I love this, because Sanzo is still feeling the fear he felt before and you can clearly see it on his face. Tbh I don’t really like to read comments such as: Sanzo is cold and doesn’t care about anyone but himself, which is obviously not true.
Saiyuki Reload V07 C34. The first time I read Reload, I didn’t really think much about this panel. I mean, I did screech and flail and want to cry, but it’s only now that I noticed that Sanzo actively grabbed Goku and dragged him close (or moved towards Goku himself). And then he pulls out his gun to shoot anyone who comes close.
When Hakkai and Gojyo arrive and try to help Goku, Sanzo just stands there, staring at them. It’s not that he doesn’t give a fuck, it’s that he’s still trying to process what happened. I don’t think it’s ever really occurred to him that he might lose Goku. After all, he’s pretty much the strongest in the group — he’s Seiten Taisei.
But I think that it’s his hand that really gets me — it’s clutching the back of Goku’s shirt as if he’s afraid that Goku will disappear. That says a lot about how he feels about Goku. In a romantic sense or a fatherly sense or a friendly sense, he really does care.
Was his reaction helpful or rational? No. But I think Sanzo’s emotionally stunted, and therefore ill-equipped to handle something this shocking. Hakkai and Gojyo fared better, but I think we have to consider that they didn’t see it happening in front of them — they arrived after the fact.
I didn’t screech or flail this time around, but I kind of stared at my laptop for longer than a panel with no words actually warrants.