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Manga Review: Fushigi Yuugi

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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-.

 

Dear Readers,

Imagine if you will being stuck in the middle of the Gobi desert, thirsting for anything to drink, when you come upon a spring of clear water. You fall to your knees gratefully and begin to drink, only to choke when you find it tastes like camel piss (you know this because you drank your camel’s piss in desperation before it died the previous day). It is, however, the only water you’ve got. You drink it, ignoring everything that makes you shudder, and live to walk out of the desert. And when people ask about your journey, you praise the spring to high heaven.

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 Japan, Fushigi Yuugi. It was a hit here as well, and is one of those series someone always recommends to new readers. It’s a fantasy about a girl transported via a library book to a magical land where she’s a priestess with 7 beautiful men serving her. What’s not to love?

Well, it turns out, a lot.

The initial premise is a fun one, even if done to death in Japan. There are still series today that make use of parts of it, and do it in a smart, entertaining way, Saiunkoku Monogatari for instance, or even Fruits Basket might be considered one. But the execution of that premise in Fushigi Yuugi is just plain bad.

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 clichà© 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 / fiancà© / 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] Everyone except about 10 people in that world are dead. Everyone. E.v.e.r.y.o.n.e. And it’s basically her fault for trying her stupid schemes and being wishy washy. [/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-


Sincerely,

à£Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚ ¸Ãƒ £Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚ §Ãƒ £Ã†’ ¼Ãƒ £Ã†’ ³

(JÄ n)

reads any genre as long as the books aren't depressing. Her preferred reads these days are in manga format and come from all manga genres, but she especially likes romance, doubly so when there are beautiful men involved. With each other. Her favorites among currently-running English-translated manga series include NANA, Ze, Ouran High School Host Club, Junjou Romantica, Blood Alone, Vampire Knight, Skip Beat, Silver Diamond and anything by the holy triumvirate of BL: Ayano Yamane, Kazuma Kodaka and Youka Nitta, including any scribbles they might do on the backs of napkins.

41 Comments

  1. Teddy Pig
    May 17, 2007 @ 17:40:07

    I hope you are sooooo happy MISSY!

    I now want to actually read this. EVERYONE?… and still no one blames her ass?

    That has got to be SOME twisted story there.

    I’ll go out and get it after I finish watching my original Bubblegum Crisis DVDs again.

  2. Jan
    May 17, 2007 @ 17:56:19

    Everyone except the few who make it back to her world with her. But never fear, it’s all magically undone for the next two sequels which repeat the WHOLE FRIGGIN THING over again.

    Nooooooooooooo! Just rent the first DVD, then you’ll understand. Wait, I have all the DVDs. Want to buy some camel piss fine entertainment?

  3. nath
    May 17, 2007 @ 18:14:14

    LOL! Excellent review! Finally, someone with a clear mind!!! I hate Fushigi Yugi… well, I like the eye-candies, but they’re aren’t enough to save the manga. Miaka is a TSTL Mary Sue, she’s painful to read about and all you want is for her to die. The plot is draggy… and the art is only so-so. Did you read other work from Watase-sensei?!? They all look like Tamahome and Miaka!!!!!!!!!!!!! anyway, they are much better shoujo manga out there! But go ahead if you want to torture yourself :D

  4. Jan
    May 17, 2007 @ 18:41:44

    Sillly me, I’ve read Alice 19th, Ayashi no Ceres, Imadoki (which I don’t recall as being that bad, possibly because it’s shorter), and Zettai Kareshi, which I dropped after the second vol when the repetition started. They were all the same. Alice 19th and AnC were total brain rotters, and both had been recommended as great romances. Ack.

    (I’ll be doing Cipher and Mars next, both much better shoujo)

  5. Vernieda
    May 17, 2007 @ 18:50:43

    Wow, Jan, you read some of Watase-sensei’s other works too? I’m impressed! (Actually, I shouldn’t talk because I stumbled through the first few chapters of Ayashi no Ceres myself.)

    I’m looking forward to your post on Mars. It’s considered an older title these days, but it’s still my favorite shoujo romance.

