「おさな…なじみ…」 (Osana… Najimi…)

Finally… A whole episode devoted to Ranko! For all the Ranko fans, I can see why you love her so much now. This episode had absolutely no Rea in it and for a show that’s named after her, I’m actually glad that they ventured off to show the background behind other characters. Up until now we’ve had little exposure to Ranko’s character and why she is the way she is. I know she probably has a large fan base due to her *coughfigure*cough, but there’s a lot more to her than that. Considering that she was a kid half the episode and didn’t even dress that provocatively, it made the episode a really pleasant watch.

Ranko’s childhood encounter with Chihiro is definitely an unusual one (as Ranko states in the episode). On one hand, Ranko has never really changed. Her personality is pretty consistent throughout her childhood and aside from finding her one true love”, her attitude towards life in general seems to be fairly… normal. I don’t understand the reason for her outburst in the cemetery, but I guess she had a fight with her family or lost her way home. The fact that Chihiro just “happened” to appear, seems like a damsel-in-distress situation. As unrealistic as it seems, I always fall in love with the hero who comes to save the girl. I know they’re just kids and holding hands doesn’t mean a lot for them, but you don’t hold hands with just anyone (I think I mentioned hand-holding in my Accel World post somewhere). I’m glad they put an emphasis on how much this means to Ranko.

On the other hand, I really don’t see why Ranko was so appalled by Chihiro later on. Especially at such a young age, do girls/guys even have cooties then? I remember playing with guys until I was 9 or 10 – so I don’t see why Chihiro’s experiencing bullying at the age of 4. Wow, kids are so vicious these days. If I was Ranko, I don’t think this would necessarily shatter my image of Chihiro. So what? The guy likes zombies and has no friends… you’re so young, does it really matter? He’s your cousin too! I guess horror movies aren’t exactly my cup of tea, but if I like the guy – I would sit through and watch any movie (or anime) with him. I don’t think I’m thinking like a child anymore though… I guess children can be pretty narrow-minded. While Chihiro was overly obsessed with zombies, Ranko was crushing really hard on her cousin. I wanted to smack Chihiro once or twice for being oblivious since I can really empathize towards Ranko. Watching zombie movies because Chihiro likes it? What happened to her favorite hobbies or her interests? Oh… the trouble that girls go through just to get a guy to notice them.

Given Ranko’s character, I’m sort of surprised she didn’t kiss him at the end. It was close, but I guess it would have been too quick if she just laid one on him. I think she makes for a great under-dog and “third wheel” for the main couple, even though I already know what’s in store for her future. I always pity characters like Ranko who have a lot of drive (and loved the protagonist for so long) but can never truly measure up to the main girljust because“. In real life, I don’t see this happening a lot if you make it well known that you like the dude. Anyway, it adds an extra dimension to Chihiro’s life and finally, we get back to the main story next week. I want to see more Mero (she barely got a mention this episode)!

Full-length images: Yay! Lots of hand-holding!




  1. I would actually prefer to watch a SOL about Ranko and Chihiro growing up together, in all honesty, than Sankarea. Those two were absolutely precious as children!!!

  2. It’s time you get a clue nekomimi.

    I just realize that although he has been called that before, Chihiro has a kind of egoistic attitude (resurrecting his dead kitten is part of it) that he puts aside when Rea’s well being is concerned.

  3. Man watching childhood Chihiro was so irritating. I know he’s a kid and all but god he was so selfish and bratty. Someone shows clear disfavor towards his zombie movies and all he can say is “you will like it after”. Like hell.

    Also, dat Preview image #3.

  4. Wow, this was a really well done anime original episode. They did an awesome job fleshing out Ranko’s character. I really enjoyed the interactions between little Ranko and little Chihiro. Despite being an averaging looking, lazy, stubborn, good for nothing, zombie maniac, Chihiro does man up when the chips are down. He did save Ranko from the dog.
    On a side note, I found the English spoken in the movie to be hilarious.

    1. Huh, so I went back and read the manga. I realized that in the manga, the dog actually bit Ranko and left a scar. It kind of plays an important point later on. I guess Sankarea is only going to be one season?

