"The Lone Alchemist" (孤高のアルケミスト, Kokō no Arukemisuto) is the fourth episode of the Sakura Quest anime series, aired on April 26, 2017. The episode was directed by Chie Hashimoto and written by Masahiro Yokotani, with storyboards by Hideaki Kurakawa.

Queen Yoshino and her four "ministers" prepare for their first project without Ushimatsu's guidance, and they set their eyes on Manoyama's Wood-Carving District, where their confidence and experience as outsiders is put to the test.


With Sanae officially joining the circle established by Yoshino to help revitalize Manoyama, the girls helped out in moving out her belongings from her old house to the log cabin. While helping pack Sanae's things, Yoshino noticed the detailed transoms (ranma) adorning Sanae's residence. Shiori revealed that ranma carving is one of the traditional crafts of Manoyama, and it came as a surprise to Sanae herself, much to the disappointment of the other girls. As for Yoshino, she was too captivated by the floral motif of the transoms to join the conversation. Meanwhile, Chitose Oribe rushed to the tourism office to demand her granddaughter's exclusion from Yoshino's newest "ministers", and it caused a commotion to break out between Chitose and Ushimatsu.

Although the packing up went smoothly, Shiori was unable to start her delivery truck properly, so the girls head to the nearby Dokushima Workshop to have her car examined. Minutes later, Mr. Dokushima had quickly repaired Shiori's truck, and began talking about Ushimatsu and the powered exoskeleton he had designed himself. Yoshino ended up using the exoskeleton, which helped in carrying Sanae's belongings well, and Shiori prepared soba for lunch for the five girls. Later, Ushimatsu briefed the girls about having to think of their own plans for Manoyama for the first time, and opened the table for any suggestions. Yoshino immediately suggested about using the Wood-Carving District for the next project. As Yoshino continued to show her excitement towards the trip to the district, later that night, Ririko received consent for acting as a "minister" for the Queen of the Chupakabura Kingdom, but only if she will know their activities.

The next day, as the girls made their trip to the Wood-Carving District, Mino and Yamada point out that attempts to promote the district had failed several times, a fact that Ushimatsu deliberately kept from the girls. In reality, one such attempt to promote the district ended with a massive surplus of Chupakabura wood sculptures. After meeting Tatsuo and Kazushi, two wood-carving apprentices, and their products, the girls headed back to review on previous attempts to promote the district and plan their next move. The Merchants Association eventually became informed of the Queen's current plans to revitalize the Wood-Carving District, but this was met with Chitose's strong skepticism.

Yoshino and the others took a break from brainstorming and met Mr. Dokushima while shopping on a nearby convenience store. After a conversation related to his ongoing work to use exoskeletons in agricultural activities, Yoshino thought of an idea of combining Mr. Dokushima's exoskeletons with the craftsmanship of the products of the Wood-Carving District, and Sanae joined Yoshino in pitching the idea. Tatsuo understood Kazushi's passion in making more traditional crafts, and decided to cooperate with Yoshino's idea himself.

Soon, a prototype of the new wood-adorned exoskeleton was tested by Shiori's father. Although it worked effectively, the elaborate wood accessories interfered with its practical use. Eventually, Sanae thought of using Mr. Dokushima's ideas to create a Buddha-themed vending machine that dispenses drinks for visitors. Immediately, the idea was protested on two different fronts; the traditionalist Kazushi voiced his displeasure in Tatsuo's latest project, while Chitose considered it a blasphemy against one of Manoyama's traditional arts.

An exhausted Yoshino returned to Angelica's restaurant to break the news to Maki and Sanae that their project was allowed to push through. However, Sanae decided to visit Kazushi's workshop to apologize once again. During this encounter with Kazushi, he pointed out that both Sanae and Yoshino were running away from something difficult and should not tamper with things they know nothing about.

Yoshino and Sanae returned to the palace of the Chupakabura Kingdom, with Sanae mulling over Kazushi's words. And after some consideration, Sanae decided that she does not have the heart to continue.


Notes & TriviaEdit

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