Flowing fabrics, jewels, wind swept hair, mythology, sparkles and so on. Fushigi Yugi by Yuu Watase is a Shojo Isekai reverse harem (sans the game mechanic trope) What’s not to love? My only question, where is truck kun?
Yuu Watase is is known for her works Fushigi Yūgi, Alice 19th, Ceres: The Celestial Legend, Fushigi Yūgi Genbu Kaiden and Absolute Boyfriend.
Watase has created more than 80 compiled volumes of short stories and continuing series. Because of her frequent use of beautiful male characters in her works, she is widely regarded in circles as a bishōnen manga artist.
I was introduced to Fushigi Yugi when a friend said my work reminded them of it . I had never heard of the title, but for her it was a classic of her teen years; I, unfortunately, wasn't introduced to manga until adulthood so I missed many classics of the 90's.
The dramatic flowing robes, hair, glittering jewels, mythology and magic; I can see the resemblance my friend saw between this and my own work. She encouraged me to check out the series, but I'm more interested in the art style so I decided to pick up the artbook instead. In hindsight, I should have gone straight for the manga.
Yuu Watase is is known for her works Fushigi Yūgi, Alice 19th, Ceres: The Celestial Legend, Fushigi Yūgi Genbu Kaiden and Absolute Boyfriend. Watase has created more than 80 compiled volumes of short stories and continuing series. Because of her frequent use of beautiful male characters in her works, she is widely regarded in circles as a bishōnen manga artist.
Fushigi Yugi tells the story of two teenaged girls, Miaka and Yui, who are pulled into The Universe of the Four Gods, a mysterious book at the National Diet Library. It is essentially based on four mythological creatures of China. Shogakukan serialized Fushigi Yûgi in Shōjo Comic from December 1991 to May 1996 and later compiled the manga into eighteen tankōbon volumes.
TLDR: head for the manga
Some of the layout and design decisions in this book are honestly, baffling. I frustrates me when art books place teenie tiny pictures on vast white pages, I mean, why bother. I know white space is good for resting the eye but this is excessive. I don’t need a rest! I want to exhaust my retinas! When I buy an A5 sized art book I want to bask in the artwork and contemplate it, if I want art postage stamps, I'll head to the post office. I find myself wanting to zoom in, but can’t because, well, it's paper.
Also, I know shojo is generally fuzzy but some of the larger images look like they are a disappointingly low resolution making the romantic blur look like a mistake of poor scanning. I get that the artwork is from the 90's but manga paper is larger than A4, so, unless it was scanned from a tankoban, that's not a good excuse.
Most of these larger images are made up of the nineteen pieces made specially for this book rather than covers and manga color spreads. Generally I enjoy the larger Viz soft cover art books but now I wonder about the smaller, hardback version? Are the images correctly sized or would we need a microscope?
Should I get it?
If you love shoujo and Fushigi Yugi the series, can't get enough, must collect it all, then, considering the extra art made specially for this book, by all means buy it. As an old book it’s easy to find at a discount and at full price is still only just above $20. If the hardback has less white space get that instead and hopefully the images aren't even smaller. Generally speaking, I'd say give this one a pass, get a manga volume instead.