skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
skjam ([personal profile] skjam) wrote in [community profile] scans_daily2010-03-21 09:18 pm
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Fushigi Yuugi--Why Miaka has issues

While looking to see if maybe I had some of the old Jademan comics, I ran across the first issue of Animerica Extra. Back in 1998, Viz Comics published a magazine called Animerica that had anime and manga news, as well as some actual translated manga. It was successful enough to spin off an all-manga monthly.

And hey, let's take a look at the first chapter of Fushigi Yuugi, by Yu Watase. We'll focus on the part that's different from the first episode of the anime version, Miaka's relationship with her mother. 13 pages of 39, safe for work, but may be triggery for domestic abuse.

Read left to right; this is before Viz finally gave in to "no flipping."

Middle school student Miaka Yuuki is sitting down to a feast of her favorite foods, when it vanishes, to be replaced by--

She wants her food back and attacks only to find it was a dream and she's just assaulted the teacher. At a nearby Matt Donald's after regular school, her friends warn her about drifting off in class. The high school entrance exams are coming up, and if she wants to get in Yotsubadai High with her average buddies--what, you're applying to Jonan High, which only total brainiacs like best friend Yui qualify for? Miaka stops eating and requests stopping by the library so she can copy Yui's notes for the class she slept through.

Miaka and Yui discover the Restricted Library, and its copy of "The Universe of Four Gods." They start reading it and are transported to the world inside the book. They're attacked by slavers, saved by a handsome but greedy boy (Tamahome), and sent back to the real world. The librarian kicks them out of the special collections room, and it's off to cram school.

Miaka is distracted in class, but when challenged by the teacher, is able to parrot back his rote motivational speech word for word. (Apparently the teacher is unaware how predictable he is.)

After school the next day, Yui heads to the library to check on that book again, but Miaka heads straight off to cram school like the good girl she is. Unlike Yui, Miaka has to grind grind grind to absorb information. To make her mood even more down, she's walking down a street mostly occupied by couples. Why, look at those two, walking so close together...

She was just trying to make her mother happy. Hey, she's at the library somehow. The librarian isn't watching the forbidden room. There's no sign of Yui, but The Universe of Four Gods is lying on the floor, open to the middle. Miaka decides to kill some time reading the book to punish her mother. And sure, it'd be nice to have a wish. She's slightly freaked to see that the text matches the weird incident from earlier. And then the book sucks Miaka inside again.

Your thoughts, comments?

suggested tags
creator: Yu Watase
medium: manga
publisher: Viz Communications
title: Animerica Extra
title: Fushigi Yuugi
punishermax: (Default)

[personal profile] punishermax 2010-03-22 02:23 am (UTC)(link)
Life is tough when your mom is Sigorney Weaver.
lissa_quon: (Default)

[personal profile] lissa_quon 2010-03-22 02:37 am (UTC)(link)
Too bad she didn't inherit any of the usefulness of badassery.

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[personal profile] marlenanke 2010-03-23 06:31 am (UTC)(link)
*nods* Very true, that.
ninjapeps: (Default)

[personal profile] ninjapeps 2010-03-22 02:39 am (UTC)(link)
whenever I see Fushigi Yuugi or Ayashi No Ceres, I can't believe that either was written by a woman. sure the main characters in both are women but they're pretty much the most useless and pathetic ones in the cast who can't do anything except cry for their man to save them. if memory serves, the main character of Ayashi No Ceres is well aware of how useless she is and doesn't even do anything about it.
punishermax: (Default)

[personal profile] punishermax 2010-03-22 02:46 am (UTC)(link)
You know, when Sailor Moon is more feminist than what you made, you should probably go back to the drawing board.

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neuhallidae: (Default)

[personal profile] neuhallidae 2010-03-22 03:00 am (UTC)(link)
The "sequel" to Fushigi Yuugi made my jaw drop even more. It's like she got tired of people calling Miaka weak and useless, so she made the main character the most hateful, demanding, unlikable bitch who ever existed (seriously, stealing someone's unborn baby via magic and trying to wish them out of existence, fucking up an entire world in the process, just because they're married to your crush?) and called her the hero, with a karma houdini ending to top it all off. "Well, you wanted a stronger woman, didn't you? Here you fucking go!"

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lissa_quon: (Default)

[personal profile] lissa_quon 2010-03-22 04:51 am (UTC)(link)
Sadly I vaguely remember an interview with Yuu Watase about Ayashi No Ceres, apparently the main character to that was supposed to be "stronger" than Miaka.

I do not think the woman knows the meaning of the word.

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darkeyedresolve: (Default)

[personal profile] darkeyedresolve 2010-03-22 02:40 am (UTC)(link)
I have that issue..or was that back so long now, now I feel old.

