mjj (flemmings) wrote,

What is this I don't even-- part the whatever

Have finished Onmyouji 10, in which Seimei states several times that he's a swallow who's invaded the Dragon King's underwater palace to steal a jewel. This, to my ears, is too reminiscent of Peter Pan:
"Pan, who and what art thou?" [Hook] cried huskily.
"I'm youth, I'm joy," Peter answered at a venture, "I'm a little bird that has broken out of the egg." This, of course, was nonsense; but it was proof to the unhappy Hook that Peter did not know in the least who or what he was, which is the very pinnacle of good form.
Seimei has excellent form, but no sense. IIRC (If I'm Reading Correctly) at one point he has a snit fit because he was compelled (but what compelled him?) to make a declaration (to the empty night sky) that he's proud of being a human being and happy to have been born. This is somehow a blow to his dignity. Possibly because he's really a swallow.

Or maybe it's just that he *might* become a swallow. OTOH he might become a (tinkling) brass cymbal, with markings, that's confusingly called a mirror. Whatever, at book's end he has a honking big 'jewel' that looks like a bowling ball, which he gives to Murasaki Sue. Whose name means 'true kudzu'-- yes, the invasive vine that ate the American South. How appropriate. (And now I can't find the Japanese word for girlfriends who move into their boyfriends' apartments uninvited and take over the housework and laundry and whatever. My life is full of woe.)

I have a sad hope that vol 9 might explain what ceremony it was that divided Heaven and earth, which in this volume must be sewn back together again via the Ama dance (oh lovely helpful jaanus: if only you had illustrations) with paper masks of the sort seen on the visiting deities in Sen to Chihiro and here and on the cover of vol 10.

I have a sad hope that some volume will tell us who Murasaki Sue is, because IIRC half of Heian-kyo thinks she comes from Korea, which might explain why she calls herself 'ore', and Seimei seems to imply *she's* the jewel in the dragon king's palace, and when she's moping about 'Seimei doesn't want to live anymore' on no evidence at all except Heian female vapours, she says something to the effect of 'if he dies I will return to the bottom of the sea-- not, yanno, that I've ever actually *seen* the sea', which kind of negates all the details that seem determined to link her to it. (I won't discount the explanation that everything references some Kokinshuu poem I don't know about.) But my hope isn't very high, because in this volume Murasaki Sue is wailing 'Father, you lied to me' (about what is OF COURSE not stated) oh boo hoo hoo-- and I know from bitter experience that when Okano characters start ragging on their fathers you will definitely not be told why. Or who. Or *anything*.

I have a sad hope (I am full of sad hopes, disillusioned optimist that I am) that somewhere Okano tells us what Seimei has against his master's son Kamo no Yasunori. But 'I do not love thee, Yasunori' seems to be a given here, going back at least to vol 8, and I suppose one mustn't ask why.

Yanno, Okano's Onmyouji reminds me forcibly of Henry James and Virginia Woolf. Opaque characters feeling opaque things for no discernible reason at all. I mean, all of vol 10 can be read as Seimei's internal struggle about Will He Commit to Murasaki Sue, and I'm not entirely sure that that isn't a huge part of it. But how she got there from Yumemakura's straightforward detective tales and weird stories beats me. (And god alone knows what Yumemakura thinks of all this. This is why pro authors over here forbid fanfic.) My only consolation, yet again, is that the Japanese can't make head nor tail of it either.

Remains volume 11, in which I find Hiromasa realizing 'I love Seimei. More than music, more than anything.' This cannot end well.
Tags: onmyouji

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