This page lists the characters of Sarazanmai and the tropes associated with them.
All spoilers regarding Dark Keppi's entry are unmarked. You Have Been Warned.
Applying to all:
- Baleful Polymorph: The three protagonist boys and Reo and Mabu turn into a Kappa when their shirikodama is removed.
- Kappa: All of the main characters are connected to Kappa in some way. The three boys can turn into Kappa, while Keppi, Reo and Mabu also originally came from the Kappa kingdom.
- Morphic Resonance: When the three main characters are turned into kappa, they still keep their hairstyles, and Enta still wears his glasses. Reo and Mabu also keep their hair and eyes, with Reo retaining his sharp teeth and Mabu still wearing his own glasses.
- Second Year Protagonist: Kazuki, Tooi and Enta are at least second years in middle school when the story starts. Moving on to high school or adjusting to a new school never comes up as an issue, though school isn't much of a focus. Instead, Kazuki's personal life drives a lot of the plot.
- With a Friend and a Stranger: The plot mainly follows Kazuki, who's joined in his kappa adventures by his longtime friend Enta and the newly transfered Tooi.
A second-year middle school student. He used to love soccer and used to have a bright personality, but now he's obsessed with "that."
- Affectionate Nickname: His parents call him "Kazu-kun" while Haruka calls him "Kazu-chan".
- Aloof Older Brother: Subverted; he tends to act aloof towards his little brother Haruka, but his inner monologues and actions clearly show that he cares very deeply about Haruka and will go to great lengths to make him happy. He only acts aloof because of his guilt over feeling responsible for the accident that caused Haruka's legs to be paralyzed.
- Childhood Friends: With Enta.
- Color-Coded Characters: His associated color is red.
- Curtains Match the Window: Can be included in here depends on the light intensity that hit on his eyes. Both of his eyes and hair color match with his color theme.
- Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: His birth mother, according to her account, was in no mental condition to raise a child after the death of her husband, Kazuki's biological father, so she gave him up. While this doesn't excuse the absence in his life, she at least wanted to see him one last time before exiting Kazuki's life forever. The light novel implied that the decision to leave him wasn't her own idea, but Kazuki's grandfather's from his mother side.
- Delusions of Doghood: Episode 1 features him and Tooi obsessively eating cucumbers, sumo wrestling, and constantly seeking water. This turns out to be because they were adopting the mannerisms of Kappa after accidentally breaking the sculpture.
- Flower Motifs: Cherry Blossoms. Whenever the story focuses on his past, cherry blossom petals are either flying by him or you see cherry trees in bloom. His biological mother also has a cherry blossom scented satchel, and Haruka notes that Kazuki has the same scent as his mother.
- Foreshadowing: The fact that he is a crossdresser is alluded to early in the first episode. Tooi picks up on it when he recognizes the keychain in "Sara's" phone is the same on Kazuki's and his box is also given a bit of focus during the confrontation.
- Forgotten First Meeting: With Tooi, because he barely met Tooi at the Sumida River when they were only 10. Also, Tooi is the one who gave him his miçanga which currently he wears.
- For Want of a Nail: The entire plot is kickstarted because he was running away from Tooi after accidentally taking a selfie that included Tooi while he was jacking a car. When Tooi attacks him in front of a Kappa statue it breaks, summoning Keppi. And the rest is history.
- Happily Adopted: After his father died and his mother left, Kazuki was taken in by his aunt and uncle. His home life there is healthy, and he loves them just as much as they do him.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Asks to use up his shirikodama to bring Haruka back to life after seeing his box land in the extraction vat, at the cost of his own existence. Luckily he doesn't have to resort to such an action because Haruka's box was to be "returned"... to a garbage disposal.
- It's All My Fault: Takes all of the blame for Haruka's paralysis, because Haruka's attempts to be closer to Kazuki led him to chasing him down a crosswalk while car traffic was still active. He also feels responsible for Enta's Taking the Bullet moment.
- Meaningful Name: His name has the kanji for "one" in it, signifying his role as the protagonist.
- Must Make Amends: Kazuki does all of these crazy antics for Haruka because he feels guilty for his brother's being paralyzed. His way of coping with this, however, is way too self destructive.
- Nephewism: The light novel reveals that Kazuki's adoptive parents are actually his blood aunt and uncle. Whether it be paternal or maternal is left unaddressed.
- Oblivious to Love: He's oblivious to the fact that Enta is in love with him despite finding out that he was kissed by him. Even after finding out, he just assumes that Enta was made to pull a prank on him.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Toois blue. These dynamics can be seen in the few of episodes, ex: episode 1, 4, 6, and 8. Coincidentally, this trope is suitable with their own color themes.
- Reflective Eyes: Has this twice during Enta's leak scene. In ep. 3, his left eye is zoomed in to reflect the leak scene when Enta kisses him as Sara when he is tired◊, while In ep. 7, also to reflect the leak scene when Enta steals Dishes of Hope in Kappa Plaza◊.
- Rule of Three: Has three life rules:
- 1) He must carry this cardboard box with him wherever he went.
- 2) He has to check Sara's show, and see what's the theme for the day's lucky selfie.
- 3) He will take the lucky selfie, which will be sent to a secret person.
- Thousand-Yard Stare: Does this after becoming a kappa.
- Ship Tease: Quite a bit with Tooi:
- In episode 2 they enter a theme park in which only couples are allowed. Kazuki is crossdressing in that moment, but he is adamant in keeping up the act (which is required to stay on the park, but still).
- In episode 4 Tooi seems openly dazzled when going out to eat with him.
- Merchandise often juxtaposes the two much like Reo and Mabu are juxtaposed; a set of bookmarks show Kazuki and Tooi to be facing each other if you put them together (much like Reo and Mabu are back to back if you do the same), and a set of layered keychains have it so Tooi is on the left and Kazuki is on the right if you stack their versions. Also take notice of how Enta can never do the same with Kazuki in either merch items.
- Stepford Smiler: Becomes this in Episode 6. After failing to get the Satchel Zombie's shirikodama and remaining in kappa form because of it, Kazuki pretends to be happy and energetic throughout the whole ordeal.
- Strong Family Resemblance: He and his birth mother look quite similar, sharing a hair and eye color as well as similar face structures. He also looks quite a bit like his adoptive father, down to the hair color and style.
