Fushigi Yugi Genbu Kaiden Volume 10 by Yuu Watase
I decided to start my week of blogging for the Shojo Beat manga moveable feast by looking at a title that I had anticipated for so long, when it actually showed up at my door I thought it might be a mirage! Volume 9 of this series was published way back in Sept of 2009, so that is certainly a long gap between volumes. I tend to look at Arata: The Legend with a little bit of side-eye just because of my resentment due to the Genbu Kaiden publication gap. In any case, I was very happy to get this volume and to see that volume 11 is listed as coming out in March, so there is less of a torturous wait as I continue to follow this series.
There’s a brief bit of story summary at the beginning of this volume, which was handy because I hadn’t gone back to reread the series. Watase starts the reader off in the middle of the action as Takiko continues her quest to save Bei-Ja as the Priestess of Genbu, aided by her Celestial Warriors. Takiko’s would-be lover Uruki decides that he’s going to save Takiko by taking her virginity, thus ensuring that she won’t be able to fulfill her duties as a Priestess. Hotcha! Unfortunately Takiko’s innate nobility, concerns for the people of Bei-Ja, sense of duty, and her secret knowledge that she has consumption cause her to turn down Uruki’s impassioned pleas. Resigned to the fact that they can’t be lovers, Uruki decides to support Takiko as best he can nonetheless.
While Takiko has managed to collect most of her Celestial Warriors, the holdouts are the twins Teg and Hagus. Teg’s odd destructive singing power has caused him to be imprisoned for use as a human ultimate weapon. Tagus won’t join Takiko’s band while his brother remains captive. Takiko and her companions set off across a frozen landscape to find Teg, harried by superstitious citizens and Takiko’s growing illness. I enjoy this series because Watase is able to balance so many story elements. There’s plenty of action and geopolitical intrigue as the Celestial Warriors try to round up their remaining members. There’s the always affecting romance between Takiko and Uruki, which is balanced out by all of the bonding moments and companionship with the rest of the Celestial Warriors. This volume also fills in a bit more detail about Uruki’s tortured past, which is always interesting. One of the things I always appreciate about Yuu Watase manga is her clarity of storytelling. Even though it had been years since I read the last volume, I was immediately swept up in the story again. I was able to appreciate the pacing of the action scenes and meeting the large cast of characters again. I’m so glad that there will be much less of a wait before the next volume! I hope that the release of this volume will encourage people to go back and check out the entire series. Watase’s blend of shonen action and shojo action make Fushigi Yugi Genbu Kaiden extremely entertaining.
Review copy provided by the publisher.