This manga to live-action adaptation feels like it’s fifteen years too late. No, let me amend that to say that it really is fifteen years too late to be adapting a very popular shoujo manga which had its heyday in the 90’s. I’m sure there are still fans who remember it fondly even if the most devout have long since moved on so this post is for those who want to take a walk down the Fushigi Yuugi nostalgia train. Nearly twenty years after Watase Yuu published her manga about time-traveling high school girls who fall into a mythical book into a historical era rife with fantasy elements, Fushigi Yuugi was recently brought to life on stage (sadly not movie or dorama) in a live-action play for a two week run in Tokyo.
The play dramatizes the story from male lead Tamahome’s point of view rather than female lead Miaka, which is fine by me since I find Miaka a total twat while liking the supporting cast of this story way more. I read followed along with the manga every month during the few years it ran back in the early 90’s, finding the world building interesting but disliking the annoying female lead and her pretty dull cookie cutter hero male lead. It was the nicely fleshed out supporting characters that made the story worth following for me, and the writer aged up the sequel Fushigi Yuugi Genbu Kaiden (a prequel in the narrative timeline) which I am totally crazy for and still follow along with as the manga is still running. For those who loved Fushigi Yuugi, check out the live-action stills below to see if it fits your imagination of those well known characters. Continue reading