Saiyuki Ibun also translated as Saiyuki the different, is the story of how Houmei became Koumyou Sanzo. It follows his adventures as he goes through Sanzo training with ten other candidates, and the various masters that train them. This is their story.
List of Characters
- See article, Koumyou Sanzo
- See article, Goudai Sanzo
- See article, Tenkai Sanzo
- See article, Jikaku
Ryūzen (隆善) is one of the eleven candidates to become a Sanzo Priest. His most prominent feature is his glasses, and is occasionally referred to as 'megane', the Japanese word for eyeglasses. He also has a watch on his right wrist. Ryūzen seems to have the most knowledge, and the best handle on the 'text-book' aspect of the Sanzo training. He seems to be weak in his physical abilities as well. That is not to say that he is a push over, but comparatively, he is the weakest.
Jyoan (蝶庵) is one of the eleven candidates to become a Sanzo Priest. He is more snide and sarcastic. He also has a tattoo of a rose on the right side of his chest, right under his collarbone. Ganpuku has addressed him by his apparent nickname, Ochou-san. His hair is a purplish-blue, which doesn't seem to be a natural color in the Saiyuki universe, at least for humans. It's unknown whether this color is natural, or is just dyed. But that poses the question of why a monk would dye his hair.
Gichou (義兆) is one of the eleven candidates to become a Sanzo Priest. It's mentioned that he became a monk after his wife and daughter left him. He's hyperactive, with a bubbly, goofy personality. When people comment on it, he seems confused, as if he doesn't understand what they mean. It lends to the idea that his disposition is a forced front to deal with the loss of his family. This is only a theory though.
Ganpuku (丸楅) is one of the eleven candidates to become a Sanzo Priest. He has a Kansai accent, though no one has commented on having difficulty understanding him. Ganpuku also seems to enjoy food more than the others, as he is seen munching on food more often. He also seems chubbier than the other candidates, but this could just be that he wears baggier robes than the others, since he appears to be just as fit. He is also the shortest, with the exception of Genkai. Ganpuku is always seen wearing a bandana.
Soujin (宗迅) is one of the eleven candidates to become a Sanzo Priest. He is most likely the oldest of all the candidates. Some of the other candidates have called him 'old man' but he hasn't reacted to this at all, alluding to a very calm nature. He has also been referred to as Colonel Sanders, since he seems to resemble the KFC mascot. From conversation, it would also seem that Souzin has been part of professional wrestling and rugby.
Doutaku (道卓) is one of the eleven candidates to become a Sanzo Priest. There is some confusion about the pronunciation of his kanji and whether it is Doutaku or Michitaku, as he is addressed as Michitaku in the manga, but a page presents the hiragana for his name as being Doutaku. He is one of three who don't seem to have any hair, whether it's because they are bald or shave. This is a common look for Buddhist monks, but is rather uncommon among the candidates hoping to become a Sanzo. He looks remarkably like another candidate, Seiran, but Doutaku's eyebrows are thinner, and his face is bonier. He seems to be of a more mischievous disposition, seen in poking fun and mocking the other candidates. However, he seemed entirely ready to jump to Seiran's defense when it seemed Master Zouryuu was being unfair in their training.
Seiran (青籃) is one of the eleven candidates to become a Sanzo Priest. He is one of three who don't seem to have any hair, whether it's because they are bald or shave. He looks remarkably like another candidate, Toutaku, though Seiran has thicker eyebrows. He seems to be a very serious person. Where Ryūzen seems to have a good understanding of a wide array of the texts used in the Sanzo training, Seiran seems to have a better understanding of the meaning behind the teachings he grasps. In a sense, he has a better understanding of the spiritual aspect of the Sanzo training. So far, in the manga, he is usually seen with Toutaku, and the two seem to be close. They may just be closer friends than everyone else.
Shòun (抄雲) is one of the eleven candidates to become a Sanzo Priest. There is some confusion about the pronunciation of his kanji and whether it is Shòun or Shouen, as he is addressed as Shouen in the manga, but a page presents the hiragana for his name as being Shòun. He is very quiet, reserved, and doesn't say much. He might lack a sense of humor. He seems to have a scar on his right temple, though it seems to grow, shrink, and even disappear throughout the manga. He also has three piercings in his left ear, two in the lobe, and one in the upper part of the cartilage.
Master Zouryou is one of the instructors to the candidates for Sanzo Priest. He is specifically there for their physical education. His name means elephant, and Houmei makes fun of that. He is a very harsh instruct, pushing the candidates to their physical limits, regardless of the damage it may be doing to them. In fact, it's shown that he will hit his students if they fail to uphold his standards. He seems to be prejudice against demons, picking on Genkai, asking him if he thinks he's better than humans.
Jinkaku's assistant, he seems to be the one to shout instructions or directions, as well as taking notes on the candidates.