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Saiyuki, Vol. 1 (Saiyuki universe #1)

4.14  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,269 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
It was a time of chaos, when Heaven and Earth were as one, and humans and demons - the youkai - lived together in peace. The foundations of civilization and religion were raised and reinforced in this land of Togenkyo, the paradise known as Shangri-la.

But now, a great evil threatens harmony in this great land. Far to the West, in India, someone is attempting to resurrect t
Paperback, 208 pages
Published March 2nd 2004 by TokyoPop (first published January 1st 1997)
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Best Manga Book Ever
87th out of 855 books — 3,220 voters
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Best Manga of All Time
85th out of 300 books — 604 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jun 19, 2009 Siria rated it liked it
I really liked this. I think Deralte recommended it to me a while back as the manga I would probably be most likely to get into, and she was right. This is my second time to read this volume; I wanted to get it all straight in my head before I pick up volume two. I love the characters, and the way they play off one another. The dynamic is fun, especially when it introduces the humour that helps to balance the plot line. I will readily admit to not knowing much about Chinese/Japanese myth and leg ...more
Aug 15, 2007 Baco rated it it was amazing

This manga has... absolutely everything I have ever wanted in published fiction. Awesome characters, gorgeous art, complex relationships, ACTION AND VIOLENCE, backstory galore, craploads of slash subtext, irreverent humour -- Saiyuki does it all, and does it all perfectly.

I didn't really get hooked until volumes 3 and 4, but oh, oh how I got hooked. I love this series and the art and these characters so much.
Eglantine Sabet
Nov 07, 2015 Eglantine Sabet rated it it was amazing

This is one of my all times favorites. I first saw Saiyuki anime and then went to the manga and ever since that first time reading it, I have been a fan. Kazuya Minekura has done a really good job portraying each character and also the sense of mystery about each character's past and how the past has made them what they are today and is the reason for their current lives' relationships makes the story more interesting.

To Kazuya Minekura sensei: You are one of my favorite artists ever. Your art a
Nov 21, 2015 Earl rated it really liked it
Shelves: manga
I hate the fact that it didn't finish where it originally left off. I guess I have to find time to read Saiyuki Reload Volume 1
Jody Mena
Jun 01, 2015 Jody Mena added it
Shelves: manga
Great! Of course I've heard the famous story of the Journey to the West, and seen it retold in a number of ways, but never quite like this! I love the dynamic amongst the characters, and how they retain their roles from the legend, while also taking on more modern characteristics. I also don't mind a bit that they're all very pretty boys, and I'm a sucker for anti-heros. There's something undeniably appealing about a bad-boy monk who drinks, smokes, gambles and shoots people, roaming the desert ...more
Sep 11, 2014 Tifa rated it it was amazing
It's hard to believe that the Saiyuki manga began its run in 1997 because it is just as good now as it was when it debuted. I'm re-reading the series, and I'd forgotten how talented Ms. Minekura is, both as an artist and a storyteller. This first volume opens with a bang, and the action never drags even as she introduces her heroes and other main characters. The art in this volume is obviously the oldest, but it still stands as creative and effective although Ms. Minekura's talent continues to g ...more
Jun 30, 2007 Joy rated it liked it
Re-read 8/9/08. The art in this is worse than I remembered--thank goodness it improves as the series goes on--but it's interesting to see how early Minekura begins giving readers hints about the character's backstories. Still a fairly solid introduction to the premise, though.
Chelsea (Cat Litterary)
May 24, 2016 Chelsea (Cat Litterary) rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: ya, young adults, teens
4.5 stars

It's no secret that this is my favorite manga series of all time. I haven't read other series in the Saiyuki universe yet, but I did start reading the original Saiyuki series when I was in 7th grade, so roughly 2006-2007. I'm not entirely sure if I finished all the installments of the original, but I do have them. It's been so long that I only remember snippets, so it'll be interesting to experience this again.

First, I'd like to talk about the art style in Minekura's work. I love this a
Mar 21, 2009 Rachel rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic, schizotech
Before I get started, I want to preface this by saying that it's a review for the series rather than this particular volume, and, as such, may contain slight spoilers. Nothing that you don't learn fairly quickly, though.

Nominally based on the Chinese novel Journey to the West , and ostensibly set in seventh century China, this magnificent jumble of a series bridges the lines between typical action manga and anarchist head-scratcher.

The best elements include the strong philosophical current of
Lou Rocama
Series Review

First, the last volume of this series is not the end, and has no real closure as far as the plot goes. The whole thing picks up essentially uninterrupted in Saiyuki Reload. I ended up thinking of the two as books in a series, rather than as series in their own right.

I apologize if that last sentence was confusing.