  6. Ann Bruce
    May 17, 2007 @ 19:12:10

    (sigh) I never understood why men thought comics don’t appeal to someone without a Y chromosone or if they do, they must have a female lead. I grew up Marvel, DC, and Dark Horse!

    If you’re going to read comics, try something like The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller.

    Guaranteed not to suck.

  7. Angelle
    May 17, 2007 @ 19:16:59

    I watched the anime version of this.

    It’s REALLY REALLY bad. I wanted Miaka to die a horrible death.

  8. Jan
    May 17, 2007 @ 19:32:50

    [quote comment="28730"]If you’re going to read comics, try something like The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller.

    Guaranteed not to suck.[/quote]

    I grew up on Marvel / DC as well and still have many of my comics from the 70s, but I got tired of it during college and never went back. I don’t find them appealing any longer. That’s not to say there aren’t good ones. Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns is on my bookshelf, but it’s one of very few. I prefer the Japanese aesthetic these days.

    But as in all genres, per Sturgeon’s very true law, there are some good and many not so good. Really, if one picks up any manga or comic at random, chances are it will be mediocre at best. Hopefully this column will warn readers away from the latter, and encourage them to buy the former. :)

  9. Jan
    May 17, 2007 @ 19:38:43

    [quote comment="28727"]Wow, Jan, you read some of Watase-sensei’s other works too? I’m impressed! (Actually, I shouldn’t talk because I stumbled through the first few chapters of Ayashi no Ceres myself.)[/quote]

    What can I say? They got me when I first started reading manga and just didn’t know any better. I actually didn’t quite finish AnC so much as skip to the last volume to see if it was as bad as I thought. And it was worse. :(

    [quote]I’m looking forward to your post on Mars. It’s considered an older title these days, but it’s still my favorite shoujo romance.[/quote]

    Have you seen the TV series? It’s showing on AZN now. I clicked on the television this week and saw this Mandarin soap, and thought it sounded familiar, except the names. Sure enough, it was Mars.

    It made me want to read it again. The good thing about older titles is that so many, if not all of the books are out.

  10. Jan
    May 17, 2007 @ 19:42:16

    [quote comment="28731"]I watched the anime version of this.

    It’s REALLY REALLY bad. I wanted Miaka to die a horrible death.[/quote]

    This was the first anime I ever bought, after Spirited Away. I owned the best and the worst LOL. What a waste of money. It might be worth owning only if I were a college student who wanted to play a drinking game where I drank shots every time Miaka shouted “Tamahomeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!” Heck, it might even come bearable to watch after the fifth or sixth.

  11. Taekduu
    May 17, 2007 @ 21:22:12

    I have to say, clueless as I was when I first started, I thought the series was interesting. and then… I continued to read it. I realized it was bad and walked away without looking back. I have tried her other work and was disappointed, except for Imadoki which I thought was cute. Probably because it was so short.

    Looking forward to the review of Mars. But really, what do you think about Hot Gimmick?

  12. Jan
    May 17, 2007 @ 21:34:13

    [quote comment="28737"]I…except for Imadoki which I thought was cute.Probably because it was so short.

    Looking forward to the review of Mars. But really, what do you think about Hot Gimmick?[/quote]

    Heh, I said the same thing about Imadoki in a comment above.

    I started reading Hot Gimmick but stopped after a couple of volumes because I couldn’t take the doormat heroine. Does it get any better? I mean, lots of shoujo heroines are dootmats, but she was one of the worst I’d seen.

  13. Angelle
    May 17, 2007 @ 22:45:02

    Good lord, Jan.

    You should just IV the keg straight to your vein.

  14. TeddyPig
    May 18, 2007 @ 07:23:31

    Jan did you like Starblazers?

  15. Jackie
    May 18, 2007 @ 08:11:51

    (sigh) I never understood why men thought comics don't appeal to someone without a Y chromosone or if they do, they must have a female lead. I grew up Marvel, DC, and Dark Horse!

    And Image (remember Spawn?) and Vertigo (Sandman, Hellblazer)…

    I think I’m crushing on Hunter Rose. And Mirth. Anyone here know Mirth?

