Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Fushigi Yûgi, VizBig Vol. 1

Story and Art by Yuu Watase
Published in the US by TokyoPop

Slugline: I still remember the endless cries of "Tamahome!"

Miaka is a typical junior high school student that is studying hard to get into a prestigious high school, when while studying at the library she discovers a book describing a magical world. That book transports both her and her best friend Yui to that world where they meet Tamahome, a money obsessed martial artist. They girls travel back and forth from Japan and the world of the book, separately and together until misunderstandings and deceptions cause Yui and Miaka to be allied to different empires. This is important because they can fulfill a prophecy by becoming priestesses, allowing them to have wishes that can make or break empires. Each priestess will have seven protectors, who are necessary to fulfill the prophecy so Miaka begins the search for them even as she falls more in love with Tamahome.

Fushigi Yûgi was one of the first big shojo animes so it had and probably still has a fairly big following but by modern standards it is about as subtle a brick. Not that modern shojo is very subtle either, but people could mock it by randomly calling out Tamahome since Miaka seemed to cry it out every 10 minutes in the anime. The manga is not quite as bad but Miaka still is an airhead and you wonder how she can manage to focus on anything long enough to finish it. But despite that, the story does carry you along and it becomes almost addictive, reading (or watching) as much as you can just to see what happens next. Or to see if Miaka will ever be mature enough to avoid calling to Tamahome every time her moods change.

Fushigi Yûgi, VizBig Vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.

- Ferdinand

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