Saiyuki

th (7)

Genre: Action/Fantasy/Comedy

Creator/Studio: Kazuya Minekura/Studio Peirott/Dentsu

Distributor: AEsir Holdings (division of ADV)

No. of Episodes: 50

Suggested Age: 13+

My Rating: 8/10

Summary: Four adventurers bound by fate–Sanzo Genjo, Sho Hakkai, Son Goku, and Sha Gojyo–take their dragon that turn into a jeep on a journey to retrieve the Matten Scriptures, hoping to resolve tension between humans and demons. Impeding their progress is a rival party hoping to intercept them and use the powers in the scriptures for their own nefarious schemes. The story is loosely inspired by the classic Chinese novel Journey to the West.

Review: This is one of my favorite shonen series, and I’m someone who doesn’t really like Shonen because most titles get so long-winded. The action is well paced and the animation looks great.

What I like about the heroes is that even though they constantly argue, they really do care about each other and will stick together no matter what, because fate has brought them together. Let’s meet the four heroes.

Sanzo Genjo is the most cynical of the group. He has a gun that can banish demons with one shot. He’s the most tempermental of the group, especially where Goku is concerned.

Son Goku is one of my favorite characters in the story. He has a big appetite. Don’t let his short size fool you. He has a limiting headband and if it’s broken or taken off, you are going to get killed. He will go into an uncontrollable rage and won’t care what happens next. Most of the time, he’s the comedy relief and is usually cheerful.

Sha Gojyo has the darkest past of the group. He hides his feelings in a carefree charade. He’s a skilled fighter and carries a long staff with a chain. He’s another favorite character.

Finally there’s Sho Hakkai, who wears glasses and has earrings limiting his powers. He can channel his chi into energy balls (kind of like the Z fighters’ Kamehameha move) and his pet dragon turns into a Jeep. He’s the most level-headed and kindest of the group, but don’t take him lightly.

The best thing I can say about this anime is that despite its length at 50 episodes, it’s well-paced with very little filler. This is one of the most straight-forward shonen anime I’ve ever watched.

Bottom line: If you like lots of action and comedy or are a fan of Dragonball or Bleach, this is a good show to watch.

Sub/Dub: I like the dub. I guess I should, since Hulu didn’t have a sub option.

Language: (5/10) Everybody loves to swear in this, but nothing too vulgar or dirty.

Violence: (5/10) If you can handle most shonen anime, this shouldn’t be a problem. It’s fantasy based with an average amount of blood.

Sexuality: (4/10) Gojyo is a womanizer and often makes lewd comments. Some of the women do have fan service-like dimensions, but nothing too overdone.

Nudity: (3/10) Some mild nudity.

Religion: (8/10) Sanzo is a Buddhist priest. All the characters have been reincarnated at least once. Overall, there is a strict adherence to Buddhist principles, which is to be expected from an anime based on a Chinese novel. Also, there is a goddess in the story who seems to have an indifferent attitude toward the players, and sees everyone as pawns for her amusement.

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