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This is the story of a girl who gathered the Seven Guardians of Suzaku. She obtained omnipotent power and made every wish come true. The story itself is an incantation. Whoever finishes reading it shall receive this power. As soon as the page is turned, the story will become the truth and begin.


When gluttonous, underachieving schoolgirl Miaka and her best friend Yui find a strange book in the library, it changes their lives forever. Shi Jin Ten Chi Sho (literally, The Four Gods Earth and Sky, but rendered as The Universe of the Four Gods in the North American release) is an ancient book that is a gateway into another world that resembles medieval China — a gateway through which Miaka and Yui fall. Although Yui is sent back to Japan almost immediately, Miaka is trapped in the story. There she finds that she is the Suzaku no Miko — the prophesied priestess of the god Suzaku, who must gather together seven holy warriors in order to summon the god and save the country of Konan from its enemy, the country of Kutou.

(Meanwhile, in the "real" world, Yui is reading about Miaka's adventures in the book, trapped by a sort of horrified fascination. Worse, she suffers many of the harms and indignities that Miaka undergoes, from soakings with water to bloody wounds.)

Although she is sympathetic to Konan's cause, Miaka is worried about Yui and wants to go home. When she gets a chance to do so, she takes it, but upon returning to the library she cannot find Yui — who has been drawn back into the book and installed as the Seiryuu no Miko — the priestess of Seiryuu, the god who favors Kutou, and similarly charged to summon the deity. When Miaka finally returns to the world inside the book, she finds that she and her once-best friend are now on opposite sides of what promises to be a bloody and devastating war. The only way for Miaka to prevent utter genocide is to win the race to be the first to summon a god...

Easily the most famous of Yuu Watase's works, Fushigi Yuugi (sometimes known as Mysterious Play, which the English-dubbed version was released as in North America) was many anime fans' introduction to shoujo series after Sailor Moon. It was popular enough to have spawned a prequel, Fushigi Yuugi Genbu Kaiden, which is still running in Japan and being released in the US by Viz Media, who also published the English version of the original manga.

Also see the character sheet. Has a wiki. Compare with The Twelve Kingdoms.

