Saiyuki is one of those shounen action titles that tries being cool with the attitudes and vices that our main cast of characters give into as Sanzo and his demon comrades journey west from China to halt the efforts of demon forces to resurrect the powerful demon Gyumao. The series is really loose with faithfulness to Journey to the West with the four members of the Sanzo party having their vices to give into with the older members frequently smoking, gambling, womanizing or drinking and Son Goku depicted to almost always be hungry, no different from the character's depiction from Dragon Ball. Also several members of the demon side assisting in Gyumao's resurrection are more like honorable villains as they don't often cause trouble for Sanzo's party and usually find themselves teaming up to take on a worst enemy threat. The first half mostly features the Sanzo group thwarting whatever "demon of the day" threat opposes them with some exploring tragic pasts that each of the group members have to bear. This half also tosses in some rather subpar attempts at humor compliments of the archetypal personalities of the Sanzo party members clashing with one another and having the occasional filler episode with some bizarre predicaments such as a group of scammers impersonating the members of Sanzo's party.
The second half of the series delves into exploring what the world of heaven is like in Saiyuki when Sanzo's group come at odds with a trio of fallen gods having their own hidden plans with Son Goku's power and the scroll used by Sanzo. These episodes are slightly better as they do introduce the first genuinely serious threat that Sanzo's party has to confront and more light is shed on Son Goku's time while he was in heaven while dealing with prejudice from the other gods for his heretic status, befriending another heretic like himself in the form of Nataku and interacting with gods who are actually past incarnations of the older Sanzo party members. The episodes do have their shortcomings in that they don't explore the final moments of the four while they were still in heaven and that the show still resorts to occasionally slipping in either a "demon of the day" conflict or "comical" filler episode with Sanzo's group.
The visuals to the series are rather lackluster. In spite of the attractive character designs shown with members of Sanzo's group, the Gyumao party and a number of the god characters, lining on character designs were on the rough side and animation was rather lacking at many points since Saiyuki made liberal use of animation shortcuts to limit onscreen movement, this being quite noticeable during action scenes when characters strike battle poses or simple movements in a lazy attempt to depict action. While having a much longer episode run than Saiyuki, Inuyasha was much better looking in the visual department in 2000 with clean details and better implementing its animation shortcuts to create convincingly engaging action scenes.
Overall, I'm mostly indifferent to Saiyuki since it tries being something that I am not too convinced it really is due to the characters and storytelling being mostly cliched in the series, even with the slightly more engaging second half with the trio of gods that Sanzo's party have to deal with. Would only recommend this if you're a diehard fan of shounen action titles.
Someday I’ll be gone To somewhere that we belong And God has never played his role 'Cause I’m the one who saves my soul It’s a perfect world we’re longing for
Old Man Dream: ...later titles in the Macross franchise can finally come stateside with all involved parties finally coming to a truce over how to handle things with the Macross trademark and all later anime in the franchise associated with it.
Apr 9, 2021 10:26:05 GMT
Taka: I see. A global release will benefit it. Gundam did pretty good. The only few franchises that are only popular in Japan but not popular in the west - Yokai Watch comes to mind.
Apr 10, 2021 1:55:16 GMT
Master Menos: F for Respects. DMX did all his work while suffering from a drug addiction, and I almost never knew until a point. I hope his next life treats him far better.
Apr 10, 2021 15:30:45 GMT
HungryWorld: Sorry for taking so long for the things i have to do, have been suffering from some health issues (including mental health deterioration). Anyways hope i can be a bit more active here soon enough once i am properly patched up again.
Apr 27, 2021 17:45:38 GMT
Taka: No worries, health, family, school, and work take priorities first.
Apr 28, 2021 7:41:52 GMT