Fushigi Yuugi Review

 

Fushigi Yuugi

Fushigi Yuugi


Rating:
7.5/10

Plot: Miaka Yuki is a normal middle school student who is currently trying to get into the same high school as her best friend Yui Hongo. One day, Miaka and Yui stumble upon a book in their local library called The Universe of the Four Gods. As they read it, the book magically sucks them in to the world of the Universe of the Four Gods. Yui is transported back to their world rather quickly, but Miaka is stuck in the book world. Yui follows her exploits in the world by reading the book and finds that she is also physically connected to Miaka and feels much of what she feels. Miaka finds out that she is the prophesied Priestess of Suzaku; supposedly the one who will join the seven celestial warriors of Suzaku to summon the legendary god, Suzaku. Along the way, she falls in love with the celestial warrior, Tamahome and eventually she has to deal with the forces of the celestial warriors of Seiryu; led by the Priestess of Seiryu, her best friend Yui.

Reasons for Rating:

I have such mixed feelings about this show. I’ve never come into contact with a show that can make me rage so much yet in the end I can still say that I’d watch it all over again; especially when it’s a moderately long show.

I could go into a long-ass rant analyzing every single episode, but this being a fairly long show; I figured I wouldn’t do that. Instead, I’ll just place any and all annoyances into specific categories, characters, animation/art, story, plot, and music.

Oh, btw there’s three OVA’s to Fushigi Yuugi, but since I count each OVA as a different series, I’ll be reviewing them all in separate reviews.

Now onto the show.

Characters:

Let’s start with the Suzaku warriors.

Miaka:

Jigsaw: Yes….hehe….there will be blood.

Damn right, Jigs, cuz I hate this character with a passion and I’m gonna skin this chick alive. …review-wise.

At the beginning of the show, Miaka’s no more annoying than any other female protagonist. Average ditzy student hanging out with her friends, you know the drill. Until one day she comes across a book called “The Universe of the Four Gods” She and her best friend Yui start reading the book and that’s where her adventure begins.

She is beyond irritating after this. She’s almost always yelling in her nails on a chalkboard voice, throughout the entire anime, she gets attacked by practically anything that moves, if a male character comes into contact with her they either instantly fall in love with her or they wanna rape her to keep her from summoning Suzaku. (Cue the Seiryu boys) Seriously, there’s a good string of, I wanna say 10-15 episodes that are pretty much dedicated to finding a way to steal Miaka’s virginity. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, at a point, it just sounds like a bad hentai plot. NOT THAT I KNOW WHAT ANY HENTAI PLOT….sounds…like….Shut up. :0

 

I guess I should explain that before I go on; the priestess of any god needs to be a virgin apparently in order to be able to summon their respective god. So yeah, Miaka’s basically a rape target for a while so that they can prevent the summoning of Suzaku.

In addition, she is 100% useless in any battle situation. The only thing she’s useful for is getting attacked so someone, usually Tamahome, can save her. If she ever does do anything useful, it’s usually because of someone else’s power. IE, she’s saved herself a couple of times through Nuriko’s magic bracelets and she once saved herself through use of Hotohori’s sword. But then she ends up fainting or something afterwards. I used to think Kagome from Inuyasha or Sakura from Naruto were useless. At least Kagome knows some archery and has some powers than have even taken Naraku out at some points. At least Sakura actually has some semblance of abilities even over that of her friends. (She has the best chakra control well over Naruto and Sasuke supposedly. I have no idea if that’s still true, but that’s what was said in that tree walking episode) and is 1000x better in Shippuuden. And I know quite well that she’s a spindly middle-school girl and thus it’s understandable that she’s like this, but Miaka doesn’t even ask to be taught how to fight or protect herself or anything, she just blindly runs into crap with no idea what she’s doing only to end up getting hurt.

Speaking of getting hurt, she gets hurt, gets sick, faints for whatever reason, or acts like a total klutz in nearly every episode. We get it; you’re the damsel in distress. That’s nice, sweetie.

