Space Family Carlvinson Review

Space Family Carlvinson

Plot: A theater group made up of aliens crashes into another spaceship that made a grave error while warping. They head down to the surface of a planet to see if the passengers are still alive, but all they find is a baby in a pod and two bodies that are presumed to be the baby’s parents. The authorities refuse to take the child, so the group decides to make a new life on the planet while raising the baby girl they have named Corona, waiting for the day that someone who knows her will answer their call and reunite with her.

Breakdown:
A fairly rare title, this is a 45 minute OVA, and it’s a pretty cute story. It’s heartwarming to see the lengths that the group has gone to in order to ensure that Corona lives a life as close to the one that she would have on her home planet, which I assume is Earth, but I can’t be certain.

A little purple puffball who could easily be related to Grimace has taken the role of mother, and seems to only have Mother as her name, which suits her perfectly since she’s been the key authority in the theater group. She deeply cares for Corona like her own child, but still sends out messages every day to see if anyone’s looking for Corona so that she can be with her actual family.

Then we have what I find to be the funniest character in the show, Father. He’s a robot with two very funny traits. First, he’s not very intelligent, which is odd for a robot. He takes many things too far and misunderstands a lot, though he’s always willing to do anything for Corona.

Second is his growth capability. Somehow, Father can continuously grow in size and create additional parts on himself to make jets, medium sized mecha and giant mecha. He seems to do this whenever he’s spurred by something involving Corona. Thus, he’s constantly destroying things to make Corona happy, ironically.

Then we have a character who looks human-ish called Beruka. She has taken an odd role as Sheriff, I guess to ensure that Corona lives in a safe place. I thought she’d be somewhat central in this movie, but she’s really not.

This movie is pretty cute, touching and it gets pretty funny at some points. The characters are likable, and Corona’s a believable cute little kid.

The only real problems I have with this show are character development and the ending.

Since this is only a 45 minute OVA, none of the characters are developed much beyond Mother and Corona. Father has no real character to develop, and Beruka is pretty generic. We don’t even know what their theater troupe really was.

The ending also kinda weirds me out. Spoilers, of course. An alien sends messages to Mother’s radio saying that they’re coming for Corona, but Mother doesn’t know what to do about it. After getting upset with Corona about being out too late, Corona runs off into the forest where she’s taken into a weird spaceship. She’s given cake and candy by some weird alien who has been sending the messages.

She says she heard the message about Corona not having parents and wanted to have a child around to eat the sweets she makes because she can’t have kids of her own. Either this is creepy in a sad/sweet way or very creepy in a Hansel and Gretel type of deal.

As Mother, Father, Beruka and others search for the spaceship, they arrive just in time to see it leaving. Mother believes she went off with the person from the messages, but sees Corona waving goodbye to it. Corona is reunited with Mother and we see that the alien apparently has a catalog of books containing parentless children to try and kidnap. Okay, she seems to be somewhat sincere about this stuff, and she did let Corona go happily, but still, what the hell?

Fear not, though, giant mecha Father blows up the spaceship while looking for Corona, which is alarming seeing as how she could’ve easily been on that spaceship. Way to commit murder on someone who could’ve easily been incredibly nice but creepy, Father!

Corona said she didn’t go with the alien despite promises of candy and treats because she did indeed have a family in the theatre troupe, and she and the others go home.

One other thing that bugged me was the fact that Beruka seems to hint that she has some kind of special power earlier in the movie, but we never learn what it is. Her eyes glow and her features get catty for a minute and then she’s interrupted and it’s never brought up again.

Art and Animation: The art and animation are somewhat dated, but it’s still pretty good and holds up fairly well.

Music: The music is good. Nothing particularly memorable to me, but still good.

Voice Acting: Japanese –  Everyone was great in their roles. Corona didn’t even get on my nerves, and that’s pretty rare for a child character.

Bottom Line: It’s a cute family OVA that you won’t regret watching. While the ending is a bit odd, it’s still funny, cute and at times heartwarming.

Additional Notes and Information: Space Family Carlvinson was directed by Kimio Yabuki and was written by Michiru Shimada. It was produced by Dogakobo.

Runtime: 45 Minutes

Year: 1988

Recommended Audience: The ending can easily be construed as creepy. Corona’s parents die, a couple of the characters have perverted, but not very perverted, fantasies, no nudity, no swearing, no sex, no gore or violence. 5+


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Fushigi Yuugi: Eikoden Review

Fushigi Yuugi Eikoden

Plot: Taka and Miaka are now married and expecting their first child. A teenage girl named Mayo comes across the book of the Universe of the Four Gods and plans to enter it to escape her oh so terrible life filled with fighting, divorced parents, being cut from the basketball team, and worse of all her love of all loves, Taka, getting married. She enters the book to a dying Konan and becomes the new priestess of Suzaku.

Breakdown: All you have to know about this OVA is as follows – this anime was based on a fanfic.

There ya go.

Review over.

Alright, fine. Let’s go ahead and be ‘fair’ and ‘mature.’

This OVA was based on a graphic novel that wasn’t written by Yuu Watase, the author of basically everything in the Fushigi Yuugi universe thusfar. She did the illustrations on the graphic novel, but it was written by someone named Megumi Nishizaki who only seems to have one other manga under her belt that’s not related to Fushigi Yuugi – a one shot shoujo manga called Hot Gimmick S (I don’t know what that title means as I haven’t read the manga, but considering my view on this series, I feel like laughing at that.)

