Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Sarazanmai さらざんまい

The anime Sarazanmai さらざんまい airing this season has so many puns and cultural Japanese references that I thought it'd be a good idea to list them here for further reference. This way you'll finally be able to unders... to understan...


Okay you won't be able to understand the anime, but you'll be able to understand the Japanese part of the anime, and that's one step, at least, so let's content ourselves with that. Anyway.

THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS!!! The first part of the article assumes you have already watched at least the first episode. After that, there's a second spoiler warning, and sections spoiling each and every episode. So scroll with caution!


The kappa 河童 is a legendary creature part of the Japanese folklore, an youkai 妖怪

Etymologically, it comes from kawa 川, "river," plus waraha 童, "child." So a "river-child." The waraha わらは changed pronunciation to wappa わっぱ, joined together kawa-wappa かわわっぱ, then turned into kappa かっぱ.

The kappa are said to like cucumbers.

Keppi eating a cucumber.

They have a "plate," sara 皿, on top of their heads. This is very important.

Sara with her hand on her head plate.
  • Sara touches her sara.

It's said that if the plate dries, they die.

かっぱの水浴び お皿がうれしい
  • kappa no mizu-abi, osara ga ureshii
    かっぱの水浴び お皿がうれしい
    The water-bathing of the kappa, the plate is happy.


The shirikodama 尻子玉, "butt-child-ball," also spelled shirikodama 尻小玉, "butt-small-ball," is a an organ that the kappa can extract from the butt of a person. Some legends say the shirikodama is the intestine or the stomach, but the anime follows the legend it's a different, fictitious organ.

Shirikodama held by kappa.
  • shiri

According to the legends, the kappa would drown people in the river and then extract their shirikodama.

The origin of this legend might be the fact that when someone dies they stop contracting their muscles. If they drown, water will start entering their mouth, and then bowels. And then, because their anal sphincter, which is a muscle, won't be contracting any longer, it dilates, they will just shit themselves. Literally. That's what the shirikodama is.


There's a lot of puns in this anime, and I can't really say I got all of them.

Before anything, let's start with the obvious someone who doesn't know Japanese is going to miss.
  • yokubou, kibou 欲望, 希望
    Desire. Hope. (both end in the same bou morpheme.)
  • sakushu 搾取
    • shibori-toru 搾り取る
      Squeezing out and taking.

You don't even need to know Japanese to get this one, but:
  • keppi けっぴ
    (the name of the kappa prince, "Keppi," is almost "kappa".)
    • kappa かっぱ


The word sara 皿 means "plate" in Japanese, like the plate of a kappa.

And Sara is the name of the idol girl in the anime, Azuma Sara 吾妻サラ.

You'll see there are some other things called Azuma in the anime, like Azuma-bashi 吾妻橋, "Azuma Bridge," the bridge where they fight in the first episode.


A plate, being a flat object, is counted with mai 枚, the counter for flat objects like sheets of paper.

The number "three" in Japanese is san 三.
  • sanmai 三枚
    Three [flat things].
  • sara-zanmai 皿三枚
    Three plates.

Meanwhile, the word sanmai 三昧 means the "samadhi," which is a Buddhist term for a state of intense concentration achieved through meditation.

When used as a suffix, it becomes -zanmai ~三昧, again because of rendaku, in which case it can mean "to be immersed in" whatever it's suffixed to, in the same devoting sense as becoming in a "state of intense concentration achieve through meditation."
  • sara-zanmai 皿三昧
    Being immersed in plates.
    Being absorbed by plates.
    Indulging yourself in plates.
    It's all about these plates floating around all over the place in this anime!

You'll see that characters they defeat in the anime that have an fixation for something will say something-zanmai when they're defeated.

Note that, normally, you would be able to tell between the two sarazanmai from their kanji:
  • 皿三枚
    Three plates.
  • 皿三昧
    A bizarre sort of plate addiction.

However, the title of the anime was stylized in hiragana, as sarazanmai さらざんまい. So you can't tell if it's one thing or another. Which is precisely why, normally, you wouldn't spell it like this.

The title is deliberately ambiguous, so it can refer to the fact that we have three main characters with 3 plates on their heads, on the fact that there are plate references everywhere in the anime.

  • During sarazanmai, you can see their sarazanmai.


Often, Sara will end her sentences with "dish," dhisshu でぃっしゅ. This isn't a Japanese word, it's the katakanization of the English word "dish." A dish is a kind of plate.

