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01 January 2011 @ 03:37 pm
Tokyo Babylon re-reading: Vol 5  
Okay, this is the first of the year, so let's start it startng the re-reading and, once you're done, comment about it here.
Remember to put a spoiler warning if you're going to discuss anything that's about other manga or that happens post this two stories and try to be as talktive as you can!
It won't be that much fun if we all comment with a 'CLAMP did a nice work on this...' ^_-
(Rules and info about where to find the TB material are here)

Quick summary of what we're going to re-read if you want to spoil yourself

Vol 5: Old

Subaru makes friend with a old man...

Vol 5: Karaoke

Which better way to distract Subaru from depression than dragging him to a Karaoke?

Vol 5: Rebirth

Subaru's cold lead him to a rather terrible situation.


Come on, don't be shy, post what you think!
 
 
 
rose_erato: foreverlove seisubrose_erato on January 6th, 2011 07:52 am (UTC)
The little bird on Subaru's hat was so cute to see and I liked that we got to see Subaru's love for animals explored a little more here. I understand Subaru's reasons for becoming a zoo keeper and not a vet. I can't imagine having to disect an animal in order to study them. This was actually one of the reasons why a friend of mine decided not to become a vet. She's a huge animal lover but she couldn't bring herself to disecting an animal; plus, she knew she wouldn't have the heart to put an animal to sleep. Anyway, before I digress even further, I always enjoy seeing Subaru interacting with animals. It's a shame that he doesn't do that in X.
Hokuto's outfit screams Alice in Wonderland to me. I rather liked it alot. I also notice that we see more Hokuto and Seishirou scenes together than we see Seishirou/Subaru scenes. I really wish CLAMP would've given more scenes to Subaru and Seishirou spending time together.
Seeing Seishirou seeing in the Karaoke chapter is always fun to see. Here's a big bad assassin singing love songs. I just love it. This is a chapter that I enjoyed reading very much. Seishirou meantions that Subaru has a lovely speaking voice, which isn't the the first time for someone to say that about Subby, and I'm guessing at this point Subaru's voice is rather androgynous since he's often mistaken for a girl. Of course it is in this very chapter where Subaru is mistaken for a girl by the ghost woman in another karaoke box. Before I go on about that, there's something else that we see again and that's Subaru wondering about what Seishirou really is like. I have to wonder if he obsessed over this about Seishirou even though the reader doesn't see that happening in the pages of the series. I want to say the Subaru's just trying to convince himself that Seishirou's a good man, but if he was then I don't think he would've been in the state we'll see him in later. I think Subaru wants to know more about Seishirou and I don't think that Seishirou's been necessarily forthcoming about himself. Anyway, I enjoyed the girl teasing Subaru about Seishirou being his boyfriend. Subaru is so cute when he's denying it and blushing the whole time. Seishirou groping Subaru at the end was a wonderful sight to see as well. Seishirou obviously knew about the female spirit and he further confuses Subaru when he aknoweledge that Subaru did good work.
I'm convinced that Seishirou flats out confuses Subaru.

I'll leave off here for now and tackle Rebirth later. Good Night!
J.J. Blue: SxSjjblue1 on January 16th, 2011 04:40 pm (UTC)
I agree! Subaru's so very cute!
Yes, I understand the reasoning behind it but, if I don't remember wrong, in the beginning he wanted to become a vet... I would have liked to see how he changed his mind (maybe a talk with Seishiro?)
In X he interacts a little with Inuki, if I don't remember wrong... but it's more like it's Inuki that interact with him than vice-versa. In X Subaru mostly cut himself from the rest of the world...

I AGREE! We need more Sei/Su! (though I guess it's too late to complain... :P)
Seishiro has lot of funny aspects when you get to know him. He has an invidiable sweet tooth, he talks with penguins, he's a fan of old love songs...

