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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.

(In the anime, Yui is reading about Miaka's adventures in the book at the same time, trapped by a sort of horrified fascination. Worse, in both versions 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, and for worse Yui is being manipulated by the leader of the Seiryuu Senshi, the crafty and powerful Nakago. 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 several prequels, explaning what happened in the Universe of the Four Gods before Miaka and Yui's arrival: Fushigi Yuugi Genbu Kaiden (which ran until 2015 in Japan and was released in the US by Viz Media, who also published the English version of the original manga), Fushigi Yuugi Byakko Ibun (a 2015 one-shot) and the ongoing Fushigi Yuugi Byakko Senki (started its run in 2017 in Japan)

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

This series presents examples of:

  • 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.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Takes place several times in the anime:
    • The aforementioned deal with Yui reading the book until Miaka returns and she's sent back inside is anime-only. In the manga she's sent back, goes home and is only swallowed when she's looking for a missing Miaka. Still, Watase later re-used this detail in Genbu Kaiden: Takiko's father Einosuke takes up the "Yui" role and follows Takiko's adventures as he reads....
    • While Keisuke and Tetsuya make research on the whole deal with the book, they aren't shown either making it or reading the book in the manga. In the anime Keisuke takes Yui's place as a watcher/reader and so does Tetsuya at times.
    • Suzuno, the Priestess of Byakko, is never seen in the manga: Keisuke only mentions having spoken to her before she died. In the anime, her and Tatara's last moments are shown; their souls are reunited in the backyard of her home, and they depart to the afterlife together.
  • 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 Tamahome 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. Plus Nuriko is wise enough to not pursue her anyway.
    • 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 Suboshi makes him lose all memory. It's also implied that he wasn't actually in love, but acting more on his adoptive parents' desires than his own and during a very low spot.
  • 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.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience
  • Cross Dresser: 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 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.'
    • Also the Kutou emperor. He had a harem of female concubines, but was more than happy to claim a pre-teen Nakago as a Sex Slave.
  • 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.
  • 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 Teacher: 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!

