Many years ago, humans and demons lived in harmony. But that unity ended when demons started attacking humans and plotted a mission to unleash Gyumao—an evil demon imprisoned for thousands of years. Now, Genjo Sanzo, a rogue priest, must team up with three demons—Sha Gojyo, Son Goku, and Cho Hakkai—and embark on a perilous journey to the west to stop these demons from resurrecting Gyumao and restore the balance between humans and demons on Earth.
Story: 5 (another "Journey to the West" spinoff)
Art: 6 (Pretty above standard fare for its time)
Sound: 7 (English voice acting was impressive don't miss it)
Character: 8 (first male team that didn't make me feel gay)
Enjoyment: 9 (Main characters made this show great)
Overall: 35/50 = 7.0 (Didn't mean to make the score look like that)
Ever since Dragon Ball, there have been a large influx of anime basing themselves on the "Journey to the West" epic piece. It's storyline is perfect for an anime iteration, but then again, any idea can become an anime. Well what I'm getting at is that this is another
iteration based on that epic. And in my opinion, this is the best iteration of that tale that I have seen so far.
It's not historically accurate at all. If anything, it follows the story extremely loosely. I mean the names are partially the same and their personalities match (i.e. monkey, priest, etc) but thats about it. Their opposition are literally monsters and their goal is to reach the west. They use guns and have a dragon that transforms into a jeep. So you can't take this seriously. But there is one thing that this show has and the other anime does not: attitude. The four travelers, Gojyo, Sanzo, Hakkai, and Goku, are all badass and their chemistry between each other are hilariously cool.
Now I enjoyed the English dub of this show simply because the banter between the four was actually more believable in a realistic friendship sort of way. When they make fun of each other it sounds like something I would say to my friends. No matter how much they sound like they hate each other guts and despise each other but when it comes down to it, they will follow each other to the ends of the earth. That is something that is often attempted in anime but rarely executed very well.
All the adventures they encounter are your typical random shonen encounters that they have to overcome. I would have cared less if their teamwork wasn't so awesome and macho even under stressful conditions. No matter what they faced, they still managed to accomplish it in a virile manner.
Overall this show, like many others like it, can not be fully appreciated unless you're ready to accept the fact that its story is very very vague. Secondly, I highly recommend the English dub since they sound much more badass than the Japanese dub and really made this show from okay to pretty darn good.
Saiyuki is one of those animes that just grabs you from the very first episode, and won't let you go, even though, it is an episodic anime. Most of the storylines only take 1 to 2 episodes to tell, as you follow these 4 travelers, sent by the gods, to prevent the reawakening of an old, extremely dangerous demon.
My only complaint about this anime would be the animation. There are a lot of "still shots" used during the battle scenes, but you can overlook that. The animation is also not as clean as I would like to be, but I think, maybe,
it was intended that way, to go along with the story.
The characters are PERFECT. They don't get any better than this. Sanzo, the 'renegade priest' who swears, smokes, drinks, weilds a banishing gun, and has a tongue sharp as a razor. Goku, the lovable little monkey king, who is always hungry, and whiny, but kicks butt during the battles. Hakkai, the soft-spoken, sympathetic demon, with a heart of gold, and a tragic past. Finally, my personal favorite, Gojyo, the drinking, gambling, swearing, skirt-chasing pervert of a water sprite, who just makes you laugh out loud almost everytime he opens his mouth.
All of the characters have a tragic past (with Hakkai's probably being the worst), that is revisited from time to time to help you understand why they are the way the are.
The music in this anime is great, especially the OP songs. I would actually buy the OST if I could find it.
Even though the goal of the entire series is to prevent the resurrection of the old demon, and the entire series works towards that goal, this is basically an episodic anime. Enjoy!! ^_^
What is there to say? For one, Saiyuki has quickly crawled to the very top of my "favorite anime" list, and I don't believe it will be leaving anytime soon.
Story: Based on an old Chinese story, the story of Saiyuki is addicting and entertaining. The simple idea of four total opposites finding a way to travel together on a journey to "save the world" is kind of hilarious. Now, the story itself isn't quite as interesting as the comedy or the characters, but with an "evil" group trailing the Saiyuki boys, a few crazy demons here and there, and a huge secret from the past
on their backs, it does keep you interested to the very end.
Art: The art style for Saiyuki is done in a way that it preserves the original manga style. While at times the drawings appear a little weird (and maybe disproportionate), the overall style is amazing. Each character design is different from the next. I like the art style. It's unique and in a way, beautiful.
