PreZanmai episode 3

This week Suwabe does the introduction using a funny voice and I had to check that my device wasn’t the one acting up XD

It’s Suwabe’s turn to ask Ikuhara a question and he asks what’s important to keep in mind when making the key animation (genga). Ikuhara replies that the first thing to do is to seriously think about what you think of the story. Second, when it comes to original works the time to prepare for them is long. During that those with the money will argue about doing things differently or how it’ll be impossible to do certain things, and during those times it’s important to stick to your ideas regardless.

Suwabe then mentions that there has to be lots of ideas for the work during the long production, which if course was true for Sarazanmai as well. Ikuhara mentions how there were name changes and not just once or for one thing. As an example he mentions claiming that the kappa are definitely kappa and not frogs, despite making the same sound. Ikuhara continues that things can easily get changed 4-5 times and each time something gets changed back to what it was earlier, that’s proof of how strong the earlier idea is.

Then they discuss originality, which Ikuhara considers to be a difficult concept. Making anime isn’t a completely solitary thing; you need to have the staff and the producers on your side or you won’t get anywhere.

Suwabe asks Ikuhara what he does when he feels depressed in order to cheer up and Ikuhara replies that he likes to look at pages with sexy things, which causes Suwabe to burst out laughing. Ikuhara says that it’s a manly/boyish reply. Suwabe suggest other things such as drinking and going out. They talk about that a bit and Ikuhara mentions that he’s someone who easily forgets things. This really has nothing to do with Sarazanmai or even the production anymore.

The talk ends and I understand why they called it “adult” last week, although it wasn’t nearly as bad as what I was prepared to listen to. As always, I wonder what next week will bring us?

PreZanmai episode 2

The second episode of PreZanmai, originally broadcast on 12.1. is out on theSarazanmai website.

Like the first episode it begins with Suwabe thanking the sponsors and presenting the show. He actually reads out the entire introduction once again. The talk portion of the program, HanashiZanmai, where he and Ikuhara discusses Sarazanmai doesn’t start until almost two minutes in!

This week Ikuhara asks Suwabe what kind of things he was careful about when working on an Ikuhara production. Suwabe comments that it’s making him nervous to hear such a question straight from the director himself. He then jokingly suggests being careful about not catching a cold and taking care of his health.

For a more serious answer, he mentions always wanting to do his best, no matter what production he’s working on. As for Ikuhara productions he’s already been part of one, Yuri Kuma Arashi. When it comes to original works, works with no original work to go after, he mentions wanting to follow the directors’ instructions, even if it’s not always possible, and wanting to express what the director wants as closely as possible.

Ikuhara jumps in and they start discussing what it was like to record and how Ikuhara would only explain what was going on in the scenes they’d record on that day. Ikuhara goes further into why that is and his whole process. Although I’m more interested in what Ikuhara has to say, Suwabe’s so much nicer to listen to! I really have to focus on Ikuhara’s voice and even then I can’t follow everything he says, so I’ll leave the rest at this.

The episode ends with Suwabe advertising Leo to Mabu: Futari wa Sarazanmai, and Leo and Mabu’s twitter account. He and Ikuhara gives us their goodbyes and the sponsors get thanked once again.

Like last week, we didn’t get any news on Sarazanmai. Instead we got some small tidbits on what it’s like working on an Ikuhara production. I wonder what the next episode will be about?


The spin-off manga for Sarazanmai continues. It’s an odd month so chapter eight of Leo to Mabu: Futari wa Sarazanmai is published in Rutile Sweet, where it will be available for free until the 22nd of February 2019.


Here’s the cover for the chapter. I’m not sure what Leo’s up to, especially since Sara’s behind him with Mabu, but he sure looks cute!


The chapter begins with Mabu and Sara visiting Sensou-ji, the famous temple in Asakusa. Mabu’s praying for good health and that even after they find Sara’s parents, there would be some good way she’d become his daughter.

Suddenly he hears a cry for help! There’s a foreign woman in trouble. She speaks a nice mixture of Japanese and English, but luckily her portrayal isn’t cringey (it’s mainly amusing to me to see what she chooses to say in English respective Japanese).

Apparently her baggage has been stolen! Mabu enters cop-mode, asks her for more details and is frantically trying to spot the thief. The woman offers to hold on to Sara while he runs out to find the thief and the stolen suitcase. Mabu doesn’t look too happy about it, but leaves Sara to her care and hurries off.


