Takiko Okuda is a strong-willed girl living in the Taisho Era. She needs to be strong -- Oosugi, the one man she's ever loved, is a married man; her mother is terminally ill; and her father, Einosuke, has not been home in over a year. When at last Einosuke returns, it's with a notebook full of Chinese scribblings that seem more important to him than the death of his wife. Furious, Takiko steals away his completed translation -- "The Universe of the Four Gods" -- with the intention of tearing it to shreds, but the instant she opens it, she's surrounded by light... And it is said that this is how the legend of the Priestess of Genbu began.
Volume 6: Ayashi no Ceres Gaiden
I am really picky when it comes reading fantasy mangas. I planned to read this when the first 11 chapters came out but held back because I wanted to binge on this manga so bad without getting stuck on cliffhangers and the waiting game for the next chapters to come out... and boy I'm glad I did! This is Watase-sama's masterpiece. i couldn't really stress this out more, its the type of story that will get you to hold on to your seat as the events unfold while the story progresses.
I' try my hardest not to compare it to the original one (despite
some hates) the first FY did have some strong pros that made the manga and anime a breathtaking experience for readers and viewers alike (esp for shojo fans). What's really nice is that although, Genbu Kaiden was a prequel to FY, the story can stand on its own, it doesn't depend too much or even at all to the original FY story. Those who have not heard of the first FY would still be able to fully enjoy this book, and even more so, those who were a fan of the first FY will automatically fall inlove with Genbu Kaiden. The story has more depth, more details and definitely not predictable, get ready for some crazy plot twists!
One of the reasons why I love reading Watase-sama's works are her drawings, they are absolutely beautiful. Even the details on each character's clothes were as clear as day. She did made an itty-bitty change on her art style with genbu kaiden as far as comparing it to the first FY or Ceres (like some of the character's eyes and the shape of their faces) but it is not something to frown upon really. The characters, as expected are still gorgeous.
Where do I start? Although I love the suzaku seishis to heart, the Genbu celestial warriors are the REAL DEAL. I'm not even exaggerating. I fell inlove with all of them. Each characters have strong back stories that didn't came out forceful in the story line. Takiko Okuda, the MC (Priestess of Genbu) is by far the most promising character in the series. She has the will and prowess of how a real priestess should be and it's not in a Mary Sue kind of way. She's definitely hardcore, she can fight battles on her own and her way of thinking is very realistic, selfless and mature. I think Yuu Watase has profoundly written the Genbu Seven as these fierce likable individuals to set an example for the next set of seishis and priestesses to come. They do not play around when it comes to where their loyalty stands and the hardships they endure in this series is AGAINST ALL ODDS. It's really interesting how most of the story's turn of events favors on each of the characters's own motivation as a celestial warrior. My fav. episodes are probably the last 5 chapters where we get to see all of the Genbu Seven fight 100,000 soldiers. They are indeed the best and probably the strongest of all the seishis in the Universe of the Four Gods.
My whole reading experience with this manga is very gripping. I had to take a few breaks to get my breathing in check (laughs). It's a very enjoyable ride, to the point that you'll get attached to the characters, endure their pain, cry with them, laugh with them and fall in love. This is definitely a 100/10... and I would recommend this to all shojo readers out there, a must read!
I do admit that this got my attention bec. Fushigi Yuugi has been my favorite anime of all time. Upon reading the manga, Fushigi Yuugi: Genbu Kaiden, i thought it would be the same plot as the story of the Suzaku Group. But sensei Yuu Watase is a very good mangaka indeed. It has different plot and a lot more dramatic than the other. Though, rest assured that you will definitely enjoy this one too! I mean to say that you will keep on thinking what will happen next, why did that happen, and so forth. I got teary eyed as the story reaches it's
climax ;( especially the final chapter.
Outstanding for the Art! I couldn't argue about that. I read from several of mangaka's interview that she was trying to make a difference from the first one and that was a good idea for me. To make a "whole new experience"-y feel.
Definitely a great character progression. Seemingly childish and selfish at first but dramatically changes to a mature and rational being for each one of them.
As Ive said earlier, Ive enjoyed it to the point that I couldn't stop reading until I reach the final chapter. :)
Once again, Yuu Watase made a masterpiece when it comes to manga. You can feel that it is not only a hobby for her but she also devoted herself into it. So do i need to say more? Nothing but OUTSTANDING!
