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This Week in Anime - What the Hell is Happening in Sarazanmai?




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#Synaesthesia



Joined: 30 Jan 2019
Posts: 31
PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 2:26 pm Reply with quote
This show reminds me of when I watched flcl for the first time 18 years ago.. confused but thoroughly entertained. I love it.

also, I NEED that "butt" plate, kero.
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ThatGuyWhoLikesThings



Joined: 04 Jul 2013
Posts: 559
PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:10 pm Reply with quote
I watched the first 15 minutes of episode 1 and dropped it without remorse. Unfunny jokes, lame and gross shock value, no emotion whatsoever in spite of the incredibly flashy visuals and direction. And yet the show demands I be invested enough to try and decipher the nonsense it throws at me from minute one without actually giving me a reason to. It was my first Ikuhara show, but if they're all like this (which I'm told they are) I see I wasn't missing much. I can appreciate thematically ambitious stories with plenty of symbolism, one of my favorite works of fiction ever (Umineko) is exactly that, but this isn't how you do it.
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AholePony



Joined: 04 Jun 2015
Posts: 281
Location: Arizona
PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:49 pm Reply with quote
ThatGuyWhoLikesThings wrote:
It was my first Ikuhara show, but if they're all like this (which I'm told they are) I see I wasn't missing much. I can appreciate thematically ambitious stories with plenty of symbolism, one of my favorite works of fiction ever (Umineko) is exactly that, but this isn't how you do it.


So far I feel like this is the most self-indulgent Ikuhara work. They're all pretty similar to this but I also feel like Sarazanmai is really lacking in substance beyond the typical symbolism expected. I hope the plot starts to pick up soon.
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BaronViolet



Joined: 27 May 2018
Posts: 67
PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 6:15 pm Reply with quote
You know patience is a virtue right or do you prefer typical high school BS or stupid Isekoi crap?
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dm
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Joined: 24 Sep 2010
Posts: 390
PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 6:19 pm Reply with quote
I'm enjoying this series tremendously. I suppose years of watching anime (or maybe having been a parent) has desensitized me to the allegedly shocking and gross bits that people keep taking about. It's got great animation, and lovely visuals, it doesn't seem to be being obscurantist (not to pick on ThatGuyWhoLikesThings, but this show just doesn't seem that complicated).

So far, I think Penguindrum is my favorite Ikuhara work (the Princess of the Crystal's transformation sequence works better for me than the Otter Police or Utena's stair climbing).

I want a Sara figure (or Kazuki-as-Sara figure).


Last edited by dm on Tue Apr 30, 2019 6:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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ThatGuyWhoLikesThings



Joined: 04 Jul 2013
Posts: 559
PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 6:26 pm Reply with quote
BaronViolet wrote:
You know patience is a virtue right or do you prefer typical high school BS or stupid Isekoi crap?


I should not have to force myself to sit through entertainment that did nothing but annoy me on the off chance it has something later down the line that appeals to me. If it does, then perhaps I'll revisit it.

And fwiw, yes, there are a number of isekai that did a far better job at grabbing my attention within it's first episode. None of which are actually airing right now, but that's beside the point.

dm wrote:
it doesn't seem to be being obscurantist (not to pick on ThatGuyWhoLikesThings, but this show just doesn't seem that complicated).


I don't think it's very complicated at all, at least not the plot. That at least is reasonably straightforward. Two kids knock down a statue, they piss off a kappa, they get turned into kappas. It's all the purposefully nonsensical and self-important motifs and imagery that rubbed me the wrong way.
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Takkun4343



Joined: 19 Jul 2007
Posts: 792
Location: Gahanna, Ohio
PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:14 pm Reply with quote
dm wrote:
the Princess of the Crystal

That may technically be her name, but even so, I will refer to her as Penguinhat Himari until the day I die.
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King Pickle the Wise



Joined: 21 Apr 2019
Posts: 24
PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:21 pm Reply with quote
ThatGuyWhoLikesThings wrote:
I watched the first 15 minutes of episode 1 and dropped it without remorse. Unfunny jokes, lame and gross shock value, no emotion whatsoever in spite of the incredibly flashy visuals and direction. And yet the show demands I be invested enough to try and decipher the nonsense it throws at me from minute one without actually giving me a reason to. It was my first Ikuhara show, but if they're all like this (which I'm told they are) I see I wasn't missing much. I can appreciate thematically ambitious stories with plenty of symbolism, one of my favorite works of fiction ever (Umineko) is exactly that, but this isn't how you do it.


Mawaru Penguindrum is generally considered Ikuhara's best work, maybe because it's fairly different from the others and not as convoluted. That might be worth checking out if you didn't like Sarazanmai. So far I don't like Sarazanmai anywhere near as much as Penguindrum.
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Roxas4ever
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Joined: 25 Nov 2006
Posts: 149
PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:40 pm Reply with quote
King Pickle the Wise wrote:
Mawaru Penguindrum is generally considered Ikuhara's best work, maybe because it's fairly different from the others and not as convoluted. That might be worth checking out if you didn't like Sarazanmai. So far I don't like Sarazanmai anywhere near as much as Penguindrum.


Is it really? I mean, it's my favorite Ikuhara work (it also happens to be the first of his shows I saw), but I feel like most Ikuhara fans (and anime fans in general) think Utena is the best. I co-run an Ikuhara panel at Anime Detour every year, and the first year we ran our panel, most of the audience members actively hated Mawaru Penguindrum. It was awkward, because us panelists were sitting up front as the Takakura siblings (penguins and all) and we just had to sort of let the audience members vent at us for a good portion of the hour.

