Anime Series Like Saiyuki

Long ago, humans and demons lived side by side peacefully, but when the demons began to attack, that peace was thoroughly shattered. Soon it was discovered that they were trying to unleash Gyumao, a powerful demon that has been imprisoned for thousands of years. Now rogue priest Genjo Sanzo and the demons Goku, Gojyo, and Hakkai must go on a perilous journey west in order to stop the resurrection.

As fans of Gensomaden and Reload are delivered Saiyuki Blast in 2017, it is time for everyone to remember that Saiyuki existed once again! No matter if you are a long-time fan or completely new, here are some more anime recommendations you can enjoy as well.

For Fans of Character-Based Adventures

Yona of the Dawn

After having her luxurious life shattered by the betrayal of her cousin, Princess Yona is forced to escape with her childhood friend Son Hak. However, leaving her palace forces her to see the poverty and strife that really makes up her beloved kingdom. Now she must journey to not only regain her rightful throne, but to return her kingdom to its former glory.

Both series are about a group of people relatively forced together for a goal. In Saiyuki, a priest runs with a bunch of demons while in Yona of the Dawn a princess if forced together with a bunch of dragons in human form. Although the Yona anime doesn’t get very far into it, both are very much adventure series.

Yu Yu Hakusho

Yusuke Urameshi is your average thug, but one day, he sees a kid about to get hit by a car and saves him. Unfortunately, the car kills him instead. Impressed by his heroic deed, the afterlife gives him a second shot at life, but only if he becomes a Spirit Detective and keeps all the demons and other supernatural beings from destroying the human world.

Both series feature a group of guys that are all kind-of-sort-of friends as they go on a journey. While the journey in Saiyuki has an ultimate goal, the journeys in Yu Yu Hakusho are smaller arc-type journeys more typical of the shounen genre, but both shows drift into more of a darker side.

Cowboy Bebop

In the distant future, humanity has, for the most, part abandoned Earth and colonized several different planets in the solar system. In order to keep peace in the galaxy, the Inter Solar System police was established, but they often rely on aid for bounty hunters, referred to as “cowboys,” to bring criminals on the run to justice. This is the story of Spike Spiegel and Jet Black, a pair of cowboys that end up with a rag-tag crew of other misfits as they travel the galaxy trying to keep food on the table and their own dark pasts at bay.

While the settings in Cowboy Bebop and Saiyuki are vastly different, what these two series have in common is the group dynamic. The whole group is brought together by circumstance and they all kind of vaguely dislike each other. It sets up for a certain amount of comedy, but Saiyuki has a bit more character drama.

For Fans of Bromance


Nicholas Brown and Worick Arcangelo work as handymen, mercenaries that will do anything for the right price. Working for the mob and police alike, they delve into the underbelly of the city, a place that was once haven for Twilights, people who were augmented by a special drug.

While the boys in Gangsta are friends since childhood, the guys in Saiyuki know each other through circumstance. In both shows, the groups seem like they would be an unlikely team, but they end up working really well together.

Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic

Aladdin, a talented young magi, has lived his life in seclusion, but he is eager to go explore the world. After he sets out, he becomes friends with a courageous Alibaba Saluja who, after seeing his powerful Djinn Ugo, suggests they go conquer a dungeon for fame, power, and treasure.

While Saiyuki has this overall air of impending darkness hanging about it, Magi start off pretty light and then gets a little bit darker as the series goes on. However, both shows are about adventures and journeys in which the characters slowly start to grow closer.

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure

In 1868, English nobleman George Joestar had his life saved by Dario Brando. When Dario passes away, George repays the favor he owed by taking in Dario’s son, Dio. However, unsatisfied with his life, Dio soon moves to take control of the Joestar house with the help of an Aztec stone mask that grants him supernatural powers. In his quest to destroy George and his son Jonathan, it sets off a chain of events that will echo through the decades, including half a century later when Jonathan’s grandson, Joseph, discovers his family’s legacy.

There are no two finer adventure / journey anime series out there than Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure and Saiyuki. While Jojo’s is just super manly and kind of strange, Saiyuki is dark, dramatic, and features vague hints of BL if you believe the old school fan girls. Both tell adventurous and interesting stories in a way that most other anime series neglect in order to focus on other aspects.

For Fans of the Journey

Hunter x Hunter

Twelve-year-old Gon Freecss is determined to become a world-class Hunter, a skilled individual that perform all manner of dangerous tasks, in order to find out what happened to his father.  However, Gon finds that the path to achieving his goals is more challenging than he could have ever imagined, but in order to overcome it, Gon recruits some powerful friends.

Both Saiyuki and Hunter x Hunter excel in telling stories that surround realistic characters that don’t just make the hero or villain choice, but rather make realistic choices that dwell in all shades of grey. With great fight scenes and action while also having compelling drama, both shows put other shounen anime to shame.

Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles

While excavating mysterious ruins, Syaoran discovers his childhood friend Sakura on the site with wings that disperse into many feathers. As these feather disperse into different dimensions, so, too, does Sakura’s memories. In attempt to save her life and restore her memories, he travels throughout the worlds to find and collect these feathers, collecting friends along the way as well.

Tsubasa has actually quite a few similarities with Saiyuki. Not only are both groups being watched over by a good entity, but they also feature a cute group mascot and the characters in the group cover the same character tropes. Both stories also feature some unique art styles, but still somehow have the lankiness of the characters in common.

The Heroic Legend of Arslan

The young prince Arslan is ready to prove himself on the battlefield, but on his first battle, his father is betrayed and his kingdom is conquered. With his army in shambles, Arslan is forced to go on the run in search of allies to bring him back home.

If you are looking for another good action adventure series like Saiyuki, The Heroic Legend of Arslan might just be your best bet. It tells the tale of an epic and long-spanning adventure that is filled with dark drama and angst, but still features enough action to keep things interesting.

Did we miss any other anime recommendations for Saiyuki? Yes, we know Dragon Ball isn’t on here, but other than sharing the same inspirations, one doesn’t have much to do with the other. Tell us about other recommendations or why we are wrong in the comments section below.

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