Sakura Quest – Episodes 3 & 4

Back in my day, we used to watch anime in VHS!

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Memes aside, these recent episodes of Sakura Quest give us a glimpse on one of the theme the show is most probably going to dive into. It retains its flair for humor, yet is able to display a deft handling of shifting its tone to a more melancholic and serious mood, and, turns out it isn’t all fun and games for Yoshino and the crew when innovation and tradition both become involved in the equation. There was this moment in episode 4 when they turned a wood-carving of Buddha into some vending machine, and damn everything about it just had me rolling on the floor… until Kazushi started berating the girls for lacking tact with what they’re doing.

Normally, I would’ve dismissed Kazushi’s chastising as another one of those hamfisted attempt at creating drama, but in a way, the differing perspective of the tourism board and the conservatives kinda hit closer to home than I expected. I can’t blame either of the two parties for the friction with what they’re pushing for, considering that at this point there really isn’t a clear cut solution to their goal of bringing back the town’s glory without forming a compromise. I say this because while it’s necessary for me to adapt to the ever growing advancement of society and technology, a part of me still yearns for those simpler days. Days when owning a dumb QWERTY phone was enough to live by, but all these awesome digital media (and anime) entails me to get a flashy iPhone which, ironically, I only really use for keeping my line of communication with my supervisor open.

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A tradition as valuable and rich (in Sakura Quest’s case, wood-carving and maybe even kabura farming) can’t simply be molded into an entirely new form of art for the sake of publicity, but then the problem arises when its longevity is put into question. How do you preserve a dying tradition? How does a practitioner keep in tow with the new fads and fashion and integrate that to his/her creations? These questions in mind (and the general theme of the past two episodes) bridged itself pretty nicely into that of Sanae’s own backstory. I can somewhat empathize with her given that I also work in a job that even if I resigned tomorrow, it wouldn’t make any significant change in my company’s business.

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Of course, Sanae leaving her job isn’t relatively as big of a deal as the wood-carving business fading away from the limelight, but regardless of the scope the end result looks the same: someone or something is there to replace what is lost. In as much as Sanae’s absence from her work doesn’t change anything in the grand scheme of things, I wouldn’t have had any care with a dying tradition I know nothing about. Chupakabra gets replaced by Kabura-kun, and no one, aside from the townspeople, batted an eyelid. These themes of self-worth, as well as valuing and understanding one’s existence gave another layer to that of Sakura Quest‘s ostensible preface. Not to mention that thing with Yoshino claiming that she’s a ‘normal’ girl but… well, whatever — I’ll leave it at that for now.

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Short thoughts:

  • Bursted out laughing when the blonde dude appeared. His mere presence is comedy in and of itself.
  • ove how they’re introducing new characters. It already feels like the town is one big, lively place.
  • Thumbs up to characters changing attire from time to time.
  • I remember having one of those wood-carvings back in my hometown. I used to stare at it until I fall asleep. I guess it kinda worked as a dreamcatcher too.

My schedule is looking to ease up the following weeks now that Persona 5 is near its end. That is, of course, I don’t form a sudden interested with Nier. Anyways, that’s it for this week. I’ll see you folks around!

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