As for why Sara keeps saying "dish," it's just how she speaks. In anime, it's common for characters to end their sentences in some weird way or another, like cat-girls saying nya にゃ, "meow," at the end of everything. It doesn't really mean anything. It's just a cute way of speaking.

The word "dish" was probably chosen because it resembles desu です, which is a polite copulative verb and as such is normally at the end of sentences in Japanese.

The term for such things is gobi 語尾, by the way. Other gobi's include:
  • desu wa ですわ
    Often used by "rich girl," ojousama お嬢様 characters
  • dattebayo だってばよ
    This is Naruto.

By the way, Keppi, the kappa prince, uses a kero ケロ as gobi, which is the sound frogs make, "ribbit."

Guddo Sarakku

The phrase guddo sarakku グッドサラック is a pun made by Sara with the word sara. It's supposed to mean "good luck," which would be just guddo rakku グッドラック without the sa サ instead.

She also uses other English phrases, but those aren't puns, I think, like:
  • gummoniin
    "Good morning."
  • rakkii jidori misshon ラッキー自撮りミッション
    "Lucky" selfie "mission."
    • jibun de toru 自分で撮る
      To take [a photo] yourself.

グッモーニング★ 今日のラッキー自撮りミッション コンプリートでぃっしゅ★
  • gummooningu ★
    kyou no akki jidori misshon
    konpuriito dhisshu ★

    Good morning ★
    Today's lucky selfie mission
    is complete dish ★


The word saratto さらっと is a mimetic word for "smoothly," "simply," generally about doing something without any trouble, or bothering with anything.


It has nothing to do with "plates," sara 皿, but it's used in anime because it also has sara in it.

Like other, similar mimetic words, saratto is a base sara plus the adverbial particle to と joined by a glottal stop expressed by the small tsu.

The base is also the simplex of the reduplication sarasara さらさら, which means "rustling," like tree leaves, and, also, "free-flowing."

Sara ni

The phrase sara ni 更に means "further," as in "more." It's an adverb.
  • mai nichi happi
    rakki didori de sara ni happi!
  • 毎日ハッピー
    Everyday happy,
    With lucky selfies, even more happy!


The word sarasu 晒す means "to expose," like oneself naked (expose one's shame), or expose one's secret.


The word kapparau 掻っ払う means "to steal." It has nothing to do with kappa, but the word was probably chosen because of how it sounds.

Literally, it's kaku 掻く, "to scratch," plus harau 払う, "to pay," but in this case, "to wipe away." The ha は becomes pa ぱ because of sokuonbin 促音便.

  • kapparae! 掻っ払え!
    [Go] steal! (imperative.)

  • kapparatta! 掻っ払った!
    [I] stole [it]! (past form.)

ア Symbol

The symbol in a bunch of dishes around the anime is a single katakana character:
  • a

If you were going to say abcdefgh... in Japanese, this would be the first letter... after the 50 hiragana, which come before the katakana.

It's likely this a ア comes from Asakusa Sara Terebi サクササラテレビ, Asakusa Sara TV, which is the title of Sara's (the idol's) TV program.
  • Asakusa 浅草
    The name of a district in Japan. This is an actual place, and you can find a lot of the locations shown in the anime in photos in real life.

  • Top-left:
    • Asakusa Sara Terebi アサクササラテレビ
  • Middle:
    • Sara Terebi サラテレビ

This ア symbol is literally everywhere in the anime. Like, LITERALLY, EVERY, SINGLE, WHERE.

ア on a shoe.


The word kawauso 川獺, also spelled kawauso 川ウソ, means "river otter" in Japanese. Reminder: Kappa are river creatures.

The symbol on the back side of the a ア dishes is a river otter.

The police box where the police officers are has a sign that reads:
  • kawauso kouban 川獺交番
    River otter police box.

Like the kappa, the otter is also said to be an youkai in Japanese folklore.

Toriyama Sekien 鳥山石燕 otter youkai illustration.
Illustration by Toriyama Sekien 鳥山石燕 (in Public Domain, see SekienKawauso.jpg -


This is even said on screen, but:
  • kaisou かいそう
    (in hiragana.)
  • kaisou 回想
    Reminiscence. Flashback.
  • kaisou 海藻


The phrase tsunagaritai 繋がりたい means "want to be connected." The anime makes a few puns around this verb. For reference, some conjugations:
  • tsunagu 繋ぐ
    To connect.
    • tsunaida 繋いだ
      To have connected. (past form.)
  • tsunagaru 繋がる
    To be connected.
    To be tied together. To be interlaced.
    To be linked. To be related.
    To lead to. (if you follow the connection to the other thing.)
    • tsunagatta 繋がった
      To have been connected.
    • tsunagari 繋がり
      The act of being connected. Of connecting.
      A connection.
    • tsunagarenai 繋がれない
      To not be able to be connected.
  • In soccer, passing the ball around to score a goal is also called "connecting" in Japanese.

