REO TO MABU: FUTARI WA SARAZANMAI – CHAPTER 11

We’ve reached the last chapter of Reo to Mabu: Futari wa Sarazanmai! This month it’s published in Rutile, although the tankobon was published on the same day so I got it instead (yay for saving space and money). In reality, however I’m checking out the e-book version because it’s easier. 

It’s been a long ride (almost an entire year!) so it’s both sad and rewarding to see it come to an end. Please enjoy the conclusion of the series!

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The cover for chapter eleven is baby Sara looking cute as ever!

The chapter begins where we were left off last time with a grown up version of Sara appearing in front of Reo and Mabu.

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Reo and Mabu are panicking. This person is Sara? Their Sara? Mabu checks the baby bed Sara was lying on and sees that it’s empty. What’s going on? Where is she and what happened to her?

Reo asks grown up Sara if she’s the one who was riding the plate which she confirms. Did several months and years pass for her? Why can’t Reo remember what she was like graduating from kindergarten, during sports day or during the school entrance and graduation ceremony? Mabu imagines what she looked like growing up and collapses while muttering “dad” and “Sara”. He broke down.

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Sara’s starting to feel awkward so Reo apologizes to her and asks her to come inside. Then he commands Mabu to get inside as well. They’ll think about it all later.

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It’s a bit awkward again… Reo’s apologetic how they’ve really done it now that they can’t remember her growing up. He tells her that her dads are really sorry for it (HER DADS!!!!!). Sara says that she always wanted the three of them to be together, but that they can’t be together anymore. Mabu asks her where she’ll go to, but Sara replies that she can’t tell them. Then she thanks Reo-papa and Mabu-papa for everything up until now.

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I REPEAT, SHE THEN THANKS REO PAPA AND MABU PAPA FOR EVERYTHING!!!!!

Sara stands up and sprinkles something sparkly on Reo and Mabu. 

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After the daze the cops look at each other and proceed to ask Sara who she is. These expressions are killing me…

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Then suddenly this happens, Sara flies up or something and says goodbye.

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Next up Sara’s floating over a river. There are a couple of mysterious figures in the background.

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Reo comments on the man in glasses, isn’t that the person who visited them earlier in his pajamas? (Also, please note the crown and royal looking cape on the second figure, could it be Keppi who’s the self proclaimed ruler of the kappa kingdom?)

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Sara waves them goodbye and they wave her back. Then Sara and her company disappears in a cloud of glitter.

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On the next page we see Reo and Mabu suddenly wake up. A dream? Since when have they’ve been dreaming? Has everything that happened today been a dream? Or could they have been dreaming for even longer?

Then there’s a sound – it’s Sara who’s now lying awake between the two of them. Reo picks her up and sees that she has a runny nose. At first he’s scared she’s about to catch a cold, but then his expression changes. At least it wasn’t a dream that they got her. Mabu agrees and the manga ends with the image of the trio happy together!

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Look how cute that is!!!! The manga got a happy ending after all, even if this dream business is extremely suspect and will most likely be brought up in the anime again in a less innocent light.

As a bonus there’s still one last image of Reo and Mabu with a text from Misaki Saito thanking the readers. I love how intimate it is!

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And that was Reo to Mabu: Futari wa Sarazanmai, the spin-off manga to Kunihiko Ikuhara’s new original anime Sarazanmai. I hope you’ve enjoyed it! I’ve certainly loved getting the manga each month and writing these summaries for it, sharing it with others so that everyone else can fall in love with it too. I could definitely do something similar in the future as well with some other series.

Next you can look forward to an actual scanlation of Reo to Mabu that we are working on right now!!

Thank you for reading!

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LEO TO MABU: FUTARI WA SARAZANMAI – CHAPTER 9

The time has come for chapter nine of Leo to Mabu: Futari wa Sarazanmai! As an odd numbered chapter it’s published in Rutile, even if the cover page claims it to be chapter eight. That’s an unfortunate mistake!

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The chapter begins with Leo standing outside the sarakobanwhen a child approaches him. Leo asks the young boy if he’s lost, what his name is and if he’s hungry, but the child remains silent. Then the boy barges through into the koban where Mabu’s sitting at a desk. The child hands over a plate calling it a lost item and then he runs away leaving both Leo and Mabu thoroughly confused.

