This article lists the main protagonist from the manga and anime series Saiyuki. They were originally created by mangaka Kazuya Minekura.
Minekura's Sanzō-Ikkō, or Sanzo Party, bears only a superficial similarity to the original four in the Monkey King. While their general physical design is similar to those from the novel, their personalities are the complete polar opposites. Their names are the same as the names of the characters in the Chinese novel, but given Japanese pronunciations:
is the cheerful "Monkey King" who uses a staff, known as the Nyoi-Bo , as his primary weapon. He is the Seiten Taisei, the Great Sage Equaling Heaven, and whose true self and powers are released when his diadem is removed. As the Seiten Taisei he is very destructive and cruel, and nearly invincible. He's even able to take in the Earth's energy and regenerate because he was spawned from the sheer energy of the earth itself. During Saiyuki Gaiden, Goku was made a ward of Konzen and befriends both Tenpou and Kenren. When his diadem was removed, Goku killed many celestial beings in his craze. Konzen, Tenpou, and Kenren work to protect Goku, but all four became banished from Heaven. Goku was locked in cage high in the mountains and lost his memories. Goku is found by Sanzo and freed from his imprisonment, and Sanzo becomes something like a foster father to Goku. Goku accompanies Sanzo on his mission to track down Hakkai, and helps to prevent Hakkai from killing himself, and Hakkai later becomes his teacher. Goku joins Sanzo, Hakkai, and Gojyo to stop the resurrection of Gyumaoh, during which he discovered that he was Seiten Taisei, having previously been aware of it. Goku is voiced by Sōichirō Hoshi in Japanese, with the exception of when he was voiced by Kōsuke Okano in the first OVA series. He is voiced in English by Greg Ayres in the original series and Requiem, while Jimmy Benedict voiced him in Reload and Gunlock.
is a hanyou , a cross between a youkai and a human, and uses the Shakugetsujou, a metal weapon staff with a sickle and chain, as his primary weapon. In the anime it is implied that he has the power to either breathe underwater or at least hold his breathe for prolonged periods of time while submerged, possibly an inheritance from his demon father, who may have been a water demon (hence, Gojyo's own nickname as "Kappa"). His eyes and hair are blood-red, which expresses his status as a half-blood. Due to this, he is labeled as taboo and unclean by general society. As a child, he was perpetually being either ignored or beaten by his stepmother, who had been devastated to learn that her husband had an affair with a human woman, only to later be killed together with his mistress (presumably in a hate crime), leaving her to raise both their own legitimate child and her husband's illegitimate son all by herself. He was very close to his older brother, Jien, who constantly pacified his mother whenever she became violent toward Goyjo (in the manga, it is revealed that this forces to Jien to become his own mother's lover in order to do so, but this is never expressly state in the anime), especially whenever he tried to cheer her up as she was in a permanent state of depression over her husband's infidelity and death. Eventually, Jien kills their mother to save Gojyo, after she goes completely insane, and nearly manages to kill him in a berserk fury. The brothers then part ways due to their mutual shame and guilt over the tragedy, and only meet again years later on opposite sides of their current conflict. Gojyo smokes, gambles, and flirts with nearly every woman he meets (the last trait is implied to be mainly due to the trauma of being unloved by his abusive stepmother, despite his constant efforts at winning her affection) . He and Goku are also prone to fighting, though they do care about each other. Gojyo is quick to defend others and holds particular sympathy towards threatened children. Gojyo is voiced by Hiroaki Hirata in Japanese, with the exception of the first OVA series, in which he was voiced by Kōichi Yamadera. He is voiced by Illich Guardiola in English for the original series and Requiem, and voiced by Tony Oliver for Reload and Gunlock.
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