Cover of the first manga volume
|Genre||Fantasy, isekai, romance|
|Written by||Yuu Watase|
|Original run||May 1992 – July 1996|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Hajime Kamegaki|
|Written by||Yoshio Urasawa|
|Music by||Yusuke Honma|
|Original network||TV Tokyo|
|Original run||April 6, 1995 – March 28, 1996|
|Original video animation|
|Directed by||Hajime Kamegaki|
|Written by||Genki Yoshimura|
|Music by||Yusuke Honma|
|Released||October 25, 1996 – August 25, 1998|
|Runtime||25 minutes (each)|
|Written by||Megumi Nishizaki|
|Illustrated by||Yuu Watase|
|Original run||January 30, 1998 – September 26, 2003|
|Original video animation|
|Fushigi Yûgi Eikoden|
|Directed by||Nanako Shimazaki|
|Written by||Hiroaki Sato|
|Music by||Ryo Sakai|
|Released||December 21, 2001 – June 25, 2002|
|Runtime||30 minutes (each)|
Fushigi Yūgi (ふしぎ遊戯), also known as Fushigi Yûgi: The Mysterious Play or Curious Play, is a Japanese shōjo manga series written and illustrated by Yuu Watase. It 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. It is essentially based on four mythological creatures of China. Shogakukan published Fushigi Yûgi in Shōjo Comic in its original serialized form from May 1992 through June 1996, and compiled the series into eighteen tankōbon volumes.
Studio Pierrot adapted the series into a 52-episode anime series. The show originally aired from April 6, 1995 through March 28, 1996 on TV Tokyo. The anime series spawned three Original Video Animation releases, with the first having three episodes, the second having six, and the final OVA, Fushigi Yûgi Eikoden, spanning four episodes.
A thirteen-volume Japanese light novel series also followed Fushigi Yûgi. Shogakukan published the novels from January 30, 1998 to September 26, 2003. On October 25, 2003, Watase began releasing a prequel to the manga series, Fushigi Yûgi Genbu Kaiden, and ended in May 2013. Another prequel to the manga series, Fushigi Yûgi Byakko Senki was published on August 27, 2017.
The series describes the various trials of Miaka Yūki and Yui Hongo, two middle-school students. While at the library one day, Miaka and Yui encounter a strange book known as The Universe of the Four Gods. Reading this book transports them into the novel's universe in ancient China. Yui is transported back to the real world almost immediately, but Miaka finds herself the Priestess of Suzaku. Miaka is destined to gather the seven Celestial Warriors of the god Suzaku in order to summon Suzaku and obtain three wishes. She falls in love with the Celestial Warrior Tamahome, who eventually reciprocates and Miaka's desire to use a wish to enter the high school of her choice begins to shift towards finding a way to be with Tamahome. Yui is also drawn into the book when she tries to help Miaka to come back to the real world; becoming the Priestess of Seiryuu, working against Miaka out of jealousy over Tamahome and revenge for the humiliation and pain she had suffered when she first came into the book's world.
Written and illustrated by Yuu Watase, Fushigi Yûgi originally appeared in serial form in the monthly manga magazine Shōjo Comic. It premiered in the May 1992 issue and ran for over four years, with the final chapter appearing in the June 1996 issue. The series was simultaneously published in eighteen collected volumes by Shogakukan, with new volumes being released on a quarterly schedule.
In 1992, Viz Media licensed the manga for an English language release in North America. The series was originally released in a flipped trade paperback format, starting in August 1998. Several characters have both Japanese pronunciations and Chinese pronunciations. In 1998 Watase visited the United States and met with Viz staff members at their San Francisco headquarters. Viz kept the original Chinese names of characters at the request of Watase. Bill Flanagan, the editor of the English version, asked Watase if he should use the Chinese names for popular characters such as Tai Yi-Jun (Taitsukun) and she also asked for the Chinese names to be used there. The characters with names remaining in Japanese in the English version are the characters such as Tamahome who have Japanese pronunciations of ancient constellations; there was never any intention of them having Chinese names.
