By Yuu Watase
Viz, 192 pp.
Rating: T+ (Older Teen)
Having been cruelly rejected by Uruki and the other celestial warriors, Takiko returns to her home world, prepared to rediscover an ordinary life. As though similarly prepared to rediscover her, “ordinary life” promptly greets her with a proposal of marriage from the young doctor who tended to her dying mother. Determined to put her love for Uruki firmly in the past, Takiko accepts the proposal. Meanwhile, Takiko’s father attempts to destroy “The Universe of the Four Gods,” to ensure that his daughter will never meet the fate of the Priestess of Genbu. Can true love be conquered by will alone?
With Takiko facing heartache in any world she chooses, this volume is easily the most poignant of the series so far. Her suitors, too, elicit great sympathy—each doomed to love a woman they must ultimately lose, whether to fate, distance, or lack of mutual feeling. The drama is intense but not over-the-top, and somehow the fact that Takiko must cause as much pain for others as fate causes her keeps her from becoming too tragic to be believed.
Rest assured, Takiko’s heart won’t deny itself forever, and though it will likely be a long wait before the next volume (still unpublished in Japan) reaches these shores, volume nine manages enough forward motion to keep most fans satisfied, at least in the short-term. Unabashedly romantic but never sickly-sweet, Fushigi Yûgi: Genbu Kaiden continues to please.
Review copy provided by the publisher. Review originally published at PopCultureShock.