Recurring Phrases

A few phrases that are said over and over in the anime and you might want to pay attention for:
  • {dare nimo ienai} himitsu
    A secret [that] {[I] can't tell anyone}.
  • ubau 奪う
    To steal. To take [from someone].
  • tori-modosu 取り戻す
    To take back.
  • kankei-nai 関係ない
    There's no relationship.
    That has nothing to do with anything. With you.
    It's none of your business.
    • kankei-aru 関係ある
      (antonym.) "Relationship exists."
    • kankei oo-ari da!
      "A lot of relationship exists."
      It has a lot to do with [me]. Etc.

Background Music

I'm not sure how hard this is to notice, but pretty much every episode has a background music featuring a chant of the words sara, kappa, or a keyword of the episode over and over.

Spoilers Below

From here on, there are episode-specific notes.

Episode 1

The place where they buy things from:
    A parody of, an online shopping website.
    Maybe a pun on "kappa zombie," kappa zonbi カッパゾンビ, since the kappa zombies through the anime say the word "zon" when they die.

This place actually exists in Japan, by the way.

The name of the bad guy is:
  • Hakoda Osamaru 箱田収丸
    Box-field Reap-ball.
    • osamaru 収まる
      To settle down.
      To fit in. (a box.)

  • Destination:
    • Azuma-bashi 吾妻橋
      Azuma bridge.
  • Receiver:
    • Hakoda Osamaru 箱田収丸
  • Tooi no yokubouトオイの欲望
    Tooi's desire.

The phrases on the walls while they're going to the bridge:

  • yokubou no hako
    The box of desire.
  • yokubou to hako
    Desire and box.
  • yokubou wa hako
    Desire is box.
  • kappa towa senshi no koto
    Kappa is warrior.
    • The next ones all have the same meaning.
  • kappa towa senshi nari
    Kappa is warrior.
  • kappa towa senshi kero
    Kappa is warrior-kero.

Episode 2

Puns and notes for episode 2:
  • Harukappa 春かっぱ
    "Spring kappa."
    The username of Haruka 春河.
  • nyan-tarou にゃん太郎 (or Nyantaro)
    (the cat's name.)
  • kappamaki かっぱ巻き
    Cucumber sushi wrapped in nori (seaweed).

  • o-sakana-zanmai お魚三枚 (or おさかなざんまい)
    Three slices of fish. Fish fillet.

The slang for "weed" in Japanese is happa 葉っぱ, "leaves," which sounds like kappa.

During Sara news, the ukiyo-e 浮世絵 parodied was:


  • te wo tsunagu
    To interlace hands.
    To hold hands together.
  • tsunaida te wa ai no akashi!
    keshite hanasaremasen'you!

    Interlaced hands are the proof of love! By no means let [them] go apart!
    • Lewd.

Name of the bad guy:
  • Nekoyama Moukichi
    Cat-mountain Fur-luck.

During Sara news, words are replaced with cat-speak containing nya にゃ, "meow":
  • nyanto! ニャンと!
    nanto! なんと!
    What did [you] say that happened?! (interjection.)
  • namen'nya yo なめんにゃよ
    nameru na yo なめるなよ
    Don't lick [me]. (literally.)
    Don't underestimate [me].

The phrases on the walls going to the bridge:
  • sarazanmai towa
    Sarazanmai is...
  • ishiki kyouyuu 意識共有
    ...sharing consciousness.
  • sarazanmai niwa
    For sarazanmai...
  • risuku ga tsukimono
    ...risk is an attached-thing. (i.e. risk always comes with sarazanmai.)

The pun when he's defeated:
  • neko-jerashii 猫ジェラシー
    Cat "jealousy."
    • This one is either:
  • neko-jirashi 猫じらし
    Cat "teasing."
    • A way of playing with cats.
  • neko-jarashi 猫じゃらし
    Green foxtail. (Setaria viridis.)
    • The green grass thing used to tease cats with.

When the cat zombie disappears:
  • shini zon nyaa
    (this doesn't mean anything.)
    • shinu 死ぬ
      To die.
    • shini 死に is a conjugation, but it needs to come before something else, like shini-sou or shini-tai.
    • zon ゾン is from "zombie," zonbi ゾンビ, and nyaa is the cat thing.

