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GENSOMADEN SAIYUKI

According to a comprehensive summary by Jeanne Johnson, the title translates to "Fantasy Fairytale of the Journey to the Extreme." The original "sai" of "saiyuki" meant "west," but it's been changed. Some of the official releases have translated it into "The Legend of the Western Journey Into Danger"

Gensomaden Saiyuki is a story that's very loosely based on the Chinese epic Hsi Yu Chi or "Journey to the West," sometimes entitled "Monkey." It follows the adventures of four extraordinary individuals: a godless, remorseless young priest called Genjo Sanzo; a powerful, innocent, playful creature named Son Goku; a handsome, womanizing hooligan named Sha Gojyo; and a courteous, mild-mannered murderer called Cho Hakkai.

It is set in a world where humans and demons coexist peacefully, watched over by a myriad of bored gods. However, a recent supernatural incident warped most of the demons' minds and turned them against humans. The story starts here, where our heroes start off on a quest to stop the force controlling the demons, which is the resurrection process of the giant demon Gyumaou.

The demon can only be brought back to life with the aid of the five Heaven and Earth scrolls, one of which happens to be protected by Genjo Sanzo. The Sanzo team first need to collect the scrolls before Gyumaou's retinue can, but failing that, they will need to travel to the great demon's stronghold in the West, to prevent his revival at all costs.

Adventure after adventure occurs. The very prolific author, Minekura Kazuya, has come up with 9 volumes of the manga, a side story (Gaiden) and a sequel (Reload). The televised anime series ends in 50 episodes, and a movie (Requiem) has been released.


NEWS(BALITA)

This section just got its own page! For the latest updates on the Saiyuki anime, click here.


THE ORIGINAL JOURNEY TO THE WEST

Hsi Yu Chi, or the "Journey to the West," is an ancient Chinese folktale revolving around a Buddhist priest named Tripitaka, and his three supernatural followers. It records their journey to India in search of holy Buddhist scrolls to bring back to China.

The entire journey took 14 years, and the Hsi Yu Chi centers on the 81 challenges that beset these four fated beings in the course of that time.

The folktale was transcribed into novel form by Wu Cheng'en. Click here for a detailed outline of the novel.

Clearly, the four protagonists of Saiyuki are meant to have parallels with these four unlikely heroes of the Hsi Yu Chi. Even the fact that Cho Hakkai and Sha Gojyo had a past existence in Heaven seems to work with the notion that their Hsi Yu Chi counterparts used to hold high positions in Heaven, before they were condemned to demon forms for their crimes.

For more information on Tripitaka and his four followers, click on the links below.

Tripitaka (Genjo Sanzo)
Sun Wukung/Monkey (Son Goku)
Sha Wu Jing/Sandy Priest (Sha Gojyo)
Chu Pa Chieh/Pigsy (Cho Hakkai)

If you wish to learn more about the Hsi Yu Chi, see these links.

No more comfortable pillow exists.


ALL THOSE NUMBERS...

This is something that may be of interest to shounen ai/yaoi fans. Why are numbers used in some doujinshi and fan fiction to denote pairings, as in 3x5 and 5x8?

Well, you may have noticed that a lot of the names in Saiyuki have numbers in them. The "san" in "Sanzo," for example, is the Chinese/Japanese character for the number 3, and the second character in the name "Cho Hakkai" is the number 8. The character used for "go" in both the names "Goku" and "Gojyo" doesn't translate to a particular number, but bear in mind that "go" is how the number 5 is pronounced in Japanese. However, for the sake of distinction, Gojyo is associated with the number 5, while Goku's number is 9.

Clear as mud? This helpful guide to Saiyuki yaoi may be able to provide a better explanation.

Note that this "number naming system" isn't unique to Saiyuki; some other anime fandoms also use this system. Gundam Wing is a popular example.


AGE GAP

Yes I know this belongs in the Rant Box aka misc.php, but I feel inclined to post it in the introduction. This is the big "WHY" of it, after all...

One of the primary appeals of this series is that the target is broad, so it doesn't exclude older audiences. Personally, I like it that Genjo Sanzo is 23, while two of his three followers are 22 -- and they behave that way. Sometimes ^^.

Point is, they are not glorified hormonal 16-year-olds whose priorities in life involve chasing their "one true loves" or protecting their "most important things." Or 23-year-olds in 16-year-old bodies; the abused tragedy of being "too young" for one's torrid lifestyle is immediately shooed out of focus. Our men are over 20, and they have over-20 concerns.

from the Reload manga. scan from www.bishounenbondage.com

I don't know about anyone else, but it's rare for me to encounter fantasy-based manga/anime with a grown-up sort of appeal. I don't really blame most mangaka for cashing in on the notion that these days, the majority of the local (Japanese) consumers of mainstream manga are 18 and below. Especially when we consider the preconception that the over-18 readers in Japan tend to ignore fantasy-based manga for being "kidstuff," and to zero in, if ever, on scenario (reality-based) comics that cater specifically to people of their age group.