Sound: The music for Saiyuki is catchy. Each background song is nice and fits almost perfectly with the mood. The openings and closings are addicting to listen to. As for the voice acting, nothing better can compare (for both Japanese and English). The Japanese version is as good as any Japanese version made, with the talents of Souchirou Hoshi and Akira Ashida (along with many more). The English dub, however, goes almost above and beyond. With Greg Ayres as Son Goku (and in his first major role), Vic Mignogna as Kougaiji, and David Matranga as Genjo Sanzo, the dub itself rocks! Considering it was translated a few years back, the acting beats that of most of the newly translated dubs of the current years (such as Bleach, Death Note, etc.). To finish, the sound for the series is perfect.
Character: The characters for Saiyuki are amazing. With Son Goku (the monkey king), a fiery boy with a knack for being loud and a love for meat buns. . . With Cho Hakkai, the calm and laid-back man with a tragic past. . . With Genjo Sanzo, a priest with no care for following the rules and a cigarette always in hand. . . With Sha Gojyo, a perverted half-demon with a love for smoking, drinking, and woman. Each of the four main characters are unique in their own way. Even the bad guys are interesting (with the Kougaiji group being just as cool as the Saiyuki boys)!!! All in all, the characters are definitely a part of what makes the series addicting.
Enjoyment: Oh, where to start? From the action-packed adventure to the slap-stick comedy that continues throughout the entire series, the enjoyment is absolutely outstanding. The interactions between characters, the awesome voice talents, and the beautiful art style. . . All add up to a great watch that makes you want to finish all 50 episodes as soon as you can.
Overall: The series is amazing, something to watch over and over without growing bored. I might be giving it a little too much credit, but then again, I personally think Saiyuki is one of the best. Hopefully others (such as those who might possibly read this review) will enjoy it as much as myself.
Well, I have to say that this is one of my favorite shows even if it does have some flaws. We open with one of the most epic narrations by Sanzo and then get into the bad ass additude as he attacks Goku. The why the show introduces the characters is actually one of the reasons why I really like this show. We see each character in their ‘element’ so to speak and not all at once. It also doesn’t give us a whole lot of narration about these characters because they don’t really need it this early in the show. We get small tastes
of the personalities, then bring them all together. I do wish that they had a little more information on how the group did meet earlier in the series then they do though. The series seems to believe that we have all seen the manga and since I have not, it makes me feel a bit out of the loop. It is a double edged sword because for me, I want to know more but for others, it can throw them off.
We see that Sanzo is not like many monks around the temple, but we never really see his past until later in the series though we do get a one second glimse of someone who died in front of him as a child. It seems that the only person he really listens to is the goddess but when he is hanging around the other characters, I can sort of understand.
Goku is actually rather annoying in the first part, acting like a little child and yet the little things he does make him seem even more like a monkey then a little boy. He is rather innocent, and As the series goes on, he grows more and more. He is the only one that we get a little piece of the past right up front but they don’t explain much more then a 5 minute clip.
Gojyo is pretty much a womanizer and gambler. He seems to always start fighting with Goku as though they are brothers and its fun to watch seeing as how I have a brother myself and we used to fight a lot. Although he is like that, he actually has a good heart he shows every once in a while. He doesn’t really show it to the others but there are some places where this good heart shows.
Hakkai is rather sweet at least when it comes to children and always willing to help others even if they aren’t rather nice at first. He is more level headed then any of the other characters. Although he is level headed, he tends to get scary in certent situations. He shows a rather masicistic side in a way.
The goddess is rather odd, sometimes sounding really wise and sometimes she sounds like she just wants to have a little fun with the characters. She actually really interesting
I love the fact that this show not only makes us feel for the main characters, but for some of the enemies as well. Not all of them are bad for bad sake. Now sadly, I really wish they did have a bad ass girl in their group. Without the girl, the group makes me think of yoai like a lot of other people I know. There are a lot of interesting groupings that I like and I’m sorry I’m getting into my fan girl love again.
Sadly, there is no ending to this really. It seems to go in arks like Pokemon or Inuyasha but doesn’t get to the ending of the story. There are times where is does become boring because they keep walking and riding with some of the same old jokes that they normally do where Goku fights with Gojyo and Sanzo threatens to kill them. Fighting scenes do get bad once in a while but yet are still interesting in some places.
I really wonder some of the choices that they do for the artwork like the very first part when Sanzo is saying the only one he can trust is himself, why do they show him naked when he does this? Now, there are many times that the characters have long limbs or long necks and it changes once in a while but because of how the story is, I was able to over look it for the most part. The tiny waists though and sometimes broken eyes area bothers me a bit.
The music is pretty bad ass. The first opening is highly addictive to listen to and actually fits the series rather good. I’m not so sure about the ending song though, it’s alright but not something I would listen over and over again. I skipped it most of the time. Sadly, some of the voices aren’t that great or the prononciations are bad but at least the main cast is pretty decent so I don’t have much problem with them. This is not the show for little kids as they don’t hold back on the language. It works for the personalities but it’s a lot.