Massara CM thoughts

Okay let me make a more coherent post about the Massara CM

First of all, Enta’s the one who we see the most of in it. I think that’s really interesting and at the same time I’m super happy seeing him in an active role. I like seeing all those expressions on him and I love that he doesn’t seem to be as happy go lucky naive as the Tsunagaru PV made him seem. Not that there’s anything wrong with that type of character, or that it would have been his only personality trait (I think everyone’s guess was that he’d be carrying some dark secrets and worries in typical Ikuhara fashion), but I definitely think I’ll enjoy this character more. I wasn’t super interested in him before so this is definitely a highlight for me.

Now let’s proceed chronologically. 

First we see the three boys as kappa. They make weird poses that I don’t recognize, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they were taken from somewhere. They sparkle because that’s an important part of any Ikuhara anime. The backgrounds have traditional Japanese motifs, which I think suit both the setting that’s Asakusa and the kappa mythology. The traditional Japanese vibe was present in the key visual as well, it’s something Sarazanmai wants to play up. 

Since these are the only appearances of the kappa forms and the rest of the CM shows us the boys looking human, I once again wonder how this whole “got turned into kappa” thing will work out. Can they transform at will or under certain circumstances? Are all these shots from before they get transformed? Do they transform back quickly, or at least regain their human form while still being partly kappa?

Next up Kazuki makes some interesting fashion choices and Enta’s wearing a soccer shirt with the ア logo, because of course it has to be everywhere. The background art seems really colourful and pretty! This is so nice to look at and although I loved the innovative use of live action footage in the Tsunagaru PV I enjoy getting a better idea of how the actual anime will look like here. 

Then we get our first animated closeup of Sara who’s adorable! Then some more Enta running. Then we have Keppi doze off and not come across as the antagonist at all. I don’t know what to think anymore. Is he on the boys’ side or not? Is he a silly comic relief character who sometimes kinda helps them out? Despite also stealing their shirikodama in a kinda painful kinda pleasurable way?? Why aren’t the zombies shown? I get the feeling that they’re not really that relevant/present after all… 

Then one of the highlights is the introduction of a new character, Tooi’s brother Chikai. The resemblance is definitely there as he draws a blade the same way Tooi did in the Tsunagaru PV. I wonder what their relationship is like? Apparently they don’t live together, and Chikai seems to be working some shady jobs. Despite that I get the feeling that Tooi might be looking up to him? Or maybe it’s just that they have the same tough background that gives both of them the same mannerisms.

To make sure that Sarazanmai with all it’s (forgotten) zombies and shirikodama stealing business doesn’t get too dark, we have a shot of Tooi and Kazuki kinda chill and silly looking, although I have to add that the knife cutting vegetables and moving over Tooi when it does so might symbolize something I don’t want to think about right now. Then we get some more Enta, this time being aggressive with Tooi, who I have to say comes across more passive in this video than in the last.

Then it’s time for another of my highlights, which is of course a split second of Mabu and Reo. They don’t really do anything we haven’t seen them do before and remain as mysterious as ever. That close-up of Mabu’s eye is alarming though, so sinister. Then we get even more Enta! This time he’s rushing somewhere, grabbing a shirt that could be his, or maybe Kazuki’s since they used to play soccer together. 

In true Ikuhara fashion the character animation portion ends with hands trying to grab on to each other but failing. This time around we have three hands, one boy trying to hold on to the other two, I presume. 

Then the CM gets interesting. 

There’s the ア logo again, pink, black and white like in the Tsunagaru PV announcements, with the same “ 欲望 /CHARGE” border that we saw in the teaser PV’s. The background has been changed to purple. It’s not quite Sara’s image colour as hers is more pink, so I think I’ll associate it with the zombies instead. Some weird red contours of what looks like technical imagery flashes on the screen. Also slightly reminiscent of the red that’s used for the zombie design. Maybe.

The next image is of the otter symbol, turquoise and black, rather than a solid colour like we’ve seen before. It also has the “ 欲望 /CHARGE” border around it on top of a pale greenish grey background that doesn’t match with any of the characters. The image colour they’ve given Chikai is golden brown, so it’s not his even though he was introduced here. There are also turquoise flashes of the same kind of technical imagery as with the ア symbol, that can be barely seen as they’re so quick and faint.

The next shots show us pictograms with humans flashing on screen faster than what can be perceived by the mere eye. I had to slow down the video and then quickly pause it to be able to catch them all. The first one is a ghost, then we have what I think slightly resembles a police officer. It’s a man with a uniform and hat. The third person is a man with a cane. All three people are facing left. Next there’s a woman dressed in pink traditional clothes facing straight ahead. Then a woman in white facing left and a nurse who’s part way facing left. Then there’s a man in what looks like regular clothes, a shirt and a hat and the last pictogram is of a man in blue traditional clothes facing straight ahead. It’s worth noting that all the hairstyles are traditional and not really what you see in today’s Japan, even though you still see traditional clothing and art etc. I wonder if this is to lead us to the past? Also all the pictograms are inside white circles and when you put them together they form a loop, like in the Sarazanmai logo which I think is pretty cool/might be what it’s alluding to! It’s all about connections after all… 

After the slideshow there one slightly terrifying image of different meters and gauges, surrounded by pipes and the 吸 kanji which stand for “suck” or “inhale”. There are a few different ways we can interpret this. Something seems to be getting absorbed, but what? Also, there’s a heart. Is this some kind of “living” machinery?

The final images of the CM show us a circle with an aerial shot of Asakusa in it. There’s a huge growing hole right in the centre of it. The hole is covered by the otter symbol, this time in red and white. A second white circle is getting drawn around the otter symbol, like a timer, also very reminiscent of the teaser PV. While that happens there are some red flashes over the destroyed Asakusa area. The otters are destroying Asakusa? Or is it the zombies, since this red colour and technological imagery is reminding me of them. Are they the same or do they work together? The zombies seem like henchmen to me, but who’s orchestrating all of this? Is this happening on its own/due to specific circumstances or due to someone’s efforts?

As usual the last shot shows us the Sarazanmai logo. This time with the red bridge in the background. We can see some pictogram people on it as well as Kazuki who’s carrying the kappazon box in his hands.

Overall I love the energy and all the information this CM gives us. The song doesn’t stand out too much, but fits really well with all the action that’s shown on screen. I like the combination of funny and silly and bizarre and sinister. It looks super promising and it’s getting me even more excited for Sarazanmai!!

I also have to express my excitement for how they brought back several things from the teaser PVs, it gives me more hope that everything really is connected and relevant.