Country Roads, Take Me Home – Sakura Quest and Making Home Where You Are

As the Spring 2017 season comes to a close, Sakura Quest continues through into the Summer season, I could not be more pleased with any other shows this season getting this chance. As the spiritual successor to P.A. Works’ prior working shows Hanasaku Iroha and Shirobako, it feels pretty strongly as though it is living up to that legacy, with a stunning cast of characters and the endearing town of Manoyama. While I love the journey that the show has taken us on thus far, something that has really struck me about the show is its treatment of employment in urban and rural spheres, and how an unstable job market and idealized perceptions of the city and the country affect these employment opportunities. Yoshino’s perspective initially is quite simple: she was, by all accounts, born and raised in a rural town, and as soon as she could, she shot off to Tokyo, the land of big dreams, in search of that certain something that rural towns just couldn’t quite do. Even at the risk of not having a job, Yoshino is of the mind that she will never go back to her hometown, even if she were to have a stable, guaranteed job there. The country just doesn’t have the same spark as the city, or there aren’t the kind of job opportunities that someone like Yoshino in her generation would want to take on for a career. In many ways, these ideas that Yoshino has, as well as being a student fresh out of college that can’t seem to find a job for the life of her, speak to me as a reflection of a several-years-younger General Tofu.

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