(Warning: Spoilers for Sarazanmai Final Episode!)
(This is my first time writing a final episode review; please bear with me!)
Offer a Brief Synopsis
A brief synopsis will be hard to do because so much happened in this last episode, but I’ll try, so here goes. Otter (also known as desire and as Keppi’s despair) took Toi to the past to have him shoot his past self time and time again and erase his own existence. However, Keppi helps Enta and Kazuki stop him before it’s too late. Otter tries to erase all three boys from the circle of life and connections. Thanks to Toi’s determination and Keppi being there, the three boys turn into kappas for the final Sarazanmai. They must give the Micanga anklet to the Kazuki of 4 years ago to re-establish all the connnections.
Otter makes everything dark, but the spirits of Reo and Mabu provide light, and the connection with Kazuki of the past is made. Otter/Dark Keppi fades away at last. Keppi and Sara finally manifest in their prince and princess Kappa forms, and explain that the world’s circle of time was saved, but the future ahead may not be bright, because hope and despair are both equal parts of life. Everything that has life or form will eventually die or fall apart, including friendships. For now, though, the friendships stay strong. Even after 3 years in juvenile hall, Toi is reunited with Kazuki and Enta, who were waiting for him.
Note Your Reactions
Sarazanmai episode 11 made me cry more in a single day than I have since my cat went missing for a few days in November. (He came back, though.) Basically, I cried my eyes out. They’re still puffy. And they weren’t sad tears, but tears of relief, and of appreciation of a beautiful and meaningful story. Once done bawling like a baby, I felt (and still feel) uplifted. Need I say more?
Story and Plot Thoughts
For the last chapter, what we needed to see was the despair/doubt of Toi as he’s manipulated by Otter, and then the we need the defeat of Otter. The friendships of the three boys would either need to be strongly reinforced or, if this took a tragic turn, terminated. If possible, we would also see Keppi becoming more powerful once Dark Keppi is defeated. Well, we got all that and more. The story of Sarazanmai was completed beautifully with this awesome final episode. I have no complaints about the structure or presentation of the story/plot. It was a breath of fresh air to have a happy and coherent ending in an Ikuhara work.
Reflect on the Art and Music
I love all the music: the instrumental pieces, the Sarazanmai song, the opening, and the ending songs. The visuals this episode were like drugs for the eyes, vibrant, colorful, and full of movement. I took so many screenshots or screencaps, in fact, that I’m setting up another post after this with all of them from episode 11. Take a look if you want! Anyone is free to use the pics. All credit to the animators of studio Mappa and the licensors at Crunchyroll where I got them.
Thoughts on the Characters
I like all the characters in Sarazanmai, even the villain, Otter, the concept of blinding human desires and despair. It was good to see Reo and Mabu there, though I think they are only spirits, so I don’t know why they appeared in human form. Enta seems to have finally accepted Toi, supporting him as much as Kazuki does. Speaking of Toi, I felt like I really understood him and his actions in the first half of the episode. If life is going to be full of the loss of connections, why not sever all connections and erase your existence? It’s easy to think like that if you have depression. I’m glad his friends finally got him out of that state.
I find it surprising that Toi voluntarily went to a Juvenile Detention Center, but I guess I should regard that as an admirable thing to do as part of ordered society. I thought at first he was going to be suicidal when he got out, and that’s why he jumped off the bridge into the water, but I think he just wanted to do something wild and expressive after being in Juvie for so long. He’s still quiet and melancholy, but he doesn’t seem too depressed. On other notes, I still wanted more character development about some things, like more about Keppi’s despair, and Enta’s romantic love for Kazuki, but for a short series, Sarazanmai has excellent characterization.
What Did You Enjoy Most?
I enjoyed every second of Sarazanmai episode 11! There was the music, animation, the interesting characters and how they ended up, and the mostly happy conclusion of a beautiful story with personal significance to me. The episode did a good job building up emotions in audiences. In a week or two, I’ll have a series review for Sarazanmai overall, but that’s about it for now. Thank you ever so much for reading! Ja ne!
(Images from: Sarazanmai. Dir. K Ikuhara. Mappa, Lapin Track. 2019.)
My Other Posts About This Series
Collection of Sarazanmai Episode 11 Screencaps
Sarazanmai Episode 10 Review
Week Summary Post Mentioning Sarazanmai Episode 09
Sarazanmai Episode 08 Review
Sarazanmai Episode 07 Review
Sarazanmai Episode 06 Review
Sarazanmai Episode 05 Review
Sarazanmai Episodes 03 and 04 Review
Sarazanmai Episodes 01 and 02 Review