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Referenced By / Journey to the West

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Works based, more or less, on Journey to the West include:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Dragon Ball, as it's no secret that the name "Son Gokuu" is literally "Sun Wukong" in Japanese on'yomi (unless someone is too dense to care) who ended up being a very popular character different from his naming origin. This mainly applies to the first story arc where the version of Wukong/Gokuu is a monkey with a staff and cloud (the said staff and cloud have the same exact Asian names as the original staff and cloud from Journey to the West) travels with Bulma (human with a radar) to find a special treasure, and they are joined by a cowardly pig. This is not the case for later entries, which pretty much turns the Japanese reading of Sun Wukong's name into a whole new "legend" of its own within the anime and manga community; it's almost to the point where the Dragon Ball Z version of Wukong/Gokuu barely ever pays enough respect to the source material outside of just his own name being the same.
  • Saiyuki. Follows many elements of the source material with several of its own touches.
    • Ironically, via the trope Decomposite Character, the portrayals of Wukong/Gokuu and Wujing/Gojou both carry-on traits that akin to the original version of Bajie/Hakkai (AKA Pigsy); the above Wukong/Gokuu from Dragon Ball and Saiyuki's Wukong/Gokuu both share his hunger, while Wujing/Gojou from the latter shares his perverted tendencies and his tendency to fight/argue with Wukong/Gokuu.
  • Monkey Magic, an animated series which is a straightforward adaption.
  • Goku: Midnight Eye
  • Starzinger is Journey to the West IN SPACE!! (Dubbed into English as Spaceketeers; The Three Musketeers IN SPACE!!)
  • The 1960 anime film Alakazam the Great, based on the manga Boku no Son Gokū by Osamu Tezuka, which got another anime film titled Boku no Son Gokū in 2003.
  • Secret Journey (Shotacon hentai manga by Poju)
  • Shinzo, where the heroes quest is to look for Shinzo, the last remaining human city after humanity is believed to have been destroyed in a war with the bio-engineered Enterran race centuries before. The saintly-tempered Yakumo frees the anti-heroic Mushra from confinement and they travel together.
  • Queen's Blade: In the Alternative Continuity Queen's Blade Grimoire, one of the characters (named Seiten) is inspired in Sun Wukong. This is also notable for being one of the few works when a version of him is depicted as a female.

  • The graphic novel American Born Chinese ties together Monkey's story with the tale of a Chinese-American boy's coming of age story and the sitcom-like hilarity of an all-American jock plagued by his painfully stereotypical Chinese cousin. And the Christmas story.

    Eastern Animation 

  • Monkey Sun, a 1959 movie by Toho Studios.
  • The Forbidden Kingdom, a 2008 movie starring Jet Li and Jackie Chan.
  • A Chinese Odyssey, two movies directed by Jeff Lau starring Stephen Chow. A later Jeff Lau film, Chinese Odyssey 2002, has no relation to Journey to the West.)
  • The Shaw Bros. films Monkey Goes West, Princess Iron Fan (not the animated one above), Cave of the Silken Web, and The Land of Many Perfumes.
  • The Lost Empire: The Legend of the Monkey King (a.k.a. The Monkey King), a two-part Made-for-TV Movie for NBC from 2001. An American scholar finds himself transported into the realm of the Monkey King and his companions by a luck goddess and and must help them save the very story of Journey to the West from demons who would remove it from the world — and reverse time itself in the process.
  • Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons, a 2013 film directed by Stephen Chow and Derek Kwok. Had a sequel released in 2019, Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back.
  • The Monkey King, a 2014 Hong Kong film retelling the origin of Monkey, starring Donnie Yen as Sun Wukong.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Monkey series
  • A 1986 series what aired on CCTV in China, which got a second season in 1999 adapting portions not covered in the first one. Officially uploaded to YouTube with English subtitles here.
  • Journey to the West (1996), a Hong Kong 1996 live-action TV series, with a second season airing on 1998. It stars Dicky Cheung as Sun Wukong.
  • Monkey King: Quest for The Sutra, a Hong Kong/Taiwanese 2002 live-action TV series. While the characters are clearly those of the pilgrimage as described in the novel, the plot is totally different and twisted compared to the original.
  • Journey to the West (2011), a Chinese 2011 live-action TV series.
  • The New Legends Of Monkey, Australian-New Zealand production.
  • Into the Badlands, the 2015 AMC series is based on the story with Sunny being Sun Wukong and T.K. as Xuanzang/Tripitaka.
  • Giant Saver the core team of the chinese Toku series are based on the main characters of the novel.