[personal profile] persoconchii 2010-03-22 03:00 am (UTC)(link)
oh wooooooooooow, I remember back in da day when I was ALL OVER Watase's series
and I totally have some old Animerica issues too (and *cringe* MixxZine)
foxhack: (Default)

[personal profile] foxhack 2010-03-22 03:40 am (UTC)(link)
I have MixxZine.

In Spanish.

And it was nothing but girly comics.

... don't judge me.

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sailorlibra: (mj/peter)

[personal profile] sailorlibra 2010-03-22 03:16 am (UTC)(link)
Man, I used to really like this series as a thirteen year old. I thought it was cute. Now I'm a little bit afraid of my thirteen year old self. (Only a little bit, cause I also liked Sailor Moon, Furuba, FMA, and many other mangas that are less crazy than this one.)
unicornicopia: (DC ♪ Big Barda)

[personal profile] unicornicopia 2010-03-22 04:47 am (UTC)(link)
Oh man, Yu Watase. My first introduction to manga. I loved her, and then she burned me bad. Oh man Ceres. Aya might have been worse than Miaka.

The only series I got through completely was Alice 19th, because Alice was awesome (PLEASE DON'T TELL ME THAT I'M MISREMEMBERING.)
leikomgwtfbbq: (Default)

[personal profile] leikomgwtfbbq 2010-03-22 06:08 am (UTC)(link)
I always thought Alice was the coolest of Watase's female protagonists, although Tokiko from Genbu Kaiden isn't too bad (she's a definite improvement over Miaka, I'd say).

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batman: From Hanna Is Not A Boy's Name (fragile guides)

[personal profile] batman 2010-03-22 08:54 am (UTC)(link)
No, Alice was pretty kickass! She was pretty much my favourite Yu Watase heroine.

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[personal profile] phosfate 2010-03-22 01:58 pm (UTC)(link)
Alice is easily the best of her comics. Plus, I got a gorgeous shitajiki out of it.

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leikomgwtfbbq: (Default)

[personal profile] leikomgwtfbbq 2010-03-22 06:09 am (UTC)(link)
See, I really liked the concept of Fushigi Yuugi--being thrown into a magical book world--but it just wasn't executed as well as I had hoped.

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flidgetjerome: Hark, a Vagrant #328 (Default)

[personal profile] flidgetjerome 2010-03-22 08:48 am (UTC)(link)
Did anyone read Fushigi Yuugi for Miaka, though? Everyone I knew read it for the pretty, pretty bishies.

Which would be why everyone I knew stopped reading after she started killing them off with a bulldozer.

Rinse and repeat with Arata Kangatari.
joasakura: (Default)

[personal profile] joasakura 2010-03-22 01:35 pm (UTC)(link)
I read it for the bishounen, I admit it. Also, kinda stopped reading it after I realised the genbu seishi weren't going to be in it anymore.

(surprisingly, I didn't like the genbu gaiden)
ext_289436: wwizard (Default)

[identity profile] 2010-03-23 03:27 am (UTC)(link)
Ha! It wasn't just me after all! Good thing it's been years and years, and I'm totally over it.

*grumblegrumble* fuckin' kill of nuriko grrrrr

I may need more therapy.

[personal profile] arilou_skiff 2010-03-22 10:03 am (UTC)(link)
You know, I've only seen the anime, but I kind of... Don't hate it as much as expected.

It's not often you have a *genuinely stupid* protagonist in a non-comedic work. It's pretty interesting. Miaka isn't just a bit thick, she's just plain *dumb*.

Also, I like the universe. And despite the fact that I shouldn't, the random slapstick often makes me laugh. And the recap narrator snarks at Miaka! And Nakago's "Okay, let you fight your way up this tower... but the ritual is held in the tower next door!" was hilarious.

majingojira: (Default)

[personal profile] majingojira 2010-03-22 12:33 pm (UTC)(link)
So when a Bright Slap is done for selfish reasons, it fails.

Good to know.

But Bright Noah knows when to apply his hand.
midnightvoyager: Just Middy (Default)

[personal profile] midnightvoyager 2010-03-22 02:59 pm (UTC)(link)
See, if it STARTED like this and then she forged her own life with the help of Magical Book World or whatever, it'd be fine.

dimwit90: Robins Together! (Default)

[personal profile] dimwit90 2010-03-23 02:57 am (UTC)(link)
Man, this takes me back to being 14 years old again, having slumber parties, reading crappy shojo manga, and playing marry-fuck-cliff with all the protagonists :D Good times *sigh*

[personal profile] marlenanke 2010-03-23 06:36 am (UTC)(link)
I feel old somehow. Ah, the good days when shoujo manga had its hay day in all of our my heart. *sigh*