In the finale of Sakura Quest, there was more to the episode that I wanted to talk about but just like the continuation posts I have made for Saekano Flat, these things aren’t considered reviews.
Koharu is sure one hella great protagonist. She started off weak and full of doubts, though in her own imagination it would probably be that of many roads in front of her, all pointing to unique directions.
Within the last two episodes, she’d undergone decisions that would forever change her life, as seen in her departure and in her brand new journey in Okinawa.
Koharu battled her internal feelings
After having stayed in Manoyama for a year, had she still felt the same way like when she first arrived, none of this would have happened.
I don’t think anybody except Shiori has endlessly reminded her that Manoyama is just as much of a home as the next place. That is until the finale, it was Koharu who’d constantly convinced herself that Manoyama was indeed her town in order to fight off the conflicts in her head whenever someone mentioned something along the lines of her being an outsider. So in the finale, the once stubborn president Kadota has changed as part of the consequences of her contributions to the town. He remarks about how Koharu will no longer be an outsider anymore shall she stick around Manoyama for long.
But it was also Kadota himself who reminds her with the much-needed words from his very own voice, not Shiori’s and not hers.
Simple messages like this can do more than just rid of one’s doubts and affirming their happiness. It’s about the same when birthdays come around for the people who you really care for. They know that you know it is their birthday, so go and wish them happy birthday to make their day. For some, this is the difference between a good and a bad day!
Koharu battled institutionalization
Woah, a big word because I’m trying to be cool and all.
No, it’s simpler than that so let me break it down!
It was not a big issue for Koharu to begin with, but she quickly fought this one behind the scene which adds to the more fantasized side of Sakura Quest. In reality you are most likely to become accustomed to any simple thing within a few weeks. Just think about it: how long did it take you to make many friends at school?
How long did it take you to become good at your job?
Institutionalization is actually a serious situation ANYONE can get themselves into, ANYWHERE. Be it at school, work or even in prison as demonstrated by one of the best films of all time, The Shawshank Redemption.
It happens when say, your school and work mostly, begin to feel at home. You become accustomed to everything that operates within the vicinity. You have no issues getting up early, blitzing through all kinds of deterring weather, to the place you considered to be as equally regular as your own home.
If it is school, you know exactly what time the bell will ring since clocks around the place are hardly on point.
I have been this one for a while, setting my digital watch to be correct to the second as the bell rings (XX.00).
If it is at work, especially when it involves customer services, you just know about the periods when it will get busy and when it will not.
Again I have been this person for a while, too. I know that during Christmas my job makes a trip to hell and back. I also know that exactly at 4 p.m. until night, it gets busiest for pretty much every day.
My two personal examples above aren’t exactly problematic as they are extremely useful attributes to have.
When is it a problem then?
If you have actually watched the video above, Morgan Freeman as Red says that Brooks has been in prison for fifty years. So, if you are not in prison right now…
When the things you learn to do very well in repeat get even more repetitive, it may be the right time for you to look around and ask yourself.
Has anything really changed over the course of this time? (Be it a few months, a few years or how long ever you have been at it.)
Your contributions, are they really the case or are you just a tool seen by the powers that be?
When are you considered to be institutionalized?
Like how the act/feel of hate is controlled by mostly emotions of fear and anger, institutionalization is not a single kind of feeling; it is more than just feeling at home. Fear makes up the largest part of it. Others may include anxiety in forms of doubt and hopelessness. Add a more personal trait of pessimism and you are in need of help. If you think that very person is the you right now, you are probably hesitant to move on. You think that you are the best at what you do and nobody will ever be able to replace you, therefore you can’t leave that certain place (this applies to work mostly). You stopped looking up to opportunities and instead look down to your past accomplishments in relation.
To sum it up, you are simply afraid. You fear that the worst will come once you step out of your comfort zone.
Though, it is also true that you are not at fault for the most part. It is absolutely possible to have your comfort zone taken away from you. As seen in the video, Brooks is finally allowed out of the prison after fifty years, that is a very long time he spent, shut away from the society.
Society does not wait for you, it continues to evolve at an extremely rapid rate. Who would have thought that the ‘society’ I talk about is practically just outside of your workplace?
One step out of there and you are already a part of it. If that is how you feel whenever you come home from work, please do not be afraid to speak up before it is too late.
Because when it is, there is no going back, just like how it went for Brooks.
Koharu’s contract as the queen has a time limit. To top it off, president Kadota has also decided to rid of the queen status and Chupakabura culture entirely. In a way, Koharu is still forced to leave her now comfort zone. Therefore her ability to fight it all off before all of these events convinces me that she is indeed a strong-willed woman. Had she decided to stay and linger around Manoyama for much longer, she’d lose touch with the rest of Japan, especially Tokyo, the town she initially hailed as heaven with hopes and dreams because, “You can do anything!” (her quote from second episode).
This specific moment of Koharu gratuitously declining Manoyama’s offering has tugged the biggest string in my heart. ‘Relatable’ would still be an understatement in my case.
“Manoyama is really a lovely place. I had a lot of fun with everyone over the past year and really felt at home here.”
*Insert a GIF of me bowing my head repeatedly with mad respect*
Also, expect a status update post featuring yours truly Koharu.
Truly moving on
Koharu displays sincerity in her accomplishments. She is shown to be drinking with other girls in the tourism board when those times came. Though, her very last feeling of achievement couldn’t be celebrated with anyone but herself.
I think this kind of feeling is shared among many travelers around the world. For every places they go, it all becomes heavier to take in the bigger difference they make during their stay. This is a good chance for me to encourage you to check out travel blogs as they all are unique and give us different perspectives of the world as we know, something Sakura Quest cannot do on its own.
It’s funny for me because my posts involving Sakura Quest actually attracted travel bloggers to view and like. That’s a solid proof.
Yoshino Koharu excels as a protagonist in a somewhat messy show about getting comfortable no matter where you are. Many unique paths are being closed at a rapid pace as she faces reality that is the society of Tokyo, yet she quickly picks one and travels all the way to a cul-de-sac. Despite being able to turn back to either the place she was born or Tokyo, it is her everlasting bravery which enables her journey’s continuation. Sakura Quest is completed but Koharu has yet to finish another chain.