The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials


Title: Saiyuki
Genre: Action
Format: 9 volumes
Mangaka: Kazuya Minekura

Synopsis: Tougenkyou, where humans lived among yukais in harmony, where different cultures and religions saw light. A world aside the Heavens and the Earth that are in chaos. But suddenly the yukais turn violent thanks to a powerful yukai; Gyuu-ma-ou, and they start devouring humans, thankfully, he was killed and everything became as it was; peaceful. But that was 500 years ago and now, Genjyo Sanzo, the holiest monk according to Buddhism, receives instructions to stop the resurrection of Gyuu-ma-ou whatever means necessary. Even if it means teaming with three yukais, a pacific Hikkai, a perverted Gojyo and a glutton named Goku.

Plot: Moves forward at a steady pace.
Characters: Always throwing either tid-bits of background or huge chucks of it.
Art: Umm… it has its moments.
Ending: Abrupt and anticlimatic.

Downright ugly. I meant that in a good way. Saiyuki will rip your heart out chew it like bubblegum and spit it back at you with its badass, funny and irreplaceable characters. A monk that lacks patience, a nice guy with a horrific past, a pervert with self-pity, and a politically incorrect glutton. What else can I ask for? Nothing much, one could say: But how do they manage to work as a team? Well they don’t. They go solo most of the time, which causes more fun and a gives us a better idea of how characters think, react and relate to each other. And to top it all they all come with great backgrounds.

Downright ugly. I meant that in a bad way. Character designs are ugly more often than not, specially since they are always shown from weird perspectives, they only show a nice face when they are drawn from the front. This is really disappointing since it doesn’t help much with facial and corporal expressions, which would have been great, specially when a character is revealing a facet of his personality. Aside from ugly character designs, the backgrounds are pretty standard, they may be somewhat over shaded at times, but nothing that will kill the moment. Yet once you get used to the character designs it will bug you no more.

The plot is another bad aspect of Saiyuki. While it is quite interesting, it is quite unfinished. Suddenly the story stops around what seems the middle of it, for an unknown reason. Thankfully it is continued with Saiyuki Reloaded, but that is beyond this reviews purpose. But not only the story stops, but the character development stops as well. And at it’s very start. Why did it had to stop? Why did it had to leave a bad taste? Why didn’t continue?

You should get Saiyuki. Why? Because it is funny, because it is amazing. With wonderful characters and a working story. You would be barking mad if you didn’t pick this one up. Even if it stops. Even if it hurts, it will pay up, eventually.

The Rating: 7

Reviewed by: Dtortot

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