While visiting the National Library, junior-high students Miaka Yuuki and Yui Hongo are transported into the world of a mysterious book set in ancient China, "The Universe of The Four Gods." Miaka suddenly finds herself with the responsibility of being the priestess of Suzaku, and must find all of her celestial warriors for the purpose of summoning Suzaku for three wishes. However, the enemy nation of the god Seiryuu has manipulated Yui into becoming the priestess of Seiryuu. As enemies, the former best friends begin their long struggle to summon their respective gods and obtain their wishes...
Fushigi Yuugi was published in English by VIZ Media from December 10, 2003 to April 11, 2006. A 3-in-1 omnibus edition was released under the Shojo Beat VIZBIG imprint from January 20, 2009 to June 15, 2010.
This is a review that I wrote on mangafox some years ago, under my username 'lady_ribbon". The reason I'm posting it here is because its still so true. (Some parts have been slightly edited).
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 original story comes from.
Let's begin, shall we?
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, save the world blah, 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' (and I use that word very lightly) I have ever seen. She's weak, useless, clingy, a glutton, annoying, dumb, prone to falling in love after five seconds, only cares about her boyfriend "Tamahomeee!!!", and shallow as hell too. And I think she's a bit on the slutty side as well, from lines and mannerisms such as, "If Tamahome and I could have been in the normal world, we could have had a normal relationship like any other High School student."
...Right. We all know what she means by that.
Yet despite all this nonsense, almost every single guy falls in love with her just for the sake of a reverse harem and to live up to that theme. There's barely anything to like about her, if anything at all. Even her looks (which aren't important to begin with) aren't anything to go raving mad about.
3) Rape, rape, RAPE. No matter how you type it, it's too much, and almost has a standing of being over-glorified and taken too lightly in manga. Especially in Shoujo manga. But honestly...How much attempted rape is there? It's gets so old after the first ten or so times. And even then the Suzaku Seven want to do it with Miaka. It's so annoying. They're human beings, not a bunch of bloody rabbits. Keep it in your pants (or panties) good people!
4) When there is 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 utterly ruined by them. The humor is atrocious, and it comes in at really bad moments, in all the wrong places. It makes it incredibly hard to take the moment/tragedy/sob scene seriously.
5) Almost everyone at the end of the manga DIES, and it's Miaka's fault, but of course they all fall down and worship her like a friggin' god or something, and spew bullshit like "Omg she liek, totally tried her best!!", "She waz s0 brave!!!", And also, all they did was fall in love with her (for what reason I'm still trying to understand), and say “You’re a brave little girl, you have it so tough.”
Yeah, tell that to the massacred farmers. But as usual, no one cares about unimportant characters whose job it is to fill up the world and haul up potatoes by the thousand to stuff annoying, useless schoolgirls.
6) I could give the romance problems in this manga it's own section, but I'll chop it down for you out of the goodness of my heart.
The romance is so unrealistic in every sense of the word. It moves WAY to fast. It has no buildup. Tamahome and Miaka meet for about five seconds, and then BAM! they love each other like it's damn magic. This is not Harry Potter people, so even spells can't save the poor love-plot. All Miaka thinks about is Tamahome -that is to say, she lives, breathes, eats, dreams...You get it- and she hardly knows him. I actually hate Tamahome because he's so perverted and unrealistic. Wait, I hate almost all of them. I only like(d) Nakago because he wants to kill them all, Nuriko before he liked 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? Well, whatever." Like when Tamahome's siblings died, all he could think about was Miaka. I mean...Really Tamahome? You're thinking about a girl you barely know over siblings who you have lived with and loved for YEARS? None of the manga deaths in this series were like others I've read about. Not.Even.One.
8) The manga is so soap-opera-ish,and melodramatic, that I can see why teen or tween 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, are very smart, 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. A more juvenile example would be Magic Knight Rayearth. Three girls taken to another world who *gasp* are the furthest thing away from useless, stupid and annoying, though they're all imperfect! But on the other hand, it's done by Clamp so of course it would be done well. Not to mention the plot...
