All of Sarazanmai‘s episode titles have been structured as such: “I want to connect/be connected but I want to [X].” The [X] part of the equation is always negative — I want to lie, I want to take — and could be restructured as such linguistically.
I want to be connected, but I don’t want to tell the truth.
I want to connect, but I don’t want to give.
The translated title of the series’ third episode “I want to connect, but it’s not meant to be” includes the negative directly.
These statements all guide us to one of Sarazanmai‘s key thematic elements, the dichotomy of what the series sets up as “love” versus “desire,” wanting something but not wanting a key part of what that something entails.
“The more boxes you have, the happier you’ll be! Take a Happy Selfie, send it to your special someone, and you’ll be even happier, dish~”
-Sara Azuma, Sarazanmai, Episode 1
Prior to Sarazanmai‘s television debut, director Kunihiko Ikuhara said in an interview with Pash+ “We live in an age where, with our smart phones and social media, connecting with people is a daily activity––so I wanted to ask, what does that all mean? What do we want to do with [those connections]?”
Sarazanmai is the most outwardly direct Ikuhara has been in a series premiere. Even the tagline of Sarazanmai‘s first episode, “I Want to be Connected, But I Want to Lie” neatly bookends the entirety of episode’s fairly self-contained plot. Naturally there’s a lot more to dig into, but in terms of Ikuhara premieres, this one was surprisingly succinct.