Sakura Quest is an original anime series written by Masahiro Yokotani (Toradora!, The Devil is a Part-Timer, Free!) and made by the studio P.A. Works. The story revolves around the small town of Manoyama and a group of girls who end up finding work here, mainly our protagonist Yoshino. She’s fresh out of college and finding it difficult to find a stable job.
The first episode felt a little slow to me, but the premise was very interesting. It’s very much a story about a town who’s trying their best to survive, especially where tourism is concerned. I really liked watching Yoshino’s struggle of finding employment. It’s quite real and relatable. The exploration of how small towns suffer due to major cities sucking up attention and revenue from tourism was also quite fascinating to see. It was helpful in understanding life outside of the metropolitan bustle that’s pretty typical in Japanese anime. Also, the small-town aesthetic is just plain lovely, from the way the characters interact to the scenery and mundane mechanics of everyday living–I found it pleasant and it drew me into the series enough to make me want to keep on watching.
I’m looking forward to seeing where this show will go this season. The fact that it’s brought to us by P.A. Works also means that emotions may fluctuate here and there, and at the very least the animation will be pretty.
You can watch Sakura Quest on CrunchyRoll on Wednesdays at 9am PST!