In the post-credits:
  • nyanii~ ニャニィ~
    nanii 何ぃ~

Episode 3

Puns and notes in episode 3:
  • kisu キス
    • kisu
      Sillago. (type of fish.)
    • kisu wo kutte kisu wo migake
      Eat sillago and polish [your] kisses. (polish in the sense of improving.)
  • gomen'nasara ごめんなサラ
    (a word with sara forced in it.)
    • gomen'nasai ごめんなさい
  • uso
    • kawauso 川獺
      uso 獺 (or oso)
      River otter.

The ukiyo-e parodied was:


The place where Enta and Kazuki practiced soccer exists in real life.

The name of the bad guy:
  • Kissu Mottokuree
    • kisu motto kure
      Give [me] more kisses.

The officers' lines:
  • ore-ra tsutta
    We caught [him].
    • tsuru 釣る
      To fish. To angle. To lure.
      To catch [a fish].
  • kinou no kisu
    Yesterday's kiss.
    The Kissu of yesterday. (Kissu as in the bad guy.)

During Sara news, there's a reference to the anime movie Laputa: Castle in the Sky.

Sarazanmai Laputa reference.

The phrases on the walls while running to the bridge:
  • kisu wo kutte kisu wo manabe
    Eat kiss, learn kiss.
  • kisu wo matte kisu wo nogase
    Wait kiss, miss a kiss.
    Wait kiss, let a kiss go.
    • nogasu 逃す
      To let free. (e.g. a fish.)
  • kisu de semete kisu de horobe
    Attach with kiss, be ruined by kiss.

The bad guy's desire is too high level for me:
  • kisu-zanmai
    Fixation to sillago/kisses.
    Three slices of sillago.
  • takusan no kisu wo tsutte sanmai ni orosu
    (too much pun.)
  • takusan no kisu wo tsuru
    To reel in a lot of fishes.
    To reel in a lot of kisses.
    • tsuru 釣る
      To fish. To angle. To lure.
  • sanmai ni orosu
    To fillet in three [slices].
    • mai
      Counter for thin things. In this case, slices of a fish.
    • sanmai oroshi 三枚おろし
      In cooking, to cut the head of the fish off, the slice the body twice, so you get three slices: the left, the middle-and-bottom, and the right. In order to do this, you need to remove the bones. [, accessed 2019-04-05.]
  • hone-nuki ni suru 骨抜きにする
    To make it so it's boneless.
    • Consequently, to make it lose its core structure and become weakened.
    • To make someone lax in their morals, as opposed of firm, because they're now boneless.
    • In romance, to make someone someone completely in love with you, fall head over heels, "lovey-dovey," deredere デレデレ, etc.
    • hone wo nuku 骨を抜く
      To extract the bones.
    • hone-nuki 骨抜き
    • -ni suru ~にする
      To make [something] become [somehow else]. (e.g. you become bone-extracted.)

Stealing someone's flute, also called a "recorder," rikoodaa リコーダー, to go have an indirect kiss with them is is something perverted to do. That much is obvious. But note that this is a recurring trope in a number of anime, to try to frame someone as a recorder-stealing pervert, it just that this almost never actually happens, they're normally false accusations.

The logo of the hospital is an a ア as the alphabet "A."

  • Asakusa Sara Sougou Byouin
    Asakusa Sara General Hospital.

Episode 4

Puns and notes in episode 4:
  • soba 蕎麦
    Buckwheat. (a plant)
    Noodles made from buckwheat floor. (a dish.)
  • soba
    Near. Next. Close. By [someone's] side.
    • soba ni iru そばにいる
      To be by [your] side.
    • ima made soba ni ite-yarenakute warukatta na
      Until now, [I] couldn't stay by [your] side, [I'm sorry].

The name of the gang seems to be:
  • kamome
    Gull. (a kind of bird.)

The name of the bad guy.
  • Sobatani Yudeo
    Soba-valley boiling-man.
    • Sobatani is a real name.
    • yude 湯で
      To boil. (e.g. noodles.)
    • -o ~男
      Suffix meaning man.

The name of his soba shop:
  • soba no yu 蕎麦の湯
    Soba's hot water.
    • yu
      Hot water.
      The "hot water" of a bath, for example.

