Sarazanmai Episode 2
If I were to explain this anime to someone in one image, it would be this one:
You know what though? I like this show so far. I can handle the butt stuff. The art style is appealing, the concept is interesting (if kinda inherently gross), and it’s actually pretty hilarious. I mean, I guess a series like this couldn’t fail to have a sense of humour about itself, but the humour is generally less ass-focused than one might expect, which is a good thing. And the Sara Report reminds me so much of those silhouette scenes in Utena, which I looked forward to every episode.
So this episode got kinda wild. They really stepped up the surrealism from the first episode (which already set a pretty high bar on that front), to the point where it was kind of hard to follow just what the fuck was going on at times. I may have been confused, but I was most certainly not bored.
Things I Was Expecting: Butt stuff (it was there).
Things I Was Not Expecting: Toi fucking waterboarding some dude, holy shit.
Things I Was REALLY Not Expecting: Kazuki and Toi spending half an episode chasing down a catful of weed.
Honestly, since the first episode I had been thinking the kappa looked high with his red eyes and between that and this, now I’m wondering if Ikuni is actually low-key a stoner or something. I guess it would make this show’s… everything make more sense.
Kazuki would want to sort his life out. Catfishing his own brother. Damn, that’s cold. I wrote that jokingly but as the episode went on I started to feel absolutely awful for poor Haruka. He’s so pure and cute. The kid’s like 7, too. Should he even be chatting with a net idol unsupervised? Shouldn’t he be watching slime videos or whatever the Youtube algorithm is throwing at kids these days? I mean, I guess being catfished by your brother is no more traumatic than children’s Youtube channels. But Kazuki, my dude, my fellow. Cease and desist. The boy is a goddamn mess. And on top of all his existing crap, he also stole Nyantaro? Was that necessary Kazuki? You couldn’t have gone to a shelter or something? Adopt, don’t petnap. To be honest, though, I thought we were going to get one of Toi’s secrets with the Sarazanmai this time, especially considering his relationship with his brother was arguably the darkest. Is it going to be Kazuki every time? How many humiliating secrets can one boy harbour? Well, if anyone can manage 12 episodes worth of embarrassing material, it’s this dumpster child.
I think we can all agree that the policemen (Reo and Mabu) are amazing. Camp villains are best villains and these villains might just be the campest I’ve ever seen. They’re sort of like a genderswapped Scanty and Kneesocks, except they’re into passion instead of ruurus. That dance number was a serious romp (and also contains an Utena reference). The shirikodama-stealing song is great, too. Just give me all the musical numbers please. Also the boys’ kappa transformations are just too cute.
The monster of the week, an embittered dead guy whose ex girlfriend’s cat obsession left him with no choice but to become a catnapping furry, was probably the least remarkable thing in the whole episode. I was reeling so much from all the other crazy crap that I barely paid him any notice. Although on reflection, the parallel between him and Kazuki as two cat thieves was interesting. With this latest episode, it is becoming apparent that Kazuki seems to have trouble controlling his less socially acceptable desires. Do the monsters function as a symbol of what he could become if he lets his urges spiral out of control? If he doesn’t watch himself, he too could be hoovering up cats by the dozen before he knows it.
Neko Atsume: Where Are They Now?
I felt kind of bad for Enta because it seemed like he drew the short straw of the episode, not really drawing a lot of focus compared to Kazuki and Toi (lord knows he clearly felt that way) but then he stole the show at the last second with this:
BOIIIIIIIIIIIII. What a note to end on. I’m getting flashbacks to Domestic na Kanojo.
This has been a pretty underwhelming season (at least for me), so if you’re stuck for something to watch and you’re not too squeamish, I would recommend giving this a go, because I think it could actually turn out to be something pretty cool. Of course, it’s only the second episode so it could go straight off a cliff from here, but it seems like it should be an entertaining ride regardless.