Sakura Quest 10-11

So who is each representation?

winter15-highw The two-episode stories continue, so let’s find out what happened in the past two shows with a Manoyama Matchmaking Tour.

Wife Importing?

I really liked how they made a slow-ish dance a very interesting part of the show

One of the main themes of the show has been the attempt to repopulate the Manoyama area. And while it’s been focused on a group of women, there’s also the idea that they need to bring in more eligible people looking to settle. And while the response isn’t exactly overwhelming, a trip organized by the Community Club Singles Group is bringing 3 women for a “Rural Romance Tour”. And in order to try to sell Manoyama as much as possible, they’re asking for help from the Tourism Bureau to figure out the best things about Manoyama. Maybe it’s an attempt to get the perspective of some young women as to what about Manoyama is attractive, but to be honest, this group isn’t really the most authoritative on the subject, considering that Yoshino kinda got railroaded into staying there, Maki moved back in relative failure, Sanae picked a place to run away to at random, and Shiori and Riri just haven’t wanted to leave.

The guys aren’t exactly prime catches

But Yoshino is nothing if not up for a challenge. So they work out some plans about what to do, things that they think will make Manoyama attractive to the visiting ladies. It’s one of those things that’s ironic on multiple levels, that Yoshino, who is mostly staying in Manoyama because she’s getting paid to do so, and maybe some because she found some girl friends, is tasked with making some other people who might want to live there, or who are at least open to the idea of moving away from the city to meet the right guy. But they can’t come up with worse ideas than the Singles Club did, who apparently got all their ideas from high school anime. But coming up with ideas makes Ririko think that she’s really on the outside, and that’s where the personal story for this set of episodes comes in.

Sandal helps the mood

I Can’t Dance

The lonely dragon

Ririko’s sense of alienation really takes off when the idea of the Manoyama Dance comes up, as a way to show the continuity and culture of Manoyama. Reminding her that she wasn’t able to participate in it in school, she feels the distance between herself and the other girls widening, and even if Shiori says that Riri is changing the way she’s been, Ririko may not be happy with that. But maybe it’s more that Ririko doesn’t really know what she is, nor what she wants to be. I get the feeling that she’s mostly defined herself as someone who is different from the other girls, interested in UMAs and kind of sad and lonely that she’s not really fit in, but not worried enough about it to really try. Seeing the others join in on the Manoyama Dance, with the story that it’s about scaring away a dragon, makes her feel like the dragon that’s being scared away, and getting rained on doesn’t ever help anyone’s mood.

Yoshino is glad to know Ririko and looks up to her

But in her interest in study, Ririko learns of an alternate story, in that the dance and song was an attempt to welcome the dragon, but was misinterpreted, and they expressed their regret in a song. That this is then corroborated by Sandal, whose grandmother was a native of Manoyama, leading Ririko to want to contribute her own part to the tour, even if her own grandmother doesn’t want her to have anything to do with it. Chitose is still holding a bit of a grudge after Ririko’s mother moved to Manoyama and married Chitose’s son, but then left the area and divorced soon after Ririko was born. Once Ririko confronts her differences with Yoshino, seeing all the things in Yoshino that are the opposite of her – Moving away from the country to Tokyo, smiling and overcoming the things she can’t do, worrying about being too normal – she’s able to listen to Yoshino count the things about Riri that Yoshino looks up to.

This was a great chance for PA Works to make a nice setting, and they didn’t disappoint, with a pretty song about inclusion in a comforting setting of evening with fireflies (I actually saw some fireflies outside my house this weekend!). Having Ririko find more comfort in being herself within the group, and bolstered by Yoshino’s assurance that being herself is something that’s not bad, was a nice story, as well as helping to show Chitose that Ririko isn’t someone who has to be kept separate from the others, something which was just reinforcing Ririko’s “dragon” mentality.


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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6 Responses to “Sakura Quest 10-11”

  1. skylion says:

    leading Ririko to want to contribute her own part to the tour, even if her own grandmother doesn’t want her to have anything to do with it

    Why was she so contrary to it, I never quite got that.

    • Highway says:

      As explained by Shiori and Maki, Ririko’s mother was someone who came to Manoyama and fell in love with Ririko’s father. They got married, but she decided that she didn’t want to live in Manoyama so they moved away. He didn’t take over the family business. Then after Ririko was born they got divorced. Chitose’s son then moved overseas but didn’t take Ririko with him, so she came to live with Chitose. You can easily imagine that Chitose sees the tour as a chance for some other thieving woman to steal another son from someone in Manoyama.

  2. HannoX says:

    A couple of very good episodes giving Ririko some needed development, a partial explanation for Chitose’s hostility towards the Tourism Board (she distrusts outsiders and their reason for being is to attract outsiders to their town) and the reason why Sandal is hanging around. But I thought it was his great-grandmother, not grandmother, who was from Manoyama. Did I get that wrong?

    • Highway says:

      I am fairly certain it was his grandmother who moved away. The great grandmother was mentioned with the song, teaching it to her daughter (who then moved away). That is what I was thinking when I wrote it.

      • HannoX says:

        But didn’t one of the other characters say that Sandal was 1/8 Japanese? That would be great grandmother. Not that it actually matters.

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