The detailed long-form character work Sakura Quest executed in its first half is displayed immediately at the beginning of this episode, as Yoshino steps off the train into Manoyama, smiles, and enthusiastically declares that she’s back. The show’s execution continues to be commendable in this regard. After last week’s more thoughtful downtime, Sakura Quest feels truly ‘back’ in this episode, and I’m all too happy to have it.
We barely get a quick reunion of the returning Yoshino, Maki, and Sanae before they come to aid Shiori and Ririko with the mysterious foreigners they encountered at the end of the last episode. Those people turn out to be a group of international cryptid enthusiasts who heard about the Chupakabura of Manoyama and have come to seek it out. The sudden influx of foreign visitors (most of them do not speak Japanese) provides the backbone for the issues the Tourism Board works through in this episode, but what follows brings their conflict to life much more, with a myriad of subplots and themes crisscrossing for one of the liveliest episodes to date.
It’s interesting to see the portrayal of the foreigners and the effects their interactions have on our main