  • Monkey: Journey to the West, an opera by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett done in the Chinese style and mixed up with martial arts and circus acts. Beautiful and humorous.

    Video Games 


References to Journey to the West are made in:

    Anime and Manga 
  • One villain in the Read or Die OAV series
  • A group of villains in YuYu Hakusho
  • A children's play staged by the main characters of Love Hina
  • The Digimon franchise has taken to doing this in recent years; it started with Kamemon's Perfect form, Shawujingmon, in Digimon Savers, and years later Digimon Jintrix introduced a whole slew of mons based on it: Gokuwmon, ChoHakkaimon, Sagomon, Sanzomon, Shakamon, Kinkakumon and Ginkakumon, several of whom have shown up in Digimon Xros Wars: The Young Hunters Leaping Through Time.
  • A School Play staged by the characters of Urusei Yatsura
  • The appropriately titled episode, "Lupin's Big Saiyuuki" of the Lupin III (Red Jacket) TV series, where the Lupin gang are cast as the characters from the tale. It's likely a Homage to Monkey, which debuted shortly before the Lupin version came about. To be specific: Fujiko is Sanzo (carrying forward the gender-bending casting gag), Jigen is Hakkai, Goemon is Gojo, and Lupin is, of course, Son Goku.
  • InuYasha
    • A Villain of the Week in the anime's 6th season is a boar demon who claims to be a descendent of Zhu Bajie, while he hauls around a goofy looking kappa and monkey that he insists are, likewise, descendents of Sha Wujing and Sun Wukong respectively.
    • Also, Inuyasha has an enchanted necklace around his neck which lets Kagome force him to the ground by yelling "Sit, boy!", an obvious reference to Sun Wukong's headache-inducing headband. The entire main cast of InuYasha can effectively be seen as a group of expys - Inu-Yasha himself as Wukong (imprisoned for centuries, hot-tempered, and kept in control by a magic item), Kagome as Monk Xuanzang (pure of heart, the reincarnation of a great holy person, often in need of rescue), Miroku as Bajie (sleazy and viceful), and Sango as Wujing (the sensible foil to Inuyasha and Miroku), with Kirara as the Horse (the Team Pet). Shippo is basically just an additional Team Pet.
  • An entire chapter of Love Hina is devoted to the main characters putting on a play of this story for a bunch of children. Naru is initially Sun Wukong, Keitaro is Sanzang, Suu is Bajie, and Motoko is Wujing, with Shirai and Haitani sharing the role of Yulong until they're revealed to be demons. Keitaro's main rival for Naru's affection, Seta, steps in to play the One-Horned King, and Naru and Keitaro switch characters so that Seta and Keitaro can have an epic one-on-one fight in the climax.
  • In Yoroiden Samurai Troopers aka Ronin Warriors, Shu Lei Faun/Kento of the Hardrock (Diamond) is a clear homage of Sun Wukong from his Chinese origin (in the original version), gold headband, element, headband, staff, antics and comparisons (in both versions) to being a monkey.
  • Dirty Pair TV episode 4 briefly showed a pro wrestling match with one wrestler in a Sun Wukong costume (including the circlet and staff).
  • Naruto contains several shout outs to Journey To The West:
    • Hiruzen Sarutobi, the Third Hokage, is capable of summoning Enma the Monkey King, who wears a tiger-striped kimono and can transform into a telescoping bo staff.
    • Two of the Edo Tensei'd villains, Kinkaku and Ginkaku, derive their names, weapons, and abilities from a pair of half-youkai warlords.
    • The Four-Tailed Ape is named Son Goku, and even introduces himself with all the titles he has in Journey to the West.
  • Secret Journey is an H-Manga that gender-flips the disciples as Goku is now punished for having a harem of boys and trying to jump Buddha with the seal resulting in a hair-removing bikini, Pig being roughly the same and Sandy (a Meganekko and Pettanko) needing that type of facial to access a Super Mode giving her Femme Fatalons.
  • High School DXD introduces the descendant of Son Goku named "Bikou" who also has his staff. Also, the original one appears in this series too and he's really strong.
  • At one point, Paprika, from the film of the same name, is shown dressed as the Monkey King as she rides on a cloud.

