Fushigi Yuugi
{Mysterious Play}

Author - Yuu Watase :: Volumes - 18 :: Pub Date - 1992 ~ 1996
Publisher - Shogakukan :: Comic Company - Flower Comics

Junior high student, Yuuki Miaka, and her friend, Hongo Yui open the book by the title of Shijintenchisho out of pure curiosity, which leads to more trouble than it may have been worth. Surrounded by a warm red light, they are magically transported into the world book. Barely a minute after first landing in this world, the twosome are threatened by bandits who wish to sell the girls into slavery.  Luckily, Miaka and Yui are saved by a handsome young man ... who leaves in a huff shortly after discovering the girls have money to offer him in return for the service. Suddenly, the red light appears again and the two girls are brought back to the real world.  As time goes on, Miaka becomes obsessed with both visions of mysterious young man and the appeal of leaving this world and its problems behind.  Alone, she goes back to the library to open the book once more. What follows is a complex story of blind love, misled hate, stupid courageousness, and a bunch of bishounen (cute guys).

This was the first series I ever owned by the amazing Yuu Watase. It was the big shove that got me into the world of anime and manga (thus the real reason for the high rating). Volumes 1-13 contain the main plot line, and then the last five books have a second story that was added because of the immense popularity of the anime series. Both stories are wonderful and the artwork is beautiful. There are translations for most of the series and even graphic novels are available. Even so, the anime series follows the manga pretty closely, so the Japanese manga can be easily understood if you've seen the anime. The first OAV doesn't appear anywhere in the manga, though.  Anyway, you have to love Watase-sama for her cliff hangers and her ability to kill off anyone ... and the omakes (Fushigi Agyu) are absolutely hilarious.

Rating - 10

ISBN Numbers
01 ~ 4091343511 02 ~ 409134352X 03 ~ 4091343538 04 ~ 4091343546
05 ~ 4091343554 06 ~ 4091343562 07 ~ 4091343570 08 ~ 4091343589
09 ~ 4091343597 10 ~ 4091343600 11 ~ 4091362214 12 ~ 4091362222
13 ~ 4091362230 14 ~ 4091362249 15 ~ 4091362257 16 ~ 4091362265
17 ~ 4091362273 18 ~ 4091362281    

Graphic Novels - Viz, LLC
Other Series by Yuu Watase - Alice 19th :: Ayashi no Ceres :: Epotoransu! Mai :: Imadoki! :: Shishunki Miman Okotowari :: Watase Collections
Translations - Reika-chan :: Tasuki no Miko

Updated October 2003