I figure Subaru's voice hadn't fully changed yet. I don't really know how much time it needs to change but I guess his is something that hadn't developed yet in a fully male tone.
I think Seishiro didn't really let Subaru find out much about himself and Subaru was too polite to push on the issue. However I guess he perceived it as Seishiro keeping at distance and feed suspects he didn't want to have about Seishiro (a bit like in the Shoten story). Probably even Subaru had gotten Seishiro isn't completely transparent otherwise he wouldn't wonder so much about which kind of person Seishiro really is.
Well, Seishiro's way to act must be very confusing for Subaru who's a rather streightforward person while Seishiro is a lot more subtle...
rose_erato: foreverlove seisubrose_erato on January 19th, 2011 04:52 am (UTC)
I agree that Seishirou is quite the subtle person and that must confuse poor Subaru to no end. Subaru isn't a pushy person like Hokuto so it wouldn't be a surprise if he didn't ask Seishirou any personal questions because of that.
J.J. Blue: SxSjjblue1 on January 19th, 2011 10:13 pm (UTC)
Exactly. Su wouldn't want to make Seishiro uncomfortable or look like he was nosying into his life so, if he were to guess Seishiro didn't want to tell, he would let it drop (which Seishiro would likely interpret as disinterest from his part... -_-).
I guess he would act like in Shoten 6, when he makes 2 personal questions (well, they weren't overwelmingly personal... I still think Seishiro could have answered...) to Seishiro and when Seishiro switches topic he figures the man doesn't want to answer and doesn't question him anymore...
J.J. Blue: SxSjjblue1 on January 9th, 2011 04:00 am (UTC)
Part 1
Warning: Spoilers for TB and X...
In case you haven’t noticed I’ll mention that now Seishiro took Hokuto’s place on the posters included in the volumes. This will go on until the end. Yes, I know it was also done due to what the posters of Vol 7 have to represent but I think it also means Seishiro’s slowly growing in importance for Subaru.
Tokyo Babylon Vol. 5 – Old
What I hate the most about Old is that, like in the OAV, the secondary characters have space than the main ones. There’s to say Subaru is EXTREMELY adorable here… but I would have liked more to see him interact with Seishiro instead than with an old man whose name is never said.
Also I’m not particularly fond of the whole talk Subaru, Hokuto and Seishiro have at the end. Although their words are true somehow it feels like the stereotypical things one would say over that matter. Also, in a family, you should take care of the oldest elements not just because they have a big knowledge but because you love them, shouldn’t you?
What Sachiyo does to her father is wrong not because he carried some valuable knowledge but because she should have loved him and, due to this, she shouldn’t have wanted to hurt him.
On another side I wonder… how all this connect to Seishiro? Yes, weird question, I know, but I wonder if he’s like his mother who was waiting to die despite being young. He’ll die at 34, which is definitely a young age and, considering Setsuka’s prophecy, maybe he thought that, if Subaru were to win the bet, he would have died at 25, which is even younger. Was he too scared to get old? Or merely was concerned about it because an old Sakurazukamori can’t accomplish his duty? Oh well, we’ll never know.
Tokyo Babylon Vol. 5 – Box
I find rather interesting how Seishiro seems to be fond of the Karaoke and knows how to sing. I kind of find a little sad to see Subaru that plans just to sit and watch as Seishiro and Hokuto sings. And I swear, doing this re-reading I keep on noticing how Hokuto keeps on pointing out the money factor, though this time, she uses it to try to force Subaru to sing (instead than saying Seishiro had used his free time to take him there). Poor Subaru complains he doesn’t know the songs or how to sing… I wonder if this means he doesn’t like to listen to music or he doesn’t have the time for it… poor kid.
Seishiro says Subaru has a really nice voice so he should manage. Subaru is embarrassed but doesn’t blush. Is he getting used to Seishiro’s compliments?
Notice how Seishiro keeps on saying he’s old. 25 ISN’T OLD! (and no, I’m not saying it because I’m older than 25, not at all!) Is he joking or does he feel old already? Or he’s already showing signs of whatever will bring him to believe dying (killed by the one you love) is a cool thing?
By now they have started X, so they knew they had to keep alive both Seishiro and Subaru but this volume is mostly about fear of death, and, well, rebirth, who will have its own importance in X (the eye plot, remember) so I wonder if Seishiro’s jokes are more than what they look.
Anyway Subaru’s about to be forced to sing a song he doesn’t know when Seishiro sends him to buy his cigarettes. Note how Hokuto points out Seishiro never smoked in front of them but Subaru (kind, sweet Subaru who cares for Kamui his own way) had no problems to smoke in front of him (there’s to say Subaru, differently from Seishiro, in the manga is a chain smoker. Prior to Seishiro’s death, unless he’s fighting or working, we never see him without a cigarette). When Seishiro will find out Subaru smokes he will feel the need to inform him it’s bad for his health (and on Rainbow Bridge he’ll stop him from smoking and then will steal his cigarette).
And now we get one of the few serious chats between Hokuto and Seishiro. I don’t really know what Hokuto wanted to prove forcing Subaru to sing a song he didn’t know and to pay penitence, Seishiro would have likely put up an act and asked him something nice anyway but Seishiro answers her with a tone that’s different from his usual joking one and, for a moment, they face each other. Then Seishiro slips back in his usual joking mood.
rose_erato: subseiloverose_erato on January 9th, 2011 04:53 am (UTC)
Re: Part 1
We do see more scenes with Hokuto and Seishirou together rather than Seishirou and Subaru spending time together. I would've loved to see them on more "dates."

Hokuto is a very pushy person, especially when it comes to Subaru. She means well, but sometimes I'm surprised that her pushiness didn't send Subaru running in a different direction away from Seishirou. I guess since she knew how much Seishirou means to Subaru she didn't have to worry about that.
J.J. Blue: SxSjjblue1 on January 16th, 2011 04:45 pm (UTC)
Re: Part 1
Me too! I think CLAMP neglected a bit too much the main characters of the story... ;_;

Ther had been people saying that Subaru would have managed to progress more with Seishiro hadn't Hokuto be around. I guess being teased by two people, one of whom was the one he was slowly beginning to crush over and pushed so hard was making him even more nervous.

