Madou Soshi (episode 4)

SPOILER WARNING! If you haven’t listened to episodes 1-3, this review will spoil things for you, even in the thought section where I try to avoid them. I suggest reading the previous Madou Soshi review first.


“Are you talking about the stone wall with more than three thousand rules? There are way too many! I can’t read them all!”
“What era are you talking about? Nowadays it’s four thousand and ninteen of them.”
“Noooo! Let me leave!”

Gi Musen (CV: Tatsuhisa Suzuki) woke up in a new body he had received to avenge the original owner. After doing so by chance, he hurries away to avoid Ran Bouki (CV: Satoshi Hino). However, he meets the man again regardless and things don’t quite go the way he expected them to.

Season 1 Short: “No” (1 minute 20 seconds)
Musen complains, more or less like a child, and all Bouki says “no” to everything like a parent, getting actually angry a couple of times.

Season 1 Episode 4 (27 minutes)
Bouki brings Musen to the Ran clan, but he doesn’t want to be at Unshin no Fuchisho and be controlled by their 3000 rules. Ran Keigi (CV: Hiro Shimono) points out to him that they’ve increased. Together with Ran Shitsui (CV: Yuusuke Kobayashi), he also tells Musen that Bouki brought him there for his own good, as Kou Chou (CV: Hikaru Midorikawa) has been on the hunt to find Iryou no Rouso, and anyone using the same techniques, and Chou already targeted Musen now for being one of many who used the same kind of cultivation as Iryou no Rouso. Though, Keigi finds it funny that he suspects Musen, as Musen’s flute playing is horrendous. Musen can’t help but have to point out he can actually play the flute.

Ran Gishin (CV: Toshiyuki Morikawa) comes and asks what they’re doing in front of the gate, and notices Musen. Since it’s unusual for Bouki to bring guests, he wonders who he is. When Musen is about to speak, Bouki uses the silencing spell, so he can’t make a fit and get kicked out. Bouki deflects the question and they find out Gishin is going to the Kin clan.

Gishin mentions to Bouki that he had given what they brought to their uncle and they’ll do a ritual the next day, and Bouki says he’ll be there. Gishin then makes a point of saying that the silencing spell shouldn’t be used on a guest Bouki’s happy to bring. You can here Keigi say “huh?” in response to Bouki being happy. Musen can finally talk again, and Keigi hesitantly points out that Bouki doesn’t look happy at all, getting scolded by Shitsui for it. LOL. Gishin leaves and Bouki tells them to bring Musen to his room (which Keigi and Shitsui are shocked about).

Musen is led to Bouki’s room and is told to stay there and not even thinking of trying to leave. Walking around he notices it smells like Bouki, and then he finds a hidden compartment with alcohol, so he drinks some. While he’s drinking, he overhears a few from the clan who mention the cold spring. He realises that if he steals a pass from someone bathing in the spring, he can leave.

He goes to do so, but while looking for a pass he notices that the one bathing has around thirty whip marks on his back. Musen doesn’t realise who it is at first and wonders what kind of sin the man must have committed to being so severely punished. He then notices a brand on the chest that is the same he got back when he was alive and ends up so shocked that he’s noticed by Bouki, who draws his sword. Musen runs away as soon as he can, and soon sees Shitsui and Keigi. He tries to use it to his advantage to get kicked out by saying he didn’t see Bouki naked, and he didn’t peek and didn’t plan on it, sounding like he was caught in the act. (I mean he was, but you know…) Keigi’s clearly offended, but when Bouki arrives, he says it’s fine.

Musen is once again taken to Bouki’s room and is told to sleep as it’s time for the Ran clan to do so. Bouki will sleep in the other room. Musen starts wondering if Bouki’s figured out who he is, but they were on bad terms before Musen died, so the way he acts doesn’t make sense. He also wonders what kind of crime Bouki, who’s uptight and was the perfect student back in the day, could have committed to receive such harsh punishment as the marks on his back.

After failing to fall asleep, Musen sneaks to steal the pass Bouki has but fails as the man was still awake. Bouki tells him to get off of him. He once again tries to use the opportunity by saying Bouki should have expected it, but the man just makes Musen stay there like that all night, to Musen’s surprise and horror.

In the morning (or midday), Shitsui and Keigi come to wake up and he says he can’t get up and Shitsui asks if something has happened and he tells them Bouki just did whatever he wanted last night and now Musen can’t become anyone’s bride (ie, get married). He’s told by Keigi to leave and take his noisy ass with him. Musen asks what they did to Ringo-chan and then runs off to find his (stolen?) donkey, which he finds among Bouki’s rabbits. He wants to roast the rabbits, but is told that hunting within Unshin no Fuchisho is prohibited. Ringo-chan quiets down once given an apple, and he explains he took the donkey from the Baku house when Keigi asks. Musen asks if he really can’t roast the rabbits and Keigi tells him they’re Bouki’s, but they sometimes help taking care of them.

