Appliance No. 2- Fushigi Yuugi (Episodes 1-3)

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Not really sure why we are calling these posts “Appliances” but I digress. Greetings everyone, RishRaff here. I decided to take my turn at writing about my little experience with Fushigi Yuugi, and my take on this fantasy series. So let’s dive in!

Summary: While visiting the National Library, junior-high students Miaka Yuuki and Yui Hongo are transported into the world of a mysterious book set in ancient China, “The Universe of The Four Gods.” Miaka suddenly finds herself with the responsibility of being the priestess of Suzaku, and must find all of her celestial warriors for the purpose of summoning Suzaku for three wishes; however, the enemy nation of the god Seiryuu has manipulated Yui into becoming the priestess of Seiryuu. As enemies, the former best friends begin their long struggle to summon their respective gods and obtain their wishes… -MyAnimeList

I ended up picking up this series during our second try at discovering a “hidden gem” of random anime DVDs. It was in those moments we decided to this side blog. I had picked it because besides slice-of-life, fantasy series are almost always my go to genre when exploring new anime. The summary from the back of the box talked about how basically there was a storybook and once one started reading it, they became part of the story set in ancient China. Now, its pretty easy how such a topic would be intriguing, and for the price of $4.20 for 7 episodes, it was not really much of risk.

I could tell from the art on the cover that Fushigi Yuugi would be a shoujo series, and in the past there have been a few shoujo anime I’ve thoroughly enjoyed, namely Shoujo Chara (except for the third season but that one does not exist), so I was not put off by this. It also was drawn like most 90s anime, so I also expected it to be a bit corny. With these expectations, I started watching.

Fushigi Yuugi

I only made it through the first three episodes, and I can tell you without a doubt that Fushigi Yuugi is not meant for my demographic, you know, a college age male. Before I get into what I did not like,  there were several things I enjoyed. Starting off, the main female Yuuki was quite charming as a protagonist. She was a bit of a glutton, and hyperactive to boot. I enjoyed most of her interactions with the other characters. The animation was nostalgic, and they even had the anime gag where people’s heads inflate and become more cartoonish as a form of emotional communication. That gag is one of my favorites, and is sorely missing from most modern anime. While it was corny, Fushigi Yuugi also got some genuine chuckles out of me. Overall, not my worst experience watching a random anime.

Even with these positives, there are a number of reasons holding me back from continuing with this anime. The first is just pure practicality, in that the entire series is 52 episodes! I do not have the time for that. Moving from there, Fushigi Yuugi had a few stylistic things for me to overcome that I could not just do. The corniness was pretty rough, especially the prolonged screaming when there were flashing lights or something. The shoujo elements were very pronounced, coming into their full when I realized the anime was going to be a reverse harem. Now, I’ve never seen any sort of reverse harem anime, and the only one I have any familiarity with is Ouran Host Club. Fushigi Yuugi cannot imagine anything like Ouran. The anime is not really bad, just not something I can see myself enjoying.

Apparently Fushigi Yuugi is actually pretty popular (based on its MyAnimeList rating), so maybe it gets better later on in the anime, but I will never find out. Anyway, I would encourage you to check it out if you want. Until next time, this is RishRaff signing out.

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