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.