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     The Sanzo-ikkou 

The Sanzo Party

Our hotties and "heroes", the main characters of the series.
  • Badass Crew: All 4 are adept at using their respective weapons, and also in hand-to-hand combat. When they participated in a village cage match to win some cash, they effortlessly defeated the local heroes.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Sanzo, Gojyo, and Hakkai all have this for Goku in varying aspects; Sanzo in an Aloof Older Brother sense, Gojyo in the most traditional form, and Hakkai in a moreso parental fashion.
  • Bishounen: The group as a whole is very pretty.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Hoo boy, to put things one way, one of the fillers showed an image of them at their most traumatic memories: everyone but Goku was covered in blood. And that's just because Goku's memories of the covered-in-blood incident got erased.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Even Goku gets in a jab now and then.
  • True Companions: They refuse to refer to themselves as friends, but none of them will allow any of the others to get hurt.

Genjo Sanzo
Voiced by: Toshihiko Seki (JP), David Matranga (EN, original series, Requiem, and Reload Blast), Lex Lang (EN, Reload and Gunlock.)

A short tempered Buddhist monk who smokes and carries a revolver. He was abandoned as an infant and found by the Sanzo priest Koumyou, who raised him and named him Kouryuu. He was granted the supreme rank of Sanzo, guardian of one of the Sutras from the Dawn of Time, at 14, becoming the youngest to ever attain the title. Shortly afterword, Koumyou was brutally murdered in front of Sanzo and his sutra stolen, setting Sanzo on a quest to recover the sutra and avenge his master that has lasted his entire adult life. His behavior is classic Jerkass but he's the legitimate emissary of the gods and on the side of Good.

  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head: His way of showing affection and comfort to Goku.
  • Aloof Older Brother: To Goku, despite the fact that they are not related.
  • Badass Preacher: He's an authentic priest, though he's rather lax in his duties.
  • Badass in Distress: More badass than his original, ever-gullible counterpart but still has quite a few James Bondage moments. As the only non-youkai in the group, he is physically the most vulnerable. As the bearer of 20% of the source code for the universe, he's the ultimate target of most attackers. Result: Sanzo takes a lot of damage and the others frequently have to run interference for him.
  • Badass Long Robe: Wears his Sanzo robes constantly.
  • Berserk Button: Do not harm Goku in his presence.
  • Big Brother Mentor: To Goku, when he's not being an Aloof Older Brother.
  • Celibate Hero: By Word of God, the one monastic vow he has never broken...but not out of piety. He just doesn't like being touched "that way". In fact, Sanzo recoils from pretty much any touch at all, with some degree of exception for his traveling companions, especially Goku. See Rape as Backstory below for a possible explanation.
  • Closest Thing We Got: Sanzo's a horrible choice for a hero. He knows this. Everyone around him knows this. He's also got a better chance of surviving sanzohood than any of the other alternatives.
  • Death Seeker: Sanzo carries around immense survivor's guilt from watching his mentor die to protect him; he constantly pushes himself past his limits, taunts dangerous demons, and his Weapon of Choice is a snub-nose revolver specifically so it's easier to commit suicide with if he had to.
  • Defiant to the End: Sanzou is caught by a scorpion lady, and is paralyzed by some sort of spell. Just barely able to talk, he manages to insult the woman enough that she starts beating him up... only for him to turn it around when it turns out the beating dispelled the magic and freed him.
  • Determinator: There are multiple scenes where Sanzo is so badly wounded he clearly shouldn't even be conscious, and he still gets up and takes out the threat of the day.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: All four main characters get attention from other men but Sanzo kind of takes the cake. He gets admiring remarks even from dudes in bars and casual passers-by. The Requiem OVA's plot centers around his same-sex stalker.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": His companions call him "Sanzo", which is his priestly rank/title. The closest thing he has to a personal name is "Genjyo". This comes back to bite him in the ass when the group meets Sharak in Tibet, as they can't really call him just "Sanzo" when someone else with that title is present but feel that "Genjyo" sounds like a stranger. They experiment with nicknames derived from it (Gen-tan, Gen-pyon), much to Sharak's amusement.
  • Good Is Not Nice: A classic Zen-slap-delivering source of wisdom who couldn't care less if the truth hurts.
  • The Gunslinger: Type A, The Trick Shot. He shoots Chin Yisou's seed out of Gojyo's body without otherwise harming him, even though the seed is right next to his heart.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Goku is his first companion, and whether or not he admits it, he cares very much for the kid, and had pulled a Heroic Sacrifice to save his life.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's selfish, rude and aloof, but when his help is required, he would do what he needs to do.
  • Knight In Sour Armor: He's rather bitter at times, given his experiences.
  • Master-Apprentice Chain: Connects him to Ukoku and Kami-sama on the other side.
  • Meditation Powerup: When the sutra comes out, people are going to get owned.
  • Near-Rape Experience: In the Burial Arc, the first time he ever killed another person, he shot a thug who was trying to rape him. There are many other implications of creepy attention based on his attractiveness as well. This puts Sanzo's responses to touch and to sexual advances in a different light.
  • Nun Too Holy: He's a priest who smokes, drinks and murders, and shows no respect to the gods.
  • Paper Fan of Doom: Uses a paper fan to whack Goku or Gojyo if they're behaving too childishly.
  • Phrase Catcher: Repeatedly described as being like or even just being the sun. This plays a part in a mysterious symbolic bet between Koumyou and Ukoku.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue to Gojyo and Goku's Red
  • Strong as They Need to Be: The first anime series mostly depicted him close to the manga, but had a couple moments where his strength was greatly inflated, such as once when he blocked a punch from Goku's Super-Powered Evil Side.
  • Trigger Happy: He is more than willing to put holes on you if you piss him off, and he is a dead shot.
  • Warrior Monk: Sanzo are trained to fight.

