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Sarazanmai – 07 »« Sarazanmai – 05

Sarazanmai – 06

「つながりたいから, 諦めない」 (Tsunagaritai kara, Akiramenai)

“I Want to Connect, So I’m Not Giving Up”

The sixth episode of Sarazanmai finally gives context to the overall conflict of the anime between the Kappa Kingdom and the Otter Empire. As Haruka is caught in the tug-of-war between the two, our protagonists are driven to save Haruka, keep Kazuki from giving in to his guilt, and learn about why Keppei is invested in gathering shirikodama. But will they be discouraged by the uncomfortable truth behind what it means for people to lose their shirikodama?

One very welcome change-of-pace for the episode is explaining some of the nuanced details of the anime’s lore. They took the wise approach by fleshing out the characters to such a large extent in the beginning that it gave them a good amount of elbow room to explain many of the more intricate mysteries and mechanics of the world itself in this episode now that we’ve become familiar with our cast’s emotions and motivations. For Keppei to be one of the few survivors of the Otter Empire’s invasion of the Kappa Kingdom for their desire energy adds tension for Keppei to gather shirikodama and avoid detection from the otters. With desire energy as a major source of energy that fuels the war between the kappas and otters as well as propels them towards humans, it feeds into an overarching conflict that would ultimately spill out towards the human realm as the two forces build up their power by gathering the desire energy from as many people as possible whether it be through creating or destroying zombies.

This episode also gives us further insight on who Reo and Mabu truly are as soldiers of the Otter Empire. Our cliffhanger this time around is the information that the Kappa prince in his previous form had rendered Mabu a shell of his former self. It ties into the last scene of the fifth episode 05 with how Reo is strained by how much of Mabu’s desires and identity are a far cry from how he would have acted before. Reo’s ploy to use Haruka to lure out Keppei and his trio is definitely fueled by his vengeance for what happened with Mabu, but it also lends itself to trying to juxtapose him with Haruka as the two find themselves searching for a way to reach out to the ones they love the most.

And speaking of Haruka, we learn through his repressed memories that he lays responsibility on himself for Kazuki’s lack of happiness. There is a sense of irony to Haruka’s guilt over finding out about Kazuki’s real mom and telling her off given that much of this episode had Kazuki face his own guilt head-on now that he’s come clean about the responsibility he feels towards Haruka getting injured. Even as he tries to distract himself with the worldly pleasures of a kappa such as sumo wrestling with Enta or chowing down on cucumbers, he finds himself disassociated from those around him and is more than willing to let himself disappear from all existence to give Haruka his ability to walk again. Thankfully, this episode also gave us the moment where Enta gives Kazuki the miçanga that Haruka gave back to him, addressing right away that Haruka had recovered the miçanga because he never gave up on Kazuki. No matter if he wanted to continue punishing himself, Haruka had kept it under the impression that Kazuki is sure to come around at some point. It gives us a sweet moment where the trio come around to finally play soccer amongst themselves to punt Keppei into the box that’s holding Haruka, allowing Kazuki and Enta to practice passing and shooting for the first time since he left the soccer team. But with Haruka safe and sound, there is still tension to be found as the next episode leaves us in the tough spot of having the trio handle the truth behind gathering shirikodama and Keppei having to be on high alert now that Reo & Mabu know where he is.

May 16, 2019 at 4:58 pm
  • May 16, 2019 at 9:32 pmsanbika

    i really enjoyed this episode a looot! i was expecting Kazuki to be suuuper sad but they all were super hilarious (ignoring the fact that Haruka was in danger…aghhh Haruka is so cuteee ;;;;) just look at Keppi’s pole dance lol i’m so not ready to learn more about Reo and Mabu the next 5 episodes ;A;

  • May 17, 2019 at 12:18 amKisaChan

    This episode was just amazing definitely the best episode thus far, I absolutely loved that small Osomatsu reference with Sara “Sheeeh” lol But ots of character building this episode glad Kazuki can move forward now and with that plot point over we can now learn more about Reo and Mabu I want to know more about their back story. Can’t wait till next week ^u^

  • May 17, 2019 at 4:47 amShahir

  • May 17, 2019 at 7:37 amstarss

    I wanna lead attention to the editing. This is some of the best editing and cinematography in an anime I seen in recent memory. They don’t drag on information to the viewer, and assume they’re very smart. They know that the only way they’ll be able to turn into humans again is if they pull off a successful sarazanmai heist, so they only squeeze that into the last half-minute of the episode, en medias res, while focusing on a less predictable plot. The post-credits scene gives us just enough quick information for us to piece missing pieces of the backstory together on our own, and even gives us a good idea of how this show will end!

  • May 17, 2019 at 9:52 amDanny

    Ikuhara slipped in nearly direct references to his prior original works; shades of Utena, MPen, and yuri-bears all over the place.
    Unlike those shows, this one keeps it really optimistic and light. It’s not a bad thing.

    I find that looking away from the boy-kappas in their stock poses really hard to look away from. The weirdness of their spindly legs and how they stand and walk is fascinating. Makes me miss the stock fight/song/dance footage a little bit but, as with everything Ikuhara, breaking the routine is important.

    • May 17, 2019 at 4:17 pmstarss

      Sarazanmai seems to be his first show that is very self-aware of itself and sometimes pokes fun at little moments and audience expectations.

  • May 18, 2019 at 5:21 pmsosbrigade1991

    this and Furuba are my only reasons for being excited about anime right now. 20 minutes really isn’t long enough.

    • May 24, 2019 at 6:37 amSherris

      I really hope for a second cour! This show’s a blast!

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