And guess what? That’s also basically a fanfic. It’s an alternative ending to another series called Hot Gimmick. Oh and she also has other fanworks of Fushigi Yuugi called Fushigi Yuugi Kaiden. Not to be confused with the prequel that Yuu Watase wrote on the Genbu arc called Fushigi Yuugi: Genbu Kaiden.

However, I’m not here to pass judgment on the manga. That’s merely the source material being used here. I’ve never read the manga, and Ms. Nishizaki is free to write fanworks all that she wants. Neither Yuu Watase nor Megumi Nishizaki had a hand in writing or directing this OVA, but I’d imagine they obviously got money for it.

I’m not saying fanfics are all bad, either. There are many out there that are jaw-droppingly amazing. There are some wonderful writers out there who can naturally write characters that are known and beloved in believable ways with exciting and interesting situations. Some fanfics even have better stories than the original work.

I’m using the term ‘fanfic’ here as a sleight as in there are so many red flags of bad fanfic writing in the OVA.

Mary Sue? Check.

Reviving dead characters? Check.

Pregnancy? Check.

Marriage? Check.

Plot holes? Check.

Making up BS that makes no sense? Check.

Fushigi Yuugi may have been annoying at times, and it may have made me rage, but not nearly as bad as this pile of slop. But don’t just take my word for it. Let me guide you on a journey through each episode of this dumpster fire.

Episode 1

Wow, could they have created a more unlikable new character? I pretty much hated Mayo from the first ten minutes and that’s impressingly awful.

Oh how sad, life’s too hard for little Mayo. Her parents are divorced, and despite the fact that both of her parents still deeply love and care about her, she’s still angry at this horrible, horrible world.

She claims no one cares about her and yet a whole group of girls at the high school seem to be her friends and look concerned when she starts acting depressed.

Keisuke tries his hardest to understand what’s bothering her to no avail. Again, she claims no one cares, but then treats a guy who shows he cares about her like crap.

She’s had a crush on Taka for three years, so I guess she just thinks she’s entitled to him. She jumps into the book like a dumbass, and, despite reading all the hardship and pain Miaka and Yui went through as priestesses, she thinks the book will solve all her problems and be a fairy tale. In addition, she acts like a total self-important bitch to other characters in the book who are only trying to be nice to her.

Onto the episode itself, it’s been three years since the events of OVA 2. Miaka and Taka have gotten married, and Miaka got pregnant on their honeymoon. Mayo has had a crush on Taka for three years and hates Miaka for marrying him, believing herself to be more entitled to his love than she is because she’s, seemingly, liked him longer.

She comes across the Universe of the Four Gods book and, after reading it, decides that it’s some happy fairy tale land. She believes that going into the book will solve all of her problems. She’ll be with Taka, she’ll be happy and they’ll get married and just love love love.

But what about all the danger? No worries, says Mayo. The Suzaku Seven protected Miaka and they’ll do the same for her. So, apparently, she doesn’t even give a crap about the lives of the Suzaku Seven warriors either. They’re basically glorified bodyguards to her.

She enters the book, and immediately afterward, Miaka falls ill. After a trip to the doctor, it’s revealed that she is no longer pregnant and there’s no sign she was ever pregnant.

But Mayo is.

Dun dun da da da dunnnnnn.

Taka decides to go into the book to retrieve Mayo and save Miaka and their baby.

He arrives and finds that Houki and Boushin believe that Mayo is the new priestess of Suzaku come to save them from this hellish living. Mayo tricked them into thinking Taka broke up with Miaka, is now dating Mayo and she’s having their child. Why Taka didn’t explain what was going on is beyond me, especially seeing as how Houki seemed to hate that Taka and Miaka were broken up after such a loving romance.

What’s more is, I don’t understand the logic of this little trip. Was she chosen to be the new priestess or is she somehow taking Miaka’s identity? Because, the instant she goes into the book, she’s pregnant and has Miaka’s wedding ring. From what I’ve read, Miaka will soon start disappearing too, like Takiko did when Yui became the new Priestess of Genbu.

Does opening the book if you’re a high school girl automatically make you a new priestess? It’s all so fanfic-y–….Oh.

Houki sends Taka out to find the remaining Suzaku Seven to help Konan from dying out. Later, Mayo wants Taka to stay with her instead of leaving on his mission. Konan is dying, thousands of people are suffering, they have a chance to save it, and all she can say is “I think it’s silly. Going off like some samurai with a big sword.”

Taka then tries to defend the sword saying it was Hotohori’s and he sacrificed his life using that sword to protect the empire he loved with all his heart.

Her response?

“It’s ridiculous.”

It’s clear that she doesn’t give a crap about Konan, and then she has the nerve to blame everything on Miaka saying she should’ve used one of her wishes to give Konan peace.

Funny, because Konan was in peace when she left it. The war was over.

And hi hypocrite – if you summoned Suzaku you certainly wouldn’t wish for peace in Konan. You’d wish for Taka to be brainwashed into being your husband, Miaka to disappear, and you to live happily ever after.

