Fushigi yugi 11Another lovely cover from Fushigi Yugi. I really like the soft pink and it’s nice to see Yui, Tatsuki, and Chichiri on another cover. Also, the brown and pick just mixes very well in my eyes.

Summary


Amiboshi attempts to protect Miaka, but Tomo is too much for him and easily wounds him. Fortunately for Miaka and Amiboshi, Suboshi arrives not long after. He also came to the village after feeling his brother’s chi and kills Tomo in a surprise attack for wounding his brother. Amiboshi attempts to convince Suboshi to abandon his mission as a Seiryu celestial warrior by drinking the oblivion herb and coming to live with him in the village. Suboshi replies by forcing Amiboshi to drink the herb and saying he cannot abandon Yui because he loves her.

Once his brother falls unconscious, Suboshi corners Miaka and tells her that he will return the pain she caused Yui to feel. Miaka tries to plea with him, but he doesn’t listen. Lucky for her though, Tamahome and the her other warriors show up and stop Suboshi. Seeing that he is greatly outnumbered, Suboshi flees with Amiboshi and leaves him in the village, sorrowfully thinking that this time his brother will really forget everything about being a Seiryu warrior and even him.

Meanwhile, the Suzaku warriors make it to the real Xi-Lang this time and stay in the home of Tamahome’s teacher, Tokaki. However, this time Tamahome starts acting strange when he kisses Miaka and tells her that this is the extent of his feelings and then begins to act cold toward her. Miaka hears about a legend that if you kiss at sundown in the Pagoda in the capital, you will be eternally bound to that person. However, the Pagoda is very dangerous right now as many people have died there. Nevertheless, Miaka decides to go there and tells Tamahome that if he still loves her, to come and see her there before the sun sets.

When Tamahome tells the others where Miaka has gone, they realize she is in great danger and rush to the Pagoda. Unfortunately by the time they arrive, it is already dark and Miaka is gone. She noticed Yui and followed after her. Unfortunately, this seems to be a part of Nakago’s plan and one of Seiryu celestial warriors, Miboshi, seals her voice, so that when Yui comes to meet Miaka, she is unable to say anything. Fortunately, even in this state, Miaka is able to communicate to Yui that she still cares for her and the Byakko celestial warrior, Tatara, give Miaka the Shentso-Pao not long afterwards. However this happy reunion turns sour when Yui sees Tamahome and confronts him about not being able to stay with Miaka to which he replies if she cannot stay here, he will go with her to her world. This prompts another fit of jealous rage in Yui and she steals the Byakko Shentso-Pao from Miaka and begins the ceremony to summon Seiryu.

The Suzaku and Byakko warriors attempt to take back the Shentso-Pao, but they are held back by Miboshi, who steals Chiriko’s body after Tatara kills his current body. Chiriko, determined not to let Miboshi kill his comrades, stabs himself and holds Miboshi within him. He also tells the others not to heal him because that would heal Miboshi. Instead he plans to die and take Miboshi with him. This brings volume 11 to one tense end.

My Thoughts


I’ll start by saying that volume 11 is an improvement over volume 10. It’s not free of questionable tropes and scenarios though, but it is better than the almost obsession that volume 10 had with virginity. I will also say that the first half of volume 11 was pretty unbearable for a number of reasons. First we have a continuation of the shit that went on in volume 10 by having Suboshi attempt to rape Miaka as revenge for Yui. Now, he doesn’t even get a chance since the Suzaku warriors show up not long after he makes his intentions clear, but the fact that he considers raping Miaka as revenge is just all sorts of messed up. For one, he sees how much being raped has hurt Yui, yet he thinks it’s ok to do that sort of harm to another girl? Let that sink in: he thinks it’s ok for him to do the same sort of thing that haunts Yui to another girl. It would be one thing if he hopes Miaka gets raped, but quite another if he, himself, feels ok with doing that to her. The latter is just, well, really messed up in a number of ways, especially since Suboshi supposedly empathizes with Yui. How can he empathize with her pain and then turn around and be ok with being the person that inflicts the same sort of pain on another person? This is taking rage to a whole other unnatural level, I think.