  • It Got Worse: The series takes a darker turn about halfway through, starting with the brutal murder of Tamahome's family.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Tasuki
  • Jerkass Gods: Toyed with. The Beast Gods DO prolong their existences via absorbing the whole selves of their Priestesses when the girls summon them, but on the other than they DO grant the wishes that their Mikos and their countries need to protect the land they represent as long as the wishes are completely selfless and dedicated to the happiness and needs of others, not the Priestesses'.. And there are two ways for the Priestess to avert being absorbed by her God: if she's a full-blooded Plucky Girl (Miaka and Suzuno) or another Priestess uses a Wish for her sake (Yui).
  • Karma Houdini: A large part of the problem with Nakago is that his Freudian Excuse was only mentioned once, in the last episode of the first series. This made his eventual fate feel tacked on and vaguely insulting to a lot of viewers. It's slightly more foreshadowed in the manga, but the couple of hints there are so vague that readers would have to be actively looking for them.
    • This happened again with Mayo in Eikoden, which ended with everybody thanking her for deciding to resuscitate the dog she'd shot.
  • Karmic Death: Suboshi.
  • Ki Attacks: Nakago, and later Tamahome.
  • Killed Off for Real
  • Killer Yoyo: Suboshi's weapon, the Ryuuseisui.
  • Kill the Cutie: Chiriko.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Tamahome, Amiboshi, and Tamahome again in the OVA. Protagonism hurts.
  • Let's Get Dangerous: Chichiri most frequently pulls this off, but Nuriko also deserves a mention.
  • Loveable Rogue: Tasuki. Tamahome also has shades of this when he's first introduced.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Soi, mixed with I Owe You My Life. She's not a bad person, at all, but she's devoted to Nakago because he rescued her when she was young.
  • MacGuffin: The Shinzaho. With the exception of Miaka's unborn child in the 3rd OVA; that one turned out to be more of a Chekhov's Gun.
  • Mask Power: Chichiri.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Nakago, over and over and over again.
  • Manly Tears: Seen from Tamahome and Tasuki.
  • Martyr Without a Cause: Miaka. Constantly.
  • Master of Illusion: Tomo.
  • Meaningful Echo: "You scared me half to death!"
  • The Messiah: All of the Mikos are supposed to be Messiahs for their contries, in a sense.
  • Miko
  • The Mole: Amiboshi.
  • Money Fetish: Tamahome.
  • More Than Mind Control
  • Mundane Utility: Tasuki's asked to burn some hairs [or a ribbon in the manga] with his fire powers, so he goes into his usual warm-up pose before tossing a tiny flame.
  • Musical Assassin: Amiboshi.
  • My Greatest Failure: Chichiri's backstory.
  • My Sibling Will Live Through Me
  • Naive Everygirl: Miaka.
  • Names to Know In Anime: For starters, we have Hikaru Midorikawa [as Tamahome, lampshaded by the man himself that he's Playing Against Type], Takehito Koyasu [as Hotohori], Nobutoshi Canna [as Tasuki] and Tomokazu Seki [as Chichiri].
    • Kae Araki (as Miaka) should count too — she's done voices in a good-sized list of other anime.
  • Near-Rape Experience: Tasuki and Miaka in the second OVA.
    • There's also Nakago being SO CLOSE to raping Miaka... he sort of succeeds due to the fact that Miaka believes she was raped. It's a bit of a subversion, however, because Nakago had two reasons for holding back: 1) he finds the thought of raping an unconscious minor boring (playing it straight), and 2) Miaka's protection from Suzaku kept Nakago from touching her (skirting the border of Attempted Rape).
  • Nice Hat: Tomo
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: There is little conflict in the opening episodes. What triggers the main conflict between Kutou and Konan is Miaka trying to go home early and then Taiitsukun not only agreeing, but helping her out. By forcing Miaka up, Yui was pulled down since, unbeknwonst to them, the Book will grab another potential Priestess if the one inside leaves before time and another country can summon their God. Then Yui became the rival priestess and, with pushes form Nakago, she encouraged Kutou to invade.
  • Ninja
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: This is what Tamahome's battle with Tasuki turns into.
  • No Sense of Humor: Try to name one of the Seiryu Seishi that had any sort of sense of humor, or even any funny moments. All of them are always dead serious and never find humor in any situation.
    • Done and done: Tomo. Just because the audience didn't find it funny, doesn't mean he didn't; his "kakaka" laugh is famous to the point where he was referred to as "that laughing homo" in one of the omakes. In the manga, where he's more or less Nakago's lieutenant and the closest thing he's got to a confidant, one of the funniest Seiryuu scenes is when Nakago tells Tomo he didn't rape Miaka. Since both of them are possessed of a very dry sense of humor, it's subtle, but hilarious.
  • Noticing the Fourth Wall: Numerous instances, but particularly Tamahome and Nakago. The latter took the news way better than the former.
  • Official Couple: You know the one. Although originally, Yuu Watase was going to separate them so it'd be realistic. And then her female editor, a hopeless romantic, made her change it.
  • Ordinary High School Student: The four Priestesses - Yui, Miaka, Takiko and Suzuno - are all normal girls from Earth brought into the World of the Four Gods. Mayo as well.
  • Out-of-Clothes Experience: Yui when she is absorbed into Seiryuu. Also Miaka and Mayo when summoning Suzaku in the 3rd OVA.
  • Paper Cutting
  • Paper Fan of Doom: Tasuki.
  • Partly Cloudy with a Chance of Death
  • Personality Powers
  • Pet the Dog: Nakago, Suboshi and Soi all get their moments.
  • The Phoenix: Suzaku, a deity, is represented by one.
  • The Plan: Might we not as well say that Nakago is a complete Magnificent Bastard?
  • Portal Book
  • The Power of Friendship
  • The Power of Love: What do you expect from a series dominated by a mythological being representing love?
  • Psycho Supporter: Soi, who says she would sell her soul to the devil if Nakago asked her to.
