Character: Genjo Sanzo Series/Fandom: Saiyuki Original or Alternate: Original Age: 23 Gender: Male Species: Human Sexuality: Asexual (seriously, the guy hates being touched by both genders equally. He’s never shown a preference)
Appearance: 5’9, though his thin build and long limbs give him the appearance of being a bit taller. His hair is golden blond and quite fine, almost but not quite long enough to be pulled back properly. His eyes are “deep purple” but sometimes hard to see, since his lids are often half-closed, or “droopy,” as his companions might say, giving him a distant look. He wears glasses for reading.
He wears the traditional robes of a Sanzo priest: a long off-white robe with full sleeves and a black sash. Draped over his shoulders he wears the sacred maten scripture, which he both protects and wields as a weapon. Beneath that, he wears neutral colored jeans and a form fitting black sleeveless turtleneck, and long “sleeves” which run from an ornamental cuff midway up his upper arm all the way down to a ring on his middle finger. He wears sandals and tabi socks.
On his forehead he bears a chakra, a red dot, the mark of his rank's proximity to the gods.
Personality: Sanzo is the title of a high-ranking Buddhist priest. Take everything you think that might mean, and chuck it. He is one of the most ill tempered, arrogant, angry men you could ever not hope to meet, and the fact that he is a priest just amplifies those bad traits. He smokes (like a chimney), he drinks, he swears, he gambles, he carries a gun and he uses it. He’s a right dick and he doesn’t care. The only side he’s on is his own, he lives his life for himself, and the only people he respects (barely) are those who do the same. The only vice he doesn’t partake in is womanizing: he loathes being touched by anyone and has never shown any interest in the opposite sex (or the same sex for that matter).
He’s also just a bit lazy, keeping out of battles when he can (not often) and sending his traveling companions off to do errands while he stays in. His smoking habit keeps him from being able to run or even walk very far without taking a breather. And he eats horribly, drenching his noodles in heavy sauces, filling up on his world’s version of junk food (pickled ginger and freeze-dried shrimp, mainly), and putting mayonnaise on everything, including sushi!
Still, he’s not a bad man, just a bad priest. He has a highly attuned sense of morality and he is surprisingly quick to defend the weak or to offer his own brand of acerbic wisdom to those who he feels need to hear it. He dislikes the crowds that clamber to him for his blessing as a Sanzo, but he never turns them away. And despite threatening to shoot them all at least once a day, he does have an apparent soft spot for his three traveling companions. He tolerates Gojyo, respects Hakkai, and as for Goku…I think it’s obvious that he cares for Goku more than he has for anyone else since his master died. Their relationship reaches beyond friendship, and transcends either physical or brotherly love. It is a deep unspoken sort of bond. Each is lost without the other. But of course, Sanzo will shoot himself in the head before ever acknowledging it.
He lives by the favorite teaching of his beloved master:
If you meet the Buddha, kill the Buddha. If you meet your father, kill your father. Free of everything, you are bound by nothing. Live the life that has been given to you.
Abilities/Strengths: Sanzo is clever and observant, though he doesn’t always say out loud what he’s thinking. He is a well trained martial artist, but he rarely likes to use his skills in combat, much preferring to shoot from a distance. He is an expert marksman with his Smith and Wesson pistol, and being ambidextrous can shoot equally well with either hand. He can also use the maten scripture as a weapon by chanting certain sutras, using its power to incapacitate his enemies by tangling them in its lengths. Despite being a mere mortal, he is tough and can take quite a beating before going down.
Somehow, despite being so prickly, he commands a certain amount of respect from his enemies and loyalty from his friends. People appear to be drawn to him, particularly loud-mouthed youkai with a taste for meat buns.
Weaknesses: Sanzo has no special abilities beyond his martial arts training and marksmanship. The maten scripture is his strongest attack. Beyond that, he is a mere mortal. He is a chain smoker, getting very nasty when he doesn’t have his fix, and his smoking has left him easily winded when running, fighting, or even walking long distances. His bad temper often causes friction with those around him. He fears getting too attached to anyone (although deep down he knows it’s too late) because he can’t bear to lose them, particularly if it’s due to his own weakness. He dislikes physical contact, particularly if it appears to be intimate or even just friendly in any way.
He’s also allergic to cats.
Notable Possessions: Sanzo travels light, bearing his priestly robes and maten scripture, his reading glasses, a few packs of cigarettes (which won’t last him long), his Smith and Wesson pistol, and a stiff paper fan used for beating stupid monkeys.
History: The thirtieth Sanzo, Koumyo Sanzo, keeper of the seiten and matan scriptures, found an infant floating down the river near the Kinzan temple, and on an apparent whim, took in the child, who was called Kouryu, after the river. He was a child of uncommon beauty and wisdom and Sanzo’s favorite pupil. In return, the child considered the unorthodox priest his father and mentor, taking every lesson to heart, and showing great concern for his master’s health and safety. Despite the jealousy of the monks and the cruel teasing of his peers, the boy took solace with his mentor. When Kouryu asked him why he adopted him in the first place, Sanzo replied by telling him that he had heard his voice calling out to him long before he found him. He then told him that one day, he too would hear a voice, whom he would be compelled to seek out.
Up to this time, the youkai and humans had lived together in peace, but when Kouryu was thirteen, the temple was attacked by youkai determined to steal the sacred scriptures from Koumyu Sanzo. He stood up to the youkai and protected Kouryu and the maten scripture, but could not save himself or the seiten scripture. His last act was to confer the title of Genjo Sanzo upon his disciple. The other monks were appalled that one so young could be Sanzo, but the chakra had appeared on his forehead, marking him as a legitimate successor. Genjo Sanzo’s first act was to declare that he was leaving the temple to go after those who had stolen the scripture. He chose to take one weapon: a Smith and Wesson pistol, deadly enough to deter youkai but easy enough to use upon himself if need be.
His years in the wilds are hard and desperate, and he kills many to keep himself alive. He emerges from the wilderness a cold, angry, embittered young man, plagued with nightmares and self-loathing. An old monk at Keiun Temple gave him words of wisdom and a pack of cigarettes, and helped him begin to deal with his issues. He is ordered by the gods to remain at this temple, and while he is there, he begins to hear the voice his master said he would.
He follows it up a sacred mountain, only to discover Son Goku, imprisoned for five-hundred years, so long he cannot remember what he was there for or anything else besides his name. Sanzo tells him that he’s here, so he can shut up now, though Goku insists he has never called him. Still, the bars and chains melt away when Sanzo reaches for him, and the grateful Goku follows him loyally from that point on, much to Sanzo’s apparent irritation.
Later, when investigating the massacre of a youkai clan, he meets the youkai Sha Gojyo and Cho Hakkai, who become sort of friends, perhaps more with Goku at first. When the gods order Sanzo to journey west to find the source of the madness which is infecting most youkai, they tell him to bring those three along with him.
And so Sanzo journeys with his three companions, fending off youkai attacks and other various annoyances as they make their way West. They have been driving for many months now.