
Manager Girl has an even better design.
I'll forget about this show by tomorrow.

I assume this is all in some way analogous to modern Japanese culture but whatever.

As I do, I'd rather this all be a visual novel wherein I could just experience the narrative of, and bang, Manager Girl.
Meaning: Your story is uninteresting. Atleast gratify me sexually.
But who knows? It could be decent
...
oh yea
I already forgot it existed.

Back to my Nana watch.

Question: is it even legal for a company to ask Sakura about how many successful applications she has gotten? Isn't that crossing the line or something?

Speaking as an "expert", regarding the situations in the USA, sure they can ask but she is in no way obligated to provide an answer. Companies are well within their right to question prospective hires. As such, they can question potential hires about past job experiences, current employment, or even active job opportunities. Ultimately, the divulging of information falls upon the individual in question. Kinda ****ed but falls under "Know your rights."
« Last Edit: April 12, 2017, 05:30:38 PM by Zeitgeist »

Offline AC

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2017, 09:40:27 PM »
2:

Welcome to marketing.

I'm actually having more fun watching this show more than I should. I admit, I'm partial to this show because of the whole tourism thing. Plus, this episode is surprisingly enriching. Being forced with an impossible task (happens all the time). Understanding the market (Sakura's logical train of thought delights me). Online marketing (trust me, Japan sucks at this). Expiry dates (a lot of Japanese souvenirs are guilty short expiry dates that are mostly for boosting sales turnover).

But the one topic that struck me is the 'Big City' syndrome. I cannot personally relate to this but I've read and known people who have experienced this. People have always gone to the big city starry-eyed but come back disillusioned. True, big cities mean more opportunities but it also means more competition and people, and then dissatisfaction will entail. In the end, what's important is understanding what you want, and Sakura clearly doesn't understand (she can't even answer the question on what she is looking forward to properly). Well, I guess that's what naive youth is about.

This show is fluffy but I am enjoying it. I like the characters (especially Mysterious Harmonica Player... who are you??) a lot. Even listening to the OP and ED brightens up my day...

...wait. how did the courier fit a thousand boxes into that truck...?

Offline TypicalIdiotFan

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2017, 10:06:17 PM »
Quote
...wait. how did the courier fit a thousand boxes into that truck...?

Not a thousand big boxes, but a thousand boxes of manju.  Judging by the manju box sizes, you could probably get about 20 per big box, which means it was just about 50 big boxes in the truck, which is what it looked like was piled there at the tourist office.  Easily doable for a medium sized delivery truck.

2:

Soooooo... I'm just going to get this out of the way, because you know some asshole with a progressive mindset is going to mention it somewhere in the blogosphere or on Twitter, but PA Works seems to be going for creating true "feminist" shows.  It was prominent in Shirobako, to a point, that the female characters were all strong characters who were capable and took the lead on things, and the same is happening here.  I hate the supposed "requirements" for what makes something a feminist show, because it seems to me that people who have such requirements are probably the kinds of people who will never be satisfied by anything no matter what you do, so **** 'em.  If you think this show, like Shirobako, or My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, is a positive feminist type show, then more power to you.  It probably is!

Here's the thing, and why I am bringing this up:  whether this is a feminist show or not should not improve nor worsen the show as it stands.  Some assholes out there hate feminist crap, and might dismiss this because of that.  That's a fundamental flaw of their own idiocy.  A show can be good and be feminist; and you can enjoy it!  I'm no friend to feminism at all, in fact believing that modern feminism amounts of psychopathic bullshit, but I can still enjoy something that has a positive feminist outlook, because it doesn't bother me.  As long as it doesn't get preachy about it, or try to point how how progressive it is, then it isn't a pretentious work, and it can be enjoyed just for what it is.

The flip side is that some assholes will love this just because it is feminist, and those people are just as on my shit list as the above mentioned people.  I do not ****ing care if you think this is a feminist work and like it for that reason, but don't let that be your ONLY reason for liking it.  If the show is feminist, but crap, the show is still ****ing crap no matter how much it appeals to your idiotic ideals.  Feminism is not an automatic out for excuse makers to defend something.  Like I said above, you can enjoy the show without worrying about how friendly something is to that obnoxious Bechdel Test you think is the ultimate authority on whatever.

A work should be judged on the merits it presents as a piece of fiction with the same criteria as any other work presented to an audience.  The Godfather isn't a good mobster film, it isn't a good drama, it isn't a bad show for feminists, it is a good ****ing movie.  SHIROBAKO was a good anime by itself.  Whatever else you want to lump on it is your own business, but don't bother trying to convince me using whatever idiotic criteria you want to bring up, because I don't care and wont listen.  The same is true for Sakura Quest.  There appears to be an attempt here to try to make something that isn't just a good anime, and whether it meets those alternative goals or not is up to you, but I don't want to hear about them.

Anyway, carry on.
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Offline AC

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2017, 10:19:55 PM »
I... I... I didn't even think feminism crossed my mind when watching this. People are tripping over stuff like that here?

Offline TypicalIdiotFan

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2017, 10:24:44 PM »
Here?  No, thank God, but it will get all over the twitterverse and the blogosphere.  Shirobako got it in droves, both from people defending it thinking it was feminist and progressive, and feminists who thought it wasn't feminist enough or not feminist at all.  It devolved into a bunch of parties talking over each other about whose shit didn't stink rather than be about a great anime.

