To connect, or not to connect? Love, or desire? What is inside you, and what do you want? Although personally I liked Ikuhara’s previous series more, this final episode was the best of Sarazanmai. We all make choices, and it’s our responsibility to see them through. Because they are our beginning. They are our end. And they are our connection.
Not all families are made the same. I also just realized that I think I haven’t been mentioning that all the kappa zombies’ names are puns on their desires. There’s nothing deeper than that, just saying exactly what they want. There’s also a minor detail of the name of the building the event is at, where 5656 is read as ゴロゴロ, the sound of rumbling thunder.
Thus, the importance of what is said and what is not becomes clear. We’re really in the meat of things now, and the untranslatable puns™ keep getting more difficult to integrate easily. With all these visual metaphors, subtle hints, and unknowable foreshadowing, how is one to keep up? Well, that’s just par for Ikuhara’s course. Couple things to mention this time.
Tooi and Chikai
Their names mean far and near, respectively.
I want to soba you
And here we go. Soba (蕎麦) is buckwheat noodles, and the food shown throughout the episode. Soba (側) means next to, so “そばにいたい” means “I want to stay by you”. We did our best, but regardless of how so badly we wanted to integrate it, it’s nigh impossible. In other words, just learn moon.
Erratum: The episode title was the major fix here. It was supposed to be “I’m not by your side” instead of “I want to stay by you”. While that may sound like the opposite (and it is), in Japanese it’s the difference of only a single character. They did a last minute swap on me and I missed it.
What secrets will be leaked this time? The answer might surprise you. I also have a handful of TL and culture notes because Japanese is a weird language. These are minor spoilers so be aware.
Okay, I should’ve done this one last week. “Soiya soiya” is just the chant that’s used during certain Japanese religious festivals, it doesn’t particularly have a meaning. However, here it’s been mixed together with kawauso, which means otter, and of course represents the antagonists. So it’s basically just a pun.
Keith, kiss, and kiss
All homonyms. Keith’s name sounds like kiss, and the common Japanese name of the sillago fish is also kiss. It is not, however, the same as the kissing fish, known as kissing gourami. His full name, Keith Mottoclay, is written properly as キスもっとくれ, meaning “give me more kisses”.
Another word deriving from Sarazanmai. A sanmai fillet (of fish) is when it is sliced into three parts—two of each side, and one in the middle containing the spine. How this relates to kissing people, only Ikuhara knows. I think he’s just going for the wordplay.
You thought episode 1 was crazy? Well think again. We should’ve probably gotten this out yesterday (winkwink), but circumstances and all that. In any case, the story and development is moving right along, maybe even faster than usual with less repetition than Ikuhara normally uses by this point. The only point of note I want to comment on is the following: The Luxury Fish that they feed Nyantarou have the term “zanmai” in it, just another little reference to the title. Once again, be sure to watch this episode until the very end.