Saiyuki Reload
Volume 5

Starring (voice): Toshihiko Seki, Soichiro Hoshi, Hiroaki Hirata and Akira Ishida
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 12
Available 03 September 2007

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 Five of Saiyuki Reload contains episodes seventeen through nineteen of this twenty five episode series.

Episode seventeen, Impossible Wish, opens with Gojyo standing over the apparently dead bodies of his companions - must be time for a flashback. Because of Haruka's cold, Sanzo agrees to stay in the village a little longer. Gojyo is sent out to get groceries and rescues a child which seems inordinately interested in whether Gojyo is starting to hate his companions.

It's another case of be careful what you wish for, as the child Ginka takes Gojyo at his word and attacks the Sanzo gang. Gojyo defeats the demon and the gang head for the mountains.

Episode eighteen, Sad Bond, and the Sanzo Gang finds themselves split up. Sanzo and Gojyo are wandering through the forest, whilst Goku and Hakkai wake up in an unfamiliar place. At first they think that they are dead until they realise that the dead don't get hungry. Both parties are attacked by demons and must defend themselves.

Episode nineteen, Farewell, and the final part of this trilogy comes to a close. The child whom Gojyo rescued has a brother who has been turned into a demon and it seems that he wants the Sanzo gang to help with his brother's redemption, but redemption comes at a high price.

For once it was nice to have a much longer story from the series, even if the overall story arc seems to have been forgotten. The level of animation remains high and with a longer story there is more time to give depth to the guest characters.

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 and trailers for other shows - although, if you watch the disc through you will discover various small scenes as extras between the shows.

Charles Packer

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