Saiyūki (TV series)

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Saiyūki
Genre Fantasy
Shenmo
Action
Adventure
Format Drama
Created by Yuji Sakamoto
Starring Shingo Katori
Eri Fukatsu
Atsushi Ito
Teruyoshi Uchimura
Asami Mizukawa
Country of origin Japan
No. of episodes 11
Production
Running time 84 minutes (Ep.1,11)
54 minutes (Ep.2-10)
Broadcast
Original channel Fuji TV
Original run 9 January 2006 – 20 March 2006

Saiyūki (西遊記?) is a 2006 Japanese historical TV drama based on the Chinese novel Journey to the West. It is a successor to the popular 1970s TV show Saiyūki, known outside Japan as Monkey. There have been three dramas and one special based on Journey to the West that have aired previously, making this one the fifth adaptation in Japan.

Fuji TV 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, Fuji TV and Toho produced a feature film version of Saiyūki,[1] that was released in Japan on July 14, 2007. The film was a box office success, becoming the 8th highest-grossing film of 2007 in Japan.[2] The whole plot of the film is loosely based on chapters 32-35 of Journey to the West, Son Gokū trying to save a kingdom (with the help of a young princess)[3] usurped by King Gold Horn and Silver Horn. 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; it has also been released to both DVD and Blu-ray Disc in the United Kingdom, under the title Monkey Magic: The Movie.[4]

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