The Last Saiyuki Volume 3 REVIEW(Final Volume, Apparently!)

Hello, all! So a few things: 1) I am writing this the day before the volume 2 review comes out. I decided to get a jump on it early because these are just SO LONG! I don’t want to cut it down to 5 because I think the rarity of something is what makes it good. So I’m gonna stick to the 10 chapter rule! The only reason I split volume 1 into 2 parts is because chapter 1 was so long. 2)You’ll see this as 1 big thing, but…………it took a while to do! Anyway; let’s get into it with chapter 21!

It picks up with Ryunosuke reacting to the major bomb Kei, Demon Lord of Chaos, dropped on him. “My mother………..made Koharu?” So you know that “camera” pose people in cartoons do with their fingers. They manage to get a perfect square, but it’s actually a rectangle. Kei makes this with her hands, and an actual clip starts playing. “Koharu is the Earth’s ‘True Human form.’ All the memories of what happened before are etched into her subconscious. What I’m showing you now is how your parents met.” So I guess we can call this chapter “How I met Your Mother!” 1 unfunny, corny joke later: The flashback starts with Doutsu, leader of Tokaishu, introducing Gohaku to Momo, and orphan girl and this era’s “Toshishun.” At the same time; Gohaku is telling this story to Furuka. “To become a True human; one needs to cut ties with all but 1 thing,” he explains; “I was the strongest in Tokaishu and Master Doutsu’s favorite because I only had desire above all else: ‘I don’t want to die.‘”

In the flashback itself; Doutsu introduces the Momo. “I finally found a ‘Toshishun.’ But she’s an orphan. In order to fulfill the role, she needs a family. I can only ask you to do this since only you know about it,” he says to Gohaku. Gohaku complies with his orders. Kind of reminiscent of how Gohaku introduced Koharu to Ryu, isn’t it? Can’t do anything but comply. Wait……………Strongest in Tokaishu? So…………okay; Gohaku is revealed to have been able to wield f*cking lighting(his f*cking nyoibo was in the shape of lighting like something out of Percy Jackson and The Olympians), and his regenerative abilities made everyone think that immortality was possible!!! He used to look down on others because of the gap between himself and others, particularly Furuka. “You mou was half heartedly open,” Gohaku says; “you were always swayed by your emotions.” Furuka knew this, though. Furuka likens him to an “inanimate object” in this state; “his eyes were like soulless vacuums.”

He explains his was trying to become a stronger True Human than Doutsu, who at this point is the CLOSEST to it. And then came Momo, who hadn’t abandoned his emotions fully. So one day, Gohaku just straight up asked: “You can still smile? Even if you don’t die; you’ll still have to face something worse than you can imagine. You were strong enough to be chosen by Master Doutsu, so you must know that the final monster is unstoppable. And with the further progression of science; mou is becoming harder and harder to open. Fewer and fewer each year are able to do it. Even those half-hearted(he imagines Furuka in this instance) can become top officials at Tokaishu.” So he’s trying to break her; trying to make her feel fear. Why? I guess to get her mou to open. Because as was said in last chapter(chapter 20); the Followers of Chaos are making people stronger by opening more and more mou. Or he could just be a heartless d!ck, which is entirely possible.

This next part tries to hammer that home: “The only reason I married you was to create a strong child. If they can become a strong True human; I might have use of them………as a shield, if nothing else.” Yeah; Gohaku was a bit of a d-bag in the past. You’d think at this point someone would knock him out, but……………not here. Momo instead gets up, and hugs the b@stard. She then asks “Are you afraid?” He pushes her off like “WTF WAS THAT?!” He then replies “Yeah…………of dying,” and walks away. We then find out that he wasn’t so close to his parents; they never hugged him once. So this action caused something to change. A switch in his mind got flipped, and………Ryunosuke was born. And looking at him; it seems like he took nothing from his dad. I mean; probably the strength, but that’s it. In terms of appearance; it seems to be all from Momo. And with people saying he’s more like his mom than anyone else……………..What did he get from his dad, actually? Was the nyoibo really the only thing he got?! D@MN.