and his previous incarnation

Konzen Douji

  • Bridal Carry: He carries an unconscious Goku this way in an alternative hold while fleeing the Jade Palace with Kenren and Tenpou.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Konzen's androgynously beautiful and dressed in flowing silk that doesn't exactly scream "masculine". It's downright shocking to see his animated incarnation for the first time and then to hear Toshihiko Seki's deep voice when he speaks.
  • Headbutt of Love: To Goku, while calming down the Seiten Taisei and in some official art.
  • Jerkass —> Jerk with a Heart of Gold: His experiences with Goku lightened him up.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Or at least “long since bored past the point of caring” bureaucrat with OCD. He never seems terribly impressed with Heaven’s regime but he’s very serious about his job—until Goku gives him something better to be serious about.
  • Rapunzel Hair: his long ponytail reaches down to his thighs
  • Papa Wolf: He really comes to love and care about Goku, even punching out his aunt to protect him.
  • Serious Business: Is obsessed with getting his name stamp exactly right on official documents.

Son Goku
Voiced by: Soichiro Hoshi (JP), Kosuke Okano (JP, OVA series), Greg Ayres (EN, original series, Requiem, and Reload Blast), Yuri Lowenthal (EN, Reload and Gunlock) note 

A being born from the Earth, and imprisoned 500 years prior to the series by the gods. He knew the past incarnations of the rest of the Sanzo party, but his imprisonment erased his memory. He was eventually let out by Genjo Sanzo, and since then followed him everywhere, though Sanzo never admits to caring for Goku. Is the most childish of the group and has a child-like enthusiasm for fighting. Of all the characters, Goku has probably changed the most over the course of the series.

Has a Super-Powered Evil Side that comes out if his diadem is ever removed, in which he attacks everything in sight and his enjoyment of fighting turns into a sadistic joy of inflicting pain on others.

  • Ax-Crazy: Not only will his Superpowered Evil Side attack anything it sees, it's flat-out sadistic and will pummel enemies even when they can't fight back, and sometimes also bite them, which avoids being Narm because it results in a lot of blood.
  • The Baby of the Bunch: Played with. In terms of physical and mental age, Goku is the youngest. Chronologically speaking, he's significantly older than the rest of his companions.
  • Berserk Button: Do not harm Sanzo in his presence.
  • Big Eater: He hadn't eaten for 500 years during his time in captivity, so he's always hungry, and would eat a portion for 50 if the others would alow him.
  • Bullet Catch: Gato tried shooting him one of the times that his Superpowered Evil Side came out, and Goku caught every bullet fired at him (one with his teeth).
  • Character Development: Goku slowly matures out of his innocence and naivety as the journey continues, but it's most evident after meeting "The Girl" in the Reload manga.
  • Cheerful Child: Although not really a child, Goku is clearly the most cheerful of the Sanzo Party and always looks on the bright side of things.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass
  • The Dreaded: His Superpowered Evil Side, which the rest of the Sanzo party displays more fear of than their actual enemies, with good reason.
  • First Kiss: Goku has his first kiss with "The Girl," it also serves as The Big Damn Kiss because immediately afterwards, the girl dies in an explosion and ultimately triggers Goku's maturity.
  • First Love: Goku has his first crush on the unnamed demon girl.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Sanzo was the one who saved him from his cage, so Goku is now completely devoted to him.
  • Immortal Immaturity: Goku's chronologically over 500-years-old and yet he acts very childish and innocent. He slowly starts growing out of his extreme innocence in Reload, but his childishness still shines through.
  • Keet: Always enthusiastic about exploring new places, especially if it means trying out new foods.
  • The Kirk: Goku is this to Hakkai's Spock and Gojyo's McCoy.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Has no memories of what happened before he was locked in the mountain. The only thing he can remember is his name.
  • Lightning Bruiser: His Superpowered Evil Side moves so fast other characters can't even see him, shrugs off virtually everything thrown at him, and has bent Gojyo's magical shakujou just by grabbing it.
  • The Juggernaut: His Super-Powered Evil Side; he repeatedly almost kills the rest of the party when it comes out, and is only just barely stopped after no-selling everything thrown at him beforehand.
  • Monkey King Lite: It's a loose 'adaptation' of Journey to the West. Of course Goku will be this.
  • The Napoleon: Goku stands at only 162 cm or 5 feet 4 inches at the (biological) age of 18; he's about one head shorter than his traveling companions and has only been shown to be taller than Lirin (by only a couple of inches/centimeters) and children. And he's not happy about his height.
  • Nigh Invulnerable: In his true form he can call on energy from the Earth to heal himself whenever he's injured (shown in his fight with Hakkai's true form) which makes him near immortal.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: He' the smallest of the group, but also has the most brute strength.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Goku was locked away on Mount Gogyo for 500 years, making his chronological age 500+, even though he only looks to be in his mid to late teens.
  • Restraining Bolt: His diadem, which is many times stronger than a normal youkai limiter and can only be remade by the Maten sutra or direct divine intercession.
  • Sealed Badass in a Can: Goku was locked away in a solitary mountain prison for 500 years before Sanzo freed him.
  • Security Cling: Does this to Gojyo on occasion, and mentally to Sanzo for validation of his existence after being released from his prison.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Goku is the Manly Man to Hakkai's Sensitive Guy and the Sensitive Guy to Gojyo's Manly Man.
  • Telescoping Staff: As expected from a Sun Wukong interpretation, Goku has the same type of Nyoibou as well.
  • The Three Faces of Eve: Goku is youthful-looking, overly cheerful for a demon and isn't exactly bright, making him the Child.
  • Too Powerful to Live: His Superpowered Evil Side is that because if it wasn't, most of the fights in the series would be over in a few seconds.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: If it weren't for the merciful goddess replacing his broken power limiter when he did he would have killed Rikudo for almost killing Sanzo before Sanzo ever had a chance and before this he goes from adorable little boy to killing machine once his power limiter breaks and he kills hundreds of people upon witnessing his best friend (And only one his age) commit suicide so close that his blood get on him, all so that way he would not be forced to kill Goku and used as a pawn in his "father's" plans anymore. Then later when it breaks again from his overwhelming fear of being alone again and the monks chasing him in the temple just days after Sanzo saved him from the cave he was trapped in for 500 years.

