The first adaptation of Saiyuki was a two episode OVA by Tokyo Kids. The first episode was released on April 23, 1999, while the second episode was released on August 27, 1999. A television series was created by Studio Pierrot and Dentsu entitled Gensomaden Saiyuki. The series aired on TV Tokyo from April 4, 2000 to March 27, 2001 on Tuesdays at 18:30, spanning 50 episodes. Another series, Saiyuki Reload was created by the same companies and it adapts from the manga of the same name. It aired on the same network from October 2, 2003 to March 25, 2004 on Thursdays at 18:30. A sequel titled Saiyuki Reload Gunlock was also created by the companies and aired on the same network from April 1, 2004 to September 23, 2004 on Thursdays at 25:30. ADV Films licensed Gensomaden Saiyuki and the movie. The sequels Saiyuki Reload and Saiyuki Reload Gunlock are licensed by Geneon in North America, and consist of 25 and 26 episodes respectively. Saiyuki Reload is faithful to the manga from the fourteenth episode and onward, having deviated from it for the first 13 episodes. Saiyuki Reload Gunlock also starts off deviated from the manga, until midway into the series, but strays from it during its finale. An anime television series adaptation of the Saiyuki Reload Blast manga series will premiere July 5, 2017 on Tokyo MX, TV Aichi, BS11, Sun TV. It will run for 12 episodes. Crunchyroll will be streaming the anime. Funimation will stream an English dub of the series.
Enoki Films holds the US license to Gensomaden Saiyuki under the title Saiyuki: Paradise Raiders. There has also been a movie (Saiyuki: Requiem) adapted into English that is also licensed by ADV. A new OVA has been released by Studio Pierrot, which covers the “Burial” arc of the Saiyuki Reload manga; it is called Saiyuki Reload: Burial.
Saiyuki is a manga series by Kazuya Minekura which was serialized in G-Fantasy from 1997 to 2002. It spawned multiple manga sequels, anime adaptations, video games and other media. The story is loosely based on the Chinese novel Journey to the West.
Saiyuki is the story of four anti-hero-like heroes: the monk Genjyo Sanzo, the monkey king Son Goku, the half-demon Sha Gojyo, and the man who turned into a demon Cho Hakkai (formerly known as Cho Gonou). They have been dispatched by the Sanbutsushin (the Three Aspects of Buddha, who relay the orders of heaven) to travel to India to stop the possible resurrection of the Ox-Demon-King, Gyumaoh. Along the way they are beset by inept assassins, bad weather, and their own tragic personal pasts. Meanwhile, the villains, two unlikely confidants, Gyokumen Koushou (Gyumaoh’s concubine, a demon) and a mad scientist, Dr. Nii Jianyi (a human), continue their attempts to restore the long-dead king. These experiments, a forbidden mixture of science and magic, spawn the “Minus Wave”, infecting all of the demons in Shangri-La with madness, shattering the fragile peace that once existed between humans and demons.
The Saiyuki manga comprises five separate series. The original series comprised nine volumes, and was serialized in the manga magazine Monthly GFantasy from February 18, 1997 to January 18, 2002. The second series began in June 1999, and was called Saiyuki Gaiden. Saiyuki Gaiden comprised four volumes and ran for ten years in the Japanese shōjo manga magazine Zero Sum Ward.This second series takes place in Heaven, 500 years before the first Saiyuki series. The plot is based around the four main characters of Saiyuki in their past lives, and details exactly what it was they did to get thrown out of heaven. In 2002, a third series was made entitled Saiyuki Reload that lasted 10 volumes long. The third series was serialized in the monthly Japanese Jousei manga magazine Monthly Comic Zero Sum and completed its run in 2009 in the August edition.The third series spun out a fourth series called Saiyuki Reload Blast which is currently being serialized in Monthly Comic Zero Sum. The fifth and final series made titled Saiyuki Ibun started in 2009, and is currently running in Zero Sum Ward. The fifth series follows Priest Koumyou Sanzo in his days before inheriting the Sanzo Title.