I’ve seen this question asked fairly frequently as Wonder Egg Priority has continued to air. Sawaki, who is protagonist Ai Ohto’s teacher and visits her house frequently, hasn’t technically done anything wrong. Even in the series’ latest episode, his desire to date Ai’s mother (which is his most egregious action thus far) isn’t bad per se. Most of Sawaki’s actions are framed as suspect, but could still be written off as over-caution or a negative bias on Ai’s part due to his presence in Koito Nanase’s life (and, presumably, her death).
Although Kunihiko Ikuhara isn’t involved in Wonder Egg Priority‘s production, his influence is present throughout the series. I wanted to take the time to talk a bit about Ikuhara characters found at schools and how Wonder Egg Priority is framing Sawaki in a very specific way.
Spoilers for Revolutionary Girl Utena, Mawaru Penguindrum, and Yuri Kuma Arashi.
I was on board with Sarazanmai as soon as I heard it existed. If Kunihiko Ikuhara (Sailor Moon S, Revolutionary Girl Utena, Mawaru Penguindrum, Yuri Kuma Arashi) is attached to a project, it’s a guarantee that I will not only watch it, but likely have a lot to say about it because he’s a director who never does anything without something specific to say. Sarazanmai is no different.
That being said, Sarazanmai is (spoilers, but not really if you’ve read anything on this blog ever) the lowest-ranked Ikuhara series on this decade list. A lot of it is an inherent course-correction against recency bias. I mentioned this in the Honorable Mentions post when talking about Shoujo Kageki Revue Starlight, but it’s more difficult to rate more recent series with less time between an initial viewing and this write-up, as well as less time to rewatch it.
My first foray into anime blogging was a Cardcaptor Sakura Angelfire fan site. I had recently discovered the internet — thanks, in part, to Sailor Moon — and with that discovery came the subsequent unearthing of Cardcaptor Sakura, not to be confused with Cardcaptors, since the latter was, according to other fan sites, an abomination and a tragedy.
I didn’t know this myself until I managed to buy a few VHS tapes and DVDs of the original, and didn’t take a hard line on it one way or the other. The way I saw it then (and still see it to this day) was that Cardcaptors had at least introduced me to Cardcaptor Sakura. It may not have been very good, but it was an important gateway. I couldn’t bring myself to fully hate it. Yet, upon discovering the original, I felt compelled to write about it.
The site was about as awful as any free Angelfire site of the early aughts. It was pale pink with dark pink and white accents. The homepage autoplayed a midi version of the Cardcaptor Sakura opening, “Catch You, Catch Me.” It had episode writeups of both Cardcaptors and Cardcaptor Sakura, organized in airing order, where I would give my opinions on each episode that I had seen.
I never worried about whether my opinion was valid or meaningful in any way. I simply wrote.