  16. Jan
    May 18, 2007 @ 09:25:00

    [quote comment="28773"]Jan did you like Starblazers?[/quote]

    I actually got into manga and anime only in the last 5 years, so I didn’t watch on TV back then (I won’t tell you how old I was, except that when it came to sf/adventure I loved Johnny Quest).

    However now, I really love Leiji Matsumoto. His Galaxy Express/Railways and Captain Harlock series are corny at times, but they really pack an emotional punch, and they’re so very romantic and visionary. Some day I intend to watch Star Blazers, and everything else he had a hand in.

  17. Jan
    May 18, 2007 @ 09:34:27

    [quote comment="28777"]And Image (remember Spawn?) and Vertigo (Sandman, Hellblazer)…[/quote]

    Vertigo and Image put out some superior books. By the time they showed up I was working with a couple of guys who kept trying to get me into comics again. I read a couple compliations of The Sandman, and even followed one series, Preacher, for a little while.

    But in the end, I was looking for romance with happy endings, and that took me to romance novels and eventually manga. :)

  18. Jules Jones
    May 18, 2007 @ 09:54:24

    I’m showing my age by admitting to having watched Star Blazers on TV…. Loved that show, and it’s out on DVD, but the boxed set is pricy enough that I think I’ll put it off for now.

  19. bettie
    May 18, 2007 @ 14:45:51

    “Miaka martyrs herself for the girl (don't get me started on her martyr complex)”

    What the hell is up with shoujo manga and martyrdom? Reading/watching these series, a girl could get the idea that the three most noble things she could do are 1) Stupidly sacrifice herself for her boyfriend/friends 2) Wait for someone to save her 3) not get fat (can one throw a DVD at the wall? I started watching Wedding Peach as a joke, and promptly stopped when I got to the episode where the three main characters go on diets so that boys will like them and then an evil rice demon puts the “essence of fatness” into addictive rice to make all the schoolgirls fat and “kill the spirit of love” cause everyone knows guys don’t like fat chicks. There’s not enough liquor on the planet to make a drinking game fun after that shit.).

    Are there any magical girl series out there that won’t make me want to gouge out my own eyes?

    Anyhoo, lately I’m off of magical girl and onto just plain old girl. I like Nana and Othello (Othello may be a tad magical girl, but I’ve always been a sucker for evil twins and split personalities).

    [quote comment="28797"]I’m showing my age by admitting to having watched Star Blazers on TV…. Loved that show, and it’s out on DVD, but the boxed set is pricy enough that I think I’ll put it off for now.[/quote]

    Jules, if you’re just interested in rewatching Star Blazers, Netflix has series 1-3.

  20. Taekduu
    May 18, 2007 @ 14:52:54

    I don’t want to get your hopes up about Hot Gimmick. In certain circles it is known as the manga of deep feminist shame. I believe you can extrapolate the trend from that. I did however read it all the way through for the beautiful trainwreck that it was and the other couples who weren’t crazy.

    Afterwards I felt a need to cleanse my mind and dug up Hataraki Man.

  21. Jan
    May 18, 2007 @ 15:28:17

    [quote comment="28815"]

    What the hell is up with shoujo manga and martyrdom? < snip > Are there any magical girl series out there that won’t make me want to gouge out my own eyes?[/quote]

    I think part of it is just Japanese mentality. Being self-effacing and self-sacrificing seems to be considered very feminine over there. All shoujo beyond a certain age seems to have a touch of it.

    Though the series I review next, Cipher, has a pretty normal teenage heroine. It’s not magical though.

    Magical girls… well, Furuba (Fruits Basket). The heroine is loving but strong and insists upon having her own way, and by the end of the series she carries the entire cast through to a happy ending. Though it’s not Tohru that’s magical, but all the bishies.

    Then of course, 12 Kingdoms, which is a series no fantasy lover should miss. The heroine is incredibly annoying the first 5 eps or so, but she has character, and she grows up and changes, and the series has depth! But there’s no romance. It’s really good though. This is what FY should have been.

    Well, FY should have been a mix between 12 Kingdoms and Sauinkoku Monogatari, which will be released over here starting this summer I think. It’s the FY setup with a strong heroine who goes into politics and kicks mens butts. And lots of lovely bishies, always important. *grin* Not a lot of magic though, but some.

