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Big Fat Saiyuki Meta Idea - Not!

I thought I had glommed onto a really, really great idea! And then I thought of one really, really big problem with it. It had to do with Pippi the youkai girl ... .

- she's Nataku.

It was when I was looking at that weird up-from-below view of her and Goku on the back of the wagon full of explosives - the one where you can see right up their nostrils (p. 110, if I'm counting correctly - maybe about 2/5 of the way through that chapter). And she has these tendrils of hair curving up and back from her forehead, and I kept wondering who that reminded me of - she has 4 or 5, and Gojyo only has 2 (his "antennae").

And then it hit me! Nataku, and his tendrils! And she looks like him other ways, too - she has his hairline, and their eyes are similar except for her slit pupils, and the eyebrows are very close.

But ... then the other shoe dropped. Nataku's not dead.




( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 23rd, 2008 02:35 am (UTC)
Jul. 23rd, 2008 02:45 am (UTC)

Like Tenrou?

Jul. 23rd, 2008 02:47 am (UTC)
Whole other level...
Jul. 23rd, 2008 02:48 am (UTC)
Yes, yes! Eeevil and insanely sharp swords with many pointy points! :D
Jul. 23rd, 2008 02:33 am (UTC)
I haven't read Gaiden, but I do know parts, and some of it was in the anime (no judging, it led to my getting the manga) but...isn't Nataku kinda comatose or something? Or at least mentally shut out?

Maybe a piece of Nataku(like his soul or some such) out and about in the human world for freedom or some such?

(And, of course, I could be remembering/thinking completely wrong...)
Jul. 23rd, 2008 02:46 am (UTC)

Yes, he seems to be in some sort of suspended animation, or something. Kanzeon Bosatsu lectures at him every once in a while, but s/he seems pretty sure he can't hear her.

Jul. 23rd, 2008 02:48 am (UTC)
So, soul is out wandering, decided to be physical for a while, got born...now is dead and maybe free to go home?
Jul. 23rd, 2008 02:53 am (UTC)

Wow, what a thought! Now I'm hoping for a Goku+Nataku vs. Ukoku smackdown ... .

You know, if you take Li Touten as Ukoku's pre-incarnation (which is a thought I've had), that puts Kami-sama and Hazel into interesting roles - poor things.

Jul. 23rd, 2008 04:25 am (UTC)
Yeah, but Li-touten was a stooge of some unnamed person or persons, wasn't he? I don't think Li-touten personally killed the Emperor, did he? I got the impression that was done by others. I kind of wonder if one of the people who put Li-touten up to the whole coup thing (who are shadowy and undefined at this point, his unindicted co-conspirators) is Nii's precursor.

But it is 12:30 at night, I could be all wet about this. ;) I guess I need to go back and read, but I thought I remembered that there was a Cabal to over set the order of Heaven. (TINC).
Jul. 23rd, 2008 10:37 pm (UTC)

I could be confused on that too ... I briefly ran through some fairly terrible scanlations of Gaiden at one point, but I'm really confused about what happened between the current chapter on saiyuki_manga and the recent ones where Kenren was fighting the monsters (with results as we all know, to our sorrow). I know Tenpou, Konzen, and Kenren were talking politics during the time in the library (?), and I probably missed something.

Jul. 23rd, 2008 02:35 am (UTC)
Edited to actually make sense this time

Ooh! But, but...have you read Angel Sanctuary by Kaori Yuki? Soulless (but somehow still living) bodies can remain in Heaven while the souls undergo reincarnation on Earth. It could work! :D

You're right, she does look like Nataku!
Jul. 23rd, 2008 02:49 am (UTC)

I haven't, although I've read bits and pieces of other people's write-ups. I've bought the first few volumes of one of the other Kaori Yuki things (Godchild) and it wasn't quite working for me (my daughter rather liked it). Maybe I ought to try Angel Sanctuary?

She totally does ... ! Maybe if Nataku had been raised by a loving big brother, he'd be a bossy little thing, too!

Jul. 23rd, 2008 04:19 am (UTC)
Well, Nataku is still alive, but I think Minekura was pretty clearly drawing a parallel between the two of them.

Nataku was Goku's first friend of his own age, Pippi was his first crush (I don't want to call her a girlfriend, but she may have become one if they had hung around a bit longer, there was an attraction there, I think)

They both had a very intense, short-lived relationship with Goku, and

They both went out in a blaze of glory, so to speak, providing Goku with his first real personal, permanent loss in each part of his life (Tenkai vs. his earthly existence)
Jul. 23rd, 2008 10:39 pm (UTC)

They both had to do with military stuff too ... Nataku as the war god and Pippi as a member of what was basically an insurrection.

Jul. 23rd, 2008 06:03 am (UTC)
Doesn't Clamp have all sorts of complicated stuff with incarnations and soulless characters and yackety smackety?

Inuyasha had some complicated nonsense invoving a girl who's the reincarnation of a miko from five hundred years ago going back in time. Her prior incarnation has been dead and buried for decades, but a witch manages to create a magical duplicate body out of the ashes and graveyard dirt, and rips out a fragment of the shared soul to animate it. It's a botched job because she isn't able to kill the new girl and take the complete soul, which leads to a rather Hazel-ish situation where the undead miko has to collect the souls of dying girls to maintain her own existence.

So, yeah, really, if you want to roll with this theory, trust me, there's nothing stopping you. The scenario you're describing is perfectly in line with manga tropes, and really rather less cracky in its logic than some canon examples! ;)
Jul. 23rd, 2008 10:40 pm (UTC)

> basks in crack-approval <

Jul. 24th, 2008 06:39 am (UTC)
That would have been so awesome and made so much sense.

However, are while Nataku's not dead, is his soul really around?
Jul. 24th, 2008 05:43 pm (UTC)

Hmmm ... I'm not really sure where his soul would be if he's not dead. When Minekura switches the scene to Heaven for color commentary by Kannon every once in a while, Kanzeon Bosatsu sometimes tries to talk to him, but he doesn't respond.

saiyuki_manga has been posting nice SG scans with accompanying translations, and there has been some discussion about Nataku. In some views (and you can see this in the published Saiyuki, too) there's a joint or seam at the base of his neck - as though (and someone else made this comment first) he were one of those ball-jointed dolls. I'm wondering whether his soul was magically trapped in that form in the first place.

Jul. 24th, 2008 09:48 pm (UTC)
He's got such weird structuring around all his arm/shoulder joints, too -- even more so than a BJD, it reminds me of insect leg joints (cue all the jokes about hair-antennas)...
Jul. 27th, 2008 04:24 am (UTC)

The pic of the Gojyo actor in costume from the upcoming live stage show is interesting in that his hair-feelers seem to be coming from farther back on his head than I'd usually assume.

( 20 comments — Leave a comment )


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