Sha Gojyo
Voiced by: Hiroaki Hirata (JP), Kōichi Yamadera (JP, OVA series), Kayu Suzuki (JP, child, the first series), Masayo Hosono (JP, child, Reload) Illich Guardiola (EN, original series and Requiem), Tony Oliver (EN, Reload and Gunlock), Ian Sinclair (EN, Reload Blast), Sam Foster (EN, child, the first series), Julie Ann Taylor (EN, child, Reload)

A half-youkai that grew up with an abusive mother that eventually tried to kill him, but his older brother Jien killed her right in front of him to save him. A cardsharp and womanizer who frequently gets into fights with Goku.

  • Abusive Parents: His step-mother hurt him so badly that his brother would have to sleep with her to stop her from harming him. He then killed her to stop the woman from murdering Gojyo.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Gojyo is described and seen as having blood red hair and eyes in the manga, in Gensomaden, his hair looks more like a purple while his eyes are still red; but his hair and eyes are still described as being blood red in the anime. The color of his hair is corrected in the Reload and Gunlock anime.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Though a lesser case than Hakkai; his origins, Sha Wujing, weren't exactly attractive, he was either a kappa/sand monster or whenever turning human, a bearded middle-aged man. Sha Gojyo, on the other hand, is a Long-Haired Pretty Boy and a Mr. Fanservice.
  • Big Brother Worship : As a kid he adored his older half-brother, Jien.
  • Bridal Carry: In episode 7 of Gensomaden, he carried and held an unconscious Goku this way after his diadem was put back on.
  • Bruiser with a Soft Center: Proud of his muscles and likes to play the swaggering Lothario, but as a result of the abuse he endured as a child he's quick to defend children, and his kind heart likewise makes him a sucker for stray kittens, abused underlings and anyone with a sob story.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: see above; goes double for women with sad tales to tell, especially if they cry.
    • Urban Legend Love Life: In the manga Gojyo is a notorious flirt, but he's yet to become romantically involved with any women in-series (never at all in the manga, and a single one-night-stand in the anime). This only fuels speculation.
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: Gojyo's biological parents died in a suicide pact when he was very young. He was raised by his older half-brother and Wicked Stepmother, both of them demons.
  • Facial Markings: Has a scar on his cheek from when his stepmother tried to kill him.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: His father was a youkai ("demon"), his mother a human.
  • Handsome Lech: He's good-looking, he knows it, and uses it to his advantage to flirt with any pretty girl he sees.
  • Heroic Bastard: He's the child of an extramarital affair.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Acts like an old married couple with Hakkai, with the latter acting as his housewife until Sanzo and Goku recruited them.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's rather abrasive, but he does care about his companions.
  • The Mccoy: Gojyo is this to Goku’s Kirk and Hakkai’s Spock.
  • Mommy Issues: Despite her horrific abuse towards him, he loved his stepmother very much.
  • Red Headed Step Child: His red hair and red eyes are signs that he's a half-demon.

previous incarnation

General Kenren

  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Kenren has black hair and eyes in the manga, in Gensomaden, he is portrayed as having the same hair and eye color as Gojyo; it is corrected in the Gaiden Ovas.
  • Badass Longcoat: Wore one as part of his uniform.
  • Big Brother Mentor: To young Goku.
  • Eaten Alive: His death came about when one of the Naraku bear devoured his body so that it couldn't be used as evidence against the others.
  • Four-Star Badass: He was a high-ranking soldier.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Died smiling and feeling pity for the Naraku bears.
  • House Husband: Back in the day, Kenren was the one who kept Tenpou’s office clean and made sure he remembered little things like sleeping and bathing.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Red to Tenpou's Blue
  • With Due Respect: Kenren is not exactly known for holding his tongue and he’s the first one to lash out against the Heavenly authorities... but the others immediately back him up when he does.

