- Mangaka : Kunihiko Ikuhara
- Publisher : Seven Seas
- Genre : Boys' Love, Comedy, LGBT+ Topics, Slice of Life, Supernatural
- Published : October 26, 2021
Kunihiko Ikuhara is well-known for his unique storytelling. Since his style doesn’t really fit the norm, it’s logical that it also doesn’t fit everyone’s taste. The unusual plot and peculiar elements may be off-putting at first, but its allure tends to permeate after a while. Authoring titles like Revolutionary Girl Utena and PENGUINDRUM, as well as directing the TV adaptation of Sailor Moon, has allowed Ikuhara to gather a crowd of similar-taste fans. Sarazanmai is yet another addition to Ikuhara’s weird works. This time, we’re graced with an anthology dedicated to it. Here’s our review of Sarazanmai: The Official Manga Anthology.
Sarazanmai: The Official Manga Anthology, as the title suggests, is a collection of short stories that are based on the titular anime. The stories aren’t connected to each other, but they still feature our beloved characters, including our favorite kappa, and are set in the same universe. Just like the original, the stories range from cute to heartwarming to, of course, straight up weird.
1. Glorious Illustrations
Sarazanmai: The Official Manga Anthology has gone all out. It features the works of a LOT of creators, namely: Kyouhei Azumi, Sakuya Amano, Aya Isino, Akira Caskabe, Chinatsu Kurahana, Mataaki Kureno, Chiho Saito, Misaki Saitoh, Chidori Sakuraba, Isuzu Shibata, Samata Techno, Asumiko Nakamura, pako, Shoko Hidaka, Akari Funato, Lily Hoshino, Miggy, Akiko Morishima, Kotetsuko Yamamoto, and Riyo. That’s definitely a long list, but we just can’t bring ourselves to exclude even one of these names. Obviously, each of these creators are very talented. Their skills aren’t just for show. On second thought, they are! The first ten or so pages of the anthology are literally just glorious, full-colored illustrations, and we’re mesmerized just by remembering them. Better yet is that the illustrations capture everything we could ever wish for.
2. Just a Collection of Adorableness
The anthology in the title isn’t there just to make it sound cool. There really are a bunch of stories in this book, and it sure does have a wide range. From Reo and Mabu’s adorable relationship to Sara-chan’s comeback, each story elicits a different kind of emotion. The thing is, it’s not necessarily in order. You may be giggling from BL overdose on one chapter, then completely weirded out by a gender-bender the next. It’s basically like a mystery box. You just don’t have any idea what you might be getting next, which somehow fits the series very well.
1. You’ve Never Heard of Sarazanmai Before
The most important question to ponder on prior to picking up this book is whether or not you know what Sarazanmai is. If you have no idea what it is, then you’d better gently put this book down and walk away as if nothing happened. This is not an omnibus of the original Sarazanmai series - rather, it’s an anthology of short stories based on the Sarazanmai anime. Obviously, this is something fans of the series will delight in. For those who are unfamiliar, however, this will just cause you a lot of confusion. Perhaps you’ll even see it as a waste of money.
Sarazanmai is undeniably a weird, but alluring anime. Nothing surprising about that, since it's from none other than Kunihiko Ikuhara. This continues in Sarazanmai: The Official Manga Anthology. While it is a welcomed material for fans of the series, others may want to steer clear from it as it is heavily based on the Sarazanmai anime. Have you read Sarazanmai: The Official Manga Anthology? Do tell us your thoughts about it in the comment section below.