This is more of a request not to let it come here, and for anybody who primarily twitterverses to maybe give a good long think about what they want to say about something before saying it.  I'm probably not going to influence anybody, but whatever.  It's worth a shot.

*EDIT*

I went back and looked over our SHIROBAKO discussions and it was brought up there (by KS no less) but virtually everybody else had not noticed it and the discussion ended rather quickly.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 10:55:38 PM by TypicalIdiotFan »
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Offline Gadget

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2017, 11:10:09 PM »
How about Cross Angle? Female MC kickass. And she force herself on him. Male MC was a wimp. Or works by CLAMP? I don't recall calling Cardcaptor Sakura was feminist? It's just people pick and choose. So if I enjoy a 6 year old girl kick butt, so we are pedophile?

2.
I do get what AC is saying. The problem with these sort of anime is (MINE opinion) that are they really anime? It got a K-drama feel. Such story can be done by live actions and with good actress, they have the potential to be even better. Anime should be anime. Stuff like 3-gatsu no Lion would be hard to show what Rei is thinking, as an anime would be better. ACCA got 'cool' factors that would be difficult to do in real life. As for Rakugo, it was so well done that a life action would be difficult to match up. Maybe they get REAL Rakugo performers.

This was what I read
Anime studio P.A. Works announced the anime in December. The studio describes the anime as the third in P.A. Works' "working" series about people and their jobs, after Hana-Saku Iroha and Shirobako.
So why animeizs it? To get otakus.

2
This plot is interesting. Shirabako is only in Japan. But this can be transport to other society. Like in farmland America, country side town in China, to Kampong in Malaysia. All these societies are facing the dying of the country side.
For once, things did NOT work out by will power alone. This is reality. But I think Yoshino will fall in love with the village.

Offline AC

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2017, 05:55:40 AM »
3:

Enriching.

I admire Sakura as a character. She's the typical earnest and sincere character albeit inexperienced... which is also typical. She learns from her mistakes and humble about things, yet she's not a pushover. I can only like such people. And on a side note, she doesn't realize that it's useless to ask people of a town such questions. They cannot answer specifically because they're part of the town (i.e. they're part of the problem); as an outsider, it's her perspective that matters the most at the end of the day.

If she is more experienced, she could've asked the more important questions. Why does that lady hate Ushimatsu so much (what's their story)? Why is Takamizawa still in this town for so many years, even since Sakura was a kid? Why does that kid vehemently think this town is 'crappy'? What's going between the committee and Ushimatsu when he decided to change from Kabura to Chupacabra? These are all clues to understanding the town, and Ushimatsu is right about one thing: you can't understand a town just by reading references.

And I STILL don't know what's the deal with Harmonica Player. What's *his* story.

Offline Zeitgeist

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2017, 06:02:34 PM »
1(again. vaguely...for real?):

It is just good entertainment.

But **** you with that "oh I've been here before"

2:

Manager-chan being a former(?) actress/personality was pretty obvious.
Is this two casual hikkikomori characters within the same fluffy narrative? The ****.
Random Aside(as though my posts are anything but): that tent assembly was very much true to life. As one who ever briefly began a party-tent company, the scene was pretty cool. 
Well whatever, the cast has assembled so we can start from here.
Population of 50,000? The **** are these people? Beyond their non-existent presence is the complete lack of housing. No ****ing way 50,000 people live in this shithole(I recently relocated from New York to Oregon and may be a but bitter)

I will say, the slight advanced age of the cast begs intrigue.

3:

Wouldn't it have been easier, and more effective, for MC, as a cute girl, playing the role of Queen, to participate in this Mascot-off directly? Oh Shit. They went and did. Them new age ideas. Clearly very much a allegory for modern Japan. Im so smart for saying such in regards to episode one.

Is Riri not underage? While Whatsherface(Shiori?) said they were childhood friends I just assumed that Riri was a high schooler
Well anyway, the distinguishing factor for this show is the cast of 20something year olds.
I hope they use it.

I'll be here so long as Manager-chan remains adorable.
the **** is with persistent Bard-kun
« Last Edit: April 23, 2017, 06:08:09 PM by Zeitgeist »

Offline TypicalIdiotFan

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2017, 11:16:21 PM »
They did the early 20-somethings with Shirobako, too, and it worked really well.  PA Works is ahead of the curve on realizing that young women are still interesting despite not wearing seifuku 24/7.  I wish they'd eventually get this way with male characters, too.  High school kids are ****ing boring and the setting is played out so hard.  College age and beyond is where adult life begins, which is where a person's life becomes interesting.
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Offline Zeitgeist

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2017, 10:00:12 PM »
You're telling me. Nodame and Honey and Clover not only remain 2 of my favorites but two of the few anime set within a college environment.

Offline Pebble

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2017, 06:14:55 PM »
Shirabako is only in Japan. But this can be transport to other society. Like in farmland America, country side town in China, to Kampong in Malaysia. All these societies are facing the dying of the country side.

Thats... true.
Not sure how much that will matter.

2, 3:

Frankly at some point the tourism shenanigans will have to take a backseat to some real story. At the moment this is insubstantial, and its going to continue to stay insubstantial if it keeps up with the Shirobako episode structure; Shirobako had a built-in concrete larger narrative in the production of the entire season. "Bringing a town back to life" isnt very concrete, and its mostly treated as an implicit joke. I think that already taints its potential to be treated as a topic for later on; the show simply doesnt treat the village as an attraction as, say, Non Non Biyori did, if you remember that.
Point is this tourism shit best take the backseat at some point.

