Must be a trend if I’m feeling bored, eh?. Yup. Due to that, once more I decided to do a little versus to kill a little time. Should I be watching some anime if I’m bored? Since I’m not a total otaku, I can’t be staring at the idiot box 24/7. Bad for my eyes. Heck, it isn’t better either since I’m facing the computer monitor. Anyway this time’s versus blog pits against two animes adapted from the classical Chinese literature, Gensoumaden Saiyuki (Saiyuki) and Asobotto Senki Goku (Asobotto). Not that I remember much from both series since I watched them pretty long time ago and it’s not like I watched every single episode of it. So yeah, may not be comprehensive but what the heck. It was just to pass the time. So be pleased to note that this won’t be as long as a novel or last even a couple of minutes.

Alternate name
The other name given for the anime series.
Saiyuki: Paradise Raiders. (Huh?! WTF?!).
Asobotto: Monkey Typhoon. (At least this sounded better).


The world setting
Saiyuki: Humans and demons once lived together in harmony but that peace was shattered when the demons started attacking humans.
Asobotto: A thousand years in the future, due to a virus called Destruction (how aptly named), a large part of the world has been reduced to uninhabitable desert wasteland, threatening both humans and asobots on the brink of extinction.

The travelling heroes
Our main group of heroes (or anti-heroes) on a journey.
Saiyuki: Genjo Sanzo, Son Goku, Sha Gojo and Cho Hakkai.
Asobotto: Sanzo, Goku, Joe, Tongo and Suzie.

Their race
Most of them aren’t exactly humans.
Saiyuki: Except for Sanzo, the rest are youkais (demons) whether they are former humans or born half-human.
Asobotto: Except for Suzie, the rest are asobots, a form of robots (derived from blending words, association and robots together).

The monk
As we can see that both Sanzos share the same name and are based on their Chinese counterpart, Xuan Zang. But the Sanzo in Saiyuki is an anti-hero, meaning he isn’t the kind who opens to anyone, cold, short tempered and couldn’t care less, though he provides rational thinking. He wields a gun and sometimes uses his Manten Sutra as his weapon. For the Sanzo in Asobotto, awakened from his thousand year slumber, he is like what most typical good guys are. Plays big brother to Suzie and wields a magic harmonica that can power up his comrade asobots during battles.

The monkey
You can’t have a Journey to the West story without the main monkey as both characters are based on their Chinese counterpart, Sun Wu Kong. Saiyuki‘s Goku was found by Sanzo when the former was in prison, though the latter had no intentions of looking after him but takes him in since he had nowhere to go and that he was probably calling out to someone with all his heart. Asobotto‘s Goku on the other hand was forced by Sanzo to go on a quest. Both wield a staff as their weapon and I believe both of them also act like monkeys. They may not be fooling around all the time but they aren’t exactly the gentlemen kind either. And of course, just like good guys, their sense of principles and all that, bla bla bla.

Gojo VS Joe
Both are based on their Chinese counterpart, Sha Wu Jing. But unlike Asobotto’s Joe who needs water (lots of them) to survive, Saiyuki‘s Gojo dislikes them especially swimming. Gojo’s weapon is Shakujo in which its connecting chains can extend and fight enemies at a distance. Asobotto‘s Joe’s weapon is Feather Sword and he powers up to change it to Feather Blade after collecting 6 keys.

Hakkai VS Tongo
Both are based on their Chinese counterpart, Zhu Bai Jie. Saiyuki‘s bespectacled Hakkai is a former human turned youkai while Asobotto‘s Tongo is a big fat cat with an eye-patch. Hakkai fights using his energy blasts from his palm via chi powers while Tongo has a weapon called Chain Hammer.

Their mission
The objective of the group or else it will be redundant if they’re just roaming and bumming around, right?
Saiyuki: To travel west and stop the revival of the demon king Gyumaou.
Asobotto: To stop the destruction of the world by collecting the 49 legendary keys to unlock the Twin Headed Dragon Door.

Antagonists
Supposedly the baddies of this series. You can’t call good guys good when you don’t have bad guys, right?
Saiyuki: Gyokuman Koushou (who seeks to revive Gyumaou), Kougaiji and his team (consisting of Dokugakuji, Yaone and Lilin) and the heretical forbidden child of a god and human Homura and his henchmen.
Asobotto: Professor D (who seeks to find all the 49 keys for his sinister plan), The Quartet (consisting of Casper, Marty and Marie), Dobberman King and sisters Mion and Shion who later defected to joining Goku’s group.

