#1 - Encounter ~fake~

Season 4 - Episode 4

As the youkai mob descends on the villagers, Goku goes into full asskicking mode and takes out half of them within seconds. Who the hell is this kid? they demand of each other, and then, 'better call the others!' Damn, there're more of them? says Goku; he orders Kon to get the villagers back into the cave, as far as they can go. You're gonna defend them all by yourself? the demons jeer, but Goku says he sure is, and then smashes the cliffside, sealing the villagers inside the cave. Now they're safe from you, he says, and grins at the demon army, saying he'll take them all on. The still shirtless H, G & S look around what seems to be an endless cavern full of bones and torches. Can it truly be an illusion? it looks so real...Sanzo draws and aims at the strange youkai, but he grins and says Sanzo can't do any harm with that melted gun. As soon as he says it, the shoreijuu seems to glow red-hot, and Sanzo drops it, staring at the half-puddle of metal on the cave floor. Do you see now? all three of you are in the palm of my hand, says Zakuro. They look at each other in alarm, and Zakuro adds that if they keep zoning out like this, they'll be paralyzed by snakebite. Right: at once snakes materialize from thin air, draped all over the ikkou-minus-9. Sanzo gets it: this is all psychological, he says, but mental and physical damage are linked here--so if they believe what's happening, it really does happen. He's using a hypnosis technique! Hakkai yells, don't listen to Zakuro! [heh, Hakkai --like us--must have read the manga, since the enemy youkai's name hasn't yet been given here.] --That's easier said than done, chokes Gojyo, sounding badly rattled. Zakuro grins, and announces that looking at the snakes more closely, he sees that they're actually human hands. And [eeew...] of course they are: a slithering mob of disembodied arms, crawling over the ikkou and grabbing up from the ground, hauling them down. Back up on the edge of the cliff, where they still are in reality, Doku and Yaone watch the ikkou struggle and fall under the invisible-to-them assault. What's happening? Doku asks Yaone, and she replies that this is Zakuro's power [OK, there's his name =)]--he can control what they imagine with his words, and in effect cause your own mind to harm you. His illusions are so real that they physically feel whatever they hear. --Doku stares in horror as Gojyo, gasping, tries to rise from under the wave of unreal attackers. He strides forward, grabs Zakuro's shoulder and says that it was Kougaiji's assignment to kill the Sanzo party--Zakuro was only supposed to obtain the sutra. Zakuro smirks, and says they're all too soft: that's why you were unable to protect your lord, he sneers, you're nothing but worthless trash. --You bastard, growls Doku, and Zakuro, still grinning, says, that reminds me--this guy is your brother, right? Doku glares, and Zakuro leans over him. Hey, Sha Gojyo--he says--look how well your arm burns. And Gojyo sees his arm burst into flames, and howls in agony. Goku has opened his second or third can of whupass on the youkai mob by now, but the damn things keep coming, and even the practically unbeatable saru is starting to get a bit winded. He's backed to the edge of the cliff. The demons taunt him, asking if he's ready to quit yet, and Goku worries that if he doesn't unseal the cave soon the villagers will suffocate. And the guys-- Then he gets an idea: he drops backward off the edge, bounces off a convenient branch to launch himself high into the air, and comes down with a huge byoi-bo strike to drop the whole cliff-edge, youkai and all, into the river below. That's that, Goku says to himself as he crawls wearily back up over the edge of the cliff. Now I have to hurry up and open this cave...and how far downstream did those guys get swept anyway?...and I'm so hungry... He sits down at the rubble-blocked mouth of the cave for a moment, wondering aloud why all this is happening to him, momentarily too tired to notice that someone has walked up to stand behind him: someone with long red hair and a bar-code tattoo. Uh-oh. Yaone and Doku's biggest worry of the day has come to pass. Zakuro chortles as Gojyo tries futilely to beat out the flames of his blazing arm. Hakkai yells desperately for Gojyo to ignore what he hears, but Zakuro insists that he can feel the heat and that the fire is spreading; your arm is going to fall off, he says. Don't listen! screams Hakkai, but Gojyo sees his arm sever at the elbow and fall to the ground; he drops to his knees, howling. Yaone runs to him, trying to tell him that there's no fire and it's only an illusion, but Doku says "they can't hear our voices now". It's hard to believe his suggestions are so powerful, says Hakkai. But Zakuro has zeroed in on his target: the only one, apparently, too suggestible to resist him. Why, Sha Gojyo, he needles, aren't you going to fight back? Why don't you use your shakujou? [the subtitle says 'scythe', but Zakuro clearly calls it by its right name.--well, technically it's really a yueyachan and not a shakujou, but n'mind.]. --Yaone gasps in dismay. In the illusion, Gojyo stands, glaring, and summons up the weapon. Sanzo yells for him to stop, that it's a trap, and Hakkai just cries his name, but no use: the blade flies, and Gojyo sees both Hakkai and Sanzo fall, blank-eyed and streaming blood. [In the manga--man, this is bad--the blade takes off both of their heads.] Zakuro laughs uproariously: your aim's terrible! he jeers. Look, idiot, you've killed your own friends!--The redhead drops the weapon and stares at his hands. No--I didn't--he says, voice shaking. Hakkai is literally screaming at him that they're both alive, but he can't hear it. There's no escape from my illusions, says Zakuro smugly, you can only go on suffering... Doku can't watch his brother be battered any longer, and stepping up to him, delivers a solid punch to his gut. [Rock it, big bro.]--Gojyo drops, out cold, and in the illusion world, Sanzo and Hakkai are astonished to see him vanish. Damn you, Dokugakuji, snarls Zakuro. Doku says that the only way out of these illusions must be to either die in them or to be knocked unconscious. --What good will that do you? Zakuro challenges, and Hakkai dryly observes that losing consciousness in front of an enemy isn't always the best idea. Sanzo growls that, unlike Gojyo, they aren't simple-minded; we won't fall for your tricks so easily, he says, and Hakkai smilingly agrees that "we're the intellectual type" =) But (after some punning on 'hippocampus' and 'hippopotamus' =) Zakuro says that he can reach directly into the brain and draw out memories, and that that's significantly easier with people of higher intelligence. He effortlessly draws out the memory of last night's meal to prove it, and then tells them that today--why, today they drowned in the river. --And just like that they're back in the brawl with the water youkai (last episode), only they're sinking helplessly to the bottom. There's no water! this is an illusion! cries Hakkai, and Zakuro smoothly points out that talking underwater only allows water into your lungs. You can't breathe; it's the end for you, Cho Hakkai, he says, and Hakkai vanishes. Sanzo, startled, calls his name and, likewise, seems to have inhaled water. It's your end too, Genjyo Sanzo, smirks Zakuro, but...water, Sanzo thinks, the sound of water...the river...darkness... Then he sees a vision of Koumyou, and remembers the hands that reached in to pull him from the river, the fingerless black gloves like his own; remembers that he heard a voice. =) And he gets to his feet in the cave of skulls, with a dry chuckle. Zakuro is rocked back, stares at him in disbelief. " 'Kouryuu, of the river's flow' " (kawa-nagare Kouryuu), says Sanzo [and you've never heard his voice more beautiful than this; it's pure silk] --"you chose the wrong image to use on me." --He picks up his banishing gun, perfectly whole and unharmed.-- "What I saw," he says--and, with him, we see Koumyou's calm, smiling face, haloed in a golden glow--"was light." --Zakuro backs off, badly shaken: I told you that gun melted! it's useless! It didn't melt, says Sanzo. The trigger's jammed! I'm telling you you can't shoot me! stammers the panicky youkai. But Sanzo cocks the trigger, absolutely sure of himself. I'm telling you that I can, he says, and the force of the shot hurls Zakuro over the edge of the cliff and into the river far below. Everything clears. Hakkai and Gojyo get to their feet, and Sanzo says with calm satisfaction, "Kore wa genjitsu da"--'this is reality'. =) [--Applause, please.]=== [The jerk's exit isn't so neat in the manga, but...well. =) ]== Gojyo thanks his brother for saving his life, but Doku's already walking off, wondering aloud if brainwashing--or hypnosis--can be that easy to break. Yaone knows what he's thinking... Kon is digging at the rockslide barehanded, worried that Goku is fighting for them all alone. The adults are still afraid of facing the youkai, but when Kon's little sister, Rin, joins him in digging, they all pitch in and soon have a clear passage. Kon scrambles out and is relieved to see Goku still standing--and then, before his startled eyes, the saru falls at Kougaiji's feet...

#2 - Lamentation ~close your eyes~

Season 4 - Episode 26

After the flashback: Monster Arm Hazel piles into the SI, who fight back but take a pounding from the huge arm's power. Hazel completely loses it, morphing into his cat-demon form, roaring and snarling as he lashes out at the ikkou. He throws off Gojyo and Hakkai's attacks and charges at Sanzo, who aims but finds he's out of ammo; HG&G stare stunned as MA Hazel barrels toward their unarmed leader-- and a huge firebolt comes from nowhere to plow MA Hazel into a mesa, which collapses into dust. Who do we know that can throw huge firebolts? Might it be that tall redhead on the flying dragon? Yup: Lirin-sama has kept her promise, and the Kou-tachi is here to help the Sanzo-ikkou dust Hazel. =) Sanzo, reloading, demands to know what Kou & Co. are doing here. The prince retorts that they shouldn't think he's become their ally; that man is an enemy to all demons, and he'll gladly finish him off if the SI is just going to stand there. ==Hazel picks him/itself up and steps out of the dust cloud; Doku and Yaone decide they oughtn't get involved, while Lirin cheerily yells back that Sanzo ought to let her brother handle it. Sanzo cocks his pistol and says "screw that." Lirin's surprised, but the ikkou strides forward, Gojyo calling up to the 'tachi "sorry guys, but we'll settle this" and Goku adding that they have a promise to keep. Kougaiji gravely surveys the scene, including the heap of dust and clothing that's all that remains of the late Gatti Nenehawk [[may he rest in peace]], and intuits what's happened here. Lirin asks what's going on, but her brother tells her to let them be. --The grim, battered ikkou line up to face the advancing Hazel--who, as he becomes visible, has his human face and form back, and looks dazed and exhausted. I remembered everything, he says. The Kou-tachi watches over the scene; there's such calm sympathy in the prince's face. Hazel looks as if he's walked through hell barefoot. I killed my master, he says; I became a monster and killed him. [[I can hardly imagine what it costs him to say these words; even Sanzo looks moved.]] Master, he chokes, falling to his knees; suddenly he clutches his head in pain, we see the glowing sphere of the Seirei wink out, and Hazel gasps that the Spirit is dead. The ikkou draws back in alarm. Hazel's pendant begins to glow-- --and for miles around, every person that Hazel 'saved' by raising them with youkai souls suddenly gasps, collapses and crumbles into grey dust like the shikigami they are, their souls speeding away from them in streaks of blue light, groaning and sobbing as they fly. Hakuryu, on a mesa above the scene, sees the shower of blue spheres pouring toward them and cheeps in alarm. Hakkai and Goku look up and react as the stream bears down, and then the torrent of souls pours into Hazel. The souls of the people Hazel resurrected, says Sanzo darkly, as Hazel sobs in anguish, saying the monster is stealing the souls to increase its power. I don't want this, I don't want it! not after--he cries. Tears are streaming down his face. The lives I saved-- His voice devolves into grunts and snarls, and the ikkou arms up, ready to fight a new monster manifestation: white-feathered wings burst from Hazel's back, glowing and beautiful, as if he were about to become a blue-eyed angel in truth: but his red cat eyes return, and he fires his feathers like darts into the ikkou. The Kou-tachi reacts with shock and anger, and Yaone appeals to Kou, but he says, "Not yet." [[man, what perception and understanding he shows. Gods, he's so great.]] --Hazel stands grinning, gloating over the fallen ikkou. Sanzo yanks one feather-dart from his chest, sees the blue stain it leaves. Poison? he wonders. He raises his gun-- Sanzo is the only one standing, the ikkou pierced with a dozen feathers each; but when they see him standing, facing Hazel alone, Goku grips his staff and they struggle to rise. Sanzo starts to pull the trigger, and Hazel grins, sure of winning; but Goku yells "extend, nyoi-bo!" and the staff punches into Neko-Hazel's chest so hard he chokes up blood-- then there's a shrill "Kyuuu!" and a small dragon flying overhead becomes a half-ton Jeep that drops onto Hazel without warning. Feathers fly as the demon-angel bellows in rage and pain. Sanzo fires, cutting away half of one white wing, and it looks as if Hazel is on the ropes: but then, unbelievably, Neko-Hazel begins to chant the same prayer he always used to resurrect a human, and the amulet glows== and Sanzo's had enough. He matches the demon bishop's prayer with the sacred syllables of the sutra chant, and the kyoumon billows forth and envelops Hazel. Youkai souls pour out of the gold pendant; Neko-Hazel's face turns back into the innocent face of the blue-eyed angel, and he falls into the dust. Gojyo and Goku look on in exhaustion and grief; the Kou-tachi witness. Yaone, says Kou, give them some antidote; we can repay our debt to them. Hai, she says gladly. Hazel draws himself up and faces the muzzle of Sanzo's shoreijuu; shoot me, Sanzo-han, he says. We see his memories: people crying out that his 'saved' humans were monsters, helpless youkai begging for their lives. I thought I was doin' the right thing, he says, purifyin' the world of demons. Purifyin'...his memories overwhelm him, and he begs Sanzo to shoot him. [[OK, I take it back: I don't hate him. He's just another poor, messed-up, twisted little thing like so many in this series. I tell ya, no series will teach you simple Buddhist compassion like Saiyuki.]]== Kill me, Sanzo-han, begs Hazel, tears streaming down his face; everything I did was pointless. Sanzo says, "Nothing in this world is pointless. Everyone is needed." Is that true? asks Hazel, and Sanzo says it is. And again Hazel begs Sanzo to kill him, still on his knees in the dust; and this time Sanzo says, "All right." Much obliged, says the blue-eyed angel. Sunset. The Sanzo-ikkou and the Kou-tachi stand over two burial mounds, one decorated with Gato's headband and pistols, one with Hazel's hat and pendant. So in the end, who was he? asks Kougaiji; and Lirin unexpectedly answers, "He was someone who wasn't wanted," as tears streak her face. Doku and Yaone are surprised; she wipes her eyes, and says yes, he was unforgivable, but he was so alone that I felt sorry for him. [Goku notes this.] Yaone gently tells her that his soul is free from torment now, and is probably laughing with Gato'san's. The Kou-tachi mount their dragons and take their leave. Still on his mesa, Doctor Ni shrugs that it didn't work, but then killing demons to bring back humans was a totally pointless idea anyway. And Gojyo says, "so, he wasn't a demon or a human?" Hakkai positively says he was human, even if only because he tried so hard to be; but Sanzo says--with the air of one settling this once and for all--"There isn't much difference between youkai and humans." They all turn to look at him, and he exhales smoke and smiles. (Yes, really smiles.) "A man is a man," he says, "and that's all there is to it. --Let's go." And as they walk off toward their patiently waiting jeep, we go back to the Merciful Goddess and Jiroushin, watching the lotus pool in the Heavens. Yare yare, they're finally past that detour, s/he says. What will happen to them now? he asks, and s/he laughs and says, why even ask? what makes them interesting is this: no one can alter their fate as long as they're together. Amd we see them, headed into the sunset, headed West.

#3 - Unexpected Defeat

Season 2 - Episode 3

#4 - Go to the West

Season 1 - Episode 1

#5 - His god My god

Season 1 - Episode 3

#6 - Pure Assassin

Season 1 - Episode 5

#7 - Slumbering Memory ++Voice++

Season 3 - Episode 5

While resting at a peaceful countryside, Sanzo-ikkhou meets a beautiful female youkai. As they pulled up their defenses, the villagers came to her aid and pleaded them not to attack her claiming that she is their Lullaby Lady. Sensing no evil intent from her, Sanzo and his companions take in her hospitality. Later, they learn that the Lullaby Lady sings every night so that everyone in the village will have a good night's sleep. She does this by taking away their most painful memories. But losing one's bitter memory can prove to be fatal. Goku finds his friends behaving strangely the next morning and he is later abandoned in the middle of the desert when the others suddenly refused to continue on their journey.

