I sat down to watch Sakura Quest tonight, expecting to stream a couple episodes. WELL, I streamed all 7 episodes in succession… And have some pretty warm feelings towards this series.
Sure, its soundtrack reminds me of something pulled from the Gilmore Girls. And sure, the opening credits showcase anime girls running as they always seem to be doing, but past these two clichés the series is completely relatable in the most enjoyable sense.
Refreshingly, Sakura Quest follows 5 girls SANS fan service. It’s a wholesome, slice-of-life anime about women desperately trying to find their own happiness, independence, and place on Earth. I can wholeheartedly relate to main character Yoshi, who’s fighting desperately to fend for herself and avoid the dreaded “return to mom & dad” after college graduation. Let’s face it, a return home sounds real sh*tty for most of us.
She becomes the queen of the Village of Root Vegetables (otherwise known as Chupakabura) in an attempt to boost tourism. Before her arrival, each character lived a goal-less, hopeless life. Thanks to a mistake made by the crazy old Kadota (one of many mistakes to come), they would have easily been doomed to a lifetime of misery.
The Deeper Message
A repetitive message throughout each episode is the idea of fighting “normalcy”. Those of us in our twenties struggle with this idea more frequently than we’d like to admit – – – we all want to be special, unique, grand… Royalty. This avoidance of mediocrity makes these characters incredibly believable.
The latest episode, “The Mansion in Purgatory”, struggles with the idea of letting go of the past and moving towards the future: It’s easier said than done, but doing so opens us up to growth in ways we never would have expected. Perhaps that “mediocre” life we’re running from is filled with more magic and memory than we previously acknowledged. Perhaps letting go actually lets us soak it in.
Sakura Quest can be slow at times, but it follows life’s rhythm, so it’s tough to complain about that particular pitfall – – – the show mimics our own real life struggles, including the struggle of lacking the past paced life so many of us set out to achieve.
Sakura Quest reminds us that we all (at some point) want to turn our life around, but more importantly, it reminds us that it’s never too late to do so. My personal favorite character, Maki, is beautifully negative in her realism. She finally cracks in ep. 7; she finally accepts who she really is and learns to embrace it with excitement for the future. I’m looking forward to seeing what these ladies forge for themselves.
Ladies, this one could easily be your new Wednesday favorite.