Dragon Ball. Also several members of the demon side assisting in Gyumao's resurrection are more like honorable villains as they don't often cause trouble for Sanzo's party and usually find themselves teaming up to take on a worst enemy threat. The first half mostly features the Sanzo group thwarting whatever "demon of the day" threat opposes them with some exploring tragic pasts that each of the group members have to bear. This half also tosses in some rather subpar attempts at humor compliments of the archetypal personalities of the Sanzo party members clashing with one another and having the occasional filler episode with some bizarre predicaments such as a group of scammers impersonating the members of Sanzo's party.
Saiyuki is one of those shounen action titles that tries being cool with the attitudes and vices that our main cast of characters give into as Sanzo and his demon comrades journey west from China to halt the efforts of demon forces to resurrect the powerful demon Gyumao. The series is really loose with faithfulness to Journey to the West with the four members of the Sanzo party having their vices to give into with the older members frequently smoking, gambling, womanizing or drinking and Son Goku depicted to almost always be hungry, no different from the character's depiction from
The second half of the series delves into exploring what the world of heaven is like in Saiyuki when Sanzo's group come at odds with a trio of fallen gods having their own hidden plans with Son Goku's power and the scroll used by Sanzo. These episodes are slightly better as they do introduce the first genuinely serious threat that Sanzo's party has to confront and more light is shed on Son Goku's time while he was in heaven while dealing with prejudice from the other gods for his heretic status, befriending another heretic like himself in the form of Nataku and interacting with gods who are actually past incarnations of the older Sanzo party members. The episodes do have their shortcomings in that they don't explore the final moments of the four while they were still in heaven and that the show still resorts to occasionally slipping in either a "demon of the day" conflict or "comical" filler episode with Sanzo's group.
The visuals to the series are rather lackluster. In spite of the attractive character designs shown with members of Sanzo's group, the Gyumao party and a number of the god characters, lining on character designs were on the rough side and animation was rather lacking at many points since Saiyuki made liberal use of animation shortcuts to limit onscreen movement, this being quite noticeable during action scenes when characters strike battle poses or simple movements in a lazy attempt to depict action. While having a much longer episode run than Saiyuki, Inuyasha was much better looking in the visual department in 2000 with clean details and better implementing its animation shortcuts to create convincingly engaging action scenes.
Overall, I'm mostly indifferent to Saiyuki since it tries being something that I am not too convinced it really is due to the characters and storytelling being mostly cliched in the series, even with the slightly more engaging second half with the trio of gods that Sanzo's party have to deal with. Would only recommend this if you're a diehard fan of shounen action titles.
Last updated Monday, October 05 2015. Created Monday, October 05 2015.
demons go crazy.
The first part of the series follows pretty closely with the original manga. Once it gets into Saiyuki Reload, it is full of fillers that have nothing/little to do with the story line. Most of the fillers are interesting, but if you want to get to the point of the series you should read the manga.
The anime, as with the manga, is full of humor, angst, action, and adventure. The character design is pretty original, and Hakkai has one of the best background stories I've ever seen in a character. The other three have very painful pasts.
The anime is pretty good overall, but I highly recommend reading the manga.
Saiyuki revolves around four guys, Sanzo, Goku, Gojyo, and Hakkai on their journey to stop the resurrection of Gyumaoh. This "minus wave" sent out from this process makes almost all of the youkai
Last updated Friday, March 28 2008. Created Friday, March 28 2008.
when i first started watching the series, i thought i was going to hate it... first, i was pretty annoyed by the character design - it seemed a little... well... splotchy, i guess... but, as i became accustomed to watching it, it grew on me, and i didn't mind it so much... (however, there is one spot in episode 48 where goyjo has no chin, and well, that still annoys me)... and to be honest, the animation in places leaves a whoooooooole lot to be desired... there is a fine art to animating someone's walking pattern, but, this show seemed to skimp on that and just make the frames bounce up and down or back and forth, which, well, still annoys me to.
however, ignore all that... ignore the sappy piano music that plays everytime a dramatic moment is happening, and ignore the fact that the artists couldn't really decide how big, or wide, or pointed they actually wanted sanzo's chin... ignore because the story is completely worth it....
like i said, i was dead set on hating the anime after the first two episodes, but i kept watching, and i'm glad i did, because the story was very, very good
if you see the buddha kill the buddha
if you see your father kill your father
this is the primary emphasis of the story... it's just that between all of the other things going on - the demon war, the hints of shounen ai, the squabbling, cursing, childhood traumas it's very, very easy to forget that point, but then again, it seems easy for the characters - plunged into the same strange mix - to forget it too, so, the focal wisdom works, and it works well...
