Saiyuki vol 1 by Kazuya Minekura
Somewhere in the world, someone is trying to raise the terrible demon lord, Gyumaoh, which made all the Yokai (demons) on Earth even more violent than before. A Buddhist monk, Genjyo Sanzo, and three warriors, Son Goku, Sha Gojyo, Cho Hakkai (all of whom have some Yokai blood in them), are tasked with stopping the revival and putting things back to normal. They travel through the world in a tiny dragon that can transform into a Jeep, and fight many battles along the way. The son of Gyumaoh tries to thwart the warriors, and he sends several of his henchmen to stop them or slow them down long enough for the revival to go off as planned.
This series was originally published in the late 1990s, and is now getting a revised reprinted edition collecting two of the original volumes. This might be one of those stories that benefits from nostalgia goggles, (is this what I sound like constantly recommending Fullmetal Alchemist?) The four main warriors all have that Rico Suave air to them - at least one is extremely flirtatious, and all four have this haughtiness that conveys that they're just too cool for everything going on around them. So far, none of the female characters are particularly strong, and most of them are contained to one chapter or less. There are also some strange things about the setting - I'm not sure if we're on Earth at some point in time, but there are some items that place it on Earth; Genjyo has a revolver, then there's the dragon that turns into a literal Jeep, and Goku says “Gracias” to thank someone for a meal.
The art is a little rough, especially around the eyes. One of them is always pretty droopy. This gets a little better after the first "volume" (so 1st half of this book), but it does get aggravating after a while. The settings and character clothing are really detailed, so the droopy eye is really out of place amongst the fine details.
This might be one to skip for the School Library unless you have a lot of requests for it.
Sara's Rating: 6/10
Suitability Level: Grades 10-12
Publication Date: February 18, 2020
ISBN: 9781632369680 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 6/10, Suitability: High School, Manga, Action Adventure, Demons, Magic, Kodansha
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I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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