But I also think if Hokuto hadn't pushed him Subaru might have kept too far (however it's entirely possible Seishiro would have tried even harder to get closer to him and this would have create much more interesting situations but that's just speculation...)
rose_erato: foreverlove seisubrose_erato on January 17th, 2011 05:56 am (UTC)
Re: Part 1
It would've been interesting to see Seishirou pushing harder to get closer to Subaru. Although, in a way it's like Seishirou is doing things the proper way by getting Hokuto's approval for his relationship with Subaru. Well, I think that's what Vet Seishirou would say.
J.J. Blue: SxSjjblue1 on January 17th, 2011 09:30 pm (UTC)
Re: Part 1
I agree with you (also sometimes I think Subaru wouldn't have minded if he were to push a little harder here and there... :P).
Well, yes, he can be oddly propers at times...
rose_erato: blushing subarurose_erato on January 19th, 2011 04:55 am (UTC)
Re: Part 1
Agreed --Subaru wouldn't have minded if Seishirou pushed harder at times. Subaru is so painfully shy that I think he would've need that.
J.J. Blue: SxSjjblue1 on January 19th, 2011 10:09 pm (UTC)
Re: Part 1
Exactly. Besides he needed to feel important. I don't mean Seishiro had to force him but... well, make him feel a little more wanted. With the way Seishiro jokes and doesn't press the subject too much, Subaru might feel like the whole courting was a joke.
J.J. Blue: SxSjjblue1 on January 9th, 2011 04:01 am (UTC)
Part 2
Though his answer can have a more subtle meaning. Wait for a moment and we’ll get to it.
Subaru’s raced out to get Seishiro’s cigarettes and, as he’s buying them, he thinks Seishiro saved him and that, anyway, he wouldn’t have asked him something bad. Then he wonders which sort of person is Seishiro. It’s nice to see Subaru wondering about Seishiro because it denotes his interest for him but… why is he wondering about which sort of person Seishiro really is?
When you’re with a person for nearly a whole year (the bet is going to end soon) and this person behaves always in a certain way with you, you persuade yourself that’s how that person really is, either that or you think that person is hiding something from you or that he’s trying to deceive you, acting kind. Subaru shouldn’t be wondering how he really is, because the answer should be immediate if he were to believe Seishiro was a honest person. Seishiro’s kind, polite, in love, gentle and generous, at times silly and very patient and tolerant, wise and with a certain knowledge about how humans work, although he has a vague pessimistic side. This is how Seishiro presents himself and this is how Subaru should believe he really is.
If he thinks there’s more, that there’s a real Seishiro behind this, it means he has some suspicions about him hiding something, about his changing topics not being ‘casual’, about strange happenings not being just coincidences. Though he seems to refuse to accept it, be it out of politeness (it wouldn’t be nice to suspect Seishiro to be completely false) be it out of denial. However it’s interesting how, in front of Hokuto, he doesn’t express his doubts about Seishiro. When Hokuto points out they don’t really know how Seishiro is, he doesn’t say ‘you’re right’ but he too is wondering how Seishiro really is, a sign he has realized he doesn’t know the full truth about him (oh Subaru! You’ve no idea…) Also, in the past, he had associated him with the boy he had seen in the dream so it possible he has a bad feeling even if he doesn’t directly face it.
We move to his meeting with a ghost. A ghost who exchanged Subaru for a cute girl! (also please note how Subaru smiles adorably when he says the cigarettes are for Seishiro and how he goes back on blushing.)
Now note how Subaru chooses an approach different from Hokuto with the foreign girl. He asked questions although he also apologizes for being intrusive and declares himself ready to back out. The twins are really opposite in character, aren’t they?
Anyway the one Subaru is facing is a ghost who has incidentally be cruelly dumped by the man whom she loved and that could care less about her and was with her merely to ‘pass his time’ (also, he smoked in front of her, even if she had asked him not to. I wonder if the twins had asked Seishiro not to or he came up with the idea on his own. I don’t think Subaru would have asked him).
Okay, so doesn’t the ghost’s story sound suspiciously like what Seishiro is about to do with Subaru? Telling him it was all a game and that he couldn’t care less about him and that it’s ended (and also that now he’ll kill him but okay, this hadn’t happened to the ghost…).
And now we’re back to the sentence Seishiro said to Hokuto. We’ll find out Seishiro knew about the ghost, that he sent Subaru there ON PURPOSE. Was he trying to warn him? To steel him?
Out of care? Not necessary. Maybe more out of fairness. Maybe he wanted to steel Subaru up since each time something went wrong Subaru seemed to crumble. Maybe he wanted to show him how many jerks there are in Tokyo. Maybe, whatever was going to be the end of the bet, he didn’t want Subaru to end up comatose. In fact he doesn’t seem to get why Subaru took it so badly, after all in Tokyo people betray people continuously (maybe they do Seishiro but not all of them betrays people to the extent you went…)
We come to another parallel.
The ghost’s words. To her it was all a game, she didn’t even particularly like that man because he wasn’t that pretty or cared about her. He was irritating also and she has started all this persuaded she could quit when she wanted.
rose_erato: subseiloverose_erato on January 9th, 2011 05:35 am (UTC)
Re: Part 2
My impression always has been that Seishirou chose not to smoke in front of the twins. Not that he cares about either being exposed to second-hand smoke, rather it's apart of his guise as a gentle and caring vet.
