Fushigi Yuugi A Watase continuation after the Ayashi no Ceres review ^.^
Creator: Yuu Watase | Length: 52 Episodes | TV SERIES

Story (8/10)

As mentioned in my previous Watase review, the story of Fushigi Yuugi is partly borrowed from an existing 'fairy tale' so to speak. This time though, Watase borrowed from the legend that when 7 stars of a constellation gather with a priestess from another world, the mascot [or animal/ God] of the zodiac can be summoned. The Priestess is granted 3 wishes and then can return back to her own world. This sounds a bit corny already and mystical~ but the story does suck you in like a large vacuum cleaner into the bag, because once you get the story of this, you are constantly trying to reveal what happens next.

Mixing ancient Chinese characters with modern day Japanese school students in a blender, Watase's [first] anime "Fushigi Yuugi" does have some flaws [namely ancient Chinese people speaking Japanese o_O], but is still quite enjoyable in terms of the story line and the characters. The fantasy of being able to open a book and fall into another world is rather captivating too~ so be prepared to fall in and out of alternate worlds.

Digging deeper into the story line, there are the love triangles/ rectangles/ pentagons [depending on how you see it] involving these characters and the two priestesses.

Characters (8/10)

All the characters have such a distinct personality in this- plus because this is a rather lengthy series with LOTS of characters [there are after all 4 constellations, each constellation with 7 starts- that's 28 plus all the other modern Japanese characters...].

The main character is Miaka. She isn't intelligent, she's meant to look mousey [well, everyone in the anime keeps calling her ugly and somewhat pudgy...] and at times I really, really want to kill her for her gluttony. I don't think a character in any other series has made me hate them so much like what Miaka has done lol~ which is a good thing in a way. I think the infuriating thing about Miaka is that she doesn't ever learn- she loves food, gets lured into a trap by food, and still loves food, and gets into a trap again. It sounds rather ludicrous, but when you think about it, there are really some people who are like that. There is a quirky love sequence with Miaka, Tamahome, Yui, Hotohori and Nuriko [all in different directions, mind you] - things get complicated. Sort of.

The protagonist male character is Tamahome of the [main constellation] Suzaku. He is the money obsessed young man who has suffered poverty and simply wants money to uphold his family needs. He is also the dashing blue haired guy Miaka and her best friend, Yui are after.

Yui is the intelligent non-Miaka type. What Miaka doesn't have, Yui has, and vice versa. So unfortunately since Miaka has Tamahome, Yui hasn't got him. Due to misunderstanding, Yui becomes the jealous best friend who tries to take revenge on Miaka [who is too naive to notice her best friend actually wants her to die, die, DIE] by summoning the [evil] Seiryuu constellation with her blonde side kick, Nakago who also has a rather pitiful history.

I will just about end the characters for now [you can't possibly talk about all of them in depth], but as a taste tester, the characters are CERTAINLY all very different.

Art/animation (6.5/10)
The art in Fushigi Yuugi is good [because it's Watase art], but I found that sometimes the colouring or the look of the characters is sometimes warped. Tamahome was too tanned in some sequences, and Miaka's face became deformed. Overall, the artbooks of Fushigi Yuugi are very beautiful and detailed, but the anime itself doesn't seem to be best of quality.

Voice acting, music (6/10)

Some may argue that they liked the music in this~ I for one loved the end theme, but many of the other songs [done by the seiyuu], aren't very good. It really is just a matter of opinion, but the opening theme to me is a bit jerky in terms of composition, and the tune does sound very, very freaky. I won't go in too much depth about the music, but some songs don't have "the flow". Haha- moving away from the music, the voice acting is generally done well, but there were some parts with sound and nobody was talking [unsynchronised >_>] and there were just strange noises in the background. I must also mention that I really found some voices annoying~ the cuteness was pushed too much to the point it wasn't really cute.

Overall (6.5/10)

I know for a fact that many people love the series for the diverse characters and storyline [which I admit are very well done]. But for Watase's first [or at least the first that I know of], the series was done a bit too amateur-ish.
Looking at the length of the series, too, 52 episodes would be fine if it was an anime like Weiss Kreuz or Rurouni Kenshin- animes that spent the first 10-20 episodes, each episode featuring a different story or message. But Fushigi Yuugi is a linear story, which is why 52 episodes gets a bit too melodramatic and long winded.
During the middle of the anime, the end song actually is playing when Suzaku finds the scroll to summon their God- but then the music is abruptly cut off when they mention continuing their journey elsewhere to find the other half of what they need to summon the God. By this stage I was already thinking about banging my head against the screen because I really wanted it over and done with. It did get a bit tedious watching (1) Miaka smooch with Tamahome (2) Miaka smooch with someone else (3) Other people smooching (4) Suzaku vs Seiryuu (5) Journeying.
Overall I really did wish that it was more succint and to the point- but as I acknowledge, many many people love this anime, and there's nothing wrong with that ^_^ I decided to write this section from another point of view, because I certainly didn't enjoy it as much as I did compared to others :P

The art of Fushigi Yuugi