He calls Leo and lets him know they have another purse snatcher to deal with and asks him to come as well. Leo’s hesitant as he’s pretty far away, but Mabu’s firm and demands that he come quickly. Mabu spots the thief and catches him just as Leo turns up (wasn’t he supposed to be somewhat far away?). However they don’t have time to celebrate catching the thief, as Mabu has to run back to find Sara, leaving Leo to deal with the afterwork.

Back at the temple Mabu comes across an older woman who tells him that Sara was taken to a nearby cafe specializing on Japanese sweets, and then a worker at the cafe tells him to look for her at the back. Both greet him using his name, showing us how he and Leo sure are friendly with everyone in the neighbourhood!

Both the woman and Sara are safe and sound. Sara’s sleeping in the woman’s arms as she calls her cute and comments on how Sara must be remembering her mom.


Mabu doesn’t respond with anything but looks like this



Back at the station Leo and Mabu have a quick and casual talk about finishing the paperwork when Leo notes that something seems off about Mabu. Mabu is wondering if it really would be better to have a mother to raise a child. Leo’s shocked at what Mabu’s saying, since earlier Mabu was the one to say how they would raise Sara together. Mabu continues with how Sara seemed so peaceful while she was being held in the woman’s embrace. 


Now Leo can’t believe what he’s hearing! Sara makes them happy! Compared to women, it’s hard for them because they don’t have breasts, but other than that they’ll make Sara the happiest she can be! That’s what Leo believes.


Sara just mutters “deisshu” in her sleep. Mabu seems to come around and agree with Leo.


The tone shifts for the last page when Leo starts eating some anmitsu (a Japanese dessert made out of agar jelly cubes, anko, fruits etc.) and tastes the anko (red bean paste), which he claims is some of the best he’s ever had. The anmitsu is something the foreign woman gave them as a thank you for helping her and catching the thief. Eating the anko is something that brings Leo happiness as well! Mabu asks if they even made zenzai (red bean soup) to witch Leo agrees and adds that when it’s hot outside it’s nice and chilling.

And with that the chapter ends! It further showed us that the question of whether or not it’s right for them to raise Sara is a major recurring one. Speaking of recurring themes, I’m also super interested in if there’s something more to all these sweets they keep mentioning, in the chapters, advertising for the chapters and on the keeponly1luv (and Lapin Track) twitter account as well. How big of a role are sweets going to play in Sushizanmai?

PreZanmai episode 1

I’m listening to the first episode of the SarazanmaiRadio Programme PreZanmai, available on their website under ‘RADIO’. 

First of all, now I finally get all the “good voice” tweets Ikuhara, Suwabe and others were doing last week. Suwabe, being an established seiyuu has a very good, very “showy” voice and then Ikuhara’s just… like a regular person. Kinda dull in comparison, although he’s still good. It’s quite entertaining to listen to them!

Most of the episode consists of Suwabe advertising everything they have going on. He speaks super fast, but luckily it’s easy to follow along when I’ve already read the introduction and know about everything else.

For the actual program (HanashiZanmai) it begins with Suwable asking Ikuhara what inspired him to make Sarazanmai. Ikuhara replies that the number one reason for him is “to make a living”. Lol. Secondary reasons and inspirations are the fact that we live in changing times. For Japan one remarkable event is the end of the current Heisei era, which will occur while Sarazanmai is airing. Ikuhara also mentions new things and old, and how they relate to each other (mirroring what’s said in the tsunagaru PV!). 

Then they bring up how this is an era of connections and connecting. We have smartphone apps and the internet which makes it easy to connect in many ways. They continue with questioning what it means to connect and where we’ll go from here? Everyone from children to working adults are connecting online (save from some older people) and it’s an entirely different world from when we/they were kids. There’s also no going back from this, from the feeling of wanting to connect.

The talk ends in a joking manner when they bring up their own ages saying how they’re just two old men talking about today’s youth, while we’re out here waiting for them to retire! Ikuhara’s making Sarazanmai just so he can feel connected!

All in all it was a pleasant first episode. We didn’t really learn anything new, but it’s always nice with some more insight, even if it was mostly the same things we got to hear during AGF2018. I can’t wait to hear the next one!