#8 - Awakening ~back~

Season 4 - Episode 6

After the "last episode" flashback, we return to the KT and the SI-minus-9, faced off on top of the cliff. Kou raises his head: Genjyo Sanzo, he rasps, give me the Maten Scripture. Kotowaru, I refuse, snaps Sanzo. Then I'll take it, says the prince. Doku is alarmed, and tells him to stop, that his arm's broken [so, Goku was right-- Kou just ignored it] and this whole thing is insane. But Kougaiji struggles to his feet and tells him to shut up; get in my way, he adds (his voice is a flat snarl) and I'll kill you both. [Gojyo is astonished by this, but Hakkai smiles that it sounds quite familiar. =)] Let's go then, growls Sanzo, and Gojyo adds that 'this is to avenge that stupid monkey." (Hakkai does quietly point out that Goku's still alive--and we hear him snoring.) Doku is still inwardly agonizing about what to do if Kou doesn't return to normal. Gojyo summons the shakujou, warning his brother to be ready, as he's not going to hold back. Kougaiji calls up a fire attack; Hakkai blocks it with a ki shield, and the ikkou goes on the attack, Sanzo drawing first blood with a bullet graze to Kou's shoulder. But he somersaults away seemingly unhurt, and Gojyo wonders if he doesn't feel pain anymore, while Hakkai says it seems there's only one way to beat him.== When I first met him, Doku says to himself, all I could think of was how much he looked like my little brother. Those sharp eyes and red hair...the way he seemed to be be trying to look tough... little things like that. --He watches that same brother charge the prince... As Sanzo reloads, Hakkai notes that something's strange here; normally Kou uses not only his mist and fire powers, but his summoning technique as well. Sanzo gets it: summoning requires an agreement between the summoner and the demon, he says, but if the summoner becomes someone else... Then does that mean Kougaiji can't summon demons now? asks Hakkai.== Yaone likewise has a reflective moment: in all the time I've been at his side, she thinks, I've only known Kougaiji-sama to be proud and noble; persistent, and maybe naive, but always pure... and kinder than anyone else. And so lonely... ==Sanzo walks up to the two anxious youkai and snaps 'if you have doubts, get the hell out of the way'. They gasp, but he cocks his pistol and says, enough of this 'I'm doing this for whoever' crap; this is about what you want to do. He steps between them and strides decisively forward. Doku remembers the moment that they told Kou to follow whatever path he chose, saying he was their one true master and they'd stand with him regardless. ==Sanzo yells for Gojyo to move and takes his shot, but suddenly a cloud of smoke billows up spoiling his aim; and when it clears, there are Doku and Yaone standing between the ikkou and the prince, Yaone with another smoke bomb at the ready and Doku with his blade drawn. You two, mutters Gojyo, but Sanzo gazes at them calmly. [--heh, maybe he's done more thinking about unexpected loyalty than we know.]--Doku grins at the ikkou, and says sorry, but this is the side we're on; and Yaone agrees that she just doesn't feel right not standing at their lord's side, whether he wants them there or not. Doku adds frankly, to Kougaiji, that really they don't care about Lady GK's orders, or even about his mother; he's here, and that's all that matters. ==Kou is rocked back by this.== Doku and Yaone stare down the SI; Gojyo wisecracks that such a popular leader is the complete opposite of someone he knows, and that someone retorts that no one asked his opinion. =) Anyway, three on three sounds fine to me, says Gojyo, and Hakkai smiles that even that might not be the case, as Goku leaps up behind them to rejoin the battle. Everyone charges in; Goku and Doku cross weapons, then Dokugaku strikes at Gojyo's blade and chain, scoffing that they always attack in the same pattern-- and realizes too late that the shakujou was there to distract him from Goku, descending on him with nyoi-bo drawn back for a blow that will surely crush his skull. He has no time to fend it off; he closes his eyes-- and Kougaiji lunges between them, taking the full-force downstrike to save him. We see Lirin in her tank, Dr, Hwang observing her; then we hear Kou remembering, darkness, total darkness...then voices...--Doku and Yaone's voices, a moment ago, pledging unconditional loyalty to him. Whose voices? he can't remember... and then Doku says you're here and that's all that matters, and the prince's lilac eyes snap wide open with the sudden light of clarity--and he lunges to rescue Dokugaku. Everyone stares stunned as he falls [again, except Sanzo, who completely seems to have expected this]. Then Doku charges Goku, sword swinging, and the startled saru fights back, not having heard what Kou whispered as his loyal duo bent over him: 'buy me some time.' But Sanzo sees that Kou is chanting his summoning spell, and yells, move! it's a trap! ==Move where?! it's a friggin' cliff! yells back Gojyo, but too late, as Engokuki boils forth and forces all four back over the edge. And again they're in the river. ==Hakkai and Sanzo both come to the same conclusion: if he can use his summoning attack again, he must be returned to himself. Kou smiles, and tells Doku and Yaone he's once more in their debt, then calls down to the SI that next time the sutra will be his for sure. They yell back indignantly, Gojyo that he's stealing their lines and Sanzo that it's high time he died =), while Hakkai laughs and says no one shows them any respect. But Kou turns away from the cliff-edge and says let's go, we have something to do. 'Lord Kougaiji--' begins Yaone; Kou looks back and smiles, and it's his own smile, thank all gods, warm as June. What's wrong, he says; you two are following me, aren't you? Yaone's eyes fill with relieved tears and Doku gives his great, deep guffaw. Baka, he says, of course we are. Back in creepy Houtou Castle, Ni and 01 are again playing chess when a flunky reports that Lord Kougaiji has returned. Ni smirks. Okaeri, welcome home, he says. I hear you tracked down the Sanzo party; you had permission to kill them, you didn't have to show any mercy. Perhaps you require a bit more maintenance... Kou pushes over their chessboard; Hwang and 01 register shock while Ni and Kou trade narrow glares, and we hear guards yelling angrily as Doku and Yaone emerge from the tank room, Doku carrying Lirin in his arms. [--and man, look at their eyes. Only a damn fool would cross either of them.] ==well, well, grins Ni, tossing and catching his chess knight; for future reference, exactly how did you return to normal? Don't bother, because there won't be a next time, snaps Kou; I'll never be your puppet again. He levels a long, clawed finger. Don't misunderstand me, I'm not on Sanzo's side, he says; but I'll fight them with my own will, for my mother's and our sakes, not as a pawn in your stupid game!==Lirin, hearing his voice, opens her eyes. Brother, I knew you'd come for me, she says, and he smiles as he takes her hand, then shoots a last glare at Ni. You told me once not to let go of those precious to me, he says; no matter how I'm parted from them, they'll be here waiting for me. That's when I saw the light--but I'm sure you'd never understand that. --Ni is still tossing and catching the knight as the prince and his people sweep out of the room, but as the door closes he throws the thing, knocking some disks off the nearest keyboard. Hwang is startled, but Ni begins to laugh. Well, that was a complete failure, he chortles; I'm impressed, he's stronger than I thought. All of them, chasing the light like idiots... his voice darkens as the chess knight hits the floor. --Like goddamn bugs, he rasps... And we see the ikkou driving off in the light of sunset, giving Gojyo grief for sneezing--did he catch cold from being dunked in the river? But it seems Goku's been working hard, adds Hakkai, and Goku recalls Kon saying how cool he was, and how he plans to become a ferryman so he can protect everyone who crosses the river, just as Goku did. He grins in satisfaction, and gets teased by Gojyo for it...but Sanzo is lost in thought, remembering what Doku told him. There's a human in Houtou Castle, the only one there, Dokugaku said: a genius professor, an arrogant, manipulative bastard, and there's a lot we don't know about him...Ni Jienyi, thinks Sanzo... Hakkai remarks that it'll take three days to reach the next village, but Sanzo demands they press on, griping about the unnecessary delays, though it does seem the other side has just as many. ---And why was Kougaiji in such a bad mood? wonders Goku. Neither Hakkai nor Sanzo answers, but Gojyo, exhaling smoke, says thoughtfully that 'he probably just had a really bad dream.'

#9 - Shower of Bullets

Season 1 - Episode 6

#10 - Faraway Dream

Season 2 - Episode 7

#11 - Fake Star Strikes Back

Season 2 - Episode 6

#12 - Tiny Pal ++Little Will++

Season 3 - Episode 7

Think of words to describe Sanzo. Brutal, corrupt, self-centered, arrogant, haughty... He sounds like some tough unbreakable, high-ranking priest. But who would suspect the great Sanzo-sama has a teeny little weakness? After fighting off a group of youkai, they meet a most unexpected company. A little kitten. As Goku, Hakkai and Gojyo started playing with it, the sight of this furball sent Sanzo into a sneezing fit. (View it here -> Sneezing Sanzo by :devblumarine:) Despite his protest, his companions decide to keep the kitten. Sanzo later discovers that there is more to this little kitten than just a allergy-causing furball.

