Sarazanmai – 05

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This idol wants the C

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.

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Sarazanmai – 04

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You can bet I would

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 () 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.

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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.

Sarazanmai – 03

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I’d take Nee-chan fishing

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.

Kawausoiya Song

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”.

Sanmai Fillet

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.

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Edit: Whoops, forgot something. If you look closely at the phone (around 6 minutes), they misspell Jinnai Otone’s name as Jinnanai. No idea what’s going on there.

Sarazanmai – 02

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My precious person is also voiced by Kugyuu

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.

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Sarazanmai – 01

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Who do you want to connect with?

Kuma Shock! Deliciousmell! Wait, wrong anime. Even so, get yourselves geared up for another wild Ikuhara ride! Once again, we’ll do everything in our power to give you the best scripts we can, but you never know when some unassuming term will be revealed to hold the key to understanding everything. Not to mention the mountainload of signs strewn throughout every scene. Because of all the weird stuff going on, the first thing I’m going to do is explain everything I can that I think needs it. Much of this you can find yourself, but I just wanted to compile a short list. If you want to watch this completely blind, feel free to do that first and come back after. Oh, and this is an original translation, as usual.

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What is Sarazanmai?

We don’t actually know for certain yet, although it’s explained in the episode. For now, know that sara means dish, and it’s possible that the zanmai is 三昧, so together it could mean “indulging in dishes” (or perhaps… a dish desire?). Or maybe it means three dishes.

What is shirikodama and why is it not translated?

This is explained as well, and do you really want to keep reading “small anus ball” or “assphere” or “anusphere” over and over again? You might also be wondering why none of the modern kids know what it is, since it’s traditional Japanese folklore and all, but according to some sources it’s becoming less common to know the origin story of kappa. These days they’re these cute river creatures, but they used to be horrible little monsters that shoved their arms up your ass and dragged out your soul ball to kill you. That particular myth may have come from how people who drown to death are often found with distended anuses.


Kappa Lore

Way in the past, the “dish” was actually an indent into the kappa’s head in which water was kept. It’s said that if this water spilled or dried out, the kappa would lose their energy and potentially die. Over time, because it was called a dish, it came to mean an actual curved plate placed upside down on top of their heads. You can tell this is the case in Sarazanmai because of the source of the “dinging” sound heard in the first half from Keppi. Because kappa need to always keep it filled with water, you see the kappa shower thing on the calendar. Similarly, because kappa are so dangerous, if you run into one in the wild there are a few ways to defeat it and protect your shirikodama. First, you can bow deeply to them. Because they’re so polite, they’ll bow back and spill their water. Second, you can challenge them to a sumo match and try to make them spill with the intense movements. This is the whole “dosukoi” thing, which truly has no equivalent translation (yes, you can try, but it has no meaning anyway). Finally, one of a kappa’s favorite foods is cucumber.

What’s with Azuma Sara?

Her verbal tic is turning the sentence ender です into でぃっしゅ (dish). You’ll be seeing and hearing this a lot. There is also scroll text beneath the chyrons on her TV show that is in English, and starts with this odd warning that “Normal people cannot see this.” If you turn off subs, you’ll notice that every single one of these is actually in romanized Japanese. So yes, normal people can’t easily read it.

I can hear Sara singing a song…

There is nowhere on screen to put it. Seriously. You can listen to the clean version below with these lyrics we did.

I kneel down alone inside of a deserted classroom (kappa)
I contemplate alone about today’s mysterious happenings (kappa)
When I get to school
On top of my desk
I found a single flower placed
No matter who I try to talk to I never get a response
Maybe they just don’t see me
Everyone just seems to stare straight through me
They simply can’t see
No matter who I try to talk to I never get a response
Maybe they just don’t see me
Everyone just seems to stare straight through me
They simply can’t see