Water of life, swell with wind and let them walk the earth once more. It matters not where or when. Let it be that this time they should meet and never again be separated. And this... was the first story told of the Priestess of Genbu. - FY:GK Final Volume [Yuu Watase]
After a long decade of grueling and impatient wait, Yuu Watase has finally concluded Genbu's arc of Fushigi Yugi, her life's work. As much as I love the classic original Fushigi Yugi, this prequel proved as a worthy stand alone series that far exceeded in storytelling, art and overall theme compared to its predecessor,
Suzaku/Seiryu arc. However to compare both series is unjust as both has its appeal. While becoming familiar with the original is not required to fully appreciate Genbu Kaiden. Although a few references in the series would be reminiscing of the original thus gives it more a sense of familiarity. Of course, the inevitable faith of the Priestess of Genbu has been predetermined in the original.
Genbu Kaiden is like a piece of poetry, poignantly written about how precious life is. The different bond of relationship the characters shared; through happiness, romance, forgiveness, sacrifices and even death and how to continue to live on with life when tragedy strikes. All these theme were incorporated and effortlessly delivered by Watase with such ease and grace.
Contrast to the original Fushigi Yugi which was sappy melodramatic, light hearted and guilty of vexing romance. Genbu Kaiden's sophisticated plot and theme was a refreshing change. Watase's plethora of anecdotes shojo lines and often whiny/weak heroine was almost nonexistent. Rather we have Takiko whose not only an eye catcher but also has brain, guts and will to achieve what she set out to do. Takiko was not the typical damsel in distress. A bit too perfect for a heroine, not really as her existence and fate was also her flaw. The romance between Takiko and her love interest, Uruki was more favorable. The subtle and slow progression of romance was delicately executed without becoming too trite or redundant for the readers. I was sold on the love between the two.
Genbu Kaiden's strong point was the message it tried to convey to its readers. As I mentioned, the obvious theme it had was death, sacrifices and forgiveness. Most of the celestial warriors didn't have it as easy living as the chosen protectors since they symbolizes desctruction. Watase tried to give each warrior a tragic story with heartwarming resolution. Watase explored and exploited brotherhood relation, to master/servant faithful bond and even down to inanimate connection.
Ultimately, what elevated this series amidst its predetermined ending (as I've read the original) was the bittersweet fate of Takiko. Each character that has perished in the process of Takiko's quest to gather the seven warriors has made an impact and had meaningful purpose. Despite of countless death and the tragic destiny of Takiko, I felt that Watase has created a brilliant elegy commemorating and celebrating life.
More than twice I've shed tears because of this series. Especially on the last couple of pages. Not because it ended tragic, but because of how powerful, moving and meaningful it was. Takiko singing while Uruki embracing her at the end was too poignant.
Overall, Genbu Kaiden is hands down worthy as a prequel. I love the epilogue-esque ending. The Priesstess of Genbu's final wish was brilliant and heartwarming. I could not think of a much suited ending. I confess, I doubted Watase's ability to come up a good ending but instead she had won me over as she crafted yet another masterpiece. The more reason to love Yuu Watase. The ending of Genbu Kaiden reminds me of why she's my favourite mangaka. She's just amazing and one gifted storyteller. Throughout the 10 years process, Watase has become a much adept writer and as well as an artist. Memorable, intense and tragic scenes were highlighted and was brought to life fully by Watase's art. Her art style and character designs has improved drastically over the course. Though still has some minor hand and body proportion issues. But this is just a minor nitpick.
Fushigi Genbu Kaiden is definitely one of her best, if not the best series. I realized by the end of the series that it's literally like a legend, a story that has been told with each passing of generation. Truly magnificent.
Thank you Watase-sensei. Takiko, Uruki, the Celestial Warriors and Soren will forever be remembered the same as the Suzaku/Seiryu arc. Byakko's arc should be in order to round up the Universe of the Four Gods.
I really loved this manga! Although for me the drawings were ok, it got a lot better as the story goes by. This manga really made me experience a bunch of different emotions and it really tugged on my heartstrings. The story was really cool and creative, the art was not bad but got a whole lot better as the story passes by, and I also think the mangaka drew the guy characters very nicely. The characters were ok at first but there was a whole lot of character development that makes you really love the characters (there were also some characters you would just
love off the bat), like the heroine, at first I kinda thought she self pitied herself but after the first 5 chapters she becomes so cool, and towards the end I love her! I really enjoyed this manga and I believe that if you like historical, romance, action/adventure, and a bit of fantasy than I'm sure you will like this manga.