#13 - Lethal Trap

Season 1 - Episode 9

#14 - Standoff ~muzzle~

Season 4 - Episode 9

The guys are waiting on the top of a mountain for Sanzo, but there's no sign of him. We see that as it was too steep for Hakuryu, Sanzo decreed they'd climb it on foot, and Goku promptly suggested a bet on who'd reach the top first: loser to buy barbecue for the ikkou. He'd thought that would be Gojyo, but the hanyou comes in third; so where is Sanzo?... Below, the footsore monk has stopped for a break, and has just lit a smoke when Lirin careens out of nowhere. Sanzo gets off two shots [and realizes that's all he had; he wasted too much ammo shutting up a quarrel] before the demon princess lands such a blow to the rock he's on that the whole cliff-edge avalanches into the valley below. (Hakkai hears the noise, but Gojyo says he's just imagining things. Though it did seem that they all heard the gunfire...)==UH-oh; there's the Maten Sutra caught on a tree branch, lost in Sanzo's fall! Sanzo reaches the bottom a second before Lirin and instantly aims at her; she grins wryly and says she's failed. So shoot, baldy, she dares him. Brat, he retorts, aren't your guardians around? She begins to say she's tough enough alone, but her stomach growls so loudly that she halts in embarrassment. I'm all out of meat buns, he says with his dry evil grin; just go on home. But she snaps back that she can't give up and go home this time; and we see again the Kou-tachi rescuing her from Dr. Ni's experiment in ep. 6. Afterward, her brother had warned her to stay away from "all of them" from now on, even her mother, and promised to protect her no matter what. She said she would, and Dokugaku and Yaone looked on, smiling, as prince and princess sealed the promise with a pinky-swear. [Awwww. =)] --Now Lirin grits her teeth; big brother did his best for me, she thinks, so I have to do my best for his sake!--Baldy Sanzo, she yells, give me the scripture! Kyoumon?--he glances at his shoulder, registers that the priceless sutra is gone, and reacts with admirable composure. Stop calling me that, he says, and anyway I don't have it. Don't lie to me, take it out! she demands, and they trade retorts. He's definitely hoping she'll give up and get lost before he has to prove he's out of bullets [sigh, this is so counter to the 'concentrated will' theory...]...and then Lirin spots the spreading bloodstain staining his robes. [Hurt falling down the mountainside, we assume.]-- Hey, you're bleeding, she says, but he snaps "don't move!", pistol still trained on her. His face is resolute but his hand shakes visibly, and she grins. Na, hage-Sanzo, why don't you shoot? she asks; does that thing have bullets? --He says nothing, and her grin gets crafty; she licks her lips. Blood runs down the side of his boot. Shoot me already, she taunts, and gathers herself to pounce. He raises the gun and grins coldly. Honestly, I'm not even sure it's loaded, he says; I had to waste quite a few bullets on those idiots. That's a lie! Lirin says. Sanzo replies that whether or not she believes him is up to her, but at this distance there's no way he could miss. [--ooh. Nice psyche, houshi.]==Want to try me? rasps the priest. (Lirin holds her place, glaring.) If you're gonna come at me, be prepared to die: I only need one shot. --The princess clenches her fist, but doesn't move. Sanzo chuckles, sensing she's lost her nerve, and--switching gun hands--rips his black tunic-shirt-whatsit with his teeth [a thousand fangirls swoon] to bind up his wound. And there they sit, still in their Mexican standoff, as a cabbage butterfly alights on Sanzo's gun (nice touch) and his breathing gets harsher and harsher. How much longer can you stand that? Lirin taunts; Sanzo growls "Damare." When you lose enough blood you'll be tired out, she replies, and then it's the end. She grins carnivorously; Sanzo snaps "I told you to shut up", and there they sit. On the top of the mountain, H, H, G & G are still waiting; Hakkai, Hakuryu and Goku are starting to worry, but Gojyo insists Sanzo is fine and will show up if they wait. Goku's had enough, though, and sets off to look for him. ==[Now, watch this maneuver.]== Is it OK to leave them? worries Hakkai. It's fine, says Gojyo, about to light another cig--but his lighter's out. He asks Hakkai for a light. I don't smoke, says Hakkai, but I know of another person who probably has one. How annoying, grouses the redhead... Back to Sanzo and Lirin; he's now sitting in a puddle of blood. Give up and take out the sutra already, she says. Have you not been listening to me? I don't have it, he retorts. Come and get it then--and he tries to light another smoke, but his cheap lighter is also out of fuel. [At least Gojyo can refill his when he gets a chance; Sanzo buys the cheap disposable type...]--In the windy silence of the riverbank all we hear is the repeated clicking of the empty lighter; then Sanzo cusses. Do you want me to light it for you? asks amused Lirin; Sanzo shushes her, and Lirin says 'they sure are taking a long time'. They?--asks Sanzo. Omae no nakama, your friends, she says; aren't they coming to help you? ==[Note her use of 'omae', the least respectful form of 'you'. She's a youkai princess; she sees no reason to defer to a human monk, even a monk of the highest degree.]== Sanzo snorts, and Lirin says, they're pretty cold, aren't they? not like my brother. ==Sanzo finally manages to coax a light out of his cheap lighter. Lirin says "that's what's been irritating you, isn't it?" [We mustn't underestimate this demon girl; she's quite evidently got her brother's gift of reading character at a glance.]==Sanzo snarls that they have nothing to do with this... Goku passes by overhead, calling for Sanzo, while the monk adds to his pile of cig butts. Hearing his cough, Lirin asks why he doesn't quit smoking. They trade some more barbed retorts, but she can see he's still losing blood at an alarming rate, and when the cigarette falls from his teeth she gets to her feet. He draws down, but she grins and says "if you don't hit me with one shot you're through". Sanzo is gasping for breath; his vision blurs and doubles... Hakuryu, cruising overhead, spots the sutra flapping from its branch. He kyuu's in surprise, while at the same moment Goku smells tobacco--must be Sanzo!--and charges off. Gojyo, descending the cliff with Hakkai, announces that from now on he's always going to carry two lighters; and then Hakkai hears Hakuryu's chirp from above. Goku is galloping to Sanzo's rescue, yelling his name, and Sanzo thinks he's too damn loud even as he holds off Lirin, who's saying she'll give him one more chance. Stop making me lose my concentration! shut up! inwardly snarls Sanzo, who of course, of course, hears Goku more clearly than anything else, and he fires his (apparently) last bullet at Lirin just as she leaps. She easily dodges it, but he's in the air to bring her down, and stands over her as she lies on the rivershore out cold, ejecting the empty cartridges from his gun. We can hear all three of the ikkou calling his name as he stands there, and he thinks, shut up already; are Sanzos on sale or something?--and he falls back to lie full-length by Lirin. And at the barbecue house, as Sanzo pays off his loss of the bet [he's wearing the sutra, so Hakuryu must have retrieved it, good dragon! AND his black top is intact as well; wonder how many of them he has...], there's the usual whose-food squabble between Goku and Gojyo, settled by the usual barrage of gunfire. (Bad habits are hard to break. =)

