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Reo and Mabu: The both of us are Sarazanmai
- The entire premise of the story is this trope. Reo and Mabu might not have expected to find Sara, but they were happy to be able to care for her.
- In chapter 2, we learn that Reo was the one to give Sara her name. He was also the most willing of the two to adopt her.
- For Sara's safety, Mabu was willing to sleep in a sleeping bag on a desk.
- Reo and Mabu share some moments in chapter 4:
- Mabu wanted to 'extraordinary' ningyouyaki for Reo, because Mabu loves it when Reo loves his food.
- When Reo hears that, he immediately suggests they go buy an actual ningyouyaki mold.
- Mabu's cute fantasy of Sara growing up, in chapter 5, which causes him to scream excitedly. He also wants Sara to call him "papa".
- Earlier, Reo was called a dad. When he returns to the policebox, he immediately celebrates with Sara.
Reo: I got called a dad today!
- For chapter 6, the policemen encounter a teenage runaway who constantly compliments them and Sara.
- When they find out he's dropped his cap in the Sumida river, Reo rushes off to find it, and returns with it, having borrowed a boat to do so. Also, when Mabu learns that the cap was a gift from the runaway's mother, he becomes urgent to find it too.
- Chapter 7 has many of these moments:
- First, Reo gets mad when he visits the Taito City Office and is advised to give Sara up for adoption becuse he and Mabu weren't adequate parents. Later, both policemen agree that neither want to give up Sara because they wouldn't be able to spend time with Sara anymore.
- Second, the two immediately stop arguing when Sara begins to crynote .
- In chapter 8, Mabu goes to a temple to pray that he and Reo successfully find Sara's parents, and that when they do, Sara will remain their daughter.
- The woman who was tasked to watch Sara while Mabu chases down her bag-thief treats Sara with utmost love and care like she was her own child.
- Later, Mabu worries that he and Reo won't be able to care for Sara as well as a woman can. Reo responds indignantly.
Reo: We'll make Sara happy! The difference between us and women is that we have more muscled arms and no breasts! But still! I think we're the ones who will make Sara the happiest!
- When Sara suddenly ages up into a teenager and needed to 'return home', she takes the time to talk to Reo and Mabu, calling them "Otousan" and thanking them for caring for her. She even refers to herself with the name they gave her.
- In chapter 11, Sara refers to the policemen as "Reo-papa" and "Mabu-papa".
- Additionally, when Reo and Mabu were freaked out after seeing Sara age up suddenly, it isn't because they think she's some sort of freak, but actually because they were sad about not being able to experience the joy of watching her grow up.
- At the end of the chapter, it turns out everything was All Just a Dream and Baby Sara was still sleeping in between the policemen, much to their joy.
- Reo's love for cats, even if the latter never reciprocates.
- A few instances, Mabu gets sick, and whenever that happens, Reo is quick to care for him.
- When Reo gets upset at Mabu for eating his pudding (he even wrote his name on the jar), the latter makes it up by serving him pudding with broccoli on the side. The broccoli's position was something Mabu took extra care in doing.
- Reo could see how much Mabu wanted to eat pufferfish, so treats him to pufferfish porridge.
- Mabu later returns the favor by treating Reo to some Japanese deserts.
- When Mabu mentions wanting to have some Reo's cooking again, the latter happily obliges. Later, when Reo checks out a cookbook for a recipe, he finds something special between the pages.
Reo: Isn't this a little too cliche a spot to hide a love letter? (lol)
- In the last few tweets, Reo and Mabu get into an argument because of the latter was worried about the former, who was going to participate in a dangerous task alone.
Episode 1: I want to be connected, but I want to lie.
- After Kazuki's secret of crossdressing as Sara is revealed, Enta assures him that it's fine and they're still friends.
Enta: Yeah, it shocked me, but that doesn't change out friendship.
Tooi: Are you serious? He's practically living as a crossdressing idol.
Enta: Our bond is stronger than you think!
Episode 2: I want to connect, but I want to take.
- Haruka is this trope. It is easy to see why Kazuki wants to connect with him so badly.
- After seeing how happy Haruka was about being connected to "Sara", Kazuki becomes motivated.
- Kazuki also wants a Dish of Hope for Haruka.
- Tooi clearly loves his brother and being with him, so much he wants to follow Chikai on his much more serious criminal activities.
- Similarly, Tooi wants get a Dish of Hope for Chikai.
- Kazuki's effort to keep Tooi from reaching Nyantarou.
- After learning Kazuki was protecting Nyantarou for his little brother, Tooi becomes willing to stop the pursuit.
- When Enta learns that Kazuki is with Tooi (and after finding the gun), he rushes to the amusement park to make sure Kazuki's safe.
Episode 3: I want to connect, but it's not meant to be.
- Enta and Haruka's friendship. They're almost like actual siblings.
- Unexpectedly, Tooi comes to Enta's aid when the latter gets in trouble, meaning he was losing a fight he started.
- Tooi also validates Enta's issue with Kazuki by asking about it and listening quietly.
- While it might sound sad, the fact that Kazuki had no problem being friends with Enta after learning the latter had kissed him is reminiscent of Enta reaffirming their friendship when Kazuki was upset about his crossdressing secret was revealed.
Episode 4: I want to connect, but you're so far away.
- The first time we actually hear Enta say something genuinely kind about Tooi.
Enta: My family goes to [your family's soba shop] for toshikoshi soba every New Year's Eve. Your shop makes good soba.
- The reason why Enta is seen bowing to Tooi: He wants him to give Kazuki his Dish.
Enta: I owe him my life. I want to help him this time.
