This was a rather interesting episode, Gagumber, and Memenpuu finally had to do the civil service work they’ve been assigned to. Thanks to Merooro accompanying them to a forest inside the labyrinth, we got a little bit more lore on how it all works. After traveling a little bit outside of Jolly-Jolly, they find themselves in a lush green forest, where wildlife thrives and all is peace. But Memenpuu gets the sudden urge to explore up to a cliff, where they find a desolate landscape, a patch of green that’s been run over through time. She comes to the conclusion that there’s no wind in this area, and thus that’s why the wildlife died off. So they head into the inner workings of the labyrinth, and after walking a long hallway, they come into a control room sort of thing, overseeing a wind machine. So now it’s up to Memenpuu to fix this contraption. It really makes me think, some questions arise. Like for example, is the whole labyrinth controlled by machines that regulate the weather inside of it. Do machines keep the wind and water flowing so that nature can take its natural course? Merooro did point out that all of this machinery is from ancient times, and that humans right now are not capable of building such devices. It’s interesting to note. Furthermore, Merooro also pointed out that there are different biomes within the labyrinth. So the mystery keeps standing on its toes. And also I’m rather glad they didn’t dilly dally anymore on shenanigans in the colony.

The Wind Temple itself has some really nice background art, in fact, it sort of reminded me of the background art for the ever-popular-underground manga Blame! For a moment there I really got the sense that they were exploring a giant structure. Not only that, the edifice changes, the pipes move so to allow airflow into different parts of the labyrinth I’m assuming. But after some exploring, Memenpuu gets stuck, but it’s not that she was lost, it was that the building itself was changing. Apparently, Merooro has a full table and tea set in his bag, full of boiling water and all. They have a brief chat about tea leave and how to infuse it with water, and the intricacies different leaves can have on the brew. But Gagumber chucks it all up as some bumbo jumbo he doesn’t really understand. “Part of a dying culture” This really caught my eye, I like how Sakugan is taking real-world lore and incorporating it into its storytelling. To create a world past. Society really had to evolve into these underground colonies for some yet unknown reason. Which I’m really looking forward to knowing more about. I’m really looking onward to unveiling this mystery, which I’m hoping connects to Ururop herself. As she herself has been the backdrop for Memenpuu and Gagumber as they journey through the labyrinth.

I liked that Sakugani is taking its sweet time to build up lore and interesting tidbits about its story. It’s unusual that Merooro sort of warns Gagumber about how curiosity killed the cat and just a moment’s later, a giant bat of acid (actually some magical substance that keeps the windpipes going) gets poured all over Memenpuu almost killing her. Gagumber wants to go and help her, but Merooro warns that it’s suicide! Thankfully she’s fine, and also the little vulture babies she was trying to save. I don’t know if Sakugan is trying to tell a grand story or deliver an exposition that has a deeper meaning behind it. Is it trying to say something or is it trying to help us follow and an adventure? It’s slowly building up its world, but it also stumps on itself as it focuses more on the little things. Is it because it’s trying to make us fall in love with the characters?

The characters themselves all have pretty strict personalities, and they don’t really seem to want to change, there’s no growth happening, only the hijinx that ensues because Gagumber is too horny, or because Memenpuu is heedless in everything she does. Characters are unwavering in their ways, they are stuck and don’t learn from anything. Sakugan apparently loves having moments that make you gasp and worry for their livelihood, but even after the death of a close friend, Memenpuu bashes those feelings to the side like they never happen. It’s hard to care when characters stay flat and 1D. But that’s in the writing. Pushing aside moments of reflection and growth for the better sake of exploring (and romance!).