#15 - Second Contact

Season 2 - Episode 8

#16 - The Red-Haired Woman ~stupid woman~

Season 4 - Episode 8

At the ikkou's inn of the evening, Gojyo flirts with the waitress, inviting her to drop by their hotel after her shift; but all he gets for his trouble is a smack from Sanzo's harisen. As she hurries off to bring Goku a refill, Gojyo gripes that he can't possibly pick up girls when he's surrounded by these three, and they retort that it's hardly their fault. The guys get downright catty, even Goku, who suggests that he's not nearly as popular with the ladies as he thinks (Hakkai: "Now, now, Goku, let's not tell him the truth."). Gojyo won't hear of it; I'm hot, and that's a fact, he purrs. Sanzo snipes that it'd be interesting to get proof of that 'fact' someday. [ watch out what you wish for, blondie...] ==Gojyo shrugs them off, drops into his seat and tries to light a smoke, but his lighter's not working...and then a hand reaches in with a match to give him a light. He tracks up the arm and his jaw drops: it's a beautiful redhead in white, a stunner by any standards. [I'd put her at just a little older than Gojyo; early 30s, maybe.] --What, she smiles, you don't like matches? ==The hanyou's literally speechless; even Goku stops eating to stare. And at second look we can all see that both her red hair and her wine-red eyes match Gojyo's. They have a drink at the bar, Gojyo looking as smug as the proverbial pussycat; she suggests they go somewhere quieter, and off they go, the beauty wrapped around his arm. ==They really left, comments Goku in surprise. 'That woman's hair...' says Hakkai, and Sanzo confirms that, yes, she too is a Taboo Child. As they walk, we see a youkai duck out of sight. Gojyo remarks that quiet is fine and all, but they're almost to the outskirts of town. She says she prefers places without many people, but Gojyo smells trouble, and scoops the babe over his shoulder. We're surrounded, he tells her, and calls up the shakujou as --you guessed it--armed demons leap in from all directions. Even one-handed, he makes short work of them, and we see the lady's stunned expression as the survivors scatter. Sorry, did that startle you? asks Gojyo, but she runs off without another word. The hanyou heaves a deep sigh and wryly says 'that's why I hate being attacked when there are chicks around.' We see the youkai gang in their burned-out building hideout, the survivors reporting to their leader that even alone the hanyou is too strong to take in a fair fight. What are they gonna do?-- The red-haired lady bursts in, calling to the scarfaced leader, Bakura. Ah, Kougyoku [it means 'ruby'; a great name for a Taboo daughter], he says, I'm glad you're safe. She's shaken up, but he reassures her, saying she should have no trouble getting close to him again-- and he holds out a sheathed knife. Wait, she protests, I never agreed to that. But he says that she's proven Sha Gojyo's weakness is women, just as they'd heard, and there'll be an amazing reward when they collect Sanzo's sutra. Kougyoku is torn. Bakura smiles persuasively, saying they'll leave this way of life behind and have a great life together; it'll be easy, if they can just take the ikkou out one by one... She reluctantly agrees; he tucks the knife under her arm and says 'now get going'. As she heads for the door he adds a sharper shot: I've looked after you all this time, he says, it's about time you did something in return. Back at the inn, Hakkai pours coffee and asks, doesn't Gojyo think it might have been a trap? He vehemently disagrees, saying she must have just panicked and run off. But when Hakkai glances out the window, there's the lady in white, standing in the street below. Gojyo goes down to see her, and she tells him she was just scared, and invites him out for another drink-- which he accepts without hesitation. Goku and Hakkai register several degrees of disbelief and dismay as the taboo pair saunter off together. Sanzo snorts and says 'let him go'; but Hakkai hopes there won't be trouble, as Gojyo's soft heart often gets the better of him. [--and no matter what Sanzo says, look at him--he's worried.] At the bar, Kougyoku is so visibly tense and drinking so much that Gojyo gently asks 'am I that scary?' She denies it, saying with determined cheer 'let's drink to our hearts' content!' What are you going to do when you get me drunk? --teases Gojyo, and she laughs and says that's the woman's line. They banter a little, and she says she always likes the wrong sort of guys-- amd the worse they are, the more they usually say they're nice guys, as he just did. But what's really bad is probably my life, ahe adds sadly. He says that isn't so; they smile at each other; the moment is just right for a kiss, and as he leans toward her you know she's thinking of what she's agreed to do. She suddenly bolts for the bathroom, and Gojyo drops sulkily back onto his seat. He tosses back his drink and orders another, while in the ladies' room, she stares at her reflection in the blade of the dagger. Back in the bar, very drunk, she urges Gojyo to go on drinking, saying he needs to be so smashed that 'he has no idea what's going on'. The hanyou tosses back another shot, but Kougyoku has hit her limit and passes out--and as he scoops her up, the sheathed knife falls to the floor. Gojyo stares in shock. We see her waking up on a bed, fully dressed. Across the room is Gojyo, seemingly sound asleep on the sofa. She sees her chance. She draws the knife and walks over to him, swallows hard, raises the blade--and his hand shoots out to grab her wrist. So it was something like this, he says, quiet and resigned. She can't believe it: You knew? Then why-- He smiles. Because you're a beautiful woman, he says. It's all she can bear: she drops the knife, falls to the floor in tears. Don't make fun of me! she sobs, you're still just a kid! But he crouches down and lifts her chin to meet his eyes, and smiles. We should be quieter, he says softly, everyone's probably asleep by now. [I know I have praised Hirata-san's vocal work as Gojyo before, but my god, wow, I can barely describe the silk-velvet tone of that line. You just want to curl up in it and stay for years.] She stares at him, touched and amazed; they draw closer, and finally kiss. Fade to black. Morning: Goku and Hakkai head to breakfast, Goku wondering if Gojyo ever came back. In their hotel room, Gojyo and Kougyoku are talking; presumably she's told him about Bakura. He wonders why she doesn't break up with a guy like that, but says she should do what she really wants to do. She sits pensively on the bed as he leaves. We see him at a table with the ikkou; no one's surprised to learn that she was an assassin, and Goku asks why he let her go. Adults have their reasons, he says. So, you promised her a ride to the next town? asks Hakkai, and Gojyo says 'if that's what she decides she wants.' And we see her thoughtful, troubled face as she recalls their night together. We see them sitting together in the bed, naked [discreetly, but definitely]; she rests against his back with her arms around his chest as they talk. He should understand, she says, how it is for ones like us, neither demon nor human. There's nowhere a taboo child can go. Even if Bakura's a rotten guy--and, gods love her, her voice is the voice of every woman who's ever settled for what she could get--he's the only one who was ever nice to me. ==You're just telling yourself that, he says. Most people don't know that those with red hair and eyes are taboo; you could do just fine, living in another town. She says she's afraid of being alone, but he gently teases her that that wouldn't last long, with all the guys who'd pay attention to a pretty girl like her. ==We see her standing, overlooking the town. Pretty girl, huh? she thinks, and walks quickly away. When Gojyo, Hakkai and Goku reach her hotel room to see if she wants that lift out of town, she's gone, and Gojyo briskly says OK then, he's meddled in her affairs enough. (His face does not match his tone.) ==At the gang's hideout, we hear a sharp slap: Bakura's standing over her, furious. Not only did you fail to kill Sha Gojyo, he rails, but now you're telling me not to pursue the Sanzo party? Because we have no chance of beating them! she protests. He yells that all she needs to do is what he tells her to do, and hauls her up by the hair in a jealous rage. I look after you for years, and this is how you repay me? Just what happened on your night alone with Sha Gojyo?! =='Bakura--' she sobs, and he snaps out his youkai claws like switchblades; since you understand, he snarls, be of some use to me. At the ikkou's hotel, a rock smashes through Gojyo's window. As the rest come running, he's unwrapping the attached note; out of it falls a long tress of ruby-red hair. That bastard, he says quietly as he reads the note; he tells them it says for him to come alone. Sanzo says they don't have time to deal with such petty matters, but Gojyo's already headed for the door, saying he's going to the bathroom and they can surely wait that long. Hakkai asks if he's all right, and he grimly says he's got a bad stomachache--it might take awhile. (Are you sure it's OK to let him go alone? worries Goku as the hanyou strides down the street. Didn't he say he was going to the bathroom?--retorts Sanzo.) The youkai gang is waiting for Gojyo on a windy hill outside of town, perched on the heads of a cluster of giant, ruined Buddhas from who knows what long-gone temple. Kougyoku angrily tells Bakura that he won't come, and he snaps that if she doesn't shut up he'll make sure she never speaks again. And sure enough, here he comes over the hill. You really are with a worthless bastard, he snarls. [More huge points for Hirata-san; Gojyo's voice now is so fierce and harsh you'd hardly recognize it.] Bakura orders him to raise his hands and come closer, if he cares what happens to this woman. She's supposed to be your woman, grates the hanyou. Then I'll do as I like with her, taunts Bakura, slashing at her clothes with his razor claws; there's enough red to show that he's drawn blood, and Gojyo charges. Kougyoku tries to shout a warning, but Bakura slaps her to the ground, and Gojyo runs straight into the trap--a covered-over stone well. The youkai gang gloats, saying he'll never get out of that, but of course he's out in an instant and kicking furious butt. As Bakura's flunkies drop like flies, Gojyo demands he stand up and fight, but he turns to run and falls right into the same pit. He clings to the edge, begging Kougyoku to save him. Gojyo asks her what she wants to do, and she sighs painfully. He's not a good person, she says, but he'll stay with me...I'm not strong enough to live on my own. Gojyo closes his eyes for a moment, then fires the shakujou blade down the well, and Bakura grabs the chain and is hauled to safety. As he gasps for breath, huddled in the grass, Gojyo heads off down the hill, and Bakura, grinning viciously, rears to his knees and fires his claws like throwing-knives (???) at the hanyou's undefended back. Kougyoku, horrified, leaps up and throws herself into the blades' path. Gojyo turns too late, crying out her name. Dammit, bitch, you got in my way! yells Bakura, but that's his last word, as the enraged Gojyo comes flying back up the hill to knock him straight to the bottom of the well for good. Gojyo lifts the dying woman in his arms. Will he do her a favor, she asks, and bury her next to him? --Of course.--My life was worthless, she says; but it's something, at least, to die in the arms of a good man like you. == Stone-faced, he holds her as she draws her last breath. We see him sitting with a cigarette on one of the Buddha heads as the ikkou drives up the hill; Hakkai honks the horn (five beeps =) to tell him his ride is here. As they ride off, he casually apologizes for taking so long. Goku hopes his stomach feels better; Hakkai advises him to rest for awhile, and of course he says he'd get well in no time if he had a cute girl to nurse him...and of course, they let him say it.