  5. Gotta wonder just what kind of life Chihiro had to be loving zombie stuff so obsessively AT FIVE YEARS OLD to the point of watching people getting devoured by a zombie with such a starry-eyed-like expression of awe x_x;

  6. Nice read, Cherrie! Although I’m not a Ranko fan (she’s way too pushy for my taste) she became somewhat likeable in this ep.

    “I always pity characters like Ranko who have a lot of drive (and loved the protagonist for so long) but can never truly measure up to the main girl “just because“.” I was thinking the same about Minorin in Toradora.

    I’d also love to see more of Mero!

    1. Eh? But with Minori it was waaaaay different. First, not CLOSE childhood friend, not at all. It was a matter of timing, but Taiga and Ryu became way closer in the middle, Minori was THE BEST in Ryu’s eyes for a long time, she had a real chance…and Taiga barely existed so…bad example.

      Here Ranko is doomed and it sucks because she is as great as Rea, but protanist never noticed.

  7. total ranko/flashback kiddies memory ep.

    ranko see kiddies running remember her kiddies.
    with first meet cat hair boy & seeing her 1st zombie movie.
    give so seeing cat hair boy so zombie liking a lot.
    back present little walk those 2 guys some blah cause 2 women for cat hair boy.
    more flashback see how wanko move in got video store.
    yep cat hair boy want zombie movie ranko goes no.
    yikes a dog then cat hair boy pipe attack the dog.
    watch movie talk about a kiss.
    back to present ranko still hmm.
    then realize she won’t lose to rea & will get cat hair boy.

    next ep rea wandering mall, RANKO, & oh yikes the father still want spayed or neutered cat hair boy.

  8. Dammit I cant make up my mind. In the manga I’m with Wanko’s but the anime made Rea lovelier that I cant decide. Now with this ep I go to Wanko’s again. Most likely I’ll change my mind again next ep with the date. But dat preview pic 3…

  9. Oh we won’t get to the Mad Scientist arc guys… Sad. The ending of this anime would probably just be the end of the first arc which has to do with the father again. On that note the filler dad was as boring as heck but it was overall a really good character development episode.

  10. Thank god the ED is so relaxing, because this episode makes me want to shake Chihiro into oblivion. I’ll grant him the benefit that he can “man up” when the time calls for it, but god, when your life is not being challenged or zombified, he sure can be a self-centered lazy ass. However, there is hope for him if he isn’t completely thick enough to ignore the kiss attempt. Oblivious characters like that piss me off to no bound, even if they do ignore those traits in favor of the main girl. Everything he does for anyone besides Rea is always forced and done grudgingly.

    Yes, he is probably rushing over to take care of Rea and is extra narrow-minded because of it, but that doesn’t necessarily compensate for his well…weak character otherwise. Just like Chihiro’s classmates said this episode, “Why the hell do you get all the girls?”

    …done venting. Here’s to a more revealing next episode!

  11. Oh goodness! I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. Too bad Sankarea is only one-cour. Ranko had a more story-line character development later on in the manga.

    Show Spoiler ▼

    1. It was? Show Spoiler ▼

  12. Pretty much anime original. Wonder what’s up with that. I think I recall hearing that the mangaka has quite a bit of say in the direction of the anime, so it’s like he trying to add more details into the story that weren’t there originally.

    Also random but when Chihiros friend did that hand framing thing https://randomc.net/image/Sankarea/Sankarea%20-%2007%20-%20Large%2015.jpg and his fingers were blocking out Chihiro’s dumb cat ears I thought he looked good. God I really hate those cat ears. So hard to take seriously on a guy.


  14. I know Ranko isn’t going to win and I’m kinda glad for it because how many tv shows, cartoons, and movies in the west have centered on the childhood friends getting together a lot! That’s why I’m glad anime doesn’t do it that much because 1)it wwould get old fast and 2)it would imply that the friend from childhood is the only one could make the main character happy.

  15. Oh man, I just had flashbacks to Tsumugi from Kannagi. She had it ROUGH.
    Well, I was rooting for the childhood friend in that one as opposed to the magic pixie dream girl like I am here (not that Sanka fits that stereotype all that well).

    Bio D
  16. She is not not measuring up to the main girl “just because”.
    The reason for childhood friends not winning is because they never take action until it’s too late. You can not expect a guy towards you acted like a sister for all your life to suddenly fall in love with you. It’s not even only Westermark effect, it’s simply that childhood friends believe that everything will work out for them is they just wait, and then suddenly, MC meets a new girl and the childhood friend feels threatened and starts acting up bitchy. There are countless examples and for most of them, it’s their own damn fault that they lose.