The officers' lines:
  • soitsu wa ore-ra ga utta no sa
    That guy, it was us who caught him.
    • utsu 打つ
      To hit. To strike.
    • soba wo utsu そばを打つ
      "To hit soba noodles."
      To make soba noodles. (e.g. そば打ち動画 -
    • kawa wo utsu 縄を打つ
      "To hit the ropes."
      To catch a criminal and bind them with ropes.
  • sore wa kinou no soba na no sa
    That's yesterday soba.
    That's the Soba[tani] of yesterday.

During Sara news:

  • higeki! sakki made soba ni ita noni
    A tragedy! Even thought [it] was in the soba-noodles just a moment ago.
    A tragedy! Even thought [he] was next to [me] just a moment ago.
    • Note: iru いる is used with people and animated things. The verb aru ある means the same thing, but is used with inanimate things, like noodles.

The moving text at the bottom reads:
  • "Sara ha jitsuha udon ha dish."
    Sara wa jitsu wa udon-ha dhisshu
    Sara actually prefers Udon, dish.
    • udon 饂飩
      A thicker type noodles.
    • -ha ~派
      Used after something you prefer, like saying your team.
      • neko-ha 猫派
        [I'm of] the "cat-team."
        [I] like cats.
  • "Nazenara saraudon ha arukedo saraSOBA ha naikara dish."
    nazenara saraudon wa aru kedo sarasoba wa nai kara dhisshu
    That's because "sara-udon" exists, but "sara-soba" doesn't, dish.
  • "Sara to zaru ha betsu dish. Darenimo ienai himitsu dish."
    sara to zaru wa betsu dhisshu
    dare nimo ienai himitsu dhisshu

    Plates and "zaru" are different things, dish. [This is] a secret [I] can't tell anyone, dish.
    • Although sara-soba doesn't exist, zaru-soba 笊蕎麦 does exist. It's served on a zaru 笊, which is a plate made out of bamboo. Sara is saying a plate made out of bamboo isn't a sara, so it doesn't count.
    • By the way, "darenimo something himitsu" is the phrase used by the bad guys and everyone else when their shirikodama is about to get stolen.

What's written on the walls while running to the bridge:
  • soba-ha 蕎麦派
    "Soba team."
    Prefers soba. (e.g. over udon.)

During the fight:
  • hai dondon, hai janjan
    A chant used in soba shops when serving more and more soba.
    • hai はい
      Yes. (used when accepting an order from a customer.)
    • dondon どんどん
      Gradually. More and more. (mimetic.)
    • janjan じゃんじゃん
      Continuously. (mimetic.)
  • nokori-yu 残り湯
    Remaining hot-water. Leftover hot-water. (generally bath hot water.)
    • nokoru 残る
      To remain. To be left.
  • soba-yu 蕎麦湯
    Soba hot-water. (water left in the pot after boiling the soba.)
  • temee no wagamama wo oshi-tsukete
    soba ni itai da nante
    amai nimo hodo ga anda yo

    Pushing [onto others] your selfishness,
    saying "[I] want to be by [your] side,"
    there's a limit to being naive.
    • amai 甘い
      Sweet. (taste.)
      Naive. (thinking.)
    • andayo あんだよ
      aru-n-da yo あるんだよ
      aru no da yo あるのだよ
      There is.
  • ii dashi moratta
    [I] got a good soup-stock.
    • dashi 出汁
      Soup stock. (used with soba.)
      Because it's used to improve the taste of food, it also means:
      Something you use for your own benefit.
  • nusunda nokori-yu de soba yudetakatta-n-da
    [He] wanted to boil (in hot water) the soba-noodles with the leftover bath (hot) water [he] stole.
  • yude-zon da ゆでゾンだ
    [I'm] a boiled "zom."
    • zonbi ゾンビ

Not a pun, but:
  • ima sara dare ni nani wo iwareta tte kamawanai
    Now, after all this, whatever [I'm] told by anyone [I] don't care.

The episode title:
  • tsunagaritai kedo
    soba ni inai

    [I] want to connect but, [I'm] not nearby.

Episode 5

Puns and notes in episode 5:
  • kaminari gorogoro kaikan
    (this isn't on the anime, this is an actual place, but anyway...)
  • Pro-tip: find a girl that looks at you the way Sara looks at cucumbers.
  • sashe サシェ
  • nioi-bukuro 匂い袋
    • fukuro
      Bag. (the fu ふ becomes bu ぶ because of rendaku.)
    • ofukuro お袋
      A word for "mother" in Japanese.