Transforming animals
Saiyuki: Hakkai’s little white dragon, Hakuryuu can transform into a jeep and provide the quartet transportation over their journey.
Asobotto: Goku’s Skywalker is a robot horse while Mion’s Saachi is a weasel that can transform into a hoverboard and Shiyon’s parrot can turn into a walkie-talkie.

In the end
What happened to our heroes and the future in store for them.
Saiyuki: After defeating Homura, the gang continue to travel west.
Asobotto: After all the keys have been collected, Goku and co choose to go back to the past.

Drawing and art
Refers to the visual art of the characters.
Saiyuki: Leans more towards bishonen.
Asobotto: Leans more towards cute and kawaii.

Number of episodes
Saiyuki: The original TV series ran for 50 episodes in year 2000. It has spawned several OVAs (Saiyuki Reload: Burial and Saiyuki: Kibou No Zaika), TV remakes (Saiyuki Reload and Saiyuki Reload Gunlock) and a film (Saiyuki: Requiem) between 2001 and 2007. Must be that popular, eh?
Asobotto: The original TV series ran for 52 episodes in late 2002 and that’s it. Not that popular, eh?

Opening and ending themes
Saiyuki: The original TV series has 2 opening themes (For Real and Still Time, both by Hidenori Tokuyama) and 2 ending themes (Tightrope by Charcoal Filter and Alone by Mikuni Shimokawa).
Asobotto: There are 2 opening themes (Beside You: Boku Wo Yobu Koe by BoA and Wo Ai Ni by dream) and 4 ending themes (I Wake Your Love and Burning Dance both by m.o.v.e., Kasumi Yuku Sora Se Ni Shite by Janne Da Arc and Lolita Strawberry In Summer by SweetS) and a special ending theme called Asobotto Senki Goku No Sekai for the final episode.

Conclusion
From a glance, it looks like Saiyuki would fare better than Asobotto in terms of just about everything. Partly because I have seen more of Saiyuki episodes as compared to Asobotto. I’m sure there are more anime adaptations of the classical Chinese literature but if you really want to know more and is interested, it is better to go read to original real deal. Besides, there are countless adaptations into films, novels, television series (especially those Taiwan productions) and even games. So remember, it’s the journey that matters and not the final destination. Just like life itself. Hmm… Now that I am no longer bored, maybe I should resume my journey of watching animes.

Gensoumaden Saiyuki Asobotto Senki Goku

Asobotto Senki Goku

February 10, 2006

The thing that Gensoumaden Saiyuki and Asobotto Senki Goku have in common is that both anime series is based on the novel Journey To The West, and they both have that monkey boy, Goku and priest, Sanzo. Monkey Typhoon, as it’s more commonly known here, has a more comical nature as compared to Saiyuki and the storyline is somewhat different (or else why would they make such an anime in the first place).
 
It’s something like this. In the future, a large part of the world has transformed into a desert wasteland making humans unable to dwell. So, they seek refuge in the world of Meshichi and live together with Anbots. But then, some virus is threathening the humans’ existence and thus an alliance of association robots (hence, asobotto) is formed to find the 49 keys in order to save the human race from extinction.
 
Made out of the mysterious priest, Sanzou (who’s being awaken from his cryogenic sleep), the playful and ‘with-an-attitude’ and sometimes idiotic Goku, Tongou the big cat, the spikey haired Jou, and Susie, some sort of petite thief. A bunch of misfits at first impressions, I’d say. In this series, during battles, Goku can transform himself into some kick-ass, fierce looking robot. Plus, with a mere whistle, he can summon a mechanical horse to aid him as well. As for Sanzou, his power-up seems to be a harmonica, used only when they’re gonna lose (why doesn’t he use it in the first place?). But he seems unable to defend himself most of the time. Ironic, but don’t ask me.
 
Of course, on their journey, they’ll meet all kinds of obstacles and characters that, well you know, sometimes make you think that whether or not they’re with or against them. Like Mion, a cutie lady who wants to collect all 49 keys herself for unknown reasons (she has a golden mechanical weasel which she sometimes keep in her hat!). But I think they keep bumping into each other because Mion has a little crush on Sanzou. Well, since I wasn’t addicted to this anime, I’d probably watch this for amusement purposes.
 
Oh yeah. One thing I noticed is that, most of the bad guys here just look the same. Maybe they all came from that one same bad seed, huh?