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Film Friday- Fushigi Yuugi

Film Friday- Fushigi Yuugi

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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 to into the book’s world.

Studio Pierrot adapted the series into a 52-episode anime series. The show originally aired from April 6, 1995 through March 28, 1996 on the anime satellite channel Animax and on the regular cable channel 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.

Produced by Studio Pierrot, the fifty-two episode Fushigi Yûgi anime series premiered on Animax and 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.

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Manga Monday- Fushigi Yuugi

Manga Monday- Fushigi Yuugi

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Today’s Manga Monday is on Fushigi Yuugi and excellent shojo series from a master of her craft!

Fushigi Yūgi, also known as Fushigi Yûgi: The Mysterious Play or Curious Play, is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Yuu Watase. Shogakukan published Fushigi Yûgi in Shōjo Comic in its original serialized form from May 1992 through June 1996. Viz Media released the manga series in English in North America starting in 1999. Spanning eighteen volumes, Fushigi Yûgi 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.

A thirteen-volume Japanese light novel series also followed Fushigi Yûgi: Shōgakukan 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 Ibun was published in February 2015.

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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 January 2009, Viz is slated to re-release the series as part of their “VIZBIG” line, which usually combines two or three individual volumes of the original release into a single, larger volume.

Novels

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.

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