The name of the bad guy:

The officers' lines:
  • soitsu wa ore-ra ga kaida no sa
    That guy, we smelled.
    • kagu 嗅ぐ
      To smell. (a smell.)
      To sniff out. To discover. (a secret.)
  • sore wa kinou no sashe na no sa
    That was yesterday's sachet.

Sara's escaping line:
  • saratto dasshutsu
    Simply, escaped.

Before his grandfather died, Haruka and Kazuki are seen wearing pink clothes. After finding out, Kazuki wears a different color. Wearing matching colors is called, in Japanese:
  • pea-rukku ペアルック
    "Pair look."
    • sotsugyou suru 卒業する
      To graduate. (school.)
      To stop being or doing something, advancing to a next step. (e.g. wearing matching clothes.)

When Sara shows up:
  • saratto o-sanpo shite-kita-n-dhisshu
    [I] was simply taking a walk.
    • sanpo 散歩
      A walk. Stroll. (the o- お~ prefix she uses is bikago 美化語, "beautification language," as seen in female language.)

The phrases on the walls going to the bridge:
  • sashe towa nioi-bukuro
    Sachet is a "smell-bag."
  • sashi towa taiman
    (other two words that mean the same thing.)
    • sashi 差し
      For to people to do something. (like fight.)
    • sashi-mukau 差し向かう
      To be face to face.
    • taiman タイマン
      One-on-one fight.
  • saji towa supuun
    (both words mean "spoon.")
    • saji
      Spoon. (like in Gin no Saji.)
    • supuun スプーン
      Spoon. (katakanization.)
  • pafe towa suiitsu
    Parfait is a sweet.
  • porushe towa kuruma
    Porsche is a car.

The battle:
  • nioi no kioku wa shinu made kienai
    The memory of the smell doesn't disappear until death.
    [I] won't forget the smell until [I] die.
    • kieru 消える
      To disappear. To vanish. (e.g. a smell.)

After the battle, Keppi says:
  • heso de cha ga waku
    The tea boils with the belly button. (literally.)
    • From the idiom:
    • heso de cha wo wakasu
      To make tea boil with one's belly button.
    • heso ga cha wo wakasu
      The belly button boils the tea.
    • Generally means something is too stupid or ridiculous. Obviously it doesn't mean what it literally means. Afterwards, Keppi is seen drinking tea.

Episode 6

Episode 6 notes:

Sarazanmai Osomatsu-san reference, "sheeh."
Anime: Osomatsu-san おそ松さん (Episode 6),
Sarazanmai さらざんまい (Also episode 6)
  • The "sasheeeeeh" thing Sara does during her news is a reference to a "sheeh" thing from the manga and anime Osomatsu-san.

The ukiyo-e parodied was, probably:

歌川国明: 「大相撲取組之図」

Not a pun, but:
  • sarawareru
    To be kidnapped. To be abducted.

Episode 7

Episode 7 notes:
  • uso
  • uso
  • usoo-kun
    • kun くん
      Names of mascots often get this suffix when it's a male mascot, or chan ちゃん when it's a female mascot.

The subway actually exists, but the mascot is a mole called Chika-o-kun ちか男くん instead. The chika 地下 part means "underground."

  • ningyou-yaki 人形焼
    "Doll-baking." Baked doll pastry.
    This is the name for pastry in the shape of small people, animals, and so on.
    • ningyou 人形
    • One of the officers is called a "doll" in this episode. In the previous episode, the other officer also called him "a doll that had lost its emotions."

The officers are eating:
  • Usongu Soosu Yakisoba
    "Usong" Sauce Yakisoba.
    • This parodies a real brand:
    • Pasungu Soosu Yakisoba
      Peyoung Sauce Yakisoba.

The thing Toi complains about:
  • yobisute 呼び捨て
    Calling someone informally.
    • Without an honorific suffix. (e.g. -san ~さん)
    • And by first name, Toi, instead of family name, Kuji.
    • From:
    • yobu 呼ぶ
      To call.
    • suteru 捨てる
      To throw away.

Now Kazuki is wearing pink again. The "pair look" thing is back.

The Sara news includes the pun:
  • tamageta! たまげた! (or 魂消た)
    To be astonished. To be flabbergasted. (literally "soul-disappeared.")

The Sara news also has a double reference.
  1. E.T., the 1982 movie.
  2. Captain Tsubasa, the soccer manga and anime, in which "the ball is my friend" is the main character's motto. Note, however, that the phrase is said in Tsubasa in Japanese, but Sara says it in katakanized English.