Oh crap, I should mention that she has this terrible speech impediment. Tamahome has the same thing. There’s no known cure. You see, she has to add “Tamahome” to the end and beginning of every sentence and on many occasions she needs to yell it at the top of her lungs. Even if the situation has NOTHING TO DO WITH HIM.

Hey, I wanna have rice for lunch…*takes bite of rice*….Tamahome….

Ow I got a papercut…..Tamahome…help me.

Tamahome….Tamahome…TAMAHOMMMEEEEEEEEEEE—SHUUTTTTTTTTTTTTTTUPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP!!

*cough* Like I said, Tamahome has caught this as well, except he has to say “Miaka”

While on the subject of Miaka and Tamahome, I can say I’ve never seen a more annoying relationship. If I had a dime for how many times they’ve broken up, gotten back together, were separated, and then reunited I could actually afford to buy a bicycle in Pokemon instead of wandering around for a bike voucher.

Several times I was hoping Miaka would just go to someone else. I mean, it’s not as if there’s a shortage of guys who are in love with her. Hotohori, Nuriko, Amiboshi, I think I’m forgetting some, but you get it. Plenty of guys proclaiming they love you; go off with them and let this drama fest be over. But, of course, I knew that wouldn’t happen. I knew they end up together and live happily ever after. I just got so sick of their relationship at a point. To be fair, they do have a very good romance when they’re not being annoying…..which doesn’t happen all that often, but still. There was plenty of chemistry between the characters and you could always tell that they were genuinely in love.

The constant thing of Yui being in love with Tamahome as well and wanting to take him away from her at all costs wasn’t helping either. Yui’s reason for claiming she’s practically entitled to him was just stupid. “I was in love with him first! I should have him! Nanananan!” What are you, four?

How do you know you fell in love with him first anyway? So you fell in love with him the instant you saw him, Miaka could’ve had it the same way. You both met him at the exact same time.

Okay, enough badmouthing, time for some positive.

Miaka is a brave girl I guess, but she’s brave in the sense of stupid with love brave. If Tamahome’s in danger she will brave even the most horrible things to get to him. The problem with this is that she has nothing to back this up and almost always requires a rescue afterwards. So, though it is noble, it also puts her in way more damsel in distress moments.

Miaka is caring, even to her enemies if she sees something good in them.

Her heart is in the right place. She wants to do whatever she can to help the world inside the book and help Yui.

And uhh…..I got nothing else.

For a long time she was so annoying to me that I thought she was my list topper as most hate female protagonist….but oh no…..That was before……During much simpler times…Before I saw…..her.…..But that’s for another review! 😀

Tamahome:

Tamahome’s pretty okay. There’s really nothing fantastic about him and he’s pretty funny in the first handful of episodes because of his obsession with money. Of course it gets slightly less funny when you realize that he’s obsessed with money because he’s trying to make it for his poor family; several younger siblings and an ill father.

Later he just gets kinda bland. His one mindset is to protect Miaka, so his personality after a certain event happens just turns him into a cookie cutter “Knight in shining armor in love with the princess…err priestess” Actually, considering he’s a character in a book, that might actually be extremely fitting.

Other than the aforementioned speech impediment (MIAAAAAAAAAAKAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!) nothing really irks me about him that much. Sometimes he’s almost as dumb as Miaka is, though.

Hotohori:

I was actually rooting for Hotohori to get with Miaka over Tamahome at a point. He may be kind of egotistical and in love with his looks on rare occasions, but he is noble, kind, loving, and yes, he is very pretty.

In fact, Hotohori, feel free to quote Sesshoumaru from GangXingba’s Inuyasha Episode Infinity.

Hotohori: God, I am so F*bleep*ing pretty.

Hotohori’s backstory is that he never wanted to be emperor. He was never truly loved by anyone and felt that if anyone actually did show him affection it was because of his title.

He then heard the legend of the Priestess of Suzaku and fell in love with her before he even met her. He waited for the day she would appear in this world, deep in the belief that they would fall in love and get together.

