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Saiyuki: Son Goku

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“Let’s Play Mahjong”
Source: TV
Layers: 1
No sketches available
Cel Number: A1 END
Oversize, 27W x 37.5H

No Background

Added 12/14/2006
Updated 12/1/2009
Episode 23 ( Dawn/Our Way of Doing Things), cut 47. Humiliated by the beating they’ve taken from Kamisama, three of the boys are bickering among themselves, when suddenly Son Goku bursts in the door, half-naked and bandaged as in the previous image, his eyes hidden behind his hair. “Where the hell have you been?” they ask, but his only response is to take a board from under his arm, spread it on the table, then lift the lid of a box, revealing a set of ivory game pieces. He lifts his head, looks intently at the others, and says, “Let’s play Mah jongg.”

This is a pivotal scene in the Gunlock series, as Son Goku uses this diversion to get the others to look at their attitudes toward their quest and recenter, and this wonderful image is one of the most memorable moments in it.

It’s no surprise, then, to find that it, like the previous image, is based closely on a blown-up page from the original manga by Kazuya Minekura (see first thumbnail). It’s also little surprise that the Studio Pierrot artists improvise on it freely, tilting the original image dramatically and improving the expression: Minekura’s version makes him look a little dopey, while the genga shows him as knowing exactly what he’s doing and why.

While Saiyuki sketches are normally superb in quality, this is one that looks like it ought to be hanging in an art gallery. Maybe someday it will.

This nice merged screen cap is courtesy of my good friend Tex-chan, who has a dramatic genga of Son Goku entering with the Mah jongg board that fits in just before this cut, as well as this wonderful image of the looks on the others’ faces immediately afterwards.

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Curator: 60something-sensei
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