What makes this 1986 version so good? Character portrayal. Out of all the versions that I have looked over, none have captured the essence of the series like this one has. The story basically revolves around three disciples; Sun Wukong - Hailed the monkey king who wrecked heaven and the possessor of 72 mystical powers. Zhu Bajie - A half human, half pig immortal who was punished for trying to harass the goddess of the moon (haha) he possessed 36 mystical powers. Lastly we have Sh? Wùjìng - who was originally an immortal but was punished by heaven and reincarnated into a demon, he possesses 18 mystical powers. Their duty is to protect a mortal monk named Xuanzang from demons who wish to devour him in order to gain immortality because he is mortal, demons trick him in various ways and thus misunderstandings arises between the disciples Xuangzang. The portrayal of the characters are very believable and fun to watch due to the excellent acting.
Another thing that differentiates this version from the others is the costume. This may not seem like a big deal but having to look at a third rate costume that barely resembles the characters and bad makeup is very unappealing to watch and this is the main reason why many other versions are not very good. Another thing I will mention is that the actor who plays the monk switches up as the series go on, and this is done with a pool of actors back and forth and it's entertaining seeing different but similar versions of the monk ^.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this series if you are interested or is a fan of the novel but have yet to see this version. I will note that the editing of the magic etc is not that great because it was made in 1986 but that is nothing to be put off by. I hope this review has helped you a bit, this is one series that I can call a childhood favourite so I'm a little bias haha ^^
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