    Have you read Basara? It’s in the same vein, with a heroine standing in for her dead twin brother and becoming the hero for a rebellion against an evil king (and she falls in love with the very sexy prince, and he with her, neither of them knowing who the other truly is). Great romance, but older style art if that bugs you.

    Those are all series I liked, or still like since some are ongoing.

  22. Jules Jones
    May 18, 2007 @ 16:20:13

    Thanks, Bettie — I’ll keep that in mind for when I’ve finished the current batch of stuff I got from Amazon UK. (I do so love aving a region-free DVD player…)

  23. sherry thomas
    May 18, 2007 @ 19:57:11

    I don’t know anything about girl manga except Sailor Moon and that series about a girl who gets power from flowers and went around looking for a magical rainbow flower, which must be v.v.old, because I watched it in China in the 80s. And if anybody knows what it’s called in English, please, please let me know.

    Anyway, where was I? Oh, yeah, Jan, I was ROTFLMAO at this review.

    Thanks.

    Sherry

  24. raspberry swyrl
    May 19, 2007 @ 09:43:34

    I started the series years ago somewhere in grade ten after I got into Sailor Moon. (was I ever excited about the SM manga) but because originally they came out so freaking slow I never made it up to volume 18 because I stopped collecting when I when I moved to the U.k for awhile. I think it is a classic read, but the whole ‘everybody loves her’ is annoying. It is really perfect for teenagers. Anime had the same angst, I actually perfer anime wise Cowboy Bebop or Witch Hunter Robin. Manga wise, haven’t been able to get into any new series in years. Did like Magic Knight Rayearth though.

  25. thirstygirl
    May 22, 2007 @ 02:42:29

    I am thankful that this is one series I can get from the library- as I am Curious but not prepared to shell out the cash.

    I lovelovelove Mars- both the manga and the live action. Soryo’s current series ES:Eternal Sabbath is also very good. Tramps Like Us and Kill Me, Kiss Me are other series that I use to get people hooked on manga.

  26. Vernieda
    May 22, 2007 @ 12:26:19

    Dude, Soryo’s latest series (not available in English yet) is Cesare and it is pure awesome.

  27. thirstygirl
    May 22, 2007 @ 13:54:57

    Vernieda- Thanks for the heads-up.

    Soryo is an auto-buy for me now. The translation delay *pains* me but I suspect it’s still faster than me learning Japanese.

  28. bettie
    May 23, 2007 @ 12:38:01

    Thanks for the recommendations, Jan.
    I heart Fruits basket, but I haven’t read 12 Kingdoms and Basara yet. They’re next on my list.

  29. Jan
    May 23, 2007 @ 12:56:53

    [quote comment="29155"]I heart Fruits basket, but I haven’t read 12 Kingdoms and Basara yet. They’re next on my list.[/quote]

    You’re welcome. I should probably say that 12 Kingdoms is a series of novels and an anime. The first novel is out in English, and I’ve bought it but not read it. I heard it’s mostly introductory though and doesn’t get into the main stories much yet.

    Basara is an anime (short and incomplete) and a manga series of 27 volumes or so, 23 of which are out. I seem to recall that the story ends in vol 25 and the rest of the vols are side stories.

  30. Umi
    Dec 14, 2007 @ 03:28:21

    I love the anime fushigi yuugi very much so please grant me my wish Suzaku Saikun. please make a live version of this anime and I will watch it till the rest of my life..

  31. Pirkaf
    Mar 04, 2008 @ 07:49:20

    Yeah, I agree, Fushigi Yuugi kinda sucks, it’s one of the worst manga I ever read. But that’s because almost all the manga I read is great. And even if manga kinda sucks, it’s still better than Batman (comment from Ann Bruce) or any other stupid american superheroes.

  32. Lian
    Mar 08, 2008 @ 07:24:05

    I love your honest review.

    And to tell you the truth, I couldn’t agree more. Fushigi Yuugi was aired in Philippines ever since I was young. I don’t know how old I am but I do remember I was annoyed with Miaka (and I was a child back then!). And when my classmates and I watched it again (with some guys) coz somebody wasted her money buying the DVD, we were more than annoyed (we didn’t finish the whole episodes).