J.J. Blue: SxSjjblue1 on January 16th, 2011 04:47 pm (UTC)
Re: Part 2
I don't know, in X it looked like he disliked for Subaru to smoke. But it could also be he wanted to show like he cared. Which is fun because Subaru REALLY cares for Kamui but, in the beginning, he has no problem smoking int of him.
rose_erato: foreverlove seisubrose_erato on January 17th, 2011 05:53 am (UTC)
Re: Part 2
It's such a contridiction, isn't it? Subaru truly does care about Kamui, but doesn't have an issue smoking in front of him, while Seishirou (who supposedly doesn't care) didn't smoke in front of Subaru. It's possible that Seishirou doesn't like it that Subaru is smoking; I certainly wouldn't be surprised. Now does Seishirou realize this is a different story.
J.J. Blue: SxSjjblue1 on January 17th, 2011 09:37 pm (UTC)
Re: Part 2
Yes, it's weird. There are some explanations:
- subconsciously Seishiro already cared for Subaru on a certain level (after all he hadn't killed him first glance) so he doesn't want him to be affected by passive smoke
- Seishiro is trying hard to be the perfect boyfriend so he does even what normal people wouldn't think to do, probably because he had no idea what is normal.
- Seishiro thought Subaru wouldn't have liked to see him smoking. After all he kept from Subaru all the things he thought Subaru would dislike in him. Maybe he couldn't hide the smoking factor for some reasons but, at least, he didn't show himself smoking in front of Subaru, in an attempt to show he was the boyfriend Subaru would like to have.
- Maybe Seishir's fake person is how Seishiro would like to be. Seishiro is charmed by Subaru's purity so, maybe he wanted to build up an equally 'pure' person. Of course he knows he's all but that, but maybe it amused him to pretend he was a better person.
J.J. Blue: SxSjjblue1 on January 9th, 2011 04:01 am (UTC)
Part 3
To Seishiro too it’s all a game, he likely finds some sides of Subaru irritating, he’s persuaded he can quit when he wants and maybe thinks Subaru’s care is nothing special, something he gives to everyone but not to him SPECIFICALLY (though Subaru IS pretty). In the end, like the ghost, he will commit suicide.
Another interesting fact. For Subaru no one can truly understand another person’s pain (he said so in the previous volume too). But this also means one is alone with his own pain which, I guess, is how he felt. Though, although he respect that woman’s feelings and decisions, he tries to push her to a more positive course.
*sighs* Sadly he will be forced to discover for him there’s no such thing… -_-
Now we get to the extremely cute moment of Subaru returning back, realizing he forgot the cigarettes and Seishiro hugging him from behind. Note how Subaru isn’t embarrassed by the hug but by the fact Seishiro whispered in his ear (he doesn’t blush when Seishiro hugs him but when he whispers…).
And note how Subaru realizes Seishiro might be knowing about the ghost but… drop the whole thing. Oh, Subaru, sometimes you should do questions… -_-
Tokyo Babylon Vol. 5 – Rebirth
We get some interesting background info! Subaru, from when he was a child, is prone to get sick. I wonder if it’s a side effect of his power + the work he does. And love how Hokuto is very sisterly in all this!
Meanwhile Subaru meets Yuya. I guess it’s just due to his luck that Yuya isn’t suffering of a banal cold also. -_-
Seishiro joins the team. Subaru’s worried about bothering him, but it looks more like Seishiro and Hokuto are having fun (note how that’s the second time Seishiro calls Subaru ‘beloved Subaru-kun’). Subaru gets embarrassed. We don’t get to enjoy this for long as Subaru reports he met Yuya and Seishiro suggests maybe he’s here for a dialysis.
Once at home Subaru’s still worrying for Yuya. I’m kind of sad Seishiro and Hokuto left him alone in his room to chat among them. Sure, their topic isn’t one to be discussed in front of Subaru and Subaru likely needed rest but still… -_-
Okay, so Hokuto is still worrying for Subaru. There are lot of interesting elements in her words. How she began worrying about him from when they were small because Subaru was too sensitive to over people’s suffering and how, while he’s good at taking care of others, he fails at taking care of himself.
There’s also three noticeable things she says that interest Seishiro:
- Subaru would never manage to remain emotionless, he would carry with himself the feelings and the suffering of the others forever
- Subaru, at the moment, DOESN’T care for anyone in particular. Ergo at the moment Hokuto thinks her brother doesn’t love Seishiro.
- If someone were to betray Subaru’s affection Hokuto’s sure it would kill Subaru.
It’s interesting how Seishiro has to point out Subaru cares for Hokuto, who waved it off with a ‘but I’m his sister’.
Now let’s pause for a moment and state some things. By this point Subaru should have been already in love with Seishiro. He evidently hadn’t noticed it, but it seems the same can be said for Hokuto (I guess she’s about to realize it soon…).
CLAMP implied Seishiro at the end LOVED Subaru. In his own twisted and nonsensical way maybe, but, if Setsuka’s premonition is true, and he could be killed only by the one he loves, he had to have loved Subaru.
rose_erato: foreverlove seisubrose_erato on January 9th, 2011 05:51 am (UTC)
Re: Part 3
I do find it interesting that Subaru's prone to fevers and such. I believe that it is because of his spiritual powers. Maybe his body is trying to compensate for the spiritual magic he uses. Hokuto also meantions that ever since they were little she feared Subaru would die because he's too pure. Hokuto worries alot about losing Subaru but yet she doesn't give much thought as to how he would he feel if (when) he loses her.

