Sakura Quest – 06

Zombie time

winter15-highw Manoyama is trying whatever they can to get a bigger public profile, and that extends to inviting a movie production to the area. In the US and Canada, that’s usually accompanied by a tax break, but that’s not what this show is about.

More Work, No Pay

Maki is not interested

Ahh, the visiting movie production. It’s a tried-and-true narrative vehicle which usually puts some selfish whims in the minds of the main characters. But this group’s not been together that long, so they’re still a bit on their best behavior. Instead of competition for attention, what we’re seeing is cooperation for the goal of helping out the movie crew with their locations and permits. This is mostly helping the put upon “Second assistant director” which is basically “glorified errand boy with ridiculous responsibilities”.

“Nooooooo, don’t say that!”

But there are some secrets that are being held, and stories that are playing out in people’s heads. Some are easily solved, like when the film is attempting to convince Mrs. Oribe to let them use her sweets shop for filming, and the crew guy makes the mistake of saying that Mr Kodata had said they could film anywhere. Wrong thing to say there. But Ririko saves the day by convincing her grandmother that using the store’s manjuu rather than the Chupacabra manjuu would be less embarrassing for the town. Other secrets are not as forthcoming, tho, as there’s something about the house that the Director picks for the final scene of the movie, a house that will be destroyed in fire according to the script. It’s not that she doesn’t know who owns it, as we see her securing the permission to remove the house, much more quickly than she thought. But it’s got to be something about her memories in the town, that she doesn’t want that house to be destroyed, and she’s doing what she can to divert attention to somewhere else, which is putting Yoshino in a difficult position, since she hasn’t been let in on what Shiori’s issue is.

What does this house mean to Shiori?

No Work, No Pay

Maki and Moe talking; one up, one down

Much like the last 2 week’s arc was about Sanae trying to figure out what she’s doing in Manoyama and whether she should be there at all, this arc is making Maki feel uncomfortable in her “new” life, since it’s basically the return of the life she was trying to leave behind by returning to Manoyama. Even worse is that the female lead of the movie that’s being filmed is Maki’s kouhai in acting, a fairly close acquaintance named Moe Sawano, and one that personifies the difference in taking opportunities versus letting them go by. As the excitement ramps up in the town, Maki is just getting more and more down, and the pressure from her mom to move back home rather than live in the “dorm” with the other girls, is one of those constant things she has to deal with, because it is in opposition to her belief that her father is disappointed with her for quitting what she wanted to do.

When your younger brother is running interference for you

I think that Sanae is overdoing it quite a lot in this episode by getting angry at Maki for not helping them. Didn’t Sanae just spend a week moping around because she was called out for running away from Tokyo? And now she’s giving Maki a hard time, loudly declaiming to the rest of the women that she should buck up and deal with it. But that’s without knowing what’s really inside Maki’s head, especially about her junior. And when Maki explains the situation, telling the story about when Moe ate a cicada on TV, while Maki wouldn’t do it. That gave Moe her break, and Maki looks back at that situation as one that showed the stark difference between someone who will do what it takes to live their dream and someone who won’t.

Kodata’s taking his chance to shine

Oribe likes to see undead Kodata

Is this finally a crack in Erika’s sullen attitude?

I like that the show is doing these multi-episode stories, rather than trying to wrap them up in one episode. It allows for a lot more depth and nuance, and allows more story to play out around the main character of the arc. I don’t know if the show will have Maki take the acting part, or if she’ll stick to her guns that she’s out of that life now. I think that you can’t blame Yoshino or Kodata or Ririko for trying to ‘help’ Maki be a part of this production, but I also don’t think you can blame Maki for trying to stay out of it. It’s obvious that Moe’s presence is difficult for Maki, and having Moe actually say “I like your acting, senpai!” is not helping anyone. It’s easy to say that when you’re doing passably, and it’s hard to hear that you should stick to something that you’ve been trying to convince yourself you gave up.


Proving that you don't have to be young to love anime, I enjoy all genres and styles of shows. If it's not hurting anyone else, you should never be ashamed of what you like!
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2 Responses to “Sakura Quest – 06”

  1. skylion says:

    Maki’s story has a lot more complexity to it that I initially credited. She’s bottled up right at the neck, and that always makes for an interesting dramatic character, if they can play it off right. The first ep, playing her of the more successful Moe is a good touch, and I hope they can pull back and show that she does have some successes she’s not recalling; some blessings she’s not counted.

    She’s learned quite a bit in her life so far, she’s made herself adapt. Now if she can only face her past, she might open up more.

    Is this finally a crack in Erika’s sullen attitude?

    Oh, goodness, I hope so.

    • Highway says:

      As I said, I like that the format of the show is allowing for that complexity to be used, rather than a situation where everyone gets their problem solved in one episode and is happy ever after. And I like that PA Works isn’t even ‘solving’ problems. Sanae is still facing the same issues, she’s just resolved to try to be better about them. I’d bet that even after Moe leaves town and even if Maki takes the acting job, or decides that she’s definitely moving on and makes that as-clean-as-she-can break, Maki will still be reckoning with the failure of her dream.

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