Offline Zeitgeist

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #16 on: April 27, 2017, 12:06:20 AM »
4:

Just a whole lot of WTF this episode. When it wasn't being WTF it was just being heavy handed.
  casual incorporation of mecha
  IT Girl instantly falling for Sasuke
  Old Lady's statement that Riri needs to "report" her actions
  Sasuke's comments regarding local artistry
  IT Girl explaining her backstory and the implications therein

As I've mentioned this is all about the clashing of "traditionalist" ways with "modern" sensibilities...but this was just dumb. The idea of creating functional art pieces was actually brilliant. It was the core idea behind my lovely kegerator. The desire for a practical appliance which can also serve as a decorative show piece is good shit which has a genuine market. Yet the idea gets shot down cause Sasuke, a foreigner, has a problem with it. Why didnt we get a native woodworker's perspective? So the BIG problem this episode was that the 2 main girls were unable to contest Sasuke's claims. He was presented as correct. But he isnt. That is what is so frustrating. Now this was meant to serve as a character moment - IT Girl was fleshed out a bit, Main Girl identifies as an outsider(or hasn't truly put in the work to learn about the specific local customs), Sasuke takes pride in this regional art form - but none of this ****ing matters. While this is a "traditional" art form it is ****ing dead. Ain't nobody care about it. Sasuke should have some level of awareness and know that there is no future for him or this art. The fact that his stubbornness is presented as correct in this episode is frustrating. The fact that the girls were so easily disregarded just makes it all the worse. Why can't he create a piece which has the same level of detail and craftsmanship but also serves a functional purpose? Idk. None of this is going to matter as I'm sure the girl's will be able to present a more thorough argument in a later date causing Sasuke to relent...but ugh. This is, I suppose, good plot and character development. Here we have two members of the Tourist Promotion Board and yet they don't know shit about the local customs. So it isn't so much that their ideas are wrong, but simply that they don't have the proper level of knowledge/understanding/respect to convince local artisans to adapt their ways...but that wasn't what was presented here. There is a decent plot here but it just wasn't present this episode. My main thing is really "Why aren;t we dealing with Sasuke's Master who is, presumably, a Mayomama(?) native? Maybe Sasuke will get called out next episode.

How would those exo-skeletal monstrosities affect grip strength? That bucket of water example was bullshit. Having super-powered back muscles isn't going to allow me to deadlift 1000pounds seeing how I'd have to have the grip strength to necessary grasp the bar. Which isn't to say the guy shouldn't have been able to lift this specific bucket of water but that this is a massive design flaw.

That damn Bard remains a thing.

Offline TypicalIdiotFan

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #17 on: April 27, 2017, 02:16:56 AM »
4:

We need to revitalize the town!
We don't know how to do that!
What are these things?
What is an exoskeleton?
You want me to try it out?
Wow these things are pretty cool!
They could revolutionize the ****ing world!
And we could build them here!
We could be the only town with a factory!
We'd be world famous!
We would make a shit ton of money and revitalize the town!

Oh no wait that's just me thinking!

Or maybe that's the joke.  I mean, the transforming vending machine is cute, and the super grabby arm thingy he was shopping with might be useful to the right people, but those exoskeletons could change the world.  I suppose there is supposed to be some humor in the obvious thing right in front of them not being on their radar.  I mean, they even dress it up to look like some kind of art piece with the wood carvings, which makes it a bit more impractical, which is another case of comically missing the point in two areas.  It is a pretty damned subtle joke if it was supposed to be.

Only one more comment:  IT HAS SOME SERIOUS ASS!
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Offline Pebble

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #18 on: April 27, 2017, 09:51:14 PM »
4:

...?

Offline AC

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #19 on: April 28, 2017, 05:35:33 AM »
4:

It's f**king weird to see some techie weirdo and exo-skeletions in this show. I think the writers are just being lulzy for fun, but more importantly, to starkly contrast wood-carving which is as traditional as it gets.

But this episode deals with a lot of RL topics. Japan has a lot to offer in traditional arts and that's being severely endangered because of poor tourism and ultimately a shrinking population. I knew the direction the episode was taking: the ministry doing whatever they can to increase tourism, but inadvertently neglects the pride and feelings of the people invested in the tradition. It's only natural that Kazushi, aka the loner-artist trope, is offended by the ideas.

But the biggest topic here is about Sanae. It's obvious that everyone in the ministry has a reason to be living in a nondescript village such as Manoyama, and it's obvious to me that Sanae is escaping the city (isn't it too obvious when it was her who pointed out to Sakura what's so special about working in the big city). Work burnout, disengagement and disillusionment are all too familiar in discussion work-life, and Sanae is the epitome of all that.

Kazushi is her opposite, one who deliberately chose to live in Manoyama because of his sheer interest (or better yet, his calling). It doesn't seem sensible to a logical man on why pursue a dying art, but callings aren't about logic anyway. The ultimate difference between Sanae and Kazushi? Kazushi owns his work; work owned Sanae. Hence, Kazushi sees Sanae possibly as an insult; Sanae sees Kazushi as a figure of admiration. A love interest in the making? I'm very interested to see that.

And WHO IS THE HARMONICA PLAYER??!? I NEED TO KNOW--!

Offline AC

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #20 on: May 04, 2017, 05:21:30 AM »
5:

SANDAAAAAAAAAAAAAL!!!

