As the festival grows near, the girls try to find a place for a new pastry shop. Is this the silver bullet to save the market district?
As Maki and Ririko prepares for their play, Shiori and Yoshino meets a CEO. He runs a pastry shop named Belem. He plans on opening one in Manoyama. The shop is very popular with three locations currently. Since the CEO attended the closing ceremony and came from Manoyama, he wants to help the town out. Opening up a popular pastry shop can attract more young people to the market district. The only problem is that the girls are having trouble finding a place for the shop.
While going around to find a vacant shop for Belem to rent, their search is fruitless. Despite Chitose helping the girls, it seems that one of the shop keeper refused. He doesn’t want the smell of sweets go up to his apartment.
As for the other guy, he flat-out refuses. No amount of persuasion will work. Apparently, the owner rented out the shop to an outsider. He ran an accessories store that eventually closed. Afterwards, he owner of the shop moved away. The owner later reveals that an outsider opened the shop and eventually vanished. Therefore, the owner lost trust of all outsiders. I can’t blame him.
Later on, Chitose called for an emergency meeting with the board of merchants. She wants the tourism board to attend. In a shocking announcement, Chitose admits defeat and plans on disbanding the merchant board.
This does not come at a surprise since there aren’t many young people in the town. Manoyama mostly have old people who are not likely to buy much. To complicate things, online shopping has reduced the need to open shops. This trend is not surprising since it is happening now in real life. There is a lot of store closures, empty stores and even dead malls around the world. Of course, these closures hurt towns since they lose out on tax revenue and jobs.
Even so, Chitose’s decision causes the members to get into a heated argument about it. In the end, Yoshino couldn’t go along with Kadota since it sounds too much like the dragon story. Of course, revitalization won’t work if one forces it on everyone. If someone has to give something up, it’s just development.
Of course, revitalization requires everyone’s cooperation, not just the majority decision. This is why the efforts of repurposing the school became a growing success. It’s thanks to people’s efforts to make it into a cultural center. Thankfully, the person who owns the shop below that complain about the smell agreed to let them open a shop there. In other words, he resolved the problem by finding the location for Belem just like that.
In the end, Kadota breaks the bad news. While it’s a shock to everyone, it’s apparent for a while. From rumors, Tomikura might absorb Manoyama. Does this mean that Yoshino’s efforts have gone to waste? Also, what future does she have left? We’ll find out soon enough along with the town’s fate. ¶