Tropes used in Fushigi Yūgi include:
  • Adaptation Dye Job: In the manga, every human character has a natural hair color. However, in the anime, Nuriko is given purple hair, Chichiri blue, and Mitsukake's is given a green tint while Tamahome's is undeniably green.
  • A God Am I: Nakago's aspiration. More specifically, he wants to become a god so he can kill a god. It's also Tenkou's goal in the latter part of the manga and the OVA.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Tamahome's childhood.
  • Angsty Surviving Twin: Not really.
  • Animated Actors
  • Anyone Can Die: Poor Nuriko. And literally half the main cast are dead by the end of the series.
  • Attempted Rape: Several times.
  • Attractive Bent Gender: Nuriko, and in the manga, Chichiri of all people.
  • Badass: Of numerous kinds, mind you.
  • Beyond the Impossible: There's a place in Kotou called the "Shrine of Seiyruu"; a Physical God that stands opposed to the god Suzaku. In this place, the warriors of Suzaku are forbidden entry by a magic barrier that specifically targets them and the priestess of Suzaku is paralyzed. Chichiri can get in nonetheless because "I'm trickery, you know?" while Tomahome is powered by love. To a native of the Universe of the Four Gods this is as impossible as someone ignoring the laws of Thermodynamics in real life.
  • Big Bad: Nakago. In the second OAV series and the second part of the manga, Tenkou takes this role.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Part of what makes this series great is that nearly every character gets one of these moments. Hell, even Suboshi gets one when he saves Amiboshi from Tomo at the last second. "GET AWAY FROM MY BROTHER!"
  • Bishonen Of course.
  • Big Eater: Miaka.
  • Blond Guys Are Evil: Nakago and Suboshi. And Blondes Are Evil (or at least easily manipulated) with Yui.
  • Blue Oni Red Oni: Yui and Miaka; Tamahome and Tasuki; Chichiri and Tasuki.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Any Seishi who falls for his Miko. For Miaka we have Tamahome, Hotohori, and Tasuki in the OAV ( Nuriko is more debatable); for Yui, Suboshi; for Suzuno, Tatara; for Takiko, Prince Uruki.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Tamahome during the Kodoku arc.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Chichiri does this in part two of the manga when he first appears: He faces towards where the fourth wall would be, waves and says "Long time, no see, everyone!" Although he could be saying it to the other characters, it comes off as more of a fourth-wall joke.
    • Also done by Miaka in the anime, at one point when she's forced to remove her clothes. Upon being left in a non-transparent negligee (no underwear or midriff area visible), she remarks "This is as far as the broadcast restrictions will allow..."
  • Brother-Sister Incest: Ren and Miisu.
  • The Cake Is a Lie: In Eikoden, Mayo is promised by a fake Suzaku that she and the child inside her will be kept safe, and so will Tamahome, if she prays for the destruction of Konan. None of that was true, of course.
  • Calling Your Attacks: "Rekka Shin'en!"
    • Mitsukake gets a taste of this twice. Hey, this is the doctor we're talking about.
    • It does pay off in a great gag when Miaka asks Tasuki to burn something very small, and he starts out with a massive, "REKKA SHIN-", then almost whispers "ehhhhhn" has he just lightly riffles the fan's folds at the target.
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys
  • The Chessmaster: Nakago. As it turns out, numerous events such as Suboshi murdering Tamahome's family were arranged to manipulate members of the Suzaku and the Seiryuu Seven into following his plans.
  • Cleaning Up Romantic Loose Ends: Half the male cast falls for Miaka in one way or another, then gets killed off, as was the case with Nuriko. The fandom still can't decide if he loved her romantically or as a sister. Watase's intentionally ambiguous on the issue. Hotohori at least gets his own wife, Lady Houki before this happens.
    • However, only three of them can be officially considered in love with her; Tamahome, Hotohori, and Tasuki. Anything outside of that is mostly in the minds of the fans. Three out of seven is still roughly half though.
      • Hmm... well, the line by Nuriko "I've always loved Miaka as a man" seems to indicate that four of them are in love with her, possibly all in different ways though.
    • And later in the series, it's heavily implied that Amiboshi has fallen in love with Miaka after his Heel Face Turn, in particular with his line "Why can't you and I live here together forever?", delivered while he's lying on top of her shirtless. This romantic loose end is cleaned up when a drug delivered by his twin brother makes him lose all memory.
  • Clothing Damage: When Yui summons Seiryuu, her ceremonial clothes are ripped off. Miaka also gets this during a few battles, at least in the manga.
  • Code Name: See Stock Foreign Name mentioned below.
  • Cosmic Keystone: The Shinzahou.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience
  • Crossdresser: Nuriko.
  • Cute Bruiser: Nuriko.
  • Cute Little Fangs: Tasuki.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Many characters, but Chichiri, Nakago, and Suboshi/Amiboshi particularly qualify.
  • Deconstructed Trope: Eikoden takes I Just Want to Be Special and I Just Want to Be Loved, and tears them to shreds. So many fangirls were expressing their desires to be sucked into the Universe of the Four Gods and get a fairy-tale ending with one of the Bishounen that the creator decided to deconstruct such a girl into a Jerk Sue that's meant to symbolize human weakness in matters of the heart. Yeah, Mayo was a bitch for a REASON.
  • Defiled Forever: Averted since it is revealed that Yui was never really raped in the first place, and every attempt to rape Miaka ends up failing miserably.
    • Inverted with Nakago, whose repeated homosexual rape as a child (he was a male concubine) by the emperor he later served was his very own Start of Darkness.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Nakago. He had sex with Soi and kissed Tamahome on the lips to weaken his defenses and tease him. Afterwards, he says 'You're so fun to tease, but you'll never kill me letting your guard down like that.'
  • Depraved Homosexual: Tomo.
  • Disguised in Drag: A manga-only storyline.
  • Distress Ball: Despite having been shown to be capable of at least knowing basic self-defense quite a few times, poor Miaka often had this shoved into her hands in order to move the plot along.
  • The Dragon: Tomo, Soi.
  • Driven to Suicide: Yui and Miaka both make failed attempts for different reasons. Chiriko, though, does kill himself in order to kill Miboshi, who has taken possession of his body at this point.
  • Education Mama: Miaka's mother, especially in the manga.
  • Estrogen Brigade Bait: About 80% of the male cast--and that's a conservative estimate.
  • Evil Costume Switch: Not only does Tamahome change his clothes during the Kodoku arc, he also gets rid of his red belt [Suzaku] and dons a blue one [Seiryuu].
  • Face Heel Turn: Yui. She comes back around by the end though.
  • Fantasy Pantheon
  • Fiery Redhead: Tasuki, literally and figuratively.
  • First Girl Wins: Genderflipped: The first boy, Tamahome, wins Miaka's love here.
  • Flash Step: Chichiri's teleportation ability.
  • Foe Yay: Nakago/Tamahome. Even creator Yuu Watase is all over that!
  • Forbidden Fruit: The Miko is not supposed to have any sexual contact or even romantic feelings for any men until she summons the Beast God. Nakago and the other bad guys try to take advantage of this to cause Miaka to lose her virginity and thus her right to summon Suzaku...or at least believe she did.
  • Foregone Conclusion: The ending of Genbu Kaiden, and at least 2 of their warriors' fate.
  • The Four Gods: As one of the earliest works featuring them to reach North America, if not the earliest, Fushigi Yuugi is probably the first place most anime viewers learned of these deities, who play a major role in the plot.
  • Four Is Death: Yui is the fourth priestess and almost dies as a direct result of it.
  • Gentle Giant: Mitsukake, a huge and quiet man who has Healing Hands and loves kittens.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: Miaka, being the Priestess of Suzaku, has to gather all seven Celestial Warriors in order to summon Suzaku. Cue Unwanted Harem of Bishonen.
  • Great Big Book of Everything: The Universe of The Four Gods.
  • Heel Face Turn: Amiboshi.
  • Hot for Student: In Eikoden, Mayo Sakaki falls for her basketball coach and PE teacher, Taka Sukinami aka Tamahome. Since he's already married to Miaka, this is pretty much doomed.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Mayo Sakaki, from the Fushigi Yuugi Eikoden OVA, is a brutal deconstruction of this.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Hotohori, Amiboshi, Nuriko.
  • Important Haircut: Mitsukake, just before he Took a Level in Badass
  • In the Name of the Moon: Spoofed in the first episode.

Miaka: In the name of the heavens, I will punish you!