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Sarazanmai – 05 »« Sarazanmai – 03

Sarazanmai – 04

「つながりたいけど, そばにいない」 (Tsunagaritai kedo, soba ni inai)
“I Want to Connect, but You’re So Far Away”

While the first three episodes took the perspectives of Kazuki and Enta to heart, it’s Kuji’s turn as he reflects on his past struggles with his brother, Chikai. Considering how he’s previously helped waterboard a guy and sell weed for Chikai, it was easy to see how he’d fallen under an unsavory path due to his brother’s influence. But with crime heavily embedded in Kuji and his brother’s upbringing, it gives Kuji a complicated dilemma where he wants to be closer to his family, yet has to take on numerous illegal activities and bitter secrets in order to preserve his relationship to Chikai, the one surviving link to his family.

This episode gives us a deeper glimpse into Chikai, who ends up being the unfortunate role model that shapes Kuji’s life. With his parents’ death linked to falling into debt, Chikai’s aim to push forward to amass a fortune by any means necessary compelled him to take on a life of crime and push his little brother away if he couldn’t keep up. Due to the level of influence Chikai had as a big brother, he imparted several “survival of the fittest” life lessons on Kuji to defend his criminal activity and make money such as selling his deceased parents’ possessions and joining a gang. His dedication to his family meant to steal from his gang to preserve their family soba shop and take the brunt of the responsibility for killing the gang leader that Kuji shot.

Whereas previous secrets from Kazuki and Enta were merely embarrassing or humiliating, Kuji’s takes on a new level of severity as him and the rest of the boys see a young Kuji shoot the gang leader in the chest. It’s a secret that Kuji aims to take to the grave, lest he kills somebody to hide it because what he did could easily land him and his brother in prison. The episode isn’t above giving him some more light-hearted moments as he finds himself blushing over watching Kazuki eating soba, but that could open up a whole can of worms if it ends up birthing a love triangle for Kazuki between Kuji and Enta.

And if this were the case, Kazuki is leaning highly towards Kuji as he finds himself more sympathetic to Kuji’s plight. It’s been noticeable that Kazuki has been relying more on Kuji in previous episodes as he’s been reaching out to him over Enta, but this episode makes this far more clearcut. And while Enta wants to join Haruka in meeting Sara in person, Kazuki latches onto Kuji under the impression that he’ll pretend to kidnap Sara to save face without encountering Haruka his disguise. This reliance wouldn’t seem nearly as devious if it wasn’t for this episode’s cliffhanger where Kazuki gives his silver dish to Kuji and outright tells Enta that he hates his little brother Haruka. There was a sign in previous episodes that Kazuki hadn’t concerned himself with Haruka outside of dressing as Sara and stealing a housecat for him and that Enta was doing the heavy-lifting by actually paying attention to him. But this “Hail Hydra” moment really solidifies the notion that Kazuki’s investment in his little brother was never in the right place. That the most enjoyment he personally gets from dressing up like Sara is to get closer with Kuji rather than Haruka. And with the cops taking a more proactive role in making the next kappa zombie, it will be interesting to see the repercussions that come from Kazuki’s declaration.

May 2, 2019 at 5:43 pm
  • May 3, 2019 at 10:44 amKisaChan

    This episode got serious just like that, probably one of my favorites thus far. That Ending though, it could have a lot of different meaning but have to wait until next to find out everything.

  • May 3, 2019 at 10:59 amsanbika

    Every episode feels like just five minutes! I’m so excited for next week, those words at the end had me like WHAAAAT! even though the whole episode was truly heavy due to Toi’s backstory aghhh Is it thursday here yet?? (;A;)/

    • May 3, 2019 at 3:54 pmMagewolf

      It feels like five minutes because once you take out the oping,ending,transformation sequence,reused song and dance fight scene, and bumpers like the daily lucky objects you have less than 10 minutes of new content a week.

      There is less story going on here then in some of the half-length shows this season.

      • May 3, 2019 at 4:40 pmMarmot

        This is 100% to be expected with Ikuhara anime. Utena had the stairclimbing transformation sequence and sword pulling sequence, Penguindrum had the hat transformation/Survival Strategy sequence, etc. These sequences happen just about every episode. If you rely on the assumption that it’s just cheap filler, you’ll miss out. There are already many subtle differences between the boys’ kappa sequences in the four episodes, such as the lyrics of the songs, the writing on the buildings as Kappei pulls them in the cart, and the way they fight the monster of the week. Expect these to become less and less subtle as the series goes on.

        Ikuhara is essentially setting up “normal” episode rhythms and expectations so that they can be subverted and played with later.

        The lucky selfie sequences also seem like filler, but really contain a lot of important information.

        Honestly, I can’t imagine watching this show without having watched at least one other Ikuhara anime first. You can legally watch the entirety of Revolutionary Girl Utena on youtube for free, sub or dub. Mawaru Penguindrum is also more accessible and I highly recommend it.

  • May 3, 2019 at 6:15 pmsosbrigade1991

    waiting for each new episode is agony. seeing Kuji blush over Kazuki was a nice little touch. If this ends up pushing the boys feelings towards more open and frank places, it will be incredibly rewarding as a gay viewer myself. you just don’t see stuff like this in anime.

  • May 4, 2019 at 9:42 amstarss

    Okay I gotta ask … what da fook is with those policemen? Why do they apparently have access to the supernatural just like the protagonists do? Did they also accidentally break a kappa statue? Are they even human?

    Also, Enta what was with that spider-crawling at the end? I assume it’s just fun to do.

  • May 10, 2019 at 4:56 amSherris

    And now I want a spin-off manga about Aniki!

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