“I Want to Connect, but I Want to Take”
Thursdays at 3:55 pm EST on Crunchyroll
Kazuki’s fat cat gets out of the house and while chasing him through town, he runs into Toi. The boys pursue the cat through a couples-only ninja-themed festival.
I’m sure we’ll talk about Sarazanmai on the podcast at some point, but I do feel like it’s a show worth writing about. So I’m dusting off the keyboard and going to give it a shot. It’s been awhile since I’ve done weekly writing for a single show, hopefully I remember how this all works. Let’s dive in!
By Ikuhara standards, I’d argue the first two episodes of Sarazanmai make more “sense” than any of his previous series this early on. We’ve learned quite a bit about the three boys and their motivations, setting up what might be a love triangle in the process. They’ve been given a clear, structured goal that should drive the plot for at least the first half of the series. Kill the kappa zombies, get the hope dishes, make a wish.
Even the more hard hitting plot beats have been leaving nothing to the imagination. In this episode we had Toi dealing drugs (is this the first time we’ve seen dime bags in anime?) and there is no way to misinterpret the fact that Enta kisses Kazuki in the post credits scene. It makes the reveal that Kazuki stole a cat seem pretty tame by comparison. None of these are hidden behind flowery, fabulous metaphors, they just happen.
I’m cool with this because there are still quite a few weird and mysterious things going on. I’m not really sure what’s up with the hot cops. They appear to be the ones creating the zombie kappa, but whether or not that is a good or bad thing is unclear to me. They are being framed as the antagonists so I’m guessing bad. Maybe they’re going with something along the lines of pursuing your desires without inhibitions and how that is dangerous or something. That part of the story will need more time to cook.
I’m also curious if the hot cops’ victims have any importance or if they are just randomly chosen scenarios to show how uhhh… different… people’s desires can be. I’m also wondering if they are meant to reference other types of youkai, like was the dude this week supposed to be a nekomata or something? I haven’t found any hard evidence supporting that but if anyone has any insight, please let me know.
Conventional wisdom would say next episode will dive into Enta’s box as they can’t possibly leave us hanging after the kiss. We’ve already seen his box contains the fitness bracelet that we saw Kazuki wearing in the very first scene of episode 1. So maybe that was a gift from Enta or they have a matching pair, something that signifies their connection. That seems to be the most obvious meaning.
It would be kind of heartbreaking if it was simply a crush on Kazuki that Enta feels he needs to hide, given they’re both boys. I wonder if they’ll go for something darker, like the bracelet actually tracks where Kazuki is at all times. I mean, that kiss was pretty creepy when you consider Kazuki was unconscious at the time. Having a slightly more sinister edge would fall in line with what we’ve seen from the other boys as well.
Of course I would not be shocked if I was totally wrong and we just go a completely different direction next week. But if this truly is a more “straightforward” version of an Ikuhara story, that seems to be where we are headed. I really don’t care either way, I’m just glad to be here to enjoy the ride.