Episode Guide to Saiyuki Reload
1. The Bullets are Reloaded ++RUN++ (Tama wa Futatabi Komerareta ++RUN++)
Script: Miya Asakawa; Storyboards: Tetsuya Endou; Episode Director: Tetsuya Endou; Animation Supervisor: Noriko Ootake
First broadcast in Japan 10/02/2003
(from the manga: Reload vol. 1, Prologue)
The Sanzo-ikkou (hereinafter, the SI) arrive in a small town where apparent youkai attacks on women have been increasing. Wearing hastily improvised disguises--wrapped in blankets and wearing shades!--they check into an inn incognito, claiming to be brothers.
However, Seika, the innkeeper's little niece, becomes suspicious of the odd strangers. When she eavesdrops on the group's unintentionally alarming conversation (Sanzo scolding Gojyo for "trying to sink your teeth into every woman you see", Hakkai
hoping Goku isn't hungry enough to try eating his roommates) she's convinced they're youkai in disguise, planning to eat everyone in the inn. She sits guarding their door, intending to catch them when they slip out to raid the town,
but then her sister Seira doesn't return from shopping... Hakkai hears her uncle questioning her about Seira's whereabouts, and then her shopping basket is found, but no Seira. But I was sitting guard right here! says Seika, and Hakkai steps out:
Has something happened? he asks. Seika realizes her error, and Sanzo asks what this is all about.
We see the gang of very human punks who've taken her sister, gloating over the beauty they've trapped, and remarking that youkai sure are good for business--no one would think of suspecting them or even of venturing out when they think a youkai gang is on the prowl. But Our Heroes arrive in the nick of time and scare the hell out of the thugs ("A blond monk with a silver gun...four guys in an iron car--it's Sanzo-houshi's party!!")
The next day the townspeople prepare a huge feast to welcome and thank the SI, which Goku's all ready to dive into. But Sanzo says they can't stay any longer than they have, asks to be excused and heads for the door. Little Seika grabs his sleeve and begs him not to be angry that she mistook them for youkai, and hopes they'll at least accept thanks for saving her sister. "Sanzo?--" prompts Hakkai gently, and Sanzo hmfs and walks back to the table, saying gruffly that he isn't angry.
As Goku happily chows down, Hakkai asks if they've had trouble with youkai in the past, and they admit that actually they never have--they only thought demons were behind the recent attacks. This causes all four heads to snap up, and the ikkou books for the door at once, to the townspeople's surprise. They beg the group to wait, but Gojyo says they sense a strong youkai presence drawing close, and Sanzo's patience runs out. You keep wailing 'youkai, youkai', but you won't do a thing to protect yourselves, he growls. The rumors you've been hearing about 'Sanzo' are all wrong, so let me straighten you out: we aren't traveling to exterminate youkai (as he speaks we see taloned feet landing on the rooftops, and Gojyo and Goku materialize their weapons) --they're the ones that are coming after us.
And before the townfolk's stunned eyes a band of youkai descend on their main street to be promptly taken out of commission--all but one, who grabs up little Seika and demands the sutra. (So morons like him do exist, drawls Gojyo. Now, Gojyo, you shouldn't be so blunt with the truth, chides Hakkai.) --As if we care about the brat, says Sanzo. Seika, outraged, yells that they suck [essentially] and that the SI doesn't deserve the awe it gets-- you can't even save me! I didn't become a Sanzo to save people, he retorts, but Gojyo says "we can't just walk away from a fight"--just as the youkai sprouts wings from his back and, laughing, takes off with the girl. You gonna let him get away?--demands Gojyo, and Hakkai calls out to Hakuryu, who tears around the corner with brakes screeching. The SI gives chase: the youkai thinks they can't attack him while he has a hostage, but Sanzo tells Hakkai to maintain speed and calls to Seika to jump. I don't know why, she thinks, but...I wasn't afraid anymore, not at all. She bites into the youkai's arm to make him drop her, and dives toward the ground. As she falls, Goku leaps up past her, telling her to leave the youkai to him, and Hakkai backs up and stops just in time for Gojyo to catch her in his arms.
The clobbered youkai looks up dizzily. Why do you guys keep fighting us? he asks. You're part-youkai, you have youkai blood in your veins! Why can't you be our allies? If we had guys as strong as you... "Weren't there people who said this to us before?" asks Goku, and Gojyo replies "There were and there always will be." Sanzo remembers the day they set out, remembers them all saying their only side is their own, and remembers himself in the Sanbutsushin hall, saying that he believed only in himself. Continue believing, Genjyo Sanzo, they said: believe your own eyes. And he smiles to himself: I finally believed, he thinks, and blows the winged youkai away.
As the ikkou heads into the sunset, Seika-chan watches them go. I knew they were low-down and suspicious, she thinks, but...her eyes suddenly sparkle...they were so cool! =)
And in the jeep, Hakkai blithely announces that it's three days to the next town, causing general uproar...
URASAI #1--"Go West"
Kiri Tanpo-san in Tokyo asks, "Why didn't the Sanzo gang just take a plane to India?" Well, because smoking's not allowed on planes, of course.
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