Despite some overhanging chance at this relationship during the first 15-20 episodes, of course, this never happens. Hotohori is as noble as can be about it, though. He not only willfully steps aside; he also swears to do anything to protect Tamahome and Miaka’s relationship. All he wants is for her to be happy.

My biggest problem with Hotohori is, despite being a central character for the first few handful of episodes, he’s quickly negated from 98% of the show until the characters return to Konan. The reason for this is that he’s the emperor of Konan, so he can’t really leave Konan for that long. And when they get back we’re thrown a huge curve-ball; Hotohori got married and knocked up his wife while they were off getting the Shinzahos (Magical items needed to summon the gods).

Guess he really is over Miaka. There’s something else about his new wife, but I’ll save that for another character review.

Nuriko:

Nuriko is a crossdressing, funny, strongman. He started crossdressing when his little sister died because he wanted to keep her memory alive.

Initially, Nuriko was an annoying pain in the ass. While acting like a girl, he was mostly a bitch. He hated that Hotohori gave much of his attention to Miaka, while Nuriko had been in his harem for years and he never paid any attention to him.

Nuriko is in love with the emperor and later he develops a small thing for Tamahome as well. As you can guess, this causes even more jealousy towards Miaka as Tamahome also didn’t return any attention to Nuriko and paid all of his attention to Miaka.

Nuriko basically did everything he could to be mean to Miaka, even as Miaka was only trying to be his friend.

Eventually the two because best friends and it’s when this happens that Nuriko actually becomes a great character.

Nuriko later confesses that he loves Miaka. When he’s stating this he claims it’s a brother-sister kind of love, but the fantasy he has before he dies says otherwise. Sure, in the fantasy they’re off shopping and having fun like best friends, but it’s more like a date. I even believed they would kiss at the end of it. It’s really left open to interpretation.

Since the next section is basically the same spoiler, I guess I’ll add this in now. About midway through the show, Nuriko dies a very tragic death. Nuriko’s death has a huge impact on the characters and the show. In fact, out of all the characters that die, I believe Nuriko’s death has the biggest homage to the character. He basically gets a whole episode dedicated to mourning his death. I don’t think anyone else gets more than a few minutes.

I almost cried when Nuriko died, so points to the show for that too.

Hotohori said he felt Nuriko’s presence when he met his bride. Almost as if he was introducing them. This is shown to be somewhat creepy because Houki, Hotohori’s wife, actually looks a lot like Nuriko.

Despite a fan’s hopes that this is somehow Nuriko and that he finally got his wish to be the emperor’s wife, it’s not. But let’s save that for the OVAs.

Chichiri:

Chichiri’s an awesome character. He’s like Miroku from Inuyasha if he was not a pervert, he was 100x more powerful, and he was more cartoony.

Chichiri’s backstory actually doesn’t involve childhood drama. His face was scarred and his left eye was gouged out a few years before he became a Suzaku warrior. See, he was engaged but his wife kissed his best friend before they got married. This caused Chichiri to become enraged and sparked a huge fight between the two. During a flood, he tried to save his friend from the rushing waters, but a log smashed into Chichiri’s eye, gouging out his eye and scarring his face Because of this, he lost his best friend in the rushing water. Chichiri wears a mask that can move as naturally as an actual face. With this mask his eyes become slanted slits, like how some people draw fox eyes.

Chichiri is often comic relief in addition to Tasuki, but he’s also very useful in terms of power and wisdom.

Something that bothers me in the English version is that he says “Ya know” way too much. I know in the Japanese version this is an occasional quirk, but he does it all the time in the English version.

Tasuki:

Tasuki is awesome. Nuff Said.

….Alright alright.

Tasuki is a former bandit and he’s a loudmouthed jokester who provides much of the comic relief throughout the show. Don’t take him as dumb comic relief though; he’s a strong warrior with the powers of flame whose sense of honor is rivaled only by his stubbornness.

He also knows when to be serious and dearly cares for all of his allies, openly crying or otherwise showing great emotion when one of his own is dying, hurt or dead.