#17 - Tragic Revenge

Season 1 - Episode 11

#18 - Runaway Hakkai!? ~reflection~

Season 4 - Episode 11

Early morning; Hakkai strides out of an inn alone. Glances back, says firmly "Someone ought to teach them a lesson", gets into Hakuryu and drives off. --Goku and Gojyo at breakfast: Goku eating while Gojyo ogles pinups. Do you know what's wrong with Hakkai, asks the saru; I saw him this morning and he looked pretty ticked off. Kappa=clueless. You're seeing things, he grumbles; but we see how the room is filling up with food wrappers, donut boxes, Pepsi cans, beer cans, tied bagfuls of trash, AND stacked plates full of cig butts. [EEEw. Go, Hakkai; I'd leave too.] Sanzo can't even get out of bed without kicking over a fruit soda can, which spills into his set-aside-for-the-night ivory robe. He tosses the robe into Gojyo's face with a curt "wash that", adding that the can must have been his and brandishing his gun for emphasis. Right away, Your Highness, says the redhead resignedly. As we see Hakuryu parked beside a lake and Hakkai gazing off over the water, Goku and Gojyo approach their leader about The Hakkai Problem. Sanzo growls "what's he got to be angry about?" but Gojyo reports that 'Kai's room is cleaned out and Hakuryu is nowhere to be found. You idiots, doing as you please, snaps Sanzo; it's his fault we've been here for three days. But he had a cold, protests Goku. ==Flashback: bedridden Hakkai, coughing and apologizing for being ill. [He would.] Gojyo told him not to sweat it, a few days' setback wouldn't matter; Sanzo conceded that it would be worse if he caused an accident; and Hakkai gratefully replied that he'd just rest--but would they please not make a huge mess in the room? it would just cause trouble for others. It's the inn's job to clean up, said Gojyo, but Hakkai persisted that the ikkou goes far overboard,and last time they almost lost Sanzo's sutra in a mountain of trash--what if it got thrown away? OK, OK, we'll clean it up, grumbled the kappa; you just get some sleep. Hakkai wearily pressed him to remember this promise and Gojyo said he would. --So, Goku and Gojyo survey the heaps of trash in the room and concede that, wellyeah, Hakkai just might be a little bit mad at them. A little. Maybe. We see Hakkai on the balcony of an inn, enjoying the mountain view. A waiter brings him hot tea and a slice of tiramisu [can I sit at his table, please?], and as he takes the first sip, eyes closed in contentment, it's plain he's savoring the peace and quiet as much as the taste. Delicious, he sighs happily. ...back at the ikkou's inn, Gojyo is maintaining that they're still not sure Hakkai's angry at them; but in very short order, they discover that their tea container now holds nothing but dried seaweed, and that all the cigarettes they had left have been replaced with chocolate ones. As the depth of 'Kai's revenge sinks in, even Gojyo has to admit that that've seriously pissed the guy off. Pretty childish of him, the hanyou growls. --there's a tap at the window, and it's Hakuryu bearing a message: "I'm not coming back until you've learned your lesson. Hakkai." I guess we have to apologize or he won't come back, says Goku. Gojyo huffs that he's always apologizing; Goku shoots back "But you don't mean it." Gojyo has no answer=) and Goku appeals to Sanzo for confirmation, but the monk, not looking up from his newspaper, says "never mind that; find my sutra." ==Yes, it really is missing. G&G gulp. We see Hakkai still relaxing at the mountain inn; then, Goku beaming proudly as the room gleams with cleanliness and Sanzo studies the retrieved sutra. Pretty amazing, huh? grins the saru--but he's holding back the mountain of garbage with both arms, having just shoved it into the corner, and one little nudge brings it all down. Goku sighs that he's hungry, and Gojyo stews up a pot of his infamously horrid "Everything in the Fridge Curry" (in this case whole fish, frankfurters, and tentacles, among other things). He presents the pot with smug pride, saying they'll be just fine without Hakkai, but the stuff gives off such a reek that S&G, holding their noses, run off to puke--followed by Gojyo himself. The stressed and hungry ikkou-minus-8 finally sits down to drown its day's sorrows in a huge meal at the inn, with much sake' to wash it down. At least without Hakkai we can eat all we like, says Gojyo. But (you see this coming already, right?) when the very large bill arrives, Sanzo reaches for his gold card... yup, you guessed it. And as S, G&G sweat, Hakkai presents the Sanbutsushin's AmEx Gold to the waiter at the mountain inn, adding with a satisfied smile that the food was wonderful. =)=) [And yes, the name on the card really is San Butusin, and its expiration date is 'no time limit'] The guys, of course, have to work off their bill in the kitchen. Gojyo has some fun waiting tables and charming schoolgirls with a wink as he serves their desserts; but Goku can only wash dishes, Sanzo (in a lavender ruffled apron!) of course refuses to lift a finger, and the kitchen manager is close to having a coronary when a jeep pulls up outside and a single customer walks in. Gojyo sweats like crazy, but can't refuse to wait on his table. He hides his face and disguises his voice, but can barely muffle his indignation as Hakkai orders a luxurious meal (shark-fin soup, roast pig--agh! cannibalism!--and Peking duck), and rushes back to tell S&G in the kitchen what's going on. He must have the card, let's just go--begins Goku, but he's shut down by G&S, who both insist Hakkai mustn't be allowed to discover the depths to which he's forced them (or see Sanzo in his apron!). ==Gojyo serves the food, but inadvertently loses his disguise-- and is still totally ignored by Hakkai! --Back in the kitchen, Goku thinks this depth of vengeance doesn't sound like Hakkai, but Gojyo--who knows him best--grits that no, this is right up his alley. =) This'll go on until we apologize, he concludes, and turns to Sanzo: what do you want to do? --A battle of wills commences. Goku tries addressing him directly, but only gets a drink order in reply. Sanzo delivers the drink himself, along with a haughty glare, but Hakkai just glares back and neither gives an inch. Gojyo returns to the table, and is given Hakkai's dessert and after-dinner sake' order, still without a flicker of recognition from the steely youkai. Hakkai, cut it out, pleads Gojyo, but the response is a chilly "nani desu ka, waiter-san?" ("--What's that, Waiter?") ==In the kitchen, a furious Gojyo says "he's got to stop screwing with us" and Sanzo is in a full folded-arms snit; but Goku asks plaintively, why don't we just apologize? after all, it is our fault. --We can't admit defeat now! roars Gojyo. If you dare give him the satisfaction of beating us... Sanzo fires off a shot to shush them, and he and Gojyo get into a shouting match about whose fault it really is that they're in this fix, with poor Goku desperately trying to restore peace. As they continue to bellow at each other, Goku's had enough; he barrels into the dining room, grabs Hakkai's hand--"Goku?" asks surprised Hakkai--and blurts, I'm really sorry! would you please come with me? They step into the kitchen, where Sanzo and Gojyo are still going at it hammer and tongs, and Goku yells, shut the hell up! The startled pair hush, turn, register who's behind Goku, and both faces set in stubborn resolve--neither of them wants to be the one to say it. Go on, pleads Goku, but they're just damned if they'll give ground, and the silence stretches. [Really, they are SO much alike.] Goku lowers his head and sighs--well, they're hopeless--and he turns to Hakkai himself, bows formally, and says "Hakkai, gomen."--Goku, says Hakkai gently, and the saru pours out his heart: I'm really sorry! We've got no idea how to clean, and we're always piling up trash, and you must be fed up with us by now, but if you aren't with us, we -- He runs out of steam, and appeals to Gojyo. Gojyo grudgingly says he's sorry, but Hakkai's heard that before, and replies implacably, "think how I feel, having to repeat my warnings day after day." Gojyo chuckles, grins at him, and says ruefully, "I'm really sorry, sensei." --well, two down; Goku asks hopefully, "Sanzo?" The priest raises his head, fixes Hakkai with a look that would crack glass (its edge slightly blunted by those cute lilac ruffles), and finally says it's all right; Hakkai can go ahead and forgive him. --What?! yells the redhead. Why don't you apologize? asks Goku, and Sanzo accuses both of them of Crimes Against Hakkai so heinous that the healer's jaw drops, while they retort with misdeeds of Sanzo's even more awful, etc., etc.--until Hakkai actually bursts out laughing. Laughing! whoa!--and doesn't stop until they're all staring at him. I guess it can't be helped; I'll forgive you all, he says. Goku promptly announces that he's starving, and Hakkai cordially suggests they all have a nice dinner together, and reaches for the card--but doesn't have it. And we see a black cat carrying the card in its mouth, walking off across the street (past Hakuryu, who kyu's uneasily and sweatdrops even in jeep form!) as a ruckus plus gunfire breaks out in the inn behind it.

#19 - Buried Dream ~snow drop~

Season 4 - Episode 10

Wrapped in long cloaks, the ikkou trudges through a snowy mountain pass. Goku and Gojyo gripe about the cold, and Hakkai reminds them that this wasn't his idea: a villager told them the only way west was over this mountain. Gojyo hopefully asks if there might be a village or an inn on the way. Hakkai doubts anyone lives up here-- but then a flight of arrows zings into the snow at their feet. Go home! get off this mountain! yells a young, angry voice, and we see the archers are a gang of little kids. People from the village aren't supposed to come up here, they say, and Gojyo's attempt to explain that they aren't villagers is just met with more arrows. Ignore them, growls Sanzo, and the ikkou takes off at a gallop through the blinding snow--and runs right off the path, landing in a heap (not too far) below. A tall figure, dressed for the weather and muffled up in scarf and goggles, finds the unconscious foursome... We see a pot of soup bubbling over the fire. Sanzo's eyes slowly open; he sees a youkai bending over him and in a flash has the demon by the collar, pistol at his head--but we can see that this youkai is the one who rescued them. Wow, you're fast, says the stranger mildly, and then Hakkai and Gojyo chime in to assure their leader that the demon, whose camp they're in, is their benefactor. Quite a greeting, says the big guy, amused; you're pretty violent for a monk. [He has a nice smile, dark hair and grey eyes; a deep voice and a steady, calm presence.] Sanzo snorts; so, a youkai not affected by the Minus Wave, he says. --Something like that. --The youkai passes Sanzo a bowl of soup. Gojyo adds with tipsy happiness that there's sake' in it, and Goku is already sound asleep by the fire =). Sanzo accepts the bowl with poor grace and irritatedly asks why the group is so relaxed. Hakkai replies that there's not much more they can do right now, as the snowstorm has turned into a blizzard. The big youkai [I'll go ahead and say that his name is Yakumo] adds that it'll likely snow all night, so they should make themselves comfortable, and he's sorry his kids attacked them earlier. The troop of archer children enters the tarpaulin-sealed cave, and Gojyo splutters, you're saying all these are your kids?! The youkai chuckles that he's a respectable bachelor, and tells the kids to apologize, whereupon they bow and offer an in-unison "gomen nasai". Sanzo and Hakkai both note that all the kids are youkai. Yakumo explains that when the area's demons went berserk, a few adults and most children (as the ikkou has noted elsewhere) kept their sanity--maybe just because they weren't yet mature. All of these youngsters have lost their parents to the Minus Wave, and he's the only remaining adult youkai in the area, so he's taken them in to raise them himself. So that's why you live up here in the mountains, says Hakkai. (Gojyo, always a pushover for little ones, is already making friends, though Goku objects to being clambered on.=)==Learning of the ikkou's mission, Yakumo says thoughtfully that finding the source of the Minus Wave might help to reverse its effects, but whether or not that would solve everything... (we see an ominous-looking party of men hiking up into the pass, armed with farm tools.) What do you mean? asks Hakkai, and the big demon somberly replies, do you think they'll forgive the youkai for everything they've done? The humans feel so much fear and distrust; I don't think it'll be resolved that easily.--Sanzo, smoking, watches him narrowly as he speaks.== The kids continue to bounce on and torment Goku, and even braid Gojyo's hair (he retorts to Goku's teasing that he's fine with taking care of 'future hot ladies'=), until Sanzo deals out some ferocious fan wallops, yelling for them all to shush. Gojyo dryly remarks that Sanzo's the loudest one there, and Hakkai apologizes to Yakumo for his rowdy friends. He chuckles, but then adds, cautiously, that it's unusual to see humans and demons traveling together these days. Hakkai's face turns so cold that it's startling; "Yakumo-san," he says in sharp reproof-- and then Sanzo and Gojyo snap alert at the crunch of footsteps in the snow outside. ==Yakumo picks up his gun and orders the kids back into the cave, but before anyone can move the tarp is ripped open, and there are the intruders, three human men. We've finally found you, one says; to think that you're hiding all these demon children up here, Yakumo. --the ikkou get to their feet; tiny, scared youkai cling to Gojyo and Goku. Humans? asks Gojyo. They're humans from the village below, Yakumo tells his guests; they're after us youkai. Of course we are, you're demons, retorts the ringleader. --Leave us alone, demands Yakumo, we've done nothing to harm you, especially these children. That may be so, they say, but we still can't rest easy knowing there are demons living so close by. Who knows when you'll go berserk like the others did, and attack our village? Even you can't guarantee that won't happen! Yakumo looks stricken--clearly that's his worst nightmare--and Gojyo and Goku likewise react in shock at a touch to this very raw nerve. Hey, protests Goku, you should listen to their side too! But the humans growl that outsiders have no say in this, and raise their tools menacingly, saying that if Yakumo won't leave they'll kill him. The big youkai aims his rifle, and the kids cower in fear-- But Sanzo lays his hand on the rifle and stares down the intruders. You're human? why is a human monk traveling with demons? they ask in surprise. You're right, replies Sanzo (over Goku's protest); considering your future safety, this is the wisest course of action. But even so: besides Yakumo, all the youkai here are children, not so different from the human children in your village. And if knowing that, you're still able to kill these children [his voice is a fierce rasp of utter authority and judgment, the voice of the Law; a tremendous performance by Hoshi-san]--then you bastards are neither demon nor human. There's nearly ten seconds of stunned silence before one of the men replies 'but co-existing with demons isn't possible!' [--If these guys knew Hakkai, they'd take one look at him right now and shut the hell up.] We're not backing down until you leave our land, they say defiantly; we'll keep coming back until you do. And they walk off into the snow. Yakumo hugs Ryo, the little one who's hiding behind Gojyo, and promises to protect them all, wondering bitterly why they can't be left alone. The next day: blue skies over fresh snow. Yakumo teaches Goku how to chop wood for kindling, saying that no one can eat who doesn't work. As G&G squabble, Sanzo sits smoking, grumbling at the noise (--Hakkai scoops up an armload of firewood, saying sweetly that they're still better than someone who isn't helping at all. Go, 'Kai. =).== Yakumo apologizes to Sanzo for last night's episode. What you said was true, says the monk; even if we find the source of the Minus Wave, it's probably too late for things to return to the way they were. Their host admits that he has no idea when he might lose himself; and isn't it the same for Sanzo's friends? And Sanzo--for the first time ever--doesn't auto-reply that they aren't his friends; he watches their snowball fight for a moment, then says quietly, "Yeah." [Wow.] The big youkai adds--almost lightly--that maybe he went crazy a long time ago. Sanzo gives him a keen glance. ==The kids are pestering Yakumo to join their snowball battle, but across the snowfield, Goku has found something. A row of heavy stones, set as markers in the snow, each one with a flower lying by it. These are-- --Graves, supplies Yakumo, of all the children who've come here and died. He manages a smile; it's because these are here that I truly don't want to leave this land. ==Died? asks Goku? Did they get sick? No; they were killed.==Sanzo's gaze hasn't shifted.==Killed by who? the humans? asks Goku.==A look of pain and regret crosses the youkai's face. The piercing purple eye does not miss it. It's so silent, except for the happy squeals of the kids playing in the snow, and Yakumo smiles. It's snowing again. Hakkai observes that mountain weather changes quickly, and Yakumo says that it'll be sunny in the morning; they should be able to reach the next village west of here if they leave early. Sanzo is watching him like a hawk. One of the children enters in tears, telling Yakumo that Ryo is missing. In this blizzard?--exclaims Gojyo. The little girl says that Ryo'd begun acting weird as soon as the humans left, all zoned out and scary. Yakumo, looking pale, picks up his rifle and puts on his scarf. I'll go and look for him, he says. Goku at once volunteers the ikkou's help, but Yakumo says he'll go alone, and when Goku presses, he orders them all to stay. But as soon as he leaves Hakkai asks for Sanzo's decision, and he says, we'll go; something's bothering me. Besides Ryo? asks Goku.--Yes. We hear Yakumo thinking, this is just a dream; we see the cloaked ikkou trudging through the snow. Goku asks Sanzo why they're following Yakumo instead of searching for Ryo, but he ignores the saru's voice, his face set and dark. They hear gunshots, and run toward the sound. Yakumo is standing over Ryo and two of the intruder humans, all lying dead in the snow. He remembers Goku asking how the children died, and thinks: I killed them. Aloud he says that maybe he's the one who's dreaming, though he has no right to. We see the single neat bullet hole in Ryo's back; as Yakumo lifts his body from the snow, we see that the child's hands are bloody youkai claws. He went berserk?--asks Hakkai, aghast. [In the manga, the men have been gruesomely dismembered, making it all too clear how they died.] Goku can't understand, but Sanzo's face shows he'd already guessed the awful truth. ==I killed them, says Yakumo--his voice is quiet, and full of pain--before they could attack humans. The children who went berserk...I've killed them, again and again. He walks off, carrying the little body, and Gojyo asks where he's going. Back there, he says; one of the humans got away, and they'll never let a thing like this go. The ikkou stands in the snow, watching him leave. I know it's a contradiction, he thinks as he walks: taking them in, yet killing them when they go mad. I know, but...what else could I do? I only-- he steps into the cave-- --and finds the third man, standing over the bodies of the remaining youkai children. All of them. We see the ikkou, silent as they walk back toward the cave. Why'd he have that look on his face, says Goku; he said he was dreaming, but why? that's how things ought to be! Why-- That's reality, replies Gojyo bitterly. They hear a blood-curdling howl from the cave, and then the human's voice pleading: we didn't want to do this, but we had no choice! you were the only reason we couldn't live a peaceful-- then a scream, and awful noises. Goku stands stunned; Hakkai's eyes narrow; Gojyo recoils in grief and horror, eyes shut tight; Sanzo's face shows terrible resolve. The sounds cease, and Yakumo steps out into the snow. There's blood on his mouth, and he grins at them. WHY?!--howls Goku. We can see his fangs, his bloody talons. He throws Goku and Gojyo aside like toys, and heads for Sanzo, who cusses, draws and shoots, but only wounds his shoulder. Yakumo, why? pleads Goku. Hakkai and Gojyo arm up and face the youkai. Hakkai says they should avoid a close-quarters battle; Gojyo agrees, but as they step forward Goku catches them both by the hoods of their cloaks. I know, says the saru, in anguish; I know, but-- I wonder how he felt, says Hakkai quietly; digging the graves for those children, one after another... And Gojyo, just as quietly, in deep pity: Who's going to dig his grave? Goku lets them go. Yakumo lets out a roar and charges. We see his smile; we hear the kids calling him to join the snowball fight... --Sun on snow. The ikkou standing in the little graveyard, around a large, fresh stone. Sanzo turns and walks off; H&G follow, but Goku remains, looking at the grave. -- Let's go, the monk says, less sharply than usual. Goku hesitates. Sanzo, he says; if I were to... --Sanzo turns back. Hakkai and Gojyo look on, knowing his question, knowing either of them might ask the same. --Nothing, forget it, says the saru; but Sanzo says, "I'd kill you." [Koroshite aru yo: 'Kill you...I'd do it.'] He says it almost tenderly, and with complete understanding. "I would." Okay, Goku says. And as they walk off, Gojyo complains that his feet itch, and Goku suggests it's frostbite, and when Sanzo grumbles that that's contagious Hakkai says he's thinking of athlete's foot--all, so obviously, just to be talking about something, anything, else. ==A great, great, heart-wrenching episode, dealing with something that must haunt all four of them night and day, and doing it so well.

