By James Robert Shaw (The Wind up Geek)
On Monday Ichijinsha launched a website that celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Saiyuki manga series. The site hosts a YouTube video that announces an anime series, adapted from the Saiyuki Reload Blast manga, is being planned for the 20th anniversary year of 2017. The cast of past Saiyuki animated series, Toshihiko Seki, Soichiro Hoshi, Hiroaki Hirata, and Akira Ishida will return to voice characters in Reload Blast.
And in 2017 a special event will celebrate all things Saiyuki. Saiyuki Festa 2017 will be held January 7 & 8, 2017 at the Makuhari Messe International Convention Complex in the Mihama-ku ward of Chiba city, Chiba Prefecture. The cast of Saiyuki Reload Blast and other guests to be announced will take to the stage during this two-day event. The last Saiyuki Festa in 2009 saw over 20,000 people in attendance.
The Saiyuki manga series was created by Kazuya Minekura and first published in 1997. It is loosely based off the Chinese novel Journey to the West that was originally published anonymously but some scholars have attributed the work to author Wu Cheng’en. Saiyuki was originally serialized in Square-Enix’s Monthly GFantasy but is now published in Ichijinsha’s Monthly Comic Zero Sum. The Saiyuki manga over recent years has been published irregularly due to the artist’s ill-health.
The Saiyuki manga has not only spawned multiple anime series but has produced video games and stage musicals.
Tokyopop is the current license holder to the Saiyuki manga in North America. Of the anime, Saiyuki Gaiden OVA collection was released by Sentai Filmworks and Geneon Entertainment Inc. released the Saiyuki Reload television series in North America and it’s follow-up Saiyuki Reload: Gunlock. ADV Films was the original distributor of the first Saiyuki television series and the Saiyuki: Requiem movie before AEsir Holdings acquired the rights and released the series in 2015.
Video Source(s): IchijinshaPV.