This caused some confusion for fans as the anime version uses the Japanese names. For example, in the manga, Hotohori's country is named "Hong-Nan" rather than the "Konan" found in the anime series. After eight volumes, Viz stopped publication of Fushigi Yûgi, reviving it in June 2003 when it released the first two volumes in unflipped standard manga size volumes. The remaining volumes were released on a quarterly schedule, including the remaining ten volumes. The final volume of the series was released in April 2006. The dates and ISBN numbers given for the first eight volumes in the table on the link above are for the second edition releases.
Viz also serialized Fushigi Yûgi in their manga anthology magazine, Animerica Extra, starting with the October 1998 debut issue and running until the December 2004 issue, the magazine's final issue. In 2009 and 2010, Viz re-released the series as part of their "VIZBIG" line, combining three individual volumes of the original release into each single, larger volume.
Produced by Studio Pierrot, the fifty-two episode Fushigi Yûgi anime series premiered on TV Tokyo on April 6, 1995. The series aired weekly, until the final episode that was aired on March 28, 1996. The series was licensed for English-language release to Region 1 DVD and VHS format by Geneon Entertainment, then named Pioneer, under the expanded title "Fushigi Yûgi: The Mysterious Play." It has been suggested that Geneon chose to license the series based on its popularity among the fansub community. The main series was released in eight individual volumes and as two box sets, the "Suzaku" and "Seiryū" sets. Media Blasters license-rescued the series, and released the first season to DVD on June 19, 2012. Season 2 was released on February 12, 2013.
Original video animations
Following the anime adaptation three original video animation (OVA) works appeared. The first, spanning three episodes, takes place a year after the events of the main series and has no ties to the original manga. It was released to DVD on October 25, 1996. The second OVA, which has 6 episodes, animates the last four volumes of the manga series that had been left out of the main series. The episodes were split across two volumes, with the first released May 25, 1997, and the second coming over a year later on August 25, 1998.
The final OVA, Fushigi Yûgi Eikoden, spans four episodes and is based on two of the light novels written by Megumi Nishizaki. Released on December 21, 2001, it focuses on a new character, Mayo Sakaki, a sixteen-year-old girl who attends Yotsubadai High School. Upon finding "The Universe of the Four Gods" in a trash bin at the park, Mayo soon discovers that the story remains incomplete. In the unfamiliar world of the book, Mayo must come to terms with her own life and the unhappiness within it.
Geneon Entertainment also licensed the OVAs for Region 1 DVD release. The first two OVAs were released together in a set titled "Fushigi Yûgi: The Mysterious Play OVA". Fushigi Yûgi Eikoden was released as a single disc volume. The OVAs were released with similar packaging as the main series, to give them a consistent look. All three OVA series have also been re-licensed by Media Blasters.
Over a series of five years, Megumi Nishizaki wrote thirteen Japanese light novels based on Fushigi Yûgi. Illustrated by Yuu Watase, Fushigi Yûgi Gaiden primarily explores the lives the various Celestial Warriors before they are seen in the manga. The only two novels to be set after the manga, Eikō Den (Jōkan) and Eikō Den (Gekan), later became the basis for the third Fushigi Yûgi original video animation, Fushigi Yûgi Eikoden. Originally published by Shogakukan, none of the novels have been licensed for English release.
