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From Viz: Miaka Yuuki is an ordinary junior-high student who is suddenly whisked away into the world of a book, "The Universe of th Four Gods". There she becomes the priestess of the god Suzaku, and is charged with finding all seven of her Celestial-Warrior protectors.
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Reivew with Nostalgia
Lots of hate comments here, and I have to say that Fushigi Yuugi deserves them to some extent. I also see a lot of people comparing the manga series to the anime series, which I personally haven't watched, but I heard that the anime series kept most the plot points intact, so I'll assume the same applies to both adaptations.
Fushigi Yuugi is...a classic. It's not the first of the time traveling school girls, but it's definitely old enough, and sets up enough archetypes to earn the name of a classic. Hell, Miaka and Yui were sucked into the world of a mystic Ancient China a good 4 years before the famous Kagome first made her trip down the well. With this point made, I think it's fair to point out that Miaka fits the image of most shojo characters at the time: an innocent, naiive, cute, ditzy, but ultimately courageous girl that finds the strength in herself to save the world. While that might be overused and seem horrible today, back in 1992, maybe it wasn't so bad, especially considering the target audience.
Of course, our values in good shojo manga have long since changed, and 10 years later, Yuu Watase-sensei shows that she has been improving her storytelling and keeping up with the demands of a new female audience that wants to see more action from the heroine herself rather than the protection of handsome men. I think that this new set of expectations towards shojo manga is what blinds people to some of the better aspects of Fushigi Yuugi, and prevents people from enjoying it as much.
Most people complain about Miaka's character, but I think her character makes her human. She does develop bit by bit throughout the series as well. I'm not a particular fan of her character, and god knows how many times she's frustrated me, but I think people tend to focus too much on the negative traits and fail to see the development of her character. Beyond just the character of Miaka though, I think that people fail to give the vast and colorful supporting cast enough credit. Fushigi Yuugi has a myriad of different characters, from the seven soldiers of Suzaku to the seven soldiers of Seiryuu. Chihiri, Tatsuki, Nuriko, Mitsukake, Suboshi, Amiboshi...most people can find at least someone to relate to.
As for the length, while 18 volumes seems hefty, I think it's necessary in order to cover through all the plot points that Watase-sensei did. 13 volumes to develop and describe the huge cast of characters as well as move forward the plot that took place in ancient China wasn't really too long. If it had been any shorter, things might have been overly rushed. I think there were some scenes that could have been cut, but I don't think they were negatively impacting the story since the plot is very character driven and each scene helped develop at least some of the characters. I wasn't nearly as fond of the latter half of the series, but it helped in showing Miaka as she matured and gave an almost 'coming of age' type of air to the series, so it kept me until the end.
As for the art, I personally like Watase-sensei's art, and she improved through the course of the 18 volumes. As for Miaka 'ugliness' as commented by a few other people...I don't think it's important to the plot at all, and besides that, it's purely subjective based on one's opinion of the art in general, so I won't bother commenting.
This is a pretty biased review since I have a lot of fond memories tied to Fushigi Yuugi. If I had read this series today and not back when I was first introduced to manga, my opinion would probably be very different, and I might have hated the series. But nostalgia does a lot, and I really do appreciate the classic storytelling of Fushigi Yuugi.
Miaka, Miaka, Miaka.
Okay, I love this series. It has a unique (but too dramatic) plot and awesomely cute (not to mention, 'hot) characters; but the problem is the main protagonist: Miaka. She's such a dramatic slut, a glutton and a perfectly BAD dumbass. I hate it when she goes around waiting to be raped and then yells out "Tamahome!!" so innocently. Ugh. Seriously, what an airhead slash weirdo. I'd rate it a 6 if Miaka wasn't the main character. She's ugly, I wonder what the heck was going 'round Yuu Watase's brain when she created such an ugly dislikable character.
I WAS going to seriously STOP reading/watching this series because of Miaka and I find the concept a lil' bit too corny. They did all that 'cause of friend betrayal? Choose over a guy than your friends, family and your home? Pathetic. Sure, having a boyfriend is one thing, but leaving everything you have just for his sake? Ugh. And I find every situation to be kind of gross (seeing as everything has to do with RAPING Miaka) and yucky, and too dramatic. Miaka's probably the most disliked character in the Anime/Manga world, and that's that. No sane person likes her. Tamahome and the rest of her warriors must be dumbasses for liking her.
