May 17 2007
Fushigi Yuugi by Yuu Watase. Published by Viz. Retail: $9.99 18/18 Volumes released in Englis. Rated T+ for older teens (sexual situations, attempted rapes, pretend rapes, lots of death). D-.
Imagine if you will being stuck in the middle of the
That spring is Fushigi Yuugi.
You see, there didn’t used to be any shoujo manga, manga for girls, released over here. “Everyone” knew, “everyone” being male comic book sellers, that girls didn’t read comics. Then Sailor Moon came along and kicked some sense into them, and the smarter ones started seeing the light. Viz was one of the smarter ones, and brought over an extremely popular girls’ title from
Well, it turns out, a lot.
The initial premise is a fun one, even if done to death in
Miaka, the heroine, and Tamahome, the hero, love each other. Well, love by their warped definitions. This is pure bodice ripper. They split up and get back together using every clichÃƒÆ’Ã‚ © in romance. There’s a friend who loves Tamahome, so Miaka martyrs herself for the girl (don’t get me started on her martyr complex). Split up. Tamahome gets magical amnesia. Split up. Miaka thinks she’ll die and doesn’t want to hurt him by staying with him. Split up. Tamahome play-acts liking someone else to get crucial information and Miaka believes it. Miaka thinks someone else deserves him. Tamahome thinks he doesn’t deserve her. Miaka thinks she doesn’t deserve him. Split up. Split up. Split up. The entire series consists of this. Oh sure there’s some farce of a plot about recovering some artifacts so a god can be summoned and save the world, but it’s all there so we can have this uber-melodrama.
Miaka is also TSTL, and that’s being kind to her. She acts rashly. Miaka trusts enemies after countless betrayals and distrusts her boyfriend / fiancÃƒÆ’Ã‚ © / husband(!) at every opportunity, even when he has proven himself time and again. Miaka ignores the advice of those wiser than her (i.e. everyone) and dashes off to act on her own plans, countless times. This usually results in the deaths of some innocents, soldiers, villagers, children, you name it. By the end of the story, she’s responsible for the deaths of thousands, because she has to do things her way.
Does anyone blame her? I can’t tell you the number of times I hoped that someone would get around to slapping the stupid off her face, but my hopes were crushed every time. All they did was fall in love with her, and say “You’re a brave little girl, you have it so tough.”. Yeah, tell that to the massacred farmers. By the end of the series [MAJOR SPOILER]
I must confess that the only reason I made it through the entire series was my hope of seeing her, at some point, die a death as painful as what she was putting me through.
I suppose all this might appeal to the sort of 12 year old emo girl who thinks the world should revolve around her and her angst. But I have trouble wanting to read about Miaka’s and Tamahome’s angst over not being together when it’s their own damned faults, and when the kingdom is falling apart around them because of their idiotic alternating martyrdoms!
The manga is 18 volumes long. Even at a discount that’s about $150 for the privilege of brain rot. Do yourself a favor. If death is your aim, spend the money on a cheap pistol instead.
Fushigi Yuugi used to be the only game in town. Now it’s not. I understand people being sentimental about it, and it gets half a point from me for its historical significance. But if you want this reader’s honest opinion, it tastes like camel piss. D-
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