  • At the end of Lucifer, Yahweh tells the title character a story about the Monkey King (drawn as a literal monkey in golden armor, able to leap from one end of the universe to the other in a single bound) and the Buddha.
  • Recurring character Monkey Khan in Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog.
  • A Chinese crime lord in the Marvel Universe who'd taken the name of the Monkey King ventured into Sun Wukong's 'tomb' to claim the treasure Wukong had been buried with. There, he encountered the spirit of the real Monkey King, who gave him a test to see if he was worthy of his powers - break out of the hellish realm of the Eighth City. He succeeded, becoming Wukong's avatar, and inheriting his staff and powers, which he put to use fighting crime - having been to Hell, he really didn't want to go back.


  • A Sci-Fi Channel Original Movie where bad special effects and worse writing conspire to force a scholar who has devoted his life to the story to go through a shallow ripoff of its plot after an argument with his wife about it.

  • The short story "Sir Harold and the Monkey King", from the Harold Shea series of fantasy short stories
  • The title character of Paprika manifests at one point wearing Sun Wukong's trademark outfit.
  • The first chapter of Kim Stanley Robinson's The Years of Rice and Salt is written in the style of Journey To The West.
  • The Bladedancer stories of the Whateley Universe, especially the first one, in which Chou's journey to Whateley Academy is closely based on Xuanzang's journey. Sun Wukong has in fact been established as a recurring supporting character, and he's still good at stealing the show each time he pops up.
  • In Dragon Cauldron, and the other books in the same series, Monkey makes an appearance as a main character, constantly referencing the events that led to his imprisonment under a mountain.
  • Kitty's Big Trouble takes place largely in San Francisco's Chinatown, and the title character runs into a fellow named Sun around halfway through the book.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the Sesame Street special Big Bird in China, Sun Wukong in full theater glory gives Big Bird the clues to find the Phoenix i.e. Feng Huang.
  • Super Sentai
    • The characters of Ninja Sentai Kakuranger are all based on the main characters (except Jiraiya), with Sasuke corresponding to Sun Wukong (the Hot-Blooded hero), Seikai to Zhu Bajie (a Big Eater obsessed with women), Tsuruhime to Xuanzang (the leader whom the guys have been assigned to accompany), and Saizou to Sha Wujing (the extra fighter). Likewise, they also fight lots of youkai and journey around the country.
    • GoGo Sentai Boukenger, where Wukong's size-changing staff was one of the treasures sought by hero and villain.
    • Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger featured a Monster of the Week named Dora Kinkaku based on one of the best-known villains in the story. Incidentally, Bandora had gotten Pleprechaun to make him because she hated how the monsters always lost to Sun Wukong.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Handsome Monkey King is one of the gods included in the Celestial Bureaucracy in Scion, and is available as a player character's divine parent.
  • The "Monk, Eh?" campaign setting in the Pyramid article "The Hubland Mountains for GURPS Discworld" pastiches the already tongue-in-cheek Monkey, with a very obviously female monk called Trickiparka accompanying the orangutan god Buna on his journey to the Rim.