- The Protagonist: Downplayed. He does get a bit more of focus, but Enta's and Tooi's stories are given nearly the same spotlight and screentime.
- The Stoic: A rare halfway case, especially for a main character. He is not outright cold, but outside of his Sara act he is very difficult to read and doesn't emote much, and even when he does it tends to look like he is still behind a mask.
- Unmanly Secret: His crossdressing, although Enta tells him it's fine.
- We Used to Be Friends: Not quite there yet, but it's implied his friendship with Enta has been deteriorating for a while, evidenced by Enta's increased clingyness, as well as Kazuki having dropped out of the soccer club.
- Wholesome Cross Dresser: Its revealed in episode 1 that he crossdresses as Sara Azuma, even going as far as to copy her speech and mannerisms when he does so. He sends selfies and texts to his younger brother Haruka while pretending to be Sara in order to make him happy, since Haruka is a big fan of Sara. He later admits that he goes so far to pretend to be Sara because he feels responsible for the accident that paralyzed Haruka.
A second-year middle school student who transferred into Kazuki's class. Due to a nasty rumor, he is isolated from the rest of the class.
- Affectionate Nickname: His aunt calls him "Tooi-chan" in episode 4.
- The Atoner: At the end of his adventures, he's sent to juvenile prison. It's unclear if he lets himself get arrested or if he willingly turned himself in, but he stays and does his three years afterwards before rejoining society.
- Big Brother Worship: He greatly looks up to his brother Chikai and wants to spend more time with him, though this isn't necessarily a good thing since Chikai is often involved in criminal activities. He finally has his wakeup call in episode 9; after figuring out Chikai put Enta in danger, seeing him shoot his subordinates, and outright killing a member that helped them, Tooi winds up fearing that he's just as expendable as everyone else in Chikai's eyes even though he still loves his brother.
- Children Forced to Kill: He shot and killed the boss of Kamome when he was a child, in a clumsy attempt to save his brother and in self defense in general. Chikai decides to take the rap for him.
- Color-Coded Characters: His associated color is blue.
- Curtains Match the Windows: Can be included in here depends on the light intensity that hit on his eyes. Both of his eyes and hair color match with his color theme.
- Delusions of Doghood: The Massara PV briefly shows him making funny faces with Kazuki. Episode 1 reveals that this was not of his own volition, but instead because he was adopting the mannerisms of a Kappa after accidentally breaking the sculpture.
- Deuteragonist: Unlike Enta and Kazuki's interweaved struggles, his own personal story is self contained, but is still given significant focus and takes up a good chunk of the latter half of the show. And just as Kazuki was the narrator of the first episode, Tooi is the narrator of the last episode.
- Driven to Suicide: In the last couple of episodes, Tooi agrees to "leave the circle" under Dark Keppi's influence, personally erasing himself from reality until his last major link in life is gone. Kazuki and Enta manage to talk him out of it, and while he does do time afterward, ultimately the whole thing ends up a Happily Failed Suicide.
- Flower Motifs: On some magazine covers, Tooi's associated with forget-me-not; it means someone who doesn't want to be forgotten. It depicts how Tooi's first meeting in their childhood was already being forgotten by Kazuki.
- Forgotten First Meeting: With Kazuki, because he barely met Kazuki at the Sumida River when they were only 10. Also, Tooi is the one who gave him his original miçanga.
- Hidden Depths: He likes soccer a fair bit. His childhood room contained soccer themed items and memorabilia, and at present he's shown to be quite adept with the ball.
- Improbable Weapon User: The gleaming blade he pulls out from his back is actually a ruler with a bandaged handle.
- Loners Are Freaks: Isolated from his peers due an unknown rumor spread about him. He is a criminal for starters though.
- Meaningful Name: His first name translates to "distant", which is fitting as he's isolated in his class.
- Nephewism: Currently raised by his aunt and uncle, as his parents died four years prior to the story. He used to be in the care of his older brother Chikai, and he's still longing to go back to living together.
- Non-Standard Character Design: Unlike Kazuki and Enta, Tooi's kappa form doesn't have big round eyes but instead, keeps his Tsurime Eyes.
- Not So Above It All:
- Although he's comparatively more mature than the other two boys, he still has rather childish beliefs. For example, one of the episode previews has him mention he thinks kisses are the devil's work (as he was told by Chikai).
- The SNS misadventures have Tooi at his most casual, showing he's a pretty bad liar when he wants to be and that he's not above going to character cafes.
- Not So Different: Says this to Kazuki. Case in point, Kazuki is perfectly willing to kidnap someone just to keep up a childish fantasy for his brother, and in fact goes to Tooi to help him with it.
- Peek-a-Bangs: His hair covers his right eye, giving him a rather emo appearance.
- Pet the Dog: Despite his criminal and asocial behaviour, he gives genuine advice to Enta in episode 4, and is the one to actually address that Kazuki's denseness and avoidance of Enta is awful, straight up calling up the fact that Kazuki is hurting Enta.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Kazukis red. These dynamics can be seen in the few of episodes, ex: episode 1, 4, 6, and 8. Coincidentally, this trope is suitable with their own color themes.
- Reflective Eyes: Has this first during Kazuki's leak scene in ep. 1 where his left eye reflects the leak scene when Sara-Kazuki's skirt is revealed, shows his red pants and a little show of his bulge◊, revealing that he is a guy who dresses as Sara.
- Ship Tease: Quite a bit with Kazuki.
- In episode 2 they enter a theme park in which only couples are allowed. Kazuki is crossdressing in that moment, but he is adamant in keeping up the act (which is required to stay on the park, but still)
- In episode 4 Tooi seems openly dazzled when going out to eat with him.
- Merchandise often juxtaposes the two much like Reo and Mabu are juxtaposed; a set of bookmarks show Kazuki and Tooi to be facing each other if you put them together (much like Reo and Mabu are back to back if you do the same), and a set of layered keychains have it so Tooi is on the left and Kazuki is on the right if you stack their versions.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Toi or Tooi.
- Teens Are Monsters: In episode 2, he helps Chikai waterboard someone. He is also a drug dealer and a murderer.
- The Stoic: Entirely, even his kappa form does so. But he can shows his emotion in the certain way sometimes.
- Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: He's only in middle school, but he helps his older brother torture and interrogate people, carries a gun around, and is shown to grow and sell marijuana (and Japan has very strict laws about guns and drugs). He also killed a man in self-defense when he was only ten, and while it was terrifying for him at the time, he now sees it as something he simply had to do in order to survive.
- Un-person: In the final episode, he attempts to leave the "circle" by magically erasing all traces of his bonds with Kazuki and Enta. He never gets that far, since the boys convince him to keep his connections.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Has blue hair, though its most likely supposed to be a stylized black.
- Youthful Freckles: Has light freckles along his nose. They're also a reference to his "soba" theme, as freckles are sobakasu in Japanese.
Kazukis childhood friend. When they were in the soccer club together they were known as the Golden Combo.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: Kazuki reached out to and befriended Enta when he had just moved back to Japan and was having trouble fitting in, which led to Enta falling for him.
- Beware the Nice Ones: He looks the kindest of the three boys, and the Massara PV shows him getting aggressive with Tooi.
- Character Development: His character arc is about how he's in love with Kazuki, who cares for him but doesn't reciprocate his feelings, and how his unrequited love leads to him having delusional fantasies and doing questionable things to keep Kazuki to himself. He eventually realizes what his actions had nearly cost both him and Kazuki, that when he's given a choice to pursue his desires at the cost of his friendship with Kazuki, he refuses.
- Childhood Friends: With Kazuki. Episode 3 reveals that he desperately wants to upgrade to a Childhood Friend Romance, but Kazuki is oblivious.
- Color-Coded Characters: His associated color is yellow.
- Cool Big Bro: With Kazuki gone and not (directly) talking to Haruka most of the time, Enta usually spends time with the latter instead, playing games and talking to the younger boy.
- Covert Pervert: His leaked secret in Episode 3 reveals that his feelings for Kazuki aren't entirely pure; he secretly sniffs Kazuki's old soccer jersey and uses the mouthpiece of Kazuki's recorder for Indirect Kisses.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: Bordering on this as of episode 7, when its revealed he intentionally sabotaged his and Kazukis hang out twice because he was jealous of Kazuki and Toois budding friendship. He also stole the dishes of hope for that same reason, which he knew Tooi needed to save his brother. His design gives it away by giving him bright green eyes, and on one illustration he's side eyeing Tooi with a judgemental look.
- Death's Hourglass: Gets one in episode 9 in the form of a timer on his head, showing how much longer he has to live after Keppi revives him.
- Did Not Get the Girl: Gender-inverted. By the finale, there's no hint of Relationship Upgrade between him and Kazuki aside from them reconciling. Although Episode 10 hinted that he moved past his romantic feelings for Kazuki since he doesn't want it to be what could end their friendship for good.
- Died in Your Arms Tonight: This happens to him after he gets shot by Reo after Taking the Bullet for Kazuki in Episode 8.
- Dude, She's Like, in a Coma!: Kisses an exhausted and asleep Kazuki at the end of episode 2.
- Flower Motifs: On some magazine covers, Enta's associated with yellow roses; they used to be associated with desire and jealousy, but in modern terms apply to friendship/friendly love. Both apply to Enta.
- Foil: To Mabu. Aside from looks, both are rather stubborn about the objects of their affection, but where Mabu was made to rely on Otter and accept the advances of it just to have some semblance of love back in his life, Enta is made to realize he can't get everything he wants and denies the temptation Otter offers him. Most tellingly, Enta refuses to say he hates Kazuki even when he's mad at him, while Mabu reluctantly accepts saying he hates Reo as long as he gets to be near him.
- Gayngst: He goes through a little bit in the novel, where he laments his sister being able to openly love her boyfriend where Enta might not be able to do the same.
- Hidden Depths: His voice actor states that Enta may seem normal, but hides one or more extraordinary secrets. He is in love with Kazuki, unhealthily so.
- Idiot Hair: Has one strand from his bangs that doesn't curve over his forehead.
- Loving a Shadow: As much as he wants Kazuki to be happy and fulfilled, he also places big emphasis on the person Kazuki seemed to be on the soccer team— reliable, confident, and cool— and associates his emotional fulfillment with that. His romantic fantasies almost always include "that" Kazuki rather than the real, flawed, and troubled Kazuki he's trying to help.
- Meganekko: Wears a big pair of round, Harry Potter-like glasses, and has a pretty adorable appearance. He still wears them in his kappa form.
- Raised by Grandparents: He and his sister currently live with their grandmother.
- Single-Target Sexuality: Has a bad case of oneitis for Kazuki. Nearly everything he does in the story and prior to the story is due to his feelings for him, and he never wavers.
- Straight Gay: While he does have his moments of clinginess and overt emotionality over the other two leads, overall Enta isn't particularly flamboyant or effeminate despite his attraction to Kazuki.
- Taking the Bullet: Does so in episode 8 to save Kazuki from getting shot.
- Tritagonist: Although he is a main character and certainly has his own arc to work through, its importance to the story itself is downplayed compared to Kazuki and Tooi. However, his story is very much entwined with Kazuki's, so he's not completely shafted.
- Walking Spoiler: Unlike the "big" details about Kazuki and Tooi, which are given out almost immediatelynote , that fact that Enta is in love with Kazuki is a big revelation, and almost completely shapes his demeanor and the way he acts around others. Its pretty much impossible to discuss his character at length without giving away this detail.
- We Used to Be Friends: Not quite there yet, but it's implied his friendship with Kazuki has been deteriorating for a while, evidenced by Enta's increased clinginess, as well as Kazuki having dropped out of the soccer club. Their relationship is put in further jeopardy after Tooi leaves and they find out Enta sabotaged the play space and stole the Dishes of Hope, and in the Bad Future they've finally ended it.
The self-proclaimed first ruler of the Kappa kingdom and a mysterious kappa-like life form. Turns people into kappa by pulling out their shirikodama.
- Animals Lack Attributes: Averted. He clearly has a butthole.
- Berserk Button: He does not take kindly to being called a frog. Being called one is what angered him enough to forcefully remove the main characters' shirikodama in the first place.