    And we spent several hours bashing Miaka’s character.

    Miaka is a good example of a Mary Sue character. Probably she’s the worst heroine in the anime fandom ever. I have to admit that I like Yui (was it Yui?) better, even if she’s the main villain.

    So to all those people who never watched FY yet, don’t.

  33. Jeriel
    May 31, 2008 @ 03:41:40

    Nice review! I really hate Fushigi Yuugi, save for some characters like Tasuki… haha.. just love his flamin’ red hair and his wild, fiery personality.. miaka sucks big time though. throughout the series, she was the bitch who acted without prior thought.. it was enough to drive any sane person insane! her “tamahome” screams are deafening and i really wish nakago raped her so much her internal organs bled and malfunctioned. really. she deserved a painful death after all her failures in the series… and heavens, the other warriors of suzaku actually liked her!!!!! talk about low life… anyway, she is the main character.. save yourselves from damnation though and stay away from this series..

  34. Mary
    Jan 07, 2009 @ 12:11:11

    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.

    Oh my God, this is HYSTERICAL and so true. And I say that as someone who still has a soft spot for Fushigi Yuugi – what can I say, I discovered it at a young and impressionable age and I still like a lot of the supporting characters. I won’t lie, if this manga had been the Tasuki, Chichiri and Nuriko show, it would probably be one of my favorites ever. Unfortunately the central couple is Miaka the self-absorbed nitwit and Tamahome with all the personality of a potato…

    If I were one of Miaka’s other warriors and was continually getting beat up/trapped in magical spells/nearly killed on her behalf, and still ignored in favor of her latest dumbass stunt to secure Tamahome’s love, I think I would start considering employment opportunities in the evil enemy kingdom.

  35. Natty
    Jul 17, 2009 @ 11:01:16

    Yes this is a rant because I must vent my thoughts about this manga RAWR.

    I have heard a lot about this manga,mostly from raving,insane fangirls who can’t type or use punctuation properly.
    Despite that,I wanted to read it since I love historical anime/manga,and this one seemed really popular.
    I was so positive I would love it to pieces.

    I was utterly wrong.

    I have read all 18 volumes,watched the anime fully,and the O.V.A’s.I’ll keep my ranting to the manga though,since this is where the story comes from.

    1) The BASIC plot sounds really good.Girl gets sucked into a magical book,becomes part of the story,has to find some warriors,call something blah,blah.
    It was not carried out well at all.

    2) The main character Miaka is one of the worst,if not the worst female ‘hero’ I have ever seen.She’s weak,useless,clingy,a glutton,annoying,dumb,falls in love after 5 seconds,only cares about her boyfriend ‘Tamahomeee!!!’,shallow as hell too.And I think she’s rather slutty too ‘If Tamahome and me could of been in the normal world,we could of had a normal relationship like any other High School student.’
    …Right.
    Yes despite all this almost every single guy falls in love with her,just for the sake of a reverse harem.There’s barely anything to like about her,if anything at all.

    3) Rape,rape,RAPE.How much attempted rape Is there?It’s gets so old after the first 10 times.And even the Suzaku Seven want to do it with her.It’s so annoying.

    4) When it’s supposed to be a serious scene in the manga,it’s ALWAYS ruined by the chibis.Always.Even some other scenes that shouldn’t have chibis are ruined by them.The humor SUCKS,and it comes in at really bad moments.

    5) Almost everyone at the end of the manga DIES,and it’s Miaka’s fault,but they all say ‘omg she liek,tried her best!!’ ‘she waz s0 brave!!!
    WTF?

    6) The romance is so unrealistic.It moves WAY to fast.It has no buildup.They meet for like 5 seconds,and then they love each other.All Miaka thinks about is Tamahome,and she hardly knows him.I actually hate Tamahome because he’s so perverted.Wait,I hate almost all of them.I only like Nakago because he wants to kill them all,Nuriko before he likes Miaka,and Hotohori…At least he had some depth,and I felt sorry for him.

