Sarazanmai complete guidebook translations

Mabu character description: Works together with Reo at the Asakusa Kawauso kouban. He lost his life in the Kappa-Otter war, but the Otter empire revived him. Maintenance is necessary for his body, but for his partner Reo who he thinks of as precious, he strains himself to make Reo’s favourite food Ningyoyaki.

Miyano: Playing the role together with Hosoya was fun and I loved it, wondering ‘where will Reo and Mabu’s relationship end up?’ was also fun. Is it really ‘love’, or shared feelings, shared attraction to eachother? No matter which they have a bond, while fighting against this both of them are finding their truth. So, in the end, its a relationship where they love one another. They have a very deep connection.

Hosoya: The scene where Mabu eats Brocolli in front of Reo left a deep impression. When we did the recording test, Ikuhara entered the booth and said, ‘Because of Mabu’s defectiveness he doesn’t want to swallow but, Reo will directly say to him ‘this is defective’. Regarding that, while its not necessary, by eating Brocolli he can show to Reo ‘I’m human’. He appears clumsy, he’s not human, a person who hasn’t eaten food but who is now trying to eat’ – that’s the direction I got.

Interviewer: What were your impressions of recording for ep 10? Hosoya: When Mabu got his shirikodama extracted, ‘Ah, don’t let this get embarrassing’, Ikuhara really fussed over that scene. And also, the Otter cucking scene, he really fussed over that one too. The director always said, ‘It isn’t what I wished for, but I still have to do it, ‘alright then, I won’t resist’ so he became like an empty shell. That kind of image is what Ikuhara asked for, ‘Mabu doesn’t feel anything’. He’s not the Reo he feels love towards, so he did that towards the Otter.

Ikuhara: I thought it would be good to think about various words like ‘desire’ and ‘connections’. For example, ‘desire’ and ‘life’ are two words that are interchangeable. The word desire generally has a bad image, right? I took a liking to the word desire, it has a negative nuance. ‘Don’t let go, desire is your life’, to put it simply I wonder if it has the same meaning as ‘Don’t let go of love’ or ‘don’t let go of life’, I thought a lot about that.

Ikuhara on his intentions with Reo and Mabu’s story: ‘With Reo and Mabu, regarding what is called connections, I thought that I wanted to depict the story of people who lost their final chance. While I don’t think I’m skilled at conveying it, I still wanted to do that. ‘Let’s return to the time that was best’, a story like that, because people want to return to the past. Thinking solely about the good times, so that you can’t see what’s in front of you now. What I wanted to do is that ‘Reo cannot see the Mabu in front of him now.’

Interviewer: It was surprising when in ep 11 Reo and Mabu got revived from Keppi’s charms, wasn’t it? Utsumi: Ep was the climax of their story, so so I thought their story ended there. Then Ikuhara-san said, ‘I want someone to lend a hand to Kazuki et al at the end’, how about those two to appear? And everyone thought that was a good solution. There are people who take it as ‘they came back to life’, and there are people who take it as ‘they exist as spiritual beings without a physical body’, I think. Which of them it is, is left up to you to decide.

Migi: At the start Reo didn’t have sharp teeth, but in 2018 the time when we first displayed the drawing of ReoMabu, when checking the rough sketch, Ikuhara suggested that he wanted sharp teeth.

Sarazanmai special event reports

General reports

Kappa Reo and Mabu’s sumo match


Reo’s cat monologue

Enta and Mabu’s conversation

English translations

Spoon 2di November 2019 translations

Utsumi: From the start it was decided by Ikuhara and myself that the 2nd novel would have a lot about Reo and Mabu. I organised it so that it starts with Reo and Mabu and also the closing is Reo and Mabu.

Interviewer: You talked in the last interview about how this would be from Mabu’s POV.

Utsumi: Mabu’s emotions were in part difficult to put into the anime. In the first volume it had the scene when Reo was looking at rain but, the second volume has a scene of Mabu at the same time in a different place looking at the same rain. What was Mabu thinking at this point?

Interviewer: When from the novels you know that ‘Rain’ is an important thing to both of them, looking at the anime again, it feels like the depth of their story increases. Especially in ep 10 when sprays of water from the river are falling over Reo like rain….

Utsumi: It’s a scene where Reo’s become alone, right? In truth, that scene was written to have hints towards the second novel. In the first vol, the interlude ‘Rain’ chapter was written pre-broadcast but the 2nd novel’s rain scenes were written after watching ep 10’s performances and I realised ‘Like this!’, I thought and then wrote it (lol).

Utsumi: Reo and Mabu’s childhood period wasn’t firmly fixed pre-production, but it was decided that Reo is a war orphan.
When the anime was being written and the point in time we decided on Reo’s personality, I thought about how Reo got there, how he met Mabu, how did their present relationship come about?

When they first met there was initially a rejection [by Reo], that was always part of the story, because in the anime their relationship isn’t good, so it has the impression of calculating backwards from that.

Utsumi on Mabu saying ‘Hate’: One of the things I wanted to add to the novel was why Reo was shocked to that extent by that word coming from Mabu. The truth is when they were kids, they made a promise with each other, and its because of that promise. Between them up till now they’ve had many small promises with each other, the accumulation of them is what [keeps them together] I think.

Utsumi on the vol 5 voice drama: Its basically the characters everyday lives, which might not have been in the anime. Reo and Mabu certainly, Chikai too appears, they’re really fun stories (lol).

SarazanmaiTen guidebook translations

Ikuhara intro:

Ikuhara: This era is one where by various devices our ‘connections’ are secured. This is good, bad, and before that, a time period where you can’t live without it. We can’t return to the past. I tried to think about that. Because of this, where are our sensibilities heading to? What have we lost, what have we gained? And, where are we going?

“Sarazanmai is ‘connections’ and ‘desire’. For [people] to say that makes me happy. For you to find in this exhibition a chance to discover ‘what is your future?’ is the staff’s greatest ambition.”

Concept designs commentary:

Commentary on the colour choices for the character’s skin, hair, highlights etc.:

‘Because Reo and Mabu’s skin colours are particularly different, their colour differences were even bigger than for the Middle school trio.’

On Ishikawa’s first concept art for Kawausoiya: ‘The art for this scene is arousing. Beneath the image is seductively written “passion and eros!’. This design has very little change to the finished work. From the very start the image was set in stone.

The rules of ア:
The icon couldn’t be displayed so that it would be slanted
Couldn’t be attached directly to buildings.
It was OK to attach it to facades.

These shots of Reo in ep 9 are described as

  • Reo, smiling like he’s flirting (specifically 媚びる which is a woman flirting with a man). He’s gazing intently on Mabu. ’Feminine’. For the 2nd image, ‘Cute’. For the 3rd image, again, ‘feminine’.

Animedia October 2019 translations

Mabu character description in Animedia: 

He died once during the collapse of the Kappa Kingdom at the hands of the Otters, but due to the Otter science he was reborn. At that time, a machine heart that would explode if he conveyed love to Reo. Both before and after his rebirth, without change he continued to think of his partner Reo as more precious than anything else. 

Reo character description in Animedia: 

He thought of his partner Mabu as more precious than anything else, but because he perceived Mabu, revived with a machine heart, as ‘a doll borrowing the form of Mabu’, Reo didn’t recognise him. 

Ep 10 description in Animedia:

‘Always up to now, and hereafter forevermore, I love you’ – Mabu, who confessed words of love to Reo and exploded. Rather than deciding to annihilate himself, he choose to convey his true feelings to Reo. After losing Mabu twice, Reo was deranged by his sadness, but then was shot by Toi. Though they lost their human forms, with Keppi’s power they changed into ‘Reo’ ‘Mabu’ rings and escaped annihilation. 


Utsumi: In the anime its hard to imagine them cosplaying (lol). But, I feel like if the one other one asked they’d probably do it. 

This was in bold: Their police uniforms are a disguise with which to conceal themselves, you can’t say they wouldn’t cosplay, right. 

Interviewer: Out of Reo and Mabu, as a thief who would more skillful with their movements? 

Utsumi: Mabu, probably? Because of his cool composure, without getting noticed by anyone he’d cleverly steal from his target. Reo would enjoy being chased by a veteran detective after stealing. 

Favourite Halloween sweets: 

Reo —> Ningyoyaki

Mabu —> ???