Everyone in these three series for example is so well fleshed out and given their own unique personality and really grow as characters so much so that you can really understand them, and the choices they make, and what made them the people they are today, regardless of whether they are the hero or villain.
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 (or rather, all) 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, and you never truly flesh out everyone else unless you give them a quick and stupid story?
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, they die. 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.
11) As I state below, I dislike the author's other works as well. What I did not say before (and one comment sure to burn in the hearts of those ardent fans) is that this author, this Yu Watase - is like the Stephenie Meyer of the manga world. She truly, truly is.
Before you scream at me (as you surely will) here's why I think why.
Yu Watase has these plots which sound good in a summary, horrible in story. She writes and makes the main female characters so useless and truly annoying and frustrating. (Bella anyone?) The romance always makes the girl seem pathetic, clingy, have-to-be-protected, second to the male, damsel in distress. (Edward/Bella!) The love triangles make everyone fall helplessly in love with the main female lead for no apparent reason other than to give the main male some competition, and the story something interesting. (Edward/Bella/Jacob people.) The characterization sucks. All the guys are pretty boys, the girls pretty average. (Sparkly vampy's and hunky wolves anyone?) The female characters in the story can ALWAYS be guaranteed to trip and fall.
Possibly the most important and immediately noticeable similarity is the fact that these stories are so incredibly popular for GIRLS/WOMEN, still get talked about a lot, are undeserving of the praise, and are often bashed by critics. (Which is deserving.)
The similarities go on and on and on.
In conclusion -
Like I said before, I truly dislike the author's other works too. She seems to recycle her characters, and there is always super-fast-drive-through-romance, among other awful things. Even her so called brilliant art style is nothing to talk about compared to others.
Everything truly sucks, and sucks really bad.
For all the hype it gets, it really, really, really is horrible.
(Here are the scores for story, art, character, enjoyment and overall).
★ Story (3)
★ Art (6)
★ Character (2)
★ Enjoyment (2)
★ Overall (2)
Do not suffer through this series. Please save your sanity and think of the massacred farmers who were killed by a stupid glutton.
If you want a wonderful, well written fantasy series about a girl taken to another world, check out -
- Red River (manga)
- From Far Away (manga)
- Magic Knight Rayearth (manga, anime)
- 12 Kingdoms (books, anime)
- Inuyasha -though it DOES drag on and the anime is full of fillers- (manga, anime)
Now THESE are worth it and won't leave you with a bad aftertaste in your brain.
I cannot believe that no one has yet submitted a review on this multi level, multi themed, multi quality manga. Because I feel it to be necessary, I am going to separate this review into two halves; two reviews. One for what was meant to be the series (1-13) and one for what became of the series (14-18)
My ratings are actually based on this first review; the main series itself.
First off, the story is astounding; my favourite to date. It was original and intriguing, emotional and inspirational, gripping and not predictable. It worked on several levels, allowing it to appeal to a wider audience than
possibly intended. It had an epic quality, but at the same time was very romantic and touching. There were moments where I felt water come to my eyes; pathetic? Every moment- every side plot, every back story - added to the overall plot and made it all the more complex and intriguing.
The characters were all unique and fabulous. Their back stories were very good and each one had a radiating personality; whether it was good or evil. They were all believable and individual; no character was similar to another. They also worked excellently together to make the story all that more enjoyable. Their personalities were so strong that it felt as though Watase hadn't planned the story at all; it felt as though the characters were so alive that they ruled and made the outcome of the entire plot.
The art, while not Watase's best, was very good indeed. I loved the character designs and the overall feel of the manga; many have actually asked her to go back to that original style. She's certainly talented.
Overall, I enjoyed it a lot. It was one of those well planned, well paced stories of a perfect length (until Watase added the later chapters). Everything, I felt, was perfect. Worth the read!
As for the second half, those regretfully poor books (14-18).
This was just a saddening, fan-requested addition which dragged on and really added nothing to the story. Think Final Fantasy X, and then X-2. Wonderful story ruined by an unecessary sequal. The only difference is, FY's ending didn't really change at all.
As good as the main - true - part of the series. Same character designs; same style; same quality.
