a.k.a. The Mysterious Play: Eikouden
Miaka and Taka (the reborn form of the ancient Chinese hunk, Tamahome) finally got married! Everything in the world is now perfect for them… but not for others. Sakaki Mayo is terribly heartbroken to see Taka tie the knot, which, of course, means she develops a burning hatred for Miaka. Mayo stumbles upon the “Universe of the Four Gods” and learns about Miaka’s adventures in the book. With the book now in Mayo’s hands, who knows what could happen! Will Miaka and Taka finally get the peace they deserve?
summary by Kei
Highs: Something different from the basic Fushigi Yuugi formula; great artwork
Lows: Out of place CGI; too short to develop
As the newest installment in the Fushigi Yuugi legacy, Eikouden had me a bit wary at first. Sure, I absolutely loved Fushigi Yuugi, but I was incredibly disappointed with the first two Fushigi Yuugi OVA series. Thankfully, Eikouden revitalized my hope for these sequels.
OK, so it does start out with the basic Fushigi Yuugi formula: Miaka and Tamahome get separated somehow, insert new vengeful female character, lather, rinse, repeat. However, it’s after this that Eikouden starts to shine. For starters, Miaka only has about ten minutes of total screen time throughout the four OVA.
Secondly, we get to meet the reborn versions of the seishi. This basically gives us a new opportunity to fall in love again with characters we enjoyed the first time around. Also, characters who barely had any time to develop in the television series or previous OVA had a small time to shine; in particular, Hotohori’s wife Houki.
Sadly, as expected, four OVA is really not enough time to fully develop a storyline. The use of CGI in Eikouden not only felt completely random but also very out of place. As much as I hate to say it, I’m beginning to think that the Fushigi Yuugi franchise has been milked for all that it’s worth. I hope Watase-sama feels the same way and finally decides to move on.
Fushigi Yuugi Eikouden can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.