Sasami-san@Ganbaranai Episode 3: The Tsukuyomi Shrine
“I’m never going back. I don’t care about the world.”
Sasami continues her report, documenting past events from the time she was living at the Tsukuyomi Shrine with Kamiomi, where oppressive methods were used to groom future vessels for Amaterasu’s power. With the increasing possibility that the Tsukuyomi family might find Sasami again due to the recent large-scale Alterations, Kamiomi decides to sacrifice himself to save his sister, while Sasami promptly goes out after him with Tsurugi’s aid.
Well, that was far more serious a background than I’d expect from Sasami-san@Ganbaranai (which continues to surprise and entertain every week) especially with an episode starter like that very dodgy parable-like story, in which Sasami played a rabbit which wanted to cross the river, using Kamiomi the poor shark to get across safely. Oh, and Kamiomi promptly gets abused by three approaching gods (yet again) before being healed by another version of Sasami. Yeah…probably best not to dwell on what its implications are.
One of the key facts we’ve been given, and based further assumptions on is the idea that Kamiomi is in possession of Amaterasu’s power (which turned out to be wrong), resulting in Kamiomi’s ability to alter the world as he wishes due to the Myriad Gods bending to his higher will – except he doesn’t realize it. We also know that he’s a total siscon, and is completely at her beck and call, doing whatever Sasami wants with a tap of her heel on the ground. It’s mostly been used for comedic effect so far, but everything turned out to be more solemn than I thought it would have been, starting with the back story Sasami gives us about the Tsukuyomi Shrine she used to live in. It’s a location where the next vessel of Amaterasu’s powers are trained spiritually to harness it, and kept locked and isolated from the world. To retain a similar genetic makeup, resulting in an optimum new vessel, the Tsukuyomi family condone incest, which may actually have had a hand in developing Kamiomi’s siscon tendencies – he’s been trained and conditioned to through his upbringing, and so it might not have been his natural perverted nature.
“Pain, regret, guilt… Give me anything you don’t want. I’ll endure it for you. That is my duty. That is the meaning of my life.”
To be honest, I was already pretty shocked at this point – the lengths the Tsukuyomi family go to in order to protect Amaterasu’s power are ridiculous; sure it’s the power of the ultimate deity, but they could actually have given it back to its original owner, or let it pass naturally from one person to another without trying to maintain control over it. Certainly it’s over the top to drug women to strip away their personal desire, so Amaterasu’s powers is never used in the way they want – it’s bad enough that future vessels are caged up like that, and controlled to such extreme lengths. Perhaps even worse is the fate of the men born into the family, who become slaves to the women and do everything they want, losing their own will to the point that they become tools for impregnating their female siblings in order to carry on the family lineage. What a dark past…you’d never have been able to guess that Kamiomi’s devotion to Sasami and the meaning behind his life stemmed from something like that, and definitely not in a character that suffers so much comic abuse.
Meanwile, Sasami ran – after snapping one day, and going to the city to discover what were to become the future pillars of her life – anime, manga and anything that your standard hikikomori is into. As Sasami was in control of Amaterasu’s powers all along, she probably had an Alteration unconsciously hiding her whereabouts from the Tsukuyomi Shrine hunters, but the “evil god” giving her headaches whenever she tried to step outside might have been her own fault too, if she had an intense desire to remain hidden and stay at home all day, away from the former life she used to lead. Of course, with the recent Alterations, particularly with the chocolate, it’d be unusual if the Tsukuyomi Shrine didn’t notice anything wrong. Well, they saw fit to attach some sort of extra “arm” to Sasami, that served to be the personality which split away when she was drugged at the shrine – it was hilarious watching her drink with the extra hand and type at the same time, up until the arm moved on its own. Now that was really creepy. Self-functioning arms don’t really sit well with me, especially when an extra one is poking out of Sasami’s pyjama top. Anyway, despite being a pervert and a siscon I still found it noble that Kamiomi so easily decided to go back to the Tsukuyomi Shrine in Sasami’s place, and face the drugs and hypnotism to be locked up forever, so that his sister can live free. Despite Sasami having placed all the effort needed to live on her onii-chan, Kamiomi selflessly gave himself up in a heartbeat, and so even though he was kicked back out in the end (I don’t think Amaterasu is compatible with males) I have more respect for him now.
Tsurugi arrives to save the day! The Yagami sisters continue to be awesome, and even more so as we finally learn their true identities and origins. If it was Izanagi and Izanami that gave Tsurugi her power, then in essence she IS Amaterasu, however is just currently deprived of power as she gave it away to Sasami’s ancestor, who passed it onto his descendant in an unforeseen situation, as he ended up being incestuous. And somewhere along the line, Tsurugi got tired and lazy of godhood, and decided to leave things to the Tsukuyomi Shrine. There’s no way she’s actually only 31 years old (making her the oldest legal loli ever) and I have my doubts about the true ages of Kagami and Tama, who ended up being extensions of Amaterasu that were removed from her, and became new gods. Kagami’s robot powers ended up originating from an evil guy Tsurugi never really took a shine to, but it was cool nonetheless to see Kagami sadistically shoot down tanks and planes controlled by the Tsukuyomi family. “This is a shrine, after all.” xDD
I’m glad that the Yagami sisters will be sticking around, despite their various eccentricities. After all, with Amaterasu’s power safely in Sasami instead of Tsurugi, the latter is supposed to be immaterial, but all three Yagami sisters have physical forms because of Sasami’s wish to have people protecting her and looking out for her. And with this, Kamiomi’s wish for Sasami to go to school is granted – while I don’t think the Tsukuyomi Shrine will be crushed this easily, for now it’s best to let Sasami enjoy a fun and fulfilling high school life while she can.