Sakura Quest 06

Manoyama is the setting of the newest low-budget thriller, but not everyone is on the movie-making bandwagon.

“The Rural Masquerade”

I figured that most of the middle episodes of this series would be focused on individual members of the cast. That’s not a bad idea in itself, but the execution here feels a bit off. After Sanae’s little arc dealing with her problems we move on to Maki and an oddly similar scenario. In fact it’s a lot like Yoshino’s ordeal in the first few episodes as well. Each of these characters has ended up in a place they don’t really care to be, but are also too apprehensive to really step in to what they want to do. In this case it’s Maki and her lackluster acting career.

I’m not exactly sure how big live-action movies are in Japan, especially zombie movies, but it still seems like an important moment for Manoyama. It’s no cute slice-of-life anime (anime-ception) or even a drama, but it’s still something. The strange thing about this is that it’s a pretty far-removed event from the plan that the team came up with last episode. It makes me question slightly where exactly this series is going, but it’s pretty clear that right now it’s just mulling about the various characters. Maki’s ordeal and reaction to it being so similar to the ones we’ve already scene doesn’t really help either. There are also hints of Shiori having an also very similar problem brewing – something to do with the abandoned house she is rather attached to. Does this all feel like the series is trying too hard? Otherwise, all the best moments of this episode are the ones that just kind of happen.

Episode Score
6.9/10 (Alright)

Extra thoughts:

  • Erika is the best character in this series, for sure. There is more honest character development for her in 30 seconds at the cafe than the rest of the cast put together.
  • Convincing her grandmother was an epic win for Ririko, and her celebration was absolutely perfect. The cutest kind of manipulation.
  • The cute female lead of this movie they’re making is literally called Moe. A little on-the-nose, don’t you think?
  • Best line in the episode, “You a Zombie too?” Poor assistant director.

Next time: “The Mansion in Purgatory”

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