I love this volume. All of Sanzo Ikkou is doing what they do best, except for Gojyo, because he's not really in it a lot, but he's really cool when he is. Goku's being adorable, Sanzo's using his excellent judgment to make sure nobody's being stupid, and Hakkai's being Hakkai.
Athena always felt vindicated that Hakkai hates Hazel so much in the manga, because when we saw him in Gunlock, she hated Hazel with a mad passion. And then Hakkai points out that he might hate Hazel because they're so similar, and we're like, "NOOOOOOO!!!! You're NOT like Hazel, you're NOT!!!" Because Hazel has a great many traits that we don't like--saying he didn't really mean it when people call him on doing something wrong, claiming that he was only doing something because he felt it was polite, etc. etc.
Dad used to always tell us that usually when someone doesn't like someone, it's because they see so many of their own faults reflected in that person. I think it's interesting that Kazuya Minekura tends to point out so many things Dad used to tell us (before all the craziness) in Saiyuki. Like when Koumyou tells Ken'yuu that if he's so bored with life it must be because he's a boring person.
I love Goku!! But you all knew that. I just really like the one scene after Goku had been training, and he goes in for breakfast, and then he gives Gat an apple and says, "It's not like you can't eat, right?" It shows that Goku likes sharing the stuff that he loves with everyone. It's kind of an interesting contrast with when he's fighting Kougaiji back in volume 3, and he tells Kougaiji that obviously he's fighting for himself. But the scene with Gat and the apple is one of many scenes that show that what makes Goku happy is seeing other people happy with him, so sharing the apple was for himself as much as it was for Gat. So cute!!!!
I also think it's great that Gat ate the apple, even though he doesn't need food. And suddenly I'm wondering how his digestive system works... Oh well.
The scene where Sanzo gets the youkai kid to say he doesn't want to die is awesome. I totally want to see that animated. And hear the CD drama. We know there is one, because Kazuya Minekura mentioned it on her weblog. She went to the recording, and she said she cried, and then yelled at herself for crying at her own work. She also says that one of the highlights is Hakkai and Hazel's "cold war talk." We're not sure exactly which scene that is (maybe she meant every time it happens), but from what we've heard of Ishida-san's work, we believe it would be just as chilling and scary as she says it is. (Not that we don't trust Minekura-sensei's judgment, at least when it comes to Saiyuki.)
So now here we are, wanting all the CD dramas that Zero-Sum's got out. Especially the "burial" one. When we move to Japan, they will be ours. The second "even a worm" CD apparently is going to have a free-talk with Minekura-sensei and all the voice actors. I definitely look forward to hearing that... however long it may take.