greek chorus

SARAtto Report! — Sara’s messages in Sarazanmai Episodes 1-2

Prior to the series airing, one of the predictions I made was that Sara Azuma, local idol of Asakusa and one of the faces of Sarazanmai, would end up being the series’ Greek chorus element, similar to the Shadow Girls of Revolutionary Girl Utena or Double H in Mawaru Penguindrum. One of her duties, in addition to being a mysterious, ubiquitous presence in the series — alongside the ㋐ icon — her reports would inform us of that particular episode’s events as well as overarching themes in the series as a whole.

Although it appears she’ll likely step out from behind the screen eventually, like her counterparts in prior Kunihiko Ikuhara series, here’s an update on what Sara’s messages could mean thus far, and how they’ve informed events and themes in Sarazanmai.

The caveat is that — like Shadow Girls and Double H — there may be additional meanings hidden in these messages that won’t become apparent until the end of the series. I’ll most likely end up revisiting these in a master post after Sarazanmai is finished to see how right or how wrong these early assumptions are.

Mild spoilers for the Sarazanmai companion manga, Reo and Mabu ~ Together They’re Sarazanmai.

Full translations of Sara’s reports courtesy of Good Haro, who has compiled them on her blog here.


Mako as the Greek Chorus of Kill la Kill

mako mankanshoku, kill la kill, kill la kill mako cheering

The curtain of Honnouji Academy students parts, leaving the costumed Ryuko Matoi center stage in her battle arena, cheered on by best friend Mako Mankanshoku.

There’s something a bit off about Mako Mankanshoku.

The universe of Kill la Kill takes care in setting its presentation as a stage. Everything appears, six episodes into the performance, to follow a set script. Due to the death of her father, Ryuko Matoi is given a reason for arriving on the stage of Honnouji Academy, and her entrance additionally provides her the means, through Senketsu, to discover what she wants to know. To uncover her father’s mysterious past and the truth behind his demise, she must go through a series of weekly challenges by battling various members of the student body. If this sounds vaguely familiar, then you may have watched Revolutionary Girl Utena, which Kill la Kill is both influenced by and refers to directly. In turn, Revolutionary Girl Utena borrows heavily from classical theater and The Takarazuka Revue (a Japanese, all-female, performance troupe) in both visual presentation and direction. One of the more obvious theatrical elements present in Revolutionary Girl Utena is the inclusion of a Greek chorus in the form of the Shadow Girls, who appear once an episode to act out a parable through silhouettes and shadows.