He leaves, and quickly (like instantly. As if they materialized in front of him) finds Chichiri and Tasuki. They fight a fake Genbu that appears before them and later meet up with Taiitsukun. She says that the only way to save Konan is to summon Suzaku. However, they can’t do that anymore because the rest of the Suzaku Seven are dead. Taiitsukun says that’s no longer true and they have all been reborn. Their task is to find the remaining Suzaku Seven’s reborn forms, summon Suzaku and save Konan.

Episode 2

This episode starts out with Taka and Mayo talking. She’s being a slimy little bitch again, acting all innocent and saying she wasn’t lying about what she said to Houki and Boushin. After all, she does have Miaka’s wedding ring and she’s carrying Taka’s child.

Mayo then commands Taka to tell her he loves her, which he does, but follows it up with saying he’ll say it as many times as she wants (Because she’s their last hope to summon Suzaku to save Konan) but his heart will never belong to her. It belongs only to Miaka. She demands that he never say her name in her presence again or else she’ll kill the baby………….

Are you liking this new protagonist yet? Because I’m making up ‘I ❤ Mayo’ T-shirts right now.

Taka agrees and goes off to continue his journey. It’s all a dream/memory, though, I think, because we see him back on the road with Tasuki and Chichiri right after as he wakes up.

They find Chiriko’s reborn self – a baby named Gakurei.

Apparently, he watched himself be born (ew) and still remembered everything from his time as a Suzaku warrior. He was able to speak and read and studied on what was going on in Konan, awaiting the arrival of Taka and the others.

How is that ten years have passed since the end of the last OVA and Chiriko just got reborn around six months before OVA 3? Why the delay? And why exactly do they retain their memories for only a short while before they just revert to a regular person? What’s the point in that? So they can reminisce on their time as Suzaku warriors for a year or so before just becoming normal?

Also, why do they get reborn with all of their memories intact AND their voices? The memories thing I can kinda understand, but are you telling me that you retain your original vocal cords all because you got reborn?

Listening to Chiriko talking as a baby just gave me flashbacks of 001 from Cyborg 009 and Koenma from Yu Yu Hakusho.

After a discussion with Chiriko, they decide to find the other warriors, but not before a possessed lady takes Chiriko and throws him off a flight of stairs. Taka jumps off to save him, which he does, with some assistance from Chichiri.

Mayo: *makes a terrible noise by scratching her nails on the wall* “What’s taking so long? Can’t they even kill a helpless baby at this point?” Are you freakin’ kidding me, you terrible bitch? First, you threaten to kill Taka and Miaka’s baby just to keep controlling Taka, then you force some lady to try and kill baby Chiriko by THROWING HIM OFF A FLIGHT OF STAIRS?!

Now do you see what I meant when I said Miaka was not as annoying as….HER? Mayo is now my most hated female anime character ever by a long shot. I find it worse when people we’re supposed to be sympathizing with or rooting for turn out to be complete jackasses. At least when villains do it, it’s because they’re meant to. We’re supposed to hate villains, not our supposed protagonist. Miaka may be incredibly annoying, but at least she’s kind. At least she tries to help. My God, how evil of a person do you have to be to try to kill babies?

You wanna know what else? She actually has a best friend at school in addition to that group of girls I mentioned. Her name’s Saori.

So you’re telling me she has a close friend at school in addition to that group of girls I mentioned before and in addition to the love of her parents and Keisuke, and she still states no one cares about her? Goddamn.

The other half of the episode finds reincarnated, five-year old-ish Mitsukake and the older version of Shoka, the girl Mitsukake died to heal, who was named after his lost love.

Mitsukake doesn’t remember who he was, but, according to his parents, he was stating he had to protect Shoka almost from birth. Mitsukake doesn’t wanna leave Shoka, but she encourages him to go so that they can revitalize Konan.

Soon after, she gets attacked by the blackbirds that have been following them. They’re fake Byakkos, in a similar manner to the fake Genbu they fought earlier. A larger version of the fake Byakko emerges from Shoka, and, despite Hotohori being no where around and him being reincarnated, the holy sword gets empowered by Hotohori’s life force and slays the fake Byakko. Just as Shoka’s about to die, Mitsukake remembers his past and heals her with his powers.

Mayo watches them in her room, chastising them for spending their time on saving a little girl. *sigh*

As they wander around looking for Nuriko’s and Hotohori’s reborn selves, they find themselves next to a purple haired little girl. The orb glows, indicating Nuriko’s mark. The little girl turns out to be Nuriko’s reincarnation. I guess he really wanted to keep being a girl.

This whole shtick of reincarnation is really getting annoying. In addition to being too fast paced (They find three of the four warriors in one episode) the Suzaku Seven as annoying little kids is…well, annoying. If Chiriko’s not bawling, Mitsukake’s bawling or being a brat. Nuriko’s voice doesn’t sound any better. In addition, it’s just weird seeing the warriors in completely different bodies.

I will say that finding Chiriko and Mitsukake first was unexpected given that they like to basically ignore them….But Nuriko and Hotohori are probably being saved for last because they’re the better characters….at least I hope they’re better.

Episode 3

Mayo is getting increasingly upset because they keep finding more of the Suzaku Seven so quickly. I’m upset about the pacing, too, Mayo. In episode two, a fake Suzaku warned her that Taka and the others would kill her if they found all the warriors. Because I know the first thing I’d do if I gathered all the warriors to summon Suzaku is kill the priestess who is the only one who can summon Suzaku, plus the baby she’s carrying. Logic!

