This review focuses primarily on the performance of the actors, is entirely subjective, and is more a collection of my thoughts about Saiyuki Kagekiden: God-child than an actual review. Despite my sometimes critical opinions, I absolutely loved it and squeed like a fangirl the whole way through. I really don't think anything here counts as a spoiler, mostly because if you're into Saiyuki but you're not familiar with the Kami-sama arc, you must be living under a very big rock (possibly on top of a mountain, too). :D That said, read at your own risk! ♥
( clickity click... sparing your f!lists ;) )
By the way.
I'd offer my nonexistent firstborn and my black, black soul to whoever has the power to make a Gaiden musical. It'd probably be the last thing I saw before I died of heartbreak, but. >.>
I said I was kinda sorta disappointed with Ayukawa Taiyou's portrayal of Gojyo because reasons?
I take it back.
Yes, he overacts here and there. Yes, his voice is all over the place sometimes when he sings and he doesn't always manage to carry the notes as he should.
It's 'cause he gets so emotional about what he's doing. o.o Watch the video (it's around 1:08, but his interactions with the little Mitsu are precious and hilarious too ♡) He's saying he made meaningful memories and had so much fun, and that time they spent rehearsing was amazing, and then his voice breaks and he very nearly loses it. He's so happy about getting to meet such wonderful people and about everything they've done together. It made him cry. And I'm undone, so yeah. ♡
He's so young and such a precious dork, andandand. So yeah. He needs to work on his craft; we all do, always. But, oh dear.
1. How old will you be in 10 months?
2. Do you think you'll be married by then?
I honestly doubt it. :P
3. What do you look forward to most in the next 3 months?
Going to the mountains in the summer.
4. Who was the last person you called?
5. Who was the last person to call you?
My financial advisor.
6. Do you prefer to call or text?
Text. Calls are exhausting.
7. Do you have any pets?
8. What were you doing at 12am last night?
Sleeping. It was a long Easter weekend. :P
9. Are your parents married/divorced/separated?
My dad died 20 years ago.
10. When is the last time you saw your brother?
( the rest of the questions... )
A return flight to Osaka in April is 2670 PLN. Accommodation via airbnb for a week is ~900 PLN. Probably another ~1500 PLN to get by and not starve.
If I maxed out my credit card, I could do it.
Except I'm chickenshit so I probably won't do it, I'll just sit here thinking about it. *headdesk* moodwriter will be there during that time. It's been our plan for years now to go to Japan together, except of course I didn't plan it for this year--with all the expenses that came up when we bought the apartment, it kind of didn't fit in the budget in any way.
But. Oh hell, do I want to do it. >.<
I never do crazy shit like this. I usually decide it's too stressful or just downright impossible or... somethingsomethingsomething. There's always something. I really wish I had it in me to go, "let's do it, and to hell with the consequences". >.>
Author: Rhea enchanter
Pairing(s): Gojyo/Hakkai, Kenren/Tenpou
Summary: Gojyo remembers, even if he doesn't realize it. (Burial arc, reincarnation fic, prompt: intertwined)
Wordcount: 3,300, one-shot, complete
Notes: Written for absolute_negation for this year's valentine_smut gift!fic exchange. Big thanks to Johanna for beta and encouragement. Saiyuki belongs to Kazuya Minekura, and I'm just playing. :)
On AO3: It was weird business, saving someone's life. Weird enough to seriously mess with a guy's already messed up head.
"The Sea of Samsara" by kikyo, Goujun/Tenpou ♥
and two stories by 7veils: "Appetite" (Gojyo/Hakkai) and "Venerable" (also Goujun/Tenpou - yay! When I put that pairing on the list, I honestly didn't expect to get two fics featuring it :D). ♥
I woke up on Friday morning to over 20 Saiyuki fics over at valentine_smut. I had to read my gifts on the iphone, not having taken the laptop with me; I have since read most of the fics twice but have yet to comment properly. I got four gifts this year (three as of yet anonymous and one from chomiji who is made of awesome. ♥ There were so many Goujun/Tenpou fics! Surprised and very pleased. :D
Miraculously, we got to snowboard every day for a week despite the weather being less than awesome for the first half of it. I missed the mountains like crazy and now can't wait for the summer when we're going back there for some serious climbing. My two snowboard virgins didn't manage to kill themselves on the slopes; they actually managed to learn well enough to keep up with us. Made me very proud. :D ♥
Had some of the best food in a long time while there, too, and tonight is sushi night. :D If only I didn't have to go back to work tomorrow morning, life would be quite perfect. :P
Happy belated Valentine's and hugs to everyone. ♥
Phew. ♥ In 24 hours, I'll be driving to the mountains, and to hell with everything else. :)
And actually, coming back next weekend to a batch of brand new Saiyuki fic is going to be the perfect ending to my winter vacation.
