Sarazanmai // Episode 1 Review
I Want to be Connected but I Want to Lie: Sarazanmai Episode 1 Review
Every season has at least one series that stands out as the most bizarre and unnerving show. This season belongs to Sarazanmai. Everything about this show is completely out of left field from the plot to the crazy kappa, not a frog, prince. For a show not explicitly adult, it is rather childish in its mature humor.
I am still not sure what the grand plot of the first episode is. It felt chaotic and I am as uncertain as the main characters as to what even happened to them. This world in Asakusa is very much parodying our own world. All of the boxes that were an interesting obsession of the people are a very clear play on Amazon. There is a big focus on people’s secrets and their inner obsession. And then there are the Kappa.
Everything is kappa related. Various streets and bars in this city are named after kappa. Our main character finds himself in front of a golden kappa statue when he gets into a tiff with one of the other characters, breaking the statue. Suddenly the story shoots forward and we are in class.
Keppi – Heir to the Kappa Kingdom
Two of the three main characters are drawn to a mysterious sound. Every time they hear it them become a little more kappa like. They pour water on their head, they eat raw cucumbers, and they dance in a kappa like manner. All of these are common traits related to the Japanese folk creature. They later seek out the broken kappa statue and find within it the prince.
I really like the Keppi character. He is a bit hot headed for as prince, especially when the main characters all refer to him as a frog at some point. He is the focal point of the show. He is the prince of kappas in a show that is weirdly obsessed with them. Unfortunately he didn’t reveal how he got into the statue, or what his ultimate goal is, but he will definitely reveal his darkest secrets.
Speaking of secrets, the whole plot kicks off when the main character Kazuki’s deepest secret is revealed. He has been dressing up as a popular idol and sending the selfies to someone we didn’t weren’t fully introduced to yet.
There is a lot of bizarre lore and bathroom humor in this show. The crux of the plot lies on the interaction of characters with theirs and others shirikodama. This is a mythical organ that the kappa enjoy taking from humans. According to mythology and the show, it resides right inside of the anus. This is where a lot of the bathroom humor comes from as the main characters pull the shirikodama out of a giant cardboard box zombie kappa.
It does feel a little chaotic throughout most of the episode. The motivations of many of the main characters are really underdeveloped and only one was mostly revealed. We only really find out about Kazuki’s crossplay desires and what lengths he will go to in order to protect that dark secret.
I think there is a message to be found in the show. So far it feels like its trying to focus us on how we are hiding a part of ourselves and our desires from the world. Its definitely a good message and a good start to the show. I hope Sarazanmai keep the weirdness of the plot despite its drawbacks.
[Image via Official Site]