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Saiyuki Reload

Saiyuki Reload V.3
Release Date: June 28 2005
Released By: Geneon Entertainment
DVD SRP: $29.98 – 100 Minutes
Video: Full Screen (Standard) – 1.33:1
Audio: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo) & English Subtitles

One day, Lirin meets two brothers who leave offerings at a small shrine hoping to see their late mother. That night, their mother appears before them and tells the overjoyed brothers to obtain Sanzo’s scripture, which will bring her back to life. In the meantime, having become separated from the others, Goku becomes lost in a forest and is helped by a girl. She takes him home to give him a meal but he senses an odd feeling from her parents. Have the demons roped in these innocent children to acquire Sanzo‘s scripture?

DVD Features:
• Japanese Comercial Collection
• Geneon Trailers

Saiyuki Reload is the sequel series to the already popular series following the Sanzo party on their journey to kick some demon ass! Featuring the same ol’ characters in new circumstances, situations, and battles that were loved the first go-around this time they mean business two-fold… those demons are going down!

STORY – Rating: 8.5 (out of 10)
There is little brain usage involved in figuring out whether or not this show will be for you. For those who like butt kicking like in Dragon Ball Z, story rivaling Yu Yu Hakusho, and humor that falls around the same level of cuteness as Pokemon (no insult intended) this is a great series to get into. The characters are all quirky and fun to watch while the stories are involving without being too complex to pull any major brain muscles. The situations are always humorous while still maintaing a great balance of action. While four episodes per disc seems a little short on some level if this is a series that an anime fan’s pocket can afford it is one worth getting. In other words – those who already have the first set of episodes from Saiyuki might as well get the sequel as well. The hilarity ensues in positive light. The first episode on this release, Invincible Castle, was mildly disappointing. It featured a weak story in some respects and it felt like filler and nothing more. Yet the three episodes to follow werr all great fun. The second episode featured here was amazing… Simply hilarious. Goku thinks that Sanzo has turned into a demon after a trick played on him by the others – and he even ends up tricking them into believing it after some funny coincidences occur. This was a standout for the show and a prize gem on any volume of any anime to be released in months. All in all this is a great fun series. That makes it an easy recommendation.

This DVD Contains Episodes:
• 09 – Invincible Castle
• 10 – Demon Genjyo Sanzo
• 11 – A Kind Visae
• 12 – Forest of the Spirited Away

ANIMATION – Rating: 8 (out of 10)
While nothing spectacular can be found in the animation department regarding Saiyuki Reload the character designs have remained a strong part of the series. Each character is wonderfully designed and it feels as though they really do exist. Something must be right about the animation for that to occur. As for everything else, however, the series is fairly average looking in a number of ways. This does not detract from the overall feeling of the show however. A strongly drawn series can be less interesting than a poorly done one if the story isn’t in place. This series has everything going on in the right direction and therefore the drawings only help exceed its duties to entertain.

AUDIO – Rating: 9 (out of 10)
Nothing is wrong with the audio on this volume of Saiyuki Reload. There are no real reasons to complain. The mastering/mixing/etc. put into the audio is impressive and the end result is damn good. The Voice Actors cast for these roles are superb in their parts. They seem to get better with each release as they become more relaxed and infused with the characters they play.

EXTRAS – Rating: 3 (out of 10)
Nothing amazing to behold here. The extras on anime releases are never very good (unless we’re discussing a Hayao Miyazaki movie) so this release is no different in that regard. Despite the lack of much to offer the viewer in the extras department, they can at least be entertained by the original Japanese Trailers (a feature I approve of) and the inclusion of trailers for other Geneon releases which is always a fun thing to watch.

Fans of the previous Saiyuki related show/film will be pleased to learn that Saiyuki Reload, the sequel, is satisfactory in a number of ways. It may be a bit expensive for everyone to purchase but for those that can: Go for it. Those that can’t may wish to give this a rental at the very least.