The frog-hating Keppi mistakes a word for "frog."
  • kangaeru 考える
    To think.
  • kaeru
  • The part gaeru がえる looks like kaeru かえる with rendaku. For example:
    • kangaeru 蟇蛙

The text on the walls on the way to the bridge highlights the joke.

  • sara no koto wa
    ato de kangaeru

    The thing about the dishes [we] think later.
    We can figure out what to do about the dishes later.
  • gaeru ikooru kaeru
    "gaeru" equals "frog."
  • kaeru ikooru saijou-kyuu no bujoku
    "Frog" equals an insult of the highest level.

During the battle:
  • booru ボール
    "Ball." (English katakanization.)
    • tama
      Ball. (anything round.)
    • tama
      Ball. (of a sport, like soccer.)
    • The only exception are in other words loaned from English, like:
    • booru-gyagu ボールギャグ
  • tama たま
    Balls. Testicles. (colloquially.)
  • tama niwa 偶には
    • tamatama 偶々
      By chance.
  • tamatama toreta
    [Something] was taken [off] by chance.
    [My] balls were taken [off].
  • korya tamaran
    kore wa tamaranai
    As for this, [I] can't get enough of.
    [I] can't get enough of this.
    • tamaranai 堪らない
      To not get enough of something. To never get tired of doing something.
  • tamashii no sakebi
    Scream of the soul.

The piece of cloth Enta wears tied around his nose is a Japanese thing. Thief characters are generally portrayed wearing something like that for some reason.

Episode 8

Episode 8 notes:
  • The store Umeya 梅屋 is a parody of a real Japanese brand.
    • Matsuya 松屋

During Sara news, Chikai is the suspect behind:
  • Shikotama Sagi Jiken
    The "Shikotama" Fraud Case.
    • shikotama しこたま
      Lots. Plenty of. (adverb.)
    • So it also means "Lots of Fraud Case."

Azuma Sara 吾妻サラ holding a paper lantern like historic policeman.

The goyou da! goyou da! 御用だ!御用だ! thing Sara does is a Japanese thing seen in historic period pieces, where policemen yell that as they try to catch a fugitive.

Episode 9

Episode 9 notes.

Sarazanmai truck
Anime: Sarazanmai さらざんまい (Episode 9, rights reserved)
Photo by Mj-bird (CC BY-SA 4.0, see Ichibanboshi_(Dekotora),_Fuso_T-Series,.jpg -
  • dekotora デコトラ
    Short for "decorated truck."
  • Specifically, this may be a reference to the series Torakku Yarou トラック野郎, aired in the 70's. The main character, Hoshi 星, literally "star," has a truck called Ichibanboshi 一番星, "first star." [トラック野郎 -, accessed 2019-06-28]

I don't know if Masa is supposed to mean something, however:
  • taka
    • The name of the guy Chikai fights against is Taka. Previously, his gang was called Kamome, "gull," which is another bird.

Is this a Neon Genesis Evangelion reference?

Sarazanmai vs. Eva.

Episode 10

Episode 10 notes.
  • Kuro Keppi 黒ケッピ
    Black Keppi.
    • I'm probably wrong about this one, but:
    • kuroketto クロケット
    • I mean, they did talk about croquettes once out of nowhere. But is every word in this show a pun?

It's only now that I realize it, but when Black Keppi gets out of Keppi in episode 6, there's a sound of something breaking. I thought it was supposed to symbolize a container, like a vase. But the same sound effect is used when dishes are broken in this episode.

Broken dishes.
  • yokubou ga wareru
    Desire will be split.
    • Keppi was split in two parts: Keppi and black Keppi.
  • sara wo watta
    To have split (broken) the dish.

Connected circles.
  • tsunagatteiru
    To be interlaced. Connected. (in this case, two circles.)
    • I guess this is the same rationale behind the Olympic rings?

Episode 11

Episode 11 notes.

Before fixing the broken miçanga, Kazuki says:
  • tsunagari wo tebanasanai
    [I] won't let go of [our] connection.
    • This mirrors the lines of the officers:
    • yokubou wo tebanasu na!
      Don't let go of [your] desire!
    • tebanasu 手放す
      To let go.
    • te 手
    • hanasu 放す
      To distantiate.
    • So literally "to hand-distantiate," to put your hands, grasp, away from something.
    • In the scene, Kazuki physically grabs the miçanga with his hand.
  • Since he fixes the miçanga by tying the ends together, that's also a tsunagari.
  • nando datte tsunaide-yaru
    [I'll] connect [the ends of the miçanga] as many times [as necessary].
    [I'll] connect [with you] as many times [as necessary].
    • Wait, does that mean the saying is "no start, no end, no connection" because you can't connect the start and the end in a miçanga-like loop if there's neither a start nor and end? I don't know where the wordplay start and end anymore. Send help.