    Video Games 
  • A statue in Yang's stage of Street Fighter III Second Impact has a statue of Sun Wukong/Son Gokuu himself trapped in his prison of Wuxingshan/Gogyouzan (lit. Five Elements Mountainnote ), which can be broken if a strong enough impact occurs around it; doing so will have the Wukong/Gokuu statue itself will be freed in prime condition.
  • One of the productions of the Imperial Theater Troupe in Sakura Wars.
  • The theme to the above-mentioned Monkey series was included as a bonus stage in the second Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan game.
  • The Genesis Unit of Wily Tower in the Sega Genesis remake collection Mega Man: The Wily Wars are based on Wukong, Bajie, and Wujing. There's also Hanumachine from Mega Man Zero.
  • The time travelers in Dinosaur King spend several episodes visiting with Sanzo Hoshi, aka Tripitaka.
  • The character Wukong the Monkey King in League of Legends. He even has the same Japanese voice as Dragon Ball's version of Wukong/Gokuu that everyone knows.
  • One of Soulcalibur V's new fighters, Xiba, is very clearly inspired by (if not outright implied to be) Sun Wukong. Likewise akin to his many other expies, he tends to be one of the hungry ones.
  • The Chimchar line in Pokémon is at least partially based on Sun Wukong, especially the gold armor on Infernape. The Tepig line is also based on Zhu Bajie.
  • Occasionally referenced in Asura's Wrath, where the main character, just like Son Goku, is sealed underneath a mountain for 500 years, and Augus's extendable blade is basically this to Son Goku's extendable staff.
  • Post-Journey Wukong (going by the pronunciation of Son Gokuu in the Japanese version) is an antagonist in Warriors Orochi, implied to have gotten bored with the sacred realm and now running around causing trouble. Sanzang chases after him to try to get him back. When Sanzang in the third installment is recruited into the party, an allusion to the original journey is made, with Hideyoshi -> Wukong/Gokuu, Goemon -> Bajie/Hakkai and Ling Tong -> Wujing/Gojou.
    • Ironically in Ling Tong's case, Sha Wujing/Gojou is even an NPC in the third installment. Oh by the way, Sanzang is a girl here.
  • A very rare yet classic beat-em-up game known as Oriental Legend (made by the Taiwanese company IGS) features the trio, the dragon horse (and one original character, Xiaolongnü; lit. Little Dragon Girl; probably based on and named after the heroine of The Return of the Condor Heroes, another epic that has no relations with Journey to the West) as playable characters. The un-localized sequel with extra elements added features a few more characters while also adding Sanzang himself as an unlockable character.
  • In Bookworm Adventures, Volume 2, the vast majority of enemies in The Monkey King are inspired by Journey.
  • The Twin Demon Owls Lechku and Nechku from Ōkami are based on the gold and silver bros.
  • Seiten Taisei (or in pinyin as "Qitian Dasheng"), i.e. Sun Wukong/Son Gokuu, appears as a demon in many Shin Megami Tensei games.
    • Persona 5: Seiten Taisei, as a mythic figure who stole the secrets of immortality from the gods, serves as the ultimate Guardian Entity of your party's Lancer, Ryuji Sakamoto.
  • Overwatch had an event based on the Chinese New Year in January 2017, and 4 characters (Winston, Roadhog, Reinhardt, and Zenyatta) specifically got skins based on Journey.
  • Granblue Fantasy has Andira, the Erune descendant of Sun Wukong. She inherited most of his powers and tools like the Self-Duplication using hairs, the flying cloud and staff. The player character reminds her of Xuanzang so she decides to go on a journey with them to try to find Tenjiku (or in pinyin, "Tianzhu"; the Chinese/Japanese name for India).
  • Sun Wukong is the direct inspiration of the Warframe Wukong, with a powerset based on his most famous abilities like cloud walking and his staff which can grow infinitely large and wide. Fittingly, he was released in China's version of the game first before seeing a worldwide release; much like his fellow Chinese story-based Warframe Nezha.
  • Qitian Dasheng serves as the final boss of Swallow's Compass dungeon in Final Fantasy XIV. He spends most of the fight swinging his signature Telescoping Staff, and after you survive his ultimate he drops two clones and runs off.
  • Kirby gains a Staff ability in Kirby Star Allies. The Nice Hat associated with the moveset includes Sun Wukong's headband, and the staff itself has the same ability to extend as Wukong's.
  • Dragalia Lost has "Echoes of Antiquity", a raid event inspired by the story. The main focus is on the teacher, Xuan Zang, who is teaching her student Wu Kong about Qilin relics. Wu Kong, like his namesake, has a mischievous streak. His mishandling of a dangerous relic, Jin Gu Er, caused him to transform into the raid boss Qitian Dasheng, who bears a stronger resemblance to the Monkey King. Also featured is Yulong, a recruitable dragon who serves as Xuan Zang's steed like his namesake.

    Web Animation 
  • In RWBY, where each character is based off a mythological or storybook character, Sun Wukong is an easygoing, rogueish monkey faunus.

    Western Animation 
  • The Monkey King antagonized the heroes a few times in Jackie Chan Adventures, portrayed as a Screwy Squirrel who fancies himself as the King of Comedy, but cursed with the form of a doll until somebody pulls his string.
    • The irony here is that this version of him in Japanese is voiced by Ryusei Nakao, who happens to be the voice of Frieza. Talk about having your voice portray a closer-to-original version of your nemesis.
  • An episode of Mighty Max invovled him teaming up with four "washed up" literary/legendary figures from around the world; one of them was Sun Wukong, who had given up life as the Monkey King to laze about at a zoo.
  • Sun Wukong appears in Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, revealed to be one of many sentient animals (the Egyptian deities, Quetzalcoatl, Professor Pericles, and Scooby himself included) that are members/descendants of a race of inter-dimensional beings who visited Earth and took the form of animals to assist mankind.

Example of: