Sakura Quest – 04

This week everyone helps Sanae move out of her old, bug-filled house. While helping out, Yoshino can’t help but notice the exquisite wood-carvings or ranma built into the house. Turns out Manoyama’s wood carving is one of Japan’s government-protected traditional art forms. How ’bout that!

Yoshino thinks they might be able to use that to boost tourism…er, somehow. In the meantime, after Shiori’s truck breaks down, they get it serviced by Doku, the local tinkerer and inventor, who also happens to have a frikkin’ perfectly functioning biomechanical exoskeleton in the bed of his, get this: Ford pickup truck. There’s all kinda wrong going on that preceding sentence.

In a show that’s going for simple slice-of-life realism, I failed to see the need for a Kuromukuro crossover. Yeah, this tech is out there, but some old guy in a shed in the sticks banging it out? It’s a bit far-fetched. But that’s not even the worst of it.

They get some poor young wood-carver to make decorative accessories to tack onto the exoskeleton to make it more appealing to the olds. Because if its one thing the elderly love, it’s really heavy impractical stuff that can fly out of control at a moment’s notice due to dubious R&D!

I realize the Board of Merchants’ chairwoman is supposed to be the curmudgeonly counterpart to Ushimatsu’s more openness to innovation, and the ideal philosophy, if there is one, is somewhere in between. But when Ririko’s grandmother asked them where their sense of pride is, I was kinda hoping she’d asked where their sense was, period.

Look, I understand the episode was trying to give each party in the woodcarving debate their fair shake, and Yoshino and her ministers aren’t the “good guys” by default, but they really didn’t help their case with such awful, cockamamie ideas.

The result of their failure is that Sanae tells Yoshino she’s out as minister, saying her heart isn’t in it. That’s ironic, because I don’t think my heart is in Sakura Quest anymore, either. Somehow the prospect of watching twenty more episodes of Yoshino and her cohorts fumbling around doesn’t seem all that appealing.

At this point, I think I’d rather do some woodcarving…the kind that doesn’t trample on centuries of tradition.

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Author: sesameacrylic

Zane Kalish is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

5 thoughts on “Sakura Quest – 04”

  1. The last two episodes have been weak after a promising start to the series. I’m giving Sakura Quest one more episode to reclaim its promise.

    1. The characters in SQ are all adults, but particularly this week they didn’t really feel like adults. They felt more like a bunch of kids running around, jumping from one crazy scheme to another, not really sure what they’re doing.

      If improved tourism revenue is the Road Runner, than Yoshino and her ministers feel like Wile E. Coyote.

      I don’t need intense stakes or urgency all the time but I do need to care about the characters and their actions and motivations and this week I just didn’t.

      I’d be more willing to give SQ more of a chance if I hadn’t already seen (and enjoyed) a very similar P.A. Works joint in Hanasaku Iroha back in 2011.

      ‘City girl reluctantly ends up in the sticks, makes a go of it’ is a fine premise, but if you’re simply going to repeat it six years later you’d better bring your A-game, and this feels distinctly like one of P.A. Works’ “B” efforts.

      And on that note, let’s give P.A. Works shows we’ve seen some letter grades:

      A+: Nagi no Asukara
      A: Angel Beats!, Another, Hanasaku Iroha, Charlotte, Kuromukuro, Uchouten Kazoku
      B: Tari Tari, Sakura Quest, Canaan
      C: Red Data Girl
      D: HaruChika
      F: Glasslip

      1. Well there are a few of those I haven’t seen but Angel Beats!, Another, and Charlotte are high up in my list of favourite shows. However coming down the line from PA Works soonish is an anime whose concept is so abject it has me heading for the barf bucket even now…. “Uma Musume Pretty Derby” – The spirits of race horses transformed into pretty moe girls! They race! They do cute things! There’s a hint of yuri! They do cute things! Watching the preview this one is going make Kancolle look like Shakespeare. It seems it is a tie in with an upcoming phone game. And it will sell a million… On Sakura Quest meanwhile, the team at least start to come up with adult solutions and apply themselves to seriously learning about the local wood carving. As a result they experience some satisfaction when one part of their latest scheme to utilize the wood carvings is a success. There is even a budding romance developing. It wasn’t particularly funny but it was better than the last two previous episodes. As such it survives one more week for me… :)

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