Subaru's obviously in love with Seishirou at this point, but since he doesn't realize it yet I think perhaps this is why even Hokuto doesn't realize it either. She's clearly surprised at his reaction at the end of Rebirth. Dispite this, I'm still surprised that Hokuto hadn't realized that her brother was in love. Later on she tells Subaru that she understands his heart better than he does, but does she understand his heart 100%?
J.J. Blue: SxSjjblue1 on January 16th, 2011 04:52 pm (UTC)
Re: Part 3
Same here. After all Subaru became head at 9 so I guess back then he should have had already an amazing power that likely was too big for him to deal with. Also, likely there's the always guilty, never enough caring for himself factor that might weaken him.

Yes, it's rather painful how she doens't seem to realize she too is important for Subaru (it's funny how Seishiro will point it out and she'll wave it off with an 'I'm his sister...'. So what? Being his sister doesn't mean his love for you is less important, Hokuto-chan...)

I don't think Hokuto understand so perfectly the people as she seems to believe otherwise she wouldn't have used that spell and told Seishiro what it caused. I guess she assumes she does but her understanding isn't complete. And yes, I too think she hadn't grasped yet how big is Subaru's love for Seishiro. She thinks he can grow to love Seishiro, yes, but likely she hadn't get how much or that this is alwayady happened.
rose_erato: seishiroxsubarurose_erato on January 17th, 2011 05:49 am (UTC)
Re: Part 3
The way I looked at it was that Hokuto meant since she was Subaru's family that it's natural for him to love her. But yes, it's possible she doesn't realize his love for her isn't any less important.

This is one of Hokuto's tragedies. She realized that Subaru would grow to love Seishirou, unfortunately she failed to realize that he was already head over heels in love with Seishirou.
J.J. Blue: SxSjjblue1 on January 17th, 2011 09:42 pm (UTC)
Re: Part 3
Yes, I think she meant that but somehow, in the way she said it, it sounded like she thought natural family love wasn't that big thing and maybe Subaru will love Seishiro more than Hokuto but this doesn't make his love for her unimportant or secondary.