The alarm goes off that some ritual has gone wrong. Musen and co runs to see what happened and upon arriving a clan member stumbles out and tells them Bouki told him to run away. Musen rushes in and finds it’s the demon arm they’ve tried to get to rest in peace, but it refuses and even Lan Qiren (CV: Tarusuke Shingaki) falls unconscious. Musen joins in trying to calm the vicious arm. He realises after one melody — which didn’t help and they need to calm the arm instead — that he didn’t fake sucking at playing the flute so he plays the other like shit (My ears! It’s so bad!) and Qiren wakes up to tell him he sucks before passing out again. After the arm has calmed down, it’s decided Bouki will leave towards northwest immediately, and Musen will go with him, eternally thankful he finally can leave Unshin no Fuchisho.

Names
Wei Ying/Wuxian: Gi Ei/Musen (also Iryou no Rouso)
Lan Zhan/Wangji: Ran Zan/Bouki (also Gankou-kun)
Lan Yuan/Sizhui: Ran Gen/Shitsui
Lan Jingyi: Ran Keigi
Lan Huan/Xichen: Ran Kan/Gishin
Lan Qiren: Ran Keijin
Gusu: Koso
Cloud Recesses: Unshin no Fuchisho

THOUGHTS

“Did something happen again?”
“It’s not ‘something’! I was assaulted by your Gankou-kun!”
“You! You’re spouting nonsense again! You will really not be forgiven this time!”
“It’s true! He just did whatever he wanted last night. Now I can’t get married!”

First of all: Yes, I took liberties in translating the quotes. I wanted them to be natural. That’s what translators do, thank you very much. Now to the thoughts…

I have one complaint: This is too short!

That said, this is another wonderfully voiced work. The personalities really came through and the music is fantastic and sets the mood wonderfully. The only thing that I absolutely don’t like about the music is the purposely crap flute, but the point is for it to sound like shit, so mission accomplished.

Overall I feel like it follows the novel quite closely, but now it’s been a while since I read the novel… Regardless, I think anyone who has read the novel can appreciate it the voice acting, sound effects and music.

I really like how Musen/Wei Wuxian tries to leave with all his might after Bouki/Lan Wangji brought him to the Unshin no Fuchiso/Cloud Recesses after he said LWJ was his type. It’s hilarious and Suzuki’s voice acting really relays that feeling. The same goes with the bride line. Just thinking about that one makes me laugh. And to see (or hear) LWJ talk and be all soft in his own way after WWX tried to avoid him and then was caught by him during the Smiling Goddess arc and despite WWX’s best efforts to get himself kicked out, both warms my heart and fills me with dread. Sharing voice actor with Toma (from Amnesia: Memories and Amnesia Later) doesn’t exactly make me go “Aww, how cute” or “Haha, he’s such a tsundere!” but rather “So… when will the cage come into this?”.

This is definitely worth more than the 1000 yen I paid for it and the next two episodes. It might be about half an hour of entertainment, but it would likely have been more expensive if it had been a different publisher. And, as mentioned, I paid for three episodes so that’s actually 333 yen for this. That’s like… 3 dollars or something, isn’t it? For such a high quality work it’s a steal.

What would you like to see a review of next? Let me know in a comment!

And don’t forget to vote on the current poll on the home page!


News & Updates
I’ve never had this section before in my posts, but since there are a bit to share, I thought I’d share it like this.

Next, I have a bunch of books to read, but The Untamed and Madou Soshi episodes 5 and 6 will be reviewed soon (yeah, right). Yep, we ain’t stopping with the gay men theme of 2020, nor my obsession with Wei Wuxian. I hope to get The Untamed reviewed next of all the WWX Mo Dao Zu Shi stuff, but as I mentioned, I have a bunch of books so you might see a few book reviews for the monthly post, but also any other Sunday, this summer. Some books are kid lit, some are requests for a new kind of review that will take longer to finish, but will be very different, and some are neither of those.

I’ve also gotten back to my magical girl/mahou shoujo genre research again. I ran a poll with a small number of votes but an overwhelming yes about having a second questionnaire.

Expect a new, updated questionnaire some time during summer! If you replied to the previous one, all the better. I will use the data to compare how the knowledge and impression of mahou shoujo have changed over the past four years.


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