Reborn Nuriko is a thieving brat, by the way. Because if whiny little kids weren’t annoying enough, now we need an arrogant brat. I hope Hotohori’s a good kid…

Nuriko steals the crystal ball that the group was tracking the Suzaku Seven down with. As Tasuki chases her and grabs the ball away, Nuriko picks him up and throws him to the ground, breaking the ball. She cries and claims he broke her ball, so Tasuki and the others try to calm her by promising to get her a new ball. As they’re shopping for a new ball, a fake Seiryu kidnaps Nuriko.

They defeat the fake Seiryu, save Nuriko and regroup.

Mayo is displeased as she watches from her crystal ball. The emperor from Star Wars—I mean, the fake Suzaku (Seriously, watch the dub, listen to his lines after she watches them beat the Seiryu and tell me you’re not instantly reminded of Emperor Palpatine.) tells her that, once she gives enough hatred to him, defeating the Suzaku Seven will be easy.

Boushin walks in to ask Mayo about the Suzaku warriors from back in the old days. She knows all about them since she read the book, so, being the kind person she is, her first remark is saying that Hotohori was unfaithful to Boushin’s mother. How nice.

She tells Boushin that Hotohori really loved Miaka, and Miaka was a two-timing whore who constantly went back and forth between Hotohori and Tamahome. However, Hotohori just decided to give up on Miaka one day and settle for Houki. Then she muses that Hotohori never loved Houki. What a charming new protagonist.

Later, Saori tries to contact her through her belongings like Keisuke and Yui used to do with Miaka. Saori pleads for Mayo to come home, stating that her mother and father are worried sick about her. Mayo claims Saori’s lying and that she doesn’t trust her parents. Keisuke tries to make her understand that it’s dangerous to stay in that world and that being in the book will not bring her the happiness she seeks. He also informs her that she’s being used by an evil being.

Mayo just brushes them off and, again, claims they’re lying. She says she’ll stay there forever with Taka and her baby. Afterward, she uses lipstick to write a message in the other world. Oh I bet it’s something delightful or sentimental like “I love you all” or “I’m sorry, goodbye.”

………She writes “I hope you all drop dead” on the window. What a peach!

Immediately after, Mayo notices she has no reflection. So she’s really a vampire! Dun Dun Dunnnnnn!

Back with the Suzaku crew, Tasuki, Chichiri and Taka are following Nuriko, who is leading them through the desolate Suzaku village to meet a boy that they believe is Hotohori’s reborn self. After all, no way a girl could be leading them to meet a boy who wasn’t Hotohori. I mean, I know Nuriko loved Hotohori, but, let’s be real, that’d be quite a jump—Oh it is him….*sigh*

Meanwhile, Mayo’s freaking out and starting to disappear. She passes out in the water as she bathes, and wakes up in her bed as Houki enters the room. She was listening outside the door when Mayo was saying those terrible things to Boushin, so she thought she’d tell her a story. A story so fanfic-y they may as well have hit you over the head with a cartoon mallet that was stamped “Fanfic!”

When Houki was younger, she lived in a small village and was very poor. She was in love with a man whom she had been with for most of her life. She was selected to be an imperial courtesan and decided to go to the palace in order to save her family.

When she returned, she discovered that her village was destroyed by the Kutou Empire (the region the Seiryu group resides in) and her love, the sole survivor, waited for her to return to the village so they could be together forever and rebuild their village.

But she said ‘no.’

She wanted to be with Hotohori now. The man was angry that she was choosing Hotohori over him. He believed the only reason that she was going with him was because he was rich and the emperor.

The man then revealed that Hotohori actually had an older brother, whose life was threatened during a struggle for the throne so he got adopted by a….wandering peasan—What?! I mean….no, what? Really? Long lost brother who gets adopted by a drifter FOR NO REASON?

What does his life being threatened have to do with being adopted? Wouldn’t you just get more security detail? Also, forgive me if I’m wrong, but aren’t royal figures always being threatened by someone? And why would you allow the future emperor to essentially be kidnapped and then just shrug it off and never speak of it again? Why was Hotohori not in the same danger? This makes no sense!

The man reveals himself to be said brother, Tendou. He spits at them and says he will never forgive them.

I can’t say I blame the guy. It’s gotta be bad enough to lose your throne for no reason then live in a life of poverty, your only light being your one true love, having her go away, wait for her while your village gets massacred, then find out she fell in love with the brother who inherited your throne and doesn’t want you anymore.

Voting time: Does this sound more like a fanfic or a soap opera? It can go both ways.

Houki continues, saying the brother burst into the palace in a rage, controlled by another, itching to slay Hotohori, but Houki defended him.

Now, uh, follow me here, because even I don’t understand this part.

Okay, the beast god is summoned in the generation of a child who bears the mark of Suzaku and he’s called the Suzaku King. Some legend states he will forever be ignorant of this and will never see Suzaku be summoned. So not only is there a long lost brother, we also find out he’s some beast god king. Also, there seems to be no purpose for this king. He’s forever ignorant that he is the Suzaku King and will never see Suzaku be summoned and seems to hold no abilities or powers that are that special. His birth just signifies that the Suzaku warriors will appear soon.

