Fushigi Yuugi (ふしぎ 遊戯, Fushigi Yūgi, lit. Mysterious Play) also known as Curious Play is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Yuu Watase. It was originally serialized in Shōjo Comic from May 1992 through June 1996. The manga series was given an English language release in North America by Viz Media, which started in 1999. Spanning eighteen volumes, Fushigi Yuugi tells the story of two teenaged girls, Miaka and Yui, who are pulled into "The Universe of the Four Gods", a mysterious book at the National Library.
The plot revolves around fifteen-year-old Miaka Yuuki, a typical high school girl whose main concerns are boys, food, and shopping. Living with her single mom and brother, Miaka attends junior high school, barely passing her classes and being constantly reprimanded by her best friend and resident genius Yui Hongo. When Yui goes to the library one afternoon, Miaka tags along. In the restricted room of the library, the two girls come across a book titled, "The Universe of the Four Gods." They begin to read it, and magically they are sucked into ancient China. Eventually, Yui is able to leave the book, leaving Miaka alone in a strange world with a greedy stranger known only as Tamahome. Miaka is then taken to the emperor of the empire she landed in and is told that she is the savior they've been waiting for, the Priestess of Suzaku who will summon the Beast God and save Konan. As it turns out, each Priestess has seven warriors that were born to protect her, Tamahome, and the Emperor Hotohori, being two of them. Now Miaka must embark on a quest to find the remaining warriors and then she can save the world
Naturally, the road is never easy, and some fairly predictable situations occur. Love triangles, rivalries, concerned older siblings, and typical young love blossom throughout the fifty-two episode series. Despite some standard clichés that come with the "teenaged girl saves the world" scenario, there are some moments of genuine, gut-wrenching storytelling. Each character has a very elaborate backstory, and while not every character has tragic origins, each one is the way they are because of the events of their past. Only a handful of the back stories are told, some of them evoking pure emotional responses from the view. Other time it's not so much their past, as their present that makes the view reach for a box of tissues.
The anime only follows part one of Fushigi Yugi. Part two was covered in a series of OVAs (see below)
Main Article: Anime
The series became very popular and was later adapted into a 52 episode anime series by Studio Pierrot. The series originally aired from April 6, 1995, through March 28, 1996, on the anime satellite channel Animax and the regular cable channel TV Tokyo. The anime series was followed by three Original Video Animation releases, with the first having three episodes, the second having six, and the final OVA, Fushigi Yuugi Eikoden, spanning four episodes. A thirteen volume Japanese light novel series also followed Fushigi Yuugi. The novels were published by Shōgakukan from January 30, 1998, to September 26, 2003. On October 25, 2003, Watase began releasing a prequel to the manga series, Fushigi Yuugi Genbu Kaiden.
Cast of Characters
Main Article: Characters
|Miaka Yuki||Yui Hongo|
|Genbu||Byakko||Mt. Taikyoku||Other Characters||Real World||OVA|
|Tomite||Tatara||Taiitsukun||You Houki||Taka Sukunami||Tenkou|
|Hikitsu||Subaru||Nyan-Nyan||Kouji||Keisuke Yuki||Mayo Sakaki|
|Tokaki||Korin||Kajiwara Tetsuya||Shigyou Renhou|
|Rouko||Hikari Sukunami||Kashimiro Miiru|
Main Article: Light Novels
Fushigi Yuugi's "Light Novels", known originally in Japanese as "Gaiden"( 外伝 ), which can also mean "side stories", were written by Megumi Nishizaki and illustrated by Yuu Watase. There are thirteen of them and only nine describe the lives of the Celestial Warriors (All of the Suzaku and a few of the Seiryuu) before they were seen in the manga. Two are set after the manga and the third OVA series was based on these said novels.
All were published by Shogakukan and not a single one has been licensed in English, although there have been translations by fans.
- Eikoden 1 & 2 ("The Legend of Eternal Light") - The Fushigi Yuugi sequel.
- Sanbou Den 1 & 2 ("The Legend of the Three Talismans") - A sequel to part 1 of the OVAs and a prequel of part 2. Features Tasuki and Chichiri.
- Shugyoku Den ("The Legend of the Red Jewel") - Tamahome's Light Novel.
- Suzaku Hi Den ("The Legend of Suzaku’s Sorrow") - Hotohori's Light Novel.
- Yukiyasha Den ("The Legend of Yukiyasha") - Nuriko's Light Novel.
- Shouryuu Den ("The Legend of Shouryuu [Rising Dragon]") - Chichiri's Light Novel.
- Genro Den ("The Legend of Genro") - Tasuki's Light Novel.
- Yuuai Den ("The Legend of Yuuai") - Chiriko's Light Novel.
- Oumei Den ("The Legend of Fated Encounter") - Mitsukake's Light Novel.
- Seiran Den ("Indigo Legend") - Nakago's Light Novel.
- Ryuusei Den ("The Legend of Shooting Star") - Amiboshi and Suboshi's Light Novel.