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 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.
Fushigi Yuugi: Genbu Kaiden is the prequel to Fushigi Yuugi and tells the story of the first Priestess, of Genbu, and the Genbu Seishi (celestial warriors). I had read the original first and while heading into this, expected a similar plot, same atmosphere and copied themes and tropes. But I got sooo much more.
The story is an easy 10. I'm going to try not to compare it too much to the original as it deserves to be its own standalone. The manga starts on our MC Takiko Okuda whose mother has recently died and father hates her.
She gets transported to the universe of the four gods and immediately meets our male lead, Uruki, who can I just say is a beautifully written character (but more about that later). She journeys to find the seven seishi and encounters many obstacles on her way. At the start it seems more or less like the original but rewinded a few hundred years and modified slightly. It seems all happy-go-lucky and normal. BUT IT REALLY ISN'T. We get some interesting twists. The story takes a deep turn and the themes are mature and we explore some interesting politics of their world and the character relationships are meaningful and the story takes advantage of this. Twists seem planned and not shoe-horned and it all flows perfectly. The thing is though, if you've read the original, you know pretty much everything about the ending, but you don't know HOW it goes up until there and it manages to keep you hooked. And then when you near the end and you know what's gonna happen but you don't want it to... its heartbreaking. It's beautiful.
The story was so articulately written. Watase has come far.
I give characters a frickin' 20 million out of ten. I can't stress how much I fell in love with them. I cared for them. So. Frickin. Much. One by one. I'm gonna talk about them one by one. First, Takiko Okuda. This is our MC, our Priestess and I can say without second thought that she is the BEST priestess. She becomes the priestess because she was finally needed by someone in her life, not because she wanted the wishes. Heck, she didn't even know about the wishes. She also fights really well with a naginata (like an elongated sword) and her WILL is so strong. Then we have Uruki, or Rimudo, who is has amazing progression. Without spoiling too much, he has a lot on him and meeting Takiko noticeably changes him and when he goes through a traumatic thing, it changes him again. He is just an all-around well written character, props to Watase again. The other characters, Tomite, Hatsui, Inami, Hikitsu, Naname, Haagasu and Temdan are all defined and progressed and clarified through the story. They all have their stories separate to the main plot, and stories THAT MATTER, not just tossed in backstories. They have motivations (not blind obedience, like what happened in the original) and their own trials and relationships. They matter to the story and when things affect them, we CARE. And this matters. Great character writing.
Its clear that Watase tried to change up her drawing to fit the new atmosphere of this series better, but it's also improved in certain aspects, though I'm not really the expert to be saying this. It's funny though, that when I went back to read the cameos of Tomite and Hikitsu in the original, they looked... different. And they look better in their own series, no insults intended to original. Their faces are more shaped and hair positioned more accurately. The drawing was pleasant, never boring and always find the mood as required. No complaints, in fact I enjoyed it a lot. So, 9.
An obvious 10, seeing as what I've said above. I got so emotionally attached and though I knew the outcome from the outset, it was so gripping, that I forgot for a second what was going to happen. I kinda think revealing the ending from the start almost makes it more precious in a sense. You learn to savour every moment as much as you need to because of it and I thought it was a unique, fun experience. If it wasn't obvious I LOVED IT. And anyone up for a historical fantasy/romance/adventure should totally read this.
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.