I agree, though, that Penguindrum has a very different feel from his other works. It definitely does the least with gender and sexuality (two of Ikuhara's favorite topics), and is the only one that borrows heavily from another story (Night on the Galactic Railroad).
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Denys Lalande



Joined: 28 Jan 2018
Posts: 37
PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 9:17 pm Reply with quote
All I can think of where this show is concerned is: "African Conflict Butt-Diamonds".

I guess that's the next season....
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King Pickle the Wise



Joined: 21 Apr 2019
Posts: 24
PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2019 3:04 am Reply with quote
Roxas4ever wrote:
Is it really? I mean, it's my favorite Ikuhara work (it also happens to be the first of his shows I saw), but I feel like most Ikuhara fans (and anime fans in general) think Utena is the best. I co-run an Ikuhara panel at Anime Detour every year, and the first year we ran our panel, most of the audience members actively hated Mawaru Penguindrum. It was awkward, because us panelists were sitting up front as the Takakura siblings (penguins and all) and we just had to sort of let the audience members vent at us for a good portion of the hour.


Well, it is if you go off the disk sales numbers. But that would be what the original Japanese fanbase thinks and not so much an American convention panel. But personally I agree with the sales numbers too that I like Penguindrum the most. Smile
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Scalfin



Joined: 18 May 2008
Posts: 202
PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2019 8:49 am Reply with quote
Roxas4ever wrote:
King Pickle the Wise wrote:
Mawaru Penguindrum is generally considered Ikuhara's best work, maybe because it's fairly different from the others and not as convoluted. That might be worth checking out if you didn't like Sarazanmai. So far I don't like Sarazanmai anywhere near as much as Penguindrum.


Is it really? I mean, it's my favorite Ikuhara work (it also happens to be the first of his shows I saw), but I feel like most Ikuhara fans (and anime fans in general) think Utena is the best. I co-run an Ikuhara panel at Anime Detour every year, and the first year we ran our panel, most of the audience members actively hated Mawaru Penguindrum. It was awkward, because us panelists were sitting up front as the Takakura siblings (penguins and all) and we just had to sort of let the audience members vent at us for a good portion of the hour.

I agree, though, that Penguindrum has a very different feel from his other works. It definitely does the least with gender and sexuality (two of Ikuhara's favorite topics), and is the only one that borrows heavily from another story (Night on the Galactic Railroad).


Utena is liminal because it was Ikuhara adapting a work rather than creating it whole cloth. He did write the movie, but that's generally regarded as "infamous."

Overall, that seems to be a throughline of critical reception to his work, that he's best when reined in by another writer and completely bonkers when trusted with plot, and has a bit the same suspicions as Evangelion when it comes to symbolic-seeming stuff.
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lossthief



Joined: 14 Dec 2012
Posts: 543
PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2019 9:13 am Reply with quote
Scalfin wrote:


Utena is liminal because it was Ikuhara adapting a work rather than creating it whole cloth. He did write the movie, but that's generally regarded as "infamous."

Overall, that seems to be a throughline of critical reception to his work, that he's best when reined in by another writer and completely bonkers when trusted with plot, and has a bit the same suspicions as Evangelion when it comes to symbolic-seeming stuff.


Not sure where you got the impression Utena is an adaptation of anything. The anime and manga were produced simultaneously, not as an original work and adaptation. They also follow pretty radically different story and character arcs with vastly different endings.


As for Sarazanmai, I've been really enjoying it so far, but the early episode of any Ikuhara show are always a guessing game of trying to figure out where all this is going, and I've been keeping my theories close to the chest so I can just sit and enjoy the ride. My only real demand is that Toi and Kazuki go on another impromtu date at some point. I just think they're cute together.
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Usagi-kun



Joined: 03 Jul 2013
Posts: 852
Location: Nashville, TN
PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2019 11:54 pm Reply with quote
AholePony wrote:


So far I feel like this is the most self-indulgent Ikuhara work. They're all pretty similar to this but I also feel like Sarazanmai is really lacking in substance beyond the typical symbolism expected. I hope the plot starts to pick up soon.


Only 11 episodes scares me. I do not feel attached to the characters yet and this is a first for me as an Ikuhara show. Still, I know all the layers will unravel at the end, because again it is an Ikuhara show. I agree we haven't reached anywhere near the core and I am worried there will not be enough time, although Yuri Kuma did a remarkable job of doing this and feeling like it lasted much longer.

I did pre-order the butt plate, though. Of course I did. How could you not??
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Agent355



Joined: 12 Dec 2008
Posts: 4529
Location: Crackberry in hand, thumbs at the ready...
PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 4:24 am Reply with quote
Quote:
I know there's a prequel manga where they raise Sara as their adopted daughter, so she's definitely wrapped up in the otters' scheme somehow. But yeah, there are many open questions whose answers I'm sure will be appropriately tragic.

I did *not* know that! Interesting!

I am definitely liking this show better than Yuri Kuma Arashi, which I gave up on. I appreciate that it sexualizes it's underage leads a whole lot less (the transformations/butt stuff is there, sure, but so far that's been depicted with mostly symbolism and silhouettes and no one is licking honey off anyone else in the OP).

Getting a reference to selling marijuana in an anime is way more impressive than butts, I agree.
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