Wow, I’m not even sure where to start with this episode. This is what a sixth episode should be like: the climax of the first half of the series, the game-changer, the chapter where “shit gets real.” We learned so much in this episode. There were so many emotions– suspense, worry, excitement, joy, hilarity, surprise, and inspiration– and so many things happened. Seriously, I can’t get my thoughts in any kind of order here. But I’ll do my best. Spoiler warning! And commencing now: my thoughts on Sarazanmai episode 6!
Long ago, there was a kingdom of kappas. As creatures who could manipulate the shirikodamas, or human desires, they held great power. In addition, at least one of the kappas, and maybe more, could produce the dishes of hope and wish-granting. That’s probably why they were attacked by an unknown force called the Imperial Otter Army. All we know about the Army is that they were made up of otters, that they destroyed the kappa kingdom, and that Reo and Mabu are prominent members. One of the few survivors of the ruined civilization was Keppi, who became the local kappa god in the city where Kazuki, Enta, and Kuji live.
Then began the story of Sarazanmai. The Imperial Army began capturing people and killing them to make them into zombie kappas. I suspect that’s because they want the zombies as their weapons/ soldiers. Keppi has been doing well, enlisting the help of the boys and giving them dishes of hope in return for having them erase the kappa zombies. However, now things are changing in a major way. Keppi’s existence is known to Reo and Mabu. They will come for his life or use him to generate dishes of hope for their own ends.
I thought it was comical the way Keppi said so dramatically the boys could use him to save Haruka’s life, but in reality, that was a big frickin deal. Or rather, Keppi coming to the Imperial Headquarters at all was a big frickin deal. In order to help Kazuki and save Haruka, he put his life on the line. Let’s not underestimate the kindness and resolve of Keppi. Also, he’s just funny to no end. I laughed so hard during his silly antics near the beginning of the episode. For that matter, what I laughed at most near the start was the Sumo match between Enta and Kazuki. Enta is such a cute little gay kappa and I’m happy he got his little gay moment with Kazuki that wasn’t a fantasy for once. xD
Anyway, after all that fooling around, the boys and Keppi had to go save Haruka, who was captured by Reo Niiboshi. There are a few things they learn about that I want to cover here. First of all, my suspicions that Reo and Mabu are killing people are now confirmed, and it seems they kill more than the victims we see them facing in each episode. Countless boxes, presumably filled with body parts of victims, are seen on their way to the shredders in the Imperial Army hideout in episode 6. Secondly, it seems that zombie-kappas can only be made when “desire” is extracted, but apparently, Haruka’s soul and Shirikodama is more filled with love than with desire. That’s why he was sent straight to a shredder instead of first becoming a zombie.
Thirdly, again my theory was confirmed that if you remove the desire of a live person, you turn them into a kappa zombie, and if you then take the kappa zombie’s shirikodama, it’s existence is erased forever. It’s possible for an existing kappa (like Kazuki) to give his shirikodama to a zombie kappa and return it to the living world as the person it was before. At least, it’s possible with the help of a kappa god/ king like Keppi. Speaking of that, I loved the scene where Kazuki tried to give his shirokodama for Haruka, but his friends stopped him.
The way the friendship has changed and grown between Kazuki, Enta, and Kuji is amazing. Even Kuji really cares about Kazuki. When he used a gun to shoot apart the machine Keppi summoned to transplant Kazuki’s shirikodama, I cheered. It was bad ass! It was also heart-warming how Enta got over his dislike of Kuji by the end of the episode.
I love Sarazamai so far because it’s just so entertaining, colorful, funny, and a bit thought-provoking, too. It explores the themes of friendship, family, being connected to others, the way desire and love make up human souls. The artwork is charming, the music is great, and the story is well-planned and structured, yet not predictable enough to be annoying. (Usually.) The characters are unforgettable. Seriously, who can forget about this trio of boys– the crossdresser, the gay companion, and the criminal— who turn into adorable green water imps? Here at the halfway point of the series, I give Sarazanmai an 8.0/10.0. It’s a stunning show. …And yeah, it’s also still one of those “WTF did I just watch?” shows.