#20 - Fleeting Vision

Season 2 - Episode 12

#21 - Crude Counterfeit

Season 1 - Episode 13

#22 - The Bullets are Reloaded ++RUN++

Season 3 - Episode 1

Our friends come to a peaceful little town and wore disguises to avoid unnecessary attention. Their strange behavior roused the curiosity of Seikan, a little girl whose family runs the inn the boys are staying in. With the current rumors of young women being murdered by youkais, Seikan starts to panic when she overhears the ikkhou's strange conversation and begins to suspect that they are the youkais. Later that night, her elder sister, Seiwei did not return from running some errands. Now it is up to Sanzo and his companions to reveal themselves and save Seiwei before anything happens to her.

#23 - The Temple Where Evil Things Live ~nest~

Season 4 - Episode 1

Ahh, sakura petals falling, lotus blossoms floating...we must be in the Heavens. And yup, there's Jiroushin, wondering "how far have they gotten now?" Kanzeon assures him that for all their sidetracks, there's no doubt they've made progress. The SI come to a ruined village that seems to be inhabited only by crows. Gojyo suggests they just keep going, but if there's hope of getting a meal here Hakkai and Goku prefer to explore. Suddenly a little kid runs out and throws a stone at the jeep, yelling that "you damned monk!" and anyone else connected with the temple ought to leave right now. A girl runs after him, telling him to apologize, but the angry kid (his name's Taiga) glares, breaks loose and runs. The young lady bows and apologizes for her brother, and Gojyo promptly turns on the charm, assuring her there's no harm done and asking her name (in a purr that would melt granite =). It's Reika. --What a cute name, croons the kappa; but he doesn't even get through introducing himself before he's tackled by desperate Goku, demanding to know where they can find food. Gojyo resents the interruption, of course; as they squabble Hakkai laughs and apologizes for his companions. Reika says that if Sanzo really is a traveling monk, they probably want to go to the temple. The one that kid said was bad?--asks Goku. Reika tells them her brother is just rude: the temple is a fine place, and its head monk is a righteous man who has given shelter to many people left homeless by youkai attacks. When they arrive, they find a prosperous-looking shrine, thronged with people. A young monk hurries up to tell them they can't come in without making an offering, and if they want to stay the night the offering will have to be a large one. But the head monk nearly chokes when he sees who his underling is turning away ["Sono kyoumon!" ("--that sutra!")]--a Sanzo Priest, here? Sanzo asks to rest here awhile, and the roshi can't welcome them fast enough, saying they never expected a Sanzo to visit their humble temple. The others grin in satisfaction, and before you can say dot a yummy-looking feast has been prepared, complete with a vintage wine (with gourmet Hakkai's pleased approval). Gojyo proposes a toast to "our Master Sanzo", but can't help noticing--as he glances around the room in which they eat, full of fine art objects and good food--that the temple is nothing like the village. Hakkai, looking out the window, spots little Taiga sneaking onto the temple grounds. The kid eavesdrops under a window where the senior monk is talking with a shady-looking, purple-eyed character in violet robes. (This room contains even more fine Chinese objets d'art: porcelain platters, T'ang horses...) I understand that you want the Sanzo Party to leave as soon as possible, says the stranger [named Doushi], but you could be missing a great opportunity; surely you saw the sutra they carry? One of the Tenshi Kaigen, confirms the head monk, that are guarded by the Sanzo Priests.--Steal it from him, says Doushi; it should be easy for a fellow monk to get close to them. The roshi sweatdrops, but the other says he mustn't forget to whom he owes his extravagant lifestyle...and it's almost time for the next offering. The monk says that today many people came in from the neighboring village, and the stranger says that should be fine, as long as there are plenty of women and children; they particularly please the Master. Under the window, Taiga grits his teeth--and then he's spotted by Doushi... H G & G, walking back from the bathhouse, run into a disturbance: none other than pretty Reika, struggling with two of the monks for admission to the temple grounds. Gojyo sends them packing and sweetly asks if he can be of any assistance to Reika-chan =), who anxiously tells him her little brother is missing and she thinks he's here. Hakkai confirms spotting him earlier. She's very worried: he's probably-- Then suddenly all three guys go on the alert, and turn to see Doushi walking past. We and they all notice he's wearing a gold drop earring. Reika tells them he's a traveling priest, a trusted adviser to the master of this temple. ==Back in their room, the guys tell her Doushi is a youkai. She says Taiga had told her he saw the head monk talking to a demon, but she hadn't believed him, and now wishes she had. Reika tells the ikkou that six months ago people started to disappear from Kinrin Village, but this village was spared because of its temple. It soon became a sanctuary. but people who couldn't make an offering were turned away from its shelter. Our father came to make an offering, she adds, but he never returned... Hakkai guesses that's why her little brother is sniffing around the temple. H, G & G head out; Sanzo asks what they plan on doing, and Hakkai says they'll find Taiga and bring him here. What about you?--asks Gojyo. Well, it's pretty obvious where the kid is, says Sanzo, exhaling smoke; but he personally can't be bothered. =) As soon as they're gone the head monk pays Sanzo a visit, asking to study the Maten Scripture, but he, of course, curtly refuses. [exactly that: "Kotowaru."] (Oh, and where are his friends? He's got no idea, Sanzo retorts: they aren't his friends and he's not their guardian.) The roshi tries to coax him, but Sanzo draws his gun and says it'd be a waste of time to show him the sutra; he tracks the gun over a few feet and snaps for the other to show himself. Sure enough, Doushi is behind the monk, and smoothly asks Sanzo what seems to be the matter. He growls that he's had enough of this bad acting. Elsewhere in the temple complex, a group of youkai are guarding human prisoners, one of whom is Taiga. They taunt him that "she will wake soon"--and then Gojyo kicks the door down. Who are you? demand the youkai guards. The wandering ladies' man, grins the hanyou. Then I'm the wandering nursery school teacher, chimes in Hakkai, while the saru finds it enough to be "the wandering Son Goku." ==The demons charge, the trio kicks butt, and the head monk, hearing the commotion at gunpoint, stammers that it can't be. I already told you I'm not their guardian, says Sanzo. =)

#24 - First Game

Season 1 - Episode 2

#25 - Squirming Trap ++Wanted Dead or Alive++

Season 3 - Episode 2

They are hungry and tired after a long journey. All they want to do is eat and drink to their hearts contents. The food was good, but trouble breaks out when Gojyo complains to the restaurant owner that his place is unhygienic due to the amount of flies hovering around and begins swatting them with Sanzo's harisen. It seems that the people in that town are being controlled by bugs placed by a youkai. To make matters worse, Lirin pays Sanzo-ikkhou a visit only to be infected by the youkai's bug.