Cho Hakkai
Voiced by: Akira Ishida (JP), Saori Higashi (JP, child), Braden Hunt (EN, original series and Requiem), Steve Staley (EN, Reload and Gunlock), Micah Solusod (EN, Reload Blast), Nyl Stewart (EN, child)

Originally named Cho Gonou, he lived with his sister, who he shared a romantic relationship with. One day she was kidnapped by youkai, and Gonou proceeded to singlehandedly kill them all in the course of fighting his way to the youkai lord's castle, only to find - when he reached his sister's prison cell - that she had been raped, and not wanting to give birth to a youkai child, killed herself right in front of him. In the process, he got the blood of a thousand youkai on him and became a youkai himself. Later he meet with Gojyo and the two were found by Sanzo and Goku who were tasked to bring Hakkai for trial for his massacre of youkai. It turned out for Hakkai that as Buddhism forbids killing (not that it ever stops Sanzo), he is instead given a new identity as Cho Hakkai. He is generally the most polite and intelligent of the group, but even they find him terrifying when he's angry. Occasionally he removes his power limiters and fights as his youkai self, but does so rarely as it can potentially expose him to the influence of the Minus Wave.

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: His origin, Zhu Bajie, is a Pig Man. Hakkai, on the other hand? An extremely attractive pretty boy with attractive voice to match.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Hakkai has green eyes in the manga, he retains his eye color in Gensomaden, but in Reload and Gunlock, his eyes are a near black color.
    • Hakkai's vine-like youkai markings are green in the manga (and a darker shade of green in the Burial OVA), but are red in the Reload anime.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Hakkai is easily the most polite and soft-spoken member of the group. He's also a walking font of potential violence who will snap your arm with a sweet, absent smile. Even Goku gets nervous when Hakkai removes all three limiters, and for good reason.
  • Brainy Brunette: The intellectual of the ikkou. He could have had his pick of college scholarships had he wanted to continue his formal education, takes correspondence courses (including lockpicking, which becomes very helpful), reads thick obscure books, and worked as a school teacher until Kanan's death.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: In the Gensoumaden anime, Hakkai constantly states his deceased lover Kannan was like a big sister; while in the manga, she really was his big sister.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Almost every time he fights. If he's acting otherwise his opponent is in big trouble.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: He single-handedly killed more than a thousand people (youkai and human) while still fully mortal. Armed with what looked like a fruit knife. Before he learned any ki attacks or healing. Imagine what he’s capable of now. Then go hide under the bed.
  • Eye Scream: In the manga, he tears out his eye and throws it at somebody. The anime "tones it down" to scratching the eyeball up while still in the socket.
  • Friendship Moment: Several times with Yaone throughout the series.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners/Ho Yay: With Goyjo. Knowing Hakkai, they probably DO have a china pattern picked out, whichever way you see their relationship.
  • High-Class Glass: Wears one over his eye.
  • House Husband: He's basically the caretaker of the group.
  • If It's You, It's Okay: Hakkai honestly didn't care about the discovery that Kannan was his biological older sister, he genuinely loved her romantically and wanted to spend the rest of his life with her.
  • I Owe You My Life: How he feels towards Gojyo And Sanzo
  • Never Gets Drunk: He can drink anyone under the table without showing the effects. An audio drama actually does show him rambling to Hakuryuu when it's just the two of them and claiming that he's had too much, however, indicating that it might be less about not getting drunk and more about having so much self-control that his behavior never changes. Either way, it just adds to his Uncanny Valley factor.
  • Only Sane Man: Within the Sanzo-ikkou, he is by far the calmest of the four.
  • Power Limiter: His three earcuffs.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue to Gojyo's Red
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Sensitive Guy to Goku and Gojyo's Manly Man.
  • The Spock: To Goku's Kirk and Gojyo's McCoy.
  • Stepford Smiler: He's always smiling, but not always happy give his past.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: When he takes off his limiters, he gains more power but goes berserker, unable to tell enemy from ally.
  • That Man Is Dead: Cho Gonou is dead. Hakkai is who he is now.
  • Team Chef: He does the cooking.
  • Team Mom: He always makes sure the others are well taken care of and looks over them.
  • The Three Faces of Eve: Hakkai is sensible and even tempered, making him the Wife.
  • Was Once a Man: He's a demon who was originally human, but bathed in the blood of a 1000 demons he killed.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Gender Flipped with context and complete with Influence Judo - watch the group's antics carefully, and you'll see that while Sanzo is nominally in charge, if Hakkai wants something done, it happens. He'll also break your arm without ever losing his smile... but only if you're threatening innocents or his True Companions.

previous incarnation

Field Marshal Tenpou

Hakuryuu / Jeep

Voiced by: Kaoru Morota (JP, Saiyuki), Tae Okajima and Eisuke Kotanizawa (JP, Saiyuki Reload and Gunlock), Kelli Cousins (EN)

     Kougaiji Party 

The Kougaiji Party

A band of four youkai that were unaffected by the Minus Wave, but for reasons that come from following Kougaiji they serve as rivals to the Sanzo party.


