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Sasami-san@Ganbaranai – 03

「働いたら負け」 (Hataraitara Make)
“You lose if you work”

It seems to be a Shaft tradition to make sense without making any sense at all. Most of what goes on in Sasami-san@Ganbaranai has explanations rooted in Shintoism mixed with some entertaining antics from the rather quirky gods that seem to populate its world. This episode in particular certainly provides plenty in the way of exposition. But at the end of the day, so much goes on which seems barely grounded in rational thought that I can never be entirely sure if everything is quite making sense. Just like this paragraph really.

Sasami and Kamiomi’s relationship is rather an important aspect of Sasami-san@Ganbaranai. To date, it’s formed a core part of the series, particularly in the first episode where his affection for her was what led to a world made of chocolate. That’s why it’s nice to have an episode which focuses on explaining how exactly their relationship came to be the way it is in the first place. Strict families that train every generation for specific roles are not even remotely uncommon in fiction. Incestual relationships within powerful families and bloodlines is not an uncommon theme either, heck, the Egyptians did it! It kind of makes sense in this instance, where Amaterasu’s power can apparently only be passed on to one with very similar DNA.

Being raised to be the vessel for a god’s power really helps to make it clear why Sasami acts as she does. Even for a hikikomori, she’s always been rather on the princessy side – always expecting everything to be done for her and hardly seeming capable of doing most of it herself. Heck, the previews for each episode so far have really emphasised this, with this week’s one giving a rather entertaining picture of what Sasami considers to be cooking. Her hold on her brother was also something rather extreme given how quickly he would respond to her every whim. It makes a lot more sense when you take into account that he was raised as little more than a slave to serve as her tool. This also gives another explanation for why his face is always hidden – he’s nothing more than a faceless tool in the eyes of others. He has no true identity of his own. It’s actually kind of funny that hiding his face is an actual thing within the anime’s world as much as it is a metaphor directed at us, the viewers.

Truth be told, I wondered for part of the episode whether or not Sasami’s possession of Amaterasu’s power (or Kamiomi’s belief to that effect) had any bearing on how much he dotes upon her – whether he served her so diligently in part because she was basically the living incarnation of a god with power over creation. Given that he was willing to sacrifice himself to allow her to keep living her ‘normal’ life once he discovered that the power had supposedly been transferred to him, I guess it had no bearing whatsoever. I also can’t fully decide whether Sasami decided to run away with him because she needed someone to keep looking after her, for the sake of familiarity and some semblance of her old lifestyle, or because she actually cared for him. Her struggles in venturing outside her house certainly seem to point to the latter, but her general treatment of him as a tool seems to suggest the former. I suppose, for now, I’ll err towards the latter since her treatment of him could probably mostly be blamed upon her upbringing, and she certainly does seem to care a lot. It’s hard to blame Kamiomi for how he acts for pretty much the same reason too (and doting on the ones you love is always fun – okay that’s not really doting)!

Though he never truly possessed it, Kamiomi’s grip on the power of Amaterasu was (and perhaps still is?) somewhat terrifying. Sasami was raised and drugged to have no desires that might prove problematic, but he was not. All it takes is a strong desire and people start getting trapped in video games or turned into chocolate. Good lord I’d hate to imagine the disaster if Tama ended up with it. You wouldn’t give a flighty child access to super weapons – why would you give her ultimate power over all of creation? I was actually a little surprised by some of the revelations this week, particularly learning that Tsurugi is Amaterasu herself. She’s… well… not what I would’ve expected from a goddess with absolute authority over everything. Still awesome though. But definitely crazy. She is, however, the kind of person I could imagine giving her power away on a whim.

While I really like Sasami-san@Ganbaranai so far, there are certainly some questionable elements to some of the plot resolutions. I did originally wonder in my first post whether Sasami’s inability to go outside was psychological or had darker roots, but the simplicity with which it was revealed and thrust aside in this episode was somewhat disappointing. I guess her ability to go outside now is sort of a good thing, but I hope it won’t be accompanied by a complete change in mannerisms only three episodes in. Part of the charm of the series is in Sasami’s personality and how she views the world around her – it would be a little sad to lose that.

tl;dr: @MoombaDS – A glimpse into the backgrounds of the two siblings and how they came to be who they are today. #Sasamisan

Random thoughts:

  • I’m not really sure what to say about the Hare of Inaba. It had its parallels with the rest of the show and characters of course, but it didn’t feel like it had all that much relevance to the rest of the episode. It was just kind of there.
  • The moment I noticed the random extra arm typing on Sasami’s keyboard, I wondered what was going on. Her reaction was priceless!
  • Having a third arm for drinking tea would be so useful (I’m sure my girlfriend will attest to this)!
  • Sending tanks and choppers against godlike beings was clearly never going to work!
  • That art clash is particularly… uh… dodgy.
  • To be honest, every week so far has left me completely clueless as to where the series is going to go next. I’m not really sure whether this is a good thing or a bad thing, but I kind of like it! Even the previews are vague!

