Newman’s Nook: Enta’s Dueling Goals

Last time on Newman’s Nook, I examined Kazuki and Toi of Sarazanmai. For the sake of completion, I decided this piece will feature our third kappa-boy, Enta. A complicated character, Enta is a boy in love with his best friend. He is confused about his sexuality and tossed into a world of kappas, zombies, and evil otters. Enta is never sure what to do for himself. In the series, he has two main goals—both to help Kazuki and connect with him romantically.

Goal 1: Help his friend Kazuki

This first goal has an obvious solution—support Kazuki in all he loves and needs. Enta strives to provide support for his friend. He will watch Kazuki’s little brother when he’s not around and provides encouragement to Kazuki when he feels weak. Due to Kazuki’s attachment to Toi, Enta also helps Toi and his criminal brother escape from the police. In short,—Enta is presenting himself as a good friend to Kazuki. This feels like a good thing.

Goal 2: Establish a romantic connection with Kazuki.

However, Enta’s second goal is where we find a darker side. We know within a few episodes that Enta is in love with Kazuki. How does Enta try to connect romantically? It begins with a kiss on an unconscious Kazuki. Enta continues to develop the relationship connect by creating messes in their practice area. This, in turn, forces the kappa boy trio to spend time together. He also steals the group’s magical plates for his own purposes. We do not know his plans for the plates; however, we are left to assume it has to do with his relationship with Kazuki. Instead of allowing their relationship to grow organically, Enta attempts to escalate it through his actions. Enta is a mess.

There’s an internal conflict within Enta. Enta finds himself internally conflicted about his two goals. Helping Kazuki means he needs to be kind and supportive of Toi. However, as Toi and Kazuki become closer, Enta is afraid there will be fewer opportunities for him to be alone with Kazuki. He is afraid of losing his deep, personal connection with his love. This fear creates an internal conflict and drives Enta to act. When his secret actions are revealed, there is an emotional fight between the two. It ends with the Otter Cops (Reo and Mabu) arriving and shooting Kazuki with their desire extracting gun. However, Enta jumps in and takes the bullet. The episode ends with Kazuki holding the injured Enta in his arms. The torn Enta is being pulled in two competing directions, leading to emotional and physical pain.

(Note: This article was written before the June 6 episode of Sarazanmai aired)

Like Enta, I find myself having two competing goals from time to time. For example—the needs of my job versus needs of my family; desire for relaxation versus my household needs; or my needs versus my wife’s needs. Sometimes these goals are in unison, but at times they conflict. How should I respond? In each situation there are often Biblical solutions. As a husband, I am called to put my wife before myself. This also holds true for needs around the house placed ahead of my desire to relax. As an employee, I need to work as unto the Lord; however, as a father and husband, my family’s needs come first. How does one juggle both? It is complicated and when their needs conflict, it is difficult to know which should be first. As an imperfect man, I know I have periodically chosen poorly.

For Enta, the conflict is between his romantic desire and the needs of his friends. Which should he put first? Without thinking, Enta made the decision by jumping in front of the bullet for Kazuki. He chose support over romance. He chose Kazuki over himself. Maybe Enta isn’t as much of a mess as I thought.

This is my third piece in an accidental series on Sarazanmai (Part 1 and Part 2). Sarazanmai can be streamed at Crunchyroll. A warning—there are a lot of mature themes in this series, so viewer discretion is advised.

mdmrn

Matthew Newman is an environmental engineer who’s also a husband, beard aficionado, Dad of four beautiful children, blogger, and all around geeky guy. When he’s not chasing his kids or working, he’s probably asleep.

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