    7) The character deaths happen,but somehow it always seems a little fake.When I say fake I mean it’s really put-on.And once they die,it’s like ‘Oh he died…Who was he?’ Like when Tamahome’s siblings died,all he could think about was Miaka.And the whole was just really lame.None of the manga deaths were like others I’ve read about.

    8) The manga is so soap-opera-ish,and melodramatic,I can see why teen girls like it.

    9) Two other anime/light novels that are a little similar to Fushigi Yuugi are Saiunkoku Monogatari (which is a reverse harem,tons of guys,takes place in ancient China) and 12 Kingdoms (about a girl who is taken to another world,and made Empress/King).People who have watched Fushigi Yuugi and then watch either of these animes or both have actually said how they couldn’t believe they watched F.Y and they thought it was utter crap after reading these. I think the main difference is that both the girls in these stories are amazing.They’re strong,kick butt,very smart,and mature without being slutty.They have their faults,but their faults are realistic,and they both continually mature.Both the series have a wonderful cast of characters,storyline,adventure,mystery….And in Saiunkoku the romance is really done well.It takes time,and it’s not sick or disgusting.The funny moments are well done too.12 kingdoms is more serious,and it’s not romantic unless you squint,and it really delves more into the adventure,and struggles of being a ruler.

    10) Thoughts form other sources that I agree with
    The characters of Fushigi Yuugi are so uninspired that it really works against them. I found that much of the main cast did not strike me as endearing. None of them really had something that makes you want to root for them along the course of the story. What makes it worse is the size of the cast. Why make it so large when only two characters matter?
    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.
    More times than I could count, this series fell into several pitfalls that romantic stories fall into. There is a big difference between someone saying they love you and someone showing that they love you. It takes effort for someone to show love, not a whole lot, but when that effort is used it hits dramatic gold. Instead we get unexplained events, awkward jokes, fan service, plot holes and other slipped-up script devices.I kept thinking that there was some essence of love in this production that would show up some time and completely blow me away. It never came. This is a product that could have been sky-high, but since it lacked the proper foundations of good storytelling, it collapsed upon its own ideas; a pretty little rubble heap.

    I actually dislike the author’s other works too.She seems to recycle her characters,and there is always super-fast-romance,among other awful things.The only thing I like about her works is the art style.But everything else sucks.
    All in all,I think if Fushigi Yuugi had cut back on many things,made the romance realistic,made the story more serious,took away the chibis,so much attempted rape,and had better characters,it would of been good.
    For all the hype it gets,it really,really,really sucks.

  36. (Jān)
    Jul 17, 2009 @ 11:36:59

    Oh Natty, I wish you’d read this review first. I wish I could have spared you the pain. For a nice fantasy romantic series, try From Far Away. I thought it was lovely. Yes, there’s some melodrama, but nothing like this. I review it here.

  37. aya
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 08:24:23

    I am not here to make a review on this anime/manga, I’d just like to share something about me and Fushigi Yuugi.

    I was 10 when the anime first aired in my country. I fell in love with it straight away as in IN LOVE to death ! Hey I was 10, too young to notice the faults, all I cared about was this Tamahome character, and oh I hated Miaka for being stupid, weak and pathetic, always running away from Tamahome and then crying like a baby ! but it wasn’t about Miaka at all, it’s Tamahome ! =P I adored him so I wrote stories of me and him. Also..

    I loved the idea of being transported into a book and I can say that in a way, I have been transported too. I learned to draw because of this anime and also I learned that if I didn’t like reality I can always run to my pen and notebook to get “transported” into the world I want to be in.

    I wrote several anime/manga stories and I remember writing scenes and actually being there. I felt every raindrops, every breeze of cold air, I felt my characters’ joy and pain, I remember traveling with them in the hot desert lands and also being attacked by demons and monsters. It was an amazing feeling. Then I moved residence overseas and matured but never did I forget this anime. I was finally able to buy the dvd series when I was 17, I watched it all over again and both loved and hated the nostalgic feelings it brought with it. (Only then did I realized that the Tamahome-Miaka love affair was truly over-rated n cheesy).

