Tag Archives: sasami-san@ganbaranai

Sasami-san actually is the best thing this season

Yeah, I’m posting about Sasami-san again. I like the show, okay.

Really though, it is actually a very good show. I will admit that when I first heard about it, I was expecting the series to mostly be Sasami staying at home and observing amusing antics between her brother and the Yagami sisters – and getting involved now and then – and this would have been a reasonably amusing show.

But instead… instead, in amongst the bizarre stuff it gets up to, there is something meaningful. Even Tama, who I thought would be the weakest character in the series, has more depth to her than you’d think. Rather than have Sasami housebound for most of the series, effort goes into sorting out her issues and getting her out and about – and in fact, she doesn’t stay hikikomori for more than a couple of episodes.

And then, when we think her family situation is on the improve when the Tsukuyomi Shrine is destroyed, her mother comes back from the dead and things get worse. It’s going to be really interesting to see where this show goes.

Sasami-san is the best thing this season

Well, “best” might be a bit of a stretch, but Sasami-san@Ganbaranai is certainly the show I’m enjoying the most this season. Episode 5 was fairly mundane compared to previous ones, but relatively mundane in this show is still pretty bloody strange by any other standards. I’m kind of tempted to do something about getting it screened at a convention I’m involved with, if only so I can include the phrase “at which point Sasami told her brother not to put sushi on his nipples” in correspondence.

Anyway. This episode deals mainly with Sasami trying to make friends, and in particular trying to make friends with Kagami, which I approve of. I’ve got something of a soft spot for androids and various other kinds of artificially created beings as characters. I’m also pretty fond of a deadpan delivery, and Hanazawa Kana is doing deadpan very well here.

Kagami and spilled noodles

Deadpan even in situations like this

And the above picture is the least of the problems Kagami has to deal with this episode, but fortunately it’s nothing a heavily armed divinity-powered robot girl can’t handle.

Sasami-san@Ganbaranai

The first thing I’m going to say about Sasami-san@Ganbaranai (Sasami-san@Unmotivated) is that it’s fucking weird. Three episodes in and it already manages to out-strange anything else that Studio Shaft have done previously. If you’ve seen Nisemonogatari (or if you haven’t, when I get around to reviewing it) you’ll see how significant that is. It was written by the same author responsible for Kyouran Kazoku Nikki, a well-known bloody strange show, and directed by Shinbo Akiyuki, who I’m convinced must be certifiably insane. But an insane genius, at least.

The main character is Tsukuyomi Sasami, a beautiful 16 year old girl who is a hikikomori (complete shut-in).

Tsukuyomi Sasami

Sasami the most active she gets in a typical day

She has an older brother, Tsukuyomi Kamiomi, who is a teacher at the school she is supposed to attend and is absolutely devoted to her, catering to her every whim and doing everything for her. And never showing his face. The rest of the cast are the three Yagami sisters; Tsurugi who’s also a teacher at her school and looks like she’s about 12, Kagami who’s her classmate and a robot girl, and Tama who’s nine years old but looks considerably older and acts a fair bit younger.

The cast

From left to right: Tama, Kagami, Tsurugi and Kamiomi

Yagami Tama

Yagami Tama. Nine years old.

The first episode starts with Sasami monitoring her brother’s every move from her computer via a staggering array of hidden cameras around him, and ends with at least the city, maybe Japan and possibly the world turned to chocolate and the Yagami sisters fighting against chocolate monsters. The second episode largely concerns an MMORPG that Sasami’s obsessed with which a lot of people have been trapped in, with a side helping of explanation about the chocolate thing from the first episode.

The third episode explains in more detail why all this strange stuff is going on with the Tsukuyomi siblings and Yagami sisters, but I won’t go into it here; it’s something you kind of have to see for yourself. What I will say is that the Tsukuyomi family situation is… complicated, to put it mildly and politely. Tremendously screwed up to put it more accurately. And the Yagami family situation is stranger.

Being a Shaft production, it of course does some weird things visually, which is very well suited to what’s going on. Another Shaft/Shinbo Akiyuki hallmark is the use of a familiar set of voice actors, notably Saitou Chiwa playing a childlike teacher again (having previously played Rebecca Miyamoto in Paniponi Dash), and another one of my favourites, Hanazawa Kana as Kagami. All are very well suited to their roles.

So it’s weird, but is it any good? Is it entertaining to watch? Hell yes. I’ve long maintained that a talented director can take just about any script or subject matter and make an entertaining show out of it, and often use Shinbo as an example, though even he’s had a few duds (Dance in the Vampire Bund is a crap show, BTW. Even Shinbo couldn’t save that.). The interaction between Sasami and Kamiomi is entertaining in a bit of a twisted way, but for me what really makes it is the interaction between the Yagami sisters and everyone else.

So. If it’s weird you like, this is the anime for you.