oyceter: (sanzo ikkou)
[personal profile] oyceter
It's rather odd writing these up, as this is the third time I've read them -- I read the raws first, then the Japanese tankubon, then finally the TokyoPop translations. It's nice to finally be able to understand everything!

Spoilers for both volumes

First, the necessary squeeing: OIWEJ:OKM:FWUE_)#($_@#)$(!!!!! YOUKAI HAKKAI!!

Even so, the more I reread, the more I concentrate on the Sanzo-Goku dynamic. Possibly this is because I have been mad squeeing about youkai Hakkai for the past... near year (?) just waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting for this to hit the US so I could finally talk about all the things that lead up to and result from youkai Hakkai and the Seiten Taisei.

I've pointed it out before, but I think Minekura is paralleling Sanzo leaving with Gojyo leaving from Saiyuki vol. 7 (7? or 8?), and not just that, but also paralleling Sanzo dealing with loss with Gojyo dealing with loss.

I don't particularly remember if we've seen Goku deal with loss; we've seen him in the cave, but I don't know if he remembers enough for it to count as loss. Given how nearly everything in Saiyuki goes around and comes around, I am leaning toward Goku's big emotional awakening as the end of Saiyuki Reload.

I also don't remember if Gojyo has really dealt with loss before this; prior to this, he usually seems to be fairly in control of his emotions and not quite as prone to the batshit insane thing (which is good! Less mass murderers are a good thing!).

We've had Hakkai deal with loss prior to this; namely, we've seen him go batshit insane after Kanan was taken. And less insanely, we've watched him deal with Gojyo being shot partly because of him (Chin Yisou), and we've watched him deal with Gojyo leaving. The reactions get less and less batshit insane, though part of that is probably because no one actually died the second and third time. But I do think Minekura did the same thing with Hakkai that she's doing here with Sanzo, to a slightly lesser degree. Hakkai sees someone he cares a lot about injured because of his past (well, really, because of an insane homicidal maniac, but Hakkai doesn't seem to draw these distinctions). And, of course, there's the parallel between Gojyo and Kanan in his eyes, history repeating.

Sanzo's also dealt with loss prior to this, but mostly in flashback; I don't think we ever see him dealing with something like this in real time. So just like Hakkai, Sanzo gets a crash course in dealing with trauma, complete with flashbacks to prior trauma (I think there are brief flashes to Koumyou collapsing in front of him) and flashbacks to a prior villain associated with prior trauma. Alas for Sanzo, Goku's situation is a lot worse than Gojyo's in vol. 4, and Sanzo really does not deal well.

I don't really blame him, though. I'd say of all of the ikkou, Goku is the one who seems the most invulnerable -- he's the most well-adjusted, the happiest, the one who also managed to survive for 500 years by himself in a cave. And he's got the Seiten Taisei in him, and who knows what power that conveys? And to have that coming right after a conversation on death and resurrection, particularly when the choice to resurrect or not quickly becomes applicable and not just theoretical? That really sucks. Plus, I think Sanzo has sort of been kidding himself as to how much he does care; I'm sure he knows somewhere, but I doubt he's been admitting it to himself fully.

And the other part about vol. 7 that kills me every time (besides youkai!Hakkai) is Goku waking up confused, staring at his hands like he can see the blood on them. I'm still surprised at how much I've ended up adoring Goku; I think he's currently my favorite ikkou member. I really hope that down the line, Minekura will give Goku a nice, fat, character arc, preferably involving Gaiden memories.

Prior write ups here and here (spoilers through vol. 7 for both).

Date: 2007-05-08 04:56 pm (UTC)
chomiji: A cartoon image of chomiji, who is holding a coffee mug and a book and wearing kitty-cat ears (Default)
From: [personal profile] chomiji


When Gojyo was thinking "Why am I so useless?", my heart was just limp with pain. Poor guy. And then when Hakkai comes back to life, and his first thought is for Goku, and then he looks at Gojyo and asks "Why are you making that face?" And Gojyo is just "Shut up. Don't talk." *love*



When I whizzed through the book at high speed the first time, I was thinking that Goku wasn't reacting strongly enough to Sanzo's desertion. But on the second read, I found where he makes a conscious decision, when they're on the road, not to worry the other two. And I was just simultaneously warmed and saddened by it: awww, he's growing up, poor guy. What a way to have to do it!

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