Mania Grade: A
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- Audio Rating: A+
- Video Rating: A
- Packaging Rating: B
- Menus Rating: C
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: 12 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
- MSRP: 199.98
- Running time: 650
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Fushigi Yugi - The Mysterious Play
Fushigi Yugi Suzaku Box Set
By Jim Wilson
February 16, 2002
Release Date: November 26, 1999
After watching such anime as Neon Genesis Evangelion, or Revolutionary Girl Utena, my mind went into a kinda freeze. I couldn't decide whether or not I actually liked these series. However then came Fushigi Yugi!
Audio: In terms of sound, I found nothing to nitpick about, In terms or Dubbing however, there's another answer. The dub is Only Okay. Things like Chichiri's infamous "No Da!" have been translated to "Ya Know?". Chichiri's way of speech was a great part of the manga. They just had to westernize it though. Grrr. Even Tamahome has a line where he talks about how he'll protect Miaka at any cost, but in the dub they changed it to him sounded like a hick, saying, "If anyone even touches her, I'll kick your A__!" Beware of dub.
Video: I actually saw no shaking here. Impressive. Sure the series is, what 5 or 6 years old, but the animation is still good.
Packaging: Okay packaging. The plastic that has the title that slides over the cardboard containing the 4 DVDs often wears down the edges of the cardboard. Looks pretty neat on display though!
Menus: VERY PLAIN. They're not animated like menus of new, but I personally didn't buy the set for the menus, now did I?
Extras: Not too many. A relationship web, that show how the characters feel about one another is pretty good stuff, because it's really detailed, and you can even see a clip about each relationship! No Trailers here (Boo!) but merely ads for other Pioneer series. An interview with creator Watase Yuu is here also. Each Disc has its own footnotes, even one about the Chichiri "No Da!" tradgedy.
Content: I've previously read and loved the Fushigi Yugi manga (3 U.S. volumes) which are translated very slowly, so you're better off with the TV series. The TV series is VERY TRUE to the manga. Characters say things just like what they say in the manga! The series is about Junior-high school student Miaka Yuki. Miaka's best friend is a genius named Yui Hongo. Miaka and Yui have known each other since kindergarten, and are trying to get into the same school next year. Miaka's not a genius like her girlfriend Yui (Girl Friend. Not romantic ya sickos!) and under the intense pressure of being with Yui and going to after-school cram school AND her Mom's pressure to get into a good school isn't quite working for Miaka. Miaka and Yui go to a library so Yui can return some books. Miaka, through a series of events wanders into the locked off section of the library and her and Yui find a mysterious ancient Chinese book called: The Universe of the Four Gods.
To make things short, the book is like a spell so Miaka and Yui get sucked in to it, and encounter slave traders. When things are looking really bad for them, a boy around their age with a chinese character on his head rescues them. Too bad he's a moneygrubber. Yui then takes a couple steps, and when Miaka turns her back Yui gets sucked out of the book. Miaka thinking that the boy took her, she runs off to find him. The Boy's name is Tamahome, and later Miaka and Tamahome encounter the narcissistic emperor Hotohori. It also turns out that Hotohori's kingdom is falling, and according to legend, the Priestess of Suzaku, a girl from another world will gather the Seven celestial warriors and save the kingdom. Hotohori tells Miaka that she is this Priestess and that when she gathers the seven warriors, the god Suzaku will grant her any wish. Which means Miaka could get into any school she wanted to. Miaka agrees, and finds out that Hotohori and Tamahome are celestial warriors, and so she begins her epic quest. It might sound a bit lighthearted, but it gets darker. There are 4 kingdoms, each with their own god, and priestess. They all begin searching for their priestess to grant their wishes. Miaka gets homesick and through a series of tasks and near-death she gets sent back home. When she gets home Yui is nowhere to be found. Miaka comes to realize the worst: Yui is in the book. Miaka goes back, and to her surprise 3 months have passed. Hotohori tells her she has to find the other Warriors, and fast. Miaka learns that the opposing kingdom is looking for their priestess of Seiryu. Miaka realizes that if they find Yui then they'd become enemies and so alone she travels to another kingdom. Tamahome is now in love with Miaka, as is Hotohori. There's a bit of rivalry between the two. Tamahome eventually finds Miaka and Yui. Yui is hopelessly in love with Tamahome, and when Miaka confesses that she had to come back to the book to be with him, Yui gets jealous. Yui traps Miaka ands tells her that she's going to take Tamahome away from her. So she stays, and Miaka and the warriors barely escape with their lives. But Miaka is now determined to find all of the other Suzaku Seven, and somehow rescue Yui.
Another thing I like is how they made some of the dialogue harsher than in the manga. Like when Yui says in the Manga: "You know what Miaka? I like Tamahome, so I'll take him from you." In the anime she says: "I love Tamahome, so I'll take him from you!"
There's a little bit of something for everybody, from comedy, to romance, to martial arts fighting, a good story, and PLENTY OF BISHOUNEN! You could watch this entire series and just gawk at the Boys if you wanted to. There's a lot of Super-Deformed sequences here, and they're really cute actually. My only complaints are the dub, and some of the melodrama gets very tedious. This series has sparks of originality all over it and I recomend it to anyone who likes a good series. You should check out the manga to see if you like it, and if you do, save the cash for the box sets. This is what shoujo manga, and anime is all about.