Soul searching is a very real thing these days. I got to admit, this whole 'finding your passion' thing caught on me too and just about everyone else my age (I assume Maki, the central figure of all this, is around my age). She did run away from her work, but I can empathize: not getting recognition for hard work is very demotivating.

But she's conscientious, and that always helps in materializing plans, with Sakura very much being the opposite. Just not sure how the show conveniently solves the funding problem. Simply throwing in "CROWDFUNDING!" is just lazy: how many Kickstarter projects have failed remains to be forgotten almost every time. And the whole idea of connecting wood carvings to the train concept? That was brilliant.

The next character I'm interested in is Maki. She's the typical jack-of-all-trades but a master of none, and is originally from Manoyama. But is that all? Why is she back in her hometown at not in Tokyo where she seems to have gotten all her skills? She definitely has a story, and I hope to see it next.

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #21 on: May 04, 2017, 11:06:48 PM »
5:

I like "Bard" instead of Sandal.  Meh.

The wood carving castle thing actually sounds like an incredible art project idea, really.  Buildings have become art pieces, put together by some damned talented designers and engineers, but they have lost that Gothic artstyle that predominated structures in he bygone years, usually on churches, which is more what this project is going for.  100 year plan?  Sure, why not, but that might not help the town for a while, if the plan even comes to fruition.  Might be neat to see them slowly progress that over the show, though, just in the background or something.
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Offline AC

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #22 on: May 13, 2017, 08:02:25 PM »
6:

Hmm... Manoyama of the Dead.

The next character I'm interested in is Maki. She's the typical jack-of-all-trades but a master of none, and is originally from Manoyama. But is that all? Why is she back in her hometown at not in Tokyo where she seems to have gotten all her skills? She definitely has a story, and I hope to see it next.

Called it.

At least there's more exposition to her that explains lots of things: why she seems to have many random skills, why is not doing her day job back in Tokyo, etc. Essentially, her story's rather familiar with millennials: finding something interesting but getting discouraged by setbacks, including a junior who wants it more. I can't criticize her much; I'm also like this to some extent. Grit is really what separates such people, and also finding something you want to struggle for. This episode is simply about this, and the generalist assistant director digging his heel in and Maki's brother sticking with taiko are other examples.

Suzuki apparently has a thing for Maki's brother. Hmm, wonder what this will lead to.

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #23 on: May 22, 2017, 05:49:32 AM »
7:

Decent episode, although underwhelming.

Everything happened according to plan: Maki basically rediscovered her love for acting. The same thing happened to Sanae, so as an audience I only expected the same thing to happen. Her trip down memory lane bit was nicely done, though.

Oh, now I know why the episode was underwhelming: Sandal wasn't around!

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #24 on: May 26, 2017, 06:36:19 AM »
8:

SANDAL WHERE ARE YOU

Promoting tourism via gourmet is a tried and tested approach, and so far it's been met with mediocre reception. For most parts, this approach only works in promoting local tourism, not international. For international tourism, it mostly works only for veteran travelers who really want something different from the usual tourist attractions/spots. Plus, such initiatives are usually harder because of its location. When you have novel ideas, it works to have it in the cities when the people are there to catch things on. More ideas, more people and then the cycle continues.

And of course, this is Shiori's episode. It's the usual generation story about taking over businesses and such. Pretty much a universal issue and not exclusively Japanese.

The big white elephant in the room is, what's the history behind Kadota and the Board of Merchants? I know they have history, but what exactly happened? To think it went all the back more than twenty years ago...

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #25 on: June 01, 2017, 06:00:30 AM »
9:

YAY SANDAL!

Good episode, and good to see Shiori stepping up. But still, if there is any takeaway from this episode on boosting tourism, it's only in local context. For boost foreign tourism, it still won't work.

And Dokushima's mechanical turk somen machine is just facepalm.

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #26 on: June 01, 2017, 12:49:03 PM »
The semi-mechanical soumen machine was... just awful.  I kept waiting for some kind of sexualization to be done there, what with a girl operating it in scant clothing, it having some rather tentacle like appendages, spitting water and soumen in her face, and what have you, but they somehow held back.

I wouldn't have.
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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #27 on: June 02, 2017, 02:00:10 AM »
Good episode, and good to see Shiori stepping up. But still, if there is any takeaway from this episode on boosting tourism, it's only in local context. For boost foreign tourism, it still won't work.

I think Manoyama (plus equivalents) can afford to not give a damn about foreign tourism. Foreign tourists are usually looking for something a lot more, well, touristy than a village. By which I mean they are looking for shopping malls, beaches, or some ill-defined notion of 'culture' that usually equates to being ripped off buying souvineers made in China at the nearest shopping mall by the beach.

6-7:
This is the point where the Shirobako people in the staff decided they really couldnt help animating two more episodes of Shirobako.

8-9:
This is the point where Yoshino realises that sex sells. I mean soumen is stringy, so its a really bad substitute for semen, but ill take what I can get.

I remember Slavoj Zizek once cracking this joke about what would happen if you stuck the idea of pornography-as-vicarious-sex to how automated pleasure is these days. Basically the joke was that at some point we can conceivably just stick a dildo in a fleshlight and be satisfied with a job well done even though nobody is having sex. Tbh the real joke was that The Guardian puts up with Zizek's hilarious bullshit.

