chikai kuji

You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed — Sarazanmai Episode 9

“To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world….”

-The fox to the little prince, The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

I return to The Little Prince a lot as a literary reference or frame through which to view other media. Its lessons are so simple and plainly said, yet remarkably difficult to achieve in life. Similarly, Kunihiko Ikuhara (who is also a fan of The Little Prince) uses seemingly-complex visual metaphors or specific visual and auditory languages to tell what are ultimately simple, but no less powerful, emotional narratives.

The shift between child to adult — and simple but important things adults may miss due to societal constraints or expectations — is the most-discussed lesson of The Little Prince, yet the one I was always interested in was that of connections. Or as the fox says to the little prince, “taming.”* What makes life bearable and meaningful is often found in relationships with others or connections, as Sarazanmai would say, and this is the most powerful force in existence, divine even.

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Let’s meet again at Azumabashi, the field of desires — Sarazanmai Episode 8

Sarazanmai‘s eighth episode breaks the pattern of episodes prior. There is no “Kawausoiya” and no trio singing on the otherworldly version of Azumabashi trying to capture a kappa zombie’s shirikodama.

Yet, Azumabashi bridge — the location of Sarazanmai‘s field of desires — still plays a large and similar role in this episode. It connects people.

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You and I are supposed to be connected — Sarazanmai Episode 5

“No one can find out (about this secret)”

“Go grab it!”

“You and I are supposed to be connected.”

-lyrics from the kappa’s song at the Field of Desires, Sarazanmai

There’s a lot of nuance in “supposed to be” or “should be.” “Supposed to be” or “should be” says that something is not right. Something should exist that does not. Should implies obligation, suggestion, or a likely event.

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