- Bishōnen: Played with — He certainly looks more attractive after merging with his dark half, but he looks more like a humanoid lizard than anything.
- Butt-Monkey: Becomes this starting from episode 2.
- Eyes Always Shut: Downplayed; his eyes are closed most of the time, but there are occasions when he opens them.
- Go On Without Me: Lets the boys go on ahead so he can hold off his dark self.
- I Am Not Weasel: He does not like getting called a frog.
- Jet Pack: In his butthole.
- Kappa: He looks like a round, cartoony version of a kappa, and claims to be the ruler of the Kappa Kingdom.
- Meaningful Name: His name is just a phonetic spelling of "KP", abbreviated for "Kappa Prince". His original name was also just going to be KP in the early drafts.
- Official Couple: With Sara. They get married in episode 11.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Played with; he initially frames his partnership with the boys as a polite request for help, but after being called a frog he just forces them into it.
- Red Herring: Episode 6 framed his offer of Kazuki making a Heroic Sacrifice for his brother as a Deal with the Devil to Ikuhara-savvy viewers. He's still a good guy to the end.
- Rubber Man: He's able to stretch his arms and legs to almost absurd lengths; this has some basis in folklore about kappa, as it's said that they're able to extend and retract their arms. He's also able to bend himself into different shapes, like a parachute or a ball.
- Sleep Cute: After assimilating desire.
- Verbal Tic: Tends to end his sentences with "-kero". This is the Japanese equivalent to words lke "ribbit" or "croak", which surely doesn't help his case with being mistaken for a frog.
- Vocal Dissonance: There's a pretty obvious dissonance with Keppi's cute, round appearance and his smooth, charismatic voice.
A police officer working in a police box and Mabus partner.
- Awakening the Sleeping Giant: After the main trio screw up their zombies several times in a row he suggests going personally to deal with them and while Mabu shuts that idea down they agree to make the next one far more powerful
- Adaptational Jerkass: Compared to his manga counterpart, he is less emotional and sinister. Granted, considering he is one of the main antagonists.
- Animal Motifs: He and Mabu are strongly associated with otters (the name of their police box even translates as "Otter Police Box"), since there are stories of otters sumo wrestling with kappa and otters are even believed to be a kind of kappa in some areas of Japan. It turns out that this is only because they've allied themselves with the Otter Empire. They were originally from the Kappa Kingdom.
- Berserker Tears: After Mabu dies a second time, Reo snaps completely, shooting everything he looks at in a grief stricken rage with tears streaming down his face.
- Cloudcuckoo Landers Minder: Is this to Mabu in the spin-off Manga.
- Co-Dragons: Works closely with Mabu to create the Kappa Zombies and is an important villain, though they both serve a higher power.
- Color-Coded Characters: His associated color is white.
- Dark-Skinned Blonde: Has tanned skin and pale blonde hair.
- Disney Death: in Episode 10, when he gets shot by Tooi. He and Mabu are later brought back in episode 11 alive and well and still together, implying their memories are still intact.
- Evil Gloating: After shooting Enta and taking the plates, Reo mocks a distraught Kazuki for his inability to save his friend's life now that the plates are out of his reach.
- Friend to All Children: Was once a babysitter and does a good job caring for Sara...not so much in the main story.
- The Heavy: He and Mabu create the Kappa Zombies, are responsible for most of the conflict, and get a lot of screentime, appearing in every episode. Though they aren't the ultimate villain, they appear far more than the ultimate does.
- Hidden Depths: His New Year's resolution is "World Peace".
- Love Makes You Crazy: Losing Mabu the first time did not do anything kind for Reo's psyche. Over the years and especially the show he becomes more and more unhinged with his desire to get Mabu back, having multiple breakdowns in the process.
- Love Makes You Evil: His only goal working with the Otter factions is to get the Mabu he knows and loves back by his side. Whether it be by killing vagabonds for desire energy, putting kids in harm's way, or outright stealing the Dishes of Hope, he'll try anything to get his Mabu back.
- Magic Bullets: Comes with a magic gun. His weapon, depending on the command it switches to, can fire bullets that extract energy, tranq people, or just outright kill them like a regular gun, all without needing to reload. It also apparently weaponizes Reo's emotions in the last few episodes, firing off like a ray gun when he's genuinely upset.
- Mr. Fanservice: According to Word of God, hes intended to be the hot one and it shows with how much emphasis they put on his body in both the Anime and official art.
- Official Couple: With Mabu. While it's never stated in the spin-off manga, their relationship strongly implies this. The anime adds even heavier romantic tension between them, and Reo even sings happily about he and Mabu being "the ultimate couple" much like Keppi did in Episode 7. Confirmed as of Episode 10.
- Parental Substitute: Is this to Sara in the prequel Manga with Mabu after they adopt her.
- Perpetual Smiler: In contrast to Mabu, who always seems to have a neutral expression in the Anime.
- Romantic Rain: When he first met Mabu, he was homeless and dirty in the rain. Mabu found him by chance, and the rest, as you say, is history.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Mabus blue.
- Scary Teeth: Has pointy, shark-like teeth.
- Seme: According to some comments in interviews, Reo is better seen as the "top" in the relationship. He's got many characteristics of typical semes as well; he's possessive, aggressive, completely devoted, and is put in more narratively masculine positions.
- Ship Tease: With Mabu in the Spin-Off manga and their official Character Blog. The Anime and official art has heavy shades of this as well.
- Smoking Is Cool
- Spell My Name with an "S": Reo or Leo? Official translated sources tend to spell his name as Reo. Despite that, there is still debate that it could be Leo. The circle he turns into after he dies is one of the few pieces that spells it as Leo.
- Stepford Smiler: Most of the time he acts rather cocky and has a confident smile on his face, but it's later revealed that he's deeply affected by how Mabu hasn't been the same ever since he was mortally wounded and brought back to life.
- Would Hurt a Child: He personally takes Haruka to be extracted in Episode 6. Considering that extraction means the original person will be disposed of regardless of a love or desire judgement, he basically walks the kid over to his death. Episode 8 continues the train by having Reo shoot Kazuki (and actually kill Enta) with malicious intent.
- Yaoi Guys: While heavily implied throughout the series, Episode 10 solidifies him and Mabu as this for Sarazanmai.
