Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru – 05

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The curse of the painting is just that this guy has terrible taste in art

This is the wrap-up of the first two-parter mystery! I like where things are going with this show, and I actually wish the series was longer so we’d get more mysteries like this. We’re not even halfway through and I’m already dreading the fact that it will end at some point. Oh Sakurako-san, you really don’t understand what it feels like for those left behind…!


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Mold: not the best way to die, that’s for sure

So it turns out there’s no curse, Fujioka’s family is just dumb and kinda poor. I figured he wanted to fake his death since he owed money somehow. I didn’t think he’d actually die to avoid paying up. I mean, faking your death is crazy but at least it’s the level of crazy where you’re achieving your goal (not paying debts) and still staying alive. Committing suicide is never a good game plan because, obviously, you die. It’s quite frightening to think that he almost killed himself over a problem that could have been fixed so easily. Once his wife learned the truth, she simply suggested downsizing. She didn’t get mad at him or decide to leave him…she proposed a perfect solution to all of her husband’s doubts. Something that he thought was worth dying over moments before became a non-issue just like that. Now, if only he had told her in the first place!

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A loving wife and loyal long-lost friend.

Although the whole suicide thing seemed like a bit of an extreme turn (with an AXE TO THE LEG of all things…), I liked the way the mystery solving panned out. I like how it felt like it was mostly concluded once the painting mold was revealed, but you just knew there was something missing. I thought the cursed painting and cursed dog were ruses to throw off what was really going on, but it turns out it was actually just the painting. That’s two times in a row a painting has been the key to solving a mystery! As several of you guessed last week, the painting was poisonous. Or rather, the mold growing on the painting was poisonous. However, this was something Fujioka was totally unaware of, so we see his real reaction instead of his poker face. He honestly had no clue this was killing him, and could have potentially harmed his daughter too.

It all ties in with the message that once you become so absorbed in your own thoughts, you don’t think about the thoughts of others. He was only thinking about himself when he planned his suicide – not his daughter or his wife. He didn’t think for a second what kind of pain they’d feel after his death. Especially suicide, which has such negative connotations. It reminds me of how Yuriko didn’t want to believe her grandma committed suicide because it was just such a horrible way for her to go out. It often implies they were suffering and no one noticed in time to help them, or that they were a weak person. Suicide brings feelings of personal guilt, like the family should have been able to stop it. Death is already a complicated grieving process, but mourning the loss of someone who willingly took their life makes it even more so.

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All the mysteries seem to be related through death and how it affects those left behind, especially the mystery surrounding Sakurako and Soutarou. Even Shoutarou has a dead father he thinks about from time to time. I wouldn’t be surprised if even the dog has a dead relative at this point. Oh and by the way, Sakurako took in the dog because of course she did. They worked in a reason for it to happen perfectly too. On this positive note, the episode ends with everyone having a BBQ while giving us happy updates about Ii-cha, Yuriko, and Fujioka and his wife. It’s cute, but there’s the ever-looming presence of this weird butterfly symbolism going on.

Sakurako notes that they never found out what doofus calling themselves a painting appraiser told Fujioka to show his whole family this incredibly toxic painting. That should be something an expert on paintings should be able to figure out…I would hope Based on all the butterfly imagery, we may be in for an overarching story arc where this mystery man/woman is a villain pushing others to their mental limits until they break down or die. Villain may be a bit of strong word for this kind of show, but they certainly aren’t a friend of Sakurako. Although, that’s not to say she might not know them already…

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Fedoras strike again!


A neuroscience graduate, black belt, and all-around nerd. You'll either find me in my lab or curled up in my rilakkuma kigurumi watching anime.
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6 Responses to “Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru – 05”

  1. BlackBriar says:

    So my earlier theory on cause of death of the previous owners hit the mark halfway. It was paint based poisoning but of the arsenic variety instead of lead. And arsenic is nasty stuff. Personally, I don’t like lingering around paint that gives off a strong, obvious odor and I’ve heard that if left unchecked, some can even cause cancer.