Plotwise it's a tad confusing, but no worse than most manga. It's actually better than many (think Tsubasa) in that I could follow it without taking notes. Or looking for
06 March 2013

Saiyuki, Volume 1 is a rockin' good time. Based on the classic Chinese tale, Monkey: The Journey to the West, Saiyuki is its foul-mouthed, hilarious, drunken cousin. The daft cast of characters, complex plot, and silly vulgar humor will have you addicted in no time.

Kazuya Minekura cleverly combines action, comedy, and folklore into one of the most compelling manga of all time. Re-reading this years later, it doesn't feel like it has lost any edge at all. I was absolutely glued to th
BK Blue

This will forever be my favorite manga series of all time, and it will never be finished.

 photo dura-izayaface_zpsxiur2h4v.jpg

The anime shows you maybe 1/5 of what is going on in the manga. Don't rely on the anime.

For example, Homura and his crew aren't even in the manga. Now, don't get me wrong, I actually liked Homura but they stretched it out for a whole season. There's also just a lot of filler in the anime as well, and the animation itself is uneven and, uh, leaves something to be desired. The english voice actors for the firs
Miss Ryoko
Jun 03, 2012 Miss Ryoko rated it it was amazing
Shelves: manga
I had watched the entire Saiyuki anime before reading the mangas. The anime is incredible, and the manga is way beyond incredible. Minekura-sama is a beautiful artist and a great story teller. The pictures are so detailed. Her drawing get even better as the series goes on. She is amazing and deserves a multitude of awards for being so awesome! I love her so much!

The characters look soooo little in this volume!! Awww, so cute! Then they turn into full blown sexiness. Minekura-sama, you are my her
Dec 17, 2014 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
Shelves: manga
Saiyuki is a parody/adaption of the classic chinese novel journey to the west. Having read the chinese version, i was very intrigued by this manga. The characters are mashed up remodeled versions of the originals with interesting and some rather ironic twists to them and it really interested me. On the whole, i really love this manga. There is a good mix of wit, humour, fighting, and some serious talk too. Kazuya Minekura is by far my favourite manga artist. The art improves throughout the serie ...more
I. Love. This.

Here's the thing - well, several, actually. A) it took me a long time to like this. I watched the first episode of the anime and while I did like Hakkai immediately, I wasn't exactly convinced. Then, I read the first volume and ditto. I have to say that I had to read the scanlation which certainly didn't help. But I kept hearing that it was supposed to be good, and I didn't have anything else to read (sorta), so I kept on reading. And read. And slowly, every so slowly, I fell in lo
Sarah Hayes
Sep 03, 2011 Sarah Hayes rated it liked it
Shelves: manga-lns-misc
The Chinese folk tale "Journey To The West" has been used as a launching pad for various Japanese manga series in the past, possibly the most notable being Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball. Minekura's take on the legend of Son Goku and friends is certainly an unorthodox twist, filled with beautiful tragic boys, gun-wielding priests, and animals that turn into vehicles, all anachronistically set against the long-ago era of Asia's history - with demons, of course. It's a rather wonderful series and se ...more
Feb 28, 2013 Helmut rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
Machogehabe und Klischees

Das Xiyouji - auf deutsch "Die Reise nach Westen" - hat schon sehr viele Comicbearbeitungen erfahren. Dragonball und The Monkey King sind dabei zwei der besten, die mir bisher untergekommen sind. "Saiyuki" nun fällt dabei eher unter die Werke, die man nicht wirklich gelesen haben muss.

Ich mag Adaptionen, die respektlos mit dem Original umgehen, wie dies beispielsweise in den oben genannten Werken geschieht. Der Grund meiner Ablehnung von Saiyuki ist eher, dass es mir zu
Nov 27, 2012 Nura rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic
aaah... digging this series again after so long. pertama ketemu sama kelompok sanzo ini waktu zamannya booming anime di tv sekitar awal 2000-an. kereen banget. waktu itu ga tau kalo diadaptasi dari manga. baru sempet baca lagi sekarang ini. ternyata serinya banyak. buat yang suka nonton Journey to the West, jangan harap bakal nemuin karakter yang sama, walopun ada beberapa karakteristik yang rada-rada mirip. sanzo yang temperamental, misalnya. beda banget sama biksu Tong yang pembawaannya kalem. ...more
Apr 01, 2014 Tane rated it really liked it
No one can do a better cynical heroes than them. The 3 youkais (demons) and a gun shooter monk off for a mission to save mankind (and at the same time fighting against demons). ...
Whatever, as long as I can watch cute glutton Goku in action, everything saves the day!
Dec 17, 2014 Cornerofmadness rated it really liked it
Shelves: manga, fantasy
I do love this series. I just reread this and the legend of the Journey to the West has probably never been so twisted but in such a fun way. The art is so much rougher than I remembered but this is one of those manga I would recommend without reservation.
Emily G
Nov 24, 2012 Emily G rated it it was amazing
Shelves: manga, action, books-2012
I don't really read manga now or watch anime anymore, and I think I am missing out, so to get me back in the mood for this genre I am re-reading one of my favourites, Saiyuki.