Voiced by: Takeshi Kusao (JP), Vic Mignogna (EN, original series), Terrence Stone (EN, Reload and Gunlock)

A Noble Demon; son of the Youkai King, Gyumaoh, and often addressed as Prince. He has no interest in resurrecting his father and has nothing against humans or the Sanzo party, but as Gyokumen Koushu has promised to revive his mother if he helps complete her plans, he none the less aids her.

  • Big Brother Instinct: To Lirin. Lirin remarks that he's more like family to her than Gyokumen or the father she's never met, and wonders whether his mother Rasetsunyo would accept her as a step-child.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: As "Barcode" Kougaiji, thanks to Nii. He goes up against Goku, who takes a beating when he assumes that this is yet another Affably Evil run-in. And crazy!Kougaiji can wipe the floor with limiter-on-Goku.
  • The Comically Serious: Every now and again.
  • Facial Markings: His stripes.
  • Dark-Skinned Redhead: His appearance.
  • I've Come Too Far: His reasoning for going along with the attack on Sharak's temple, including killing civilians.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Genuinely cares for the other three party members but is reluctant to openly show it; gets upset when Yaone thinks she's failed him and attempts to commit suicide
  • Momma's Boy: Started out willing to do anything to reawaken her.
  • Noble Demon: He tries.
  • Playing with Fire: His specialty is fire magic.
  • Really 500 Years Old: His father was sealed 500 years ago.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Has some moments of this in the anime exclusives, most notably in one instance where he tried fighting Goku's Super-Powered Evil Side despite nearly getting killed the first time.
  • Warrior Prince: He's the prince of the Demon Lord and willing to put himself on the frontlines.


Voiced by: Kaoru Morota (JP, original series), Tomoko Kawakami (Reload and Gunlock), Hilary Haag (EN, original series), M.A. Lovestedt (EN, Reload), Cindy Robinson (EN, Gunlock)

Kougaji's younger half sister. Can be best described as a female Goku; all energy and appetite; replace his relationship with Sanzo with hers with Kougaiji, minus that he treats her much better. A bit of an airhead. Has surprisingly large breasts despite her young appearance. Hero-worships her big bro to the extent that she characterizes herself as the prince's sister rather than the king's daughter, and is justifiably wary of her creepy mom.

  • Big Eater: A running joke being that she is easily distracted by food, even in the middle of a fight. Sanzo literally throws a steam bun to her in order to get her to stay out of a fight.
  • Boobs of Steel: Big breasts, capable of kicking ass.
  • Cute Bruiser: At times is actually implied to be stronger than Kougaiji.
  • Dark-Skinned Blond: Her skin color is rather dark.
  • Facial Markings: Her (mirror image of Kougaiji's) stripes - figures they'd have similar youkai markings, given that they're blood-related.
  • Genki Girl: Very upbeat under normal circumstances.
  • Perky Female Minion: To her brother.
  • Pint-Size Powerhouse: She's as short as Goku.
  • Really 500 Years Old: Her father was sealed 500 years ago.
  • Tag Along Kid: Kougaji usually doesn't bring her along, so much as she tags along.
  • Tomboy: To Yaone's Girly Girl.

Dokugakuji/ Sha Jien

Voiced by: Dai Matsumoto (JP, first series), Jurota Kosugi (JP, Reload and Gunlock), Jason Miesse (EN, original series episodes 5-18), Mike MacRae (EN, original series episodes 20-50), Paul St. Peter (EN, Reload and Gunlock)

  • Big Brother Instinct: Even though they're now on opposite sides of the Minus Wave conflict, he's still worried about the welfare of his younger half-brother Gojyo. And his un-vassal like concern for Kougaiji, who reminds him of his little brother, is motivated by his lingering guilt. He sees protecting Kougaiji as way to earn redemption for his previous failure. His breakdown in the manga when he thinks he cannot keep Kougaiji safe reflects this.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: He towers several inches taller than his prince and specializes in hand-to-hand and sword combat.
  • Comforting the Widow: His incestuous relationship with his mother came about because of his resemblance to his late father and it was the only way to calm her down and keep her from abusing his half brother Gojyo .
  • Cool Sword: With a wide, curved blade like a scimitar.
  • Facial Markings: His youkai skin markings appear on his forehead and across his nose. Even in the manga they're often omitted, though.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In chapter 4.6.2 (Episode 9) of Reload Blast, he takes a blow for Kougaiji, and dies from his injuries later in the same chapter.
  • Parental Incest: With his mother, in order to protect Gojyo from physical abuse. He was disgusted by this, but ultimately experiences more guilt over failing to prevent the abuse.
  • That Man Is Dead: His response when Gojyo refers to him by his birth name, "Jien".


Voiced by: Yuko Minaguchi (JP), Shelley Calene-Black (EN, original series), Mela Lee (EN, Reload and Gunlock)

A chemist, apothecary and healer who was rescued by Kougaiji from being the next meal of the Centipede Demon, Hyakugan Maoh. As a result she is completely devoted to him and willing to die in his service. He has several times had to convince her that she's worth much more to him alive and using her medicinal skills. Variously shipped with him and with her colleague Cho Hakkai, though there's no evidence that she has romantic feelings for either. When the group is at home she often serves as Lirin's nanny/minder.

