Fushigi Yugi - The Mysterious Play Vol. #4 (of 8) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Release Date: Tuesday, January 11, 2005
What They Say
Summoning Suzaku! Deeply under Yui’s spell, Tamahome travels to Konan to kill the Suzaku Seven and settles the question as to who would win in a fight between Hotohori and Tamahome. When the day finally comes to summon Suzaku another turn of events reveal a traitor which is quickly and sadly resolved. Despite all this, Miaka and the Suzaku Seven happily prepare to search for the means to summon Suzaku again. But this respite is short-lived.
Geneon's single-volume release of Fushigi Yugi reaches the mid-point with a crushing double-cross and a terrible tragedy.
The audio is solid with good use of stereo. The Japanese track sounds good for 10 years old, and the English dub which is nearly as old still fresh and lively.
There were a few issues with jittery video in this volume, but it wasn't too distracting to me. Otherwise, everything looked just as lush and deep as on the previous volumes.
Perhaps to mark the big turning point of this volume, the cover is a group shot of the main cast in their finest clothing, including Miaka in full Chinese priestess robes. The background is bright red with the Suzaku behind everyone. The backside of the cover, visible through the clear case, is another group shot, with stars visible through everyone's clothing. The insert uses half of that image so the effect isn't ruined when you open the case. Inside the insert is the front cover image. On the back of the insert is character information on Mitsukake and Chiriko. The back cover of the DVD uses a close up of the front cover image, focusing on Miaka, Tamahome and Nuriko. Episode numbers and titles as well as the synopsis are printed off to the side.
The same menu as was created for the original release is used here. It's beautifully designed with a gold motif. Each episode is accessible from the main menu. There are no extras, but for the first time, we get cast and crew credits, but you'll have to hunt for them in the setup menu. My Pioneer 440 would not play the cast and credits screen. I had to put the DVD in my Mac G4 to view the info.
There are no extras.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Tamahome is now deeply under the spell of Yui, though it is Nakago who is actually manipulating things. Tamahome travels to Konan to kill Miaka and the Suzaku Seven, but is faced with Hotohori himself. Miaka is the only one who can stop them from killing each other. Once resolved, it's time to finally summon Suzaku and make everything right, but Nakago has a card left unplayed. His trap is sprung, and it's only the arrival of a new character that saves everyone from certain death. Unfortunately, the summoning is a failure, and Miaka must find another way to summon the god. As if that wasn't enough, there is a new stricture put on her and Tamahome, one that will have long-reaching effects for their relationship. With everyone gathered, a new journey is about to start, but one last terrible tragedy awaits Tamahome.
I love this show. I'll be honest, it's hard for me to be unbiased when writing these reviews. Fushigi Yugi's blend of soap-operaish melodrama, broad humor and heart-felt romance strikes a perfect balance for me. There are a few downsides, though. The video issue was a disappointment, even if a minor one. The lack of a signs and song lyrics subtitle track is disappointing when watching in English, forcing the viewer to back up and turn the subtitles on for a moment. The cast and crew credits are cleverly hidden, and wouldn't even play properly on my player. Those credits are about as close to an extra as you're likely to get with this release. On the other hand, Bridget Hoffman's direction of the English dub continues to entertain me, as does Rudy Marlowe as Miaka. This volume is right in the meat of the story, and ends on a scene that even had creator Yu Watase crying when she originally drew it for the manga. The six episodes fly past and I can't wait to get to the next volume.
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: B-
Packaging Rating: A-
Menus Rating: A-
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
Running time: 150
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Fushigi Yugi - The Mysterious Play