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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  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 1. 2016 04:33 AM)
    Regarding making a living off Patreon: more power to them. If there is really such a demand for hentai and whatnot, then makes sense for people to supply that need. Only regret is that I haven’t came up with a scheme to make life easier for myslef.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 1. 2016 04:30 AM)
    @Kaiser: despite me liking Tue genre and the cast, I couldn’t get into Inherent Vice. I’m not really familiar with Pynchon either, so that could be it.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 1. 2016 04:29 AM)
    @SuperMario: have you browsed the Pentamerone fairytales? They are absurdly brutal in some cases. Not giving much away, but I actually preferred this to the knight in shining armor cliche. Times were tough for women in the 15th century, it’d be doing them a disservice to sugercoat that fact.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Sunday, May 1. 2016 02:30 AM)
    @Bam: Meant to ask you, are you a fan of Thomas Pynchon’s work?
    I re-watched Inherent vice today which was based on a book by him, complex noir thing, made more sense on second viewing and was pretty funny. Figured you’d be into it given its stoner fiction origins.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Sunday, May 1. 2016 02:23 AM)
    Some people literally do live off patreon though on drawing hentai art though as their sole income.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Sunday, May 1. 2016 02:18 AM)
    @Bam: I know that film by name but I will be watching it either now or tomorrow.
  • SuperMario
    (Sunday, May 1. 2016 02:10 AM)
    Matteo Garrone directed Gomorrah (2008), Reality (2011) which all were screened at Cannes, as well as this one. I liked Tale of Tales well enough, the only thing that I don’t like about the film is the treatment of women. They paid their prices just because of their lust.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 1. 2016 01:30 AM)
    I ran into the weirdest movie last night: an English speaking French-British-Italian movie called Tale of Tales. Loosely based on the Pentamerone series of folklore, it was a pretty dark yet vibrant-looking collection of fairytales, slimly connected by a main plot. I don’t know much about this director Matteo Garrone, but he has a unique style.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 1. 2016 01:25 AM)
    @K-off: I think Patreon recipients mostly fail during the first year. Just as with Kickstarter, you only hear of a very few that result in anything worthwhile; and pointing at 2-3 successes in an ocean of failures doesn’t really imply effectiveness.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 1. 2016 01:21 AM)
    @Kaiser: Kaufman and Hoffman were a match made in heaven; also weird that they rhyme with each other.
    The only Kaufman match-up that might get close would be him and Spike Jonze working on a Nicholas Cage flick. That man is really a mystery to me.

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