on May 13, 2005
It's painful to see such a great series ruined by a bad dub...but since Geneon refuses to cut their losses and go hire the original english speaking actors we have all come to know and love, it's bound to continue. For anyone new to Saiyuki, stop, turn around, and go back to the first 12 disc series (also being repackaged as the "Double Barrel" collection). These won't make much sense until you do.
Volume 2 of Saiyuki Reload contains 4 episodes, the first two bringing in Kougaji's troupe who come to the aid of Goku when the Sanzo party becomes entranced by a demoness. The remaining two episodes are humorous stories, one centering around Sanzo's unexpected weak point (kittens???), and the other focused on a new way to fight demons: really awful food! Each episode has the added humorous skit Ura-Sai. Corners were cut as there are no notable extras on the DVD, outside of the usual clean opening and closing. Even the english subtitles were only done once (usually there is a separate one for both the Japanese track and English track).
So far Reload hasn't offered any new insight into our our favorite travelers or their journey West. These first two DVD's contain stand alone stories, with only brief allusions to their mutual painful pasts. Not necessary for anyone but the most hardcore Saiyuki fan (like myself).
on May 3, 2005
Perhaps I knew what to expect this time in terms of voice actors and animation, but I seemed to enjoy this volume of Saiyuki Reload much more than the first one. The English voices are still not very good, and the newer animation isn't as appealing to me, but the episodes themselves make up for it.
The first two episodes involve a woman who takes away painful memories. The episodes' focus is mainly on Sanzo, Hakkai, and Gojyo's pasts, and Goku teaming up with the Kou-tachi to free them from the demon woman's spell.
The third episode was about a cat that became attached to Sanzo, despite the fact that he hates it, and the last episode was about a woman who cooked food so terrible, it knocked out anyone who tried to eat it. Hakkai tries to give her cooking lessons, but nothing seems to help.
Overall, I enjoyed this installment much more than the first volume. Even though the voices/animation aren't what I would call great, the fact that it's still Saiyuki makes up for it. For anyone who hasn't bought either of the discs yet, I'd recommend just buying Volume 2 rather than 1, since 1 was a bit of a recap disc anyway.