  • Naïve Newcomer turned Action Girl: She tries when she first meets the Sanzo Party, bless her, but... She really just has no idea what she's up against. Next time, she takes on Hakkai.
  • Bloodbath Villain Origin: In the anime. Nii states she killed her own parents, in addition to the fact that her town was razed by Hyakugan Maoh's forces and she was taken in as a potential dinner prospect.
  • Friendship Moment: With Hakkai several times.
  • Girly Girl: To Lirin's Tomboy.
  • I Owe You My Life: To Kougaiji. Then, some major Villainous BSOD-ing when Hakkai spares her as well, and pities her.
  • The Medic: She's basically the one who heals the others.
  • Onee-sama: To Lirin.
  • Shy Blue-Haired Girl : Started out as this, though character development has made her less so.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Asks Hakkai to fight her like she's asking for a dance.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Purple in the Gensoumaden anime; blue in Minekura's artwork and the Reload/Gunlock series.


Voiced by: Kenyuu Horiuchi (JP), Richard Cansino (EN)



Gyokumen Koushu

Voiced by: Shinobu Sato (JP), Kaytha Coker (EN, original series), Wendee Lee (EN, Reload and Gunlock)

The youkai that aims to resurrect Gyumaoh, Gyumaoh's concubine and Lirin's mother. As a Foil to the Kougaiji Party, she appears completely evil, caring for nothing and nobody apart from achieving her goals, even her own family mean nothing to her.

  • Abusive Parents: Her treatment of both Kougaiji and Lirin. She has yet to display any redeeming qualities.
  • Depraved Bisexual: It's heavily implied that she also has trysts with her assistant Dr Hwang.
  • Dragon Lady: She's technically the second-in-command to her husband.
  • Evil Matriarch: To Lirin, who she sees as nothing else than a means to an end.
  • Femme Fatalons: Has long nails to hint at her evil.
  • Kick the Dog: In both the actual series and some particularly brutal ones added in the anime.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Towards Kougaiji, especially but towards almost everyone, even her assistants, especially Dr Hwang.
  • The Mistress: She's Gyumaoh's official concubine and aims to usurp Rasetsunyo's place as his official wife.
  • Parental Neglect: Couldn't care less about the welfare of her biological daughter, Lirin.
  • Wicked Stepmother: To Kougaiji, who she despises as the son of her lover's official wife.
  • Your Cheating Heart: It's hinted many times that she indulges in her lustful needs with Dr Nii and Dr Hwang, but always separately.

Dr. Nii Jianyi/Ukoku Sanzo/Ken'yuu

Voiced by: Hochu Otsuka (JP), Tommy Drake (EN, original series), Kirk Thornton (EN, Reload and Gunlock)

An extremely eccentric yet very threatening human mad scientist attempting to revive Gyumaoh for unknown reasons. As of the end of Reload is also known to be Ukoku Sanzo, the heretical keeper of the Muten sutra and an old friend of Koumyou Sanzo...and possibly also his murderer.

  • Beware the Silly Ones: He's an oddball, but he's the biggest threat to the Sanzo party and is capable of beating them single-handedly.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Almost literally (he wears bunny slippers around the labs and babytalks to a rabbit plushie), but do NOT mistake this guy for harmless due his eccentric behavior; he has plenty of Kick the Dog moments in his pursuit of mad science. That's not even counting the destructive power of the Muten sutra and the fact that he was able to use Buddhist magic to kill fellow monks with no more than a wave of his hand even BEFORE he was elevated to Sanzo.
  • The Chessmaster: It's heavily hinted at that his entire involvement with the Gyumaoh revival was part of a bet with the late Koumyou Sanzo.
  • Creepy Crows: His symbol in the series, along with the darkness of night. His Buddhist dynastic name is "Ukoku", "a crow cawed", after the bird that cried out when he killed his master.
  • The Dragon: To Gyokumen Koushu
  • Deceptive Disciple: Killed his old master Goudai Sanzo.
  • Eye Scream: End of the Reload manga. He loses one to Sanzo and rips the other out himself to find "True Darkness".
  • Hyper Competent Side Kick: Gyokuman Koushu may be the one that came up with plan to revive Gyumaoh, but Nii is the one that allows her plan the possibility of succeeding, and as a whole is far more crafty than she is.
  • Klingon Promotion: Ken'yuu rose in rank to Ukoku Sanzo by killing his master, Goudai. While his master had in fact declared that succession would be decided by a battle to the death, Ken'yuu had been specifically disqualified from participating. This results in Ukoku's strange heretical status: the Muten sutra recognizes him as its owner but he has never received the chakra mark that indicates approval from the gods.
  • Mad Scientist: A biotechnologist who's quite insane.
  • Ret-Gone: The Muten Sutra is capable of this.

Dr. Hwang

Gyokumen's other assistant along with Nii Jianyi. Strict and uptight, she's also Gyokumen's lesbian concubine and a youkai who keeps her youkai ears hidden under her hair.

  • Hot Scientist: A very attractive female, she's never seen without her pinkish labcoat.
  • Meganekko: Never seen without her glasses.
  • Nervous Wreck: Easily startled and very neurotic and uptight.
  • Psycho Lesbian: Or rather, neurotic lesbian. Despite her serious demeanour, she tends to panic easily and often flies into fits, which Nii Jianyi has a tendency to tease her about.
  • The Rival: Defined as this by Nii Jianyi in terms of Gyokumen's affections, even though she's probably more in love with her than he is.
  • Three-Way Sex: Defied. When Nii proposes this to her, she refuses angrily by slapping him across the face, hinting that she's no bisexual but a a true lesbian.