I bring this up because  if you think along the lines of this joke then the analogue of the soumen machine is basically, well, automated cumshot, which is just a local version of animated bukkake (there are 4 'tentacles'). Once you put it that way you realize that they really didnt need to sexualize that any further because all you really needed was the idea.
I mean its Yoshino in a swimsuit. Thats all any of us need.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2017, 03:18:22 AM by Pebble »

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #28 on: June 08, 2017, 05:03:38 AM »
10:

...bro's a Scandinavian?

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #29 on: June 08, 2017, 05:49:45 AM »

8-9:
This is the point where Yoshino realises that sex sells. I mean soumen is stringy, so its a really bad substitute for semen, but ill take what I can get.


They have to do something. Like there is no beach episode. And there is no hot spring episode. Both will need the girls to travel out of town.

10:

...bro's a Scandinavian?

So all bonds are Scandi? All black hair with curly locks are Italian? All redheads are Scottish? I think it's just revers raciest.

Goth girl got the most mysterious past. And may be the saddest story.

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #30 on: June 08, 2017, 02:36:23 PM »
Japanese people are racist?  Holy shit!

I will say that some Scandies look pretty obviously Scandinavian.  They have an even more platinum blondness to their hair, sometimes, that makes them stand out.  They're also fairly tall, and that shot of Sandal standing next to Hinako is pretty telling.  Sure, she's probably five foot two or something, but he's towering over her as a mid six footer would.
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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #31 on: June 08, 2017, 09:03:52 PM »
10:

We have a word for the kind of bachelor who would travel to the adjacent village to check out chicks visiting from the city. Its tharki. The T is soft and you roll the R like a spaniard. So next time you see one of these herd animals you know just how to insult them without them understanding what you're saying. And if they do understand, well, now you know how urban north-indian they are.

I am starting to grow fond of this ED, which is a shame since it will probably be leaving soon.

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #32 on: June 15, 2017, 05:13:30 AM »
11:

Great episode. This one is surprisingly deep and heavy, but the whole theme of outsiders and feeling left out is particularly well done. Ririko's story is probably the best out of all the team.

And Sandal rescued the day! BRO'S PART JAPANESE, YO!!

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #33 on: June 15, 2017, 05:37:13 PM »
11:

And who said their isn't a cure for autism?

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #34 on: June 22, 2017, 05:31:19 AM »
12:

Huh, didn't know this is a two-cour series.

I'm always very cynical about reality TV. I used to like them, back in the day during the first season of Survivor and others following that. But then, reality TV started to become less... real. Writers and directors claim that reality TV is about real people and real lives, but seeing as how their goal is to make compelling TV, there's a conflict of interest. Real life isn't always compelling TV. In some cases, the cast even have to put on acts just to make things more dramatic.

But of course, this show isn't a social commentary about all that. The director is bullish but means well, and everything went (unusually) well when there's a dramatic moment in the Board of Merchants meeting, and the director has a lucky break with a band.

When people try to chronicle a success story, it almost always feel like it happened because things were destined to succeed. But no, that's not real life; luck is always the least salient but significant factor that makes or breaks something.

But of course, Sandal comes to save the day. ALWAYS!

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #35 on: July 03, 2017, 07:35:26 AM »
13:

For a 6000-head crowd for a surprise concert, things went unusually smooth. And this is after taking the whole technical difficulty and just one pile of garbage into account. In event planning, everything goes wrong, and it's unusually worse than this.

Was I surprised that the TV program didn't go as Sakura planned? Heck no; it's exactly what I thought would happen. Like I said, reality TV is about making compelling TV. A documentary about an obscure town like Manoyama is not compelling TV. Even if the surprise band concert is a stroke of luck, it's not that of a big deal. Maybe even the host deliberately did this just to boost TV ratings.

Indeed, the Board of Merchants may be having the last laugh: they do not really want to change the landscape, yet reap the sales benefits without having to put up with the follow-up (garbage disposal, coupon redemptions).

SANDAL'S NAME IS GOD AWESOME THO

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #36 on: July 09, 2017, 05:46:17 AM »
1-14:

Seriously, I could do less with the trite writing and I am okay with Sakura Quest.

For the episode itself, the girls went soul searching (or went for a breather?) and I appreciate the way they handled this. Damn,  I want Yoshino and the girls to succeed in reviving Manoyama. Damn it.
I am not sure if good animes are getting fewer these days or my taste has gone numb because most of what I watch recently look the same.

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #37 on: July 09, 2017, 05:51:34 AM »
14:

New OP. A little edgy for this kind of show IMO.

Yes, it's that summer festival / cool-off episode. But as clichéd as it may be, it's well done. Sakura went back home and ponders about her life and those around her. In fact, that's what homecoming is about: reflection of the self. Sakura tries hard to increase the number of visitors and residents in Manoyama.

However, she's thinking too much inside the box, and thus a homecoming like this would help her the reasons people would move to a place like that: people and a sense of belonging. What she's going through is completely relatable to a lot of people: going back to square one, understand where things went wrong and start all over again.

It's interesting to note the subtle yet stark differences between increasing tourism and population for towns. Tourism focuses more on tourist attractions (and the logistics that come with it), whilst re-population is about building a community. For someone working in such plans, it's always to ask what reasons do people have to visit as tourists or move as new residents altogether. A tourist wants to get away from home (example: an airBnB, like what Shiori is proposing); a resident wants a home.