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Leo’s trying to make sense of what just happened. The boy called the plate a lost item, lost as in it was left on the ground. Can there be a connection between this plate and the one Sara came riding in on? No, Leo’s been through a similar situation before, finding plates on the ground, and they belonged to a shop. Mabu also chimes in and wonders if the owner will ever show up?

Some time passes and we see the boy come back. Once again he runs inside the koban, leaves a plate on the desk and runs away without saying a word. And then he does it again!

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Then we need to take a moment to appreciate Leo getting ready for the day, brushing his teeth and Mabu sitting at the desk reading a newspaper. How cute and domestic!

Anyway, Mabu says that the kid has been doing this everyday, long enough for him to have lost count of the number of plates they’ve received. They continue to question what’s up with all the plates. Mabu suggests a yokai’s behind them, but according to Leo it’s rather the work of a ghost.

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They start arguing about which one it is. Mabu imagines a yokai that piles plates and Leo thinks it’s a ghost because there’s a Japanese ghost story that involves a spirit counting plates to find one missing (Bancho Sarayashiki). However Mabu points out that in this case the plates are increasing so doesn’t add up with the lore. While Leo has to admit that, he also points out that there’s no meaning in a yokai that piles plates. Mabu replies that it’s nonsense to try to find any meaning with yokai!

The discussions returns to whether or not the plates are related to Sara and Leo comes up with a horrible scenario: Once they receive enough plates, Sara will get spirited away! Mabu has to calm him down saying it’s just a made-up story.

The following day Leo and Mabu get a visit from the mother of the boy, who brought him there to apologize for playing a prank on them. Another simple and mundane answer to a mysterious and bizarre situation.

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There are only two chapters left before the anime (hopefully) starts airing. I wonder if the story’s about to wrap up in any clear way or if we’ll get two fairly independent chapters similar to this one?

LEO TO MABU: FUTARI WA SARAZANMAI – CHAPTER 8

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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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Mabu doesn’t respond with anything but looks like this

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Ow….

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. 

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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.

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

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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?

LEO TO MABU: FUTARI WA SARAZANMAI – CHAPTER 7

One thing out of many that I love about Leo to Mabu: Futari wa Sarazanmaiis you never know what you’ll get with each chapter. Let’s see what they’ve come up with for chapter seven!

In this volume of Rutile we also got a coloured page that I posted earlier here. Leo and Mabu look so cool!

The chapter begins with drama as Leo visits the Taito City Office with Sara and gets told to give her up for adoption, because how can two men raise a baby and at a police station of all places? Of course that’s not something Leo could ever do, which he makes very clear. They continue talking about some more bureaucracy, particularly regarding Sara’s name.

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Back home Leo and Mabu discuss Leo’s visit and agree on not wanting to give Sara away, because then they wouldn’t be able to spend time with her anymore. They also don’t like the idea of someone changing her name, even if the way they named her was a little weird. Mabu brings up Sara’s parents and mentions how they’re more of a problem for how they left her for them to find on a plate laying on the ground. He asks Leo if he’s ready to return her to her real parents if they ever were to find them to which Leo replies that he has no intention of giving her to anyone. It’s a difficult situation for them because as police officers they also have their duty to try and find them, even if they don’t have anything to base their search on.

Then they have cute domestic moment with Leo feeding and burping Sara and Mabu commenting on how motherly he is. That however results in an argument because what does Mabu mean Leo’s like a mom, Mabu’s the one who’s the mom!!

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They only stop arguing once Sara starts crying. Leo and Mabu are quick to find a solution; both of them will be the mom and the dad.

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For the last page of the chapter they get a quick visitor, who after apologising for interrupting them as they’re deciding on who’s the father and who’s the mother, asks for directions to the nearest train station. And like everyone else they’ve encountered before, of course he can’t help but comment on how cute Sara is!

Chapter eight will be available online in Rutile Sweet as of this day until the 22nd of February 2019. I hope it’s a bit more lighthearted!

BONUS:

Second best part about this chapter (after Leo and Mabu arguing about their parental roles) was Mabu drinking tea from his  搾♥取 cup. It’s recurring, both in the manga and on their twitter account!

