YMMV / Saiyuki

  • Crowning Music of Awesome: There are 3 piano pieces that this anime produced that are especially noteworthy for the beauty of the compositions, to the point that many pianists cover them. The first two are arrangements of the opening themes, For Real and Alone, while the third is Hakkai's Theme.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: The Kougaji's party thanks to they're being likable antagonists with their own personalities.
  • Evil Is Sexy: A lot of the villains qualify, the whole Kougaiji-ikkou, Chin Yisou, Kami-sama, Hazel, Gato, Ukoku, and it goes on and on.
  • Fan Nickname: The Sanzo-ikkou, an honorific indicating a group, especially a group of religious pilgrims. Kougaiji, Lirin, Yaone, and Dokugakuji are often referred to as the Kougaiji-tachi, a group honorific with a connotation of "team".
  • Foe Yay: The anime (especially the first season) implies that Hakkai may harbor romantic feelings towards Yaone.
  • Fridge Horror: In Saiyuki Ibun, Genkai's best friend Toudai is the only one not afraid of touching him. Touching Genkai reveals your future to him. Now consider Toudai's ultimate fate as revealed in Burial. Genkai had to live with knowing all along the brutal way in which his best friend would die. Seems kinda merciful that Houmei goes out of his way not to touch him now, doesn't it?
  • Fridge Brilliance: Not that Ukoku really needed any more reason to try to Ret Gone Sanzo in Reload, but there's an even more pressing reason than Ukoku's love of mind-rape, wanting to win his bet with Koumyou, and trying to stop Sanzo interfering with his plans. Ukoku was obsessed with Koumyou, who was the only one who was ever able to get the better of him but refused to fight him straight out. He is extremely bitter that such a man died for some brat when he should have been able to defend himself easily from those bandits. Ukoku's conclusion is that Koumyou committed suicide by those attackers, in order to set Sanzo on his path. Ergo, Ret Gone -ing Sanzo would BRING KOUMYOU BACK TO LIFE.
  • Foe Yay Shipping: Yaone and Hakkai are a popular pairing. Lets not forget Kougaiji/Sanzo, which is popular, Kami-sama/Sanzo, which is less popular but exists, along with the squicky-er chin-Yisso/Hakkai, and Dokugakuji/Gojyo. Homura/Goku, Homura/Sanzo, Dougan/Sanzo. If you can count Hazel as an enemy, Hazel/Sanzo (he definitely is in the anime, but the manga less so). Li Touten comes on to Tenpou (which is why he flips) Nataku and Goku are friends but are pitted against each other, and Kenren and Goujun's fight has some elements of this as well, the manga also gives a possibility of Zakuro/Goku. It's safe to say this manga is full of it.
  • Ho Yay: So much, there had to be a new page to stuff it all.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: All members of the Sanzo-ikkou, but among the fans, Goku has the largest shipping poll; as he gets shipped with Sanzo, Hakkai, Gojyo, Kougaiji, Homura, Seiten Taisei (either as self-cest or the two have separate bodies), Konzen, Nataku, Zakuro, The Girl, Hassan, Ukoku, and the list goes on.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Dr. Nii arguably qualifies for this.
  • Moe: Goku and Liren.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Gyokuman Koushu crosses this repeatedly, having started the release of minus-waves to revive Gyomaoh, and we later find that they were started on PURPOSE to make the youkai more violent so they would be more likely to bring her the scriptures that she needed to revive him. She still has more moments with implying that she plans to sacrifice her own daughter to revive Gyomaoh.
    • Ni has crossed it quite a few times himself. Early in the second season, he pretended to take pity on a poor demon who hadn't fully succumbed to the minus-waves and gave him some medicine and a journal for reassurance of his sanity. The so called "medicine" was just ordinary water that had no effect at all; eventually the demon succumbed and almost killed his human friend, only to be shot dead by Sanzo. The only thing Ni has to say afterwards: "The End".
  • Villain Decay: Poor Zakuro didn't even make it to the end of the chapter before the decay started
    • Averted in the anime, where he was portrayed as a serious, if also cowardly individual.
  • What The Hell, Casting Agency?: The cast for the Reload and Gunlock dub, since the original company did not pick up the following seasons, all the characters sounded unfitting in comparison to the original cast, but what really took the cake was Lex Lang being cast as Sanzo.
  • The Woobie: The whole Sanzo-ikkou at one point, though the one who takes the cake is Goku, especially in Gaiden.