    1. Except that finding feelings and understanding them doesn’t come as easy as you’re assuming they do. For Wanko, there wasn’t any reason to figure out her feelings because there WERE no competitors, so the only thing she needed to care about was being close to him. That happens in most, if not all, of those examples you’ve mentioned. And even if they do figure out their feelings early on, there’s the feared awkwardness of just presenting those feelings out of the blue that could potentially ruin the friendship. It’s not always as simple as “they didn’t try hard enough.”

      1. Not expection competition at her current age is the mistake that they all make. Maybe they aren’t that concerned about it when they are kids, but with the age of 15+ you should probably start wondering how much longer everything will be juuuuust fine, don’t tell me Wanko didn’t figure out her feelings before Rea showed up, that would be a serious misconception. Potentially ruin the friendship? Yes, that is one of the biggest fears of childhoodfriends with unrequited crushs, but doing nothing and expecting the guy to love you is not the right way to approach it. Either accept the current relationship as it is or go for it, but don’t start acting all noisy after your crush suddenly fell for another girl.
        Chance missed. It has nothing to do with bad writing or “she doesn’t win because she isn’t the main girl”, it’s just how things go in life.

      2. Except, AGAIN, it’s not that black and white. Wanko had no reason to think that there would be competitors because Chihiro has always only been into zombie chicks, which neither of them knew existed until the story started. There’s also the fact that Rea seemed “above them all” from a bystander’s perspective and there was absolutely no reason to expect or any way to predict that they would meet or begin to fall for each other over the fact that she became a zombie. Seriously, who COULD expect that?

        You’re acting like she could have never won Chihiro, no matter what the girl he was after because she hesitated to act, but there are numerous situations in manga where childhood friends end up with each other, even with multiple competitors. Examples: Ai Yori Aoshi (Kaoru Hanabishi & Aoi Sakuraba), Medaka Box (Medaka and Zenkichi), School Rumble (Mikoto Suo and Haruki Hanai), and multiple Gundam series. All of these are cases of childhood friends either not realizing their feelings and/or not acting on them until well into their own story, and yet still ending up with their childhood friend. SPOILER:Show Spoiler ▼

        I’m not saying that I don’t get Rea and Chihiro’s relationship, or that I don’t think Rea did enough to deserve him (in fact, it’s quite the opposite). What I AM saying is that you shouldn’t write Ranko off so quickly. And even if she doesn’t get Chihiro in the end, it doesn’t mean that all relationships that start from childhood end up like that, as seen by the examples above.

  17. This episode was interesting because it was ironic. For an episode dedicated to fanservice-bait Ranko, it has zero fanservice which I really admire the studio for. This episode was cool and relaxing.

  18. “I wanted to smack Chihiro once or twice for being oblivious since I can really empathize towards Ranko. Watching zombie movies because Chihiro likes it? What happened to her favorite hobbies or her interests? Oh… the trouble that girls go through just to get a guy to notice them.”

    Then maybe she ought to downright tell him that she likes him, because everything she does now only makes matters worse, especially since she seems hellbent on ruining Chihiro’s relationship with Rea, all because she deems herself as the only girl for him.

    Ranko needs to get a clue. Ten years have passed since they first met, and there never has been even a spark of interest towards her in him. I think it’s time for her to pack her bags and find another guy to date.

  19. like I siad, tv shows, movies, and cartoons in the west almost always have the best friend/or childhood friend get together with the main character while anime is the exact opposite. If chihiro wasn’t interested in her 10 years ago what makes her think he is now?

  20. What a huge waste of time. Nothing of what makes this show unique or interesting was shown in this episode. Instead we got a generic episode about the childhood friend trope (even the title was as bare bones as possible) that could fit any other story.

    We knew she was in love with the MC since the first episode, why else would she even be there? We also know that the childhood friend never wins, unless it is a visual novel where everybody wins, so they are absolutely pointless. I don’t even care in the slightest about the teenage drama. The last episode ended with a situation that was fairly unique (a girl who acts like a normal person even if she’s slowly rotting away), and that’s what I wanted to see more of, not the 1000th iteration of the teenage love triangle cliché.


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