Fushigi Yuugi OVA 1 Review

Fushigi Yuugi OVA 1

Plot: Some time has passed since Miaka left the Universe of the Four Gods. She studied hard, got into a good school with Yui, and she has been reunited with a reincarnated Tamahome in her world. As she proceeds to live her life happily with Tamahome at last, the book of the Universe of the Four Gods gets stolen, the story starts back up again, and Tamahome is transported back into the book. As a chain reaction unfolds before their eyes, can Yui and Miaka, the former priestesses of Seiryu and Suzaku, fix this terrible mess?

Breakdown: I really liked the ending of Fushigi Yuugi the TV series. It wasn’t too mushy, everything seemed wrapped up nicely – it was good. Why they had to continue the series is beyond me. From all I hear about the OVAs they’re just pointless continuations of the TV series. But, whatever.

Since I count each OVA as a separate series, OVA 1 is on the chopping block first. Since it only has three episodes I’ll go through each one.

Episode 1

Tamahome, Keisuke, Miaka and Tetsuya are on their way to visit the previous priestess of Byakko, Suzuno’s, grave. They arrive, and Tamahome keeps hearing someone call his name. As they reach Takiko’s grave, the woman who was the Priestess of Genbu, he hears his name again. He hears Takiko’s voice speaking to him before he glows red and begins to disappear. Miaka runs after him, but she can do nothing as he disappears.

Miaka, Keisuke, and Tetsuya later learn that the book has been stolen and someone must be continuing the story. They surmise that eventually Miaka and Yui will be dragged back into the book as well.

Stopping myself right here, this is very confusing. I’m having trouble understanding what exactly was going on with the whole priestesses thing. Why was Takiko’s grave disappearing, and why exactly can other girls take the place of the priestess?

Tamahome finds himself back in Konan. Confused and looked upon oddly since he’s now wearing clothes from Miaka’s reality, he goes to see Hotohori’s wife, the now empress of Konan, Houki. As he arrives at the palace, he learns that 50 years have passed since the day Fushigi Yuugi ended.

He meets Hotohori’s great-grandson who is insanely excited to meet Tamahome after hearing so many stories of the celestial warriors. He brings Tamahome to the Suzaku shrine where all of the holy artifacts held by the old Suzaku warriors are held. As Tamahome approaches the shrine, a bright flash of red light from the shrine knocks him away.

The prince demands to know who Tamahome really is since a Suzaku warrior would not be denied access to the Suzaku shrine like that. Since Tamahome yields no explanation nor any way to identify himself as one of the Suzaku Seven, he gets taken away and whipped viciously for his crime of being an impostor and fooling the prince.

Tamahome wanders around and heads to the mountaintop where Taiitsukun used to be to see if she has some answers, but all he sees is a mountain. He remembers Taiitsukun’s words that people with evil hearts could not see her temple. He then meets a girl nammmmeeed…..Kaen? That right? She’s waiting for him at the mountaintop and says that she’s been waiting a long time for him to return.

For Nakago to return.

Nothing really to say about this episode. Except that I was really confused by the whole priestess thing. I just don’t get why Takiko’s grave was disappearing as if she never existed. And if she was erased from existence, wouldn’t that cause some sort of terrible domino effect or something? I really don’t get it.

Episode 2

I’m going to skip most of the stuff that takes place in the real world. It’s mostly just Keisuke, Tetsuya, Yui and Miaka talking about stuff we already know.

Tamahome is immensely confused as to why this girl is mistaking him for Nakago. She explains that something must’ve happened when he got resurrected and his memories got switched with Tamahome’s, but Tamahome refuses to believe it.

Kaen tells him that if he thinks she’s a liar he might as well kill her. Cuz, ya know, that just makes sense.

Kaen gives him some wine with medicine to help him heal from his wounds and he goes off to bed.

Anyhoo, Kaen sneaks into Tamahome’s room and takes off all her clothes. She’s offering to have sex with Tamahome to increase his life force and maybe help regain his memories. Tamahome vehemently refuses and orders her to leave.

Kouji and the gang of bandits Tasuki used to hang around with linger outside waiting to strike. They all attack Tamahome, believing he’s Nakago as Kaen does. Tamahome tries to defend himself from the assault, unwittingly unleashing Nakago’s powers, killing all of the gang and leaving Kouji barely alive. Tamahome holds Kouji as he lay there dying and apologizes to him. He tries to ask Kouji about what’s going on, but Kouji just reinforces what everyone’s been saying. However, he states that only a year has passed since the end of the previous series, not fifty.

He also explains why Tamahome looks like himself, but everyone sees him as Nakago – because the man who looks like Tamahome is really what everyone believes Nakago to look like and vice versa. Kouji tries to kill Tamahome by detonating a bomb on his belt, but Tamahome escapes unscathed under a shield of his life force. Distraught of what this may mean, he retreats to his room and asks Kaen to bring him more wine.

We then see Tomo standing over the real Tamahome who is unconscious and trapped in an illusion of his making.

Meanwhile we learn that Yui is being set up by Tomo to be the next priestess of Genbu. He’s been controlling her through the earring that Nakago left behind. Yui stole the book, opened it again and now she’s back inside the book. Miaka is set to go after her.

Episode 3

Miaka reenters the book, and Keisuke and Tetsuya resume their roles as book readers.

We learn that Tomo was working for someone named Tenkou who promptly kills Tomo (Even though he was just inhabiting someone else’s body as a spirit) for failing to kill Tamahome with the illusion since Nakago’s spirit appeared to stop it.

Tamahome escapes the illusion, but is dying from poison. Tasuki and Chichiri arrive on the scene to help, with all of the Suzaku Seven appearing soon after since all of the warriors collect when the priestess returns and Miaka appears soon after.

Why did Nakago just randomly appear? Why did Suboshi possess Amiboshi? (Yeah, that happens) I was beginning to think that maybe all of the Seiryu Seven were collecting because Yui was returning, but that can’t be because A) the rest of the warriors didn’t appear, but Nakago, Tomo and Suboshi/Amiboshi kinda. Soi, Ashitare and Miboshi didn’t come back. And B) She’s really no longer the Priestess of Seiryu anymore if she’s being used as the Priestess of Genbu now. And why didn’t the warriors of Genbu assemble if that’s true? I don’t understand.

Tenkou arrives on the scene, apparently he’s the master of the four gods or something, and he’s like…really big. A small attack on his part occurs. Ami/Suboshi sacrifice Amiboshi’s life to free Yui. (Which really sucks. I’m glad they’re together now, but I’d prefer he be with that nice couple and live in peace.) He dies in Yui’s arms after proclaiming that he loves her. Yui asks him why he never said so before, even though he has said it before in the TV series.

Yui summons Genbu and makes her wishes. Tenkou gets sealed away, Takiko gets revived, but she still has one more wish.

Taiitsukun explains that Tamahome being with Miaka in the real world has caused problems between the worlds or something and something about the 100 years cycle of the priestesses.

If they want to protect the worlds from anymore suffering, they have to seal the worlds off from each other forever and be apart. (By the way, the only wish that the gods can’t grant is for two people born in different realities to be with each other in one or another reality. That’s why Yui just can’t wish that they can be together. Talk about plot convenience. Or inconvenience, really.)

Tamahome gives his ring/the shinzaho back to Miaka after she has an epic temper tantrum. It was sad at first but then she just got too whiny and irritating. Yui makes her wish, and, as they’re going home, Yui tells her to return the ring back to where it belongs. Miaka drops it back into the book.

Miaka and Yui return to school after a bit of time passes. They decide to ditch school for the day and go out. They head to a restaurant, and dialogue from Taiitsukun to the Suzaku Seven gets intertwined. She explains that Tamahome’s going to be reborn into Miaka’s world, but without any of his memories from – amnesia? Honestly? Ughh…

She explains that the only way Tamahome can be with Miaka in her world is to be completely reborn in her world, without any of his original memories. The catch is that, duh, he won’t remember her so even if he somehow found her it wouldn’t matter because he wouldn’t know her. The only way for him to regain his memories is to collect seven crystals which contain his memories—AND the clich’e “we must collect (a) to achieve (b)” plotline too? And of course they’re crystals. Everyone call your favorite Final Fantasy characters.

The OVA ends with Miaka and Yui in a restaurant, about to be served by a waiter who happens to be Tamahome’s reborn self, Taka.

Why Taiitsukun couldn’t have told Miaka that she could do that before Miaka left is beyond me but I guess this way makes for good TV.

Despite the confusing parts and me wishing they just left the series where it was, this was fairly enjoyable. The ending villain was fairly lame and just kinda ‘there’ though. I know it was a set up for OVA 2, but still.

I’m also happy to report that Miaka was actually pretty tolerable during this OVA. She was still annoying some places, but not unbearable.

I’d really like to understand how the whole time in the book vs. time in the real world thing works. From what Miaka said in the previous series, one day in the real world seems to equal six months in the book, but that caused all sorts of weird inconsistencies in the TV series and it’s just as confusing here.

The Hot Springs Shorts

At the end of each episode was a short animation showing the two sets of warriors, Seiryu and Suzaku, on separate bus rides to a hot spring. These were hilarious additions to this OVA. Seriously, I wish they just made a whole series of these. I looked forward to these shorts way more than the actual show. I won’t explain what each short is, but they’re really funny, especially if you watch the TV series first. They break the fourth wall plenty of times too and even refer to some of the characters by their voice actor’s names.

Art and Animation: The art and animation was basically the same as the TV series, except slightly better. OVAs usually do have slightly better art than their original series.

Music: On par with the TV series. However, instead of the trumpets and synthesizer music of the old ED, we get video synced...trumpets with piano music. Also, when the tempo of the trumpets speeds up, the video syncs get zoomed in and effects get added to it. Imagine a newbie AMV maker with Sony Vegas got ahold of this show plus the ED and that’s it.

Characters: There are no real new characters to talk about except for Tenkou and he’s as bland as Nakago. Yui and Miaka are both less annoying though.

Bottom Line: This OVA is pretty enjoyable, and I’d rate it high simply for the ending shorts. It is essentially a buildup to the second OVA, though, and fans of the TV show may be put off simply from the fact that they’re continuing the story instead of ending it where it was.

Additional Information and Notes: The OVAs (the first two anyway) don’t differentiate in their information from the regular TV series outside of their episode number and year.

Episodes: 3

Year: 1996

Recommended audience: Torture, nudity, implications of sexual advances, Tomo gets shot through the head…


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