Yoshino officially gets 4 henchmen and also learns about the history of the Kingdom of the Chupakabura.
(Spoilers in this review)
The new queen of Manoyama struggles with her recently acquired duties, but she comes to embrace her role after realizing that she, as a youthful foolish outsider, is the ideal candidate to bring forth change to the quiet country town. If the citizens of the town even want change to happen, that is. Most of them seem rather content with the status quo. Change is scary!
The first half of the episode establishes that Yoshino is not universally regarded as someone important. It was hinted at during the second episode since so few people bought the ugly manju, but the third episode truly confirms that not everyone considers Yoshino to be a big deal. A potential plot point is also carefully planned (and will be dug up in the future) with the appearance of Maki’s younger brother, Yosuke, who asks Maki to return home.
Afterwards, the second half depicts Yoshino becoming determined to fulfill her role as queen during a mascot contest that is both humorous (through excellent comedic timing) as well as emotional (via Yoshino’s heartfelt speech). The Fab Five also finally assembled shortly after said segment. No offense to Kadota and his lackeys, but they haven’t really been able to bring any sort of change after trying for decades. It was about time for some new blood to come in in and give it a shot, right?
This episode essentially establishes Sakura Quest as a fairly predictable and well-executed show that isn’t afraid to depict things happening in order one small step at a time. If you really worked at being a reductionist, for example, then you could probably condense each episode into a short 2-sentence summay.
While such pacing is usually considered to be slow (and thus a detriment), Sakura Quest manages to keep viewers’ interest with enjoyable humor (when it clicked), amazing visuals (as expected of P.A. Works), and a cast with good chemistry. The ones that I’m keeping an eye out for are Sanae and Maki, by the way. No group of girls is complete without two gals who can’t help but sass at one another.
It also makes for great yuri ships.
And it’s not like being predictable is always a bad thing, right? In this case, Sakura Quest includes enough cues or hints or common setups so the viewer isn’t caught off-guard. That way, they can merely sit back and enjoy the ride thanks to smooth storytelling.
Now that all the major players are in position, Sakura Quest has to show whether or not it can keep the momentum it has built with the previous three episodes. So far, so good.