|1||Transcription: "Genrō Den" (Japanese: 幻狼伝)||January 30, 1998||ISBN 978-4094207736|
|Details Tasuki's life between joining the Mt. Reikaku Bandits and Miaka's appearance.|
|2||Transcription: "Shōryū Den" (Japanese: 昇龍伝)||July 23, 1998||ISBN 978-4094207743|
|Chichiri's life shortly after the accident when he loses his eye to his first meeting with Miaka.|
|3||Transcription: "Yuki Yasha Den" (Japanese: 雪夜叉伝)||February 2, 1999||ISBN 978-4094207750|
|Details how Nuriko became a cross-dresser and entered the imperial harem.|
|4||Transcription: "Ryūsei Den" (Japanese: 流星伝)||April 23, 1999||ISBN 978-4094207767|
|Details Amiboshi and Suboshi's tragic past.|
|5||Transcription: "Suzaku Hi Den" (Japanese: 朱雀悲伝)||July 1999||ISBN 978-4094207774|
|The story of emperor Hotohori, his brother Tendō and their relationship with Hōki. This story is later told by Hōki herself to Mayo Sakaki in the Eikoden OVA.|
|6||Transcription: "Seiran Den" (Japanese: 青藍伝)||December 1, 1999||ISBN 978-4094207781|
|Details Nakago's past and his rise to power within the Kutō army.|
|7||Transcription: "Eikō Den (Jōkan)" (Japanese: 永光伝(上巻))||February 1, 2000||ISBN 978-4094207798|
|Set ten years after the final events in the manga, Mayo enters The Universe of the Four Gods. Unhappy with her own life, Mayo wants to achieve a storybook ending with Taka, whom she has a crush on.|
|8||Transcription: "Eikō Den (Gekan)" (Japanese: 永光伝(下巻))||March 1, 2000||ISBN 978-4094207804|
|Continues Mayo's story as she is tricked by a false Suzaku, and saved by Miaka.|
|9||Transcription: "Shugyoku Den" (Japanese: 朱玉伝)||December 21, 2001||ISBN 978-4094207897|
|Tamahome's life from his training under Tokaki to when he first meets Miaka and Yui. This novel also tells Miaka's backstory and her connection with Tamahome during the years of the manifestation of his powers.|
|10||Transcription: "Hōmei Den" (Japanese: 逢命伝)||March 1, 2002||ISBN 978-4094207903|
|Details Mitsukake's romance with Shōka.|
|11||Transcription: "Yūai Den" (Japanese: 優愛伝)||April 26, 2002||ISBN 978-4094208214|
|Recounts Chiriko's whereabouts before he joined the rest of the Suzaku Warriors.|
|12||Transcription: "Sanbō Den (Jōkan)" (Japanese: 三宝伝(上巻))||July 1, 2003||ISBN 978-4094208221|
|Explains how Tenkō used his powers to influence people to do his bidding to break the seal the Four Beast Gods placed on him, as well as to gather the Shinzaho of Genbu, Byakko, Seiryuu and Suzaku. The two main characters are Chichiri and Tasuki.|
|13||Transcription: "Sanbō Den 2 (Gekan)" (Japanese: 三宝伝(下巻))||September 26, 2003||ISBN 978-4094208238|
|Continues story from part 1.|
Idea Factory released a Sony PlayStation 2 video game based on the Fushigi Yûgi series called Fushigi Yûgi: Suzaku Ibun (ふしぎ遊戯 朱雀異聞). It was released in Japan on May 29, 2008 on the PlayStation 2, and is available in regular and limited editions.
A live-action 2.5D musical stage adaptation ran from October 13–21, 2018. The cast features Reina Tanaka as Miaka, Rina Miyazaki as Yui, Ryo Hirano as Tamahome, Mao Miyaji as Nuriko, Yoshiki Tani as Hotohori, Ken Ogasawara as Mitsukake, Subaru Hayama as Chichiri, Kunta Yamasaki as Tasuki, and Daiki Tomida as Chiriko.
THEM Anime Reviews preferred the manga to the anime, criticizing the latter's production values, repetitious dialogue, and reuse of footage in flashback episodes. DVD Verdict criticized the "convoluted" plot and "nonsensical" dialogue. Another review noted that although Miaka "makes out with her boyfriend quite a bit", the climax is "of the heart and soul", despite the many battles that the characters go through. Her strength and belief in herself give her the strength and courage to change the world. Drazen considers the humour in Fushigi Yûgi to be based on super deformed caricatures and therefore strange to Western audiences.