Based (very loosely) on The Journey to the West (if you are old enough, this is the story told in the horribly dubbed TV show Monkey, which I also loved) we follow Sanzo, Goku, Gojyo and Hakkai, as they travel west to find who has turned the youkai into human eating monsters and why, and of course, ultimately stop them.

I ad
Leila Anani
SAIYUKI!!!!! This is the series that gave me the manga bug. It's a Bishonen version of the Chinese Classic "Journey to the West" with unforgettable characters, humour, and most imortantly stunning artwork.

This first volume moves at a cracking pace and we get two adventures - first yokai attacking our heroes in their rooms - the big bad turning into a giant spider and the second story where a temple the party are staying at gets attacked by yokai and Sanzo shows that his unorthadox methods help
Aug 31, 2014 Sylene rated it liked it
It was okay.
Had some really funny moments!
And in the back for the character intros -
Sanzo's favorite phrases - "Die" and "I'll kill you"
Aug 31, 2014 intrepideddie rated it it was ok
Shelves: manga
This is an adaptation of the Chinese "Xi-You-Ji" legend, but don't expect another "Dragonball". Although the idea of the adaptation is good, the execution of it just didn't hold my interest. The story seemed disjointed... not a very good flow to what was going on.

The artwork reminded me of the "Dragon Knights" manga (which I don't particularly care for, but that's just my personal taste).

Parental advisory: mild nudity, swearing, drinking, and smoking. Oh, and mahjong (can't have the kids seeing
Feb 23, 2014 Tranlinh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: manga
bộ truyện kỷ niệm thời che chải, mải mê chinh chiến và yêu đương. kỷ niệm hồi mềnh yêu nhau ấy vì cùng nhìn về một hướng =))
Mar 04, 2014 Matthew rated it it was amazing
One of the first manga I read. Has a good story, interesting characters and decent art. I recommend giving it a read.
Lady Entropy
Jul 15, 2015 Lady Entropy rated it it was ok
Trite, cliched, with passable art. I wish i could say better but this manga bored me to tears.
Feb 27, 2012 Gabi rated it really liked it
The four main characters in Saiyuki are a hot mess, ya'll. Sanzo is a smoking, cursing priest who will fight you - more than likely to the death. Goku is the Monkey King of mythology, devoted to Sanzo because the (cussing, smoking) priest freed him from a nightmarishly long imprisonment. Gojyo is a gambler and a womanizer and might be more or less than human. Hakkai has a dragon that turns into a Jeep and a past that will terrify you and break your heart. By turns bloody, humorous, perplexing an ...more
Apr 13, 2012 Erin rated it really liked it
Shelves: manga
This manga is based loosely off the Chinese novel 'Journey to the West', which I think is part of the main reasons I liked it so much. I liked the interaction between the main characters and their attitudes. They were all so different from each other that it just worked. It also has some pretty bad ass drawing.

I believe this series was my first step into the genre of manga that wasn't shoujo manga(meaning not full of girly stuff and cute bishies). I'm glad I took the step because it's a good one
Mosley Allen
Jan 28, 2016 Mosley Allen rated it liked it
Shelves: manga, fantasy, demons
If you like action and anime I recommend Saiyuki in any of its many forms.
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Kazuya Minekura (峰倉かずや Minekura Kazuya, born March 23, 1975) is a Japanese manga artist most known for the Saiyuki series. Her other manga series include Wild Adapter, Shiritsu Araiso Koto Gakko Seitokai Shikkobu (Araiso Private School Student Council Executive Committee), and Stigma. Stigma is notable for being a full-color work, unusual as manga is generally drawn in black and white.

She had an
More about Kazuya Minekura...

Other Books in the Series

Saiyuki universe (1 - 10 of 23 books)
  • Saiyuki Gaiden n. 1
  • Saiyuki Gaiden n. 2
  • Saiyuki Gaiden n. 3
  • Saiyuki Gaiden n. 4
  • Saiyuki, Vol. 2
  • Saiyuki, Vol. 3
  • Saiyuki, Vol. 4
  • Saiyuki, Vol. 5
  • Saiyuki, Vol. 6
  • Saiyuki, Vol. 7

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“Monk: Forgive our rudeness
Hakkai: Please, don't worry about it. A little purity is good for them.
Sanzo: You saying I'm corrupt?”
More quotes…