Fushigi Yugi - The Mysterious Play Vol. #2 (of 8) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Monday, September 27, 2004
Release Date: Tuesday, September 28, 2004
What They Say
Miaka is finally able to return home! But at what cost? Yui is now trapped within the book and Miaka travels back to the Universe of the Four Gods to save her. However, a few hours spent in the real world was months in the book and Miaka finds herself in the midst of a war between Konan and Kutou. What's more, Kutou has found their own priestess of Seiryu! A priestess with her own designs for Tamahome. Miaka is going to have to find her celestial warriors fast and before Kutou's priestess is able to find her own warriors and summon the dragon Seiryu!
The Review: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Miaka finally makes it back to her own world, after great sacrifices by Tamahome and Hotohori. Unfortunately, Yui has changed places with Miaka, going into the Universe of the Four Gods. It takes Miaka a few hours to figure it out, but once she does, she immediately heads back to the library to return to the world inside the book. Her brother, who she confided in, follows her, and begins reading the book, allowing us to follow the story along with him.
When Miaka returned to her own world, the several weeks she spent in ancient China turns out to be only a few minutes in the real world. So the few hours she spent in the real world works out to more than 3 months in China. When Miaka returns, she discovers that the kingdom of Konan is nearly in a state of war with the neighboring kingdom of Kutou. Her return is seen as a blessing by the imperial council, and she immediately begins her search for both Yui and the rest of the celestial warriors. Yuriko accompanies Miaka as they go to Tamahome's home town, and we finally learn the reason for his apparent greed.
Miaka is targeted by assassins from Kutou, who are attempting to eliminate her before she can summon Suzaku. The next celestial warrior is found in a strange young man named Chichiri. He's a bit of a goofball with a peculiar smiling face, but he's also a very skilled magician, and saves Miaka's life on more than one occassion. AFter a near tragedy in Tamahome's village, she decides to head to Kutou to find Yui without Tamahome or the rest. Her mission is successful, but the reunion with Yui is shortlived, as a blonde, blue-eyed general for Kutou twists Yui's view of Miaka. Tamahome manages to find Miaka in time to rescue her from Nakago, but Yui doesn't go with them. Once back at the old woman's house in the mountains, Miaka finally learns about the terrible violence that happened to Yui while Miaka was gone. It caused Yui to attempt to take her own life and now she is Miaka's enemy, believing that Miaka forgot about her and only came back for Tamahome. What's more, Yui is jealous of Miaka, as she's in love with Tamahome as well.
Fushigi Yugi may be a melodrama, but it's a fun melodrama. The anime continues to closely follow the manga it's based on, taking very few liberties. Sometimes, that makes the anime weaker, but not this show. These six episodes are very well paced, with revelations nicely spread out to heighten the tension, and comedy at just the right time. As this is simply a straight dump of the second disc of the previously released Suzaku boxset, there is nothing new here. There are no extras, and just like the boxset release, the opening credits to each episode are in English, but the ending credits are in Japanese. This means there are no voice actor credits for either language, unless you read Japanese. The menus are beautiful and easy to navigate. The audio and video are all very nicely done, with nothing notable in the way of problems. The cover is a beautiful picture of Nuriko and Miaka, both in Chinese clothing, with a greed bordered background behind them. Oddly, the picture is cut to put the second half on the back cover, with the cut along the opening of the DVD case, rather than along the spine. All six episodes are numbered and titled on the back cover, but the volume number appears only on the spine. The insert is a stunning and rather sexy image of Yui in a blue Chinese halter top. It's obvious that it's only half the image, though. The back of the insert has character info on Nuriko and Hotohori, and it opens to reveal the full image that was used to make the front and back covers.
Geneon's single volume release of Fushigi Yugi allows people reluctant to splurge on the rather expensive boxsets to more easily afford the series. With so many episodes on each disc, it's quite a nice value for the money. The fact that it's one of the more popular shoujo anime titles makes it an even better deal. Highly recommended.
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles
NEC CT-2510A TV, Pioneer 440 codefree DVD player
Mania Grade: A
Audio Rating: A
Video Rating: A
Packaging Rating: B+
Menus Rating: A-
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
Running time: 175
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Fushigi Yugi - The Mysterious Play