I forgot I owned a whole bunch of Minekura artbooks until I saw them perched on my shelf behind my Jigglypuff collection. I flicked through them and holy balls, say what you like, but they are nice, nice books. Then I decided, hey, since mum's in Singapore and she'll be buying me Reload #9, I'm in the mood to re-read it all.
And then I realised that I had completely forgotten about Gaiden. Last time I read Gaiden (years ago) there was only one volume which had been incorporated into season 2 of Gensomaden. Everyone knew it wasn't the end, except everyone stayed up to date while I just forgot about it. Until today, when I went and downloaded everything available (chapters 9-33), and found some interesting things...
HUGE SPOILERS IF YOU CARE.
There was something that made me shit a few bricks in chapter 9, which was Li Touten mentioning to Nataku that there was not one, but TWO unclean beings currently residing in heaven. One of them is obviously Goku, and I'm not exactly sure who the other is although I get the feeling Li was just trying to rile Nataku up a little. However, a few pages later, there's a flashback image of a man with his back turned to the viewer. Judging by the cloak though, I'm pretty sure it's Homura. HOLY FUCK, HOMURA! But in the context of the situation, I think they were just explaining what happened to the War Gods and how quickly they were replaced. But in the anime, Homura was widely regarded as a heretic because he had a gold eye. You know what? I'm going to rewatch the anime. I don't remember shit about that guy, except that he made me rage.
ALSO SUDDENLY, SEITEN TAISEI!
Re-reading everything in its entirety made me realise that the Konzen/Goku pairing isn't actually all that credible. Goku's still just a kid. And despite Konzen changing because of Goku suddenly appearing in his life (which would make millions squeal with delight), his attitude still suggests that it's purely platonic. He seems to care a lot more though. And anyway, that's a metric fuckton of homolust 500 years later with him and Sanzo.
But goddamn, chapter 33 is depressing.
Konzen: There’s no guarantee that there’s hope beyond that light we’re heading toward now. You might meet with more suffering there. …But even then, I wanted to put in everything that I have to give, just to tell you - how happy I am to have met you.
While trying to get down to earth (because there's no place in Heaven for them any longer), Konzen and Goku have a showdown with Li Touten. As they're about to make it through the gates, Li starts to close it and Goku, on the opposite side of the gates tries to reach out for Konzen to pull him through. But:
Konzen: ... Go on. Goku. ... You were the one... who reached out to me first.
Goku: Konzen... ?
Konzen: Next time, I promise... I... I'll be the one to reach for you. I'll definitely reach for you. ... Oh... you really are... like the sun."
And the gates slam shut.
... Well, fuck. Cue tears.