Mitsukake:

He’s a doctor.

Chiriko:

He’s a kid.

Next up–……Oh, you want more? Tough.

Mitsukake and Chiriko get little to no attention during their whole run up until their deaths. And even when they die it’s like it doesn’t matter. Ya know, Mitsukake and Chiriko were given special weapons along with the rest of the Suzaku seven, but for the life of me I don’t remember what they were. I only remembered Chiriko’s was a scroll because he said to use it in his place after he died. I still don’t remember Mitsukake’s.

Mitsukake is, indeed a doctor. And his power is healing. His tragic backstory is that he tried to save his beloved Shoka from a disease, but got to her too late and she passed away while he was off in another village treating patients. He gives up medicine because of this until he’s recruited for the Suzaku seven.
His entire role after he gets recruited is to heal someone if they’ve been severely wounded. And that’s it. He’s a prop in the background along with Chiriko the rest of the time.

In the last episode Tamahome is listing off everyone’s strong points, like Tasuki’s courage and Chiriko’s wisdom. As he says Mitsukake’s name he follows it up with….

Nothing.

Nice.

Even more insultingly, when Miaka is told that Mitsukake is dead and Hotohori is dying her reactions are as such.

Miaka: *blank face*

Keisuke: Mitsukake is dead.

Miaka: *no change in expression*

Keisuke: And Hotohori is dying.

Miaka: 😯 *cry cry cry*

Pfft, maybe he wasn’t the most important of the Suzaku seven, but hell, he deserves more respect that this.

Chiriko’s only talent, that’s shown in like, one episode, is that he’s smart. End of story.
He’s a young child studying to be a government official. And that’s it.

He gets less attention than Mitsukake and that’s just pathetic. He only gets one episode to introduce himself and he’s basically the equivalent to a lamp until he dies.

In fact, Amiboshi, who masqueraded as Chiriko of the Suzaku seven, got WAY more screentime while pretending to be Chiriko than the real Chiriko did. That. Is. Sad.

During neither death do you feel sad in the least because you never got to give one iota of a crap about these characters. In fact, that’s one of the reasons why I don’t feel that bad including their deaths in their character descriptions even though they’re spoilers.

Onto the Seiryu warriors.

Before I start, though, I wanna ask, why exactly are all the Seiryu warriors, barring Amiboshi, just complete jackasses?

The celestial warriors are supposed to be noble, kind and great warriors no matter what god they’re serving. Everyone in the Suzaku seven are, and everyone we’ve met of the Genbu and Byakko seven were. Everyone in the Seiryu seven just seems to be a bunch of assholes. Why? I know they’re the antagonists of the story, but why?

Yui:

Yui was a cool character in the beginning. She got sucked into “The Universe of the Four Gods” along with Miaka, but on the first trip there she was only there for all of 10 minutes before getting transported back to her world. She then reads the book and follows Miaka’s story until Miaka gets transported back. However, as Miaka returns, Yui gets trapped in the book. Miaka doesn’t realize this and spends a good day back in her world before she figures out that Yui’s missing (Derp) and even longer before she realizes she’s in the book (Derp) so she goes back into the book to save her. She realizes that six months have passed in the book since she left since time works differently in the book than it does in the real world (this causes many weird contradictions later).

In that time, Yui wasn’t as lucky as Miaka. Whereas Miaka had Tamahome and her warriors basically protecting her from the minute she entered the world, Yui found no one. She was attacked by a gang of thugs and almost raped. Nakago saved her before anything happened, though. However, the important thing to remember is that she believed she was raped since Nakago deceived her. She tried to kill herself by slitting her wrists as well, but she was also saved by Nakago. Nakago then slowly brainwashed her into believing Miaka was the cause of all her misfortunes in this world and believed that the only reason she went back into the book was for Tamahome. (Which…she is sorta guilty of, kinda. I mean, while Miaka is back in her world she spends more time thinking of Tamahome than where Yui is and when she returns to the book she spends more time thinking of Tamahome than Yui.) Yui then became a major bitch, set on nothing but revenge against Miaka and taking Tamahome away from her.

