Best friends or lovers for eternity? Sarazanmai shows us that true desire exists outside of material wealth and inside our own hearts.
Happy Pride Month! All month long, we have been spotlighting creators, characters, anime and manga that shine a light on the LGBTQ+ community, and today we’re talking about Enta Jinnai from Sarazanmai.
Sarazanmai is a prime example of unique and diverse storytelling. After breaking a statue, characters Kazuki, Enta and Toi are bonded together by becoming kappas and collecting the Dishes of Hope. Whoever wields the dishes can make any wish to their heart’s desire.
The series is filled with romance, friendship and catchy dance numbers while centering around a theme of acceptance. While we could highlight plenty of the series as a whole—we’re looking at you Reo and Mabu—our focus is on Enta Jinnai, the glasses-donning, orange-scarfed, openly gay character whose unrequited teen love gives us major feels.
He’s a supportive and loyal friend who wants to be by Kazuki’s side forever. This golden duo was considered unstoppable on the playing field, but now they’ve become unstoppable in real life to protect the world and their own desires. Enta is most admirable and selfless when it comes down to Kazuki—he would do anything for him.
We soon find out that everyone has a secret: Kazuki dresses as his brother’s favorite idol to make him happy, as he feels responsible for his younger sibling’s accident; Toi is revealed to have shot the Yakuza that was after his parents; and Enta’s secret crush on Kazuki is revealed as he purchases a soccer anklet as a gift to encourage him to play with him again.
While he struggles with his secret, he lives in a constant state of anxiety as he navigates his feelings for Kazuki. There have been many chances for him to speak his truth, but Kazuki seems utterly oblivious to all signals, going as far as mistaking a kiss for a quirky social media scavenger hunt.
Enta’s heart and love for Kazuki sometimes gets the best of him, where he becomes jealous and selfish, but in the end, he puts his life on the line for Kazuki and takes a bullet for him. It’s no secret that he has flaws, but he gradually learns to share a friendship with Toi, which ultimately leads to a happy future for the three of them!
Through connection, desire and friendship, Sarazanmai shares the story of people like Enta who have been trying to escape from the real world, but are interlocked together to keep their memories.
The full series shares the experiences of running away from your past until you find the people who will accept you for who you are—your true self.