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Anime on DVD: Fushigi Yugi
This is the story of a girl, who made her dreams come trueafter she came to possess the seven stars of Suzaku, and many powers werebestowed upon her.The story itself is a spell. The one who reads it through willbe given the powers and granted a wish like the girl in the story.Because.. the story begins and becomes real...The moment thefirst page is turned.-The Universe of the Four Gods
Andso begins the tale of Fushigi Yugi, a wonderfully crafted tale of a girltransported to ancient China where she begins a quest to protect a country fromits enemies. On the way there is love, friendship, betrayal, humor, despair, andhope.Fushigi Yugi is a shoujo anime piece, meaning it was originally written for aprimarily female audience. Yuu Watase created the manga(18 volumes) which theanime(52 TV episodes) follows very closely. Before Fushigi Yugi was licensed byPioneer, relatively few shoujo titles were brought over to the United States.The popularity of Fushigi Yugi among the fansub community finally convincedPioneer to announce the licensing of title at Anime Expo 98. Pioneer beganreleasing the VHS version in November 1998, and it wasn't until a year latterthat the first season arrived on DVD.Pioneer presents the entire fifty two episode television series in twoboxsets consisting of four DVD's each. The first (Suzaku) boxset ends on acliffhanger on episode twenty six, with episode twenty seven, the true end ofthe first season, being in the second (Seiryu) boxset. Video quality isexcellent for the most part, with only a handful of scenes throughout the serieswhere the quality suffers a bit. The audio is two channel stereo with somedirectionality during action sequences, but it is mainly being used for themusical presentation. While the first box set was somewhat lacking in extras (itmainly consisted of a character relationship diagram), the second box contains45 minutes of music videos highlighting the main characters in the series. Ofcourse, you really shouldn't watch any of them until you finish the entireseries since they contain a lot of spoilers. The boxsets themselves are amulti-foldout cardboard package with a protective plastic slipcase. Personally,I like the presentation, though some people have created their own amaray stylepacking to hold their sets.Fushigi Yugi is about two girls, Miaka Yuki and Yui Hongo, who have been bestfriends growing up and are now getting ready to take the high school entranceexams. On a trip to the library, they discover a book called "The Universeof the Four Gods", which transports them to land similar to ancient China.After a series of events, Miaka becomes the Priestess of Suzaku for the countryof Konan. When she summons the god Suzaku, Miaka will be granted 3 wishes. Konanis under threat of attack from the neighboring country of Kutou. Yui, though hasbecome the Priestess of Seiryuu for Kutou, and will use her wishes to help Kutoucrush Konan. Also, Yui now hates Miaka with a passion, and so our story pitsthese two best friends against each other.
Miaka is presented as an almost stereotypical shoujo anime heroine. She isn'ta very good student, loves to eat, is lazy, reads manga, and has an extremelybubbly personality which sometimes gets fans grinding their teeth. At times, theactions she takes, seem downright stupid. These actions though are typical ofthe shoujo anime heroine. She always thinks about her friends first, and iswilling to sacrifice her life for the ones she love. Even though Yui has becomeher enemy, Miaka will never give up on her. Miaka rises above her faults whenthe time demands it, and who needs a perfect character anyway?Another staple of the shoujo anime is the love between the heroine and herhero. Tamahome, the love interest for Miaka, has only thought about money untilencountering Miaka. While they express their love for each other pretty earlyon, circumstances keep forcing them to forgo their relationship. At times it canbe sickening, one moment they are professing their love for another, and thenext they are trying to keep the other at bay. But their love for each othercrosses time, space, and different dimensions, and it drives them to completetheir tasks.The music of the series is a fantastic accompaniment to the story tellingprocess. Satou Akemi sings the opening song and most other songs in the series,with the exception of the ending song and character songs. The BGM and characterthemes truly enhance the viewing of the anime, and the song truly elevates youduring the strong emotional and dramatic parts of the story.
Comedyis used throughout the series to be bring some light heartedness to thesituation going on. A large amount of super deformity is used in the series,just as Watase uses it in the manga also. Some people argue that too much SD isused, but I think the balance is just right. Another comedic item is therelationships between different characters on Konan's side. Tamahome and Tasukihave a strong rivalry going on throughout the series, and rag on each other alot. Deep down though, you can see the strong friendship between them. A lot ofthe comedy though revolves around Miaka, especially when she does somethingreally dumb :)Fushigi Yugi is a prime example of shoujo anime. There is a good mix ofcomedy and drama in a story about friendship and love. No one should misswatching this at least once.» Written by Andrew Tei Fushigi Yugi Volume 1 Fushigi Yugi Volume 2 Fushigi Yugi TV Series Song Collection Fushigi Yugi Wallscroll