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.
Minekura Kazuya is an absolutely phenomenal storyteller. I mean don’t get me wrong, I love lots of mangas of all genres and whatnot but Minekura’s story is definitely a one of a kind gem. The main cast of this series, the Sanzo Ikkou a.k.a the Sanzo Party are made up of four emotionally-charged personalities. Sanzo, the stubborn and quick-to-shoot Buddhist priest, Goku, the ravenous but extremely adorable Seiten Taisei, Gojyo, the flirt who walks and talks like a casanova but wonderfully clicks into a comedic duo with Goku and last but not least, Hakkai who is a sweet but simultaneously a scary man with patience
like no other. Spinning a story from the legendary classic tale of the Journey to the West, Minekura’s characters carry dark emotional baggage that she cleverly weaves into their comedic adventures. Now, this is mostly from the manga but in terms of the anime series, Saiyuki has one of the best original sound tracks. From openings to background music, Minekura’s world becomes even more depth-ridden and vast. The melancholic music which graces the background of the Ikkou’s tragic moments gives the anime an absolutely heart-wrenching undertone but also brings amazing authenticity to Minekura’s story. Even with all the ups and downs the anime has suffered and successfully plowed through, Saiyuki remains an absolute favorite of mine. If you haven’t heard of Minekura Kazuya or her manga story, I would most definitely recommend it.