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Fanart: Sanzo shoots Kamisama
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Added 1/5/2011
Updated 3/23/2016
Near the end of the Reload story arc, Sanzo grimly walks into the temple of his enemy Kamisama, whose bunch have knocked him and his companions silly in their first meeting. As he strides up the steps, Kamisama appears and begins talking idly – after all, he’s already shown who’s the stronger man.

Sanzo’s only response is to shoot him in the head, almost as an afterthought, and keep walking. Kamisama, instead of dropping dead, instead begins to dissolve, as if he were nothing more than a bad dream.

Yow ... what a moment. This delightful hand-inked image on acetate was done by my friend Tex-chan as a Christmas present. She knows that for years I’ve been blown away by her pan genga of the anime version. That is an amazing museum-worthy composition, full of energy and swirling ropes of pearls, every pearl perfect with a perfect little highlight. So astonishing is it that only gradually do you realize that you do not see either character’s face, nor do you need to.

This terrific genga can be seen in her main gallery, THE ZONE. (So careful is she to keep it hidden in my presence that not even clicking on the thumbnail will get you to this page; I know another way in, though.)

As both of us have noted, though, many of the key images in Saiyuki: Reload were based closely on the manga by the story’s original creator, Kazuya Minekura. So rather than being a repro of Tex’s pan genga, this image is a homage to the mangaka’s conception of the scene, where you see the key moment from both sides at once. The right side shows Sanzo striding up the stairs with the gun just barely visible over his shoulder, casually blowing Kamisama’s head away. The left side shows the scene from 180-degrees, with the astonished enemy beginning to break up into black pearls of illusion.

This piece came backed with rice paper to protect its back side (something we all need these days). So when I scanned it, I left it in place, adding a piece of dark red art paper behind to give the scan the right touch of blood and grit.

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Curator: 60something-sensei
Gallery Created: 8/3/2002
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