Winnie Chow of Animerica was disappointed by the ending of the anime adaptation, finding the final battle that resolves the series to be "lame at best" that left her cheering more for Nakago than the "good guys". Throughout the series, she notes that the scenes between Miaka and Tamahome became "increasingly sickening" and "overdone".
Fushigi Yûgi Eikoden was panned by THEM Anime Reviews, which considered the animation to be its only strong point. In particular, the reviewer found the new main character to be unlikeable.
- "The Official Website for Fushigi Yûgi". Viz Media. Retrieved October 28, 2017.
- Loveridge, Lynzee (August 20, 2017). "8 Anime That Were Isekai Before It Was Cool". Anime News Network. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
- "Curious Play". Animax Asia. Archived from the original on 7 September 2011. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
- "Viz Builds Strong Shōjo Slate". ICv2. 2001-09-06. Retrieved 2008-02-23.
- Watase, Yû. Fushigi Yûgi: The Mysterious Play. Volume 1: Priestess (contains content from Animerica Extra from Volume 1, Issue 1 through Volume 2, Issue 4). Second Printing, May 2004. p. 202.
- Lavey, Megan (2004-04-13). "Fushigi Yûgi (Shōjo Edition) Vol. #01". Anime on DVD. Archived from the original on 2008-04-18. Retrieved 2008-02-04.
- "Viz Announces Release of Second Edition Manga Titles" (Press release). Viz Media. 2004-03-18. Archived from the original on 2009-12-30. Retrieved 2008-02-23.
- "Amazon: Viz Adds Gaba Kawa, Heaven's Will, Oishinbo". Anime News Network. 2008-02-24. Retrieved 2008-02-24.
- ふしぎ遊戯 (in Japanese). Pierrot. Archived from the original on June 5, 2012. Retrieved January 3, 2020.
- Of Otaku and Fansubs: A Critical ^·^ Light of Current Issues in Copyright Law
- "Media Blasters Reveals Fushigi Yuugi Boxset for April". Anime News Network. 12 January 2012.
- "Sailor Moon Explained, Plus Fushigi Yugi, Cardcaptors, More". ICv2. 2001-08-12. Retrieved 2008-02-23.
- Note: ISBNs for all of the novels have been retrieved from Amazon.co.jp. Kanji and rōmaji titles were retrieved from Webcat Plus Archived 2008-02-01 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Fushigi Yuugi: Suzaku Ibun". GameFAQs. Retrieved 2008-02-06.
- "Fushigi Yûgi: Suzaku Ibun". Idea Factory. Retrieved 2010-04-28.
- ミュージカル『ふしぎ遊戯-蒼ノ章-』田中れいな、平野良らキャラクタービジュアルを公開. Enterstage (in Japanese). 2018-08-12. Retrieved 2018-08-12.
- Fushigi Yugi: The Mysterious Play THEM Anime Reviews
- Fushigi Yugi: The Mysterious Play...The Return Home (Volume 2) DVD Verdict
- "the new stereotypes of anime and manga". Archived from the original on 2008-05-11. Retrieved 2008-04-27.
- Drazen, Patrick (October 2002). Anime Explosion! The What? Why? & Wow! of Japanese Animation. Berkeley, California: Stone Bridge Press. pp. 281–282. ISBN 1-880656-72-8. OCLC 50898281.
- Chow, Winnie (November 2000). "Best of the West Reviews: Fushigi Yūgi: The Mysterious Play, Vol. 16: The Last Page". Animerica. San Francisco, California: Viz Media. 8 (10): 71. ISSN 1067-0831. OCLC 27130932.
- THEM Anime Reviews 4.0 - Fushigi Yugi: The Mysterious Play: Eikoden
- Official Viz Media Fushigi Yûgi manga series site
- Official Studio Pierrot Fushigi Yûgi anime series site (in Japanese)
- Fushigi Yûgi (manga) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia