Saiyuki was the first manga installment of Saiyuki serialized in G-Fantasy during 1996 and ends in 2002.
Saiyuki has 9 Volumes long. The covers have a rotation in which each member of the Sanzo party gets to stand alone. The rotation starts with Genjo Sanzo on the first cover, Son Goku on the second, Sha Gojyo on the third, and Cho Hakkai on the fourth. The cycle is repeated again and on the ninth volume all of them are featured on the cover.
The first English translation was published in Graphic Novel form March 2004 by Tokyopop.
最遊記 (Saiyuki) translated as: "Journey to the Extreme" is a pun of 西遊記 (also pronounced Saiyuki) which translates as: "Journey to the West".
Having been assigned by the human elders the mission of stopping a mystical plague that has afflicted the Youkai with madness, Genjo Sanzo assembles his team of Youkai warriors, desperately hoping that the disease will not affect them. He sets up qualifying tests that will help him determine the loyalty and worth of Cho Hakkai, Son Goku and Sha Gojyo. The team then journeys west to stop the plague afflicting Youkai and inevitably the resurrection of an ancient Youkai.