Saturday, September 20, 2008

Saiyuki (TV series)

is a 2006 Japanese historical TV based on the 16th Century Chinese story ''Journey to the West''. It is a successor to the popular 1970's TV show ''Saiyūki'', known outside Japan as ''''. There have been 3 dramas and one special based on Journey to the West that have aired previously, making this one the fifth adaptation in Japan.

made an unusual decision to air this on 9pm every Monday, a primetime slot usually reserved for romantic dramas, hoping to capture both the young and the old by making this choice. While the series started off with viewership nearly reaching 30%, its rating gradually sank, barely making it at 20% at one point; the last episode finished off with 24.5%.

Rather than producing a second season, and Toho produced a feature film version of ''Saiyūki'', that was released in Japan on July 14, 2007. The film was a box office success. The DVD was released on January 1, 2008 in two formats; a single disc version with audio commentary and trailers, and a 2-Disc limited collector's edition with documentaries and making-of featurettes.


* - Shingo Katori
* - Eri Fukatsu
* - Atsushi Ito
* - Teruyoshi Uchimura
*Rin Rin - Asami Mizukawa

Notable guests

*Kadono Takuzo
*Takuya Kimura
*Rieko Miura
*Keiji Mutoh
*Shaku Yumiko
*Ayumi Ishida
*Masaaki Sakai -- Portrayed Son Goku in the original ''Monkey'' series


* Japan was the first country to adapt this enduring story into a TV series, when aired '''' in 1978; China would not make a live action series until 1986.
*Eri Fukatsu actually shaved her head for her role as Sanzohoshi.
*Traditionally, the role of the monk has been played by a female in Japanese dramas.
*The theme song, "Around the World," is performed by Japanese pop group Monkey Majik, who took their name from the theme song of the original series, "Monkey Magic," performed by Japanese group Godiego.
*''Journey to the West'' is one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. It was written during the Ming Dynasty, in the 1590s. Its attributed author is Wu Chengen.

No comments: