|Relatives||Houmaoh - Father|
|Anime Debut||Saiyuki: Requiem|
|Seiyuu||Yajima Akiko (矢島 晶子)|
Houran (朋蘭) is a hanyou and the heroine who appeared in the movie Saiyuki Requiem. She is the daughter of King Houmaoh, but became the servant of Go Dougan. She is the love interest of Gojyo in the movie.
While outwardly vivacious, Houran is inwardly stricken with woe. She fell from the position of princess to that of a slave in just one night. While before she never knew any shame in her appearance or in her Hanyou birth, she now dyes her hair and tries to hide what she really is. Houran is finally pushed to the breaking point when Go Dougan orders her to kill Sha Gojyo, one of the members of the of the Sanzo Party, and the only other half-breed she has ever met. She collapses into sobs before Gojyo, crying out, “I can’t just do it anymore! I can’t go on living at the expense of others! I’d rather die than kill someone!”
Dougan, who had been a human, had wished to become a youkai by slaughtering a thousand other demons - the same transformation that Cho Hakkai went through. Therefor Houran carries the guilt that her life, terrible as it is, was bought by the blood of all her people.
Houran is also very clever. This is clear in both how she first beguiles the Sanzo Party into the trap Dougan has set for them and then, after her resolve is broken, how she saves Gojyo from certain death. When he is wounded she takes him beyond the buildings Dougan inhabits and brings him fresh bandages in secret and binds his wounds until he is well enough to walk.
She is also tremendously brave. When a distortion of space appears around Dougan’s heart, and Gojyo and the rest of the Sanzo Party are in danger of being sucked into the abyss, it is she that saves them. Putting to use the powers her father left her, she uses the last of her strength to seal the rift. It is not enough. Without a moment’s hesitation she throws herself into the rift, providing the last ounce of power to seal it and save everyone - at the cost of her own life.
AppearanceEditBorn of a youkai father and human mother Houran has the usual coloring of a Child of Taboo: that of crimson eyes and hair. Her hair, compared to Gojyo's in the movie, was a slightly lighter shade of red. Before Dougan wiped out Houmaoh’s clan, Houran had no need to hide or be ashamed of her taboo coloring. However, when she is introduced at the beginning of the story, she had dyed her hair green to hide the shame of her birth, as it has been impressed upon her by her new master, Go Dougan.
However, this dye is not permanent, and washes out easily enough, shocking Sha Gojyo when he sees it, who then challenges her about hiding who and what she really is.
Houran wears a modest oriental dress, as well as pants. The dress had a high collar, with the fold of the dress going from that collar to her armpit. The dress had long sleeves, and a long slit up the left side, which revealed the black, comfortable pants she wore underneath. She also holds much of her hair up in a bun with an ornate hairpiece. The rest of her hair spills well past her waist.
Houran is the daughter of Houmaoh, a youkai who ruled over his clan justly and kept the peace by casting illusions upon his enemies, and of a human woman whom Houmaoh loved dearly. Thus, in effect, she was raised as a princess, and was treated with such love by her family and such respect by her subjects that she might never have known the taboo of her birth and of her red hair and eyes.
However, one month before the beginning Saiyuki Requiem, Go Dougan came to her father’s court, won her father’s trust and, when he was given lodging for the night, slaughtered not only Houran’s father, but her entire clan. She lost everything in that one night. Then, as if this devastation was not enough, Dougan buried a talisman within Houran’s still breathing chest, making her a shikigami. While she was still alive, her soul became dead. She became the slave of her clan’s murderer.
Houran’s relationship with her father, Houmaoh and her people was one of love and innocent devotion. By the same token, her relationship to Go Dougan is one of loathing and shame, both at him, and at herself and what he had told her she is – taboo, a shikagami, one unfit to live, yet by some twist in nature, still alive. Alive at the expense of the thousand other of her people who died before Dougan’s blade reached her.Sha Gojyo - A man she never counted for. Houran was resolved on executing Dougan’s plans without feeling, as if she truly were a corpse. She had lost her will. She had nothing left to live for. Yet Gojyo, the first half-breed that she has ever seen aside from herself, reminds Houran that she is indeed alive. He was the first man, the first person, in one month’s time to give her a care. But everything between them is based on unfulfilled desires. The one time they make to kiss they are interrupted by an impostor Hakkai (Dougan). They care for each other. They are connected. But it is not enough. Gojyo is not able to save her from her death. Yet at the end, her last words are to him… “I wanted to tell you… Thank you Sha Gojyo.”
Houran's "Return"EditIn Saiyuki Reload Gunlock there appears, in Episode 08: Red Haired Woman, a character that is a sort of continuation to of Requiem's Houran. Her name is Kougyoku (which, in English, translates to mean 'Ruby'). She, like Houran, is a half-breed. She, like Houran, is an unwilling minion for the forces of evil represented by an oppressive male villain. She, like Houran, falls in love with Gojyo and, like Houran, dies to save him. Even their hairstyles are similar. Among their differences is the fact that Kougyoku and Gojyo do kiss, and then even spend the night together. Another difference is that she dies in the more commonly presented fashion of jumping between Gojyo and the malignant weapon that would kill him, killing her instead. While Kougyoku's character is different from that of Houran, desiring as she does to stay with her villain rather than escape him, her story is a clear fruition to the unfulfilled relationship between Gojyo and Houran, as she experiences with Gojyo all that Houran never had the chance to experience.
- While written ‘Houran’ in the credits, in both the Japanese version and in the English dub her name is pronounced ‘Houlan.’
- Kelli Cousins, who voices Houran in the English dub, was given the role after voicing Hakuryuu for all fifty of the Gensoumaden Saiyuki episodes.