A police officer working in a police box and Reos partner.
- Ambiguously Human: With his deathly pale pallor, emotionless attitude, the artificial heart seen during the dancing sequences, and his mention of having to go for routine "maintenance", the Mabu seen in the present day seems to be less human than he was in the Reo & Mabu manga. Reo even describes him as being like a doll. Episode 7 reveals that this is all because he died and was brought back to life by the Otter Empire. While it's still ambiguous how much of him is still human, Reo certainly doesn't consider him to be the same person he was before he died.
- Anguished Declaration of Love: He spends his final moments showing Reo everything he's done over the years to express his love, culminating in a very direct "aishiteru" before exploding.
- Animal Motifs: He and Reo are strongly associated with otters (the name of their police box even translates as "Otter Police Box"), since there are stories of otters sumo wrestling with kappa and otters are even believed to be a kind of kappa in some areas of Japan. It turns out that this is only because they've allied themselves with the Otter Empire. They were originally from the Kappa Kingdom.
- Back from the Dead: Sacrificed himself during the attack on the otter kingdom for Reo and was brought back from the dead by an otter doctor, powered by a mechanical heart.
- Beat Still, My Heart: As shown in the dancing sequences, Reo can take out Mabu's artificial heart without any problems as it beats on in the former's hand.
- Co-Dragons: Works closely with Reo to create the Kappa Zombies and is an important villain, though they both serve a higher power.
- Color-Coded Characters: His associated color is black.
- Cloudcuckoolander: His Establishing Character Moment in the Reo & Mabu manga has him eat a plate of pancakes found on the pavement.
- Did You Think I Can't Feel?: Episode 10 showcases the despair he feels at not making Reo happy, to the point where he turns into a zombie just so that his feelings can be revealed.
- Disney Death: After his shirikodama got extracted in episode 10. He and Reo are laterbrought back in episode 11 alive and well and still together, implying their memories are still intact.
- Dying Declaration of Love: "I always have and always will love you."
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: He and Reo aren't the most welcoming people in the trailer, and Mabu in particular is pale with brown hair.
- The Heavy: He and Reo create the Kappa Zombies, are directly responsible for antagonizing the protagonists and get a lot of screen time, appearing in every episode. Though they aren't the ultimate villain, they appear far more than the ultimate does.
- The "I Love You" Stigma: Weaponized. If he ever expresses his real feelings to Reo, his heart will explode. He'll certainly try to hint at his feelings and get them across by trying to become the man he used to be, but the actual words remain his trigger.
- Love Martyr: Although he doesn't really show it emotionally, he's still in love with Reo, and is willing to endure anything to make Reo connect with him again. This includes taking verbal abuse from Reo, stomaching food he can't eat anymore due to his cybernetics, relearning how to cook, and being sexually harassed by the Otters.
- Mr. Fanservice: Shares this with Reo particularly in official art but is less so compared to him.
- Naked Apron: Reo states that Mabu cant cook with clothes on, so he makes him wear an apron so he wont burn himself.
- Official Couple: With Reo. While it's never stated in the spin-off manga, their relationship strongly implies this. The anime adds even heavier romantic tension between them, and Reo even sings happily about he and Mabu being "the ultimate couple" much like Keppi did in Episode 7. Confirmed as of Episode 10 given that Mabu uses an exclusively romantic form of 'I love you' towards Reo.
- Parental Substitute: Is this to Sara in the prequel Manga with Reo after they adopt her.
- Passive Aggressive Combat: In the Twitter account, Mabu once learned about Reo eating out for stew when he had already made curry, making him angry. He then rubbed the matter into Reo's face, talking about how hard he was working on it and how Reo won't be getting any.
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: To keep Mabu's heart working, he needs to have a sufficient amount of Desire energy harvested. As a result, he and Reo resort to preying upon the rejects of society (with one exception) in an effort to keep Mabu alive.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Reos Red.
- Ret-Gone: In Episode 10, after his shirikodama got removed, he disappears from Reo's memory. While the episode was airing in Japan, interestingly, all tweets on their official Twitter were deleted, leaving one final tweet from Mabu quoting his Dying Declaration of Love. Afterwards, that tweet was deleted.
- Ship Tease: With Reo in the Spin-Off manga and their official Character Blog. The Anime and official art has heavy shades of this as well.
- Stoic Spectacles: Wears specs and is easily the most stoic of the cast. He's not even smiling in many of the visuals for the series.
- Straight Gay: For Reo.
- Sweet Tooth: He has a hankering for pastries in Reo & Mabu, where he is shown buying cakes during and after work, his interest in making pancakes and ningyoyaki, and his snacking on sweets at points.
- Through His Stomach: Mabu's relationship with Reo is heavily accented with food, as Mabu is the more frequent cook of the two. Because of this, part of why Reo doesn't accept the current Mabu until episode 9 is his inability to cook as well as he used to.
- Tsundere: A bit toward Reo in Reo & Mabu.
- Uke: Interviews with Ikuhara and Junichi Suwabe state that his relationship with Reo is less "Mabu/Reo" (where Mabu would be the Seme) and more "Reo/Mabu" (the opposite). He does share the characteristics of the archetype; despite being a bit more stoic, he's more innocent (i.e. doesn't know where babies come from), emotionally vulnerable, shares some typically narratively feminine characteristics (Supreme Chef, Love Martyr, character perfume is more flowery and typical of women's perfume) and gets the most sexually charged focus of the two during his maintenance.
- Yaoi Guys: While heavily implied throughout the series, Episode 10 solidifies him and Reo as this for Sarazanmai.
An idol and MC of the local program Asakusa Sara TV.
- Badass Adorable: In Reo & Mabu, according to Reo, she supposedly helped stop a handbag thief and win the policemen an air conditioner with her unknown powers.
- Broken Pedestal: Implied. On episode 8's scrolling news text, she's heartbroken about hearing what Reo and Mabu have been up to lately, including the killings they've been doing. She still doesn't think of them as bad people, but her image of them did shatter somewhat.
- Catchphrase: Her newscasts typically end with the phrase "Good Sarakku".
- Charm Person: Can charm people by looking at them in Reo & Mabu.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: She's a bit of a space case, as you can see in Episode 5 and in many of her reports.
