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Saiyuki Calendar Boys

So I finally received my lovely 2008 Saiyuki Reload Calendar, and I have it artfully positioned so that I can see it from where I'm sitting by merely turning my head about 30°, but no one walking by my office can see it from the door.

And it is very artistic, and mildly distracting (it's Hakkai's blissed-out face that I find the most attention-grabbing on this first page), but it's not much use as a calendar. The numbers are really hard to see, and the day-of-the-week labels not much better. I'm going to have to print out one of those blank calendar pages available on the web, for practical purposes ... .

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( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
freeradical9
Jan. 20th, 2008 03:07 am (UTC)
Oh, that was great! Thank you so much for posting the scans!

My husband walked in as I was viewing #1 and said "They're all wearing purple shirts. That's appropriate." (He used to wear purple on fridays at his old job in support of LGBT equality. Hee.) ^_^
chomiji
Jan. 20th, 2008 05:50 am (UTC)

Heh, I can't claim credit for the scans - I found 'em online. The site that has the pictures no longer has any calendars to sell, as far as I can tell, but the pictures are still there. The calendar is actually quite large - each page is poster-sized, so it wouldn't fit on my scanner anyway.

Much to my disappointment, none of the pages is a Hakkai/Gojyo pic.

Good for your husband! We live in a famously gay-friendly town - lawn signs calling for gay marriage rights are common. I'm curious though - why Fridays?

My husband is somewhat bemused by the popularity of Saiyuki among women (he likes it fairly well because it's funny) and by the whole slash thing.

freeradical9
Jan. 20th, 2008 02:00 pm (UTC)
Much to my disappointment, none of the pages is a Hakkai/Gojyo pic.

Agreed. Nice group shots, though. I'd only seen 2 of the 5 pics before, so it was lovely to look at new art.

I'm curious though - why Fridays?

I'm not really sure. He was working on a college campus at the time, and I think it had something to do with student association activism. I thought it was a cool idea.

My husband is somewhat bemused by the popularity of Saiyuki among women

My husband doesn't understand it at all. *sigh* When he catches me with my nose buried in the manga, he often says "You do realize that they never actually *get* anywhere." *shakes head*
chomiji
Jan. 21st, 2008 04:12 am (UTC)

Ah, but it's the journey that's important - not the destination!

The Borders had a guidebook to manga on sale, and it was clear that the (male) author had no concept of the value of angst and character interaction. He complained that Saiyuki was degenerating into nothing but bishies giving off snark and attitude, and that the villains in SDK were uber-powerful cardboard (more or less) - entirely missing the character development that's going on in each case. (Most of SDK's ultimate villains are characters in their own right, rather like the Kou-tachi in Saiyuki.) It was rather exasperating, perhaps even more so because I agreed with his analysis of some of the other series.

ipperne
Jan. 20th, 2008 07:10 am (UTC)
LoL! It's natural that if a callendar has very pretty pictures, the actual calendar part is pretty useless.

...but prettyness is love anyway.
chomiji
Jan. 21st, 2008 04:16 am (UTC)

Well, the calendars I usually get are like a magazine rotated 90° - the picture is on the leaf above, and the page of dates on the one below, so there's plenty of space of the dates. But this one has the dates as a cute little pattern more-or-less mixed into the picture ... . At home, we have a Bleach calendar, so I can write appointments and birthdays on it - it's not nearly as pretty, but it works better for keeping track of dates!

So did you ever get into Saiyuki Reload?

ipperne
Jan. 21st, 2008 04:26 pm (UTC)
I have a family calendar on the wall, a very boring one too, but it's very practical. a colum for each person + one for the animals^^ and two calendarbooks. and a work calendar- fitted inside one of the books. could never live without any of them.

ehm... no. I gave up. for now. Might give it another try eventually.
chomiji
Jan. 28th, 2008 06:15 pm (UTC)

You might like Fake, which I just blogged.

But by not reading Reload, you're missing tons of angsty background on the boys, in the "Burial Arc" of the story, starting with Reload vol. 3. (Including why Sanzo smokes, more about his master's involvement with Ukoku - Kami-sama's creepy master - and an important incident in Gojyo and Hakkai's history, that explains a little more about their relationship and about their personalities.)

ipperne
Jan. 28th, 2008 06:33 pm (UTC)
Actually, I am reading Fake. And, I think, that I've mentioned it to you once. Maybe.

But, The Reload series is wierd. I can't get any sense out of the first volume. And I have tried several times. I think that I'll go catch up on Blood Sucker and the try again.
chomiji
Jan. 28th, 2008 08:59 pm (UTC)

The trouble is, people started talking about Fake when I'd just started reading it, so I got confused, I think!

Let me think ... vol. 1 and 2 of Reload are indeed pretty odd. It's like she had trouble getting started again after Kami-sama. There's the silly thing about them running into some doppelgangers of themselves, there's a very cute little one-shot episode about Jeep getting kidnapped by some children, there's a terribly sad story about the ikkou encountering a lone adult youkai who's been taking care of some youkai orphans in a cave in the mountains, and then there's an encounter with Kougaiji's group. Yeah, it's all sort of run together.

ipperne
Jan. 28th, 2008 09:08 pm (UTC)
I should get myself together and order vol. 7 actually.