It's wonderful to see how the ministry are catching up with their personal lives. Sanae's high-powered girl-friends are a positive image of the independent working women who are more interested in their work lives rather than settling down. Maki is still mentoring her kouhai with pride and satisfaction. Both essentially have made peace with themselves even if their friends have progressing.

One problem: what is up with this Spanish problem? Is this how Japanese people view foreigners: misunderstood whack-jobs who cause trouble to towns?

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #38 on: July 09, 2017, 05:59:35 AM »
"One problem: what is up with this Spanish problem? Is this how Japanese people view foreigners: misunderstood whack-jobs who cause trouble to towns?"

Agreed, it felt so out of place in the series and so with the new OP. Well, I think I will have the same reaction if I saw a group of people wandering in the city I was in. More so if they cannot speak my native language (or English) for that matter.
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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #39 on: July 09, 2017, 10:08:28 AM »
One problem: what is up with this Spanish problem? Is this how Japanese people view foreigners: misunderstood whack-jobs who cause trouble to towns?

Wait, aren't all foreigners like this in every anime?  It seems to be a general example of Japanese isolationism, especially among anime / manga authors who have no worldliness to speak of.  To wit:  they don't know shit about how the rest of the world acts or behaves.  At best, they see tourists, who, yeah, can be obnoxious twats at times.

On the other hand, Japanese people are treated with about the same level of ignorance by American media, so I guess it is fair.
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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #40 on: July 09, 2017, 05:59:21 PM »
One problem: what is up with this Spanish problem? Is this how Japanese people view foreigners: misunderstood whack-jobs who cause trouble to towns?

Wait, aren't all foreigners like this in every anime?  It seems to be a general example of Japanese isolationism, especially among anime / manga authors who have no worldliness to speak of.  To wit: they don't know shit about how the rest of the world acts or behaves.  At best, they see tourists, who, yeah, can be obnoxious twats at times.

Seems so; it always seems like foreigners are treated like aliens (well, they are 'aliens' according to immigrations). Even if this group of people seems very gregarious, I'd chill "chill, they're human".

And Americans always think of me as Latino. Or Spanish. Or Indian. I'm just sad.

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #41 on: July 09, 2017, 07:22:54 PM »
Japanese culture is complicated because it's very, very old. To the Japanese, pretty much everyone *is* extremely loud and likes to invade their personal space. Not that the Japanese are all that actually very quiet, especially if you get a bunch of Japanese Women together. So any time they're dealing with foreigners, this point will come up.

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #42 on: July 13, 2017, 07:36:42 AM »
15:



OH GOD SOMEBODY PLEASE STICK PINS IN MY EARS--

Putting these god awfully cringy moments aside, I have not much of an issue how these Spanish friends are portrayed. Accurate or not I can't say; I haven't had the chance to mingle with them or visited their country. But I like how Lucia planted an idea into Ririko's head about leaving Manoyama and making her question what a home means. After all, that's what this show is all about: finding and making a home.

And I thought Ushimatsu was exposing Chupacabra, but turns out he's actually hiding something. Hmm. Mechanized chopsticks... yeah, ORLY.

But yet again, who saves the day? My man, Sandal. Gotta steal the limelight as always, ain't you boy 8)

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #43 on: July 21, 2017, 08:24:32 PM »
16:

So that's what went down between Ririko's grandma Chitose and Kadota. Well, it does explain everything, though: Kadota has always been passionate about reviving the town especially through unconventional means. But for Chitose, it's more about him turning his back on her and still not getting over his immature angst.

There's an important scene in this episode, one that is quite inconspicuous. Chitose explained to Ririko that those were all this past and she hardly remembers them. It's logical to deduce that, ergo, memories are fleeting and it eventually doesn't matter. However, she advices the opposite: do whatever you can before ages catches up to her. That's unexpected of her, especially to Ririko who would believe that her grandma wouldn't allow her to explore the world as it would encourage her to leave Manoyama for good.

Sakura's proposal to revitalize the town by reviving the old festival is beautifully (albeit clichéd) figurative. It's basically the epitome of solving a present problem by going back to one's roots, especially when the problem is another form of another back in the past. People didn't celebrate the old festival because people stopped caring, and the town doesn't care if it's not revitalized because people stopped caring again. It's the same thing.

This show is surprisingly deep in some aspects.

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #44 on: July 23, 2017, 12:16:15 AM »
Goddamn it AC, there isn't a character in this show called Sakura!

16:

I came out of this arc thinking that this is probably the most natural presentation of foreigners I've seen in anime. Little stylistic bullshit and some meaningful interactions with the main cast.

This episode also gave us some hints on what the end game would look like. Definitely looking forward to that.

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #45 on: July 27, 2017, 03:20:41 AM »
17:

Take ornery, myopic, perverted old people and teach them how to use the internet.  Result?  4chan.
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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #46 on: July 27, 2017, 04:57:38 PM »
17:

Take ornery, myopic, perverted old people and teach them how to use the internet.  Result?  4chan.

I'd say that's more 8chan, if we're being honest.

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #47 on: August 02, 2017, 05:29:03 AM »
17:

I'm surprised just how real things get in this show.

I just came back from a business trip to Hokkaido and I visited some really rural areas. The problems faced in Manoyama is basically a reflection of what is really happening in small towns. It all boils down to the effects of ageing population; this is why it's every economy's nightmare.

