This is a continuation of notes on Sara Azuma’s scrolling text reports and what they could be telling us about Sarazanmai‘s thematic elements and plot events.
Special thanks to Good Haro for full translations of the text crawls here. I highly suggest following her on Twitter as well for more Sarazanmai translated content and speculation.
Mild spoilers for the Sarazanmai companion manga, Reo and Mabu ~ Together They’re Sarazanmai.
Episode 3: “I Want to Connect, but It’s Not Meant to Be”
Lucky Selfie item: kiss (also a pun for kisu fish)
Sara’s Episode 3 lucky selfie item is “kiss” which is a pointed jab at all of Enta’s actions not only throughout this episode, but in the final moments of Episode 2 where he kisses Kazuki without Kazuki’s permission.
While announcing her lucky selfie item, Sara says, “The more [item] you have the happier you’ll be!” and this week, indiscriminate kisses take the forefront as Enta wars with himself regarding his love for Kazuki. Prior to his heartfelt (albeit still fairly selfish) confession at the end of the episode, Enta eschews the idea that his kiss was random, a dare, or anything other than love for Kazuki himself. Enta also scorns the kiss/kisu zombie for saying that quantity of kisses matters over kiss quality, reinforcing the idea that he wants to kiss Kazuki and only Kazuki. Like Sara’s words, the zombie of any given week also reflects on a character’s mental state as well as larger themes of the series.
This is the week where Sara’s scrolling text phrases become significantly more esoteric and include recipes as well as continuing allusions to cucumbers, furthering the idea that Keppi is Sara’s long lost prince.
“This is a recipe for cucumber sesame chicken, dish. Prepare the cucumbers. Then kill the chicken. Drain the blood. Pluck the feathers. Then take a little break… Crunch Crunch Crunch”
“In Sara’s home country, we brush our teeth with cucumbers before kissing. Kyukyukyukyukyu~! And we finish it off by drinking cucumber flavored water, dish.”
Episode 4: “I Want to Connect, but You’re So Far Away”
Lucky Selfie item: soba (also a pun on soba ni~, to be close to/in close proximity)
With every rendition of Reo and Mabu’s “Kawausoiya” there’s an emphasis that creates a large distance between “love” and “desire.” Thus far all of Reo and Mabu’s victims have been fairly nefarious characters who acted out their desires in unhealthy ways, precipitating Reo and Mabu’s “desire extraction” that transforms them into zombies for Keppi’s main trio to fight.
The pun of soba noodles, the reveal that the soba zombie (when he was still human) was stealing bathwater from nearby woman’s house (ew) to be closer to her, the pun in the title of the episode “soba ni inai,” and the many distance-related puns of the Kuji family all tie into overarching themes of connection. There is a distance between desire and love. There is a distance between Toi and Chikai.
Now for Sara’s text crawl.
“Writers exist in the space between life and death, dish. Sara exists between Sumida ward and Taito ward, dish. [Sara’s] prince exists between love and desire, dish.”
In Reo and Mabu~ Together They’re Sarazanmai, Reo and Mabu open the manga by finding pancakes on a dish. Mabu becomes obsessed with the flavor and recreates them for Reo in the comfort of their apartment. The next day, they find baby Sara on a dish and, somewhat accidentally, adopt her. Their police box where they perform desire extractions in the anime is located in the Niimi Cooker building in Asakusa (Taito ward).
The young adult Sara of the anime says that she exists “between Sumida and Taito ward” — Taito being the ward that houses Asakusa, and Sumida the ward below or across the Sumida river. The ambiguity of her statement is important because she essentially exists in a space between Taito and Sumida, which either means the river itself, or the all-important Azumabashi bridge which doubles as the Field of Desires in every episode. Sara exists in the same nebulous space that the boys use to capture shirikodama from kappa zombies created by Reo and Mabu. Her prince (Keppi) exists in the space between love and desire — pointing to a plane of existence that doesn’t favor one or the other but possibly both.
We’ll likely receive a lot more context on this and Sara’s place in the series as Sarazanmai continues, but this is a big hint regarding her existence and role.