Yes, and my poor little logical brain can't handle all those different aproaches to the story... I get very confused.
chomiji
Jan. 30th, 2008 06:24 pm (UTC)

Well, the language issues probably don't help ... it's been translated from Japanese to English and it probably takes at least a partial trip into Danish in your brain - no wonder it's confusing.

smillaraaq
Jan. 28th, 2008 11:44 pm (UTC)
Ah, yes, diehard 585 fangirl that I am, if I doing a desert-island list and could only pick one volume of Saiyuki, I wouldn't even have to stop and think: it would be Reload 4 for Gojyo and Hakkai's Burial chapter.

(I was reading that one on the Metro home when I bought it, and a nice older man stopped me on my way off the train to comment "That must be a really good book, the way it's making you smile so much.")
chomiji
Jan. 30th, 2008 07:07 pm (UTC)

Hee, we've got the same split here that we had on "Ne Me Quitte Pas" vs. "Home from the Sea, Home from the Hill." I actually prefer "Be There" for desert island, because I find the misunderstandings in the 585 "Burial" painful. I do re-read it ... but I don't really, really enjoy it until Hakkai has made his decision to go after Gojyo. And I do very much love Hakkai's comment to Gojyo at the end: "Really, you make a terrible villain ... ."

smillaraaq
Jan. 31st, 2008 06:59 pm (UTC)
"Be There" is a very, very close second for me, of course! But much as it hurts to see the boys being so awkward at each other in the first half of "Burial", the resolution more than makes up for it to me...and it doesn't hurt that it's a short chapter so the hurty bits don't go on for all that long.
chomiji
Feb. 2nd, 2008 03:50 am (UTC)

No, it's not that long ... but it's plenty icky while it lasts: Hakkai has nowhere else to go, really, and nowadays Gojyo is just about the only person he has. And Gojyo has suddenly realized that by saving Hakkai, he's now sort of responsible for him, and he feels like he's becoming a stranger in his own house. And then Banri shows up - a living, breathing reminder of when he didn't have to think so hard about life, and right, and wrong ... .

It's a tough little section. Was I talking to you about the fact that perhaps the reason why Gojyo doesn't fight there at the last, just before they're about to shoot him, is that Banri has betrayed him, and he feels all alone - which he has already explicitly, in this arc, stated is a Bad Thing for him?

smillaraaq
Feb. 2nd, 2008 03:05 pm (UTC)
Yep, that was me -- and one of us brought up how it's not just Banri, but things going all weird with Hakkai so that he must have known his new friend was thinking of leaving, too...

Mind you, now that we know he couldn't yet summon the shakujou, that changes the feel of it a little bit; weaponless and against a gang of full youkai, such a fight wouldn't really have much hope of succeeding -- but at least trying to take some of the bastards with him seems a more natural Gojyo reaction, unless he's at the point where he's down too far to be past caring.
chomiji
Feb. 5th, 2008 09:52 pm (UTC)

I think he was past caring - he's thinking something like "I never expected anything more - not from me and not from anyone else." He's made his last bitter joke, laughing at them for expecting Banri to come back, and made his last act of defiance by kicking that one guy. And that was going to be it. Until he hears Hakkai's voice ... that reaction he has when Hakkai quotes that "Jack of all trades" line from their "Be There" scenes - that's when he gets his courage and his will to live back, all at once, because he realizes that Hakkai is saying that they're two of a kind, and he's not going to leave without Gojyo - or he's going to die trying. I'm sure Gojyo was going to try to fight at that point, for Hakkai - until Hakkai pulled off the limiters ... .

smillaraaq
Feb. 6th, 2008 03:19 am (UTC)
Mmm, yes, and the smile on his face when he hears that line -- that's the scene where it really starts to make up for all the pain and awkwardness that led him to this point, for me.

And Minekura is *such* a tease, cutting from that and the limiters dropping to the boys walking away afterwards, back to their casual banter like it's been an absolutely ordinary day. But those evocative little gaps are of course what makes this such prime imagination-fodder...
chomiji
Feb. 8th, 2008 08:14 pm (UTC)

I wonder how far out she's plotting Reload - whether she was deliberately saving the full view of Hakkai's other form for this latest (in the English tankoubon) sequence or whether she was just coming to various scenes (like the rescue scene) and saying to herself "Hmmm ... not yet." We do get the one quick shot of him vined-out in the raincoat, with the gangmembers shouting in fear. And then he's all buttoned-up again, doing his "Tut! Looks like no more rain"" thing ... .

I think I already mentioned that someone once pointed out that when Hakkai decides to go after Gojyo, he swears for the first (and thus far only) time in the series.

BTW, do you realize that your comment above is now on page 9 of my inbox? And it was only 2 days ago?   XD

smillaraaq
Jan. 28th, 2008 11:51 pm (UTC)
BTW, if anyone's kicking themselves over missing out on the calendar -- CD Japan just put their remaining stock on clearance.
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )

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