Alternative Name The Mysterious Play; Curious Play; ふしぎ遊戯
Written by Yuu Watase
Original Run May 1992 – July 1996 (18 volumes completed)
Directed by Hajime Kagemaki
Producer Studio Pierrot
Original Run April 6, 1995 – Mar 28, 1996 (52 episodes finished)
Genre Action, Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Harem, Historical, Martial Arts, Psychological, Romance, Shoujo.
Junior high school best friends Miaka and Yui are taken into a mysterious book called The Universe of Four Gods upon its discovery. Their story then begins to unfold, both being destined to oppose one another as priestesses of two enemy kingdoms Suzaku and Seeiryu. Now their friendship put at stake, Miaka strives to retrieve her good terms with Yui while searching for their way back to their world.
There’s one memorabilia I wish to travel in my childhood – to enter the Universe of Four Gods. It is not an ordinary book where the reader only catches the words, but the one that literally sucks the reader as a character of the story. For me, it’s always been a book of dreams. I’ve always wanted to travel in Ancient China, being the priestess of one of the four kingdoms whose life is devoted to find Seven Constellations, to summon the beast God that results to saving the kingdom and have her own wishes granted. I’ve also dreamed of falling for a man who’s close to perfect – but nowhere to be found in my own universe.
This book can neither be found in the libraries nor in bookstores. It only exists in Fushigi Yuugi, an anime that marked my whole life. I discovered it first at 12 years old, when it was first aired in the Philippines few years after the anime became popular in Japan. Funnily enough, it brought me so much memories from my late childhood – how I would just sit in front of television every Friday night waiting for it, I would sport Miaka’s signature dumpling hairstyle and end up wearing it in a family gathering, I would imagine myself as Miaka and my childhood crushes as Tamahome and Hotohori respectively, and how I’ve always mistaken Fushigi Yuugi as ecchi (minimal porn) or hentai (extreme porn) based on Miaka and Tamahome’s sex love story, and not on the destiny that lies behind Miaka and Yui’s friendship ever since they became part of the book. Unfortunately, the airing was cut. It took my happiness away.
Few months ago, I found myself watching the same show again. And this time, it’s in front of my laptop – when the Internet is already on the rise. I’m still a loyal fan girl surprisingly after several years, while the other children back then seems to have forgotten how anime fanatics they once were. Besides, I find myself appreciating the anime in a more matured perspective. I found the story line deep and well-crafted, rolling those action, emotional, fantasy, and romantic scenes into one, involving many unexpected twists, and teaching us the most important values in life such as love and friendship over ambitions and success through evil deeds. It also taught us that experience is the best teacher, and our strong belief in our wishes drives us more in getting what we want no matter how it will cost our lives. And at the foremost, I can finally understand why the airing of Fushigi Yuugi was stopped. There were lots of scenes that are inappropriate for the young audience, particularly the abundance of nude sex scenes, or sexual acts (e.g. Nakago licking Tamahome’s face during the fight).
I didn’t regret not finishing the show back then. The Internet gave me hope to have a second glance, making me become a Fushigi Yuugi fan girl as I was once were. Other than Miaka as my all time favorite character, and Miaka xx Tamahome as my favorite couple are my other bets – Nakago, Nuriko, Amiboshi, Soi, Tomo, Tatara, Hikitsu, Tomite, Subaru, Tamahome’s master, Keisuke, Taitsukun’s nyan nyans, the Gods of the Four Kingdoms, that Seeiryu blue mark, and Miaka xx Yui best friend pair-up. I have so many plans in mind relating to my fandom status, be it creating fan fictions, cosplaying as Miaka both in school and priestess attires, purchasing any Fushigi Yuugi merchandises such as The Universe of Four Gods book, Miaka’s ribbons and outfits, Tasuki’s Rekka Shinen fan, and the Shinzahos, and downloading the entire Fushigi Yuugi soundtrack which I just did and found outstanding. Having so much of these plans already makes me one of the Fushigi Yuugi’s biggest fans.
All in all, Fushigi Yuugi is already part of my top favorite anime/manga list. Miaka’s also one of my favorite characters alongside Misa Amane and Mikasa Ackerman, and Miaka xx Tamahome among the best animanga loveteams. Miaka and Yui became my top favorite anime best friends recently, overtaking Lucy and Levy, as well as the K-On band members (although they are also close to awesome).
Who knows if I would still swoon over the same anime after 12, 24, and even 60 years?
“Herein contains the tale of a young lady and her quest to gather the seven Constellations of Suzaku together. And if you, the esteemed reader, should read to the story’s end, the spell contained within this book shall bestow you the powers of the heroine, and grant you your wish. For indeed the moment the page is turned, the story will become reality.” – The Universe of Four Gods (Fushigi Yuugi, volume 1, chapter 1).
Overall Rating 4.95/5 stars (9.9/10)