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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Manga Review: Fushigi Yugi

Fushigi Yugi (The Mysterious Play or Curious Play) by Yuu Watase 18 volumes-completed

Miaka opens a mysterious book that transports her to different universe with Four Gods. She becomes the maiden tasked to gather the seven guardians of the deity, Suzaku.

This blog owes its roots to Fushigi Yugi. The blog is turning 10 this year and it's high time that I read the one thing that started my very long engagement with reverse harem. This is also a first for me in reading a manga after already watching the anime. I did not have a proper review of the anime then since I watched it around early 2000 and I started this blog seven years after.

The story was relevant to my age and time then. But I have grown old up and my tastes have changed and I have watched a lot of shows since then. Sad to say, I'm not that a fan of Tamahome and Miaka now as much as I was so obsessed with the two before. I think when you're younger you're sucker for all things forbidden and you still have a different view of romance. But even though I love the two as a couple, I was also rooting equally then for Hotohori, Nuriko and Tasuki. Still is.  

I can say the anime improved the manga. They filled out the story as the manga is too fast paced especially their feelings for each other which is insta-love. They act as if a lot have already happened between them when they only just met. But wait is it the same in the anime? I can't remember now.

I thought I will probably not notice the differences but turns out some of my memories are still working. For example, there was no Amazon group in the anime and Tamahome's family didn't appear in the present time. Nuriko is also less interested with Miakai in the manga. But the storyline is such a haze to me now so it was like a refresher for me. The anime OVAs are also covered by by the manga.

One thing I enjoyed in reading the manga are the  extras from Yuu Watase. You get to see her feelings when she wrote it, her worries, the background, her hopes that it will be animated and then it  does get animated. The process is enlightening from a long-time fan. This time too I can now relate to Sui and Nakago and it is probably due to Watase's extras too. She gives a lot of insights to her characters.

In the anime we got introduced to the Genbu and Byakko warriors. It's weird because I have forgotten about the Genbu warriors from the anime but my memories with them are actually from Genbu Kaiden manga. I've stopped reading it but I'll be finishing it soon now. And good news, the Byakko manga series will officially start this October. I'm so nervous with how GK will ends. I mean we al know how it ends but still...

After completing Moonlight Drawn in the Clouds kdrama and then reading FY manga and watching Hwarang kdrama, I realized the King Incognito trope. It's the guys who hide their royal identity much to the heroine's surprise. The earliest I can remember is Fushigi Yugi, but it only took a few minutes for Miaka to realize the truth, then Basara to which it becomes the driving premise and later on Saiunkoku Monogatari but Shuurei see through him right away. I used to say Saiunkoku Monogatari is the closest thing to Fushigi Yugi's. But now I think the worthy successor is  Akatsuki no Yona.

But of course this is not trope it's really know for. It's safe to say Fushigi Yugi is one the of earliest animes that set the reverse harem trope. And aside from that, the timeslip and guardian quests which are still common in animes especially reverse harem. 

Now that I can see it's imperfections of FY it still doesn't change that this was my first love. Nothing can ever replace it in my heart. Tamahome and Miaka forever! There I said it.

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