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Warning! Large amounts of fangirl squeeing below.

Poor, duped Shinrei! The Former Crimson King! And the whole back half of the book is Yukimura, Shindara, and the Sanada Juyushi! So. Much. Love!

Ahem. More soberly:

After Bontenmaru's fight with Haira, the last Mibu berserker, is over, Yukimura faces a highly unpleasant blast from the past - with the aid of several members of the Sanada Ten. Meanwhile, Shinrei learns that Taihaku and Hotaru were all too right, a lost joker reappears, and we get to see who strikes fear into the hearts of the Four Elders of the Mibu. The volume ends very much in media res ... I'm going to be on tenterhooks for 2 months.


Samurai Deeper Kyo, vol. 26 (review)

Man oh man, the chickens are starting to come home to roost in the Mibu city ... although we still have a dozen volumes to go before all is revealed. Poor Shinrei's troubles have only just begun ... I think it's pretty clear who that "scholar" is, and folks, before you laugh too hard at the ditz act, remember what happened to Tokito during the audience. (Although my reaction to that was bwa ha ha ha!!! - Tokito is my least favorite character in the series, once we get past the expendable cannon fodder in Aokigihara.) There's a little tidbit of the dysfunctional Fubuki/Hishigi thing too, with Hishigi saving Shinrei so that Fubuki doesn't have to soil his hands by killing his own most fervent fanboy. (And what does Hishigi make of Shinrei's devotion to Fubuki, anyway? SDK isn't nearly as rife with slashy possibilities as is Saiyuki, but there are still some very fertile situations ... . ) Fubuki is seriously scary - in the translation, Shinrei says "He froze my waterwyrms with one blow?" - but I bet a more accurate translation would be "with one breath." Remember what happened to Kyo and co. when they faced those waterwyrms? And remember both of those things, when you see to whom Fubuki kneels ... . (And as for little RuRu ... every king has his fool. The Sendai Aka no Ou (Former Crimson King) just happens to have a slightly different idea of how that works.)

I have been waiting for that Shindara-Yukimura scene for more than a year now ... . We finally find out what's under that cloak that Shindara always wears, and I know who's responsible. Given what we learned from Kubira last volume about who's experimenting with the bodies of the living, it's not exactly rocket science. It's interesting how Saizo functions in these scenes: he's publicly voicing what we expect Yukimura to be feeling. It's a little creepy how this was, in some sense, foreshadowed by Yukimura's duel with his brother in volume 4. Both Nobuyuki and Shindara betrayed the Sanada clan; in both cases, Yukimura was disguised as something he is not; and in both cases, it was danger to one of the Juyushi that finally made him blow his cool. (He also stops Shindara's sword with his bare hand - I think he did that in "Dragon of the Blue Sky," too.)

And the Juyushi! I love how they seem to have wandered in from some other manga already in progress! I don't think we ever do find out that deal with Jinpachi's arm. Kosuke turning herself into a human utsusemi! The bear stew! Kamanosuke in the apron! The teasing! The cheerfully devout Yukimura worship! The "let's hang around the campfire and sing 'Kum-ba-ya'" atmosphere! The Juyushi are my peeps, guys - this is where I'd slot myself into this manga.

(And I have to let myself have one last shudder about (vague spoiler for last few volumes) what a horrible creep Aka-chan really is ... I think this is where we first start to see it. But because Tokito is the target, it doesn't hit as hard as it might. And he's oh so cute and oh so eccentric and oh so harmless .... uuurgh!)


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 15th, 2008 03:26 am (UTC)
I preordered this and it hasn't shipped yet(along with a few other things that were preordered.

(not that I've managed to read Vol 25 yet, but that's not the point...)
Jan. 15th, 2008 09:57 pm (UTC)

Using "shipped" in the context of "moving goods from place to place" looks just wrong in the context of a discussion about SDK ... .

Jan. 15th, 2008 10:03 pm (UTC)
Of any anime or manga, honestly. Course, I just do my best to ignore 90% of shipping for obvious(to those who know me) reasons.

I'm just waiting for Vol 29 to come out.
Jan. 15th, 2008 10:19 pm (UTC)

OMG yes, that's when the serious angst starts, and the real shit hits the fan ... and you know, it doesn't let up from there until the end. I remember reading all the scanlations one after the other, like bam bam bam, and I would come up dizzy from second-hand emoting ... .