1. Who did you last get angry with?
2. What is your weapon of choice?
Katana. Lacking that, words.
3. Would you hit a member of the opposite sex?
For real? Maybe, depends on the situation.
4. How about of the same sex?
5. Who was the last person who got really angry at you?
My mother, I believe.
6. What is your pet peeve?
Corporate know-it-all people messing with my work.
7. Do you keep grudges, or can you let them go easily?
I don't hold grudges and I forgive easily, but I'm still working on the 'let it go' part.
( The 6 remaining sins under the cut... )
Not even sure what I'm so high-strung about at the moment. Not one thing I can pinpoint I suppose, but rather a series of things spanning months that have been making it worse. I really don't have much to complain about, life-wise, or shouldn't have if I look at it objectively. There are things I'm not entirely happy about, but there always are some of those and you either learn to accept them or you change them. I might still be on the fence regarding which is the better choice.
Two more work days until vacation. I keep reminding myself to be excited and not freak out about something possibly going wrong, what with the fact I'm organizing this for six people and thus feel entirely too much responsibility for them. :P The weather conditions aren't perfect for snowboarding, unfortunately, it's been too warm for that lately. Weird winter all together, quite uncharacteristic for Poland. Here's to hoping we'll get a chance to get some board fun at least for a few days.
Whew. Back to work, for now...
Brings back memories, though. There was that flash web game back then in which you got to undress Hakkai, and it was probably the only thing that kept me sane throughout that month and all those 110 pages of point 12 Times Roman worth of EFL methodology. Even though I still have the link to that game in my eljay somewhere, the page doesn't exist anymore - it doesn't get any more disappointing than that. :P
This rather random and entirely devoid of substance bit of mental garbage is brought to you by yours truly who's currently reforging her take on procrastination into a new level of art form. Sigh.
Four days until vacation. Merciful Goddess help me. :P
My Valentine Smut submission is done and in beta, and of course now that I finished it I'm second guessing like woah. I'm planning to try to do another one before I submit and see which one turns out better. At least now that it's done I don't feel the pressure of the deadline so much anymore, so I can have fun with something else and see what happens.
Most likely I'll still be out of town on posting day, so I'm keeping fingers crossed for a working mobile connection so I can check out the fics on the way back. Can't wait. *_* A whole batch of brand new Saiyuki fic, again, so soon after Yuletide is always something to look forward to. :D
I'm anticipating two very intense weeks before my vacation, with lots of work during office hours and probably even more in the evenings. Little sleep and lots of stress ahead. Fortunately the semester ended on saturday, there aren't any more classes until early March, and I managed to get grading done and over with so at least the students are out of my hair. :P The next semester is looking to be more interesting than this one, seeing as the class I'll be teaching is actually closer to what I do for a living (web design) than what I've been teaching in this one (app design). It's fun, but if I'd known how stressful and time consuming it would turn out to be, I'd have thought twice before signing up for it. :P
Have a good week, everyone. ♥
2. It's still true that every time I try to write a light, funny fic, I end up with the opposite. One day I'll learn. Past experience says it might not be in this lifetime, however.
3. I need a beta reader for Saiyuki. Not having one results from having always been a lurker before who was too much an antisocial chicken to get to know people. :( Talking meta or fic ideas has always helped me write better stuff, and not being able to do that right now is a real downer.
4. The neverending quest for the right word/phrase is still as satisfying as it is frustrating. Went over to the old journal to read through some of my old fics, and it does show two things: one, when I wrote more I was better at it (duh) and two, I wish I were a native speaker of English, or at least could write like one. >.< I might have stopped writing for some time but I never stopped reading, so my vocabulary range hasn't shrunk all that much. But. I've been told it's hard to tell that English is my second language, but I can tell. I never thought I'd be insecure about that of all things. It's probably because I've been reading so much excellent fic lately, and it makes me realize how far behind I am language-wise. Highly motivating, but freaking scary too.
5. Me being me, I completely forgot I'm going snowboarding on Feb 7th, which means almost a week less to turn in the VTS assignment. One will get done for sure--almost done in fact--but I wanted to do two. Might still happen, if work doesn't get any crazier than it already is.