    I am now 21 years old and just bought (and finished reading) Fushigi Yuugi Genbu Kaiden manga latest volume and can’t wait for the next one! Once again the dreamer side of me has awaken. To be honest, when I was 10, i couldn’t wait to turn 15 just like Miaka and maybe I too can be transported into another world, I even made up a group where we each had elemental powers, it was an amazing childhood I had, but sadly when I finally turned 15 I never got transported into any world (duh). But even so, I am still thankful to have watched this series because I was able to create worlds and be in them. I was always excited to get home from school so I could continue writing. I even remember skipping school and going to the park, it was a peaceful sunny day, I was sitting on top of the slide on a top of a hill over looking the subdivision, it was such a beautiful day to write. ^

    Sadly when I started liking “real boys” I stopped writing, my imagination stopped, my brain went dry. I no longer had a place to run to whenever I was down. I don’t remember when exactly I stopped writing but I was already living overseas then (still am). I am 21 and for 6 years I’ve been in this country I have tried countless times to write again, I even started my very own manga, but I guess I’ve matured and lost my childhood imaginations but still… It’s been 11 years since I first laid my eyes on Fushigi Yuugi, since I fell in love with Tamahome. I have a boyfriend now though and I no longer live in the fantasy world but here I am still a loyal wifey to Tamahome. Yes he is still my number one (and my boyfriend knows that ^^) For me, Fushigi Yuugi is not just some cheesy anime for 10 year olds, it’s actually a landmark of a part of my life I would love to return to, it represents the time when I was still able to be completely submerged into this world I created and be whoever or whatever I want to be. And for that reason Fushigi Yuugi, no matter how silly and cheesy is always going to be my most favorite anime EVER !!!

    Sorry for the long read…I am just really crazii about this anime. 11 years in the making ! ^^ Toodles !

  38. EL
    Oct 01, 2009 @ 00:50:36

    Gosh , this is the worst anime and manga i’ve ever read .
    Know what ruins this story ?
    Miaka and Tamahome : Interested at each other at the first sight .
    Few episodes , thn I love you you love me stuff le .
    Fall in love so fast ? Unrealistic . -.-”

  39. Christian
    Oct 21, 2009 @ 00:29:46

    Ah, Fushigi Yugi. I only watched it when aired on local’s TV channel. I can’t say I really like it, but yes… the plot is kinda pain in the ass.

    However, I’m a big fan of Yuu Watase. Her short manga collection (Mint De Kiss Me/Kiss Me With Mint) is almost like a bible for me. I even used it as one of pop culture product in my presentation of my class.

    If you’re not really into Fushigi Yugi but want to give Yuu Watase a chance, why don’t try reading Appare Jipangu! or Absolute Boyfriend. I can’t predict what would you say about these mangas, but all I remember I could only read Absolute Boyfriend because they’re lent by my friend because the books were sold out in bookstores. And I can’t even buy from the publisher who translated it in my country (Indonesia) because they were ‘out of stock’. Ugh!

    P.S.
    If you’re looking for clever shoujo manga, try:
    Bara No Tameni (For The Rose), or any titles by Akemi Yoshimura –> she’s daaaamn good!
    Diamond Life by Fujiwara Akira (almost makes me cry)
    Baby Pop by Yayoi Ogawa (about a girl and her very-young step father)
    Future Doctors by Kobato Uchida (so funny; the main plot is about three medical students who struggle with their daily life)

    That’s all I can remember….

  40. Kate
    Jul 06, 2010 @ 08:20:47

    I don’t get why Fushigi Yugi deserves such high accolades. I watched the anime and I found the male female lead to be highly annoying! Her voice just grates on me and her constant longing for Tamahome made me want to kick her until she died! I also hate Tamahome by the way! Stupid emo wannabe! Bah! But that’s enough about me! Tata!

  41. Candy
    Mar 31, 2011 @ 03:32:59

    OMG. i completely agree with the comment waaay above. i got pissed at this anime series cause there’s so much SEX! i mean COME On! how many times has the word “rape” come into place?! like a MILLION TIMES! However, you have to admit, the story itself was quite genius- a girl sucked into a book, preistes of susaku and that one part where the brothers like ” yea the story got moved to here, i’m reading everything we’re doing right now”. Other than that- it was pretty weird..

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