• Tag Archives saiyuki
  • Breakdown: Saiyuki Franchise

    Breakdown: Saiyuki Franchise

    The Saiyuki franchise is not quite so big as others, but it can still get confusing. So here is a layout of Saiyuki and order in which they belong.

    Manga Series

    The entire series was created by Kazuya Minekura.


    The first series in the franchise, containing nine volumes. It was serialized in G-Fantasy from 1996 to 2002. It follows the story of Sanzo and how he is ordered to create a group and go to the west. They must figure out why the Shangri-La youkai are going crazy.

    Saiyuki Reload

    This is the sequel to Saiyuki. It was serialized in Monthly Comic Zero Sum from 2002 to 2009. It continues the story of Sanzo and his group from defeating a powerful enemy.

    Saiyuki Reload Blast

    The manga’s first chapter began in Zero Sum and ran in the February 2010 issue. It is currently on a hiatus due to Kazuya Minekura’s illness. The group has finally arrived in India.

    Saiyuki Gaiden

    This series began in 1999 and ran to 2009. It had a total of nine volumes and ran in the Zero Sum Ward magazine. The series takes place 500 years before the original Saiyuki series. It tells how everyone meets everyone in the group.

    Saiyuki Ibun

    This manga series began in 2009 and is currently running in the Zero Sum Ward magazine. The story follows Koumyou Sanzo and how he inherited the Sanzo Title.

    Animated Adaptions

    There are several different animated adaptions to follow.

    Saiyuki Premium OVA

    The earliest OVA series created in 1999 by Tokyo Kids and ran from April to August of 1999. There was a total of two episodes. It is not related to the TV series in any way. The story follows Sanzo and the group to stop Gyuumaoh from resurrecting.

    Gensoumaden Saiyuki

    Directed by Hayato Date, this was a 50 episode TV series that ran on TV Tokyo from April 2000 to March of 2001. Sanzo and his gang are once again searching for a way to stop Gyumaoh from resurrecting.

    Saiyuki Requiem

    A 95 minute movie by Hayato Date, was released August 2001. Sanzo and the gang come into contact with the House of Dougan. They are lured by a mysterious girl to a shrine. There they must get out alive.

    Saiyuki Reload

    Directed by Tetsuya Endo, TV Tokyo ran the 25 episode series from October 2003 to March 2004. It is a sequel to the 2000 Gensoumaden Saiyuki. The series follows Sanzo and the group on a quest to stop Gyumaoh, but stop to deal with tension in the group. They come along another powerful enemy as well.

    Saiyuki Reload: Gunlock

    Directed by Tetsuya Endo, a sequel to Saiyuki Reload that ran on TV Tokyo from April to September of 2004. There were a total of 26 episodes. The story follows Sanzo and the group on their mission to defeat Gyumaoh. They are stopped by a pair from the west.

    Saiyuki Reload: Burial OVA

    An OVA series directed by Koichi Ohata. The three episode series released in April of 2007. The series covers the Burial Arc. It focuses on Sanzo and his master Ukoku as well as Goku first meeting Sanzo.

    Saiyuki Gaiden OVA

    Kazuya Naoyuki directed this OVA series. It was a three episode series that followed with one special episode in January of 2012. It follows Sanzo and the others and how they began their journey to the west.

  • Saiyuki (Manga) Review

    Saiyuki Manga Review

    Saiyuki Manga Cover
    Manga Cover Volume 1

    Saiyuki is a great manga to read. It really is not that hard to get through and has some amazing fighting scenes. Plus you get to learn a little about Buddhism as well. It is a bit hard at first to tell what era they are in due to the clothing and the weapons being misleading at times. The four main characters are basically a monk gone bad, an intellectual, a perverted drunk, and a starving child. They seem to be the basics, but they really are not. This was a manga series I could not put down. It only took me two days to go through all nine volumes.

    Saiyuki Plot

    Saiyuki Plot
    Sanzo and a Youkai

    Saiyuki is about four men traveling together to gain perspective on why the Youkai’s have gone crazy. Youkai’s and humans lived in harmony at one point, but recently the Youkai’s have started to kill people and do random things. It is up to Sanzo, Gojyo, Goku, and Hakkai to find out why. They are sent by Sanbutsushin on this quest. The Sanbutsushin consist of three ‘aspects’ of Buddha. They take orders from heaven. Sanzo and his group are constantly having to fight off Youkai’s that have come for Gyumaoh’s resurrection. Gyumaoh was a demon king that is now dead. His wife is attempting to give him life again but she needs the scriptures (one of which Sanzo carries).

    Shangri-La is the setting in which this all take place. Here the humans and Youkai’s have lived peacefully. Some have even fallen in love with the opposite being even though this is forbidden. Most towns fear any Youkai whether they are sane or not. This makes it hard for the group to travel due to the fact that Gojyo, Goku, and Hakkai are all Youkai. They have bands or protection on them that makes them immune to what has happened to the Youaki.

    Saiyuki Characters

    Saiyuki Characters

    There are four main characters of Saiyuki. Genjyo Sanzo is teh team leader. He is the only human of the four. He is held in a high position with Buddhists everywhere due to his name. He loves to smoke and is the shoot first maybe ask questions later kind of guy. Goku is the monkey king and the rest of the group does not let him forget he is a ‘monkey.’ He is constantly wanting to eat and sleep and do childish things. He may look like a teenager but in reality he is older than he lets on. Gojyo is the ladies man. He is hot tempered and tries to sleep with any woman he can. He is also a chain smoker and a drinker. The last person in the group is Hakkai. He is the quiet and intellectual man of the group. He has a bloody past though.

    The other characters in the manga are people that show up from someones past or part of Gyumaoh resurrection. Of the people that end up bringing someone’s past back, only three seem to be a big part of the story. Sanzo ends up having two people show up at separate times attempting to get revenge. Shuei once knew Sanzo when he was little. He took up for Sanzo when the older monks made fun of him. He later comes back as Rikudo, a Fuda user who kills any Youkai without question. A man calling himself Kami-Sama was once an acquaintance of Sanzo. He ends up stealing the Maten scripture Sanzo carries.

    The Youkai involved in the Gyumaoh’s resurrection are Kougaiji, Lirin, Dokugakuji, Yaone, Gyukumen Koushou, and Ni Jianyi. Gyukumen Koushou is the mastermind behind the Youkai’s chasing Sanzo and many other things. She is the legal wife of Gyumaoh. They have a daughter Lirin, which Gyukumen intends to sacrifice to save Gyumaoh. Kougaiji is Gyumaoh’s son and half brother to Lirin. He only wants to save his mother. He has two friends that act as guards for him: Dokugakuji (Gojyo’s half brother) and Yaone (a medicine user).

    Saiyuki and the Youkai

    Saiyuki and Youkai

    Youkai is just another word for demon in the Saiyuki manga. The Youkai only live in the Shangri-La area though. Some are evil, but some do live normal lives. A Youkai family can often be seen in the Shangri-La area. There are Youkai’s and humans that fall in love and have a child. This is, again, forbidden to do. The child will come out having crimson hair and eyes. This is how you can tell if they are a half breed. Gojyo and Kougaiji are both products of a Youkai and human relationship.


    I hated that the manga was split up into two separate series. Saiyuki, again, was a great manga. The story does not end though and continues onto another series. Honestly they should have just put it together, but possibly for marketing reasons they could not. I would recommend reading Saiyuki especially if you like Samurai/Buddhist related mangas.

    Overall Grade 8/10