Fushigi Yugi - The Mysterious Play Vol. #8 - Mania.com

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  • Audio Rating: B
  • Video Rating: B-
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: A-
  • Extras Rating: D+
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
  • MSRP: 24.98
  • Running time: 150
  • 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. #8

By Mike Dungan     November 18, 2005
Release Date: September 20, 2005

Fushigi Yugi - The Mysterious Play Vol. #8
© Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.

What They Say
Now that Tamahome is in Tokyo, Nakago has all the power he wants within the Universe of the Four Kingdoms. What more could he want… Japan? Meanwhile in the real world, Tamahome is wrestling with the fact that his own existence is nothing but a character in a book. Will Tamahome be able to come to grips with his unreal nature in time to help save Japan from Nakago's ambition to become the god of destruction? How will he be able to defeat a god?

The Review!
Nakago has taken his battle to the real world, forcing Miaka and Tamahome to fight one last desperate battle.

The sound quality is good, if not spectacular. Both the Japanese and English dubs are getting on in years, but they make up in charm what they might miss in technical sophistication. The Japanese dub sounds just a bit muffled, as if the audio came from a video tape. The English is clearer, probably due to its more recent vintage.

The video quality stands up quite well. The colors are beautiful and lush, employing a lot of softer earth-tones that illustrate the fantasy setting of this mythical ancient China very well. There are still some minor instances of scratches or dust on the video, but it's hardly noticeable.

The final cover in this release features Miaka and Hotohori in a loving embrace, with the god Suzaku looking down on them from above. It’s all set against a red background. The back cover is all red except for a small parchment-like text box for the episode titles and story synopsis. A close-up image of Suzaku from the front cover takes up most of the rest of the back cover. The reversible cover features the Suzaku warriors on one side with an enlarged buy faint version of the image on the right. The overall look works well and is in keeping with the rest of the DVDs. The insert repeats the covers, and includes character information on Soi and Nakago of the Seiryu Seven.

The menu is beautifully designed, making full use of the ancient China motif. Episodes are accessed right on the main page, with a scene access menu if one
prefers it. There are no animations, making load time quick and painless, and no music to annoy you if you can't get to your remote in time. It's easily navigated and is an excellent example of less is more.

The only thing close to an extra is the inclusion of cast and production credits found on the DVD credits menu. Otherwise, there is nothing.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
As I had already watched this show in Japanese, I decided to watch in English this time.
Everything has turned out wrong. Two members of the Suzaku Seven are dead. Miaka wasn’t able to summon Suzaku. Yui summoned Seiryu and banished Miaka back to her own world. She also sealed Suzaku away, causing the remaining celestial warriors to lose their special abilities. Nakago has forced a war between Kutou and Hongnan. The only bright light is that Miaka somehow found a way to bring Tamahome with her when she returned to the real world. There is plenty of humor with Tamahome struggling to deal with Miaka’s world. Miaka returns to school, where she is given the cold shoulder by Yui. But she’s finally able to talk to Yui, whose anger at Miaka finally begins to waver.
Just as a reconciliation between them seems possible, Nakago arrives and immediately begins causing trouble. Warriors of both the Seiryu and Suzaku Seven begin to die as Nakago forces Yui to grant him his last, insane wish: He wants to become a god. Somehow, Miaka must find a way to defeat Nakago, reconcile with Yui, and find a way to be with Tamahome forever.

In Summary:
These last six episodes are an emotional rollercoaster. They can be at times funny and sad. Some scenes will have you getting teary-eyed. Other times, the surprises and twists will have you crying “shenanigans.” The writers really try to force the melodrama in these final episodes, but it’s nothing less than what we’ve come to expect from this show. If anything, the extra melodrama fits the soap opera-ish feel of the show, wallowing in the heady pathos. There are a few groaners here and there, such as when Tamahome launches into yet another soliloquy about how he’s destined to be with Miaka for all eternity and then immediately runs away for the umpteenth time. Or the extended music video segments that feature animated versions of the actual singers as our love-torn heroes wander the streets of Tokyo. But that emotional heavy-handedness is also this show’s strong point. It just wouldn’t be as much fun if they didn’t try to hit you over the head at least twice an episode about what tragic lovers Miaka and Tamahome are. Despite it all, it’s hard not to like Miaka and Tamahome and Yui and Nakago and all the rest. I enjoyed all 52 episodes. Fushigi Yugi is an indispensable part of any shojou fan’s anime library. Go wallow in the melodrama. You won’t regret it.

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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