The Art of Fushigi Yûgi

    (Viz, 2006-2007)
™ and ©

The definitive shojo saga revolves around how teen Miaka and her friend Yui are magically transported back and forth through the book The Universe of The Four Gods to feudal China, where they star in their own spiritual romance. This hardcover companion is aimed at fans who fantasize doing the same while juggling their homework.

Typifying the genre, the series’ soap-opera art and intersecting relationships stretch over 18 volumes. Here Watase’s illustrations pair dewy-eyed maidens with starry-eyed lovers. (Cue boytoy Tamahome.) Each character is impressively coiffed and colorfully costumed (or not). They embrace in breathless repose against starry skies and Eden-like gardens. Other hunky group shots are reminiscent of a manga version of Tiger Beat.

Luckily, some background is included on tracking the story’s two dozen main characters, two parallel timelines, seven mysteries, and other numerology, such as upping the ante of 20 questions for the creator. This keepsake appeases the faithful who will appreciate the new drawings made especially for this English edition.

— Oliver Chin

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