LEO TO MABU: FUTARI WA SARAZANMAI – CHAPTER 6

This last month has been eventful for Sarazanmai! We finally got a full pv as well as a synopsis and that brought out so many more fans! I’m almost starting to feel pressure writing these! Only almost though, since chapter 6 ofLeo to Mabu: Futari wa Sarazanmai has been available for free for everyone to check out themselves on Rutile SWEET, and as usual it will be available for another month until the 21st of December 2018.

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Here’s the cover for chapter 6. No Sara, but these two look cute even on their own!

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The chapter begins with a shot of Sumida with Tokyo Sky Tree and the Asahi Breweries Headquarters. Leo’s riding a bike over the bridge connecting to Asakusa, singing what I suspect is a commercial jingle for ochazuke (a Japanese dish), when he comes across a young boy who seems to be about to jump off the bridge. Leo immediately lunges forward yelling at the boy not to go through with it – an action which results into two things falling down into the water.

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Following this we get Mabu, who’s holding Sara in a child carrier, asking the young boy why he was about to throw himself off the bridge. The boy responds that it wasn’t his intention at all. He was only trying to pick up his hat when Leo attacked, grabbed his arms and made him lose it. While it’s fortunate that only his hat was lost and not his life, unfortunately for Leo he lost his hat as well. Since Leo’s hat isn’t his own, but part of his uniform, this means trouble for him so he immediately went looking for it.

…in the river and this is where I expect Leo to be revealed as an otter 😛 Even Sara becomes more alert and provides us with a “deisshu…”, prompting the topic to change from Leo’s hatsaving operations to her. The young boy asks Mabu if they’re always together to which Mabu replies that they can’t leave Sara alone at the station.

Papa cop!

That makes Mabu a “papa cop” (papa coppu)!

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Mabu’s startled. But he’s a dad and a policeman isn’t he? Thus a “papa cop”.

The boy continues with what’s the best dialogue in the series so far, calling Mabu cool and handsome. Mabu’s questioning him, but he insists that he doesn’t have a cool father like him. Mabu gets curious and asks the boy if he’s a traveller. He isn’t, he has however ran away from home!

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…which is something you can’t tell a police officer. Mabu instantly wants the boy’s personal information.

The boy explains his situation further and apparently he’s just a student tired of preparing for his examinations. Mabu won’t force him to return home, as long as he will return, which he says he always intended to do anyway.

Then Sara reaches out towards the boy! He takes her hand, calls her cute and asks for her name. This boy is just full of compliments, after hearing her name he comments on how she will grow up to become beautiful. He comments on her soft hands and says that she’s loved.

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Mabu get’s worried that the boy isn’t loved, but he confirms that he is, and continues by telling Mabu how the hat that fell into the river is something his mother gave to him, the only thing she’s given him.

Mabu’s about to insist that they must find it then, but the boys says that it’s fine. It’s impossible to find it in a river of that size.

But then! Leo’s voice carries through. He’s down below, on a boat, hat in hand.

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Sara’s smiling as well, which frankly is quite suspicious.

The boy thanks Mabu and the chapter ends there for him. Things don’t end as happily for Leo though. He didn’t manage to find his own hat and gets yelled at for losing it. An apology won’t make it, he’ll receive a pay cut!

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The next chapter will be out on the 22nd of November 2018 in the Rutile manga magazine. It’s going to include a coloured illustration, so that’s something to look forward to as well!

BONUS:

Isn’t it nice, having a cool dad?

A cool… dad?

You’re handsome. That makes you cool, you know.

LEO TO MABU: FUTARI WA SARAZANMAI – CHAPTER 5

It’s time for the fifth chapter of Leo to Mabu: Futari wa Sarazanmai. This month I once again had to buy Rutile to read it, but it’s a pleasure and absolutely worth it!

The chapter starts right away by Leo discovering yet another plate on the side of the road. And then another one, and another one…

Sara came riding in one one, but these are smaller so maybe they’re for dogs or cats or- no actually plates aren’t for that at all! After that brilliant train of thought Leo sees a broken plate and a person who’s fallen over; the one responsible for all those plates lying around.

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He tried to carry too many plates at the same time so Leo offers him his help carrying them, but instead he notes that Leo’s hands are already full. Leo’s carrying a shopping bag and a bag of diapers, which prompts the question if Leo’s the father of a baby?

Back at the Sarakouban Leo tells Mabu about his encounter.

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They talk about what Sara will call them once she starts speaking and how she’ll turn out, being raised by two fathers. (Well, because it’s Sara, according to Leo, no matter what she’ll be cute!)