The only thing that keeps me reading this series is 'cause I love it when Miaka gets severely injured. Except when she cries and screams out "Tamahome", that's insane, stupid and whiny. Why would Yuu Watase create that "TAMAHOME!!" and those gross "I love you" lines. YUCK. She puts too much P.D.A in public. And because of that, I give this series a 4. It's not THAT bad, it's not THAT good either. Everything there is super predictable.
18 volumes just doesn't cut it. It should've been like, 3 to 5 volumes. The same thing just happens over and over again and it can get a bit boring. Plus, why'd they keep raping Miaka!!!! She's UGLY, dammit!! Why?!
But I'm glad the prequel (Genbu Kaiden) is soooo much better. Takiko Okuda is the best and way, way better than Miaka. Uruki's better than Tamahome too. Miaka and Tamahome = eewww. Miaka is a major sucker, fatass (?!), slutty whore who's only good at whining and pissing everybody off.
If I were Yui, I'd order Nakago to kill her. Plus, Miaka's the only one who's got the happy ending!! She does NOT deserve it. Yuu Watase should do a re-make of the ending and make Miaka die by melting her in hot green boogers and forcing her to eat Tamahome's legs! Now THAT, i'd love to see!
Criticize this comment if you must. I'm just being honest. I love this series, I do, but why put all the Miaka-rape scenes?! I'd totally love it if it were about Seiryuu.
Im a fan Yuu-san, but I really hate this manga, the main girl is dump but she fights (a little bit) I dont know why almost all the guys full in love with her and/or have sex (or rape) her...In the end Mika is the only one with a good ending...btw she has a son with Tamahome XP *anger mark* I really hate her and I think Fushigi Yuugi wood be better without her (sorry for my bad spelling) -___-;;
Why, Oh EFFIN Why, Did I, Give This Mess A Try?
Yeah, the title was my own little attempt at a limerick. Anyways, the title says it all. Miaka made me despise the ENTIRE CONCEPT of the damned "Universe of the Four Gods" right down to the flipping celestial beast she was supposed to summon.By the end of it, I wanted Yui and Nakago to kill all of them. The only reason why I finished it was to honor Nuriko's memory [he was the only one I could stand]. I mean,when I went into this series, I was perfectly aware of the fact that Yuu Watase has a tendency to create main heroines that 1) Are Push-overs 2) Have some kind of willpower but are submissive anyways 3) End up with the last guy you would figure she would pick 4) Have all the remotely nice looking male characters chopping each others limbs for a chance to be with her. Miaka just happened to be the one that had all 4 traits in excess......don't get me wrong, I've read other Watase works and have indeed enjoyed them immensely......Imadoki Nowadays was really cute, Ayashi no Ceres was awesome, and Alice 19th superb! I mean, yeah sure, the heroines in these were kinda sorta cut from the same cloth as Miaka, but at least they made decisions that weren't changed by the murmur of a hot guy. Honestly, I KNOW this is INTENDED to be and IS a fantasy, but seriously, in which fantasy world are girls and women that submissive, powerless, annoying, whiny, etc? I mean, even fantasy mangas are supposed to be relatively consistent with the real world, be it out of the pages of a comic book, or everyday life. The only thing I can say good about this series is that it creates a nice world for Takiko and Limudo/Rimudo to be in for Fushigi Yuugi: Genbu Kaiden. For those of you that don't know this, FYGK is the "prequel" FY, even though if you read it first you will be out of the loop for a while. Honestly, Takiko is the type of female lead Watase needed to create: strong-willed, not afraid to hold a weapon, mature, etc. Though it is the prequel, FYGK is what will save the whole Universe of The Four Gods tale from extinction. Well that's my review, let the flaming begin!
Girls should be insulted...
I never thought I'd find a weaker "heroine" than Bella in Twilight but Miaka takes the cake. She's absolutely useless and a pig and yet somehow all the guys are attracted to her. I read through this manga halfway mainly because I liked Nakago but then it got too annoying and melodramatic and I just skipped to the ending.
What a shame.
The art is stunning, there's no question about that. I could go on for hours about the art. There are numerous bishies, bishies that are both good for eyecandy AND interesting characters in their own right (perhaps with the exception of Tamahome). I absolutely adore Hotohori and Tasuki, and their only fault is that they're hung up over Miaka.
