mjj (flemmings) wrote,

Even a Worm

Being now in possession of Saiyuki Reload 9, I commence a reread of that sprawling saga cum trip down Memory Lane, Even a Worm. (Japanese mangaka, repositories of forgotten English. The old saying is 'even a worm will turn', which I had forgotten in favour of whoever's 'it's a long worm that has no turning.' Google would have me believe it's from Beau Geste. Google steals author's rights, their argument is invalid.)

And for the first half of vol 4 (fast skim through the later Burial arc) I was convinced I'd forgotten how to read shounen manga, because I was flailing about trying to make sense of the dialogue. Then I found my feet and zipped along at a happy clip, Kyoto-ben or no Kyoto-ben. Shounen really does read faster than shoujo, on account of half of any dialogue bubble is male noise empty of intellectual (as opposed to emotional) content (and what're the technical terms for those two things anyway?) There are few dispensable parts to female Japanese dialogue, at least not when one reads Ima Ichiko. BL may be different.

I hope this is a lead-in to Pippi, but lord do I cringe at Gokuu's 'oh wow he's so strong look at him massacre youkai left right and centre' plus 'oh great! youkai, let's massacre them left right and centre!' plus 'but the people trying to massacre *us* are human we can't possibly hurt them!' Y hello thar, race traitor Gokuu. Who isn't, I know; other people think he's a youkai, he doesn't think of himself as a youkai, and everyone he's known since getting sprung has been human or human identified, so naturally: human = people, youkai = arcade game. Still grates.

Hakkai's attitude one understands. Has no reason to love youkai, and he doesn't. Gojou however... another bit of antsiness there. His family is youkai; his friends were youkai; humans are the ones who reject half-breeds. So what's all the happy slaughter of youkai about? I'm not saying his attitude isn't realistic, just that I can't find it admirable.

Later ETA: I seem not to have read certain chapters of this thing. Quite possible, because I got my Zero-Sums from K in Japan back in those days and collected the tanks just to be completist. Still, yes, am enjoying Hazel being the catalyst to a little self-reflection among the Ikkou. But now dreary Ukoku has appeared again, oh dear.
Tags: manga_10, saiyuki

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