Seeing baby Ryu changed something in Gohaku; his desire to not die became for his family, and not himself. He starts feeling………….weird. Not like “Oh my god; I have a kid.” More like “What have I done?” Because he stated that this monster is unstoppable, and he picked NOW of all times to have a baby?! It’s more of guilt than anything else. Momo calms him with the next sentence: “Smile, dear. I’ve decided on a name: the ‘Kei’ I create will be named Koharu Mori. And this boy right here…………’Ryunosuke.‘” Wow; the circumstances surrounding the main character’s birth? We haven’t even gotten that with ONE PIECE yet, and that’s almost at a thousand chapters!! That just doesn’t sit right with me. I guess since this is a different story, it’s fine. But to me; I feel as though the story’s going to end a lot sooner than we thought. We already know HOW it’s gonna end, but the time frame is up in the air. And that may not even be the end of the story! It could pull a Seven Deadly Sins and “bait and switch” us.

It cuts over to the beach, where Ryu’s family has taken a nice picture. After Ryu falls asleep; Momo breaks the silence again, saying “Don’t worry, dear; I’ll give birth to the strongest Kei yet.” And when Gohaku put his faith in his wife’s words; he lost his eye. Let me guess; he lost it to something that looked like a cat, but isn’t really a cat? Is that the twist? And then; THE DAY had come. Doutsu put Momo into a trance. It’s called “Toshishun’s Recollection.” Scary in Chinese; it’s a popular story from a “certain novelists.” Not entirely sure who he’s referring to, so you’ll have to google that. Tekkanshi  made this world in such a way that “Kei” could be made if you just stay there. CON: H#ll on wheels; each worse than the last. Killed by an Oni; drowned; caught on fire; watched Gohaku beat Ryu to death with his own baseball bat(that’s a BIG one). And the worst part of this CON: if you make a sound; you get the boot. And to make “Kei;” Toshishun made it through 12 of these scenarios.

This is a tough woman; would you be able to go through all of this and not make a peep the whole time? certainly couldn’t! But the more Momo suffered in here; the stronger Koharu became. Gohaku held his wife in his hands, wondering what exactly was wrong. It’s already been a minute, and she had to endure 12 of this sh!t. So why is she not waking up. Doutsu explains: “Okay; she wanted me not to tell you, but………..the “12………” that’s an approximation. As long as she doesn’t make a sound; she could theoretically stay in indefinitely.” Gohaku is like “OH H#LL NO!” and reaches for his nyoibo. But Doutsu straps him to a wallwith his tree hand(cause of course). Doutsu continues further: “I asked you to be her husband to fulfill the conditions. You probably forgot, but you and Momo have met once before. You saved her from a monster, and erased her memory with the White Baku. But for some reason; she didn’t forget you. It sucks you’ve become a regular human, but……… was worth it in the end.”

Huh? How come she didn’t forget? WHen the White Baku ate Shige’s memories; he was only left with “a happy feeling,” but forgot about Koharu. We see that Gohaku is calling out for Momo to make a sound already, but……….nothing. Doutsu gives him some advice: “You should REALLY be using that powerlessness to get your strength back.” Momo endured it all for about 2 days before being taken to a hospital. Which is basically where Ryu’s flashback takes place. 10 days passed, she finally woke up, and THEN…………she died. 12 days. That’s how many times she went through h#ll and back. And if 12 scenarios can happen in under a minute……………………………; now wonder she died. Some kinda heart attack, I guess.

On the bright side; Koharu was born! And that blindness and lack of limbs? That just means she’s the most powerful “Kei” ever! As Momo promised. “No feet tying her to the Earth, no hands to feel warmth, and no vision to see illusions that obstruct the truth………..all the components of a True Human being.” Wow…………she’s a true human? Like………the true human form of the Earth?………………………………And then Kei continues with words: “Then; something………………….unexpected happened…..” Koharu, tears coming down her eyes, says “I’m scared.” Wait; scared of what?

Chapter 22 starts with the aftermath of that phrase; a giant cloud of evil gas starts leaking out of the Dairankaku place. Furuka remembers that day as “The Flooding of the Night Sky Incident.” Although he heard that it was due to “Kei’s fear of captivity.” That was the story, at least. “We didn’t want it to get out the we made a Demon Lord,” according to Gohaku. And the residence of the enchanted land would’ve know exactly what it was COUGH COUGH**Winds of H#ll**COUGH COUGH! Sorry; frog in my throat there! “If that thing were to materialize, then it would have been an instant ‘game over.’ I thought that I knew the reason behind Koharu’s fear. Momo’s mental state from the pain and fear she endured beyond the point of breaking didn’t just give Koharu life; it got passed down as a memory.” Wow; so she had ALL THAT mess Momo had just gone through is now in a LITERAL NEW BORN’S BRAIN? DUDE!!!!!!!!! That seriously SUCKS!