Yui’s just overall annoying from when she becomes the Priestess of Seiryu to when she finally learns the truth. She does anything and everything to keep Miaka and Tamahome apart and, considering their relationship track record, that got old sooooooo faaaaassssstttttt.

Yui and Miaka’s relationship is a great bond, however. After she realizes the truth, this is all shown true and she finally loses her bitchy, whiny attitude.

….Welllllll, kinda. See, late in the anime she admits that she never believed Miaka betrayed her (WUT?!) She was just jealous that Tamahome was taking Miaka away from her and as Miaka became happy with Tamahome, she just became more alone and miserable. Basically she’s implying that she wasn’t trying that hard to separate them because she wanted Tamahome for herself, she was trying to separate them because she wanted Miaka to be as alone as she was. She even admits that she wouldn’t have wanted Tamahome so much if Miaka wasn’t an obstacle.

Yeah, great friendship you got there. “I’m not mad at you, Miaka and I never believed for a second that you were the caused of my misfortunes but I hope to God you end up alone and miserable as I have been!”
So….yeah, she kinda adds a spice of bitchiness as she redeems herself, but yeah.

Nakago:

For the main villain of this anime, he sure is bland. Yeah, he does things you hate him for, like try to rape Miaka, use Soi as a tool, use Yui as a tool, doesn’t give a crap about his allies, even killing one because he was no longer of use, but he’s so bland.

He’s a monotone, pretty boy villain with aspirations to gain the power of a god and rule the world. *yawn* That’s about as cliché as cliché’s get. His voice doesn’t help things either. No matter if he’s happy or mad or whatever, he never sounds any different. I’m pretty sure he’s meant to sound monotone and emotionless, but how can you be scared of him when he talks like that?

In addition he is way too OP in my opinion. I believe that all the warriors should be evenly matched or at least KIND OF evenly matched in terms of abilities. They don’t have to have the same amount of power as the rest, but same amount of usefulness would be nice. Yet Tamahome reigns over the Suzakus and Nakago reigns over, well, pretty much everyone. It’s hard to explain, but just watch later episodes and you’ll see.

Also, I find it pretty dumb that they don’t even beat Nakago fairly. They have to seal Seiryu away in Chiriko’s scroll (It actually had a purpose OMGWTFBBQLOL), making him powerless before Tamahome beat him.

I read on Wiki that Nakago was the series’ creator’s favorite character, but for the life of me I can’t see why. They save his backstory for the very last episode and expect us to have pity for him.

When he was a child he saw his father be killed and his mother be raped before him. He went nuts with his Seiryu power and blasted all of them away, including his mother while she was still alive and his father’s body.

After that, he was sexually molested by the emperor of Kutou.

Look, it is indeed awful that that stuff happened to him, but I don’t have any more sympathy for him that I would any other story that was like that. Abuse is terrible, but it doesn’t give you a free pass to be a murdering, manipulating, near-rapist. On top of all that he’s still an asshole and insanely boring. So I really don’t get the appeal.

Suboshi:

Suboshi seemed pretty okay; I liked him about the same as Amiboshi, until he went darkside.

See, his twin brother, Amiboshi was a spy in the Suzaku Seven. He pretended to be Chiriko, the final member of the Suzaku seven, in order to screw up their plans to summon Suzaku. After being found out and chased out of the building, Amiboshi dropped himself into a rushing river and was presumed dead. Suboshi, feeling the link of his twin brother being severed, went insane with grief.

Blaming the Suzaku seven, assuming they had killed his brother, he went after them for revenge. Seeking Tamahome out specifically, Suboshi viciously murdered his three younger siblings (All ranging from like 7-4 years old) and his ailing father in cold blood.

And that’s about where I dropped off the wagon. I don’t care how much one person meant to me, even if they were taken away by someone, I would never murder innocent children and a sick old man to exact revenge. That’s just way too far. And to feel no remorse for your actions, even at death, is just ungodly awful. I wonder how Suboshi would’ve reacted if he knew that Tamahome didn’t murder Amiboshi or even try to.

Something I still find weird though is how did Suboshi felt the link being severed if Amiboshi never actually died? And wouldn’t Suboshi be wracked with guilt knowing he killed children and a sick old man when his brother never even died? Even if he still believed Tamahome tried to kill him, you’d think it would affect….in some way….at all….in the least.

Amiboshi:

I basically explained Amiboshi in Suboshi’s explanation, but there’s more.

See, Amiboshi didn’t really die in that river, as I already stated, he survived and was saved by an elderly couple. They basically took him in as their son and named him Kaika. Amiboshi pretended to have amnesia and decided to live in peace with them until Miaka showed up. They wanted her to be Amiboshi’s bride and Amiboshi wanted that too so that they could both live in peace, away from all the war and fighting, but she refused. He later went on to be an ally, but Suboshi gave him the juice of the forgetfulness leaves (THROUGH A TWINCEST MAN-KISS *fangirl squeal*) so he could live with that elderly couple in peace forever.

I like Amiboshi. In fact, tbh, I wish he WAS Chiriko. He sure is a lot more interesting than the real one is and powerful to boot. I mean, seriously, when Amiboshi revealed himself to be one of the Seiryu seven and “died”, Chiriko just popped up like “Hey I’m the real one!” and everyone was like “Cool. Well, no time to develop your character any, let’s go do stuff.”

Soi:

The only female Seiryu member and one of the few known female celestial warriors period, Soi is a whore.

Yup. A big whore. She controls lightning, but she also has skills in life force techniques. As seen when she constantly sleeps with Nakago to improve his life force. (Anime, you so silly!)

Her sob story is that she was sold to a brothel as a child and Nakago saved her before she did anything. Thus she grew up to love him no matter who he slept with or focused on.

I didn’t mind her that much. In fact, she was probably the most human of the Seiryu’s barring Amiboshi and Suboshi. And she actually does have some moments with Nakago that show his softer side.

There’s also Tomo, an illusion master, Ashitare, a werewolf-man thing and Miboshi, who can possess people, seemingly making him immortal, and summon demons.

Alright, is that all the immediately important characters?

Okay there’s also Miaka’s brother, Keisuke, and his best friend Tetsuya. They begin following the story of the Universe of the Four Gods after Miaka returns to the book. They investigate the story behind the book, having a few adventures themselves. Keisuke’s pretty cool. A lot better of a sibling than most anime characters. And Tetsuya’s…..I wear my sunglasses at night. So I can; so I can—Oops..I mean, he’s cool. I like him as much as Keisuke, but he does wear his sunglasses like 24/7 for no real reason.

Alright, I BELIEVE that’s it for the immediately important characters so that means we’re onto…

Story:

The story is actually very interesting. There’s an entire universe within this book called the Universe of the Four Gods. There are priestesses of Suzaku, Seiryu, Genbu and Byakko, that get transported into the book to summon the respective beast/god by bringing together all of the celestial warriors of their respective beast, and save the land.

There are a few key points of the story I wish they would change though.

1: Did we really need such a strong push on that whole “The priestess must be a virgin” thing? I mean, that calls for so much attempted rape and believe me, it happens. ATTEMPTED rape. No actual rape happens, no worries. It gets kinda tiring when a whole arc of the series is dedicated to trying to rape Miaka so she won’t be able to summon Suzaku.

2: I really wish this series didn’t have the damned reverse school days effect.

3: I am well aware this is a Shoujo series, but for the love of Pete some of the romance scenes are very overdone and cheesy. Hold the phone; Tamahome’s and Miaka’s are. If you pair anyone else up, even if it is Tamahome OR Miaka, it’s fine and pretty well done. However, Tamahome’s and Miaka’s relationship gets so vomitworthy sometimes. It’s a beautiful love when done right, but so much is tiring and cheesy and boring.