- Color-Coded Characters: Her associated color is purple.
- Dissonant Serenity: Delivered the news of a recovered body by playing with a inner tube and making silly poses.
- Exotic Eye Designs: Sara has pink star shapes in her eyes with a blue and yellow stripe connected behind them.
- Gratuitous English: She starts her show by saying "Good morning!" in English, ends her newscasts with the phrase "Good Sarakku" (with "Sarakku" being a portmenteau of her name and "luck"), and ends her sentences with "dish" instead of "desu".
- Greek Chorus: Like the Shadow Girls and Double H before her, she's the one providing commentary related to the episode's topic through the fortunes and news she broadcasts on her TV show.
- Happily Adopted: By Reo and Mabu in Futari wa Sarazanmai.
- Has Two Daddies: Is adopted by Reo And Mabu in the Spin-Off Manga when they find her abandoned on a plate. She even refers to them as her dads In the chapter where she grows up.
- Hidden Depths: She likes to fish in the mountains, according to one of her episode 2 reports.
- I Will Find You: Her overarching goal is to finally reunite with her prince. Her description of him paints him as deep voiced, pure white and "definitely not a frog", and her later Simply Sara Report (where she says she found him) states that his eyes are black holes and his voice is sexy. Its unknown if she means Keppi, and he has yet to mention her. Episode 7 confirms that the prince being described is in fact Keppi.
- Kappa: She's heavily implied to be one before being outright confirmed in the finale. She wears a plate on her head like Keppi and the boys in their kappa forms do, and Episode 5 also drops some hints such as how she looks at nothing but pictures of cucumbers on her phone and when she shifts into a kappa-like form to escape Toi's attempts at imprisoning her. Her true form is that of an anthropomorphic kappa.
- Kent Brockman News: She announces the news on her show, which also provides exposition, though she tends to announce more serious news in a rather dissonantly happy way. At the same time, there's a news ticker at the bottom of the screen that also reveals rather suspicious information; for example, in the first episode she describes her ideal "prince", which seems to describe Keppi.
- Magical Girl: Is implied to be this in the Reo & Mabu Manga.
- Meaningful Name: "Sara" means "dish", as in the plates that Kappa are typically depicted as wearing on their heads (and Sara herself wears one). In Reo & Mabu she was found on a plate by Reo and Mabu, and she'll sometimes end her sentences with the English word "dish".
- My God, What Have I Done?: The scrolling news text for episode 9 has her seriously regretting accidentally freezing and breaking Keppi in episode 8.
- Nonstandard Character Design: Of all the Kappa featured in the story, Sara's stands out for having a mouth instead of a beak.
- Official Couple: With Keppi as of episode 7, as its revealed that he is the Prince she described. They get married in episode 11.
- Overnight Age-Up: Suddenly ages up from a baby to a teenager in the span of few hours in chapter 10 of Reo & Mabu.
- Princesses Prefer Pink: Her true identity is the Princess of the Kappa Kingdom, and she has the pink outfit to match.
- Teen Idol: Is Asakusas resident mascot in the anime.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Obsessed with cucumbers, like any good Kappa.
- Verbal Tic: She tends to end her sentences with "dish", typically where most Japanese speakers would say "desu" instead. It's one of the reasons Reo named her Sara in the prequel manga.
- In the English dub, however, she uses dish-based puns in her sentences instead.
Toois brother. He does bad things for a living, so hes constantly exposed to dangerous situations. Currently living separately from Tooi.
- Affectionate Gesture to the Head: Fond of giving these out to Tooi, and is one of the few ways he still shows physical affection for his younger brother.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: Typical for a yakuza member, Chikai's ruthless, dangerous, and very well-dressed.
- Borrowed Catchphrase: Toi's "It's stabbing time" catchphrase actually comes from Chikai, who taught him it when they were younger.
- Card-Carrying Jerkass: Chikai is very blunt about the fact that he's a bad person, and not only doesn't see this as a problem, is convinced it's the best way to get through life.
- Catchphrase: "It's stabbing time" and "The bad guys are the ones who will survive in this world".
- Color-Coded Characters: His associated colors are deep golden-brown, and, more recently, dark red.
- Cynicism Catalyst: His parents being conned into a massive debt and their subsequent suicide is what led to his belief that 'bad people are the ones who survive in this world'.
- Dirty Coward: He pulls off quite a few stunts to save his own hide— kicking Enta at the Yurikamome member after his own head so he can buy some time to escape while the guy's distracted, and killing his subordinate Masa because he knows about Tooi shooting the boss— all without a shed of regret.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He's an absolutely terrible person, but episode 9 makes it clear how important his connection with Tooi really was to him.
- Evil Parents Want Good Kids: Downplayed, as he's clearly not above involving Tooi in his crimes to some extent, but there's several indications, such as his conversation with Enta in episode 8 and a bonus comic, that his distant behavior towards Tooi is at least partly because he's trying to keep him out of the worst of his work as long as possible.
- Family Portrait of Characterization: Chikai keeping a photo of his family from happier times is used to indicate that he did care about all of them, despite his anger over his parents' deaths. The later reveal that he kept it with him for years, but also defaced it until Tooi was the only one left, acts as a contrast to show both how far he'd fallen mentally and how despite that he still couldn't let go of his attachment to his little brother.
- Foil: To Kazuki. Both of them are older brothers who struggle to connect to their younger brothers, and fall back on dishonesty and criminal acts in order to maintain that relationship. However, Kazuki is talked out of sacrificing his life for Haruka's sake by Enta and Tooi, and overcomes his flaws to repair his relationship with his brother and friends. Chikai remains firmly on his self-destructive path and throws away all his other relationships to protect himself, and despite giving his life for Tooi, ultimately dies still incapable of honestly expressing his feelings for his brother.
- Hidden Depths: In episode 4, there's a shot of a soccer uniform hanging up in the Kuji brothers' old room that's notably different in both style and position number from what we later see Tooi wear, hinting Chikai himself was also a former player.
- Hypocrite: Belittles sentimentality and attachments and preaches survival at any cost, but keeps a collection of his little brother's childhood photos on his phone and eventually dies to protect Tooi.