Hazel Grouse

Voiced by: Koichi Tochika (JP), Shinobu Sato (JP, child), Patrick Seitz (EN), Yuri Lowenthal (EN, child)

  • Enemy Within: He's been possessed by the demon Valhalla since it killed his master when he was a child, though he doesn't know it. This is implicitly the doing of Ukoku Sanzo, who was visiting at the time.
  • Death by Adaptation: He dies in the anime adaptation, Gunlock.
  • Foil: To Sanzo. They have a similar history, both having lost their mentors/father figures to youkai attacks and devoting their adult lives to vengeance. However, Hazel pursues his vengeance by seeking to eliminate youkai entirely, even those unaffected by the Minus Wave like young children. Hazel’s magic amulet holds out a kind of false hope because for every human life it restores it must destroy the soul of a youkai. Sanzo, while very willing to kill anyone youkai or otherwise who tries to impede his quest, has not simply generalized that hatred to the entire species. He’s seeking to shut down the Minus Wave and end the problem at its source, restoring the possibility of coexistence between humans and youkai.
  • Go Out with a Smile: In Gunlock
  • Homoerotic Subtext: With Gat.
  • Kansai Regional Accent: In Japanese...because he's from "The West". It gets changed to a mild, Southern accent in English translations.
  • Put on a Bus: At the end of Reload manga, having gained amnesia and lost his powers.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": is it Hazel Grouse? Grosse? Glosse?
    • In Volume 10 of the tankobon, there's a small flashback chapter that spells it as Hazel Grouse.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: He believes in the obliteration of all youkai, berserk or no, since his master's murder.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Less so in the Manga, but played straight in the Anime
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: In the Party Drama CD

Gatty "Gat" Nenehawk

Voiced by: Rikiya Koyama (JP), Beau Billingslea (EN)

  • Back from the Dead: Gat was Hazel's first human victim, by accident. Hazel used his power to bring him back to life. Seems to have been an Unwanted Revival, since his tribe saw him as unnatural and thus he couldn't go back.
  • BFG: Each one is about 3 times the size of Sanzo's little Smith and Wesson. Gat asks Sanzo, after Hazel's talisman is broken, to carry the guns once he can no longer be revived. Sanzo replies that they're guns only someone with Gat's strength could use: Sanzo would have to use both hands to be able to aim just one of them and the recoil would probably numb his entire arm, so he'd only be able to get off a single shot. One of them gets used quite dramatically in the climactic battle of Reload, against Ukoku. Result: The most successful attack against Ukoku yet—he’s probably lost an eye, maybe both. Sanzo does indeed have to use both hands and has to make his one shot count.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Tries this on Seiten Taisei. It doesn't work.
  • Gentle Giant: Rather peaceful when not in a fight.
  • Guns Akimbo: Dual wields two massive guns.
  • The Gunslinger: Unlike Sanzo, Type B, The Vaporizer, with some elements of Type C (The Woo) use of Gun Fu. Gat's a very good shot but ultimately his style relies on the exceptional firepower of his huge pistols.
  • Magical Native American: Though by Hazel's magic rather than his own.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: In the Party Drama CD.

     The Heavens 

Kanzeon Bosatsu/The Merciful Goddess

Voiced by: Misa Watanabe (JP, original series), Rei Igarashi (JP, Reload and Gunlock), Karen Coffer (EN, most episodes of first two seasons), Shawn Taylor (EN, some episodes of first two seasons), Melodee M. Spevack (EN, Reload and Gunlock)

  • Does Not Like Shoes: Goes barefoot constantly.
  • Genre Savvy: Quite wise to how things will go.
  • Hermaphrodite: In the manga, Kanzeon as a "perfected" bodhisattva is both fully male and fully female. In the anime, Kanzeon is portrayed as fully female like in Chinese tradition.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: Despite being a Jerkass, even she's hurt seeing what happened at the end of Saiyuki Gaiden.
  • Intrigued by Humanity: While she's definitely arrogant, her Butt-Monkey man-servant once implying that she's an egotist even compared to the other gods, she regards Earth and its dynamic, constantly changing inhabitants as far more interesting and compelling than static, eternal Heaven. Woe betide you if she finds you especially the Sanzo-ikkou.
  • Otherworldly and Sexually Ambiguous: The goddess Kanzeon Bosatsu is a female-presenting hermaphrodite, as noted by the author in a between-chapters illustration.
  • Physical God: In Saiyuki Gaiden, she's shown to be even stronger than Goku with his power limiter removed.
  • Jerkass Gods: She sends the Sanzo party out for her own amusement rather than any desire to do good, and only rarely ever helps them. And believe it or not, se's actually one of nicer gods seen in the series.
  • Really 700 Years Old: She's a good who's been around for ages.
  • Vapor Wear: Her robes are see-through in the Manga, leaving her nipples clearly visible


  • Butt-Monkey: The aforementioned hapless manservant to Kanzeon.
  • Old Retainer: He's been in the Goddess' service for at least 500 years, is quick to tell the ikkou off for insufficient appreciation of her intervention, and refers to her in the most respectful terms possible, even as he picks up after her messes.
  • Please Put Some Clothes On: You'd think Jiroushin would be used to Kanzeon's "clothing optional workplace" attitude after several hundred years.


