Mania Grade: A
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- Art Rating: A+
- Packaging Rating: A/D
- Text/Translatin Rating: B
- Age Rating: 13 & Up
- Released By: Viz Media
- MSRP: 9.95
- Pages: 208
- ISBN: 1-56931-957-X
- Size: Tall B6
- Orientation: Right to Left
Fushigi Yûgi (Shojo Edition) Vol. #01
By Megan Lavey
April 13, 2004
Release Date: November 01, 2003
Fushigi Yûgi (Shojo Edition) Vol.#01
© Viz Media
Translated by:Kaori Inoue
Adapted by:What They Say
Miaka Yuki is an ordinary junior-high student who is suddenly whisked away into the world of a book, "The Universe of the Four Gods." There she becomes the priestess of the god Suzaku, and is charged with finding all seven of her Celestial-Warrior protectorsThe ReviewPackaging:
The second edition of this book is definitely more attractive to look at than the first and even outshines the Japanese tankouban covers. This is a full-size picture of Tamahome and Miaka, dressed in her priestess robes, set against the backdrop of Konan, Hotohori's country. The colors are extremely pretty and the light shade of aqua chosen to do the author bar at the bottom and the shojo bar at the top complement the picture well.
What sticks out is the logo, so now it's time for our traditional vol.1 Megsie-chan's logo check!
Bleh. I don't like the font at all. It's the one they've used for Fushigi Yugi since they started releasing it in English and I never liked it to begin with. The shade of green they use for the letters would be good if it was on its own, but it clashes with the aqua bars. The artwork chosen for the cover saves it. Artwork:
Yu Watase's first major work introduced to the United States and it?s a gorgeous one. Characters are lusciously drawn and attention is paid to detail. This is a series oozing with beautiful pictures and beautiful bishounen, so there's really nothing to complain about artwise. Orientation/SFX:
Unflipped and untranslated for the most part. There is still some SFX that is translated. A glossary is provided in the back for the untranslated SFX. Text:
Okay, this is where you're probably going to lose some fans. For those who have not picked up the manga at all or have not read Animerica Extra, Viz translates many of the names from the original Chinese and leaves it that way. For instance, people who are familiar with the anime know Hotohori's country as "Konan." It is called Konan in the anime in both dub and subtitled versions. However, Viz translated the name of the country directly from the Chinese - Hong-Nan.
A note at the back of the book explains that the names are kept in the original Chinese based on a 1998 request from Yu Watase. It's in the editor's recommendation spot, which is buried back among the ads. I think it would really help if that note was brought out front and listed at the beginning where the directory of Chinese names is.
While the translation is dead-on accurate, a majority of the fans who are picking up this series that are familiar with the anime know it as "Konan." The other four countries, all of the names of people Miaka encounter, such as Taitsukun, and the birth names of the Suzaku warriors are all given in their original Chinese. The difference will become even more apparent as more non-Suzaku warriors, such as Tamahome's family, are introduced in later chapters and will probably just confuse people more. This is what caused me to put the book down the first time.
Now, I do like the fact that the names are authentic Chinese. That's fantastic. I just don't care that the names of so many characters are now different from the anime counterparts. While some folks may not mind, the average fan who picks up this book in a store might. And they may not understand it was a change that Watase requested.
The other criticism I have with the release is the amount of Americanisms thrown in. Miaka has a hankering for Denny's? It seems very unbelievable, even if there is a Denny's in Japan. Review:
When I first watched Fushigi Yugi, it was among the first anime I recall seeing. It?s also the first DVD boxed set I ever owned and I make a point each year, once a year, to dust it off and watch the episodes. Some of it is cheesy and very soap-operaish, but it's still nice to sit down and enjoy it.
I first saw the manga back in 1999 and did not purchase it because of the text issues. I didn't want to spend $16 on that. With the price reduction to $9.99, I decided to give it another try. I'm glad I did.
Miaka Yuki is a ninth-grader who has three months left until her entrance exams. She is pushing herself to attend the top high school in the city, Jonan, in order to please her single mother. This is having an effect on her as she falls asleep in class and gets distracted.
During a trip to the library to study with her best friend, Yui, the girls come across a book called the "Universe of the Four Gods." They read from the book and are sucked in. They're attacked by slavers, but saved by a young man who demands payment in return. Before they could do anything about that, they are returned to their own world. The girls dismiss it as a dream and keep going about their lives. Miaka, meanwhile, can't keep her mind off the young man from the book.
The next day, Miaka is on her way to cram school when she discovers her mother in the arms of a strange man. She flees, attends cram school and goes home, where she is confronted by her mother. Her mother accuses Miaka of seeing a man because she wrote about the events of the book in her diary. Miaka throws back what she saw her mother doing and runs away. She heads to the library and back to the book and is once again sucked in. Thus her adventures really begin as Miaka meets the young man once more, then winds up meeting the emperor of the country in the book and is eventually asked to become the Priestess of Suzaku and to gather the seven Celesial warriors so she can have her wishes fulfilled.
Thus begins a journey which is very different from the anime in some aspects and it's a difference that makes the story better. Miaka doesn't come across as dumb in the manga as she does in the anime. She is worn-out, very stressed over her exams and is eager to please her mother, which is different from the ditz she is in the anime. She retains much of her same naievte and gumption for life, which makes her very endearing, but she is pretty smart.
Her reasons for escaping into the book and for wanting to attend Jonan are more concrete in the manga - her mother's constant pressuring and harassing her about it. Therefore Miaka seeks the book out as solace. It's every fantasy she's dreamed of, plus it takes her away from the problems that plague her own life.
Her friendship with Yui comes across differently as well. Miaka isn't as fixated on Yui as she is in the anime, and she does more worrying over her family than she does her friend. While Yui is still the smartest of the two, her role to play in the manga so far isn't very big - mainly just as moral support to Miaka and confirmation that the book world does exist.
The other characters introduced in the book - Tamahome, Hotohori and Nuriko - form the first three of Miaka's celestial warriors. A love quadrangle immediately kicks off as Miaka has a crush on Tamahome, Hotohori is in love with Miaka and proposes to her, Nuriko loves Hotohori but when he notices Miaka, she goes after Tamahome instead and Tamahome hasn't revealed anything yet. Comments
The series gets off to a solid start and goes along at a very fast pace. If you can look past the text issues, this is a fantastic volume of work. I'm looking more to seeing how things develop over the next 17 volumes.