(Spoilers in this review) Two Sentence Summary: Erika decides she wants to run away to Tokyo in order to escape from boring ol’ Manoyama. The Fab Five, however, manage to convince her to stay as they attempt to convince shopkeepers in the shopping district to help with the Mizuchi Festival and as they try to find the last remaining treasure, the Golden Dragon.
Comments: For those of you who are struggling to remember who Erika is, she’s the daughter of the local restaurant, “Anji and Erika” (which is named after her). She also doubles as a rude waitress at said restaurant.
Whereas the other girls can sort of relate to Erika’s feelings, Shiori simply can’t understand why someone would want to leave their countryside hometown. That’s been a consistent aspect for Shiori ever since episode 1. I found it nice that this was popping up again as Erika gets some characterization beyond being a snarky waitress who has a crush on Maki’s brother (actually, she’s got some interesting things going on for a side character).
The episodes continue to have multiple events / “quest lines” happening at the same time as the series races towards the finish line. Finding out that the bus driver, the police man, and the book store owner were childhood friends was a real surprise! Hopefully they, along with Yoshino, Sanae, and Ririko, can decipher the coded message that reveals the location of the Golden Dragon. Too bad memory is unreliable and they can’t remember things that happened only a few decades ago.
With the events of Warabiya still fresh in her head, Yoshino starts to wonder if she’s just forcing the locals to change when they just want to be left alone. A bit late to be wondering that, isn’t it, Yoshino? Be that as it may, Ririko’s grandmother thinks that the Board of Tourism’s efforts are in Manoyama’s best interests whereas the book store owner seems to imply that things are fine as they are. At this rate, I believe no one truly knows what’s best for Manoyama and it comes down to persuasion.
In typical Sakura Quest fashion, this episode is another “set-up” episode and things will likely be resolved the following week. The episode, and the series as a whole, addresses more real life concerns and continues to have me hooked even though it’s not the most exciting and action-packed series by a long shot. Maybe we’ll learn a bit about Angelica, who is otherwise known as the owner of “Anji and Erika” and the mother of Erika, since Erika has never really shown her that much respect. At any rate, next week’s episode should be interesting!