Sasami-san@Unmotivated

Sasami-san@Unmotivated

Sasami-san@Unmotivated anime series cover art
Sasami-san@Unmotivated

Overview

Sasami-san@Unmotivated (Sasami-san@Ganbaranai / ささみさん@がんばらない) is a light novel adaptation by the animation studio Shaft. It aired between Nekomonogatari Black and White. And, if you aren’t already aware, Shaft is my favorite studio.

However, I wasn’t aware this series even existed until one of my patrons, HeavyROMAN, told me to watch it. At first glance, this series doesn’t seem to be anything special. It looks like a wacky, slice of life series and its average rating on MAL is a measly 6.70.

But as you may have guessed, I don’t believe this series is as bad as everyone would apparently have you believe. In fact, I thought it was great.

There are really two sides to this series: there’s the comedic side and there’s the serious side. Some other series will try to blend the two together within the same episode to little success, but Sasami doesn’t really do that. Instead, each episode will either be funny or serious, rarely a mixture of the two.

As for the plot, at first it’s all over the place. The series focuses on a high school aged girl named Sasami Tsukuyomi who refuses to (can’t) leave the comfort of her own home. She’s a shut-in, and that alone probably makes her relatable to half of you reading this.

But the series isn’t just about a shut-in. It’s about a shut-in who happens to have the power of a god inside her. She’s Haruhi Suzumiya, except she knows it (I definitely used a similar line in another recent post). This series has a lot of references to Japanese mythology, and Sasami’s character is no exception.

Bonus points to whoever can guess what god resides inside Sasami before I spoil it. We’ll be using the honor system so leave your guess in the comments.

Characters

Sasami Tsukuyomi is the protagonist of the series. She’s a former shrine maiden in training who ran away because she wanted to live life with the comforts modern society provides. Except she doesn’t like the society part of modern society so she stays indoors.

Sasami Tsukuyomi from the anime series Sasami-san@Unmotivated
Sasami Tsukuyomi

Kamiomi Tsukuyomi is Sasami’s older brother who ran away from the shrine along with her. He works as a teacher at the local high school. Due to some strange traditions instilled in him at the shrine, we never see his face and he has developed a little sister complex for Sasami.

Tsurugi Yagami is the oldest of three goddess sisters. She works at the local high school along with Kamiomi. Her notable trait is that she’s a pervert who plays hentai games while at school. As a bonus fact, Tsurugi is voiced by Chiwa Saito, the VA of Hitagi Senjougahara.

Kagami Yagami is the middle of the three goddess sisters. She often appears bored and emotionless on the outside despite how she feels on the inside. Kagami is notable for being a cyborg with a lot of built in weapons. She is voiced by Kana Hanazawa, the VA of Nadeko Sengoku.

Tama Yagami is the youngest of the three goddess sisters despite physically appearing to be the oldest. Tama isn’t very smart, but she has a big heart (and a big stomach). Her special ability is that she can “eat” anything she touches. Her VA is Ai Nonaka, the same as Kyouko Sakura.

The final character I’ll mention is Jou Edogawa. Jou is an antagonist who appears towards the end of the series alongside Tamamo-no-Mae. Like Sasami, she too has the power of a god sealed inside her. However, unlike Sasami, she displays some adverse side effects because of this.

Discussion

If you enjoy the Monogatari series like I do, then chances are you’ll enjoy Sasami-san@Unmotivated. Like I mentioned, the beginning of the series is really strange and all over the place. It also seems like most people don’t get past the first three episodes which may explain why its average score is so low.

Once you do get past those episodes the series will start to make a lot more sense. And I don’t just mean that it will make sense from there on out —  even the episodes you’ve already watched will then make sense.

Aside from the beginning being pretty out there, the middle is the serious part of the series. This arc introduces Sasami’s mother and from here on out the series kind of focuses on their relationship. The end of the series then goes back to being comedic like the beginning was, but also makes a lot more sense.

Jou Edogawa referencing Sailor Moon from the anime series Sasami-san@Unmotivated
Jou Edogawa referencing Sailor Moon

I also want to take a moment to talk about the Sailor Moon reference by Jou (pictured above). A lot of anime reference Sailor Moon. In fact, the Monogatari series has done it multiple times. But many times it’s just a random reference that isn’t really contextualized.

That’s not the case this time around.

Sasami’s last name, Tsukuyomi, is a reference to the moon god by the same name in Japanese mythology. This is why Jou does the Sailor Moon pose when she’s telling Sasami that she’s a worthy adversary. I’m always a fan of Sailor Moon references — especially when they make sense in context.

Conclusion

Sasami-san@Unmotivated is, for me, a 9/10. I considered giving it an 8, but I really do think that it does so much so well that it deserves the 9. I just wish there was a second season to this series. The first volume of the light novel was published back in 2009 and it’s still going to this day, so there’s plenty of content to adapt.

The OP of the series is also pretty good, but the ED is what really shines. For the first half of the ED you get various characters from the series talking to each other — often about the ED. Then the better part happens, where the characters (different ones for different episodes) sing the ED song as if it were bad karaoke.

If you enjoyed this review, let me know by clicking the like button ❤ down below and following me over on Twitter @DoubleSama. I tweet out every time a new post goes live, so it’s the best way to stay up to date. There’s also a Discord server for anyone who wants to discuss anime with members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month and for recommending this series to me. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

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