It is time to gather the heroes of the kingdom, and sell a bunch of stuff!
“The Gathering of the Five Champions”
To go with the title of this episode, we are introduced to most of the remaining main cast. Yoshino the queen was joined last time by tourism board member Shiori and the ‘manager’ Maki Midorikawa. Ririko Oribe is introduced as the daughter of the local sweets shop owner that we saw feuding with the old man Kadota. She’s the perfect archetype to know a thing or two about the chupakabura, because otaku clearly know everything (or can use Google and Wikipedia effectively). Finally we have Sanae Kōzuki, someone good with web-design who escaped the big city for a simpler life – although it hasn’t exactly been working out for her. With their powers combined, they are the new tourism force!
The quest (sorry) here is to sell the entirety of the one thousand box order of chupakabura manju, a traditional Japanese confection usually filled with red bean paste. Certainly a nice treat, but a thousand boxes is a tall order for a small town like Manoyama. It is interesting that although the town gets around 500 tourists per week, we don’t really see any of them. It also may have been a smarter move to wait until cherry blossom season, which sounds like it could be quite the draw. No matter the odds though, Yoshino and the gang band together to do their best. The website is pretty cute, but more importantly that video. It’s so wonderfully low-budget, and even has a making of special! Still, it’s hard to get people to your website. Something I know all too well.
This manju situation is definitely a convenient way to keep Yoshino in town for a little longer, and it seems like she’ll be continuously anchored down by some kind of commitment. In normal life this would be a case of manipulation through peer pressure and guilt tripping. Yoshino also displays most of the vulnerabilities exploited by manipulators like a desire to please and lack of assertiveness. On the other hand, this is all a pretty good deal for her. She had trouble back in the big city looking for work, and nothing really points to this being a bad job.
- All their tourism boards knows how to do is post photos to a blog… hmm. At least set up a Wordpress or something. It’s easy! *cough*
- Yoshino is taking all the blame! Although that is a good way to sell something. We as a species will always bail out the cutest ones.
- That creepy dude from the bus turns up to buy some manju. I would have forced ten boxes down his throat for creeping me out.