Kunihiko Ikuhara is back! After his last show Yuri Kuma Arashi entered the annals of history, Ikuhara has once again reared his head with his new show Sarazanmai. While Ikuhara’s shows are typically not money makers, Ikuhara cares about more than just the bottom line, and gives critics the chance to stuff their cheeks with symbolism out the wazoo! If you don’t want to make an ass of yourself and look like a bum, don’t worry, we’ll help you crack the hidden backdoor meanings of Sarazanmai. So take a seat, it’s time for some deep analysis!
- The show opens with the main character, Kazu running, and then wind being swept across his face. This is all a reference to the 2018 anime Run with the Wind, or, Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru, If you watched Mawaru Penguindrum you know that Ikuhara loves opening his shows with explicit references to other anime to make it clear to viewers from the start that they could be watching something else.
- The background characters are all portrayed as stick figures. This symbol, also repeated from Mawaru Penguindrum, reinforces Ikuhara’s notion that the masses are NPCs.
- Sara ends her sentences with the word “dish,” slang for news. Because she does the news broadcasts. Honestly this one’s pretty simple, actually.
- A recurring image in the episode are street signs with the katakana for “A.” These signs, shown in great numbers, are intended to convey endless screaming, which, I mean, big mood.
- The “A” signs are replaced a various points by signs with hearts and otters on them. This suggests that you should counteract your endless screaming by looking at adorable otter videos. Look at how cute these fuckers are.
- Partway through the show the three main character turn into kappa. This is of course a reference to the popular internet slang “kappa,” and indicates that everything from this point onwards is intended ironically and should not be taken seriously.
- The first zombie that the main characters defeat is a giant Amazon box. This is a metaphor for how the show’s programming block, Noitamina, broke free of being streamed exclusive on Amazon prime.
- The show makes continuous references to boxes. All of the main characters desire boxes, and at the episode’s climax a box gets wet. This is a subtle reference to female genitalia. Ikuhara is not above including sex jokes, but he does so only with his trademark careful discretion and class.
Well, that’s the end for now! We’re over the moon about this show so far. Look forward to our posterior articles analyzing the remaining episodes of Sarazanmai.