    The painting is more than a century old. Odds are its effects are stronger than any recently made counterpart thanks to incubation. I’d burn it the moment I understood it was hazardous. Out of curiosity, it begs to question that if the scent was being concentrated in a closed up room, what would’ve happened if a fire suddenly burst in there.

    Fujioka’s plan was so insanely stupid I had to pause and question how badly his mental state was affected by this hand-me-down superstition. I guess the anxiety from that and the high probability of not being able to provide as a family man was so bad it robbed the majority of his common sense. He’s lucky his wife gave him a reality check. Then again, he was also being pushed and it’s clear the one responsible will be a recurring presence in the series. Only a matter of time before an encounter with Sakurako.

    A no-brainer Sakurako would take the dog in even though he’s more attached to her than the other way around. I’ll admit, it’s a cute looking breed.

    It’s cute, but there’s the ever-looming presence of this weird butterfly symbolism going on.

    I’m curious on that becoming n rising trend in anime. Last season’s Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace had a lot of butterfly symbolism as well.

    • Overcooled says:

      I would have been impressed if someone had guessed the EXACT type of poison and mold that was killing them. I don’t know how Sakurako memorizes so much.

      He was really being ridiculous. Suicide over some debt? And apparently the debt wasn’t that bad since they could downsize to an apartment and not have to sell all their organs to survive.

      I should keep a list of all the shows with butterfly symbolism because man, there are a lot. Ranpo Kitan is probably the most recent.

  2. Highway says:

    Maybe it’s just western sensibilities here, but as dumbass husband is sitting there spilling his secrets with the blood out of his artery, I’m thinking that this wife would be planning on how to contact a lawyer and get out of her marriage to this guy. “I didn’t tell you we were broke, and I was going to knock myself off for the insurance money, but now I want to stay with you!” Yeaaaaaah. And to try his faked suicide gambit while the rest of them are still there? WTF??? Dude, wait a couple days!

    Of course, I was also thinking that the guy he talked to while picking up the cake was the mob loan shark who was telling him how to get out of his debt by killing himself. But the epilogue would seem to have short-circuited that.

    And seriously, I know you guys like it (for some unfathomable reason), but no more stupid Magical Glove Forensic Science transformation sequence.

    • Overcooled says:

      I was pretty surprised everyone was so darn nice to him. His wife forgave him immediately (I would have run for the hills as you said) and his “friend” who is just a vague acquaintance totally carried him to an ambulance after finding out he was being used. Yikes.

      It looks like fedora butterfly guy is the overarching villain here. I think he’s probably also the one who supplied drugs to the killer of Ii-cha’s mom.

      Haha, I’m pretty I’m the only one who *actually* likes it so you’re not suffering alone!

  3. HannoX says:

    I thought poor genes for the men in his family was probably behind all the early deaths and the men in his family being “cursed.”

    So the paint was why the painting was cursed. And arsenic is very nasty stuff. It accumulates in the body so just minor exposures over time can build up to a fatal dose.

    But now a big question: “Why did the painting “expert” want Fujioka to expose his daughter to the painting?” Clearly, he wants the daughter to die as well, but why? Is he related to Fujioka somehow and there’s a big family inheritance (perhaps from a distant relative Fujioka doesn’t know about) that he wants to eliminate other heirs to? Or does he just want the baby to get sick hoping the family (or Fujioka’s widow) would then move out of the house because there’s something about the house or the land it sits on that makes it valuable?

    I expect who the expert is and his motives will be revealed in the course of the show.

    • Overcooled says:

      Yeah, with that accumulation it must have really been starting to affect him. I can see how continued exposure could kill him…and his past family members.

      I assumed the “expert” is also this fedora butterfly evil guy and he just likes seeing people suffer and die. Which is…a pretty bad motive. Since they seem to always bring up old mysteries, I’m sure the unsolved aspect of the painting “expert” will be brought up again later.

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