Sakura Quest (サクラクエスト) is a 25-episode Japanese anime television series produced by P.A.Works and directed by Masui Soichi. It aired from April 5, 2017 to September 20, 2017. The anime is described as part of P.A. Works’ “working series”, which tells the stories about people and their jobs, after Hanasaku Iroha and Shirobako.
Yoshino Koharu is a young girl trying to look for a job in Tokyo, but is only met with a series of rejections. However, she has a seemingly lucky break when she receives a job offer to work with the tourism board of the economically struggling Manoyama village as their “Queen” (国王, Kokuou). With no other choice, Yoshino accepts the offer and travels to Manoyama only to find out that she was hired based on a case of mistaken identity and that her contract term is for one year instead of the one day, as she was initially told. With nowhere else to go, Yoshino decides to stay in Manoyama as its Queen.
Following the Hanasaku Iroha review which I uploaded here before, Sakura Quest, too, became one of my favorite anime series because of its Japanese countryside setting. It’s been a dream of mine living in a place far from the city, and the Japanese countryside has much to experience.
Nowadays most people wish for a life in the big city, under the big lights, where there are a lot of opportunities and where everything is happening. I’m not sure if it’s because my roots are in the Portuguese countryside, but I don’t seem to fit in this group. Tokyo is fun, yes, and it has a lot of charming places to visit and explore, but it’s far from being as charming as more traditional and quiet regions throughout Japan. Tokyo feels too much like “business” and “work” and “lively”. I prefer it quiet and peaceful, that’s one of the things I discovered about myself upon coming here and staying for a long time. Of course every now and then it’s very nice visiting a big place 🙂
Sakura Quest tells you not only about the charming points of Japanese countryside, but also about its struggles. Lack of people, especially young people, lack of jobs, lack of life. In an aging society such as Japan, I think it’s more important than ever to revitalize these areas, and teach people that a big city doesn’t necessarily mean a big life.