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Kunihiko Ikuhara's Sarazanmai Anime Reveals Story Summary, Character Designs

posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
Story for April anime centers on 3 middle-school students turned into kappa, tasked with finding zombie shirikodama

A stage presentation at the Animate Girls Festival 2018 event for Kunihiko Ikuhara's original television anime project Sarazanmai revealed the show's story summary and character designs on Sunday.

The stage is Asakusa.
One day, three second-year middle school students — Kazuki Yasaka, Toi Kuji, and Enta Jinai — meet a kappa-like creature named Keppi, who is the self-proclaimed heir to the throne of Kappa Kingdom. Keppi forcibly takes the students' shirikodama (a mythical organ kappa steal through a person's anus) and they are transformed into kappa. Keppi informs them, "If you want to return to your former selves, you need to connect in 'that way' and you must bring me the shirikodama of zombies." Will the three boys be able to connect and take the shirikodama of zombies?
At the same time, two policemen, Reo Niiboshi and Mabu Akutsu, try to do something at the police box where they are stationed.

The anime stars:

Ayumu Murase as Kazuki Yasaka, a second-year middle school student. He used to love soccer and used to have a bright personality, but now he's obsessed with "that."

Kouki Uchiyama as Toi Kuji, a second-year middle school student who transferred into Kazuki's class. Due to a nasty rumor, he is isolated from the rest of the class.

Shun Horie as Enta Jinai, Kazuki's childhood friend. When they were in a soccer club together, they were called the "Golden Combo."

Junichi Suwabe as Keppi, a kappa-like creature who calls itself the heir to the throne of the Kappa Kingdom. When it pulls out humans' shirikodama, they turn into kappa.

Mamoru Miyano as Reo Niiboshi, a policeman who works at a policebox, and Mabu's partner.

Yoshimasa Hosoya as Mabu Akutsu, a policeman who works at a policebox, and Reo's partner.

The stage event also revealed that the anime will have a radio program titled "Prezanmai" starting in January featuring Junichi Suwabe and Ikuhara. The staff have also launched a Twitter account for the characters Reo and Mabu that will update "almost" every day through March 31.

Ikuhara is directing the series and, along with Teruko Utsumi, is overseeing the series scripts. Nobuyuki Takeuchi (Fireworks) is serving as chief director. Migi is providing the original character designs and Kayoko Ishikawa is adapting the designs for animation and serving as chief animation director. Katsunori Shibata (Penguindrum) and Maimu Matsushima are credited with conceptual design. Ayaka Fujii (FLCL Alternative, Kill la Kill) is handling the background art with Studio Pablo and Yukari Hashimoto (Penguindrum, Yuri Kuma Arashi) is composing the music.

The studios MAPPA (Yuri!!! on Ice, In This Corner of the World, Rage of Bahamut Genesis) and Lapin Track (Yuri Kuma Arashi) are producing the series. "Ikunirappa" is credited with the original story; the original story of Ikuhara's earlier Yuri Kuma Arashi anime was similarly credited to "Ikunigomamonaka."

The anime will premiere in April 2019 and will air on Fuji TV's Noitamina programming block.

A spinoff manga titled Reo to Mabu: Futari wa Sarazanmai (Reo and Mabu: We are Sarazanmai) launched in Gentosha's Rutile magazine on May 22. Gentosha is publishing Rutile in odd-numbered months. The sister web comic site "Rutile Sweet" is publishing the manga in even-numbered months. Misaki Saitō is drawing the manga (manga image previewed below). The spinoff tells "another story" that links to the anime, chronicling the heartwarming daily life of Reo and Mabu.

Ikuhara is perhaps best known as the director of the Revolutionary Girl Utena anime, a 1997 series he co-created with the Be-PaPas creative group, which consisted of him, writer Yoji Enokido, animator and character designer Hasegawa Shinya, manga creator Chiho Saitō, and producer Yūichirō Oguro. Before Revolutionary Girl Utena, he worked at Toei Animation, where he directed Sailor Moon R, S and SuperS. After Revolutionary Girl Utena, he did not direct another anime series until Mawaru Penguindrum in 2011. Until now, his most recent directorial work is Yuri Kuma Arashi in 2015.

Sources: Niconico livestream, Sarazanmai anime's website, Comic Natalie


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