4: Is there any particular reason the other two celestial beasts get like no focus? I mean, we are introduced to all of the priestesses, but the roles of the Priestess of Byakko and Genbu are so small and Byakko really gets little to no attention. Yeah, he even gets overshadowed by the turtle. I heard that there’s a separate manga for a side story of Genbu and the Genbu seven, but there’s still little on the Byakko seven. In fact, even with manga, only three Byakko warriors were introduced plus the priestess.

That really kinda bums me out; I think there should be another series for like Genbu vs. Byakko or something.

5: Why bother with that whole “giving them new amazing weapons” thing if you were going to do little with it above the whole thing with Nuriko’s bracelets? I STILL don’t know what Mitsukake’s thing was or what it was supposed to do. They get like no focus, no real explanations, and they just seemed to be thrown in there for nothing.

Other than those facts, I really did enjoy the story. And ending was good. Not overly dramatic or gushy or filled with TamahomeXMiaka barfness (Though the scene before the ending was pretty barfworthy) Even the ending goodbye to all the warriors was well done and not overly sad. Though I still believe Chiriko’s goodbye comment was out of place. I get that his only focus was being intelligent, but when everyone’s giving heartfelt goodbyes and you spring up with “Do you really think studying is boring, Miaka?” I just…ugh. Even Tasuki’s was better with his semi-snarky goodbye, but that’s because we would never expect a sappy goodbye from him.

However, they did kinda ruin the ending by adding three canon OVA’s on top of it to continue the story, but that’s a speedbump we’ll get to later.

Art/Animation:

The art for the manga is awesome.

The art for the anime is….okay. The times when they’re like freezing on one scene always seem decent, but for the rest it’s just okay. The art’s nothing to write home about and the animation is pretty stiff. Even though there are quite a few intense hand-to-hand battles, it usually gets boiled down to the ol’ *punch* *black screen* *flash* *frozen scene of someone getting punched with flashing background*

It’s not terrible, it’s just okay. And that sums up Studio Pierrot in a nutshell.

The ending credits’ art is fantastic, though. However, it just looks like they took art from the manga, plastered it in the end credits and streamed clips from the episode in the corner.

Music:

I have my qualms with the music. It’s not horrible, but there are so many times when the music was inappropriate. Like when Nuriko’s about to die/dying there’s this freakin’ poppy 80s like music playing in the background. And even when it’s a terribly emotional episode, you still have that damn ending theme song cue. Imagine you just went through this emotional episode and, always before the episode even ends, like 20 seconds before it goes DADADADADADAAAAAAAAAA in trumpets then the synthesizer plus trumpets go on for the ending. I despised this, especially in episodes where someone died.

The overall music is okay, but still that pissed me right the hell off.

Bottomline: Overall the series is quite enjoyable and a classic to many. Like I said, despite the fact that this series gives me a lot of rant fodder, it’s still an enjoyable watch and I’d gladly sit down and watch it again sometime if I’m ever bored.

 

Additional Information and Notes:

Fushigi Yuugi: The Mysterious Play was based on a manga by Yuu Watase. The anime series was directed by Hajime Kamagaki and was produced by Studio Pierrot. The series is currently licensed in the United States by Media Blasters.

Episodes: 52

Year: 1995-1996

Recommended Audience: Let’s see. There’s attempted rape scenes, mentions of rape, sex. (Stopping myself right here….I will retract my statement slightly and say there is one rape scene in which rape is actually occurring. Nakago’s mother is getting raped in one scene, but you can’t see a thing or hear anything suggestive, you just hear her pleas for help. I never would’ve known she was being raped if I hadn’t read it on wiki, that’s how subtle it is.) Though some consensual sex is attempted only one actual sex scene occurs and that’s between Soi and Nakago, and you can’t really tell they were having sex unless you’re savvy on that subject. There’s also swearing, violence, murder of young children, implied child molestation, some nudity (Of course, by females…durrrr. Freakin’ shoujo anime, I want guy naked flesh!) The atmosphere’s pretty heavy at certain points too.

Uhhhh….How’s….15+ sound?

 

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