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December 14, 2017, 09:17:03 PM
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Author Topic: Sakura Quest  (Read 2947 times)

Offline TypicalIdiotFan

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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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Offline SQA

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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.

Offline AC

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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!

Offline TypicalIdiotFan

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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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Offline 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.

Offline AC

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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 »

Offline 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?

Offline AC

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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.

Offline AC

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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!

Offline AC

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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.

Offline AC

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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!!!!

Offline TypicalIdiotFan

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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.
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