This is all being explained by some guy who was controlling Tendou. He then slashes Tendou in the back because he couldn’t bring himself to slay Hotohori and then boasts that he has killed the Suzaku king. …What benefit that gives him…or why he just didn’t kill him in the first place instead of controlling him is beyond me, but whatever. The man is then killed by Hotohori with another slash to the back. Like dominoes, really.

Tendou then dies in Hotohori’s arms saying he’s happy to have met him and tells him to make Houki happy.

Now we get to the story about why Houki seemed to have loved Hotohori more than Tendou.

In Fushigi Yuugi the TV series, there’s a scene where Hotohori and Tamahome viciously battle each other. Hotohori to protect Miaka (because he was in love with her) and Tamahome because he was under the effects of a mind controlling poison. Houki is seen watching this unfold. She sees the love and caring in Hotohori’s eyes and she sees how hard he battles for her. She also sees the love between Tamahome and Miaka as she brings him back to reality with a kiss. She watches as Hotohori bows out as Miaka and Tamahome embrace, and she swears she’ll be with him forever.

Makes about as much sense as anything else in this insane OVA. So you love Hotohori more than Tendou because Hotohori lost his girl but you saw how much he loved her?

You purposely aspired to be a runner-up, basically. You love him more than the man you’ve loved your whole life and had always dreamed of starting a future together with because of that? And dumping him when you’ve found out your whole village had been massacred and he was the sole survivor? What is this?! Honestly!

Mayo then tearfully apologizes for what she said to Bou—you know what? I don’t give a crap. Because you’re still a heartless bitch and I don’t believe a word you say, so screw you and your apologies, lady. If you weren’t disappearing, I can’t bet you’d hear that story and call her a whore or something.

The reincarnated Hotohori, Eian, is presented with Hotohori’s holy sword. Eian looks almost exactly like Boushin and he’s an angel of a child. (Thank God)

A fake Suzaku appears and attacks the gang while Mayo tries to reason with the Suzaku shrine. It claims it doesn’t need her anymore. He grew strong (and/or was created by) through Mayo’s hatred, and, since he’s fully powered up now, he has no purpose for her so she’d be better off dead.

Mayo then decides to take his advice, despite Saori’s pleas, and walks off into a lake to drown herself. Hey, you’re still carrying the baby…oh you don’t care? What a shock.

Taiitsukun appears, transporting Chiriko and Mitsukake to the group and explains that the Shinzaho (The baby) is in danger. Taka’s phone rings and wonders how his phone can ring in that world….If you didn’t believe your phone could work in that world, why did you bring it with you on your trip?

I hate how they turned Mayo around in this. She’s been trying her best to be the biggest bitch in the history of bitchiness this entire OVA, and now it’s like the creators are going “Okay, now you guys have to pity her and feel bad, because she’s crying, she actually apologized to someone and now she’s suicidal.”

Hell no! I don’t care if she becomes the next Mother Teresa, that doesn’t excuse half of the crap she’s pulled. And why would I pity her for trying to commit suicide? Her committing suicide is homicide to the baby she’s not even thinking about right now, so why should I waste pity on her?

Thank God the next episode is the last one.

Episode
4

The final episode starts with replaying Mayo walking into the water. She remembers her parents fighting and running away from seeing Taka as Miaka visited him at the restaurant. Oh I feel so bad for you now. Really.

Taka’s in a conversation on the phone with Keisuke. Somehow, someway, he CALLED Taka and is having a conversation over the phone, even though Taka has a phone and Keisuke’s just talking into a little puffball phone attachment and that little thing about Taka being in a different dimension with no cell towers or satellites.

I know the logic is that he’s communicating through modern world items, but the phone rang.

Yui’s blaming herself in the real world for dragging Mayo into this and Taka goes off to check up on Mayo.

As Mayo drifts underwater, she remembers the good times with her parents, Saori, she remembers her basketball coach Keisuke, Boushin and Houki. She then admits that she’s done so many terrible things to all of them, but she just did them to make Taka pay attention to her.

Riiiiiigggghhhhhhtttttt.

Sure.

Because telling Boushin his father never loved his mother, trying to murder baby Chiriko, Mitsukake, Nuriko, and Horohori, being a rude bitch to everyone, threatening to kill Taka and Miaka’s baby, wishing death upon your best friend, your basketball coach, Yui and Tetsuya, lying to everyone about your situation to Taka, manipulating Taka, not giving a crap about anyone’s lives but yours and Taka’s, saying all that terrible crap about Miaka just because you’re a jealous bitch, stealing Taka and Miaka’s baby and trying to claim it as your own while you tried to steal a husband away from his wife, not giving a single shit about the future of the empire, ALL THAT is truly an attention grabber the likes of which any love story would be proud to have!

Go. To. Hell.

She’s begging everyone to forgive her, and Taka comes to her rescue. Mistuk—Oh my god!…AHHHHHHHHH Too deep man-voice coming from small five-year-old!!
It’s times like this when the whole reincarnation stuff just gets creepy.

As she’s resting, she apologizes for not being able to protect the baby…and God must be punishing her for it—It’s your fault the baby is in any kind of danger to begin with!

If it dies from disappearing it’s because you’re a jackass who couldn’t control her jealousy and hatred. If it dies because you almost drowned yourself it’s because…you tried to drown yourself! Not to mention you’ve threatened the baby’s life more than once just to keep Taka around, so screw your self-pity and apologies!

