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Mild Spoilers for Saiyuki, vol. 5 and thereafter

This regards info you will find all over the WWW if you look up "Cho Hakkai" ... but you have been warned.


It's been mentioned that Hakkai could be just as subject to the Minus Wave as any other youkai if he took off his power limiters. So every time he makes a choice to do this, in addition to the emotional distaste he feels about his yukai form (it reminds him of the whole horrible sequence with Kanan's kidnapping, rape, and death, and his own transformation; it's violent and unlike him, etc.), he's risking the permanent loss of his human self.

There's a beautiful story-song piece that was performed (and I guess written) by Tommy Makem, called "Peter Kagan and the Wind" (lyrics and script here), about a fisherman who marries a selkie (a/k/a "silkie" - basically, a were-seal). Selkies can take human form, but in one version of the traditional legends about them, once they resume their seal form, they can never again become human.

In "Peter Kagan," the fisherman goes out one day, and an unexpected storm puts his life in danger. His selkie wife can always "see" him magically when he's at sea, so she knows he's going to die if nothing intervenes. She's faced with the choice of losing her husband/lover to death if she does nothing - or losing him as his wife if she resumes her seal form, goes after him, and saves his life, because she will never again live as a human woman.

Fortunately Hakkai's choice each time isn't quite as automatically devastating as the seal-wife's - there's always a pretty good chance that he will be able to come back and be sweet, rational Hakkai again. But I think the parallel is still there.

Hmmm ... .


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 8th, 2007 08:37 pm (UTC)
Well, in Volume 7, he almost can't get himself back under control... for one tiny little panel you get a view of his eyes and Hakkai is just not there. Then later they come across a bunch of normal-seeming youkai who claim that they've been "reborn" - they recovered from the initial Minus Wave madness but now see humans as lower animals that can be killed... apparently there are some other effects too but Minekura doesn't like to give too much away at once. So the Minus Wave business is apparently more than a plot device...

x__x Of course it's a favorite fanfic plot device, in which Hakkai's limiters somehow come off and he becomes a sex-crazed maniac, "takes advantage of" a perfectly willing and eager Gojyo, and angsts for several paragraphs until Gojyo suggests that they do it again. It would be hot if it weren't reused in 10 billion fanfics...

Poor Hakkai... Sanzo even explicitly tells him that if he loses his sanity, he won't be able to regain it like Goku. And using his powers puts so much stress on his body that turning back to human might kill him anyway.

I've heard the selkie story before,but I didn't know there was a song!
Mar. 8th, 2007 09:19 pm (UTC)

Dying to get my hot little hands on vol. 7 ...!

Actually, there are a couple of selkie/silkie songs. There's also a traditional one that I used to sing with my guitar back when I did that stuff: "The Great Silkie of Sule Skerrie," using Joan Baez' arrangement and chords. He didn't seem to have any problems changing back and forth - "I am a man upon the land, I am a silkie on the sea" - but maybe that's why he was the great silkie.

I'd read all the teasers about vol. 7, including about Hakkai changing again, and it occurred to me that Hakkai risks the change only for those he loves, and that's what made me think of Peter Kagan's seal-wife.

I think I have a tape with "Peter Kagan and the Wind" at home - you can hear it, if you want ...

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


cho-vatar - sun & buns

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