Sakugan all but forgets that strong emotional scenes must come with some sort of growth. How many times will they be able to escape death before it stops becoming believable? Sakugan has some flaws, sure, but if you’re willing to look past them, there’s some interesting lore and worldbuilding here. Yet I’m a firm believer that characters always make the story. One of the reasons Made in Abyss works so well, is because of the characters! You genuinely care for them. I believe the show needs more time to pause and explore those little moments and interactions that would make the bonds between them more believable. Gagumber needs to be more than just the guy who sits back while his daughter solves everything, meanwhile, Memenpuu needs to be more than just her intellect, and repressed ego because of how everyone else sees her. Let’s see what else Sakugan has in store for us next week.



  1. > The characters themselves all have pretty strict personalities, and they don’t really seem to want to change, there’s no growth happening,

    This is only my opinion, Sakugan is a show that is more about world building and less about character building. So it stands to reason that characters like Gagumber and Memenpuu are not getting any personality upgrades. It’s not a show about the day and the life of the characters in the world of Sakugan; but a show about the unique world of Sakugan.

    1. I agree, finally Sakugan is starting to show interesting tidbits about its worldbuilding. But (IMO) a world is empty without people to explore it. Characters are our conduit to the system, it’s through them that we get to live in it. Even if it’s just for 25 minutes each week. When characters fail to grow in personality and development the story itself falls flat and people rarely make it to the end. We love seeing people fail, as much as we love seeing them succeed. In the end, characters are what drive a plot forward. I believe Sakugan’s case is the opposite, the plot is driving the characters. Another example of this isValerian it suffers from the same problem, gosh I love that movie, but characters rarely have self-agency, and just follow along whatever the invisible writer’s hand tells them to do. Characters need to put in the effort, just because the writer allows them to succeed, doesn’t necessarily make a good story. Unfortunately, anime is a passive medium, therefore it lacks the interactivity a video game might have. Games with pure worldbuilding might work, as long as you’re the one making the story. The Player agency drives the narrative forward. For example Minecraft, you make the story, you live in the world, you explore the caves. You decide what’s next. Sakugan might have a really interesting world, but without characters driving it forward, it’s stale for most people. Don’t get me wrong, I’m enjoying it, but most people are going to drop it once they realize Memenpuu and Gagumber are gonna have the same dynamic every single episode. Failure should make them realize they can still do better, and thus fill them with a drive to perform adequately, be more reliable, meet each other halfway. Yet Gagumber still expects Memenpuu to solve everything, he could, I don’t know, grab a book or something, but still decides to treat her as a child as he projects his own insecurities on her, because he can’t accept she’s more intelligent than him. He fails to see how Memenpuu had to pick up the slack for him. And comes off as ungrateful. Meanwhile, Memenpuu barks back any opportunity she sees her intelligence threatened, she yearns for people to see her as more than just a child, and constantly feels the need to prove herself, not only to herself but to her useless father, thus her heedless jumps into danger, she disregards any and all opinion’s Gagumber might put on the table and makes him feel less than and stupid. Both of them have flaws, but it’s in that unwillingness to recognize them that they fall back as 1D. Of course, it doesn’t need to be a day in the live show, it can still be about exploring the labyrinth and visiting the colonies inspired by different countries. But simple moments like Memenpuu trying to actually work out one of Gagumber’s plans and saying why it won’t work in a non-derogatory way acknowledges him as actually trying, it would go a long way to give her depth. The same goes for Gagumber if he actually stopped and fact-checked with Memenpuu and actually tried to explain why markers follow the lights in a way that doesn’t punish Memenpuu for being smart and called her out on her BS. Would go a long way to make him a more interesting parent. Sorry for the long man’splain here, but hey don’t let me stop you from enjoying the show, more power to you if you enjoy it, Rena!! As always thanks for taking the time to comment, and feel free to disagree with any of my points here. I always love a good discourse about writing in general. <3

  2. Unfortunally this anime got stale so fast. It seems like every episode is the same with a different background. That the characters aren’t growing with the story really breaks my immersion and the whole concept for the show.
    Flat characters can work if they aren’t a common ass troupe. But the character design is so bad in this anime its annoying me. Almost feels like the characters are an afterthought and got just tacked onto the world so it could be explored.


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