We return to the real world where Yui is explaining why she’s blaming herself for what’s happening.

Again, bear with me. This will make about as much sense as Lady Gaga’s closet.

The Universe of the Four Gods is only supposed to tell one legend at a time. One priestess is supposed to appear per 100 years cycle (Though, weren’t the Genbu and Byakko Priestesses from the same time? I could’ve sworn they were roughly the same age and were friends. Also, if it’s one priestess per 100 years, why were all of the Seiryu Seven in existence when Yui got there?) However, Yui’s hatred of Miaka fueled her to become the Priestess of Seiryu, even though I’m not sure how that works either, while Miaka was becoming the Priestess of Suzaku.

Since all four legends were complete, the book world started to deteriorate. Scared of being destroyed, the book went to find a new legend to tell, which is where Mayo comes in. Yes, the book is sentient and apparently has feelings. Mayo’s hatred for Miaka created a Shadow Suzaku upon entering the world, however.

Mayo possesses Saori. She tells Keisuke to say goodbye to everyone and that she’s disappearing. The link is then broken.

Ready for more stuff that doesn’t make any sense whatsoever? As everyone’s sitting around Mayo, Nuriko’s spirit returns and explains something. Mayo didn’t steal Miaka’s baby nor did the book steal it – Miaka sent it to her somehow because she knew the book world was in danger and knew her baby…was the shinzaho…..WHAT!? HOW?!

She sent the baby to a bitch that she doesn’t even know who would threaten and attempt to kill it to ‘keep it safe’ so they could summon Suzaku to save the book world? Nuriko then praises Mayo for doing a great job protecting the ba–…I’m getting so sick of the BS.

As Nuriko tries to ask Taka if he’ll go back to his world, Taka responds by saying he wouldn’t because this is his rightful home after all…So, I guess Miaka means nothing to you now? Way to love your wife.

Miaka then possesses Mayo to give the group a pep talk. They believe it’s Mitsukake’s holy water at work healing her, but apparently the holy water is about as useless as regular water. No wonder it never got any screen time.

Hotohori’s spirit returns as well, and the gang’s all there as the Shadow Suzaku appears. He unleashes his fake Byakko, Genbu and Seiryu on the villages. Just as he appears, Mayo vanishes, as does Miaka in the real world.

Apparently, the reason Miaka couldn’t go save Konan herself was because her legend was over. The thing is, it was over when the TV series ended, yet we got two OVAs. And if her legend was over so she held no way to get back to the book world, how did she send the baby to Mayo, and why did she disappear when Mayo did, and how was she there reciting the chant to summon Suzaku with Mayo and the Suzaku seven?

Technically, Miaka’s legend being over would mean the Priestess of Suzaku’s legend was over too. There’s no reason why Miaka couldn’t have reprised her role if the book needed it.

The reason they needed Yui to fill in as the Priestess of Genbu in the OVAs was because the previous one was dead and Yui was already a priestess, so it just made sense. Here, the previous priestess is still very much alive and already has the shinzaho. There’s no reason for her not to return besides giving us the most appalling and confusing instance of a self-insert attempt I’ve ever seen.

Soon after, the Suzaku Seven all start to fade and the book’s pages turn black and illegible.

Mayo, Miaka, and the Suzaku Seven meet at a crossroads. Mayo and Miaka both recite the chant to summon Suzaku, the gang reappears, and the real Suzaku appears. Taka then seems to channel the power of Suzaku himself and punches through the Shadow Suzaku making it disappear as quickly as it appeared. (There’s a final battle for you. A one hit K-O on an unoriginal, unmemorable villain.)

Taka: “Darkness cannot exist where there is light.”

…..They’re called shadows, Taka. And they can’t exist without light and are darkness. So, there ya go. Good job on your one-liner.

Everyone’s forgiven Mayo for what’s she’s done. (*glare*) Yeah…Just up and forgives her. She only (enter insanely long list of evil/terrible things she did here) and was the cause of the thing that almost destroyed the book world all because of her completely immature hatred and jealousy….but yeah, forgive and forget. Go ahead.

The OVA ends with a shot into the near future where Miaka is giving birth. She names the child “Hikari” meaning ‘light.’ Taka then reiterates his previous words and says that darkness cannot exist where there is light…The whole time, they’re talking about stars.

Stars, too, are a perfect example of darkness/light intertwining. The night sky is dark, but the stars are light. In fact, if the night wasn’t dark, the stars wouldn’t be very pretty to look at, if you could even see them. Great note to end on.

Art and Animation: A mixed bag if there ever was a mixed bag. The traditional art is pretty good. Definitely a step up from the old OVAs and the TV series as it has crisper colors and better-ish line art, but it’s tarnished beyond reason by the awful CGI. It was like watching the Power Rangers movie, except it was acceptable in the Power Rangers movie because it was the Power Rangers movie.

Why even bother with it anyway? It looks terrible, especially clashing with such bright colors and art, and is included in places you don’t even need it.

Notice how Genbu and Byakko looked 1000x better than Seiryu and Suzaku (the fakes). For some reason, they were drawn, but Seiryu and Suzaku were CGI. What’s even weirder is that the real Suzaku was drawn. The art doesn’t even want to make sense….

Music: The music’s alright. It was never notable, but it didn’t annoy me.

Voice Acting: English – Mayo’s voice is annoying, which I guess means it’s good because Mayo’s an annoying character.

Everyone else was as good as their old series VAs because I believe all of them are the old VA’s.

The reincarnated kid’s voices were terrible, though, except Eian/Hotohori’s.

Bottom Line: There was no reason this OVA should’ve been made, and I’m fairly certain Yuu Watase was reaching for more udders to milk this franchise. I know she worked on the manga, but this is just bad.

The main character attempts to be relatable, but unless you’re a baby hating harpy from hell, I don’t see how anyone could relate to her. She’s jealous to a disturbing degree, entitled, whiny, and just overall evil. I have no idea how anyone thought it was okay to just flip a switch and redeem her in the end. I’m all for a good redemption arc, but there was no arc here. She was instantly forgiven for all of the horrific acts she did all because ‘boo-hoo I’m sowwy.’

The story is forced and so very obviously fanfiction-like in many places. It screws up what was a perfect ending to the series, the pacing was way too fast, the villain was cliche, boring, and defeated way too fast, and there are so many plot holes (How is the baby the shinzaho? Isn’t the shinzaho a relic that the priestess is wearing when she summons an ancient beast? The amulet Yui was wearing when she summoned Seiryu became one and Miaka’s ring became another. Miaka hasn’t summoned Suzaku in over three years and she just got pregnant three months ago. How is the baby a shinzaho? And how did Mayo get the wedding ring? I understand how she got the baby, but how and why did she get the wedding ring? There’s no reason Miaka would send that to her.) and just overall stupidity that makes this difficult to recommend to anyone, even/especially Fushigi Yuugi fans.

It’s even more difficult to recommend to fans considering that one of the main reasons Fushigi Yuugi fans love the series is because of the relationship between Miaka and Taka/Tamahome. There’s little to no focus on it here, and what focus there is was negative because it’s given from Mayo’s perspective. Miaka’s not present in a good chunk of the OVA anyway since she’s bed ridden. She has a short scene in the beginning, is spotted here and there due to Yui and the others watching over her and then appears at the end.

What’s even worse is Taka’s a married expectant father and he shows little concern over a sick, unconscious Miaka as he’s traveling in the book world and even less concern over the baby Mayo’s carrying.

He wishes to stay in the book world despite nothing really keeping him there and Miaka being unable to return there (and also being deathly ill). He hardly ever thinks about her, and he just doesn’t act like at all like the romantic hero he has been playing in the past, which you’d think he should be more of since his unborn baby and wife are in constant mortal danger. Why, it’s almost like the writer of this OVA had a crush on Taka/Tamahome, hated Miaka and didn’t want to focus at all on their love.

There’s no reason to watch this. If you must watch Fushigi Yuugi, watch until the end of OVA 2 and stop. Even the most diehard of Fushigi Yuugi fans say this OVA’s a piece of garbage that never should’ve been made, and I vehemently agree.

Additional Information and Notes: The director of Fushigi Yuugi Eikoden is Hajime Kamegaki who also directed Air Gear and Ayashi no Ceres. It was written by Hiroaki Sato who also wrote the screenplay for…White Album? Haha….I’ll be talking about him again in the near future, then, I guess.

Like the original series and OVAs, this series was produced by Studio Pierrot and is licensed in the United States under Media Blasters.

Episodes: 4

Year: 2001-2002

Recommended Audience: Bitchiness, some nudity, attempted baby murder, no sex, no swearing, bad writing, eye gouge worthy CGI.

No one, but if you must, 12+


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Fushigi Yuugi OVA 2 Review

Fushigi Yuugi OVA 2

Plot: Tamahome has been reborn into Miaka’s world, but he has lost all of his memories as Tamahome and knows only his life as Taka. He meets Miaka in the real world and they start dating. Miaka seemingly knows this is Tamahome’s reborn form, but since he has no memories of that time she tries to treat him as Taka.

Trouble starts brewing at Miaka’s school. A new kid named Shigyou, intent on becoming the Student Council president, has recently enrolled. Soon after his arrival, the other kids at school start acting strangely. They corner Taka and Miaka on the roof with plans to kill them both. As one student throws Miaka off the roof, Taka jumps off to grab her. A red light appears, and just as they’re about to hit the ground, they are conveniently transported into the Universe of the Four Gods.

They soon learn that they have to retrieve Taka’s memories as Tamahome or Taka will disappear forever. Tamahome’s memories have been put into seven jewels and scattered and they have to collect all seven to restore Taka’s memories.

Breakdown: Miaka and Taka. That doesn’t sound stupid at all.

This OVA is a continuation of the first OVA, and it is a lot better than the first one. Albeit, and you probably guessed this by now, I had my problems with it.

As the plot states, the OVA is all about getting Taka’s memories of being Tamahome back. Because God knows this makes sense.

Last OVA: Tamahome can’t remain in your world as long as he remembers his life here.

This OVA: Taka can’t stay in existence for much longer unless he retrieves his lost memories.

Make up your mind.

Anyway, they have to retrieve seven jewels containing Tamahome’s memories so he can stay in existence. Evidently, the Suzaku warriors all have the jewels as Chichiri and Tasuki already had theirs, Hotohori’s is found in the palace (In his son, more specifically) and Nuriko’s is in an old crystal ball keepsake from his childhood.

I was actually interested in this for a while because I thought we’d go back through all the pasts of the remaining warriors, Hotohori, Nuriko, Chiriko, Mitsukake and Tamahome or at least get some cool episodes surrounding them. That didn’t happen.

Instead we got a really touching episode around Hotohori and his son, a semi-touching episode about Nuriko and his big brother, and a touching for 15 seconds episode about Chichiri and the best friend he “killed.” The rest is about getting Taka’s memories back and fighting Tenkou.

About halfway through the OVA series, four of Tamahome’s memory jewels get stolen and destroyed. Later Tamahome’s “real” self kindasortaishidunno appears and, oh by the way, he already got Chiriko’s and Mitsukake’s jewels, comes about and—What? Oh yeah, you remember those characters I told you about from the TV series review that always get pushed to the side and ignored? Yeah, well instead of building any stories for them (or building any story whatsoever for Chiriko) when they find their respective memory jewel, Tenkou just blurts out that he already got Chiriko’s and Mitsukake’s memory jewels for ‘Tamahome’.

Oh well, at least Mitsukake got to save Tasuki’s life and Chiriko at least tried to do something. *sigh*

Back to the story, the Tamahome thing is bugging me. In the next to last episode, Tamahome comes back. He seems like the real Tamahome and claims Taka is nothing but a shadow of him. This seems right, I mean, that is why Taka’s disappearing right? This is insanely confusing, because Tenkou and the others act like Tamahome’s possessed or he’s another completely different person just turned evil now because he was jealous of Taka.

From Chichiri’s episode, I’d bank on the latter. His best friend came back to life, but was renamed something different since he was a god now. Senki, I believe? Tamahome’s ‘name’ was Yousui. Chichiri’s friend was still his friend, but he had just turned vengeful and spiteful since Chichiri killed him. Besides, the memory jewels were able to be absorbed into him, he was obsessed with making Miaka his and was broken to shreds over killing her.

If that is true, they just screwed up badly. Tamahome would never get that possessive or jealous over someone who is essentially himself. It only makes sense that Miaka would be attached to someone who is supposedly Tamahome’s reborn self.

And what was up with all of the Suzaku Seven and Keisuke telling Taka not to give up on Miaka? What the hell do you want him to do? He’s A) a shadow, B) going to vanish soon and C) it would just cause Miaka insane levels confusion if both were vying for her heart since they’re both the same person. You’ve known Taka all of a couple weeks, Tamahome was your friend for ages – way to stick by your buddy.

Moving on, hold onto your tempers, because there’s another addition to the Miaka love shape. Tasuki starts showing feelings for her too. Way to ruin his character. It starts by giving her mouth the mouth resuscitation after she almost drowned, but as episodes go by you see him getting more and more jealous of Taka and more caring for Miaka.

After getting doused with Chichiri’s friend’s mystical water to bring out the evil in him, Tasuki knocks out Taka, gets Miaka drunk and tries to rape her. (Fushigi Yuugi: If your name’s Miaka, bring a rape whistle.) And even though he was under a spell, I honestly can’t look at him the same way anymore. He redeemed himself later after regaining control over his actions, but come on. If a rapist is lying somewhere deep inside Tasuki I just don’t know what to think anymore.

Despite all of that, this OVA was very enjoyable, and the ending was very satisfying. Miaka and Tamahom–…Taka’s relationship isn’t nearly as annoying this time around. In fact, sometimes it was rather sweet without being too mushy. I do have to admit, though. Her yelling TAKA! is about 100x more annoying than her yelling TAMAHOME! I never found much of a point in continuing the series, but as long as the ending was good, I have no qualms.

Or I wouldn’t have any qualms if there wasn’t another OVA. I mean, come on. That was as perfect an ending as you can get, why do another OVA?

Oh and, by the way, the next OVA is of the worst anime I’ve ever seen. And…..she’s in it. Dun dun dunnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.

Bonus!: At the end of each episode there’s a segment called “Mysterious Play-ing Around” It is a series of three short segments of the episode it follows, but they’re spoofed in some way. For instance, the first MPA is a spoof of the scene where Taka jumps off the roof to save Miaka. Instead of grabbing her, though, he clings to the railing and claims he’s afraid of heights as Miaka falls and calls him a jerk. Some of these were pretty funny and I LOVED the second one from the last episode, that was hilarious. However, they’re not as funny as the hot springs shorts.

Art and Animation: Better than the TV series and the first OVA. Still not fantastic though.

Music: I have no qualms with it, for once. At least they ditched the idea of making a beat synced outro, though. I guess if I had one issue with all of the ending themes for Fushigi Yuugi it’s that the intro for it is too long. They spend like 30 seconds just staring at each other as something happens with no one talking and music plays, then the credits roll.

Bottom Line: It’s more enjoyable than the previous OVA, but it tarnishes some of the characters. It has a better villain than the TV series, and some episodes are truly touching, but if you’re nitpicky, like me, you may be left feeling a little hollow.

It does make for a better ending to the series than the TV series ending did, though.

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: 6

Year: 1997-98

Recommended Audience: Nudity, attempted rape, some violence, sex scene, but it’s nothing graphic, in fact, if it wasn’t for the dialogue of them “becoming one” in body I never would’ve guessed they were doing it until after I saw them naked in bed together (Covered by a sheet) implications of incest.

15+


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