Shangri-La is a world where magic and science exists together,
it is an unsafe land, a land in chaos. Experiments to release
the demon Lord Gyumaoh have turned the world's demon population
mad. The only hope for the land is the Sanzo Party, four disparate
adventurers who travel to India where they must stop the revival
of Lord Gyumaoh, along the way they have to contend with both
angels and demons who have their own agenda...
Originally published as a manga by Kauya Minekura, volume
four of Saiyuki Reload contains episodes thirteen through
sixteen of this twenty five episode series.
Episode thirteen, A Teeny Tiny Story, and the gang
book into a hotel which does not allow pets. This is not good
news for Hakuryu (their dragon which can transform into a
jeep) so they park him outside where a couple of local thieves
try and steal him. Dumping the thieves into a river Hakuryu
is found by three children. The Sanzo party goes in search
of their dragon, but so do the villains. Can the Sanzo gang
get to the children and recover Hakuryu before the thieves
was a nice fluffy episode, which did not advance the overall
plot. Humour abounds as does the normal facial contortions
which make comedic stories.
fourteen, Whisper of Darkness, and we seem to be getting
back into the main story, with the gang having to journey
over a mountain. Kougaji, meanwhile, has been ordered to obtain
Sanzo's secret scrolls. When the gang attempt to cross the
mountain they are confronted by a demon, which injures Sanzo.
Kougaji turns up and offers Sanzo help in exchange for his
scrolls. When he refuses Kougaiji attacks.
fifteen, Premonition, and the fight, which started
in the previous episode, continues. Sanzo is down and Kougaji
seems more powerful than ever. This is pretty much a fight
episode, some nice choreography, but ultimately a little unsatisfying
as you know that with so many episodes to go, that this is
not a time to kill off your main character. Do the guys win
in the end? What do you think?
Episode sixteen, Footprints, and the main action moves
back to the castle which, to be honest, is just as well. There
are only so many scenes with the Sanzo gang, in various taverns,
you can watch before it starts to feel a bit samey. Dokugakuji
and Yaone feel that something is not right with Kougaji following
his fight with the Sanzo gang.
Audio is Japanese or English stereo with subtitles or signs
only. The show is presented in its original 4:3 aspect ratio.
The extras are not up to much consisting of a few commercials
for the show, the DVD credits (who still thinks that this
is an extra?) and trailers for other shows. Although, if you
watch the disc through, you will discover various small scenes
as extras between the shows.
The quality of animation in this comedy/drama show shows no
signs of slacking, but I do question the repetitive nature
of the stories and wonder how they are going to finish the
story with so few episodes to go.