Bit of a Cheat
Turtls | Chicago, IL | 10/28/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Don't get me wrong-- watching the continuing journey of this lovely band of pretty misfits is enjoyable enough. The banter still gets heated, there are a good number of fights, and the time devoted to character development (Gojyo) makes for an interesting story arc.
However, the quality of artwork seems so rushed, so out of proportion at times, that the characters don't even look human/demon/half/etc.
My biggest complaint is that Geneon saw fit to put only 3 episodes on this DVD instead of 4, like all the previous volumes, and yet is charging the same price. The extras aren't all that exciting, and the translucent pencil board that comes "free" with the DVD just doesn't thrill me for some reason."
A real story arc, but too few episodes.
SK | 10/28/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Finally, after four discs of mainly fillers, Saiyuki Reload returns to adapting the rest of the "Saiyuki" manga with the "Kami-Sama" storyline. The only problem is that the DVD only has three episodes, which barely gets us into the story. (Although, if we compare to the manga, the DVD covered just about everything that was covered in the seventh manga, so it isn't so bad.)
The first episode begins with Gojyo walking in to see his companions defeated and lying unconcious in their room. It turns out that earlier that day, Gojyo had helped a little boy while out doing chores, and jokingly said he hated his companions because they always nagged at him and made him do chores. The boy, Kinkaku, believes him and goes to the inn to destroy Gojyo's companions in "thanks" for helping him.
The remaining episodes continue with Sanzo and Gojyo (who are yelling at each other constantly) making their way up a mountain to find out where the boy and his monster are so they can free Hakkai and Goku, whose souls have been locked away in another dimension. The "god" makes an appearance in the last episode, and Gojyo, determined to avenge the boy's death, goes off on his own at the end of the disc.
Very much a cliff-hanger, but that's to be expected. It would have been nice if there had only been 6 discs to the series, and more episodes on each one, rather than having 7 discs with the last three only having 3 episodes each. Overall, the disc is an improvement story-wise over the other four. I, personally, am still disatisfied with the animation/artwork. Geneon dub voices also just don't suit the characters the way ADV's did, although Goku's voice is starting to grow on me. Also, I feel that some of the characterizations are off, as well. Hakkai knitting? I just can't see it, even though "Ura-Sai" shorts are supposed to be goofy.
All-in-all, it was a good disc, but not without the Reload/Geneon cons."
Great story! Get at least Reload Vol 5, 6 and 7!
R.Parklane | Tokyo, Japan | 11/02/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Just finished watching Vol 5, which is an adaptation of Saiyuki manga volume 7. Volumes 7, 8 and 9 of the manga has a great story line and is one of my favorites in the manga. I am glad it has been made into the anime Reload Volumes 5, 6 and 7. The whole story has a total of 9 episodes and that is the reason Reload 5 has 3 episodes. But the faithful adaptation more than make up for the 1 less episode.
A pity about the artwork. Would have given 5 stars if not for that. I feel somewhat cheated seeing the 4 pretty boy heroes reduced to bulky figures, utterly unlike the lanky, boyish and waif-like ones in the manga and the first series, which I miss so much.
Wished the Japanese production has not rushed into capitalizing on the popularity of the first Saiyuki series and spent more effort on the artwork in Reload.
Still the great story and magnificent Japanese vocal actors more than make up for it. Just pure joy listening to them !
I couldn't wait for the rest of the English dub and have watched Reload Vol 6 and 7 in the Chinese dub version. Reload Vol 6 and 7 (episodes 20 to 25) are a faithful adaptation of the rest of the manga and surprisingly very well done.
My recommendation to those of us who have been disappointed with Reload so far is to get at least Reload Vol 5, 6 and 7 (Episodes 17 to 25). Trust me, you will not be disappointed."