On a non-fandom or writing related note, winter is here. It's freezing. Now just need more snow (at least in the mountains, please!) for the perfect snowboarding conditions. ♥
I met T at my first job back in 2007 when she came to work with us as a project manager. She didn't really like me at first--didn't dislike me, either, just didn't care either way, and I know this because much later, when we talked about it, I asked and she told me. She's the kind of person who will tell you such things; she believes in being utterly honest about how she feels, even if it's uncomfortable. Eventually she ended up inviting me and another coworker over to her place for... I can't even remember, dinner and wine, I think; we were all quite unhappy with the way things were going at the office, and decided to share our ideas on what to do about it.
A few months later she quit that job and moved on to another company in town. Three of us followed soon after.
We became close over time. It's been seven years. About a month ago she told me she was going to quit the industry all together and move on to something completely different. Which meant that we would go from seeing each other daily down to occasional meetings when both of us had the time and the inclination to get together. Which, in my head, translated to, "I'm moving on from beings friends, too."
I realize what that sounds like, I really do.
Here's the thing: despite my age, I'm not very mature about these things. I'm not sure how to be. I have abandonment issues the size of the Empire State building and have come to expect being left behind. It's something that happens when people's lives change, and I'm mostly okay with that, except it happened over and over with people whom I loved dearly and that's bound to leave a bit of a mess. For years now I've made friends easily but avoided getting close, without even consciously making the decision to do so. Part of me is always expecting to get dumped.
So when I heard the news I pulled away. Again, I didn't decide to do that and I only see it in hindsight now.
Last night, a wasted and relaxed T flung her arms around my neck, pulled me in for a hug and asked me why I've been cold to her lately. I didn't tell her--I will when we're not under influence--but I assured her that I still loved her, because I do.
And then she said, "Oh, that's good. Because right next to my husband and my son, you're my most beloved person in the world."
We've been friends for years. I knew she was fond of me because she wouldn't have bothered if she weren't. But I didn't realize. Honestly. Maybe because she's not the mushy kind of person who lavishes affection on others left and right. And when I heard that I think it killed me a little, because well--I'd heard it before, from other people, and it went to hell anyway, but somehow I believed her regardless.
And then I felt guilty. Because I'm not a very good friend. I live inside my head too much and while I think about people a lot--a lot more often than they realize--I rarely reach out. On some level all kinds of close relationships freak me out, in no small part because being open and close to someone means being vulnerable.
So now I'm sitting here and thinking about it, about what it all means. Honestly, in a way it scares me. If I do manage to get this close to someone it hurts like freaking hell when they walk away, and in my experience, they usually do. But I think I'm already close enough in this case and that's why I tried to distance myself as a preemptive measure, so it wouldn't end up hitting me like a freight train when it happened. It's been eight years now since a once-beloved person, whom I loved more than was good for me, left without a word and I still remember all too clearly how that messed me up. Back then I promised myself that I wouldn't let that happen again, but I suppose avoiding disaster by avoiding friendships is a shortcut that doesn't really lead to where I want to be.
I wrote this mostly as a memo-to-self to go back to when I forget that there are people who really care, after all.
...because I have too much time, apparently. Reposted from Tumblr.
You could spend ten years analyzing the symbolism in Saiyuki, much of which has been done over the years better than I could ever hope to do it, so I'm not even going there. But! There's a whole 'nother level of it when you go to the bottom of it - the language. English translations are awesome except when they don't do justice to the amount of meaning in some of those lines.
So if you'll pardon me, I'll be taking a leaf out of overanalyzingsaiyuki's book, because I'm still hung up on Kenren's death scene like OMG. The feels. My heart should be dead by now except I know it isn't because ow owowowww.
(my own manga scan for the purpose of this post)
Disclaimer: I'm not complaining about anyone's translation and I don't claim I could do better! This is not the point. I'm a Saiyuki obsessed linguistics nerd with a penchant for overanalyzing things, is all. Also, both English and Japanese are foreign languages to me, so.
One of many Gaiden things I'm hung up on is this one:
誇りを抱いて散るその日まで。(approx. romaji: Hokori o daite chiru sono hi made) With a sense of pride, until the day I fall. (listen here)
The interesting word choice here is 散る [chiru] - which means to fall or scatter as in, leaves or petals (oh the ever-present reference to cherry blossoms, which is very apt - the thing that falls at the peak of its beauty) but also 'to die a noble death' - which, in the context of Kenren's death... let's see: he clears the way for Tenpou, Konzen and Goku, saves Goujun's life and essentially sacrifices himself for Nataku (not that he has much choice at that point) - yeah, I'd say he fits in the definition all right.