Exactly. She failed in reading well her borther and Seishiro's hearths.
Sometimes I wonder if, with all her throwing Subaru to Seishiro, was trying to cause Seishiro to fall in love with Subaru more because her idea 'I wanted you to fall in love with him even though I knew he was a dangerous person' is a bit too naive if she didn't have a back up plan to stop Seishiro from being dangerous...
rose_erato: foreverlove seisubrose_erato on January 18th, 2011 05:27 am (UTC)
Re: Part 3
One of the great things about TB is that these characters aren't simple to figure out. Maybe Hokuto is a bit naive because, despite knowing Sei was dangerous, she still tried pushing the two together. She did say she didn't realize things would turn out the way they did. Maybe in someways she thought Seishirou wouldn't truly harm Subaru.
J.J. Blue: SxSjjblue1 on January 19th, 2011 10:08 pm (UTC)
Re: Part 3
I think so too. I guess she had figured Seishiro was looking at Subaru in a way that was different from the one he used for other people so she had naively assumed he wouldn't harm him... or that Subaru would manage to defend himself anyway... or that, at least, he wouldn't fall so deeply in love, just mildly in love. In other words something that could be handled, not something that would turn him nearly mad with grief.
I guess she was merely too optimist kind of like when she tried to become friend with Kakyou. If she had no way to help the foreigner girl she had even low chances to help Kakyou get out from where he was and then decided to die without considering the effect it would have on Kakyou either (even if he hadn't been shot he would have lost the only friend he had so far...)
She didn't mean bad, she just didn't fully valued the consequences of her actions... but well, she's young and this is understandable...
J.J. Blue: SxSjjblue1 on January 9th, 2011 04:02 am (UTC)
Part 4
Why I’m saying this? Because I don’t think it’s possible he madly fell in love for him in X, where he happened to meet him only twice (the second time being the one in which Subaru had killed him), spending with him little to no time.
So Seishiro too feel in love for Subaru during the year of the bet, was even denser than Subaru and didn’t realize or denied it when the bet ended and, more or less, realized it only when Subaru lost an eye.
[Only in CLAMP mangas you learn the best way to have your significant other realize he loves you is to lose an eye… -_- and also that giving him/her the remaining one is much more meaningful than giving a diamond as present… -_-]
So, now I wonder if denial/Seishiro, who had listened Hokuto rather attentively, isn’t secretly annoyed at the fact she hadn’t said ‘you’re special for Subaru also…’ (I know I’m weird but the idea amuses me).
Also, according to a CLAMP interview Seishiro wanted to remain forever embedded in Subaru’s memory so the part about Subaru forever remembering others must be significant for him. And maybe, if the whole loneliness theory is true and he felt his own kind of lonely, maybe he expected to be Subaru to care for him and reach for him (sweetheart, if that’s what you wanted a bit more of honesty on your side would have been required… -_-)
Anyway note how Seishiro is anticipating the day of the end of the bet and how he notes that he and Subaru are polar opposite (also CLAMP gives us fanservice with sexySeishiro but since at the moment I’m angry at them I’ll ignore it).
Time goes on and Subaru gets always more involved in Yuya, also getting on himself extra work despite his lack of time and the fact he just got sick.
Meanwhile Hokuto has a date (yes, ANOTHER! Kakyou, really, I’m sorry for you!) and Seishiro catches his chance to spend time with Subaru without her (We love you when you’re like that Sei-chan). Note how he almost let his mask slip in front of Subaru, implying something about a darker reason due to the one he became a vet. Subaru hears it (look at his face) but Seishiro dismisses it and Subaru let it drop.
Note how Subaru is embarrassed because Yuya calls Seishiro in such a way it imply he’s old.
We’re also introduced with the fact that Yuya’s mother is going mad with grief, guilt and worry and due to this willingly to step over anyone else. Yes, her pain is terrible but she’s also out of control.
The doctor show no professionalism tattling out all her drama to Seishiro and Subaru. Probably he’s the same who told them about Kazami’s conditions in the OAV. If it wasn’t because I suspect there’s Seishiro behind that incident, he would be the first in my list of suspected for the mess with the press in the next volume.
And now one of the scenes I love the most about TB. Seishiro hugs Subaru from behind and Subaru doesn’t freak out… he let himself be hugged and seems happy/comforted about it. Sadly they’re talking of donating organs and, due to this, continuing life in another body. Which is what Seishiro will do giving his eye to Subaru.
Anyway, I particularly like this hug. It’s not just it’s sweet, it has a tad of sweet possessiveness kind of like Seishiro was telling ‘mine and only mine. No bits of Subaru are going to be given to other people’ or maybe thinking if Subaru were to win the bet it would be nice to keep on living inside him… being closer to him much more than Hokuto will ever be.
Note that he doesn’t give us his opinion about Subaru gifting strangers with bits of himself…
Anyway this pushes Subaru into the idea of giving one of his kidneys to Yuya… which is nice but… no one is thinking of compatibility problems here?
rose_erato: subseiloverose_erato on January 9th, 2011 05:58 am (UTC)
Re: Part 4
There's no doubt in my mind that Seishirou's in love with Subaru. I just think that he couldn't bring himself to admit that he lost so he completely denies it. I do think that the reason why Seishirou does what he does at the end of TB is because he wanted to be rest assured that he will always be in Subaru's heart and memory. Of course he thinks Subaru hates him, but hate is better then no feelings at all.

I agree that the hug Seishirou gave Subaru is sweet and possessive. Just look how he wrapped his arms around Subaru from behind and how he has Subaru's arm trapped within his own. I also like that Subaru isn't freaked out at all by this and is quite happy.
J.J. Blue: SxSjjblue1 on January 16th, 2011 05:01 pm (UTC)
Re: Part 4
More than to admit he lost I think couldn't quite understand it. Like Subaru who hadn't realized it. It should have been even more difficult for Seishiro, who had been pretending to love Subaru and so is probably used to assume everything he does is a faked effort he doesn't even realize when he's being honest. Also I think he hadn't realized Subaru for him was... well, different from others from the beginning or I don't think he would have made a bet with him.

Maybe he expected love to change him completely... or to hear bells ringing once he would fall in love. Since he's deep down the same person as before and anyway he's not capable of pure and completely selfless love, he doesn't even recognize his own feelings.

I guess he too needed to see Subaru hurt by someone else to get it. It's not just because 'only he can hurt Subaru'. Many perfectly sane mothers have no problems reproaching their kids when they do something wrong but feel annoyance if someone else does it. It's instinctive. You think you know what can be done and said with the one you care about but don't you think others know as well.

He's persuaded the harm he does to Subaru is justifiable (don't ask me how, I think what he does to him is horrible but I guess Seishiro would disagree) but Yuya's mom's stabbing attempt can't be allowed. Not Fuma's blinding actions.

