for their imaginative adaptations of folklore of other countries and
cultures, the Japanese have added another feather in their cap. Saiyuki
by Minekura Kazuya is adapted from Chinese tale of the Journey to the
West. This version takes on a humorous and modern twist. The characters
that were in the original story remain here. Tang San Zhang is known
as Sanzo, Sun Wukong is known as Goku, Zhu Ba Jie is known as Hakkai
and Sa Wu Jing is known as Gojyo. The characters are still on a journey
to the West and Sanzo has three "demon" disciples as his bodyguards.
But here is where similarities end.
The story has changed somewhat, beginning with a time when trouble brews between humans and demons in the once peaceful Holy Land of Togenkyo. It seems that someone is trying to awaken the demon king, Gyumao. Sanzo has been tasked (by the gods) to journey to the West to find and stop this person. Accompanied by his three disciples, the journey is a long and hard one for the four of them, as they confront the ghosts of the past and hardships along the way.Interestingly enough, the protagonists have also been given a new look and characteristics, for example, Sanzo is no longer the patient master but the impatient priest who smoke, gambles, wields a magnum and fights his own fights as well! Great story, dynamic characters with depth and dimension, an interesting plot, lots of humour and tongue-in-cheek portrayals of literary characters (check out the Goddess of Mercy! >_<), what more reasons do you need to check out both anime and manga?