(Spoilers in this review)
We find out that Kadota, Doku, and Ririko’s grandma were in a band together 50 years ago. The three of them had planned to leave Manoyama and go to Tokyo, but Kadota was against running away to Tokyo during a festival and ends up ditching Doku and Ririko’s grandma. He opts out to row out to a boat shrine and tries to wake up the town by strumming on his guitar, but both the shrine attachment and the guitar sink to the bottom of the river.
As a result of his antics, the festival (which was already fairly unpopular) gets cancelled. It also becomes readily apparent that Kadota was frantically trying to yank the shrine and guitar, the symbols of his youthful mistakes, up before they could become visible due to the Drying.
The episode ends with the Fab Five deciding to revive the cancelled festival after collecting these three missing treasures.
While it sounds dull on paper, the episode was emotionally moving and really helped the audience understand Kadota (and Ririko’s grandma) better. Ririko’s grandma even provided some pearls of wisdom for Ririko: feverishly chase after your dreams because you’ll forget them when you get old. In other words, carpe diem, O Captain! my Captain! A message that goes on and has gotten old, surely, but it was relevant when Ririko’s grandmother was growing up and it’s relevant for Ririko now.
I’m not entirely convinced that reviving an unpopular festival is the best idea. Most of the people showed up because of the Drying, I presume, so there’s no guarantee that people will actually show up. Is this really for the people? Amazingly, the guy in the background, who has been playing video games for 16 episodes, actually stood up and said something in this episode. What a shock!
Oh, and the UMA-crazy tourists left. I couldn’t really care for them, to be honest. But at least one girl was really close to Ririko and was able to use Google Translate to convey her feelings of
love wanting to go on a global trip with Ririko one day, so yay.
The episode also finally broke away from its predictable 2-episode mini-arc format. That alone makes me more excited for the next episode, which sounds like an actual quest for once.