Yoshino and the other “Town Revival Girls” have several ugly realizations during (and after) the Foundering Festival.
(Spoilers in this review)
In short, the five girls had to face the brutal reality that most of the people who showed up to Manoyama were just looking forward to Ptolemaios’ concert. They don’t actually care about Manoyama.
As a result, Yoshino and the others lose heart over how their efforts were for nothing. The only difference is that there’s an excess of garbage due to the festival. The TV program special that was filmed was also inherently dishonest and heavily edited, which rendered Manoyama as just another generic location for a live concert on-screen.
At the end of the episode, Yoshino seemingly boards the bus with all of her luggage and asks to go to the station. Is she going back home after this recent setback?
I think this episode did a solid job illustrating how the Tourism Board’s efforts are misguided. The old man only aims for numbers and doesn’t care about aftereffects. Meanwhile, the fab five have been trying to play the long game throughout the series yet found out that this isn’t actually doing anything for the people of Manoyama. The short-term effects are similarly negligent if not harmful.
Be that as it may, I don’t really appreciate the Board of Merchants’ stance on the whole thing even though they’re being indirectly portrayed as being correct. Maybe because they’re being stubborn and resistant against change. But as this episode shows, neither group is entirely in the wrong or in right. Perhaps change will actually come if they band together as a village, but right now it seems like the five girls are very discouraged. Some rallying and heart-to-heart talks are due next episode!