Sasami-san@Ganbaranai Episode 6: From Beyond the Grave
“Don’t come back from the dead and pretend like you’re a responsible mother after all this time!”
Sasami meets her supposedly dead mother at a shopping mall, and the two hang out for the rest of the day, something they were unable to do while constricted to their duties at the Tsukuyomi shrine. While eating dinner, Sasami’s mother brings up the issue of Sasami abandoning her destiny as the next priestess, and reveals that she has come back from the underworld to force Sasami to resume her position.
“A Tsukuyomi priestess does not need to be cute.”
Uwa…the first and second halves of this episode could not have been any more different, yet they were both interesting in their own ways. The whole episode focused on Sasami’s relationship with her mother – who she’s begun seeing around in town, yet can never quite manage to get her attention. It’s when she goes shopping for a bicycle by herself (after Kagami goes on about taking care of
Sarcoma Meat) that she meets her mother, who she then surprisingly manages to spend time with. Sasami’s mother, who remains nameless for now, was presented as someone you could interact with – someone that didn’t completely have a stick up her ass even if she tried to hide it. Sure, everything she preached to Sasami had something to do with the conventional way in which a Tsukuyomi priestess should conduct herself, but she did let her own personality out at times, especially with the cute slip she had after tasting ice cream for the first time. Also, being less physically fit than a hikikomori is impressive indeed.
For all the injustice and conditioning she received at the Tsukuyomi shrine, Sasami still loves and misses her mother dearly, and is so glad to see her to the point where she doesn’t even question how she’s able to be there, or what her purpose in coming to the city was. For the first time, she’s able to freely do all the things she wanted to do with her mother but never got the chance to – another step towards Sasami experiencing the normal life she’s never been able to lead. Sasami’s mother also feels happy that her daughter is able to have fun, and despite all the Tsukuyomi shrine conventions she’s tied down to, she knows that she wasn’t a very good mother to Sasami at all. As someone who was able to mess around with her daughter just moments before, I was hoping that she wouldn’t bring up the issue of Sasami returning to the shrine.
Yes, wishful thinking I know. I still don’t agree with the Tsukuyomi concept of sacrificing the happiness of one person to ensure the happiness of everyone else – not to the extreme extents they take to control future priestesses anyway. If anything, Sasami could do more good by interacting within society and guiding people from within. Sure, she abandoned her duties, but that doesn’t make her a useless child at all. It was pretty obvious that her mother’s been dead all along, but I thought her entire being was an Alteration instead of just her appearance, making her literally a walking corpse that people just can’t see. It also looks like they’re going with the existence of the underworld and a land of the dead, which works well given that there are gods that reside in the land of the living. What was slightly more ominous was the idea that she managed to negotiate with the king of the underworld, who she somehow had a common interest with, and get him to revive her until her body completely rots away. The fact that even Tsurugi fell back into her role after throwing away responsibility does indicate that reincarnation is a serious taboo. And here’s where things start going horribly wrong.
Look at this. Look at this tragedy…what kind of cruel, cruel person would do that to my Kagami?! Just moments ago she was fangirling over how the soft and fluffy creatures in the pet shop were wearing clothes…and now she’s been stabbed and is lying dead on the floor ;_; Not even Tsurugi’s casual coolness could cure this wave of feels – because Tsurugi’s now lost somewhere in the underworld after being easily defeated by Sasami’s mother. The Tsukuyomi shrine clearly only care about Amaterasu’s powers and not Amaterasu herself – Sasami’s mother knows who she is, yet is still attacking her with a weapon specially forged to slay gods. She’ll make it out…I’m sure she will. She’s too cool to die like that. I’ve never particularly loved Tama out of the three Yagami sisters, but as the symbol of simple innocence it would have been even more painful to watch her meet a sticky end like her sisters did. The Yagami sisters have always been on the winning side so far with their overwhelming powers, so its pretty weird watching them get easily tossed aside like rag dolls when their previous attempts to save Sasami have always been successful. It looks like Sasami’s going to have to use her own powers this time – or perhaps reconcile with her mother and sort out their differences.
The ED should really have been cut out. That was ridiculously inappropriate in the context of what just happened.