I think Subaru would have liked that sort of things. Belonging to someone, being the reason for his happiness, being needed, wanted, kept close.
His family isn't really affectionate so I think he would have liked to have someone who was possessive of him around.
rose_erato: Subarurose_erato on January 17th, 2011 05:37 am (UTC)
Re: Part 4
Yes, I agree that Subaru wouldn't mind having someone to be possessive of him, epspecially if that person is Seishirou.
J.J. Blue: SxSjjblue1 on January 17th, 2011 09:52 pm (UTC)
Re: Part 4
Exactly. That's too bad Seishiro ends up showing he's possessive of him completely in the wrong way...
J.J. Blue: SxSjjblue1 on January 9th, 2011 04:02 am (UTC)
Part 5
You’ve to make a test to know if you’re compatible before giving a bit of you to another person or you’ll do more damage than good.
And tests take some time.
Drama however strike before Subaru could do something. Yuya feels sick, his mother goes raving mad and think it’ll be a smart idea to rip a kidney out of Subaru.
Subaru thinks she feels better if he lets her stab him, not even thinking for a moment that:
- if you stab someone there are going to be consequences because you go against law
- if you get stabbed randomly you can get killed or, anyway, damage the kidney you wanted to donate. No kidney no donation.
- a sleeping spell would have calmed her MUCH more.
Seishiro joins in just in time to get stabbed in Subaru’s place. On the eye. Then immobilize Yuya’s mother and he’s rushed in the operation room. Subaru’s first under shock then grief stricken nearly to the point of madness.
Now, I love the drama of the scene but CLAMP didn’t have the drawing/plotting skill to pull it out right. First. When you want to protect someone you either pull him away or protect him also taking care to cover yourself (when Yuya’s mother attack Seishiro a second time look at Subaru protecting Hokuto; he places in front of her but gives Yuya’s mother his back). In short it was more logic if Seishiro were to be stabbed in the back than on the front.
Also: Subaru is a head shorter then Seishiro. Either he remained with his eyes close and ready to be hit for minutes, allowing Seishiro to place himself in front of him and Yuya’s mom to change her aim, or the woman, who was aiming at Subaru, would never manage to hit Seishiro’s eye…
Also I don’t get how she strike since first it seems she’s running toward Subaru, aiming to stab at him, then she’s in front of Seishiro and looks like she has sliced him with a movement from bottom to top, that looks extremely unnatural and that should have also cut Seishiro’s cheek to manage to damage his eye… or his eyebrow, or both. If the movement was instead from left to right or right to left she should have cut Seishiro’s nose too. The eye is inside a cavity. With a slicing blow you can’t get just the eye and nothing else.
It would have worked better with a stabbing movement , which again would have missed Subaru’s completely and would have likely also managed to damage Seishiro’s brain.
But, what’s even odder is that an injured Seishiro can stop her in a moment. Why hadn’t he stopped her before? With a spell (he had used spell in front of Subaru so why not now) or with bare hands since he can do it just fine?
J.J. Blue: SxSjjblue1 on January 9th, 2011 04:03 am (UTC)
Part 6
It feels so weird the Sakurazukamori completely disregard not only his own safety but also the use of his brain to the point he didn’t even activated the normal self preservation instinct, the only explanation I can think is that the instinct to protect Subaru was stronger than the instinct to protect himself. And no, I don’t believe that much to the thing he was playing a role. He was a trained assassin, his instinct was to strike who wanted to strike him, in a moment in which he acted out of instinct, if he were to also play the role of Subaru’s protector, his instinct would have suggested him to either attack the woman, stop her or, at least, to protect himself. I guess with this CLAMP wanted to imply despite the fact he’ll deny it, that he felt something for Subaru (come on, Subaru put aside, normal people just doesn’t waste away a perfectly working eye to protect someone else they don’t care about just for a bet they kept on saying they won… though I guess Seishiro used it as excuse) but they just didn’t build the scene right.
CLAMP’s obsession for eyes didn’t pay well, it would have worked better if Seishiro got slashed in the back or, at least, in the arm (and lost part of its mobility to create the drama).
Also… I love Subaru grief stricken and I would really see the scene animated and hear him crying but… would they allow him to keep on screaming and banging against the operation door like that in a hospital? Would they? He banged so hard he hurt himself and blood soaked his gloves and stained the door. Door that was closed really well. I didn’t remember them to have a key… -_-
However, despite all its faults, I love Rebirth quite a lot… it has some of the best TB moments… I just wish CLAMP had drawn the last scenes a little better… -_-
rose_erato: foreverlove seisubrose_erato on January 9th, 2011 06:04 am (UTC)
Re: Part 6
As sad as it is, I loved Subaru's reaction at the end. For the first time we see how emotional and full of love he is for Seishirou. I'm actually surprised it wasn't at this time that Subaru didn't realize his love for Seishirou. I guess everything was too chaotic for him to sort out his feelings.

This last scene is one of the scenes I so desperately want to see animated. Really, I want to hear his anguished cries and I probably would sob during the whole thing.
J.J. Blue: SxSjjblue1 on January 16th, 2011 05:02 pm (UTC)
Re: Part 6
I think so as well. It wasn't subaru in that moment could rationalize much... -_- poor kid...