It's refreshing to see how different Japanese rural lifestyle is compared to my own. Here in my place, people get relocated when the government deem fit for the sake of 'nation building'. Not much about personal rights or not; almost all the land here is state-owned, anyway.

Humans being replaced by self-driving cars? Really, in this show? I know Takamizawa isn't enthusiastic about the technological movement but he's gotta embrace it sooner or later. When self-driving vehicles take over, he needs to learn other skills to earn a living... just like any other person on this planet.

Poor Sakura Yoshino, being kidnapped. But HEY, Sandal aces in shogi? DAMN!

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #48 on: August 02, 2017, 09:36:57 AM »
What third world Hell hole do you call home, AC?
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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #49 on: August 02, 2017, 08:44:21 PM »
S*ngapore. We're a passively depressed group of people here.

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #50 on: August 12, 2017, 05:27:19 AM »
18:

Wow, a ingenious solution.

But it's not a groundbreaking one, however. The Manoyama On-Demand Bus is basically Uber. And I also have to wonder how much the phone service costs were that it made Takamizawa's solution impractical before. But I suspected that this story is exemplifying IT as a solution for societies (especially those with ageing populations).

Too bad the professor had to go so soon, although I must admit, his way of death is perhaps ideal when it comes to quality of death.

19:

Maki's family is really cute to watch. That old familiar old-skool dad and rebellious tomboyish daughter... it's a classic father-daughter dynamic.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2017, 05:53:04 AM by AC »

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #51 on: August 18, 2017, 07:14:58 AM »
20:

Yo Sandal, I feel you man. Winter's fun at first but it becomes a huge drag after a while.

I like how the story wraps up regarding the re-opening of the school. It's really nicely told. And Maki's audition attempt too; I really feel sorry yet happy that things somewhat turn out well eventually for her. What I don't like is the pacing of the show: at one point it was a sunny day, and immediately in another it was full-blown winter. Did we have a time warp or something. And then the scene transitioned abruptly from the drinking party at Yoshino's, to that surprise delivery from Maki's dad. What's up with that?

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #52 on: August 24, 2017, 06:21:09 AM »
21:

Small town versus the big city. Ah, the old chestnut.

People who feel like they belong to another place always feel this way. But then, based on what I've heard, it doesn't always have a happy ending. Girl from small town goes to the big city, and gets wowed by it. That's not because she loves the place; it's just the tourist gaze. Then reality sets in: it's crowded everywhere. Every shop, street, walkway and home seems tiny AF. People push and shove, and they don't apologize one bit. Then it's the girl who starts to feel like she's out of the place, and gets disillusioned. What she learnt is, she's not the city girl she thought she was. I hear something like more often than not in RL.

And seriously, what's so great about Harajuku? It's just a hotbed for people try-harding in dress-up and shallow juveniles... I'm getting old, am I?

Offline Major Tom

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #53 on: September 02, 2017, 08:16:45 AM »
22.

Erika's acting a right little shit, yet it's easy to sympathise with her frustration. Maybe, 20, 30 years ago when the internet wasn't so wide spread she'd have found something to do. But with the bright lights of the big city and the attractions right in front of her yet tantalisingly out of reach, all she can see is some podunk town out beyond the black stump filled with nothing but boredom. Though that might not be too far from the truth, there doesn't seem to be much in Manoyama for young people anymore.

I can't help shake the feeling that the tourism board has been saddled with a task it's not entirely suited to handle. They keep trying to pull in permanent residents, but with temporary tourist traps.

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #54 on: September 02, 2017, 09:14:41 PM »
22:

Ah yes, passion. That whole rhetoric about "following your passion" that actually cause more people feel lost as a result.

Erika's "there's nothing here in Manoyama!" frustration reflects what young people feel about rural areas. Frankly, it's not exclusively a Japanese problem: cities attract more people, more people attracts more infrastructure, infrastructure attracts more development, and then attract more people. At the same time, rural areas lose more people. It's a vicious cycle that benefits cities mostly and doesn't benefit the rural ones one bit. That's why an ageing population is a huge problem: you need people. Perhaps this is where it becomes an exclusively Japanese problem: while many countries welcome immigrants to fix this problem, Japan is still resistant for many reasons.

But Erika wanting to open a shop is not even talking about passion; it's just a disguise of her wanting to leave the town. She's not going to last long: wanting to leave town is not the same as wanting to open a shop in the city.

But of course, SANDAL's always there to save the day!

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #55 on: September 08, 2017, 06:59:53 AM »
23:

Absorption. How come I'm not surprised.

The sad reality is, when there are not enough resources to maintain a town, it's only logical to pool the remaining ones and lose some identity along the way. Nobody likes it, but this problem isn't about whether we like it or not. Urban development is always about making sacrifices when you have limited resources, so when there aren't enough people, this is what happens.

This is basically what's really happening in rural Japan, and rural everywhere else.

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #56 on: September 15, 2017, 06:17:10 AM »
24:

OH DEAR GOD, SANDAL BASICALLY SAVED THE TOWN! HE'S THE MAN!!!!

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #57 on: September 17, 2017, 01:14:42 PM »
24:

Plot conveniences everywhere.
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Offline gedata

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #58 on: September 20, 2017, 04:34:33 PM »
This was a cool series. It definitely had some weaker parts, but it also had so many things that really endeared it to me. All five girls, for starters. The whole show was very character focused, and they did their best to make them relatable and well rounded. It had a lot of small character moments that could easily be missed, but said a lot about them. The story was very down to earth, and really more an excuse to get to know these people. It presented itself mostly realisticly, never through exaggeration.

