English Dub Review: Sarazanmai “I Want to Connect, but I Want to Take”

You gotta pay the Kappa toll if you wanna get into this boy’s hole!

OVERVIEW (SPOILERS)

After Kazuki comes clean with is cross-dressing, Keppi explains the job the boys will be taking on: Whenever a new Kappa Zombie appears, they’ll have to become Kappa like this time, get the Shirikodama out of the zombie, and then hand it over to Keppi who will purify it and turn them back into humans. However, every time they defeat a zombie, they’ll receive a Dish of Hope, which has the ability to grant the wish of any who touch it. Naturally, they waste their first wish on a giant cucumber roll, but now they all have incentive to keep doing this odd job.

The boys then return to their normal lives. Kazuki continues to keep up his lie to Haruka about dressing up as Sara Azuma, Toi waterboards a guy with his weed dealing older brother, and Enta finds Toi’s gun in what he thought was his own box. Yep, totally normal. On his quest to maintain his charade, Kazuki looks for his lost cat to have a selfie with in the disguise, only for said cat to accidentally steal some of Toi’s weed supply and eat a baggie of it. And so begins a chase across town for the cat, as Kazuki and Toi bargain for the cat’s life in exchange for the next Dish of Hope.

Meanwhile, the police look over the corpse of Mokichi Nekoyama, who was previously arrested for stealing and shaving cats. Two officers, Reo and Mabu, claim responsibility for his death, having used a musical ritual of their own to turn him into a Kappa Zombie, meaning they’re the cause of the zombie from before as well.

And just like before, instead of boxes, cats begin floating away in the sky towards the zombie’s location. Enta and Keppi meet up with Kazuki and Toi and they once again become Kappa to retrieve the Shirikodama and perform the Sarazanmai enema, though this also gets the officer’s attention. This time, the secret revealed is that Kazuki actually stole his cat from a wealthy owner for his brother. They also receive another dish, only it’s a silver one, meaning its useless unless they have five of them. After a long day, Kazuki decides to nod off for a bit…only for Enta to happen upon him and lay a secret kiss on his lips.

OUR TAKE

…Huh! For all of this show’s clear oddities, I’m kind of ashamed to admit what caught me off guard the most this week was probably Enta turning out to be into Kazuki. I don’t know if that has to do with the small amount of male gay characters in anime that aren’t immediately off the charts of a gaydar or just my limited hetero perspective, but that was definitely a shock. Though I supposed that and a lot of other things in this episode did make parts of the Opening Credits make more sense, such as who’s thinking of who in regards to helping (like Kazuki with Haruka and Toi with his brother). Little by little, we’re learning more about these characters and what they’re after, which is already showing us how the go after certain things in certain situations.

This episode also establishes the formula the show will be taking for at least the next few episodes. Sara Azuma talks about a certain thing like boxes or cats or whatever, that thing ends up being what is gathered by the Kappa Zombie of the week, who is turned into that by these two sexy cops who perform a special dance, the boys get called in to defeat it, do their own special dance, and get a dish. And a LOT of those things I described will be using the EXACT SAME ANIMATION OVER AND OVER to make that formula very clear. Granted, it’s VERY GOOD animation and the cost cutting on background characters ends up feeling more stylish than cheap, so I can’t say it annoys me too much as long as it’s used well, but it’s also kind of hilarious on its own.

After the first episode was such a shock to the system with how off the wall it was, I’m really starting to warm up to this series with how it feels both old and new, strange and familiar. All of these characters don’t seem to fit into cookie-cutter archetypes and have unique and interesting character arcs from the looks of things, and really that’s all I ask for along with having good looking visuals, which this show definitely does. Consider me on board for this story so far! I’m staying away from cucumbers for awhile. And boxes. And cats, now that I think about it.

But man, that It’s Always Sunny reference would have worked better last week.

David Kaldor

Green Lynx (David Kaldor): Aimless 20-something given a paid outlet for his thoughts on cartoons. Fears being boring slightly more than being outright disliked.

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