Sakura Quest Episode 6 Review – “The Rural Masquerade”

In short, this episode is basically part one of Maki’s character arc. Shiori gets some of the spotlight, too.

(Spoilers in this review

The Board of Tourism has managed to secure a production company to shoot a slice-of-life film in Manoyama. It turns out that the director is a stubborn man who always wants his way and is fixated on using a particular run-down house for a climatic scene where the building gets burned down to the ground. However, Shiori has some sort of attachment to said place (it’s basically a ruined shed by now) and is against the torching. In fact, she even lies and says she can’t get in contact with the owners even though they easily gave her permission when she went and asked.

When the actors finally arrive at Manoyama, we discover that the lead heroine, Moe, was Maki’s kouhai but she ended up becoming a bigger film star than Maki ever was. One of the actresses who was intended to be cast in the film end up hurting her leg and Yoshino decides to ask Maki to stand-in for her. However, she just snaps at Yoshino and storms off.

Later on, Maki makes some small talk with Moe, who wasn’t aware that Manoyama is Maki’s hometown. After Moe leaves due to her schedule constraints, Sanae and Maki have a heart-to-heart about Maki’s past, dreams, and current situation…which ends with Sanae chewing out Maki and leaving Maki to feel frustrated. And thus the episode ends.

The series continues with individual character arcs for each member of the fabuluous five. Except this particular episode focuses on both Maki and Shiori. However, Shiori’s conflict is merely due to her attachment to a run-down, desolate building and plays more of a secondary role to Maki’s disappointment and embarassment at failing to “make it” (and the whole film shoot at Manoyama). This might shed a little light on Shiori and her problems, but, again, the episode is primarily centered on Maki.

I’m of the opinion that the show is essentially talking about millennials due to its constant portrayal of disillusioned women who belong to the work force (and who run away). First was Yoshino, who wanted to be more than just a normal girl yet couldn’t even land a single job. Before even securing a source of income, Yoshino believed that she deserved better. She was also insistent that she needed a job in Tokyo in order to escape her countryside origins. Over the first three episodes, however, Yoshino comes to realize that there are things and lessons to be learned in Manoyama that might be so easily found in the big city. So she thus accepts her role as Queen.

Episodes 4 and 5 were about Sanae’s attempt to run away from stressful situations. She had hit a wall in her previous job after realizing that she was essentially replaceable and expendable, which unnerved her. However, Yoshino ends up convincing Sanae that individuals can achieve different results even if they’re doing the same job which probably helps Sanae realize that she should stop running away and just try her best.

Now we’re seeing Maki escape from her home situation (her father is upset that she abandoned college to pursue acting) and from her own passion. She came to realize that she flat out lost to people like Moe in terms of passion for her field. And now she’s older, experienced, broke, and embarrassed that she still hasn’t a big role yet (which explains why her cheeks flushed when Yoshino offered her a role as a stand-in).

There was some advice I heard from some talkative guy in a video on Facebook. Something like, “Don’t play it safe in your twenties. Chase after your dreams and aim big. You’re only young for so long.” And I guess it kind of applies here. Maki tried chasing her dreams when she was younger. But it didn’t pay out and now she’s left bitter (and thinking, “I cudda been a contender”). That’s the part the motivational videos and textbooks don’t mention, you know? I think the Maki arc is off to the right foot (the sense of humor in this episode in particular was spot on) but I guess we will have to see how it progresses.

Side note: Ririko seems to have her hands tied due to her grandmother. She was with the group a whole lot less this episode (and was only allowed to venture out when said guardian headed out to see the film shoot).

Maki walking out on the group after being asked to be a stage hand.
Turns out she likes Maki’s younger brother? Will she start calling Maki onee-chan?
The third assistant director is a decent dude.
Maki’s younger brother asks Maki to return home again. The audience gets to hear a bit about Maki’s backstory.
Sanae’s high-pitched scream due to living things is getting a bit too regular. Yoshino sort of reveals her country colors by doing something a kid from the boonies would do.
Ririko convincing her grandmother to allow the film staff to shoot at their shop.
The poor man gets progressively more tired as the episode continues.
Shiori doesn’t want the old place to be burned down but does the director care? Hint: the answer is no.
Yoshino talks about the third assistant director’s passion for filming. Maki stresses about something in the meanwhile.
Despite receiving the green light, Shiori decides to lie and say that she couldn’t contact the owners.
Maki’s younger brother teaches drums. And the director was thinking of incorporating them into the film!
A slice-of-life show featuring…zombies? The director sure does like changing the plot!
The old man is incredibly enthusiastic!
“Yo I got you a small role. Comes with lines and stuff.”
*embarrassment intensifies*
Two zombies eating lunch.
Moe and Maki catchin’ up.
Sanae tries to listen to Maki’s story.
Moe had enough guts to eat a cicada and she gained popularity as a result. Meanwhile Maki…didn’t and stayed unknown.

9 thoughts on “Sakura Quest Episode 6 Review – “The Rural Masquerade”

  1. Playing it safe is, IMO, human nature. We’re wired to prefer the safe, comfortable, and familiar – that’s why there’s no general term for that, and we use “pioneer” or “explorer” or “risk taker” or whatever to identify an individual or group as an outlier.

    And yeah, blue hair is cool. 🙂

    Sakura is certainly stepping up it’s game, but it’s got a *long* way to go. Their “oh, by the way, forgot to tell you this” style of exposition (such as the sudden reveal about Maki being from Moyama) is getting annoying though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mmm that makes sense.
      I’m glad you agree about blue hair!
      Slow but kinda steady progress? I guess it was hinted at in previous episodes considering how Shiori claims that Maki was famous in Manoyama as the Oden Detective in and how she knew of Doku whereas the outsiders to Manoyama didn’t, but I guess it could come across as sudden.


  2. Maki’s very pretty. Must be the blue hair – I am so weak to blue hair.

    On a more serious note, I’m one of those twenty somethings who is very determined to play it safe. I’m not ambitious even though I can get competitive. I just want a job I like that pays enough to sustain my interests and I have a good idea what that is. It might be possible to attain something more but I don’t really want to? Does that make sense or am I just weird?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Blue hair makes a girl like 50% more cool and pretty and awesome by default. It’s like a golden rule.

      No, it makes sense. And you’re probably the one who is most grounded in reality. But a lot of us are more like dreamers, I guess!

      Liked by 1 person

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