ME TOO! They really should mke a TB anime serie!
CherriRinicherririni_chan on January 10th, 2011 02:40 am (UTC)
Ah, god we're getting closer to the end. I'm a bit worried about that...

Anyway, The Old man's story is defiantly one of the ones pre-ending that had the most impact on me. It obviously impacted Subaru pretty badly too, I mean being covered in someone else’s blood will do that I guess.. I loved to see Subaru with those birds, it was adorable. That scene really helps us understand his love for animals.

The karaoke scene is quite cute. As always, Hokuto seems to cross a few lines. I mean, even the extremely naive Subaru seemed to get what she was hinting at with her way of forcing him to sing. I've noticed a lot in this re-reading that Subaru spends ALOT of time wondering about the kind of person Seishirou-san REALLY is. It kind of makes me sad to read those parts... Anyway, I kind of wonder about Seishirou's motives in this chapter. Even Subaru wonders if the reason Seishirou really sent him out was too meet that woman. And I guess it probably was, which makes Seishirou MORE confusing. I kind of find it cute whenever someone mistakes Subaru for a girl ..LOL. Anyway, he helps out the woman and I really love the part when he gets back. (Because who DOESN'T love it when Seishirou hugs Subaru). Still as a chapter, It's a rather confusing one.

Rebirth:

Here we go. We're getting close to the end now. Subaru is sick, and Hokuto -as always- is trying her best to take care of him in her own way. And, Subaru, as always very quickly makes friends with yet another good person subject to bad things. He seems to meet alot of those. I did find It kind of sweet how Hokuto brought Seishirou to see him, though. Subaru really is incredibly sweet, becoming so emerged in this poor kids life, to the point where he plans to give up his own kidney. That discussion he has with Seishirou about doing so was rather sweet, however I felt like it was referencing some of the ...events in X, a bit. We also get more of Seishirou displaying his knowledge of human psycology. I always find that disturbing LOL. Now, here's the interesting part. CLAMP bringing out there 'Show them you care- get your eye ripped out' tactic. They suuure love eyes. And I'm not even sure WHY Subaru was willing to let that woman cut him. I know he wanted to make her feel better, but doesn't he know that that would have ended badly for the both of them?! And then We have Seishirou stepping in. Now, I've always wondered why he did that. I think that by this point he probably DID love Subaru in his own, twisted, possessive way. But, being isanely emotionaly underdeveloped and relentlessly stubborn. I doubt he could bring himself to admit that. Even to himself. Anyway, I've always kind of thought he worried more about other people harming HIS Subaru than people harming him. And so, one slashed out eye later we have Subaru crying and beating his hands against a door. I can't even look at that without wanting to cry.

Also, Why does Seishirou keep saying he's old? XD
J.J. Blue: SxSjjblue1 on January 16th, 2011 05:40 pm (UTC)
Subaru&Birds is love!
And yes, the old man's death must have affected him. It's kind of sad, Subaru always end up interacting with people who're seriously damaged (Mitsuki, Yuya, Mai's mom) or with people who will end up damaged (the old man, Kuniko, again Yuya). It's like he can't have the chance to interact with something normal who'll stay normal.

Yes, I guess Subaru would have liked to understand Seishiro. Even after Seishiro betrayed him, even after Seishiro died, Subaru will be there trying to understand him.

My guess is he wanted to prepare Subaru to betrayal. No matter if one think Seishiro wanted to win the bet, wanted to lose it or wanted it to end up being even, I think Seishiro didn't want Subaruto get comatose as Subaru instead did. He wanted a battle. He even gave Subaru lot of time to recover instead of immediately striking him while they were in his illusion and gave him time even afterward, when Subaru escaped his illusion. I think Seishiro wanted a battle back then.

Yes, Subaru seems to have the worst luck at picking up friends. He's like a magnet to unlucky people...

Yes, the kidney discussion made me thought of X as well. By now CLAMp was also planning X so it's possible they had already decided Seishiro was going t become an eye donor.

CLAMP is obsessed with the eye thing which sometimes get so overused it's comic.
I think Subaru has some serious problems of self worth which are also what will cause him to let Seishiro hurt him later in the story. He really doesn't know how to take care of himself, doesn't give to his own pain any value. But, after all, he's being an Onmyouji, a work he doesn't like at all, instead than pursuing his dreams. I think part is due to his character but also he had been raised to put himself in second place compared to other wills. He even let Hokuto dress him and doesn't complain even if he thinks her style is a bit too eye catching. Or Hokuto and Seishiro pull him where they want. He just places in second plan himself and his wills.
He can be stubborn and we know it, but only on few important things and he often try t compromise (he keeps on studing but he also keeps on working, which cause him to srifice his studying time A LOT)

Yes, by this time Seishiro must love Subaru. Otherwise he wouldn't have stepped in and he wouldn't have time to fall in love with him afterward.

yes, Subaru crying so desperately is an heartbreaking scene.

No idea but 25 isn't old!
(unless Sakurazukamori are supposed to have a really short lifespan?)