Wanting to Reveal Your Shirikodama // Sarazanmai Ep. 2 Review
I Want to Connect, but I Want to Take: Sarazanmai Episode 2 Review
Episode 2 of Sarazanmai continues to get a hearty chuckle out of me. For a show very much steeped in semi-obscure Japanese folk mythology, it really does a great job of translating the humor across languages. Its not hard to find the humor in two of the characters chasing a fat plump cat through a theme park holding hands while one is hidden in drag. The humor is for all ages, even if it is a lot of butt jokes. A buttload of them.
The second episode finishes up right after the first where the kids have just been transformed back into human form. Keppi, the prince of the kappa, hands them a golden disc of hope and tells them that to show his gratitude he will grant them any wish. Enta foolishly casually wishes for a years worth of cucumber rolls, a subtle reminder kappas love cucumbers. A singular giant one appears in front of him and his wish is wasted. No more for you kid.
Catfishing Your Younger Brother
Something I thought I caught in the previous episode is Kazuki’s reason from dressing up as the popular idol Sara. He is doing it to make his younger brother Haruka happy. Kazuki is literally catfishing his brother with selfies of himself just to give his brother something to be entertained by.
I didn’t get the sense that there is any special reason Haruka needs to be happy. He seems well adjusted. His family is intact, and look involved in his life. They don’t appear to be poor either. Other than some weirdly obsessive brotherly love, Kazuki’s methods seem extreme or selfish.
Looking Up to Your Older Brother
Kazuki isn’t the only one who is enamored with their sibling. Kuji desperately tries to get his brothers attention this episode through his minor and major criminal enterprises. It isn’t clear how he ended up torturing the crazy cat dude, more on him later, but he calls in his brother to help when it goes wrong. Kuji is also hard at work growing “herb,” and shipping it in dried fish snack bags. All of this is of course to impress his brother.
There is a good theme in this episode that is beginning to be explored. These three young kids definitely have something to prove to their family, and it is their greatest desire to make others happy. It seems like that is how they will find peace with themselves. I look forward to seeing how this all plays out with each character’s sibling arc.
The Cops and the Kappa
My favorite scene of the second episode of Sarazanmai is clearly the awkward yaoi dance number at the police station. Its a great tease of the bishonen police officers who were barely a part of the last episode. I really didn’t expect anyone but Keppi the prince of the kappas to begin a dance scene. It was definitely something.
The cops are still a mystery to me. They are scene interrogating the crazy cat dude, and talking about his desires. Desires being the strong through-line of the plot. It wasn’t clear what their ultimate goal is though. They also haven’t interacted with our seemingly criminal main characters yet either. I guess that must be why they are cops.
The last bit of the episode was a bit of a dissapointment. It felt like a lot of animation was reused for the dance battle from the first episode. Most of it cut down, but still a lot of frames remain the same. Keppi converts the three back into kappa and they spin and dive into a cat zombie who has abducted all of the cats in the city like the boxes in the first episode. Not feeling much originality, but rather a lot of monster of the week in this one.
Besides the reused story and animation, the second episode left me happy. The cop scene was incredibly hilarious and out of left field. Keppi showing up in a dress and stilts was a great visual gag that punctuated the entire theme park scene. I have a lot of hope for Sarazanmai. Its a beautifully animated show with some good writing behind it. I hope it doesn’t get bogged down by a repetitive story.