What I’ve done this week is work, and watch anime. I finished up watching Fushigi Yûgi once more, at least the 52 episodes of the original series, and I noticed something about it I hadn’t previously. The second season is much slower than the first. There are some parts in the beginning that were really moving, but then it was a boring drag until the end. Then they rushed the ending. It happened really quickly. Everything was resolved in the last two episodes, then they threw in a happy ending that made little sense.
There are OVA’s out there that try to do a better job of wrapping things up, and I own them, but I’m not sure I want to invest the time to rewatch them again. Certainly the series remains one that I’m fond of, but after watching it again I think it’s mostly because of the first season. You could tell the second season had budget issues, as they reused animation over and over again and it wasn’t as well animated. Though admittedly the final episodes were still beautiful. Perhaps they just saved up all their money for the ending.
Miaka is annoying, that’s kinda who she is, but at least in the first season she seemed like a strong person. As the series continued she was always crying out for rescue as opposed to trying to get out on her own. Heck in the first few episodes she takes on a street gang and almost singlehandedly defeats them. Later on she goes off on her own, but then just kinda gives up instead of defending herself. And don’t get me started on Yui. I was sympathetic to her plight up to a point. Then she goes off and just becomes an idiot.
Now I watched all this from my mismatched collection of VHS’s I got years ago. It’s half in english, while the other half is subtitled. The only thing of value in my mind to the dub is the voice of Tasuki. I have a special fondness for that particular voice actor. My first exposure to him was in the amazing dub of Bastard. I love that anime so much everytime I hear his voice I get giddy. Then later I found out he did the voice for Cosmo from the Fairly Oddparents. Tasuki’s voice is like a mashup of both characters, and it’s amusing to hear him go from serious and broodingly violent, to silly slapstick.
There is also the english voice for Miaka. The woman who does her voice is also one of my favorite voices from anime. She’s Mahoro from Mahoromatic. She’s just the sweetest thing ever. I can’t help but tear up thinking about that show. You’d understand if you even just watch the first episode simply because the end of each episode they give the number of days left she has to live. Now that anime is one that has affected me greatly. It may not be for everyone, being a romcom and a bit ecchi, but I find it something amazing. The second season of it may not be as good as the first, but the ending is something I’ve never seen before. That all being said I don’t think she was well cast as the voice for Miaka. She didn’t come off being the same zany and food crazy girl Miaka is in Japanese.
So in conclusion for Fushigi Yûgi I have to rate the seasons separately. The first one is a funny exciting adventure, and I’d give it a good solid 8 out of 10. The second on the other hand wasn’t well paced, and it lost some of its humor for that. There are a few moving scenes, and those deserve props, but mostly it was a drag to get through. I’d give it a 6 out of 10 at most. Putting those two scores together I wind up rating it a 7. Still good, but not something to go out of your way for.
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