So, I have a deep, slightly guilty, anime-related confession: I am a pretty big fan of Fushigi Yuugi: The Mysterious Play. The story of girl meets multiple hot individuals, with magic, romance, and bloodshed, has become a cult classic among the anime community since its debut in the mid-90’s. And this series, with all its cheese and over the top moments, is becoming a brand new stage show in Japan! Yeah, that means a lot of old, middle school anime feels are coming back for this fangirl. So let us dive into the Universe of the Four Gods this week on Simulcast Corner!
Now for those of you who are “youngins” without too much knowledge of the titles from the anime glory days, here is a pretty easy to digest explanation:
“Miaka is a junior high school student studying for entrance exams for Johan High School, the top school in the city. Not academically inclined, Miaka would rather forget studying and spend more time eating snacks–her favorite pastime–but she’s cramming for the exam to please her mother. While studying at the library with her best friend Yui, she finds an old book called The Universe of the Four Gods. Upon reading the book, the girls are transported to a land resembling ancient China. Immediately on their arrival, a pair of bandits attempts to abduct Yui! A mysterious young man with the kanji for “demon” on his forehead comes to their rescue, but now he wants to be paid for his act of heroism!” (Source)
As someone that has loved this franchise (specifically the original series and the first two OVA specials) a lot, knowing that The Universe of the Four Gods and its citizens are coming back into the “scene” is particularly cool. Since I know the majority of modern anime fandom has no clue what this series is, I have such high hopes that this production will get Fushigi Yuugi back into some form of popularity, like the recent come back of Sailor Moon and slowly the nostalgic CLAMP titles. Now, was it the best show of all time? Far from it. But did it shape me into the anime fan I am today? Absolutely. And thus it deserves to return into the public eye.
But what about the musical, specifically? Well according to Anime News Network, “This play will depict a new version of Fushigi Yûgi through the eyes of Tamahome” (Source). It’ll be really great to have a fresh take on the story, which from Miaka’s perspective can get old really fast. Seeing it from the heroic and sometimes rebellious view of Tamahome will breath new life into the story. And with the casting of Yutaka Kyan, from the band Gold Bomber, as Tamahome, this is sure to be one interesting show.
Now, enough with the details – you wanna see the pretty characters come to life, don’t you? Here is the brand new cast photos below!
Oh man, oh man, are the majority of these spot on! Aside from some hair color differences (which is typical for these adaptations), the casting is absolutely perfect for each of these nostalgic heartthrobs! My absolute favorite is Toshiyuki Someya as Nuriko, who gets the beauty and charm of the character perfectly in one whole photo. Also, can we just talk that wig? The purple is seriously stunning. But on the opposite side, my other favorite character, Chichiri (played by Yūta Kogawa here), seems to be the most underdeveloped of the crew. He is missing his signature blue hairdo, and his other permanent smile mask. Maybe they got rid of that aspect because it would be hard to perform? Or is this just all a case of the budget blues? Who knows!
So, what do you think of this Fushigi Yuugi comeback of sorts? Do you hope this leads to an anime remake? Comment below with your thoughts, and favorite hottie above