This knowledge lead Gohaku to take a gamble: he tells Doutsu that he has an idea to subdue Kei/Koharu’s fear. He’ll tell……..on 1 condition: Koharu is allowed to meet Ryu. Doutsu thinks this is Gohaku going back to his “old self; he interprets Gohaku wanting his son to be this generations “Sai,” then Ryu will protect him from the final monster. But that couldn’t be any further from the truth; the one he wants to save…………is Ryu. He didn’t want Ryu to become any kind of hero, or even fight the beast; he only wants Ryu to survive. And if Koharu chose him to be the “Sai” to her “Kei,” the he’d be able to avoid dying. But he can’t let Doutsu know that; he may not let him take Koharu. And based on what he said about Doutsu a chapter or so ago; taking her by force is a BIG NO GO! So he fakes like he is only thinking of himself. He realizes this is still a selfish wish; he wants Ryu to survive without even asking him what he wants. It probably isn’t even what Momo wanted. BUT…………that doesn’t matter. What DOES matter: Giving Ryu a Future. 

He says this out loud, which might have tipped Doutsu off to his true intentions, but Doutsu just responds”………..You win, Gohaku.” After that little exchange; they wiped her mind clean with the White Baku to prevent the ordeals Momo went through from scaring Koharu, but it still took a WHOLE YEAR to make her a completely “blank slate.” By that; they mean her own person with no traumatic memories from another person. But by doing that, then he was “deleting” the last reminders he had of Momo(aside from Ryu, I guess). He says it was sad for him, but without Momo’s personality, there wasn’t much of a point in keeping them around.

Time passes, and Koharu picks up on communication skills, and an idea of how old she appears to everyone. But she also learned of her abilities to open mou……….she went mute in consideration for others. That didn’t stop Gohaku from talking to her, though: “Hey, Koharu: Woul you mind meeting my son Ryunosuke?” She said nothing, but……….something kind of went “PING” in her head. Gohaku knew what it was, and so did Doutsu: even though the memories got wiped by the White Baku, she still had a strong emotional connection to Ryu. And then the time came for the story we’ve seen thus far to begin, and Doutsu gave Gohaku a condition: “In 3 years; whoever had the greater power would become the ‘Sai’ this time.” So in the background; it’s been a race between Ryu and Sai to become a worthy partner for Koharu. Which kind paints Sai in a different light. Funny!

And then chapter 1 up until now; you know what comes after that. But we get it all from Gohaku’s point of view: he wasn’t ever really too far; he was close by at all times, watching. Making sure that Ryu and Koharu made a true familial connection. He also threw a few difficulties in their way to “strengthen their bonds.” And when Ryu found out about Koharu’ kindness……….he knew he had succeeded. And FLASHBACK OVER! Furuka: “That story was lame. I have not pity for you; the cross you bore came from a lack of imagination.” Gohaku:”I didn’t tell you this to get your pity; I wanted to know if you felt the same about those 2.” It’s Gohaku painting Furuka in a more “emotional” light. He’s much more caring than Doutsu or even himself(Gohaku). And for his emotions; Gohaku has entrusted Ryu to him. That day Furuka came to help them with Sai; Gohaku asked for him specifically. Good to know! Also, I just saw abunch of death flags go up around Furuka. And the one’s already there just got A LOT bigger.

But that’s enough with the adults; we cut to……….wherever the flying f*ck they are……………….. to find that Koharu and Ryu have come face to face again. As they meet up, Estelle is left with what Kei had said:”Koharu was born after taking in the pain and life force of your(Ryu’s) mother.” She’s about to speak when she pulls back. Kei thanks her for coming with Ryu. And then; the reunion of siblings! Before Koharu can even say it, Ryu starts the conversation:

You better not apologize. Your big brother is a huge chicken. That’s why I didn’t want to know what happened before we met. I was scared something would change…….that I’d end up hating someone……I’m relieved to learn the everyone was fighting for the sake of others.

I know you’re not human. And that your hands are cold to the touch, but kinder than anyone else’s. Also; don’t go places alone. We were all worried, d@mmit! No matter where you go, or how much time passes; I’ll be with you……… and forever! You’re MY little sister!

