(Spoilers in this review)
Yoshino and her Ministers travel deep into the mountains so they can ask an eccentric cultural anthropologist about the locations of the location of the Three Sacred Treasures of the Mizuchi Festival. Instead of being straightforward, he leads them by the nose and essentially manipulates the five women into teaching his elderly friends how to use tablets and the internet. He then holds Yoshino hostage in order to stage a protest via video (the senior citizens are upset that the local bus service is deciding to cut this distant mountain area off its route).
I personally find the antics of the anthropologist to be distasteful and manipulative, but I have to express begrudging respect over how he played the girls like a fiddle. He even has one of the Three Sacred Treasures and he has the nerve to play dumb. At any rate, I do agree with his belief about reviving the Mizuchi Festival being pointless, but maybe Yoshino and the gang see something he (and I) don’t.
The episode also touched upon internet conduct (anonymity breeds rudeness and flat-rate services make living as a shut-in recluse affordable and easier), but what grabbed my attention was the focus on the local bus driver, Takamizawa. He’s quite a few years older than Yoshino and the others, but he isn’t an old geezer. As such, he is the one who is most afraid of technology’s advance, of the prospect that he’ll be rendered unneeded and unemployed. It’s a real concern that real life middle-aged folk hold, too.
This is also my old man fetish kicking in. And it’s always funny seeing an adult resort to acting like a kid out of stress. But I digress.
In short, I’ve been really enjoying this second cour of Sakura Quest. It continues to push out messages and themes that can really resonate with today’s individuals. The series also has seemingly broken out of the tidy yet dull two-episode mini-arcs. But there’s only 8 more episodes left. We’re two-thirds of the way there and I’m left anxious yet excited.