During the boukyaku 忘却, "oblivion," Enta and Kuji use the verb tebanasu.
  • ore wa akirame ga warui kara, nani hitotsu tebanasu tsumori wa nai
    I'm bad at giving up so, [I] don't have an intention of letting go of anything.
  • naku koto mo warau koto mo yurusarenai ore wa, kibou wo tebanashita
    I, who wasn't permitted to laugh or cry, let go of hope.

In episode 7, Toi complained Kazuki called him Toi, his first name, rather than Kuji, his family name. This is called yobisute, and implies they're friends enough skip formalities. He always called the other main characters by their family names, Yasaka and Jinnai. In this episode 11, before starting the sarazanmai, he calls the other characters by their first name for the first time: Kazuki and Enta.

The brand of the ball is "kapadas," a parody of the real brand called "adidas."

Later, Keppi says:
  • sekai no en wa maruku tamotareta
    The circle of the world was kept round. (literally.)
    • marui 丸い
      Round. (literally.)
      From its literal meaning: smooth, without defects, faults, problems.
    • maruku naru 丸くなる
      To become so [it's] round-ly.
      To have its problems smoothed out.

You know, now that I think about it the only real thing that wasn't given a different name in this anime was The Little Prince, which is called Hoshi no Oujisama 星の王子様, "The Prince of the Star," in Japanese.

The ED loosely resembles Toi's story, but it also loosely resembles a lot of other sad stories, including any of the other two protagonists, so I'm guessing it's not an extremely contrived musical wordplay.

Some things did match with the music, though, like this cut which was synchronized with one of the lines:

  • hiza wo kakaete akogareteita no wa
    itsuka no zanzou

    Holding-with-arms [my] knees what [I] yearned for was
    an afterimage of sometime.
    • In other words, a memory of something that happened in the past.

The new Asakusa News mascot is a frog now, and "frog" is kaeru 蛙, just like "to return [home]" is kaeru 帰る.

The best anime always end with an egao 笑顔, I see.

Some final notes.

The fights occur in a bridge probably because a bridge "connects" places.

Almost everything that was taken is spelled with two kana or two mora (time taken to pronounce it). Usually, one kana takes one mora to be pronounced.

  • hako ハコ
  • neko ネコ
  • kisu キス
  • soba ソバ
    Buckwheat noodles.
  • sashe サシェ
    • she シェ is spelled with a two kana compound, one of them being a small kana. It's a single diphthong syllable and takes one more to be pronounced.
  • tama タマ
  • Mabu マブ
    (the officer's name.)
    • Although the music is about getting back their "connection," tsunagari 繋がり, the text on the hologram-like rings around the bridge say Mabu, just like it previously said hako, neko, kisu, soba, sashe, and tama.
    • Reo レオ.
      (the name of the other officer.)
  • Toi トイ
    (one of the main character's names.)
    • Although there's no fight, when the main characters meet at the bridge, Toi asks what the other two were doing, they explicitly Toi wo torimodoshi ni, "[we came] take-back Toi."
  • tsunagari ツナガリ
    • In the very, very last fight, the hologram on the bridge shows a four-mora word instead.

Spoilers Above

Well, that's it, I guess.
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  1. This is awesome information, thank you so much! The ア being everywhere has been on my mind, I'm looking forward to seeing how it connects to everything as the show goes on.
    Something to keep in mind about the kawauso folks, they are in the business of desire extraction (similar to the kappa bois) because they, too, are youkai. Someone shared your article through Reddit and I made a short comment with info about that.


  2. Also, I think there's a typo on your ep 3 puns list. You have 獺 twice but I think one is supposed to be 嘘?

  3. (I have just finished watching episode 3.) All this talk about "sara", combined with what appears to be imagery inspired by the Persona games, is reminding me of the word "samsara". It's a Hindu concept referring to the cycle of birth and rebirth, but the word's literal meaning is something along the lines of "progression through repeated cycles." We see a lot of repetition in this anime, with each episode following the same overall pattern and repeating entire scenes with only minor differences. Perhaps this is yet another "sara" pun, albeit an unspoken one?

    Samsara is also commonly visualized as a circle or wheel. Round, like a dish.

    Another thought: This show has a heavy emphasis on communication, specifically through technology. I wonder what is the Japanese word for "satellite dish"?