Mabu then starts fantasising about Sara’s growth and upbringing. How she’ll come to him with flower crowns as a sweet small child, angrily yell at him as a rebelling schoolgirl, and finally thank him for everything he’s done as she’s getting married and starting a new life of her own.

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Me too Mabu, me too.

Then they take a moment to wonder if they really can keep going like this. What about Sara’s parents? Mabu gets another one of his moment where he suggests that maybe Sara doesn’t have parents. Since she seems to have some sort of mysterious power, maybe storks brought her into this world? Leo laughs at the idea that God put a baby on a plate for them to find, but finds the thought pleasant.

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Sara will stay at their place until she becomes a bride.

The chapter was a little shorter than the previous ones, but made up for that in cuteness! Chapter six is up already, let’s see how things continue for Leo, Mabu and Sara after this charming moment.

BONUS:

geekybiologist:
“ When Sara starts speaking what will she call us?
Papa? Otousan? Daddy?
…not daddy…
”

When Sara starts speaking what will she call us?

Papa? Otousan? Daddy?

…not daddy…

LEO TO MABU: FUTARI WA SARAZANMAI – CHAPTER 4

The fourth chapter of Leo to Mabu: Futari wa Sarazanmai is here! Once again it’s available for free on Rutile SWEET until the 22nd of October 2018.

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Aaaaaahhh I love this cover! Mabu has a thing for feeding people Leo and it’s so cute!

The chapter begins with Mabu making ningyou-yaki, those soft “doll” cakes they had in chapter 2. He wants Leo to taste them and compare his to those of the shop. But before comparing Leo needs to cleanse his palate with some tea.

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Interestingly the cup on the right spells out 搾取 sakushu which means exploitation. That’s a very weird thing to have on a cup. The one on the left on the other hand spells out 欲望 yokuboudesire and that’s a familiar word for us! This means that exploitation could be another key-word! A while ago I shared some theories and talks on my blog about river otters in Japan and how they’ve become extinct in Japan. Maybe Sarazanmai really will be a take on (over)exploitation as an environmental issue? However Ikuni’s usually more about humans and people being exploited so it’s more likely about exploitation of labour. Definitely something to keep in mind either way as I strongly suspect that exploitation will be relevant in some shape or form!

Note: I’ve been informed that yokubou also has a sexual connotation as in “milking someone dry”. Leo and Mabu are drinking our of cups with sex jokes written on them!

Back to the manga it’s fun to see Mabu be so obsessive again and even nicer to get a comment from Leo how Mabu’s obsessiveness and odd behaviour is not something that he dislikes about him 🙂

When Leo finally tries the cakes from the shop it turns out that they taste amazing, even if he can’t tell what makes the difference. Mabu rants about the process of making those cakes and how you buy ordinary “everyday” ones as snacks from convenience stores and chain shops and “extraordinary” ones for special occasions from specialised stores. According to him ningyou-yaki are usually ordinary, but the the ones from the store that they went to that are homemade are bordering on being extraordinary. Mabu himself makes everyday ones but wants to make extraordinary ones!

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Which he yells out to Leo while blushing. And not only that, he wants Leo to eat his extraordinary cakes!

Leo doesn’t quite understand why, so Mabu explains that Leo makes a wonderful face while eating something that tastes good and that watching someone make such a face makes him happy. 

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Which means it’s time for Leo to blush as well. 

Next up, for Mabu to proceed with his cake making he needs to get forms or moulds for the cakes. As the forms can be of whatever, naturally Leo suggest that they should get some that resembles Sara’s face. However when they go out to get some, it turns out that making new custom forms is crazy expensive so that’s out of the question.

Luckily (while lying down on the ground from the shock of the 300,000 yen price tag) Mabu comes up with the idea of asking the shopkeeper if she has any extra ones that she doesn’t use anymore. It’s a successful plan and he gets his forms and plans to make some ningyou-yaki as soon as they get back to the station.

Back at the station that “some” turns out to be extravagant amounts. Leo argues that he can’t eat anymore and Mabu retorts that he still doesn’t know how to make them perfectly. Oh and once again Leo begs Mabu to put on some clothes as he prefers to cook in just an apron.

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And that’s what the chapters ends on.

Next one will be out as of the 22nd of September in the Rutile manga magazine.

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