Jan. 15th, 2008 10:22 pm (UTC)
Yes. It was reading people's comments on that stuff that made me start hunting raws and scanslations of the rest.

It says far, far too much when THAT happening to one of your favorite characters(and then the stuff after to others) makes you giddy.
Jan. 16th, 2008 03:16 am (UTC)

Mmmm ... I wanna talk about this volume some more, but you haven't read it. I know telophase has ... and I think maybe fmanalyst. But where are they? I guess I'm obsessive in the degree to which I like to hash through the characters' actions and motivations.

Jan. 16th, 2008 03:20 am (UTC)
Sigh...if I HAD it, I'd at least skim it so I could chat with you and then save the post for a proper read, but rightstuf seems to be holding it hostage until they have more to ship with it, as I use economy shipping(it's free...the more pennies a girl saves, the more books she can buy)

OTOH, Vol 25 has finally made it to the top of the manga pile.
Jan. 17th, 2008 11:17 pm (UTC)

So you're reading 25 now? > bounces enthusiastically < It's not as good as 24 or 26, but it has some nice stuff in it. Akira gets to grow up some more.

Jan. 18th, 2008 12:47 am (UTC)
Actually, I'm finishing up the latest Lian Hearn book(which is good, but kinda...anti-climatic) Erm...I'm assuming you've read her books. Kinda surprised if you don't even know of them

But SDK is next.
Jan. 24th, 2008 04:06 am (UTC)

(Gosh, never answered this ... ) The Hearn things are one of those series that I keep picking up, looking at, thinking I might like, and then deciding against at the last minute. How are they?

Jan. 24th, 2008 04:46 am (UTC)
They're good. They have some historical flaws and occassionally irksome mysticism, but they lack the extreme homophobia a lot of the western goes at historical Japan have, and have good stories. The latest book is a prequel, and should be read before the others...it's very anticlimatic to read it after. The romance in the trilogy is rather annoying(both characters are much better when separated) but the story is good. I have unconditional love for the 4th book, though, which is about the children of the hero of the trilogy.
Jun. 11th, 2008 05:24 pm (UTC)
volume 29
heres a translated version of volume 29
and heres to first chapter scaned and traslated to volume 30
Jun. 13th, 2008 04:33 am (UTC)
Re: volume 29

Thanks! Yes, I found those for someone else the other day. I know, basically, what happens in 29, and I'm looking forward to seeing it come out in the Tokyopop edition. (I'm hoping the company re-org won't affect SDK's release schedule.)

Jan. 15th, 2008 04:22 am (UTC)
Next volume is the long-awaited Kyo + Yukimura fight, I think~~ But that's more fun than angsty... the Kyoushirou and Yukimura fight much later is where all the angst is~

Hehe, I also wondered if Hishigi was jealous of Shinrei... not to mention Mrs. Fubuki~ It seemed like he resigned himself to being in the background while Hitoki was alive but Shinrei is a bit grating. ^^

He's just one horrible bundle of angst and unrequited love!

Reading SDK in order (instead of skipping around for my favorite characters like I do when I buy a year's worth of japanese manga at Otakon) really makes me appreciate what an effective storyteller Kamijyo is! The slow reveal that Aka-chan isn't just bad, he's pure evil, the way that character's feelings are often shown indirectly, the way she can bring in totally new characters but have them fit when most mangaka can't handle a large cast...
Jan. 15th, 2008 10:12 pm (UTC)

>> the long-awaited Kyo + Yukimura fight <<

Yay! Yukimura finally gets some!


Hishigi liked Hitoki - I think that fic someone had where she was gigglingly trying to get them to kiss each other was pretty plausible. I'm sure that didn't make the idea of having Fubuki married off any easier to deal with, but still ... .

But yeah, Hishigi really needed One True Love and One True Cause, and now look what he's up to ... actually, I looked at the "Shindara revealed" scene again, and he claims that Saisei did it but I think in his final scene, he tells Sasuke-kun that it was Hishigi, and certainly Hishigi was much much better at that stuff than stupid Saisei would ever be.

And Shindara needs to eat a sandwich or three ... he wasn't that skinny way back when!

I think Kamijyo must have had this whole thing plotted out, because little bits of it keep falling into place, and falling into place ... over and over. But looking at Aka-chan in this volume is really chilling ... he's really toying with Shinrei and Fubuki (and Hishigi, too - and he knows damn well what they are to each other), by letting Shinrei loose.

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )


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