  • Puppy Dog Eyes
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The Suzaku warriors, especially compared to their Seiryuu counterparts.
  • Rape as Backstory: Soi, Nakago.
  • Rape as Drama: Oh, boy... Poor Yui spends much of the series believing that she was raped, which Nakago takes advantage of in order to turn her against Miaka, and Miaka herself nearly gets raped at least four times.
  • Rape Discretion Shot: In the final episode of the anime, we see a terrified pre-teen Nakago lying naked on the Kutou emperor's bed. The manga version of this has Nakago lampshade it by saying "I'm sure you can guess what happened next".
  • Rapunzel Hair
  • Really Dead Montage
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Nuriko, in every sense.
  • Reality Writing Book: "The Universe of the Four Gods", which is type 2. While Miaka and Yui continue their adventure, people in our world can read, what is happening in this moment in Four God's dimension.
  • Recap Episode: Episode 28; also, most episodes begin with narration over footage and dialogue from the previous episode.
  • Religious Bruiser: Chichiri is a peaceful, dedicated monk who can also unload some serious whoop-ass.
  • Rescue Romance
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Hotohori, a legitimately good fighter, accompanies Miaka on her quest to gather the other warriors. He's also on the ball regarding the threat posed by the enemy kingdom Kutou well before most of the other characters.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Nuriko.
  • Say My Name: All together now: "Miaka!" "Tamahome!" "Miaka!" "Tamahome!" "MIAKA!" "TAMAHOME!"
    • Lampshaded in the OVA. ("Tamahome." "Miaka." "Tamahome." "Miaka." "Tamahome.")
    • The first OVA: "Yui-sama! YUI-SAMA!"
  • Scars Are Forever: Chichiri.
  • School Uniforms Are the New Black: A major plot point at the beginning of the story.
  • Secret Test of Character: The role of the Priestess. More exactly, she either makes Selfless Wishes, or she'll be consumed by the God.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Nakago inadverantly killed his own mother when trying to save her from being gang raped by soldiers, because he was unable to control his newly-awakened powers. It's taken further in the character novel, where he kills the previous Shogun, but only realises it's his long-lost father when it's much too late.
  • Selfless Wish: The three wishes a priestess gets from the Beast Gods are pretty much required to be.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: There was absolutely no reason for Nuriko to try to lift that boulder; there's clearly plenty of room to just get around it and into the cave entrance it's blocking. The Seishi even find skeletons inside the cave of people who presumably did just that.
  • Shape Shifter
  • Shirtless Scene Used liberally.
  • Shojo
  • Someone to Remember Him By: Nakago kills Hotohori about a month into Houki's pregnancy with Boushin
  • Spoiler Opening: Shows Yui's heel turn. And the real Chiriko is a kid.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Yui, Suboshi, and to some degree Soi.
  • Start of Darkness: Nakago's character novel is pretty much all about this.
  • Stellar Name: All of the Seishi.
  • Stock Foreign Name: Everyone from the "Universe of the Four Gods." They have Chinese names but is always be referred to by their Japanese-ish names; this includes the four beast gods themselves.
  • Super-Deformed: Very frequently used, and even lampshaded at one point when Chichiri disguises himself as Nakago. When the real Nakago catches on, one soldier leads his comrades saying, "After that deformed miniature general!"
  • Taking You with Me: Chiriko stabbing himself to take down Miboshi, who had possessed his body. The poor kid was doomed since Miboshi is such a powerful psychic that there literally is NO way to exorcise him from the body of anyone he possesses.
  • Talk to the Fist
  • Team Shot
  • The Chosen One: Miaka, Yui... heck, all the Mikos.
  • The Four Gods
  • The Unwanted Harem: Reverse-gender version. It must really suck to be a girl with several bishies at your feet, yet due to Virgin Power you can't do ANYTHING. Poor Suzuno....
  • The Wise Prince: Hotohori.
  • Theme Naming: All the Celestial Warriors are named for their constellation, in the pattern Mark + "Constellation". In some cases, even their given names are a simple variation of the same, like Tamahome's name of Kishuku.
  • Trapped in Another World
  • Troubled but Cute: There's hardly one Badass in this series who hasn't been tripped at the Kick the Dog or Moral Event Horizon limits.
  • Twin Telepathy: Suboshi and Amiboshi.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: Which leads into...
  • Verbal Tic: Chichiri, na no da! It's "You know!" in the English version.
    • The English manga, at least the Viz Big editions, keep in the 'no da'
  • Viewers Are Goldfish: The anime will never let you forget what just happened five minutes ago. Ever.
  • Virgin Power: A Miko must be and remain a virgin throughout all of her ordeals, otherwise she can't summon her God.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Tamahome and Tasuki.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Miaka, in the manga.
  • Word of Gay: Yuu Watase seems to get a big kick out of Tamahome/Nakago shipping and has also said at a con that if she ever wrote a doujinshi for her series, it would probably be Tamahome/Tasuki.
  • Yandere: Yui is yandere for Tamahome and Miaka, whereas Suboshi is yandere for his brother Amiboshi and for her.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Averted and played straight. All of the human characters in the real world have perfectly normal hair colours. It's the folks in the Universe of the Four Gods that have odd hair colours (like blue).
  • Yaoi Fangirl: Yuu Watase. She even ships her own characters. No one was suprised with her later foray into actual BL manga, even if it was Darker and Edgier than one would think...
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Nakago says this word for word to Ashitare.
  • You Shall Not Pass
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle
  • Yuu Watase: This is her most popular work.