Full-length images: 02.


ED1.03 Sequence

ED: 「浸透圧シンフォニー」 (Shintouatsu Symphony) by 阿澄佳奈 (Asumi Kana)


End Card

January 25, 2013 at 6:41 am
  • January 25, 2013 at 7:04 amNadester

    This show is a good example of “Always expecting the unexpected”.

  • January 25, 2013 at 7:20 amc2710

    The episode made me go WTF…. In a good way

    As for the battle scene… Was I watching Homura battling Walpurgis Nacht? Or was it Strike Witches? Or was it Girls und Panzers und Helikopters? Or the final scene in Strike Witches where Karlsland is liberated?

    • January 25, 2013 at 9:18 amKinny Riddle

      Homura has brought Kyouko along as well to kick some ass this episode, if you think about it.

    • January 25, 2013 at 2:27 pmBear

      I was thinking Zetsuen no Tempest.

    • January 25, 2013 at 10:29 pmc2710

      Never saw it that way… Who’s Kyouko be in this case?

      • January 25, 2013 at 11:41 pmKinny Riddle

        Saito Chiwa and Nonaka Ai, they both appeared in MadoMagi.

  • January 25, 2013 at 7:21 amewok40k

    God playing crazy scientist instead the other way around???? WTF?

  • January 25, 2013 at 7:48 amDvalinn

    Well, I guess this episode pretty much explained the entire backstory. Now that she’s free from the cult too, there doesn’t seem to be much left to go with on that account, so I have no idea where it’s headed either. Besides more crazy stuff happening, that is. I did feel it was a bit rushed though, and I do hope we see more of her lazy life. In a way, this show reminds me thus of Denpa Onna after all – with all the big stuff happening in the third episode and getting rid of the heroine’s shut-in status. Too bad I thought Denpa Onna got less interesting after that point, so I hope that doesn’t happen here.

    Pretty interesting that Tsurugi is the real Amaterasu and the rest of them are parts of her – certainly puts her in a different light (and a god that plays eroge? That’s a new one). Also, I think Sasami does care about her brother, but she was kind of taking him for granted. Not to mention he keeps trying to jump her bones. That battle and the extra arm gave me my weekly dose of wtf once again, yay.

    Certainly going to see where this is going. Hope it doesn’t let me down.

    • January 25, 2013 at 9:25 amlo_ol

      She wasn’t freed from the cult. The opening clearly implies some long haired troublemakers will appear.

      • January 25, 2013 at 9:32 amDvalinn

        I think those two look more like actual gods though. Not to mention that they seem to be a man and a woman, so they could be Izanagi and Izanami or something.

  • January 25, 2013 at 8:22 amStereoman

    Having a third arm for drinking tea would be so useful (I’m sure my girlfriend will attest to this)!

    You’re right, a third arm would be so handy. It would also make braiding my hair so much easier. I’m jealous of Sasami. :[

    Also, I tried her cooking method. My brother didn’t show up. But my neighbours weren’t happy. ;o;

    By the way, this does not seem very safe.

    • January 25, 2013 at 9:28 amlo_ol

      Having three hands you could make them into the braid itself. :o

    • January 26, 2013 at 2:30 amSeishun Otoko

      Kyaaaa~~~ You guys are so cute together >.<

  • January 25, 2013 at 8:42 amTSouL

    Story makes perfect sense now. However, since Sasami is now ‘renewed’, how will the story progress, unless they find other ways to cause these world-changing phenomena.

  • January 25, 2013 at 9:21 amKinny Riddle

    Sending tanks and choppers against godlike beings was clearly never going to work!

    The Tsukiyomi clan has obviously never watched Evangelion. Or perhaps they had intended for Sasami, bred with divine powers, to play this role before she escaped.

  • January 25, 2013 at 5:19 pmpokpok

    Red hair girl is Amaterasu yeah!

  • January 25, 2013 at 10:12 pmlegwkio

    I hope they expound on Kagami’s backstory.

  • January 26, 2013 at 3:30 amYalvyn

    So all of the Yagami’s names were not related to their origin at all eh.

  • January 27, 2013 at 12:39 amEntrav

    Glad they took the time to explain some things.

  • January 29, 2013 at 4:30 amd-LaN

    Chiwa Saito playing as Amaterasu? Where have I heard tht before? (Fate/EXTRA spoiler)

    When Moomba X Stereoman started?! O.o;

  • February 2, 2013 at 6:29 amheyprettypretty

    Who is in the top left of the end card photo?

    • February 15, 2013 at 9:38 pmheyprettypretty

      It’s Sasami’s mother heh …for else that is wondering

    • February 15, 2013 at 9:40 pmheyprettypretty

      It’s Sasami’s mother …for anyone else that is wondering