Sasami-san@Ganbaranai – 06

Sasami-san at Ganbaranai 06 (12)

Where did she learn how to do that?

Sasami-san@Ganbaranai is a show that has had its ups and downs, to put it mildly. The previous episode was so dreadfully boring that I took a cop out by reading a translation of the light novel I had purchased. I didn’t really feel the need to do so for this episode, because a lot of exciting things did happen, especially toward the end. Plus, the rest of the novel I had read hadn’t proved to be quite as interesting anyway.

Sasami-san at Ganbaranai 06 a (5)

I like that Sasami-san keeps coming back to its main theme, the struggles of an unmotivated and abused kid in a world that demands that she be hyper-motivated. Now that Sasami’s father’s attempt at pulling her back in was stopped, it was her mother’s turn, with her first real appearance before the credits of this episode. It was a wonderfully poignant cold open. We hadn’t been told much at all about Sasami’s mother by that point, so it connected at a basic level, the sadness of any child losing her parent, which Shaft did just fine at. Their experience with lighting effects and filters tends to pay off in scenes like that; the sometimes blurry flickering lights gave Sasami’s memory the appropriate dreamy and dreary feel. I certainly felt something for Sasami there.

Sasami-san at Ganbaranai 06 (6)

Sucks to have died before getting to do that with one’s kid.

Sasami’s family life is meant to reflect certain extremely niche religious practices I guess, but it also reminds of dominating and traditional families in general, with Sasami’s parents the stereotypically strict and controlling Asian ones. In her mother’s case, a dead parent. Or maybe it’s more accurate to say, the memories of a dead parent. In anime, the mother can come back as she did here, but in real life all we have are our malleable memories, and I think the depiction of Sasami’s mother in this episode was meant to bring that up. That is, I found her to be a contradictory character, her behavior seeming to do a complete 180 after the reveal at the Italian restaurant.

Before the reveal, she was a kind and sympathetic mother, apologetic for her failings as a parent when she was alive and happy to make up for lost time by actually having fun with her daughter. This was the mother that Sasami wished she had, and perhaps how she chose to remember her. Upon revealing her intentions in the restaurant, her mother was harsh and controlling, disapproving of Sasami’s hedonistic lifestyle. She was abusive to her and her friends, caring only that Sasami follow her footsteps. There was no discernible concern for her feelings. This was probably more like what she was like when alive. We might want to remember our parents as good people, but, well, sometimes they’re not.

Sasami-san at Ganbaranai 06 (14)

And sometimes they’re ghosts. Or zombies.

Of course, Sasami’s mother is no less a victim compared to Sasami here, as she was also cursed to being born into this incestuous family and forced to carry a child with her brother. It’s depressingly believable that someone so terribly abused by her institution is its most staunch (and violent) supporter. I’m not sure how intended it was, but Sasami-san clearly has something to say about the dangers of dogma and those who preach it. This being fiction, the parents’ religion actually determines the future of mankind (!!) because it’s based on reality (!!!!), but even for that, it’s wrong to indoctrinate and abuse a child.

Countering Sasami’s traditionalist parents are the progressive Yagami sisters. They act as various outside influences, such as the teacher who fills her head with all sorts of new ideas that seem unthinkable at home. Unfortunately, being a parent generally means that one can prevent such influences from getting to one’s daughter, which Sasami’s mother accomplished in her own way. It was very unexpected that a (dead) human like her would win against gods, but she pulled it off in some unfortunately short but well directed action scenes.

Sasami-san at Ganbaranai 06 a (3)

Impressive bit of fighting here. Hope some of that badassery rubbed off on her daughter.

Offing the older Yagami sisters so quickly and unceremoniously was unexpected, and I’m excited to see what struggles all 3 will have to go through to save Sasami. They say that coming back from the dead is against the rules, so Tsurugi has her work cut out for her. Sounds like she’s no friend of whoever is in charge of the afterlife, though I suspect that that person will be critical for bringing her back to the world of the living, like with Sasami’s mother. Kagami gets to fall back on the “she’s a robot, lol” excuse to bring her back, though I hope it’s more than that. Regardless of the means, Sasami really needs them alive right now; I don’t see her getting out of this pickle without their help. Or maybe she will; I have no idea what’s coming next out of this show. That’s not a bad thing. I think.

Sasami-san at Ganbaranai 06 (1)

Who will take care of Meat-chan now? ;_;


A math/science geek and a self-dubbed cynical optimist. I don't care if it's deep, if it can make me feel something or laugh, it's fine in my book. @lvlln
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8 Responses to “Sasami-san@Ganbaranai – 06”

  1. Highway says:

    I feel bad noone’s commenting on your post. I’m still watching Sasami-san, and thought this episode was interesting, and also liked that it was more of a story that could continue.

    But other than that, I don’t know if there’s much I have to contribute about this show. The mythology and history references go right over my head, and I gotta say I’m not a huge fan of fighting shows.

    • lvlln says:

      What mythology references I get, I get thanks to having played Okami, which was basically Zelda but with a Shintoism-based story. Amaterasu was actually the player character in that game, in the form of a wolf. I believe this was a play on words, “Okami” meaning both wolf and god.

      Best Zelda-type game I’ve played, including the Zeldas and Metroid Primes and some Castlevanias.

    • Restia says:

      I just don’t have anything the comment about really XD
      The episode was alright, Sasami’s mom was pretty funny, up until she turned into a zombie and started smacking the Yagami sisters around.

      I know quite a bit of shinto from Touhou, various mangas that have shinto in them, and some personal research kaka

  2. Liza says:

    The mom thing was very…interesting I guess? I wasn’t expecting Sasami’s mom to be all, “RETURN TO YOUR TRAINING!”

    It was sweet of the sisters to try to save Sasami(although they did fail at it…)

    Although I wonder why the gods didn’t step in to help Sasami? Like aren’t they supposed to try to make her happy? She was incredibly distressed in this episode…

    • lvlln says:

      I think that the other gods simply don’t have the same level of power as Amaterasu and Yamata no Orochi. Then again, they did turn the whole universe chocolate, so they can certainly achieve great things. Maybe the request has to be specific enough that they can all work together. Turning into chocolate may be easier than taking down Mrs. Tsukuyomi.

      • BlackBriar says:

        Sasami’s mother is using means that should be considered taboo by her clan. That sword she has is designed to kill gods so she’ll be tough to be beat. Maybe if Tsurugi was to become complete again by absorbing the parts of her that became her sisters, she’d be strong enough to fight. Right now, she’s a hollow shell devoid of power with her sisters carrying her abilities.

  3. BlackBriar says:

    A good recovery from the last episode. I find the motives and actions of Sasami’s mother to be contradictive and hypocrital. She talks about the safety of mankind yet she uses means from the underworld to continue her ambitions. And if I remember correctly, since they’re religious, her clan is supposed to serve the light, not darkness. Everything she’s done here should have been against the clan’s code. What I don’t like about these kinds of parents is that they’re always pushing their ideals onto their child without concern for their. They’re free to do it to themselves but the child has one life to live and they shouldn’t spend it shouldering their responsibilities.

    The mother’s condition is something that caught my attention. If she was frail at birth and sick most of her life then she shouldn’t have been able to sustain the burden of bearing one child let alone two and have been able to live long enough to teach Sasami any spells. No doubt her weakened body was the result of the increasing sterility from the Tsukuyomi family incest tradition.

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