It’s always easy and fun to rant about bad anime but it’s always difficult to find words to explain why a show deserves to be watched. This prologue means that the post is going to be rather short ^_^
First of all, this is a good slice of life story. Yoshino Koharu, who couldn’t find a job in Tokyo accidentally (thanks to Kadota-san and his horrible handwriting!) moves to Manoyama, a town in the middle of nowhere. Her job here is to be a Queen of the Chupakabura Kingdom (don’t even ask). She joins the board of tourism and, along with 4 other girls and eccentric head of the board (aforementioned Kadota) is trying to bring new life into Manoyama. Sakura Quest would’ve been a very typical slice of life anime but…
All main characters are adults. They act like adults. They do things normal people would do and there’s nothing special about them, except Ririko with her obsession with mythical creatures and Maki (barely remembered her name, Detective Oden suits her perfectly). By the end of the show they haven’t even succeeded much in their task to ressurect Manoyama, probably because this task initially looked almost impossible. But! Even results they have achieved are believable – I mean that real people having resources and time the characters have would end up with something similar. Probably, it’s possible to find a couple of suspiciously convenient plot twists and victoriously scream “Deus ex machina, I knew!” but in general everything was knitted altogether nicely.
A few more words on characters. There are plenty of them and even though basically no one of them, except main characters, have their own “plot line” they still are memorable and quickly become familiar. Kadota and kso baba Chitose Oribe, the bus driver, the policeman, Sandal-san of course! City residents, stores owners and guests of the city, thanks to old good 25 episodes we can learn a lot about all of them, much more than just “oh, I member – I’ve seen this guy somewhere!”
Sakura Quest is not Shirobako, even though it’s doubtlessly the product of the same team. Shirobako showed us a whole new world of making an anime and, to be honest, it was a titanic task to keep up with that level PA Works demonstrated a couple of years ago. The story of Yoshino may look slightly more boring and stereotypical but for me it was one of the best boring and stereotypical anime I’ve seen recently.
P.S. I wish I would act like Kadota when I’m 50.