I feel the overarching theme was „not finding your place in the world”. It’s what all the main characters and the town itself suffered from at the start. Yoshino had big ambitions, but was directionless. Maki failed her dream, and was constantly grumpy. Sanae couldn’t take the corporate grind and wasted away on the internet. Ririko was an introverted autist who would die alone. Shiori was deathly afraid of change and moving out of her comfort zone.

There weren't any easy wins, they’d outright fail sometimes, and even if things went mostly alright, the situation was messy and complicated, and even when they did succeed, the lack of results was downright discouraging. It became pretty obvious to me that Manoyama never really had a chance at being a huge bustling town, but the series was never got too pessimistic about this.

It's all about appreciating the little things in life, taking the good with the bad.
The town didn’t change that much, but the people did. And now all of them are in a much better place than they were before after getting either their first taste of true passion or their first in long time. Behind that can-do attitude she often showed a lot of self-doubt, but not any more. These folks all have really grown on me. They’re so much happier now and I'm a bit happier for having seen this.

Offline AC

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #59 on: September 21, 2017, 06:01:15 AM »
Final:

Now that's a very well-done final episode. I love how un-melodramatic it turned out to be, and especially the small twist at the ending about what Sakura chooses to do for herself. Except for Mayor Naumann who turns out to be a random oddball (wasn't he suppose to ensure Manoyama doesn't get merged with another town?), the ending could've handled better than this.

And essentially, that's what I find Sakura Quest particularly amazing. A lot of the themes covered in this show is very real, and it's clear from the onset that I have a special spot for it. My profession is basically to promote tourism to Hokkaido, especially to places that many do not know about for all the same reasons explored in this story. Ageing population is a big problem in Japan, and this is one manifestation in terms of town revitalization efforts. Some of the efforts here are realistic and even worth applying in RL (reviving past festivals, promoting local culture and handicrafts), and the show even serves as a good fictional documentary for people in the tourism sector.

Another great thing about this show? The four main characters. Now these are your textbook strong female leads who gradually grow and have their own personal problems that reflect what everyone else goes through in real life. Knowing what and where your calling is (Yoshino), understanding how careers aren't necessarily tied down to specific locations (Sanae), passions are fickle and you have to bite the bullet to make it happen (Maki), the world is big and you need to know what's out there before deciding what to do with your life (Ririko), and understanding what home is (Shiori)... these are all relatable problems everyone faces when going into adulthood. This is one part the show has done exceptionally well.

The problem? Too many plot devices. Hordes of foreigners paying a visit because of niche hobbies, being selected by a TV director who knows a popular band, having a walking mysterious boon named Sandal (I <3 u Sandal) who has past heritage in the town and a mayor from another town... it's as though towns in RL need to have lucky breaks in order to revitalize successfully. Well too bad, not every town has a Sandal or becomes a venue for an impromptu concert. It may work for Manoyama, but then again it's a fictional town.

This show is a 7/10 for me. It may have its set of problems, but it's a show I've been following closely since day one. I had fun talking to myself on this thread.

Offline gedata

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #60 on: September 22, 2017, 02:17:27 PM »
it's as though towns in RL need to have lucky breaks in order to revitalize successfully. Well too bad, not every town has a Sandal or becomes a venue for an impromptu concert. It may work for Manoyama, but then again it's a fictional town.

This show is a 7/10 for me. It may have its set of problems, but it's a show I've been following closely since day one. I had fun talking to myself on this thread.

To be fair, even with all those coincidences, Manoyama's future is still pretty hazy. Their were no overnight solutions, and if it wasn't for old man Chupakabra striking a deal at the end, I'm not sure that the Festival would've lead to anything more than pleasant memories for a night. They haven't achieved their happy ending quite yet, but the town is sure as hell a lot better equipped to get there now.

Offline TypicalIdiotFan

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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #61 on: September 22, 2017, 02:53:38 PM »
Except the problems of the town haven't gone away.  The issue was mentioned when Yoshino went home to her small rural town, and that issue is the declining population.  Just by the show's examples, there appears to be roughly 10 or 20 citizens under the age of 30 that live there, and the rest are all senior citizens.  With more and more kids leaving for the opportunities city life provides, and the aged population dying off without replacements, the town is doomed.  No amount of festivals or sister-townships are going to stop that.  Nothing of what they have done has reversed the trend of people wanting to come live out in the sticks.  Yoshino even points out that the strength of the town is in the people, not anything else.  Well, that people grouping is slowly ebbing away.  Without it, there is no Manoyama.

Yoshino herself leaves, emblematic of the problems Manoyama faces.  She wants to go and try something else, to find her goal in life, even if that is still helping other small towns, she's still NOT there anymore.  It is an ironic ending, but appropriate.
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Re: Sakura Quest
« Reply #62 on: September 24, 2017, 02:52:57 AM »
The show (or at Yoshino) tried its best, but of course I don't think their problems are solved. In fact, even the whole town merger issue wasn't resolved by the end of the series. In a way, it symbolizes the fate that Japan is facing in RL. The fact that, at one point, the Board of Merchants mentioned about accepting fate as it is was all the more poignant.

Bear in mind, the show has only been discussing revitalizing the town through local tourism. If they were to go into foreign tourism and attracting immigrants, it's a whole new topic altogether.
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