Posted by psgels on 7 March 2009 with categories: Genji Monogatari Sennenki



Short Synopsis: After a six-month period of mourning, Genji returns to the palace for a visit.
Episode Rating: 7,5/10 (Good)
Okay, so while lots of stuff happened, this mostly was a building up episode. First we get Aoi’s funeral, in which Genji, his father and step-brother say goodbye to her. He gets visited by her in her dreams, and in the meantime we see that Lady Rokujou has found out that she’s been unconsciously killing the women Genji slept with, though it seems that she’s not willing to accept the fact that she created the murderous ghost. Six months after Aoi’s death, Genji returns to the main palace in order to spend some time with the emperor and that’s where he sees Murasaki back, who seems to have grown up from when we last saw her. It really makes it difficult to keep track of all of the different characters when they change faces like that! When I watched this episode for the first time I thought that the little girl that appeared later in this episode was still Murasaki.

But instead it seems that that little girl is a new character that Genji is asked to take care of. If I understood correctly, she seems to be of noble blood, though her mother has died, and Lady Fujitsubo’s brother seems to be her father. Later we see Genji and Murasaki talk for a bit, where it’s interesting to note that Murasaki and the narrator seem to be sharing the same voice actress. Since the original novel was also written by a Murasaki, this seems to be the way of the creators of the anime to give a small tribute to her. The episode ends with Genji making love with Lady Rokujo. I didn’t quite catch the reason why and its implications, but the next episode should shed more light into that.

And since I’ve praised the graphics of this show often enough, I’m going for something different now: the music! It turns out that they also did the soundtrack for xxxHolic, and it’s indeed the same subtle combination between folky songs and modern synthesizers, though the soundtrack of Genji Monogatari is much more dreamy than the one from xxxHolic. Still, it’s a really varied soundtrack: there are so many different songs in here, and yet none of them feels out of place.

4 Responses

  1. naixil says:

    i think the little girl is still murasaki. it seemed more like a past recollection on genji’s part.

  2. Anithin says:

    I haven’t watched this episode yet and I have a very poor understanding of Japanese, but I read Waki Yamato’s manga adaptation of Genji and the translated version by Royall Tyler. Like naixil, I believe the girl and Murasaki is the same person. In fact, Murasaki is the daughter of Fujitsubo’s brother with his minor wife. When she died, Murasaki’s grandmother the nun took her in because she was afraid Murasaki would be mistreated by her stepmother. When the nun died, Genji kidnapped Murasaki and raised her himself. He more or less married her a while after Aoi’s death. I have yet to see if this episode covers that point.

    And I think Murasaki the narrator is the same with Murasaki in the story. I believe I read in the animesuki forum that Murasaki the narrator says that she does not know when they first meet (the scene with the sparrow) how meeting Genji will change her life. But yes, I agree with you that having Murasaki as the narrator can be a tribute to the author because Murasaki in the story seems to be a central figure in the middle/late part of the story in her own way. In fact, it was said that the fictional Murasaki was so well-liked by readers in the time of the author Murasaki that the author was nicknamed after this character when she became a lady-in-waiting. (Murasaki Shikibu is not the author’s real name but her pseudonym.)

    By the way, I’m looking forward to the next chapter and your review. Whenever I check your post on Genji, I can’t wait to download and watch the raw. :)

  3. Mikoto says:

    Look, psgels, I really appreciate the fact that you’re about the only person regularly blogging this series and giving it the love it deserves, but would be possible for you to avoid making things up or making wild guesses when you don’t understand what is being said in the show?

    It’s so totally obvious that the narrator has to be Murasaki (the character) when the narrator clearly said this was the first time she met Genji after a scene where Murasaki met him, and has made a number of other very obvious comments in or after scenes involving Murasaki. The others here already explained about the little girl, so I don’t need to get into that.

    To say that “it seems that she’s not willing to accept the fact that she created the murderous ghost” is quite some understatement, after Rokujou attacked the ghost with a dagger in her dream… Genji made love to Rokujou because she was moving away with her daughter because of the daughter’s appointment to the Ise shrine. They had a complicated relationship, but it was still love and Genji couldn’t let her leave without a goodbye, which is what that was all about. Frankly, I don’t understand how you could not get that, the visuals alone conveyed the goodbye nature of the scene. I very much doubt that the next episode will shed any more light on Rokujou, it seemed to be about Fujitsubo based on the preview.

    Sorry for the ranty tone, but it bothers me when people talk about stuff without understanding half of it. You write good reviews, but doing away with this tendency to confabulate what you miss would make them even better.

  4. Cornelia says:

    For solving this murasaki diskussion theres a good hint: wikipedia.

    “The Tale of Gemji (Genji Monogatari) is a classic work of japanese literature attributed to the Japanese noblewoman Murasaki Shikibu in the early 11th century, around the peak of the Heían period”

    See, it makes perfektly sense, that the narrator is Murasaki who wrote the novel and named one person after her. (don´t know why, maybe wiki will tell you..)

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  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Feb 6. 2016 01:59 AM)
    It’s difficult to put into words but essentially while the first game isn’t good, it does work as a tool for introducing and endearing you to the characters. Then Unlimited sets down the rules of the new world. And finally alternative proceeds to kick your ass into next Tuesday.
    That’s sort of why I don’t think it would have the same effect if it was an anime. VNs allow you to get a more personal connection with the characters.
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Feb 6. 2016 01:55 AM)
    It’s not quite the same. It’s more like there are things in extra which seem insignificant but turn out to play an important role later. It wouldn’t really work the same if you did it in reverse order. Character history is a bit different too as each game is essentially an alternate universe. The character histories in extra are different from those in alternative.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:38 PM)
    And also remember how Darker Than Black had a big jump between the main series and Gemini of the Meteor. They later made a 4 episode OVA that covered the gap, and although you knew the outcome it was still entertaining; or at least more than the Gemini one. There’s merit to non-linear chronology and storytelling, but it is usually very hard to pull. The audience is intrigued by secrets that can later be uncovered, although in anime the pay-off is not always substantial.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:32 PM)
    I don’t know, the audience usually only needs very limited information to figure out dynamics and histories between the characters.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:27 PM)
    A 13 episode series would work for the second title unlimited. But Alternative is a pretty long visual novel. You need at least two cours to give it justice. Making extra an OVA could work but you do need it for alternative. But it’s not an optional part of the trilogy. It needs to be read first, so that events later have a greater impact. Personally I am not even sure Muv Luv can even work in another medium.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:12 PM)
    That might compress things, but I think a good screen-writer can fit pretty much any VN in 12-14 episodes (covering just the main route).
  • Bam
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:07 PM)
    @Aidan: then the best solution would’ve been to make a two cour season covering the 2nd and the 3rd book. Have the cours air two anime seasons apart, and in the middle have an offshoot short OVA that covers the 1st book, but has a more harem comedy feel to it. Think Full Metal Panic and Fumuffu.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 01:34 PM)
    @bam, Muv Luv has the problem that most of its brillence lies in the third title. But in order for the third title to have the same effect you need to read the first two. Successful or not, I doubt theres animation studio willing to go all in and adapt the full trilogy. There’s also the issue of the first title being a really mediocre harem.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 12:48 PM)
    just a glimpse at the tip of the iceberg of reasons why y’all need a PS4 for the upcoming year:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3Hz8eXWHNY
  • Bam
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 08:09 AM)
    Why they didn’t adapt the original Muv Luv novel or Alternative is a mystery to me. Wasn’t the VN really successful? Whats with these offshoot shows instead of doing the real deal? They are avoiding it for some reason.

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