Kazuki: Cookies

Toi: Candy

Enta: Dagashi (cheap sweets) 

Utsumi on content of the audio drama in vol 5: A different side to the characters than the anime, their everyday (?) lives will leak. The trio and the brothers, its a voice drama stuffed with the charm of these pals. 

Audio drama in vol 6: Utsumi: I still can’t give any details, but, a part of  ‘That scene in the novel’ might leak. 

It’s also mentioned the voice drama was written by Utsumi. 

Interviewer: The second novel was very popular – what was the background behind writing it? 

Utsumi: I had the idea that ‘Can be read smoothly’ and ‘When you read it you want to watch the anime again.’ Watch the anime —> read the novel —> watch the anime again is the recommended order. Because there’s different scenes in the anime and novel, I’m happy if you can enjoy the differences. 

Utsumi: The special event in October will be very rich in content… not over yet and with much more still to come, please wait for Sarazanmai developments after this point. 

Sarazanmai round table doujin translations

Note: This is from an official staff doujin released at Comiket summer 2019 which transcribed the mainly humours conversations between several Sarazanmai staff. The whole doujin goes on for much longer so I recommend seeking it out.

Tsujita: I’m often asked ‘You’ve worked together since the Toei era, what do you think of Ikuhara?’. I can’t say ‘I really love Ikuhara-kun’, So I say something like ‘I’m Enta, and he’s Kazuki’. 

Utsumi: That’s quite the surprising proclamation!

 Tsujita:Well its not like I’m licking his flute (lol). Every time he changes, we can only respond. Watching Sarazanmai episode 1, it has that Ikuhara-kun style, doesn’t it? His way of presenting the images, the pictograms… I look at it and it gives me peace of mind!

Tsujita: Ahh, Sarazanmai was a hard time. 

Wataru: Sara was troublesome. 

Tsujita: It was trouble for everyone, I think. I didnt go to all meetings, but I think Utsumi and Matsushima were the same… 

Utsumi: Matsushima went to every meeting. 

Matsushima: Yes, round about… 

Wataru: Its not like it became unpleasant or anything, right?

*everyone laughs*

Matsushima: *pained laughter* 

Utsumi: Here we keep up appearances too. 

Tsujita: Let’s not say anymore. 

Noboyuki: Regarding Ikuhara, I’ll start speaking in a casual way, right now. 

*everyone bursts out laughing* 

Matsushima said that when he was talking to Ikuhara sometimes he’d add verbal ticks to the end of his sentences like ‘disshu!’ 

Matsushima: When designing layouts we used on-location photographs. Ikuhara would be by my side and look at them, ‘Ah, stop just a second.’ he’d say. I thought he’d tell me a good idea or something. But he’s day ‘This photo is no good’ (lol)

Everyone: *bursts out in laughter*. 

Matsushima: Ikuhara was really fussy over the scene where Keppi birthed the Kappa. He’s day ‘Please don’t use this frame…..!’ 

Tsujita: Noboyuki, you’re always listening to something on your headphones. 

 Ikuhara is also the same. Hey, in the world of smartphones!

Utsumi: In the world of (Japanese news app) Smart News. 

The staff on Reo and Mabu: 

Utsumi: I didn’t think Reo and Mabu would get this popular.  Ofcourse we were aiming for that, but… 

Noboyuki: Ah, that’s right. 

Tsujita: It’s really amazing. 

Utsumi: If you were only looking at the anime, up to ep 6 its like they almost weren’t in it. Except for singing and dancing. 

Tsujita: So, on the contrary, the strategy was a great success because it was put out before the broadcast, their characters were made and instilled an impression. 

Utsumi: Ikuhara had a great idea when he said to put them out before broadcast (lol). At the time I thought… doing Reo and Mabu in pre-broadcast spinoffs… what? 

Wataru: Because originally the spinoffs were in the main work, right? 

Utsumi: That’s right (lol). Almost not being concerned with it, please depict these two! Yes! It was left to me like that. 

Noboyuki: Are you taking fault in Ikuhara-san? 

Utsumi: No, no, I’m not. 

Tsujita: Up to the central part of the story, you always have the feeling – who the hell are they? 

Utsumi: When the anime starts, they’re completely different characters (lol).