Sasami-san@Ganbaranai Episode 2 – Thoughts & Analysis

We know exactly how you feel, Sasami-san.

In this episode we’re presented with an explanation behind last episode‘s madness, hilarious Sasami-san and Yagami Sisters interaction, and cringe-worthy abuse of electronics.

The episode begins with an infodump in the form of Sasami writing a report, and it reveals that her brother, Kamiomi, holds the power of Amaterasu, the Sun goddess who is the most divine of all Gods. There are Gods living inside everything, from pebbles, to buildings, to grass, and all lower Gods want to please Amaterasu, thus change to fit Her desires, causing alterations like the whole world turning into chocolate. Not only that, but this power used to be Sasami’s (she inherited it, which answers where the power came from, but not from whom), but it transferred to her brother for unknown reasons. This changes her brother surveillance from being outright creepy to benevolent, as she’s trying to keep an eye on the dangerous power she used to control.  The episode also mentions the Yagami sisters are also celestial beings.

Connections to Japanese Mythology

With this development, I decided to research a bit into the tale of Amaterasu, as it could give us a deeper insight into the story behind this wacky show. It may come to no surprise, but it happens to be deeply connected to the Imperial Regalia of Japan, which the Yagami sisters are named after, as described in my last post.

Amaterasu, goddess of the Sun, was married to her brother, Tsukuyomi, god of the Moon (note, that’s Sasami and Kamiomi’s surname). They split up after Tsukuyomi killed the food goddess, which supposedly created night and day.

What I suppose Amaterasu looked like after the ordeal below.

However, the most interesting part of this tale involves a third sibling, Amaterasu’s other brother and rival, Susanoo. After losing to her in a match of Mario Kart, he QQ’d so hard he decided to go on a rampage and destroyed her FarmVille crops, dared to say Princess Celestia isn’t best pony, and deleted her main in World of Warcraft. Okay, that’s not exactly what happened, but it’s close enough. All you need to know is that he did unspeakable things and Amaterasu secluded herself in cave. Like a hikikomori.

She was repeatedly persuaded to leave the cave by other gods, as her recluse had caused eternal darkness. What finally got her to leave the cave?  The Yata no Kagami mirror, which was placed on a tree facing the cave. The gods then started a ruckus outside, which made Amaterasu curious, and as soon as she peaked outside, she was enticed by her own reflection (conceited much?). The gods quickly sealed the cave and, cured from depression she agreed to return to her position in heaven.

Art style slightly reminds me of the Opening.

Amaterasu leaving her cave.

It may also be worth mentioning that Kusanagi no Tsurugi sword originally belonged to Susanoo and was gifted to Amaterasu as a gift, while the Yasakani no Magatama jewel was already hers.

What does this seem to tell us? Probably that Kagami Yagami will ultimately be responsible for curing Sasami Tsukuyomi from hikikomori ways and her return to society. This would make a lot of sense, as Kagami is the same age as Sasami-san, and out of everyone, seems to be the closest to being in the same wavelength as Sasami. Also, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out one of the characters from the opening that we have yet to meet represents Susanoo and is responsible for making Sasami-san a shut-in.

Visual Style

Spotlight calls attention to Sasami-san as she reveals to us her inner thoughts.

Most of this episode was presented as if it were a play. The stage was Sasami-san’s room (which lost its watercolor feel as soon as the Yagami sisters made themselves too confortable), and there was one main angle which the audience could see the events take place, as they would in a theater. The three Yagami sisters sat in the middle with Kamiomi, while Sasami sat quietly in the side, often giving asides to the audience while being highlighted in one way or another. Of course, it wasn’t completely emulating a play, as Kamiomi’s back was facing us and his position blocked Tsurugi from our vision.

“I must stop them at all cost!”

This episode also featured many cartoonish reactions from Sasami-san, which in my opinion was one of the highlights of the episode. These were exaggerated expressions with Sasami-san in a caricature-esque form. If they seem familiar, it might be because Shaft sometimes does the same thing in their Monogatari Series anime.

Characters

This episode gave us a greater insight on Tsukuyomi siblings, showed more of the cast’s personalities, and best of all gave us interaction between the Yagami sisters and Sasami-san. I’ll focus on three characters for this episode.

Sasami Tsukuyomi

Sasami-san’s mahou shoujo transformation sequence. (Just kidding).

Previously the heir of the power of Amaterasu that now belongs to her brother. She’s not very good at communicating with people and is (understandably) very protective of her belongings. In this episode, she thinks up many plans to get the Yagami sisters to leave, but all of them end up backfiring. She became a shut-in years ago for reasons yet to be explored, but still wished to enjoy the life of a normal person. Thus, she resorted to a common hikikomori pastime, playing MMOs – except this one is about doing anything you want, like going to class and doing things usually done IRL. The game was on the verge of being shut down, but Sasami-san ended up unconsciously making it insanely popular back when she held Amaterasu’s power through an alteration.

Tsurugi Yagami

The older sister, leader of the three, but definitely not most responsible. Loudly playing Jenga in class while her students (who she shows no care for) are doing work, and showing no restraint on turning an innocent MMO into an eroge in front of her little sister. She is really relaxed and has no qualms about making herself at home in the Tsukuyomi household.

Kagami Yagami

Smart chick that comes with her own high speed network internet cable? Instantly my waifu.

The middle, arguably most responsible sister. She tries her best to be understanding of Sasami-san’s shut-in personality, but isn’t always succesful. Supposed to represent the mirror that symbolizes wisdom and honesty, she’s definitely very wise (and intelligent), and is capable of finishing her assignment faster than the entire class, as well as understanding her environment quickly. As mentioned in the Mythology section, I believe she’ll play a key role in Sasami-san’s return to society.

Wrapping Up

Oh, Sasami-san’s Adorable Reactions.

I really like anime that base itself around existing stories to create entirely new and entertaining ones. Two examples from other currently airing anime that I enjoy would be Magi – The Labyrinth of Magic that is based on One Thousand and One Nights and Zetsuen no Tempest that is based on Shakespeare plays, such as Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, and of course, The Tempest.
Sasami-san@Ganbaranai is another one of those, and a welcome addition to that list.

P.S.: I had to remove this GIF because it was too heavy, but you should still check it out because it’s epic.

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