the characters - though you may not like them at first - do grow on you... between the moody, chain smoking monk; the insistenly cheerful mass-murdering demon; the womanizing, drunk half-demon; and the ever-hungry, ever complaining heretical monkey you really do get annoyed by them at first, and at other points in the story because they are so intent on carrying on the way they always have - they refuse to change or to budge, or to give in in any way - they remain the same characters in the beginning as they do in the end - but, again, considering the focal point of the story, if they did change, if they did budge, then the focal point of the story couldn't hold true... i know... a bunch of philisophical nonsense, but that's what i'm getting at... beneath all the wacky animation and the seemingly simplistic episode stories, there is this much greater philosophy that can be so easy to overlook...
okay.. onto other things...
the characters were well done - very believable and consistent... they are by nature misfits... and the main characters are all very outstanding characters in their own way.... and though i think the original villains were dealt a rather wasted send-off, the villains sent in to replace them were extraordinary so i actually didn't mind the original villains being sent to the depths of the cutting room floor... the story gets really interesting nearly half-way through with the introduction of the war prince as this new villain - the story's no longer about a monk and his strange companions trying to gather a bunch of scriptures, but about the juxtaposition of heaven and earth, about the subjugation of one, or possibly both... (ach, more philosophy.. don't worry, i won't bore you)... so, if you are dissapointed with the first few episodes, just stick with it because it does pick up, and does become a fabulous story...
and it is a very funny series, and in moments very charming - it can be a touch melodramatic, but well, that comes with most good stories... if you don't have the melodrama, you don't truly appreciate the funny stuff, right? anyway... it's definitely a great series, and i look forward to seeing reload and the others...
oh, and another thing that you may want to ignore: in the english dub, though i felt most of the actors did a fantastic job, the one who portrayed goyjo reminded me so much of butthead from beavis and butthead that i nearly turned off the series, but, again, that was something i just had to get accustomed too and ignore...
give it a chance and watch the series, you may be surprised
Last updated Sunday, February 27 2005. Created Sunday, February 27 2005.
5 Eps Reviewed
Drama : Med / High
Comedy : High
Action : HIGH
Sci Fi : None / Low
Ecchi : None
Wow, take an old cartoon called Alakhazam the great (English dub), give each of the cast members some perversion (Goku is a food fiend, the red haired is a Perv, Genzo is an ass), make them all Human, and you have this very good version.
Oh for Animation, looks like they used the Chrono Crusade cast, Genzo looks like a male Rosette and Goku is a dead ringer for Chrno.
What else can I say, I'm too busy enjoying it to fully review it.
Last updated Monday, January 24 2005. Created Monday, January 24 2005.
I'd heard so many great things about this one, and it just didn't deliver. I watched the first five episodes and if it were on tv and I didn't have to pay for it, I'd probably watch more. But, I wasn't impressed and I'm not buying more.
The characters all seem pretty stereotypical, complete with pasted on depth--ie a troubled childhood and the like. The action is pretty humdrum--they natter on endlessly about how cool they are and how cool the enemy isn't, then one of the heroes does his little move and the bad guy disappears.
The only redeeming value is the dialogue. It's remarkably snappy and funny in places. However, in other places it just seemed like the author was trying too hard.
The characters weren't obnoxious, there seemed to be a comprehensible plot, and the animation was competently done--even if I didn't particularly care for the character designs. It wasn't bad, but I just wasn't overly interested.
Last updated Friday, September 26 2003. Created Friday, September 26 2003.
Saiyuki. However, I was interested in hearing how the dub, done by ADV, had turned out...but I'll get to that later. Well here's some more characters for fangirls to slash from here to hell and back again, this time brought to you by Kazuya Minekura.
I had already seen the original Japanese version of
At a glance Saiyuki would probably be dismissed as another Weiss Kreuz clone, aimed directly at fangirls, but that is actually not the case...except for the fangirl part. While Saiyuki certainly contains one of the popular elements used to draw in female viewers, four guys forced to work together for whatever reason, it's a very good show. The overused theme it employs has been used in several prior anime shows to assist in successful marketing. For example, the 'group of guys theme' was used in Wolf's Rain. It was also used in a widely popular show, which I happen to despise, by the name of Weiss Kreuz. Kazuya Minekura wrote Saiyuki pretty well though...well at least better than Weiß Kreuz. The plot is entertaining, at times dramatic, and at other times amusing. Believe me, Saiyuki surpasses Weiß Kreuz in every way.
Sanzo is a human monk who smokes, drinks, uses bad language, and threatens to kill has comrades...repeatedly. He's one of those silent 'leader of the group' stereotypical characters, but a cool character nonetheless. Hakkai is a polite, gentle natured (unless pissed off) demon. He hides his true emotions behind the smile he keeps on his face constantly. Gojyo is the stereotypical cigarette-smoking womanizer of the group...he's also a half demon. As one would expect from a character that exhibits his behavior, he's always compared to Yohji of Weiss Kreuz. Goku is the hyperactive, greedy demon, and also the most immature of the group...again with the stereotypes.