This always makes me wonder about the translator's choice of wording in the OVA (and also in the scanlations I've seen): "With a proud heart, until you've completely withered". Far as I know (and my knowledge of Japanese is seriously limited, but I'm a diligent student and an obsessed linguist) the word one would use for 'wither' would probably be 枯れる [kareru] to run with the flower metaphor, but that's not really what it means. 'Withering' suggests a slow process without purpose, rather just an inevitable consequence of the impermanence of life in general. While the feel of just about every death in Gaiden is the opposite - it's sudden, violent, and it's for something.
The English translation is great in the sense of being very poetic, but somehow to me it doesn't come off as strong as the original Japanese. Right now I'm reading the manga in Japanese (slowly! argh!) to find things like these, and they're all over the place, and they make the heartbreak even worse IF THAT'S EVEN POSSIBLE MEH and the story even more beautifully told.
Side note: the 'scattering' word 散る as a metaphor for dying is especially interesting in that it kind of foreshadows the manner of Konzen's death, especially since it can also mean to disappear or dissolve.
Oh. Minekura, you genius. *thud*
-Spoke in a really serious business meeting because I was the only person whose English didn't put my company to shame :P;
- Bought an apartment
- Started actual Japanese classes with a Japanese tutor in addition to self-studying
- Wrote Saiyuki fanfic (like finally! :P)
02. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn't make any, so I had none to keep.
03. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Various coworkers; no one actually close to me.
04. Did anyone close to you die?
05. What countries did you visit?
Finland, Lituania, Slovakia
06. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
Peace of mind and the knowledge of how to actually live with it; closer relationships with people.
07. What date from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
No dates; just events:
- Writing a scalding letter to one asshole's lawyer in February and pwning it
- Buying an apartment in September
- Seeing Johanna in October
- Moving in November
08. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Not losing my shit, hands down.
09. What was your biggest failure?
Being productive at work. Oy.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
11. What was the best thing you bought?
New laptop and a fully weighted digital piano.
12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
My mother's, which is nothing new.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Mortgage-related expenses and renovations oh gods. Still broke from those. >.<
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Watching the Saiyuki Gaiden OVA, once I realized it got animated. Don't ask me why that beats moving to my own house. :P
16. What song will always remind you of 2013?
KOKIA's Sakura no Ki no Shita
17. Compared to this time last year, you are:
Happier or sadder? Fuck yes I'm happier, although still not quite where I want to be.
Thinner or fatter? About the same.
Richer or poorer: Poorer, because of all the house expenses.
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Freaking out about things instead of doing something about them, although I've been exceptionally good at that, surprisingly.
20. How will you be spending/did you spend Christmas?
Part of it with my family, part of it with Sami's.
22. Did you fall in love in 2013?
Yes, with Saiyuki, all over again. :P
23. How many one-night stands?
24. What was your favorite TV program?
Does Saiyuki count? :P Other than that, Elementary and Supernatural.
25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I still don't hate people.
26. What was the best book you read?
Amy Chua's Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother was one I really enjoyed.
27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
KOKIA, the Danna brothers.
28. What did you want and get?
A new laptop, digital piano, a house to live in.
29. What did you want and not get?
A new car; as far as non-material stuff goes, things that would probably merit their own entry.
30. What was your favorite film of this year?
The Hobbit 2, probably.
31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Turned 31 (hey, isn't this question no. 31? o.O), there was a BBQ.
32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A closer, more open (communication-wise) relationship. Music.
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
Same as always - nonexistent. :D
34. What kept you sane?
That's a very good question. :P
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
"Fancy" is probably the wrong word for the Dalai Lama?
35. What was your favorite video game of the year?
36. Who has made the most cameos in your dreams this year?
Can't really tell.
37. Who did you miss?
Friends I don't see as often as I would like; some friends I used to have who are still in my heart somehow.
38. Who was the best new person you met?
A coworker named Magda with whom I spent the New Year's Eve. Lovely person. <3
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013:
Worrying is pointless - whether you can do something about a problem or not.
Suffering comes from attachment. It really does.
And also: things are rarely as bad as I think they are.
40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
Hmm. There isn't a song I know that could describe it, actually. This is probably a first. ;)