- This episode elaborates further on Tooi and Chikai's relationship.
Chikai: I have some good news. I might be able to come say hi sometime soon.
Tooi: Can I come with you this time, then?
Chikai: Oh, I don't know...
Tooi: You promised! You promised we'd live together once everything's settled. I'm sick of being apart from you.
Chikai: I feel the same way. Sorry I could never be by your side.
- In Tooi's flashback, when Chikai first appears he was shrouded in darkness and was overall very menacing. Then, he approached Tooi and flicked at him a balled-up yen.
Chikai: Use that to keep yourself fed for the foreseeable future.
- Despite what he says about their parents, Chikai did love them, and kept a photo of the whole family during happier times hidden in a drawer with his gun.
- What motivates Tooi to turn into a kappa? Seeing his relatives ready to close down their soba shop when all the soba is stolen.
- Before the battle, Enta asks Tooi if his family's soba shop was safe.
- After finding out that Tooi killed the gang boss, Chikai gently takes the gun from him and shoots the boss's corpse a few more times before telling Tooi he'll take the blame. They then share a hug.
- A minor one during the Leak, before passing the information to Enta, Kazuki shouts "Watch out!" when he sees young Tooi being threatened by the gang boss.
- At the end of the episode, Kazuki actually gives Tooi his Dish because the former considers the latter more selfless than him.
Episode 5: I want to be connected, but I can't be forgiven.
- The pre-OP scene of little Kazuki meeting Baby Haruka for the first time.
- Kazuki's mother, the real one, is the sweetest woman ever.
- And before she embraced him, Kazuki recognized her by scent.
- Although happy with their reunion, both were happy with their adopted families.
- Kazuki was going to see her off the day Haruka was injured.
- Kazuki and Enta knew each other so well, they could communicate silently, using hand signs.
- Even if he wasn't the focus of the episode, Enta's goodness clearly shines.
- Worried that Haruka might find out Kazuki was pretending to be Sara, Enta tried to shield Haruka's eyes.
- He helps Kazuki even when he wasn't in on the plan.
- When Sara's manager arrives, Enta doesn't hesitate to tackle him.
- He stands up for Kazuki when Tooi is berating him, even though he's a terrible fighter.
Episode 6: I want to connect, so I'm not giving up.
- Sara, the real one, kindly returning Kazuki's headdress to Haruka.
- For all their issues, Enta and Tooi are perfectly willing to cooperate in order to help a (clearly struggling) Kazuki.
- While bittersweet (and somewhat Nightmare Fuel), Reo's talk with Haruka. Reo seems legitimately upset about the state of his and Mabu's relationship, something Haruka can understand. It's easy to see how this Reo may be the same one as from the prequel manga and keeponly1luv... at least until the kidnapping, that is.
- Haruka has no anger towards Kazuki for his deception. In fact, he just wants his big brother to come home.
- Kazuki's rejection of last episode's Heroic BSoD- finally, he seems to understand and accept that he can't give up on himself.
Kazuki: I'm glad I have you guys.
- And then, the huge smile he gives Tooi and Enta.
- Mabu Taking the Bullet for Reo in the aftercredits scene.
Episode 7: I want to connect, but I want to betray.
- Mabu, trying his best for Reo, even though the latter does not realize it.
- Kazuki is clearly a lot happier now that his self-loathing issues have been resolved.
- Eating breakfast with his family.
- Actually regarding Haruka.
- Happy to rejoin the soccer club and play with Enta again.
- Inviting Tooi to play soccer with him and Enta, even calling him by his first name.
- Tooi being happy about Kazuki's invitation, although he was pretty tsun about it.
- In the middle of the episode, we see a reprise of the first episode, where Kazuki restates what he said about his three rules in life, except it's different now.
- Tooi is the one to initiate the clean-up when the soccer place is trashed the first time.
- Kazuki immediately suggests using the Dishes to help Tooi, who is clearly unhappy about moving away because his brother got caught up in something bad. Enta agrees with Kazuki.
Tooi: I thought you were collecting the Dishes to grant [Kazuki's] wishes.Enta: I still want to grant Kazuki's wishes. And his wish right now is to help you.
- Later, Tooi asks Enta if he really is okay with Kazuki's plan.
Episode 8: I want to connect, but we will never meet again.
- Chikai giving Enta advice.
- Tooi doesn't blame Enta at all and tries to get Kazuki to see from Enta's point of view.
- Kazuki really trying his best to find the Dishes for Tooi.
- His search brings him to the parking garage where they first met.
- The implication that Tooi left not just because to protect his connection with Chikai, but also because he believed leaving would protect Kazuki and Enta, too.
- In a bittersweet way, the fact that Chikai has kept a photo of Tooi from his happier, soccer-playing days with him all these years.
- Even though he was too late, Enta brought the Dishes to Kazuki, to bring back Tooi.
- Despite everything, Enta still loved Kazuki, and didn't hesitate to take the bullet for him.
- On the birthdays of the boys, each one goes to spend time at one of the real life advertisement locations. For Enta's birthday in particular, Tooi made the effort to meet up with Enta early, spent the entire day with him, and gives him two coupons for his family's soba shop, mentioning that he could stop by any time he liked.
- Since the series' conclusion and his death, Chikai has been featured in more and more merchandise and official art. This includes a magazine cover of him and Toi joyfully riding off together, an autumn-themed illustration of him watching over the trio playing soccer together, and even a full birthday event that features new art and merch of him and Toi back when they were younger and happy together. Considering his own belief that anyone who dies will inevitably be forgotten, it's pretty sweet to see his fans prove him wrong!