As is always the case with an anime series based on a manga, the manga is always better, and that applies to Saiyuki as well. There were some unnecessary changes made in the animated series, such as the dematerialization of demons.
The character designs all look okay, but Ririn looks like Goku with breasts. The music's okay, I like the song 'Alone', performed by Mikuni Shimokawa...the BMG's all right too.
I had read some pretty bad reviews on the Saiyuki dub before I actually heard it myself. One reviewer said she hadn't heard it, but didn't want to because no American voice actor could act better than Toshihiko Seki...whatever. One reviewer said she hated all dubs because: "People who speak English can't act". That was the most ridiculous review I have ever read, because an American wrote it. Doesn't she speak English too? Where a person's born has nothing to do with their acting skills.
I like the English dub for Saiyuki, I thought it was wisely cast and well acted. Braden Hunt sounds great as Hakkai, and Greg Ayres was perfect for voicing Goku. I liked David Matranga as Sanzo, and Illich Guardiola as Gojyo. I think the main characters were played very well in this dub.
Saiyuki's a good show, and it sells for a decent price, $15.00 - $20.00 per DVD. Most likely more of Kazuya Minekura's works, like Stigma and Bus Gamer, will get animated too.
Last updated Monday, April 04 2005. Created Tuesday, July 29 2003.
I've only seen the first 14 episodes and episode 40, plus I've read nearly half the manga... and so here's my opinion thus far.
Saiyuki is *definitely* different. It's based loosely on the old Chinese tale Journey to the West, but aside from traveling west, there's very few similarities between the anime and the legend. Some people find the changes disturbing, while others -- like myself -- find them highly amusing and enjoyable. Sanzo, the only human of the main characters, is a monk that seems to live to defy all the laws of monkhood-- except for sleeping with the opposite sex, of course. Hakkai (who's a demon-turned-human) *appears* to be the sanest of the group, but in reality is most likely the most mentally unbalanced. Gojyo is the local playboy, half-demon and half-human. Goku's the child of the group, even though, ironically enough, he's 500+ years old-- he's not a demon like the latter two companions, but he possesses demonic powers that classifies him as a demon.
No one can say that a single one of these boys plays out the comic relief, because all *four* play a huge part in that role. Their interaction can range from tentatively bittersweet to outrageously hilarious.
Sanzo-ikkou -- translated as "the Sanzo party," the main characters -- *seem* like they could be easily classified as a certain "bishounen stereotype" but once you really get into the anime, past the first few episodes, bits and pieces of the stereotype shells are chipped away to reveal an interesting person beneath. Each character has their own sense of humor, from Sanzo's dry humor to Hakkai's more subtle sense of it.
The art is fairly consistant, though it can fluctuate-- and when it does, it can be annoying. The soundtrack is nice, with the "For Real" piano solo being one of my favourite pieces of popular background music. The opening and ending themes, all four of them, are nice (though the first ending theme, "Tightrope," can grate on your nerves after the first couple times) and three of them show off very nice animation (the first ending theme just shows numerous manga images).
Saiyuki isn't for everyone, but people that like interesting, fun characters should like it fairly well. The creator's name is Minekura Kazuya, who I've heard is fairly well-known for her yaoi works in Japan... so you might want to approach this cautiously if you're not into that sort of thing, because hints are scattered here and there.
I personally liked it, and the dub is one of my favourites. The dialogue is changed a lot, and profanity is rampant, but Gojyo and Goku's little fights tend to be more interesting because of this. The VAs are decent-- the original seiyuus are *great*, and fans should be able to recognize Sanzo's voice from Gundam Wing-- Seki Toshihiko, who also played Duo Maxwell. Others might recognize Goku's seiyuu, Hoshi Souichiro, from Lost Universe, and Hakkai's (Akira Ishida) from Evangelion.
Overall, a very fun show. I personally enjoyed it, and I highly reccomend it.
Last updated Sunday, August 31 2003. Created Friday, July 25 2003.
Saiyuki's buyable...that is if you're into the whole human/demon thing.
Hm, I felt like a lot was missing from this anime. Maybe because I've seen so many amazing series out there, I expected a lot more from this one? Anyway, the fight scenes were kinda cut short by simple (and I mean...SIMPLE) single punches, whips, and whatnot. I just hate it when the art's great but the animation's kinda whack, you know? The comedic scenes could've been tuned down a bit, because sometimes I felt as if it was trying a little too hard to be funny. Hmmm, storyline's pretty good...a world of demons and humans living together. Sounds pretty interesting come to think of it XD English version is OKAY but it contains a LOT of profanity; and it sometimes contrasts the original version. Overall I guess
Last updated Friday, July 11 2003. Created Sunday, July 06 2003.