This article contains major spoilers for the ending of Sanctuary Season 1 and the events of Sanctuary Season 1 Episode 8.
Sanctuary is a sumo wrestling drama on Netflix revolving around Kiyoshi Oze, also known as Enno, a cocky and sneaky wrestler who takes his brash attitude and unconventional tactics into a sport steeped in unaccommodating tradition.
Across eight episodes, Enno rises through the ranks, annoys almost everyone, is brutalized by corruption and other wrestlers, and has to come face to face with not just his rivals but also himself.
A lot of this is rooted in a rivalry with the feared Shizuuchi, and a match between the two, which Shizuuchi handily wins, forms a major turning point that defines the ending of the series.
Sanctuary Season 1 Ending Explained
Who was blackmailing Shizuuchi?
Shizuuchi was supposed to lose that match. Before it, he had been approached by a reporter, Yasui, who threatened to expose aspects of his past if he didn’t throw the match. Shizuuchi made a statement by winning in brutal fashion and then withdrawing from the tournament.
Yasui was sent an email instructing him to make Shizuuchi quit. It is later revealed that Ito, the patron of Ryukoku Stable, was made to do this by the mother of Ryuki-zeki, who seduced him. This, Ito confesses to Ryuki’s Yokozuna father Ryokuko.
Why is Enno dismissed?
After losing to Shizuuchi, Enno is deeply affected.
In the wrestling world, he is scared of taking a hit, for which he is mocked. In his personal life, he can’t control his emotions and irresponsibly blows off steam. His romantic life is left in tatters, and he loses all respect for himself and among his peers.
During a keiko, Enno lashes out against one of Umayama’s wrestlers and he is dismissed.
How does Enno return to wrestling?
Enno’s return requires him to learn respect for the sport and himself, while also abiding by the rules and traditions and taking advice when it is offered to him.
Ryokuku persuades Inushima to withdraw Enno’s punishment. Ensho teaches him a new technique, one with which to beat Shizuuchi. The second chance compels Enno to take things much more seriously and approach them with much more grace.
In doing this he comes almost unstoppable and lifts up those around him in the stable, too. He is able to achieve his personal redemption by reclaiming his lost honor and reputation in the next keiko.
Redeemed and focused, Enno joins the January Tournament and comes face to face with Shizuuchi once again. This, unfortunately, is where the series ends.
You can stream Sanctuary Season 1 Episode 8 exclusively on Netflix. What did you think of the ending of Sanctuary Season 1? Let us know in the comments.
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