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Saiyuki: Requiem

Saiyuki: Requiem
Details
Review Date:
Reviewed By: Azure

Released By: ADV Films UK

Age Rating: 15

Region: 2 - UK
Length: 95 minutes
Subtitles: English
Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1
Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1
Summary
Sanzo, Goku, Gojyo and Hakkai have been journeying to the West for some time on a sacred mission. Whilst on their journey they have faced many challenges, now after three years of wandering they come across a girl in danger. She leads them to her masterís home, are things, as they seem?
Review
Sanzo, Goku, Gojyo and Hakkai have been journeying to the West for some time on a sacred mission. Whilst on their journey they have faced many challenges, now after three years of wandering they come across a girl in danger. She leads them to her masterís home, are things, as they seem?

Saiyuki is a popular manga based on the Chinese story Journey to the West, which many fans will be aware is the basis for the classic TV series Monkey and in a loose round about way Dragon Ball. Saiyuki is the Japanese name for the legend, and bears much closer relation to the original than Dragon Ball but still finds itís own take. This film is set after the first series but is self enough contained for viewers who havenít seen the series or read the manga to enjoy.

The four main leads are recognisable from their Journey to the West counterparts but are much more violent and especially in the priest Sanzoís case much more violent, instead of preaching compassion, Sanzo the priest runs about with a holy gun blasting demons. The plot is a very classic one, but that doesnít make it any less enjoyable, this is monkey with attitude.

There are numerous battles within this film, but thankfully they arenít overlong and work well with the mysterious atmosphere. The main thing is that they are really likable, though itís obvious that by now the viewer is supposed to know who they are. Thankfully though time is given over in the film to show off the characters. The pacing is superb events are continuously developing. Many of the events are classic fantasy thereís lots of shape shifting, demons and magic.

The animation is solid but largely not amazing, there are a few really superb shots scattered about which really serve to punctuate major points. Thereís a little bit of fan service in there too, with a psycho style shower scene with one of the male protagonists. The colours are dark and moody; largely regardless of weather itís night or day, only lightening at the end. The music throughout the film is also largely pretty unremarkable though; the ending theme though stands out.

The are a few extras on the DVD with a text interview with Saiyukiís creator as well as a character gallery and bio. Thereís also a commentary with the voice director and the voice actors, which is very funny but best not listened to with young ears in earshot.

Saiyuki: Requiem is a hugely enjoyable film, itís hard to tackle such a classic style story and so it well but Saiyuki does with buckets of style .Itís very hard to make a film work especially when based on such a long running series but it more tha stands on it's own. Saiyuki: Requiem is essential viewing for fans of fantasy and shonen action.

Rating: 8/10
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