沙羅双樹【さらそうじゅ】 (sarasouju) – meaning:
1. sal (tree) (Shorea robusta)
2. Japanese stewartia (Stewartia pseudocamellia)
I saw one Japanese twitter thread on how the “sara” could be from “sarasouju”. They didn’t go in depth about it but I will:
S. robusta has connections to Buddhism. You can check the wikipedia page on that. It ties in with stories about birth, death and attaining enlightenment. The brief flowering of the tree is used as a symbol of impermanence and the rapid passing of glory, etc.
This could work as a name in combiation with the 三昧【ざんまい】[zanmai] ending, refering to samadhi; the state of intense concentration achieved through meditation (or just indulging yourself in something).
In Japan the sal tree of Buddhist scriptures is identified as S. pseudocamellia.
The leaves have also been used as plates in parts of India and Nepal, which gets us back on the plate theory.
Additionally, Ikuhara loves flowers and flower symbolism, what would Utena be without the roses upon roses, or YKA without the lilies?
皿 【さら】(sara) – plate, dish, serving, course
The circles seen in the logo and teasers could be interpreted as plates. I’ve seen at least one person on Japanese twitter go in depth about how you could interpret different kinds of plates, and a few comparing them to some we’ve seen in YKA or Penguindrum, but it’s a bit too out there for me to share here (I know, right?).
Plates or dishes and food play an important part of our lives, you could say humans also feel a desire to eat and indulge in food. Considering how this meaning works very well with the few hints we’ve gotten about the series and how this word is what first comes to mind for most people when they hear “sara” i’d say it’s still worth keeping in though.
Also you know 回転寿司 or “conveyor belt sushi”? It’s a system where the ones who aren’t chosen get thrown away, this references Penguindrum and implies
I need to stop with the sushi jokes. If you’re wondering people are joking about “sushizanmai” which is a sushi chain restaurant with a very similar sounding name. It’s also funny since “sarazanmai” can be read as “three plates”.
私よりもサラ (watashi yori mo sara) – Sara than my
“Sarazanmai” if pronounced like “Sara zan mai” sounds like “Sara than my”
This made me laugh so I had to include it here. I think it’s time for me to go to bed now.