Creator: Kazuya Minekura
Genre: Historical Fiction
Length: 9 Volumes
Official Site: View
+ Very entertaining
4 out of 5 · Highly Recommended
Saiyuki Manga Review
Written by: Karthon
Based on the Chinese legend Journey to the West (pronounced Shee-You-Jee in China), this manga is a story about the monk Genjyo Sanzo and his 3 companions
(Son Goku, Sha Gojyo and Cho Hakkai). Genjyo is a powerful Buddhist priest who has learned that the youkai (demons) who used to live in harmony with humans, have begun to rise up and attack humans. The reason for this is Gyuu-ma-ou, a great youkai leader who was slain 500 years ago, is being revived using a forbidden technique. This magic is having ripple effects on the world throwing its balance off and causing the bloodshed.
Genjyo is ordered to go to the western lands and put an end to the resurrection, so that the world may once again return to its proper balance. Along with him are Goku, Gojyo and Hakkai -- 3 skilled warriors who have certain secrets about their pasts. But in their way are thousands of youkai hordes who have been commanded to stop them. Will their combined strength be sufficient to defeat the various foes in their path, and will they arrive in time to stop the resurrection?
I'm very entertained by this series although it takes plenty of liberties with the original story. The character development and back story development for both the main characters and main villains are excellent. The action and humorous interplay between the protagonists is also top notch. It should be noted that by the end of these 9 volumes the story has not even come close to an end. Instead it ends with plenty of cliff-hanger questions to be addressed in its sequel Saiyuki Reload. I do chalk that point up against the series (even though Saiyuki Reload is also being published), because I feel that a series should come to some sort of conclusion at its end, even if there's always an intention to write a sequel.
(Note: Also see the prequel: Saiyuki Gaiden and the sequel: Saiyuki Reload. I suggest you read Saiyuki first before reading it's "prequel" because the prequel fills in plenty of back story which won't make any sense anyways if you haven't read the original.)
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