Fushigi Yugi - The Mysterious Play Vol. #3 - Mania.com

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  • 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.
  • MSRP: 24.98
  • Running time: 175
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Fushigi Yugi - The Mysterious Play

Fushigi Yugi - The Mysterious Play Vol. #3

By Mike Dungan     December 15, 2004
Release Date: November 30, 2004

Fushigi Yugi - The Mysterious Play Vol. #3
© Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.

What They Say
To save her newly adopted kingdom of Konan, from impending catastrophe and restore her friendship with Yui, Miaka readily accepts her responsibilities as a priestess of Suzaku and continues her task of gathering together the legendary seven celestial warriors of Suzaku. As if the zombies, bandits and Kutou spies weren't bad enough, Miaka catches a deadly plague! Yui, now a priestess of Seiryu, is bent on hurting Miaka in any way possible and plots to seduce the captured Tamahome forever - body and soul! Can Miaka ever regain her friendship with Yui after such a betrayal?

The Review!

The Review: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Tamahome has given himself over to Yui in order to prevent more bloodshed, and give Miaka more time to find the rest of the Suzaku warriors. But now Miaka, Hotohori and Nuriko have been captured by mountain bandits. Their leader is a vile pig of a man who wields an enchanted fan that can send out a deadly flame burst. It turns out that Miaka's personal guard is the true leader of the bandits, but without the fan which is rightly his, there's nothing he or anyone else can do. Miaka, completely oblivious to the fact that she's their captive, decides to help him get his fan and the leadership of the clan back. When all is said and done, Miaka is finally able to get back to looking for Tasuki, the name of a Suzaku warrior who is said to be among the bandits. Sadly for her, Tasuki was the old leader of the bandits, and he recently died. Someone mentions a rumor of a healer who can raise people from the dead, so it's back on the road for Miaka and company.

When they reach the town of the rumor, it seems deserted. The town has been afflicted with a terrible plague. No one can cure it, but there is a woman with the gift to raise the dead. The only hope people have is to die first so she can then revive them. This being Fushigi Yugi, of course Miaka contracts the disease. Rather than killing Miaka so she can be revived, Hotohori and the others go to find a healer nearby, but he wants nothing to with them. At least until he hears the name of the woman who is raising the dead. It's his lost love who died a year earlier.

Now with Tasuki on board, there is only one more warrior to find. Fortunately for everyone, he finds them first, and just in time to save them from a Kutou assassin. He's Chiriko who plays a magic flute that can control people and animals. Everyone heads back to the palace, with a quick stop in Tamahome's hometown so Mitsukake, the healer, can do his magic. Now it's time to get Tamahome back so they can begin the ceremony of summoning Suzaku. With Chichiri's magic, Miaka is able to communicate with Tamahome and make arrangements to break him out of the Kutou castle. Yui overhears, though, and distraught at the idea of losing him, turns to Nakago for help. He supplies her with a pill that, when Tamahome takes it, will make him forget all about Miaka and bind him to Yui forever.

Miaka, Chichiri and Tasuki arrive at the appointed time, but Tamahome is nowhere to be seen. Instead, Yui, Nakago and several soldiers are there to greet them. Miaka is taken prisoner, but is allowed to see Tamahome. Tamahome doesn't know her, and instead attacks her. She flees with Chichiri's help, and Tasuki defends her from Tamahome. This all plays into Nakago's hands, for if one of them dies, Miaka will never be able to summon Suzaku.

Fushigi Yugi is shojou crack. It's one of those shows I just can't get enough of. The combination of romance, action and comedy play out perfectly for me. The seven episodes in this volume bring the search for the Suzaku warriors to a close and begins the story arc of getting Tamahome back from Yui's clutches. Despite the terrible things she does, Yui remains a sympathetic antagonist. Miaka's goofball antics are welcome in the midst of all the melodrama, as if Yuu Watase is saying she knows it's all just a big soap opera and she's letting us in on the joke. The anime continues to closely follow the manga storyline, so if you already have the manga, you won't find many surprises. Some manga don't make the transition to anime very well, like Chobits and Love Hina, but that's not the case with Fushigi Yugi. In fact, it seems to thrive as an anime, almost as if Watase wrote the stories with an anime version in mind. Even jokes that worked beautifully in the manga work just as well in the anime.

Geneon's single volume release of Fushigi Yugi is a godsend to people put off by the steep price of the Suzaku and Seiryu boxsets. However, there is nothing different between that release and this one, except replacing "Pioneer" logos with "Geneon". This is a little frustrating, as all the production credits were put on the fourth disc of each boxset. That means no production credits on the first, second or third volume of this release, and if it continues this way, there will likely be no production credits on the fifth, sixth or seventh volumes either. Nor are there any extras of any sort, not even textless openings and endings. Also a bit odd is that the opening credits of each episode are the English credits from the "Mysterious Play" English dub video release, and the ending credits are the Japanese credits from the "Fushigi Yugi" subtitled video release. Considering the extent some other companies go to with their back title re-releases, the lack of anything new or improved is a little disappointing. Despite those complaints, it's still a great show, one of the classics of shojou anime, and any fan of the genre (and even a few who aren't shojou fans) will be happy to add it to their library. Recommended.

Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
NEC CT-2510A TV, Pioneer 440 codefree DVD player


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