Sakura Quest – 07

Mini-Zombie time (and properly terrorizing Sanae)

winter15-highw Time to finish up our movie shoot! How does it end up?

Using Your Experience

Riri’s out of her depth

The show drops right in where we were last time, with Sanae and Maki wrapping up their discussion about Maki’s past and “losing” to Moe, and Yoshino coming to grab Maki for an emergency. What’s the emergency? Well, for some reason, when Maki declined the role in the movie, they gave it to Ririko. Not Yoshino, not Shiori, not some random person off the street. Instead they picked the quietest and most non-outgoing person in town. And unfortunately, she’s struggling with it. But giving Maki credit, when she comes up to see what’s going on, she doesn’t immediately jump in to try to fix it, first because it would be a hassle for the movie crew, but then because Ririko would take a bad message from getting replaced after being too nervous to perform.

Getting a pep talk

Instead, Maki pulls out the “senpai” qualities and gives Ririko some advice that gets her through the performance. Maybe it’s a little too easy, but it’s not really a hard part, just one that Riri needs to let happen. And once Maki’s started in a habit of helping out in a pinch, she continues to help out, her previous sullenness fading away with a bit of time and less direct pressure. She calls in a favor from her brother to get some kids to play the mini-zombies, although she doesn’t expect that it’ll go up the ladder to her father, who it turns out is the vice-principal of the local elementary school. And it’s that father who is the source of her current worries, as the main issue is her quitting what she was doing without seeing it through. There’s the impression that he was supportive to a point, but Maki learns what his real feelings were when she finds out that he filmed the school play with too many closeups of her as a tree, rather than the other kids.

Remembering what she liked

And after seeing that, she is reminded by places where she practiced acting in the past, and gets a chance to reconnect with her feelings of excitement at acting, rather than just the disappointments she’s been experiencing with it lately. So when a sudden change on the part of the mercurial director about the main character running into the burning building at the end comes up, and the talent agency representing Moe won’t let her do it due to safety reasons, Maki steps in to be her stunt double for the scene. Is it something that will give her a break in the industry? Probably not. It’s not even something that you would know is her. But for her, it’s the chance to actually be an actor again, to feel that thrill. The show doesn’t say whether it will be her “falling off the wagon” and going back to being an actress, but it’s more likely that it’s a chance for her to appreciate the doing without being caught up in the bad parts of chasing work. And maybe it will move into that “hobby” thing for her, which is how people usually deal with that kind of desire.

Getting back into it

Dealing With Your Past

Shiori reminisces

The other storyline from last week’s episode is wrapped up as well, as Yoshino finally learns that Shiori had already found out about the house, and is lying about it being available. I liked the way that they played Yoshino here, as well as Shiori. Shiori knows that she’s out of line, and that she’s been lying just for her own satisfaction. She is afraid her memories will go up in flames like that house, and noone else will remember the old lady who lived there. But Yoshino makes a good point that the other houses probably have similar memories for other people, and that Shiori should realize that there are other people who would feel the same if some other house got knocked down. Yoshino’s a little curt with what she’s saying, but she’s right, and she really doesn’t lay into Shiori too much. Shiori does take it a little too far, I think, by saying that Yoshino could only say that you shouldn’t live in the past because she abandoned her hometown.

Going a little too far

This argument between the two leads to some awkward moments, and both of them realize that they’ve gone too far and apologize the next chance they get. It’s definitely a heat of the moment issue and with a little understanding of each others’ thinking, they can get past it. In reality, Shiori knew that she was tilting at a windmill there, and even if she had succeeded in diverting them to another house, this one still would have gotten knocked down sometime. At least this way it’s “immortalized” in a film. And Yoshino has gone a little farther, in asking the filmmakers to add the house owner’s name to the credits.

Shiori gets a bit too relaxed at the after party

Things like that seem like they’re a little bit more mature than someone like Yoshino would be, things that someone her age really wouldn’t think of. But maybe that’s what makes her special, the things that keep her from being “normal”, the word she continually rebels against. It was also a bit iffy that the movie production had wardrobe that fit Maki, and a wig to make her look like Moe. That part seemed kinda pulled outta their butts. But whatever. I thought it worked for the show, and we’ll see what the story they come up with next is.


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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4 Responses to “Sakura Quest – 07”

  1. skylion says:

    It seems that the problems between Maki and her father are circular. Is it that he can detect that she isn’t giving it much more than just the hobby interest, and is upset that she isn’t really pushing it? That that is creating something self-fulfilling between them?

    I’m still on the fence about how I feel about burning down the house. On one level it’s necessary, and with the movie in mind, it serves a purpose in it’s destruction. But that’s a useful space, and a fine old home that just yells out for refurbishment….or am I just a softy?

    • Highway says:

      Really you’re just a softy on that one. Japanese houses are generally (and that one specifically) made very cheaply, and actually lose all of their value as a structure within a fairly short timeframe, on the order of 20 years. It actually would cost the owners more to have it be standing if they tried to sell it, even if it had been in better condition.

      Now there’s certainly going to be tension between that economic reality and the perhaps nostalgic desires of some folks to have a classic older house. But it’s likely that the market for those older houses would clear very quickly, and you end up with a lot of old housing stock, especially in a place that’s depopulating like Manoyama, that is really just sitting there rotting.

    • Highway says:

      I kind of think that it’s not really that big of a deal between Maki and her father. I think his gruff exterior and strong support of her desires to be an actress are probably making Maki think that she is a huge disappointment. But from what we saw of her father in this episode, my feeling is that he’s more of a “I want my daughter to be happy” father, and it’s less that she gave up on the acting and more that she felt forced to give up on acting. And that his support of her efforts wasn’t contingent on her succeeding as an actress, but was based on supporting her because she’s his daughter.

      Now, a father can fully support his daughter and still pressure her to do as much as she can, and give it as complete an effort as possible. Those two ideas aren’t incompatible. Nor is the idea of being a bit disappointed when it doesn’t work out. But I don’t think he’s going to be as bad as all that when they finally talk about it.

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