Sarazanmai Episode 3

This episode was the Misaki x Tsubasa (of Captain Tsubasa) fanfiction I never knew I needed in my life. It’s truly a thing of beauty. Enta is Misaki, Kazuki is Tsubasa, Toi is Hyuga, and everyone is gay. But especially Enta. Oh, Enta. Poor, troubled Enta. He has fully snatched Kazuki’s cringe crown as of this episode. I felt like crawling into a hole and dying during his secret reveals. That boy has some Issues. I mean, so does Kazuki, but at least Kazuki isn’t going around having vivid self-insert fanfiction hallucinations and kissing unconscious people. He’s just catfishing his little brother and stealing beloved family pets. How is it that at this point in the show, Toi, the drug-dealing waterboarder, is the least dysfunctional character? Although to be fair, we haven’t had his secrets put on display just yet. He has time to catch up.

Boy, they ran with that kisu/kiss joke, didn’t they? It, uh… was not very funny. I guess it doesn’t translate very well. Reminds me of that stupid cow bell episode of Utena. Ikuhara is really into taking lame puns and running them into the ground for 20 minutes, apparently.

On the subject of Ikuhara-isms, there’s an awful lot of reused footage in this series and I can see how it might bother people, but I actually don’t mind it at all. Especially when it comes to the song and dance numbers, which I’m finding myself actively looking forward to. I was so excited when they played Reo and Mabu’s song again this episode. I could watch that thing on a loop.

Speaking of Reo and Mabu, I guess we got our first hint of what their angle is this episode. So if I’m understanding things correctly, they’re turning people into zombies defined by their desires in order to accrue energy for their boss, who may or may not be some sort of otter? Apparently otters are often linked with kappas in Japanese mythology, which makes sense. But I wonder if Reo and Mabu will end up switching sides at any point? I thought their final scene of the episode might be hinting towards something like that being on the horizon. But I might just be predisposed to thinking they’re not fully evil because there’s a spin-off prequel manga that focuses on them being cute slice of life dads (not sure if it’s the same universe though? But regardless I’m definitely going to give it a read very soon).

By the end of the episode, the character I found myself most intrigued by was actually Haruka. At first I thought the confidante relationship between him and Enta was cute, but towards the very end something about it started to seem a little bit sinister to me. I feel like Enta had a pretty healthy initial reaction to his love for Kazuki being revealed; he realised that his feelings weren’t returned (well, after that last hallucination, at least), that he can’t force Kazuki to be the person he wants him to be, and he decided to stop living for a person who was liable to only disappoint him. And then Haruka talked him out of it. That was kind of weird. I’m not sure whether or not it’s intentional on his part, but it made me think there might be some darkness lurking beneath his preposterously cute exterior (he’s even in a wheelchair, for god’s sake. Everything about this kid is crafted to maximise moe). I really can’t get a handle on his character, and I’m looking forward to more of it being revealed. Especially his relationship with Kazuki, because there is a lot to unpack there and I feel like you could spend 8 more episodes on that alone. Fuck, I can’t believe how into this show I’ve gotten.

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