|Mansion of Marionettes|
|「からくりの館」 - Two Faces|
|Series name||Saiyuki Reload Gunlock|
|Written by||Korie Tomonaga|
|Directed by|| Shuuichi Hirogawa|
Animation Supervisor: Hisashi Shimokawa
|Story board by||Nobuyoshi Ishidaira and Tetsuya Endou|
"I'm glad for you Shudou. I'm sure your old man is waiting for you in heaven."
- Gojyo to Shudou
Mansion of Marionettes is 12th episode of Saiyuki Reload Gunlock.
In pursuit of a vanished Sanzo, Hakkai, Gojyo and Goku arrive at a mansion. There, they find a devil who steal beautiful men's faces one by one - a demon puppet obsessed with beauty. They say that even dolls can have souls. Do you believe in such things?
The Sanzo party stop by a shop. Goku, Gojyo, and Hakkai enter to buy supplies while Sanzo and Hakuryu are left outside. The monk is about to light a cigarette, when all of a sudden a doll appears in front of him. When the three return, they are greeted by a panicked Hakuryu and a hastily discarded cigarette. They proceed to drive away, towards the mansion where Sanzo was taken.
Meanwhile, Sanzo sits in a room full of dolls, empty eyes staring unseeing at the television in front of him. A doll appears behind him, commenting on how beautiful his face is, when the rest of the Sanzo party arrive outside the mansion. The gate opens, and they enter, welcomed by a courtyard full of stationary dolls. While they were walking, a doll's head turned, and Goku gets a feeling that someone had their eyes on him. Gojyo says that it's creepy. Goku asks him if he’s scared, and Hakkai smiles at them eerily and says, “Look, the dolls are laughing at you.” Terrified, Gojyo and Goku embraced each other.
The doll who kidnapped Sanzo, soon shows himself, telling them that he will not let them enter the mansion, and that they should leave if they don’t want to die. He laughs, and the dolls on display attack them. The three defeated them, when another doll appears and calls to them to follow her. The dolls that they defeated earlier begin to move again and so, left with no choice, they follow.
The new doll introduces herself as Junhua, and tells them about the puppet who kidnapped Sanzo. His name is Shudou, and he was once a young boy who lived with his father, a master puppet maker, at the mansion. His father was very devoted to his puppets, and feeling neglected and unwanted, Shudou killed himself. His spirit possessed a doll, and he killed his father. He became obsessed with beauty, like the beauty of puppets' faces, and began to steal the faces of beautiful men.
Meanwhile, Shudou is about to take Sanzo's face, when he decides to have some fun with the rest of the Sanzo Party. When Hakkai and the others enter the mansion proper, Shudou controls Sanzo like his own puppet, making him shoot at his companions, so that they will know how it feels to be betrayed by a loved one.
Unfortunately for him, the rest of the party are unperturbed, since Sanzo shoots at them on a daily basis anyway. They decide that the only way to get Sanzo back to normal is to beat him to his senses, and proceed to attack him, not pulling any punches. Shudou is confused at how the 'friends' could try to hurt each other that way, and his confusion turns to alarm when he realizes that they might end up scarring Sanzo's face.
After a pretty strong hit that sends him crashing out into the courtyard, Sanzo comes to his senses. Angrier than ever, Shudou is about to attack, once again summoning the courtyard dolls, but then Junhua takes control of his body. They realize that Junhua and Shudou were one and the same puppet. Junhua tries to tell Shudou that his father really loved him, but still Shudou refuses to believe.
A tug-of-war ensues for control over Junhua's body. In the end, Junhua reveals to him that his father had begun to work on a very special puppet, which was her. The reason the puppet was so special was because it was made in Shudou's likeness, with his face. Shudou denies it, and Junhua insists that he take off all the layers of faces to see her true face - Shudou's face. Sanzo does, and Junhua's words are revealed to ring true, as the puppet's face matches the one on a picture of Shudou and his father.