We’ve finally arrived at the end of the series, and I’ve chosen Sakura Quest to lead us into the next year—not because it was the best of 2017, or even necessarily my favorite. Sakura Quest had its ups and downs. There was a time where I was worried the plot wasn’t going anywhere. With enough failures, and never ending communication, Yoshino grew along with Manoyama and found a new purpose in life. That’s the message I want to take to heart and relay to you now: learn from the mistakes of this past year, speak openly with the people around you, and strive to improve in the future. Whatever your belief, I wish you a wonderful holiday season and new year.
I spoke at length this past summer and fall about Sakura Quest and its meaning to me. Coming from a small town myself, I moved to the closest major city I could find. Not too long after, I moved into the suburbs, choosing a lovely little town with bike-friendly lanes, dog parks, and plenty of community events throughout the year. While my hometown still feels like the Manoyama at the start of the season, my home now feels more like the revitalized Manoyama at the end of Yoshino’s term as its Queen. I now try to participate instead of passively sitting back and judging a place for its shuttered businesses and lack of activities. Much like Manoyama’s residents and the girls of the Tourism Board, my priorities have shifted focus.
At the start of 2017, I shared a desire to increase my writing, both on this blog and on personal projects. I blogged every month, typically one to two times a week, and took part in NaNoWriMo for the first time, even if I didn’t come anywhere near the goal of 50,000 words.
For 2018, I want to keep up my blogging schedule. This will include the usual editorials of whatever catches my interest during the current season or those previous, full reviews, and recipes. I’d love for an anime to come along that inspires me to cover it week to week. There were plenty qualifiers from 2017—Rakugo, Land of the Lustrous, Girls’ Last Tour—but I never worked up the courage or motivation to actually do it. You can look forward to reviews of the other two shows I received from my Secret Santa: Gungrave, and Bokurano.
I’m also toying with an idea, the smallest infant of an idea, for a weekly podcast. The duration for each episode would be 15 to 20 minutes, tops, and topics would range anywhere from the current season to completed series. There are already so many anime podcasts out there, but I’ve struggled to find one that fits this criteria. I want a show that I can fit into one listening at the start of every week, one I can listen to on my dog walk, on a short drive, or while doing tedious tasks around the house. Since I can’t find it, I guess I will just have to make one myself! If you think that might be an interesting idea, let me know. Or, if you know of any podcasts that fit this description and are available on Apple Podcasts, feel free to share their names, as well.
Thank you for joining me over these past twelve days to reminisce on anime from the year. I hope you’ll join me into the next as we see what worlds and faces await us.
Watch Sakura Quest on Crunchyroll.