Sasami-san@Ganbaranai – 11

sasami11

Still on their class trip, Sasami (using Tama) tries to become closer friends with Edogawa Jou, who believes she has ulterior motives. As they spend more time together, Kagami grows depressed. On the night of the summer festival, she storms off, and Sasami chases her. Kagami believes she’s broken because she isn’t happy about Sasami being friends with Jou, but Sasami assures her its a very human way to act. Switching to Tsurugi’s body, Sasami enjoys the fireworks with her brother on the beach.

This was a quiet, pleasant little episode before the finale in which Sasami continues her use of Tama to experience more of normal high school girl existence, which includes class trips. Ironically, while she’s striving for an ordinary life free of the burdens of her previous station as vessel of Amaterasu’s power, the friends she’s made thus far are anything but normal. Kagami is still coming to grips with what being a friend means (as opposed to just a “practice doll”), while Edogawa Jou sees everyone as either enemies or servants (and to her, a lover goes in the latter category).

Frankly, it’s okay that Kagami and Jou are so weird. We also like how being with Sasami has made Kagami so much more human, as she expresses jealousy and lonliness. Kagami has grown quite a bit right along with Sasami. Jou seems far denser, as everything has a meaning other than its simplest interpretation to her, but we enjoyed hearing her less-aloof servants (not friends of course!) Foxie and Babysitter try to steer her right, even if they don’t always succeed. She may consider herself Sasami’s arch-nemesis (and she may yet prove why in the finale), but for now, Sasami (and Tama) are fine with being her friend too.


Rating: 7 (Very Good)

Stray Observations:

  • We liked how Sasami’s trip was documented via strange postcards that her mom and Micchan recieve.
  • Edogawa doesn’t have a dick anymore. Good for her!
Advertisements

Sasami-san@Ganbaranai – 09

sasami9

The present Sasami, who inhabits Juju, is about to be squeezed to death by the killing stone golem, when she’s transported back to when she’s just a young girl. Tsurugi and Juju are waiting for her, and they begin traveling to the past, where mother and daughter work out their various regrets. When Sasami declares with conviction she no longer wants to be a shrine maiden, Juju accepts it. With no more regret, they return to the golem fight and with Micchan’s help, defeat it. Back in the present, Juju emerges from the obese Sasami, and Tsurugi is relieved of Amaterasu’s power. Student council president and evil occult society Arahabaki’s leader, Edogawa Jou, aims to steal the residual power from Sasami and rule the world with it.

When your opponent draws its power from regrets you have about the past, but you’re able to travel through time with the help of Tsurugi, well, it’s time to start time-traveling! It’s also an opportunity to bury the hatchet with her mother Juju, and exchange fresh insights about each other. Each time they bounce to also educates us. When Sasami and Kamiomi first flee the shrine, she still feels immensely guilty, but her brother’s ridiculous behavior kept her spirits up. When her mom tore up a picture Sasami drew, she was trying to toughen her, but still taped it back together and framed it. And we can’t help but admire Juju’s very direct manner of confessing to the guy she loves: by chasing him through the forest as if they were at battle. And lastly, Juju accepting Sasami’s choice once she realizes it was made with conviction, not on a whim.

On the tour of her and Sasami’s past, Juju comes to realize that no matter how hard she tried to prepare her daughter, she died too soon, and Sasami wasn’t ready for the weight placed upon her. She initially chalked up Sasami’s un-motivation to being spoiled rotten, but Sasami makes this more about just her and the normal life she wants. She thinks its time to give the power back to the gods and have faith that they’ll learn and adapt and be able to manage things without human intervention. It’s a plan that’s not without risk, but Tsurugi is willing to give it a try. Only immediately after Sasami’s problem is solved, a new one shows up: Arahabaki are just the kind of people Juju feared would wreak havoc if left unchecked. Sasami’s made her bed; now she has to lie in it.


Rating: 8 (Great)

Sasami-san@Ganbaranai – 08

sasami8

Having grown incredibly corpulent as a result of an alteration by the myriad gods, Sasami seals herself in an Ama-no-Iwato (heavenly rock cave). Kamiomi, Kagami, and Tama attempt to penetrate it to see what’s eating her, but she deflects them with a barrage of weaponry. Tsurugi returns from Yomi by using the Ame-no-Murakumo, and sends Sasami into the past. In this time, Sasami witnesses her mother fight for a better world to pass on to her, while she goofs off downtown and contracts an illness that turns out to be possession by Tamamo-no-Mae ( a nine-tailed fox), who attacks her mother with a sessho-seki (killing stone golem) and is aware of the preent-day Sasami’s presence.

We’re almost embarrassed to note that most of our knowledge of Japanese mythology is coming from this series as we watch it, so we have no idea how faithfully they’re portraying it. Our gross ignorance aside, we greatly enjoyed this episode, in which Sasami is the victim of an alteration rather than the lucky recipient, has her barrier besieged by her brother and the Yagami sisters, and is sent to the past by Tsurugi to resolve it. We thought we’d seen the last of her mother Juju-sama after her defeat last week, but she returns here in her prime, as a woman torn between being a dutiful shrine maiden and a loving, caring mother. She cannot be both, but she still tries.

Seeing her mom in this time, still alive and non-evil, working so hard to make the world a better place for her, Sasami can’t help but feel guilt for what she amounted to. She sees what she did – casting away her duty as her mother’s relief – as a betrayal, and she doesn’t feel great about it. But at the same time, her mother longed to be the normal human mother Sasami wanted her to be. This week we’re also introduced to Micchan, a girl who has been spirited away and forgotten her name and family (she’s even dressed kinda like Chihiro!), who feels she and Sasami are both insecure by the superior capability and excellence around them. And as we know, Sasami ultimately gave up.


Rating: 8 (Great)