Then we have the return of jealous female squabbling over Tamahome. Let me be clear, I am sick and tired of this showing up in manga, especially when in the case of Yui, it makes no god damn sense! For one, Fushigi Yugi keeps making it a point that Yui really loves and cares for Miaka, but then we have her get angry that Miaka will have her happily ever after, why? No really why? That is inconsistent and makes no sense. Either play her bitterness straight (and give her no redemptive qualities), or give her a long prolonged break down before turning her bitter to actually keep everything we know about Yui in line. Her switching emotions at the drop of the hat is very unnatural. In fact, it’s the same thing Miaka suffers from too. We see her jumping around, from one emotion to another, with no clear logic or rhythm. At first I thought Miaka was just being a hypocrite about feeling guilty about what happened to Yui because she kept going in and out of that guilt whenever it suited her (i.e. when her love for Tamahome was in jeopardy, she’d conveniently remember she needs to make up with Yui), but seeing Yui’s bitterness at Miaka’s happiness and her love for her friend at play in this volume, I’m almost certain now that the fault lies with Ms.Watase. Basically, Ms.Watase isn’t giving the characters enough inner monologue or time to really express their emotions, nor can she write a properly conflicted character since both Miaka and Yui appear almost schizophrenic with their emotions rather than truly conflicted. There is no real continuum in what they feel, but rather there are these bursts of emotion that bear no lasting consequences nor any connection to what they were previously feeling. This causes the characters to feel contradictory and very shallow.

The other jealous squabbling happened between Miaka and a newly introduced girl called Xi-Fang that was adapted by Tokaki and Subaru. Here, once again, it was totally unnecessary since this character is clearly only introduced for the jealous squabbling and nothing more. I can’t see her character being in any way important except to antagonize Miaka by trying to steal Tamahome away, and that just rubs me the wrong way. It feeds into the idea that women are naturally enemies and always trying to steal another women’s man, or that men are more important to women than female friendship. I could let it go with Yui since it was on some level believable why she would be so bitter, but with this throw away character? Nope. And honest to god, I think we’ve had enough of that in Fushigi Yugi already (what with Nuriko and Yui both having a volume devoted to that). The tension with Tamahome’s cold break up was really more than enough. There was no real need to add a 10th wheel to the mix to stir things up even worse. Hell, she really makes no difference because even without her antagonisms, Miaka would have clearly been heart broken and confused about Tamahome’s coldness to her. The only real thing she added was to outshine Miaka in her female skills, aka the cook off. Yes, that also takes place in this volume, the dreaded cook off. Honestly, I wouldn’t have even cared if this cook off wasn’t framed in a way of woman versus woman and then having Miaka all depressed cause her cooking sucks and Xi-Fang’s cooking is amazing. Yeah, it’s nice Miaka wanted to help her warriors in some way, but the rest of the implications? No thank you! I do not think cooking is oh so important that you would need to sulk because you fail at it. Please authors, stop implying it is oh so essential to womanhood by writing these ridiculous cook offs and subsequent sulking if said character fails into your stories.

I’m not even going to touch how silly the idea that all she has to do is kiss Tamahome at a special place and at a special time to solve all their relationship problems is because I’d be ranting about the bad in this volume forever. Instead I’m going to talk about what was actually interesting and good about volume 11 now. I would say after the halfway mark (after Miaka follows Yui to be exact), the story started to improve and actually went in an interesting direction, which partly redeemed this volume. First of all, I think the revelation that they cannot be together is a nice twist. I would totally be happy if the ending was bitter sweet too, but I know that’s not going to happen thanks to spoilers, so that’s a real missed opportunity, but still an interesting development. That said, I can’t help but feel like it was included so that Miaka would not have to bear the consequences of choosing to stay inside a book. Clearly she has decided to stay in the book, but if that wish can never be granted, she has no choice but to return to reality. So while it’s definitely an interesting development (and would have been great for a really bitter sweet end), knowing that she gets around this development makes it feel like a crop out. Also Tatara being happy as long as his lover is happy and not regretting their time together is probably the best message Fushigi Yugi has even stated. This is it, this is exactly what love is about. Not bitter jealous squabbles, not possessive creepy shit, just loving a person so much that even if you cannot be with them, you regret nothing. Thank you Fushigi Yugi!

Finally I’m really curious what happens next since Yui is pretty much ready to summon Seiryu and she tells Nakago that she will grant him one wish in return for his kindness to her. This cannot end well. D: Also, damn Nakago is ruthless. He tells Yui he loves her just to get her to grant him his wish. Poor Yui, she really has the short end of the stick. 3 of her warriors are monstrous/not attractive, 1 is a woman, 1 is in love with Miaka, and 1 is a lying manipulative jerk. The only warrior on her side is Suboshi. :( I really like him and Yui together. They seem to really help each other out. Yui in helping Suboshi come to terms with his brother’s “death” and Suboshi telling Yui he will be here for her during the ceremony. Too bad Yui doesn’t get a miracle romance end like Miaka. :( Well either way, the developments halfway through volume 11 have restored my interest in Fushigi Yugi and I will be picking up more volumes at some point.

–SW

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