The characters were almost as good as they were in the first 13 books. The only problem is, they no longer developed. Those beloved characters were there to just add a few pointers, and so they truly didn't make spellbinding or inspiring appearances.
Slow, repetative, pointless, long-winded, samey... Yeah... You get the picture.
Need I say more? Only read it if you REALLY want to see the slight difference in the end.
First of, (This is one of my favorite manga and lets just say I Rated everything outstanding.)
A review for the main story, (Volumes 1-13)
Story: The story revolves around Miaka a stubborn, gluttonous and most of the time a whin'er high school girl. While in the library she got sucked and literally transported back in ancient China. She learned that in order to get back to the real world she must become the priestess of Suzaku. As being a priestess her task is to gather her celestial warriors and summon the beast god to save the country in brink of catastrophe. She will then be
granted three wishes..... Not an easy task though, when her bestfriend, Yui, got sucked inside the book she becomes Miaka's rival. Now both side is racing to find their warriors and summon their respective Gods, before the other can. The story is like an opera drama, it can played with emotions well. It can make you laugh, symphatetic and cry. Engaging plot filled with heartfelt moment, lots of twists and turns.
Art: Created in early nineties', the character designs are really good. Being a Watase fan, I really like her art.
Character: Fushigi Yugi had one of the best character development out there (for most of the cast). The character grows onto you while you read. It has a wide variety of personalities. Entertaining and Memorable characters.
Enjoyment: The plot is based on the constellation and being a person who likes constellation I greately enjoyed this. There are a handful of slapstick jokes and there're three characters that were just hilarious.
Overall: Fushigi Yugi's memorable cast, interesting story, and awesome art, made it one of my fave manga. I highly recommend this.
Warning! (LoL) Miaka and her love interest (Tamahome) are annoying when it comes to their romance. But if you could handle it the series is really enjoyable. Try and check out the first volume and if it is your cup of tea then great! Go wallow yourself inside.
I've finished reading the manga (although I'm quite sure I haven't finished the anime (but yes, I know the anime ending, and the gist of the OVAs...well the 2nd in particular). Though I would just looove to read Tasuki's backstory (written by someone else than Watase-sensei though)...
Well, what do I say? I sometimes wished that I could be like Miaka and get sucked into some fantastical "other universe" just to escape reality..but then, who hasn't, even just once? Especially if you get to meet quite a few good-looking young men along the way, and end up having not only 2 of them falling in love
with you. Hail the powers of Harem-type anime! Or, in this case, reverse-harem :P Bah, but I do read Ouran after all..so there :D
Still, in the end, I somewhat have to agree with one of the people I've read the post of, in a discussion thread about this series. Miaka ends up with someone who is um...not EXACTLY Tamahome (then again, Suzaku did say that Tamahome in the book was based on Taka from the real world and NOT the other way around..heh, so that means Suzaku was just "taking credit" for seemingly granting Miaka's third wish?)
Btw, Suzaku looks rather..eh, cool too :P But I still have my Tasuki *grabs the Fang Boy and clutches possessively, glaring at everyone in warning "MINE!"*
=^-^= heheh..sad, I know. But I am a rabid fangirl..sometimes. Just creeps me out that there are fanfics that actually pair Tasuki with Tamahome..and even Chichiri x.x eeek! Must be because of the earrings..but I still think he's simply gorgeous :P MEH!
Well, if you got lost because of that fangirl moment, I apologize...
To top it all of, I like this manga because it's basically a story of how taking chances and facing responsibility (I won't say reality, because let's face it, most of the story happens in a fantasy book world) will lead you to have experiences and meet people you might otherwise have never experienced, and met. I admire the focus on the power of love to overcome all (although it gets a bit too unreal at times), and Miaka's determination and guts. Also, admittedly the idea of a harem full of handsome guys (I mean come on, it was obvious from the earlier parts of this review anyway!) :P
In anime, we often see characters with their eyes closed. despite the fact that they aren't blind. Which leaves us with the question: why? Does this look have any symbolism? Let’s learn more about this famous anime trope and get to know some anime characters who made it popular!