- Improbable Weapon User: Like his brother, he uses a ruler with a bandaged handle as a weapon.
- Ink-Suit Actor: Really resembles his voice actor.
- Ironic Name: His first name means 'near', but he's been keeping a physical and emotional distance between himself and Tooi. Doubles as Family Theme Naming, as it matches Tooi's (which means 'distant').
- Killed Off for Real: He dies via a gunshot wound in episode 9.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: On the few occasions he's tried to do something good for Tooi, he's wound up paying a steep price for it. Stealing money to save his family's soba shop? His uncle disowned him and his gang immediately went after his head, and even tried to kidnap Tooi to do so. Taking the fall for the murder Tooi committed? Railroaded him onto a life as a career criminal, and would ultimately ruin his relationship with Tooi completely. And taking a bullet for Tooi, obviously, led to his death.
- Promoted to Parent: With both mother and father dead, Chikai was forced to take on the duty of raising Tooi. Eventually subverted, as he recently made Tooi return to the care of his way more stable aunt and uncle, who also run their family's soba shop.
- The Scapegoat: Becomes this in episode 8. Reo and Mabu place the blame of killing the Kamome gang member on him, and the police have added it to his rap sheet.
- Strong Family Resemblance: Has the same dark bags under his eyes like his younger brother, Tooi, and also wields a blade that he keeps under his blazer, behind his back.
- Taking the Bullet: Pushed Tooi out of the way to invoke this in episode 9, which led to his bleeding out and dying.
- Taking the Heat: He intentionally takes the blame for Tooi shooting his boss, by shooting the body a couple extra times so that it looked like he did it. This has made it impossible for him to resume a normal life.
- Tragic Keepsake: He has at least two pictures of Tooi from happier days that he's kept with him since their lives changed four years ago.
- Would Hurt a Child: At the very least, he deliberately puts Enta in harm's way in episode 8, and threatens to shoot Tooi in episode 9. He also kills Masa, someone he acknowledges as about Tooi's age.
- Younger Than They Look: He's only 25, but he sure doesn't look it - an early fandom theory was even that he was Tooi's father, not his older brother. Lampshaded in the stage drama, where he asks Kazuki to guess his age, and one of Kazuki's guesses went as high as 38, horrifying him.
Kazuki's younger brother, who's a big fan of Sara Azuma.
- Big Brother Worship: He absolutely adores Kazuki and often wishes he could spend more time with him. He already does when Kazuki pretends he's Sara, but he doesn't know that until the meet and greet.
- Cheerful Child: He's a very cheerful little boy.
- Coordinated Clothes: The Yasakas tend to wear striped clothes to match, and Haruka is no exception.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: It would be easy to confuse him for a girl. Even his name is rather feminine.
- The Four Loves: His feelings are some of the few explicitly referred to as love thanks to his kidnapping, and in his case it's very much philia and agape for Kazuki.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Is the only person out of the seven featured extraction candidates to have his energy and true wish designated as "love" rather than "desire". However the Otters don't need "love", so they decide to throw him out.
- In-Series Nickname: Harukappa, his SNS screen name.
- Inspirationally Disadvantaged: We are meant to feel for his estranged relationship with Kazuki, and the fact that he was paralyzed from the waist down in an accident of which the estranged relationship is the indirect cause of. However despite his tragedy he's far and away the most emotionally mature person in the series, came to terms with his terrible circumstances unlike everyone else, amazingly patient with his older brother and often gives him advice and inspiration in his darkest hours.
- It's All My Fault: He blames himself for Kazuki's mood shift, thinking that his wanting to come with when the latter tried to see his biological mom and telling her not to steal Kazuki away from their family was the cause.
- Look Both Ways: This is largely the reason he's paralyzed. When trying to chase Kazuki to the train station, Haruka failed to notice the crosswalk sign changing, accidentally putting himself into the path of an oncoming vehicle which also messed up his legs.
- Wise Beyond Their Years: In general, Haruka is rather mature for his age, and certainly handles tragedy better than his older brother.
Enta's older sister, who's also the homeroom teacher of Kazuki, Tooi and Enta's class.
- Girlish Pigtails: She wears her hair this way despite being a teacher.
- Older Than They Look: Looks like a teenager and has Girlish Pigtails, and yet is apparently the breadwinner of the Jinnai household, is a teacher and went out with a 27 year old man Who ends up being the Monster of the Week in episode 3.
- Victim of the Week: She's one of the many women who are victims in Episode 3, as it turns out her boyfriend has become one of the Monsters of the Week.
- Early-Bird Cameo: He appears in the Reo & Mabu manga as a lost man who had missed his train. He doesn't properly appear in the main series until the fifth chapter/episode.
- Attack Its Weakpoint: All Zombies pretty much have a big red target painted on their butt holes, and no defense for it beyond their front half. You get there, you pretty much win the battle as long as you collect the shirikodama. However, that doesn't mean they can't beat you by taking your shirikodama if you aren't able to face your secrets during a Sarazanmai.
- Asshole Victim: You shouldn't feel too bad for a lot of these guys; prior to their zombification, many of them had already had pretty bad criminal records, such as flaying cats to make a cat suit or playing casanova to bait women into killing themselves and claiming marriage fraud.
- Deader Than Dead: The removal of their shirikodama kills them. The reveal in episode 2 is that the initial desire extraction by Reo and Mabu killed off their human forms which means that the main characters are just killing whats left of them. However, they're still able to take someone else's shirikodama if a Sarazanmai fails.
- The Faceless: As humans, their faces are never shown. They're either only seen from the back, or their mug shots depict them with face coverings with their names written on them. Mabu Zombie is the only exception.
- Flat Character: It would be a stretch to even call them characters. Theyre monsters of the week that the viewer learns one bizarre secret about before theyre destroyed.
- I Just Want to Be Loved: Surprisingly, the core of a lot of their issues seems to be that they aren't getting the love they crave from others, so they act out instead:
- The Cat Zombie flayed a bunch of stray cats alive because he was tired of his girlfriend giving her attention to her pets rather than him.
- The Kisu Zombie just wants to be fawned over and loved by tons of women.
- The Soba Zombie steals bathwater from women because he believes that food tastes better if it (in this case, the water to boil noodles with) comes from the people he loves.
