Fushigi Yugi: Eikou Den Vol. #2 - Mania.com

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  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: C
  • Age Rating: All
  • Region: 2 - Japan
  • Released By: Bandai Visual
  • MSRP: ¥4800
  • Running time: 30
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Fushigi Yugi - The Mysterious Play

Fushigi Yugi: Eikou Den Vol. #2

By Chris Beveridge     May 15, 2002
Release Date: February 26, 2002

Fushigi Yugi: Eikou Den Vol. #2
© Bandai Visual

What They Say
In addition to everybody's favorite characters like Miaka, and Suzaku Shichiseishi, this Second "Fushigi Yugi" OVA introduces great new characters. The OVA is based on the novel series "Fushigi Yugi Gaiden - Eikouden (Parts 1 & 2)," and this is volume 2 of 4.

The Review!
The second installment of the Gaiden series has things move into the "character gathering" stage, which is really good for a number of Fushigi Yugi fans who want to see where their favorites have ended up. For those wanting the story to actually move forward, wait till volume 3.

For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in English. That still sounds weird. To help facilitate the release times between regions, Pioneer USA has worked to have their English language track ready alongside the Japanese track and the animation. To the surprise of many, the English track was also included in the Japanese release, which was the main reason I ended up snagging it. On both tracks, dialogue is nice and clear though the show is still essentially a stereo mix.

Freshly animated, this is just gorgeous looking. Taking the designs used in the previous OVA series and bumping the characters ahead in age by three years, the designs are slightly different but still recognizable. The animation style is pretty similar to the OVA's though with what seems to be a bit better budget or at least a much more vivid color palette. Some cross coloration shows up very briefly in one or two backgrounds, but the bulk of the show is very pleasing on the eye with lush colors and some very stunning backgrounds.

A great image of Chichiri removing his mask along with Tasuki in battle pose make up this soft lush yellow cover and provides a nice contrast from the first volume. The back cover provides a few animation shots and the usual summaries and various bits of information about the shows features.

If there's one area where the Japanese releases tend to truly underwhelm me, it's the menus, and this release is little different. Using the character artwork from the cover, we get a nice simple static image of Taka and Miaka to the right while selections are listed along the left. Since there's not much here, you get the individual scene selections listed here as well as a play-all feature and access to the language and extras menu. It's a nice looking menu, but the lack of music or anything else to just makes it bland. I wonder what Nightjar could do with it.

There's really only one extra included, though I'll make mention of a second one. The main extra is the character profiles section which is broken up into five characters, each presenting one still page. You get a nice standalone piece of character art as well as a shot from the animation, the characters stats and then a little bit of background on them. The second extra that's not really an extra is two pages of English language credits for the show that list all the people we've seen many times over the past couple of years from Animaze, ZRO Limit and Pioneer USA. Voice actors are also listed but not with their respective roles

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
While we definitely enjoyed the fast and somewhat frenetic pace of the first volume, the second installment definitely brings things down to a much slower pace. Things open with a good arguement between Taka and Mayo with Mayo making all sorts of threats about the baby and just insisting that this is now their reality and he must forget Miaka. As if Taka could ever do that after all that they've been through, and you'd think Mayo would be able to figure that out after having read the book. But I'm guessing she's a skimmer.

The main thrust of the volume after that is the adventures of Taka, Tasuki and Chichiri as they search out the remaining Suzaku Seven. When they come across one of them whose still in infant form, they realize just how much trouble they're going to have. Chiriko looks to be no more than maybe 5 months old but has managed to retain all of the memories from the previous life. But even this information is starting to slip and Chiriko begins to revert more and more to be a baby and is forgetting things. Realizing time may be running out even more quickly for the others, they leave Chiriko with the childs parents and head out to get the rest of the Seven and to come back and figure out a plan.

Outside of the character re-introductions and the brief bouts of catch-up with what's gone before, the most interesting thing is the arrival of Suzaku in flaming phoenix form that comes down to bring Mayo into the temple, where it starts telling its tale of how Mayo can complete her control of Taka and other intriguing ideas. This is something that makes you think things just aren't right, but it's an intriguing scene, and one that's sure to annoy those who hate CG as Suzaku is presented that way in several if not all of the scenes like that.

The second volume is good, don't get me wrong, but it just lost all of the momentum and pacing of the first volume to go and bring everyone back into the game. It's a necessary evil, but one I hope is made up for in the remaining two volumes with some good action and emotional roller coaster areas.

Japanese Language,English Language,Japanese Subtitles,Character Profiles

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Skyworth 1050P Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.


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