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Sakura Quest is another “young people working” anime from P.A. Works who previously delivered the Hanasaku Irohaand Shirobako. Stacked against those Sakura Quest is a very slow burner that pulled an emotional reaction in the finale but not before.Yoshino Koharu is a country girl who doesn’t want to be, and flees her country town for Tokyo in search of something unusual. Alas, times are tough in Tokyo and via the Momonga Promotion Agency ends up taking a job in the country town of Manoyama as the “Queen” of the “Chupakubra Kingdom”. Joined by four other young women, Yoshino spends a year working to revive the dying town with mixed success.

Sakura Quest was an odd beast for me from the start. Whilst it was always, well, pleasant it never really hit me the way Shirobako did. It was an easy show to watch of a Thursday evening (or morning today in the case of the finale) but never really much more than that.

I did like the way it represented rural Japan, the aging population, and the slowly dying town of Manoyama. The slow growth of Yoshino and her sidekicks from well meaning but clueless to a coherent team invested in the local culture and people was well handled.

But the operative words there are “slow growth”. It just paid off in the finale which did pull a tear or two, but until then I really didn’t care that much.

Overall Sakura Quest is a pleasant enough watch with a kick at the end that makes it worthwhile. But I think Hanasaku Iroha is a better show generally, and Shirobako is vastly superior.

(NB: This is a quick iPad draft in an airline lounge so no image or OP. Sorry. I may come back to this to update it later).