- The Ball Zombie is a masochist that wanted to turn into a ball so his girlfriend could kick him around.
- Mabu Zombie is the result of a desperate last effort to connect with his partner before wiping himself from existence.
- Lust: As their forms are taken due to an overwhelming abundance of desire, all Zombies qualify for this. And true to form, their Zombie appearances also have shibari-like markings all over them and begin to collect items from the normal world that embody their desires.
- Monster of the Week: The main characters have to turn into Kappa to remove the shirikodama from them. Theres a different zombie every episode.
- Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Some of them have two sets of arms that they use to repeatedly punch their opponents.
- Non-Human Head: They have humanoid bodies but with heads that are decidedly not human in shape. Their heads will usually be shaped like something related to their desires.
- Our Zombies Are Different: Theyre formerly human individuals who displayed deviant behavior in life and had their closeted desires extracted from them by Reo and Mabu, which kills them and turns them into the zombies that the main characters have to extract the shirikodama from.
- Punny Name: All of their names in life have to do with their obsessions (eg. Kisu Motokure/Kiss Me More).
- Un-person: After they're defeated, any evidence of their human identities fades away and normal people forget they ever existed.
The first zombie the boys face. He was a originally a man who liked to steal boxes to wear over his head and run around naked.
- Starter Villain: As a threat, he's barely even on the radar, and his original crime was more being a public nuisance than anything else.
- Fetish: Unlike all the other zombies, whose theme items were related to a person they loved, the Box Zombie just really liked streaking with boxes on his head.
The second zombie. He abducted cats and shaved off all their fur to make a convincing cat costume so his cat-loving girlfriend will love him.
- Bad People Abuse Animals: His former self was the only human who ever laid hand on cats with malicious intent, solely for the purpose of skinning them.
- Evil Is Petty: His animal cruelty is the result of jealousy, thinking he's losing out on his girlfriend's attention to her pets.
- Maneki Neko: As a zombie, he has what appears to be a giant cardboard maneki-neko for a head.
The third zombie. In life, he was a young fishmonger who was also a womanizer, and was arrested for trying to wed them and commit marriage fraud by driving them to suicide.
- As Long as It Sounds Foreign: His real name, Kisu Mottokure, is written in katakana like most foreign names would be; it's assumed that he is supposed to be seen as exotic. In the police force conference scene, his name is alphabetized as "Keith Mottoclay".
- Bishie Sparkle: Every picture he is featured in gives him a parodic shoujo design, complete with sparkles and roses.
- The Casanova: He's with a different woman in every picture he's taken, and even shown with multiple adoring women in one of them.
- Early-Bird Cameo: He shows up in the second episode on Enta's sister phone's screen, as she talks about her "new boyfriend" with Enta. Episode 3 would later reveal her to be one of his current conquests.
- Rule of Symbolism: Every girl he captures goes from a blushing bride to another fish in the pile; just as in life, girls flock to him and he has his fun but ultimately never settles down. It also rather pointedly addresses the girls throwing away their lives over him with the suicides.
The fourth Zombie. Originally a man named Sobatani Yudeo, he was accused of stealing the used bathwater of one of his female regulars. It turns out, he wanted to make soup using that water.
- Stalker with a Crush: Can't get much more stalkerish than tracking down his lady love's place of residence and stealing her bathwater.
The fifth zombie. Originally a man named Fukuro Nionio, he apparently filled sachets with scented excrement from giant axolotls.
- Wake-Up Call Boss: Remains the only Zombie to escape with his Shirikodama intact in his first battle, and causes the group's first real loss.
The sixth Zombie.
- All Women Are Doms, All Men Are Subs: While there has been some BDSM imagery before this point, Ball Zombie is rather blatant with it, his desire visualized as a dominatrix stepping on his crotch.
- No Name Given: Unlike the rest of the Zombies, his name in life is never shown to the audience as the show skips right to his Zombie fight.
- Too Kinky to Torture: In comparison to other Zombies when they get their shirikodama extracted, Ball Zombie has hearts in his eyes when the boys enter his anus.
The Final Zombie (Spoilers below!)
The seventh Zombie. He willingly threw himself into the extraction vat in order to have a chance to connect with his beloved partner.
- Spot of Tea: During his "fight", he mainly just sits and drinks tea while singing along with his assailant.
- Walking Spoiler: Talking about his identity requires revealing that Mabu becomes a zombie (and thus dies).
- Zero-Effort Boss: Unlike every other zombie before him, he makes absolutely no effort to prevent his shirikodama from being taken. This is because Mabu is fully willing to be defeated and killed if it means he can connect with Reo one last time.
An Otter that also substitutes as a doctor.
- Anthropomorphic Personification: Of Desire, natch. During the final battle, he even sings about being "an abstract concept".
- Appearance Is in the Eye of the Beholder: He can appear as any person his targets desire the most, but only to them.
- Big Bad: The instigator of the Kappa Kingdom's destruction, and sent Reo and Mabu to Earth to finish the job.
- Catchphrase: "Usso...de wa nai."
- Labcoat of Science and Medicine: Unlike other Otters shown in the series, Otticer wears a labcoat at all times but nothing underneath. He's also responsible for nursing Reo and Mabu back to health, as well as making and fitting Mabu with his artificial heart.
- Evil Sounds Deep
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: Like many things associated with Otters, he is also colored with this scheme.
- Voiced by: Junichi Suwabe (Japanese), Tyler Walker (English)
A piece of Keppi that split off from him after the Otter invasion ten years prior to the story. He is a living embodiment of despair, currently captured by the Otter faction.
- Enemy Without: Many years ago, Keppi split his own shirikodama in two, with one half becoming Dark Keppi. Dark Keppi later becomes an enemy that the main characters must face towards the end, and in the final episode Keppi successfully fuses with him to regain his true form.
- Gratuitous English: The only thing it is able to say on a regular basis is "Darkness" in full English.
- Literal Split Personality: Of Keppi. It rejoins him in the finale.
- Purple Is Powerful: One of the bigger threats to the story in the finale, and regularly uses power with a purple aura to attack.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: Much like the Otters, Dark Keppi is colored like this. Its red eyes are also present in every extraction scene, looming over the doomed candidate as he transforms.