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what i dislike

Things that I truly despise about Fushigi Yuugi:

[SPOILERS for pretty much everything]

1. The way that it treats rape. I don't care if Yui wasn't "really" raped by the men or that Miaka wasn't "really" raped by Nakago; whether the act occurs or not, the trauma of being attacked is the same.

2. "I will never forgive you!" This threat is made during just about every episode during a certian point, and I'm sick of it. After a while, it loses its dramatic appeal and simply becomes annoying. Forgiveness is a virtue and far more difficult than dramatically declaring, "I'll never forgive!"

3. Too many "Miaka!" "Tamahome!"-centered scenes. I like them as a couple. I don't like it when half an episode centers around some melodramatic incident that's keeping them apart (the most laughable of which was the completely shocked Miaka when she discovered that Suzaku no Miko had to be a virgin--gimme a break, like she can't abstain for a bit until she calls Suzaku!). Again, redundant plot elements are never good.

4. It irks me that the female characters in FY are generally one-dimensional and somewhat objectified. Miaka and Yui are better developed, and Soi gets a little more development towards the end, but the women's roles are rather dull--the stereotypical defenseless women who need protection and crave love. Even female seishi like Soi and Subaru are rather stereotyped; Soi's main powers seem to center around her sexuality, and Subaru is the least characterized of the Byakko Seishi, finally revealing her magic and turning into a voluptuous creature toward the end. Now, that's not to say that I don't like these characters--I just don't like how the series plays up stereotypical facets rather than presenting them as human beings.

5. Pop culture elements. This should actually be #1. Particularly the trend that's popular these days of the girl who's NOT completely defenseless--but still ultimately needs a man to protect her. How dull.

Interpretations that I detest

Sometimes I think that people need to think a little harder...

1. People who dislike FY because of character flaws like Tamahome's money-grubbing and Hotohori's vanity need to understand satire. There are aspects of FY such as its soapyness that I can agree are irritating (but I find its soapiness kind of fun as well since it's not excessive). What I don't believe is that the main characters are so utterly one-dimensional because if they were, I wouldn't have any desire to watch the show. I think that most of the female characters are two-dimensional, but for the most part, characterization in FY strikes me as the major strength of the series. (Not realizing FY has satire is like not seeing it in "The Simpsons." -p)

2. I don't understand how many people can completely condemn Nakago despite the unspeakably horrible events that he survived (genocide and molestation to name just a couple...) while having complete sympathy for Yui and the circumstances that embittered her. At the end of the series, both Yui and Miaka spoke of how a part of Nakago was in them, which is ultimately what I like about the series--there are really no EVIL characters; the Seiryuu Seishi were shaped by the war-torn area they came from (like Suboshi and Amiboshi, who were war children like Nakago), and Yui was majorly unlucky. In any case, I think that having complete sympathy for one and none for the other is unfair.

3. Similarly, having no sympathy for Yui is unforgivable (pun intended). While it's easy to say, "she should behave differently, she's being ridiculously childish, etc." people are ignoring the fact that she's a traumatized person surrounded by traumatized people. While I personally am irked by her fatalistic "It's too late! I can never forgive you after what's happened! etc," I also realize that she's fifteen and life's melodramatic when you're 15. I can understand why she grows jealous and vengeful.

there's more, but that was off the top of my head...


the subversive pomegranate
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