It's also noticeable that a great deal of non-Japanese manga/anime enthusiasts are over 18, and they (we, I should say) don't give a damn if the mainstream manga cater to their age group or not. With these premises, we see that in general, over-20 audiences of fantasy-based manga are left frustrated and craving for something different.

So, you can imagine my relief when this series happened to me. It's not the sort of thing one looks for; one only realizes that it's been missing from one's life when it finally falls onto one's lap. Gensomaden Saiyuki is a fantasy-based manga with adult characters, dealing with adult themes, sporting a boldly unique visual style, applying innovative storytelling styles to a traditional foundation, and masterfully balancing witty grown-up humor with the ageless slapstick we all SO love.


ABOUT THIS SITE

In making this site, I've tried to include lesser-known info about the original Journey to the West, and comprehensive (non-spoiler -- for the most part) information about the characters. (JOP COPY  PASTE ONLY)

If you're looking for quality fan fiction and fan art, this is the stop! Not many original images here, I'm afraid. Check out the Links section for some great image galleries.


A NOTE ABOUT THE ROMANIZATION

I realize there is some inconsistency in the way I spell the names. In practice, I don't exclude drawn-out vowels in my romanization -- for example I say "kyoumon" instead of "kyomon" and "Kouryuu" instead of "Koryu," even if all these are correct. So why do I use "Goku" instead of "Gokuu," "Saiyuki" instead of "Saiyuuki," etc?

Simply put, I'm just using the spelling in the Saiyuki manga itself, which I consider to be official. So if Minekura says it's "Goku" and "Saiyuki," I'm using "Goku" and "Saiyuki." Heiki desu kara. ^_-Darkness


CREDITS

Webpage designed by JOP DA SARCASTIC. See the Links section for more of this talented graphic artist's work.

Nearly all the images used in this webpage came from other sources. I've tried my honest best to trace back all my sources, but if you feel I've been amiss, please do EMAIL ME MONO_RED@YAHOO.COM so I can make the necessary adjustments.

The images in the gallery, however, few as they are, were all scanned by me, or by Bluejay Sylver. So don't use 'em without permission. Get it here.

Information regarding the original Journey to the West was taken from various offline and online sources. Please see the Links section for some recommended sites.

MINEKURA KAZUYA'S PROFILE

Translated from her official webpage (corrections welcome):

Born on March 23, 1975. Aries, blood type A. A female Kazuya.
Made her debut in 1993, on Kadokawa Shoten Comic GENKI (Genzai).
On the year 2000, worked on various manga projects at Genzai Enix, Tokuma Shoten, and Shinshokan
Smokes Cabin Super Mild
Besides bean curd, eats anything that takes to the sky, short of an airplane
Habits <<< drinking, smoking, getting drunk, gluttony, sleeping, hoarding, reckless driving, walking around in a daze

Nitro - Minekura Kazuya's official site


My thoughts on Minekura's artwork:

I'm not new to long-limbed, knotty physiques in manga. Flip through the Be-Boy anthologies, look at other "adult" titles like Shiikugakari Rika (Rika the Breeder) by the celebrated Motoni Modoru. Spindly bodies and GREAT suits/dresses galore. This penchant for anorexic beauty brings to mind the fashion design world.

Minekura's solidly proportional style is of course unique to her, but on a wider scale, it seems to involve a technique widely used in manga genres targeting mature readers.

Her poses convey a hard sensuality, a conscious worldliness denoting intelligence and awareness in her characters, perhaps as a reflection of her own best traits.

She has no problem with facial expressions, which I always admire. However, she seems to have a little trouble making the eyes parallel, particularly smaller adult eyes, like Gojyo, Hakkai and Sanzo's (I understand Sanzo's eyes are especially hard to draw, being downturned).

CHARACTERS

Other main characters:

Son Goku
Genjo Sanzo, Cho Hakkai,Sha Gojyo 
(CLICK) 

Voice work in Gensomaden Saiyuki

Character

Actor

Episode

Cho Hakkai

Ishida Akira

 

Cho Hakkai

Akira Ishida

alot

Dokugakuji

Matsumoto Masaru

regular

Genjo Sanzo

Seki Toshihiko

 

GOKU

Souichirou Hoshi

 

Gyokumen Koushu

Satou Shinobu

 

Homura

Jason Douglas

regular

homura

Toshiyuki Morikawa

 

Homura

Morikawa Toshiyuki

Gensomaden Saiyuki Season 2

Kanzoen Botatsu

Misa Watanabe

 

kougaiji

Takeshi Kusao

 

Kougaiji

Kusao Takeshi

regular

Lirin

Morota Kaoru

regular

sanzo

Toshihiko Seki

 

Sha Gojyo

Hirata Hiroaki

regular

Sha Goyjo

Hiroaki Hirata

 

Shien

Yanaka Hiroshi

 

Son Goku

Hoshi Souichiro

series

yaone

Yuko Minaguchi

 

Yaone

Minaguchi Yuko

regular

Yaone

Minaguchi Yuuko

regular

Zenon

Horikawa Hitoshi

 

Found 22 records.
















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