That's the one biggest problem in this series. Miaka. Fushigi Yuugi would have been a great manga without her, without Tamahome screaming "Miaka!!!" and her sobbing "Tamahome!" at every turn. We got the point after the first... 10 times? Not only is Miaka supposed to be "tough" and the all-important priestess, she's supposed to somehow save the world, when all she thinks about is how much she loves Tamahome. Constantly crying, never doing anything to help, but miraculously, almost every male in the entire series either falls deeply in love with her or wants to throw her onto a bed.
As if that isn't enough, her best friend is completely misguided and has jealousy issues, and they all end up unhappy in love and unhappy in life, except for Miaka, who has the most cliche happy ending ever. Even if you enjoy romance/fantasy series, I'd still recommend avoiding this one to save yourself hours and hours of frustration. If you like the art, then stare at the pretty artbooks instead.
the only reason why I would consider this manga a good one is because it creates a sense of nostalgia for me; my cousins and I used to glue ourselves across the tv screen every afternoon just to watch the anime. and for some reason, I actually enjoyed it at the time. but now, having grown older and developed a better common sense, I've come to realise that other than giving me a chance to walk down memory lane, this manga is actually kinda, for lack of better words, yucky. the thing that turns me off about this is the over-displayed intimacies between Tamahome and the much-loathed, Miaka. honestly, if you want to show how much you love each other, find another place to do it! not when you're in battle! another thing that just makes me want to tear my ears (besides my eyes) out is the out-of-this-world screaming of Miaka. you know, the one where she runs with tears running down her cheeks and goes "TAMAHOMEEEE!!". yowza! if you play that pitch of hers in the right frequency, you can break every window in your house.
but then, you have to give credit to Yuu Watase. her artwork has matured very, very much since this dismal of a manga. FYGK is testimony to how much she's developed in terms of her art and story-making. I certainly enjoyed the sequel (technically, it's a prequel) to this particular Fushigi Yuugi.
I suggest those that hate the heroine of this but like the story can just go ahead read the genbu version much much better. more mature romance, a heroine that can save herself and actually has a priestess power.
It's pretty great
I'm a sucker for cheesy romances so I love Fushigi Yuugi.
One: The male characters are HOT! Specially Nakago!
Two: character development was slow but that's what i think makes it easier to relate to. You can't just change after a few encounters with a bad guy and retain that new, stronger character throughout the story. that just doesn't make sense! True, Miaka is annoying with her being ditzy, naive and weak but that's why I like her! She doesn't have that special power that makes guys fall for her. She doesn't do EVERYTHING right. She doesn't just suddenly pull out some secret power within herself and she doesn't become the ultimate girl every man would want overnight! She's imperfect but she tries. I don't blame her for always calling for help. we've already established that she has no real physical power. But she doesn't always think about herself. All the characters love her for her innocence and the way she tries for all of them. All the characters love her because she IS weak yet she's willing to help them in the only way she's useful, being the Priestess of Suzaku. And if you think about it, she gets sent back to a time where honor, hard-work and courage were admirable but also when people valued it above their lives. I'm just saying that most of the people nowadays don't even know what honor is. So it's only natural to be loyal to her so why not get along along the way?
I'm saying that Fushigi Yuugi is a great anime/manga with realistic character development and an actual plot. I don't understand why people even bother saying that they don't like it now when they enjoyed it before.
It seems Krysic is confused...
To Krysic: This IS THE ORIGINAL STORY. Fushigi Yuugi: Genbu Kaiden was a prequel; a simple glance at the years should already tell you so: this was done in 1992, while Genbu Kaiden followed in 2003, more than 10 years after this.
Spoiler (highlight to view)
And the guardians you referred to were not the Genbu Celestial warriors but those of Byakko's. The only Genbu Celestial warriors who were shown here were Hikitsu and Tomite. So yeah, Watase Yuu got nothing wrong. Sorry, but... you did.
So having said that, I think it's only fair that we shouldn't compare this with Fushigi Yuugi: Genbu Kaiden. Rather, it should be the other way around. 10 years is a lot of time for a mangaka to improve.
This was a very entertaining read. It was a nostalgic experience for me, having watched the anime more than a decade ago. Not a big fan of shoujo, but this makes me want to explore Watase's other work. It's definitely not perfect, but a manga doesn't have to be perfect to entertain.
And I agree with spiritedaway, Miaka is a strong woman. Yes, she's an idiot glutton who doesn't know how to fight... but she has a strong sense of self-sacrifice. Countless of times she'd rush the enemy as bait... just so her celestial warriors, who are obviously much more able than her, could get away safely. Stupid? Maybe. But as they say, there's a fine line between stupidity and courage.