He takes Koharu’s hand, and her response: “Yes!” As they prepare to go, Estelle demands they make a promise: and we jump to chapter 23, which is the FINAL CHAPTER! YEAH! I don’t have the specifics of what happened, but it looks like Shonen Jump is “cancelling” the series. WHAT THE F*CK?!?!?! Like; I just read it, and it said “Final Chapter: The Last Saiyuki.” I’m genuinely surprised and upset right now. Because the final shot is like……. an AMAZING TEASE for what we could have gotten. I guess we should get into it.

So we just cut to Ryu, Koharu, and Estelle exiting the Black Torii Gate. Gohaku is bowing his head to apologize. And THIS is how the story ends; with another Ryunosuke speech…….did we ever even figure out his last name? Ugh; just get to the speech:

Lift your head, Pops. Have you felt guilt towards me this whole time? Were all the times you laughed……..a lie?……..$crew you, you rotten father. 

Times were difficult, and the last monster scares the cr@p out of me. But I’ve had fun, like at the baseball game we went to, or the beach. I’m happy I found people I can rely on……that I made friends……….that I met my sister, Koharu! Estelle just made a promise: That no matter what happens, she’ll be with us the whole way.

One day; we could all go to school, and make more friends. Shige and I could even play baseball! And everyone can come cheer. We’d go to the summer festival, and eat baked yams in fall, and make igloos in the winter. And one day…….we’re going to the beach again, Pops. After getting tired playing catch, we’ll eat Furuka Sensei’s cooking. It’ll be so fun, even you’ll laugh your head off.

This place isn’t H#ll for me! What you and mom wanted doesn’t matter! I want to be in this era no matter HOW scary it is. Because there are fun things here, and I want to do them all! I want to be here with the people I’ve met, and they want to be here with me! We’ll fight for what we want, and not anything is going to stop us!

And you see just panels of Koharu and Estelle walking with Ryu to school, and walking home with some new characters we’ll never know nothin’ about! Shige and Ryu in baseball clothes, and the girls at some the game, and……..things we will never get to see. Because Shonen Jump went and CANCELLED it. And then we jump like 10 or some odd years to when Koharu releases the final monster. And this, which would have been a MAGNIFICENT FIGHT worth 5 or 6 chapters with 3 aftermath chapters………all that in one f*cking narration from Future Ryu. And we just see the WHOLE TEAM UP AGAINST IT: Ryu, Koharu, Shige, Sai, Gohaku, Furuka, Estelle, and Furuka………ALL POWERED UP TO H#LL AND BACK!!!!!!!!! LIKE……………WHAT THE F*CK HAPPENED?!?!?!?!?!?!?! I didn’t expect this series to be long; 100 chapters, 120 AT THE MOST. 23? Unless the mangaka, Daijiro Nonoue, just wasn’t feeling the series and wanted to go back to the drawing board for another series; this was CANCELLED.

And they look SO AMAZING, TOO. Koharu looks so confident, Sai has a crown over his head and a giant Nyoibo, Gohaku has his lightning nyoibo back, Ryu turned his into a bat(Like we knew he would), and………UGH. The monster looks horrifying, sure. But………I’d be more scared if this group rocked up to me! Ryu just takes a stance, and swings. Next scene is just a baseball……flying. And that’s the f*cking ending of the series. I have no clue when you’re seeing this, so I might have added to this by then. I…..I just gotta go sulk for a minute; I’ll be back.

Okay, I’m back. W see a bunch of stuff that could have been chapters all to themselves. We could have had a whole arc where Ryu and Sai teamed up to defeat a monster, and see if Koharu accepted him as her “other brother.” But no; no, it’s all confined to “Some day” dream sh!t. They most likely weren’t gonna do all 100 tales; I don’t think they would be able to do that without it getting stale. At best; 25-30 of em, with the others just being off handed remarks handled by other members of Tokaishu who we’ll never meet now. We could have seen how Shige ended up in this line up, or Koharu in school. I’d of LOVED a chapter of that. I know some people say this story is more character driven story, and it seemed like it was going to be.

I can’t believe this is the end; I was so excited to continue talking about this series. But this is the end……… Is this how people felt when Bleach and Naruto ended? This is how a series ending feels……..I just wish I felt it the right way. Later.