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Anime Reactions

Sakura Quest – Episode 3

REACTION – The third episode shows Yoshino as she struggles to learn the charms of Manoyama and thinking about its future. She realizes the need for this after not performing as well as she hoped in an interview with the local TV station.

The “Kingdom of Chupakabra” has been invited to a regional mascot exhibit where each of the region’s towns show off their tourism mascots. It all goes into chaos as the mascot head is missing. The solution: either wear the old Tourism board’s mascot “Kabura Kid” costume or wear the head part which was found in a garbage facility.

Yoshino braves in and decides to use Kabura Kid’s head and the Chupakabura’s body – much to the surprise of the audience. She then opens up about the history of Manoyama, how the people are not really intent on changing the town, and her job as Queen.

It showed a little bit of change in Yoshino as she was initially hesitant on the whole “Queen” job. She’s grown affection for the town and is willing to help the Tourism board to make it lively again, along with the help of Ririko, Shiori, Maki, and Sanae.

This episode was more of a peek into Manoyama’s people – how it was before and how it get to where it is now.

I could not stop cringing during the interviews and the regional mascot exhibit scenes. There’s a part of me that doesn’t feel comfortable with characters, or people in real life, being vocal in their feelings and thoughts.

Enjoyable episode and can’t wait for the next one.

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Anime First Looks

Sakura Quest – Episode 1

FIRST LOOK – Sakura Quest centers around our main character, Yoshino Koharu, as she struggles to find a decent job in the city of Tokyo. It’s either Tokyo or back to the rural countryside for her. She’s applied for about thirty jobs now and still hasn’t had any luck until a modeling agency contacted her for a job in a rural city’s tourism board – much to her displeasure.

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Seeing no other option, Yoshino takes the said job and heads to the rural city of Manoyama to serve as the “queen” for the city’s tourism gimmick, the “Kingdom of Chupakabra.”

However, forgetting to read the fine print, she realizes that her job is gonna be a whole year instead of the one day thing that she thought. Yoshino tries to get back to Tokyo but after seeing old photos in the rural city’s so-called “castle”, she realizes that she came to the rural city before as a child and served as “queen”, which probably changed her mind a bit.

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If I had to get a similar anime series to this one, it would be Amagi Brilliant Park. Same old concept: main character is called upon to revive a rusty, old town/amusement park that’s way beyond it’s glory days and he/she has some sort of childhood history with the place than he/she once thought.

The first thing that hit me was the opening theme, “Morning Glory” by [K]NoW_Name, which was really upbeat and catchy to hear. As a pianist, I was just enjoying the jolly piano background throughout the entire theme song. Same goes to the upbeat vocals. It really brought interest and hype for me as I was starting the episode.

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I was somewhat let-down by P.A. Works’ failure to create more diverse character designs for its anime series. Shirobako (an anime series about anime production) and Sakura Quest’s character designs are all too similar and every time I see a character, I just get reminded of a Shirobako character. P.A. Works needs to do something about this.

Although both series have the same character designer, he/she should have spiced it up a little bit.

Other than that, the animation style is pretty much okay.

Sakura Quest is not really that “godly” of a series as most people claim it to be, in terms of story, animation, and etc., but it does bring a smile to your face.

This is still the first episode but I hope it remains consistent with the upbeat tone and humor in future episodes.