Fathers and Sons in Sakamoto desu ga? Episode 10

Spring’s been an awesome season for anime all around, but Sakamoto desu ga? (“Haven’t you heard? I’m Sakamoto”) is easily my top pick. This week’s mini episode featuring Hayabusa’s culinary ventures with Sakamoto hit a particularly sweet spot…and perfectly timed for Father’s Day.
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The premise behind Sakamoto desu ga is a series of comedic vignettes based around Sakamoto, the incredibly cool and popular high school guy that everyone loves to love and hates to hate (inanimate objects or supernatural beings are no exception to Sakamoto’s charm). His reflexes and natural affinity for birds and all things cool are absurdly god-like, but there’s a humility to him that’s attractive to us. Yes, Sakamoto’s the weirdo that makes a part of us wail in green envy at his sheer competence with everything, from catching bugs, blowing bubbles and generally defying the laws of physics, but he’s also the dependable guy we’d trust to watch our backs or to lend a helping hand if the occasion calls for it.

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In this week’s character sketch, “What’s Lacking”, we are treated to a softer side of Hayabusa, a second year delinquent at Sakamoto’s school. While fierce, smart and handsome to boot, Hayabusa is a man of honor and, as we find out, quite the dutiful son.

Adults in Sakamoto desu ga? typically are treated as incompetent, fairly one-dimensional caricatures of actual adults who serve as antagonists for Sakamoto. While Hayabusa’s dad certainly continues the trend of incompetence, it’s nice to see not only a fairly normal, well-meaning adult, but a doting father. In a twist to the traditional single mother as caregiver, we have Hayabusa’s father as the single father as the head of their lively household. Although there is a brief note of melancholy as the scene settles on a shot of Hayabusa’s mother–presumably deceased–Hayabusa’s father brings up the idea of introducing a mother into the family for the sake of raising the kids. Our gruff delinquent’s not exactly gung-ho about it, but seems open to meeting Dad’s new special woman. Only there’s one caveat.

Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 11.27.52 PMIt’s easy to condemn our parents for lying. But parents are humans too, and are, of course, prone to lapses in judgment, especially when their kids are involved. Poor Hayabusa’s dad’s self esteem is so low that he thinks he needs to fabricate a wealthy bourgeois background to find a suitable woman to date. A pretty big lapse in judgment we’ve got here and he’s shoved it onto his son to navigate through the tangled mess of lies he’s woven.

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What makes Sakamoto so compelling is that there’s always a quirky serious intent to its gags for which Sakamoto is only the vehicle for expressing. This episode’s gags are appropriately revolved around what one lacks. Hayabusa’s father thinks Hayabusa and his brothers need a mother. Hayabusa lacks the class and refined manners to bluff a wealthy cultured lifestyle and needs Sakamoto, the classiest guy around, to teach him.

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It’s hilarious to watch Hayabusa/Sakamoto marionette their way through a full course French dinner (complete with a rumble with some eye-offending escargot) but also satisfying to watch two navigate two very different realms–the classy, bourgeois atmosphere of high dining and the gritty, seedy world of dark alleys and extorting thugs. Of course, the kicker is that Hayabusa’s classy efforts are all for naught as Dad’s had the excellent taste to pick up an extortionist for a girlfriend, which gives Hayabusa the perfect opportunity to give Sakamoto a “helping hand” or two as they creatively terrify the living daylights out of the muggers after his dad.

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Yeah, I might know a thing or two.
Just a passing bourgeois Eldritch nightmare...
Just a passing bourgeois Eldritch nightmare…

“I swear, you’re such a dumb, stupid, moronic, helpless father, aren’t you? I guess, we just have to make up for what the other lacks.” -Hayabusa

Aside from one swooning dad, our tale ends well. The sticking point of our father-son tale is that while we can’t all be as cool as Sakamoto, we are definitely blessed with far more than what we often perceive. Hayabusa doesn’t need a mother–given how he’s turned out, Hayabusa’s father hasn’t done a half-bad job at raising him.

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Here’s a Happy Father’s Day to all you dads. We might occasionally (or a lot) rag on you, but in all honesty, we love and appreciate all that you do for us.

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4 thoughts on “Fathers and Sons in Sakamoto desu ga? Episode 10

  1. Funnily, Sakamoto & Hayabusa are the most conventionally handsome people in the series – nearly everyone else looks like some kind of chubby caricature (esp. Mrs. Kubota). Fair warning that they won’t be able to air Sakamoto’s final episode on Japanese TV (said to be perfect for the TV medium), since one of its earlier timeslots was preempted by news coverage of the big earthquake in Kumamoto prefecture last April.

    If you’re interested, Sakamoto’s creator, Sano Nami, will be a special guest at this years’ Los Angeles Anime Expo, among many others. If you’re attending this’ll be a good chance to meet the brains behind the series.

    What other series are you following, asides from Sakamoto? I’ve heard Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress and Re Zero are incredibly popular with the Japanese fans, although I’ve gravitated more towards Joker Game and Kuromukuro. Have you seen any of them?

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    1. Haha, they do stand out in looks don’t they? What do they plan to do with the final episode if they can’t air it? Maybe it’ll be included as an OVA or Blue-Ray bundle?

      Wow, what an opportunity! Anime Expo seems really exciting this year–makes me wish I could go!! Especially since one of my favorite artists of all time is going to be there.

      Aside from Sakamoto, I’m following Kabaneri, My Hero Academia, Joker Game and Rinne (except for Guardian Enzo, I think I’m the only other aniblogger watching this). I didn’t really like Re Zero, but am enjoying the other titles.

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      1. Likely Sakamoto’s final episode will be put on Japanese Blurays, although this means likely no official streaming subtitles. (There’s always fansubs though…)

        Kabaneri’s pretty exciting, although I’ve heard some complaints about the show’s need to keep on topping itself. The current arc with Biba’s gotten a lot of flak, although I guess it can’t be as bad as Big Order’s craziness.
        There’s an anime magazine that contains some extra info on Biba’s reasons for revenge – it’s worth checking out, although I still don’t know why the writers didn’t mention it at all in the anime proper. Here’s a link:
        https://forums.animesuki.com/showpost.php?p=5876039&postcount=1393

        Try check out Kuromukuro if you have the chance – the best way I can describe is slice of life meets alien mecha. Being a PA Works anime, the character interactions are fun to watch (esp. if one main character’s a 16th century teen samurai who was in stasis for about 5 centuries inside the detachable transforming cockpit of said alien mech). Watching the central mystery unravel’s pretty fun too!

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