Li Touten

Voiced by: Minoru Inaba (JP)

The Three Aspects/The Sanbutsushin

  • Huge Holographic Head: The way they appear in the Temple of the Setting Sun.
  • The Omniscient: Supposedly. There's some suggestions that the Aspects are just following orders from higher deities like Kanzeon.
  • Power Trio: They represent the three "bodies" of the Buddha—Truth, Bliss, and Manifestation—but the character designs look more like they represent the Masculine, Feminine, and Androgyne genders.

Toushin Taishi Homura



     The Sanzo Priests 

Houmei/Koumyou Sanzo

  • Cloudcuckoolander: The description used in Ibun is “a little stray cloud off in his own world”. Koumyou claims to be less reliable than the moon. He’s got a real thing for paper airplanes and forgets to hide the pipe and the booze from the other monks. At one point he quotes Dragon Ball Z to explain his strategies.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: As a novice, Houmei was known as “the demerit monk” for his chronic rulebreaking and laziness. He was also stronger in Buddhist magic than any of the other sanzo candidates. As Koumyou Sanzo, he’s still blowing off lectures and sneaking alcohol…while also being the youngest person ever to reach that rank and the only one ever to be entrusted with two sutras.
  • Master-Apprentice Chain: Learned from Jikaku as a novice, and transmitted his teachings to his successor, Genjyo Sanzo.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Dies so Genjyo can become a Sanzo.
  • My Death Is Only The Beginning: Ukoku has suggested that Koumyou’s death in a youkai attack may have been intentional, as he was more than strong enough to fight such intruders off. This raises the possibility that Koumyou knew the effect his death would have on Genjyo and set him on that path on purpose.
  • The Only One: Two of his closest friends (Tenkai and Goudai) stick him with their own problems (the Maten Sutra and Ukoku, respectively) when they die, because they believe him to be the only one who will not collapse under the karmic burden.
  • Valley Girl: Houmei talks more like a Nagoya schoolgirl than a grown man—using cutesy nicknames and honorifics (i.e., “Momo-chan”), referring to oneself in the third person, and using “boku” and “anata” pronouns are all young, girlish verbal traits in Japanese.

Toudai/Goudai Sanzo


  • Blessed with Suck: Genkai’s prophetic talents were exploited by his parents and he foresaw the deaths of many, but could not protect his parents when they were in danger.
  • Oracular Urchin: Genkai’s body stopped growing very early and he’s about the size of a 4 year-old.


  • Arc Words: Jikaku was the first to make the comparison between Ukoku as “the dark of the night” and Koumyou as “the light of the moon”. The full significance of the comparison is still unclear.
  • Been There, Shaped History: Jikaku's a senior monk at a major temple the first time we see him in Saiyuki Ibun, and was the abbot of Keiun (the largest monastery in China) before Genjyo Sanzo. But what's MORE interesting about him is that he met at least 8 sanzo priests in his lifetime (3 unnamed former sanzos, Koumyou, Goudai, Genkai, Ukoku, and Genjyo).
  • Master-Apprentice Chain: Jikaku instructed both Koumyou and Goudai as novices. In turn, Koumyou taught his successor Genjyo and Goudai taught his successor Ukoku. Genjyo and Ukoku are now on opposite sides of the Minus Wave conflict.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Don’t ever teach Genjyo Sanzo a valuable lesson if you want to survive to the end of the story arc.
  • Retired Badass: He was retired when Genjyo met him.

     Other Characters 

Sharak Sanzo

  • Action Girl: She's a little gruff for a Lady of War.
  • All Your Powers Combined: Simultaneous activation of the Maten and Koten sutras in close proximity, even without any intent to synchronize them, results in a powerful resonance. (This is a confirmation of the earlier explanation for splitting the sanzos up as much as possible.) Sharak and Genjyo agree that the potential effects are unknown and dangerous...but they both totally want to see what happens.
  • Celibate Hero: She (forcefully) rejects Hassan's come-on and tells him she's not a woman—she's a sanzo.
  • Covered with Scars: Bears scars on her body.
  • Distaff Counterpart: To Genjyo, although she'd probably argue that he is her Spear Counterpart, since she's an Experienced Older Woman.
  • Functional Magic: The use of resonators to extend the protection of her Koten sutra to the entire region.
  • Lonely at the Top: Goku's explanation to Hassan for the immediate rapport between Genjyo and Sharak. It's the first time either of them has met someone else who understands the heavy responsibilities of the sanzo priesthood.
  • The Gunslinger: She's got a LARGE pistol and an automatic rifle she slings across her back quite casually when going out to protect the villagers.
  • The Siege: On the orders of the Sanbutsushin, she's been holding down the fort for years now waiting for the ikkou to make it West from Chang'An.


  • Imaginary Love Triangle: Hassan feels threatened by the immediate rapport between Sharak and Genjyo. Goku reassures him that there is nothing romantic or sexual about it from Genjyo's end—it's just the first time either sanzo has met someone else who understands the responsibilities of the job.
  • Just Friends: The reason Hassan feels threatened. He's been in love with Sharak since they were novices in training together. Unfortunately for him, she seems to see relationships as a distraction from her duties.
  • The Lancer: He would seem to be Sharak's.


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