Fushigi Yuugi: The Second OVA

{Warning - this page contains spoilers}

Well, after the weirdness of the OVA 1, people are sometimes put off watching the OVA 2. However, not watching it is a major waste of film, if you ask me! OVA 2 is not only much more coherently connected to the original TV series, it affords some interesting spotlights on certain of the characters, and reunites the Seishi properly - even though four of them are dead!


Opening Theme: Star
Closing Theme: Yume Ka Mo Shirenai

There's still a nice big loophole in my mind as to how the OVAs entirely link up to the TV series...and the main problem lies in the fact that OVA 1 indicates Miaka and Taka meet for the first time in a coffee house, when Yui and Miaka bunk off school. That doesn't seem to completely agree with the TV series epilogue...however, we'll go with it. As continuity goes, it's a better link than many series have between TV show and OVA, so I guess we'll let this slide.

The inclusion of a new villain, Tenkou, also ties in with the TV series (the glowing eyes in the fire that Nakago worships, although more is explained in the manga by Chichiri about this force, and also by Watase Yuu in one of the volumes). At the end of OVA 1, having got everyone all confused, this villain Tenkou is sealed away.

Tenkou, of course, doesn't really like being sealed away. This being so, he formulates four "Kings of the Earth" as he seems to view them, formed of tainted spirits that he's fashioned into demons of one sort or another. Two of these are placed in the real world - a brother and sister Renhou and Miiru/Miisu (I'm not sure which is her actual name because she seem to be called by both :S) who have been condemned for an incestuous love affair in their own world. Tenkou has promised to give them back their lives if they serve him, and they seek to escape persecution, but there's also a darkness within them too brought about by the way they have been treated at human hands. Ren (as he is abbreviated in his human form, though known generally as Shigyou-kun by his classmates) infiltrates Miaka's high school class while his sister sets her sights on Taka and the college side of things.

(Taka, it must be explained, is Tamahome's real world incarnation.)

After Shigyou - who quickly gains popularity - masses Miaka's classmates and makes an attempt on her life, Miaka and Taka wind up falling from the roof of the school, only to be sucked into the book world by the calling magic of Suzaku. They encounter Tasuki, who defends them from a monster, teasing Taka for his amnesia. Chichiri soon joins them, and he enables Taka to absorb Tasuki's memory jewel (it must be said at this point that those gems are very clever, since Taka absorbs memories from his battle with Tasuki whilst poisoned by Kodoku - an event which even in his original Tamahome form he claims not to be able to remember after his cure!!). Chichiri then takes them all to Taikyoku-zan to find his memory jewel, Taiitsukun and the remaining Seishi spirits. Here they discover that the dead Seishi have been prevented from their reincarnations by the force of some evil power, and so their gems are missing. It also becomes apparent that Taka will need to find all his memory gems to keep from disappearing.

Meanwhile in the real world, Shigyou has got himself elected onto the school council, attempting to turn Yui's loyalty against Miaka in some way by making her his vice. (Though Yui this time is not so easily swayed, and she almost gets killed a few times for her trouble!). The force of the support for Shigyou helps to generate negative energy for Tenkou to attack Taikyoku-zan, and Taiitsukun has to transport the  Seishi away from the mountain in order to preserve their safety. Miaka is knocked unconscious by the event and is saved by Tasuki, who gives her mouth to mouth to start her breathing again. It is the first time too that we see Tasuki's begun to think of Miaka as more than just a little sister or a friend. (This is important for the plot's continuation). Chichiri and Taka are also there, and they decide to head to the palace to see Houki and baby Boushin and find out any clues they can about the memory gems.

The OVA 2 has feature episodes for several of the characters, and this brings into play Hotohori's. When they arrive at the palace, they find his spirit already there, desperately trying to communicate with his grief stricken widow and his infant son. He has no physical form, and can only be seen by the Seishi, so it's to no avail. A demon attacks Boushin from inside the old teddy bear Miaka gave to Hotohori before the departure for Hokkan, and Hotohori defends him by possessing his son's body, allowing him the ability to communicate also with his widow. After this, he tries to hug his son, but lacking physical form, Boushin goes right through his body and starts to cry. Taka therefore volunteers his body as a medium through which Hotohori can commuicate directly with Boushin. In doing so, he discover's Hotohori's gem - secreted inside the baby boy - and he is able to remember Hotohori. (Though again, what he remembers is a kodoku-induced fight - something that Tamahome is not meant to be able to remember!!)

Miaka and Taka get transported back to the real world at this point, and Taka is attacked by Shigyou's sister, who bites him, releasing a parasite into his body as well as stealing blood from him. He is briefly paralysed, whilst at school Miaka has been attacked once more by the classmates Shigyou is controlling. Taka is able to get there in time, however, and interferes. They wind up back in the book world again, finding a week has passed since their last visit and that in the interim the second gem has been discovered, at Nuriko's family home.

This is Nuriko's OVA episode, because it introduces an as yet unmentioned member of the Tiao/Chou family, his elder brother Roukou. Roukou has possession of Nuriko's gem - the trouble is that he's still so torn up over his brother's death in the Hokkan snows, he doesn't want to part with it or the treasure it resides in. After Tasuki managed to blow their attempts to sweet talk him by bursting out laughing during a solemn memorial ceremony praying for Nuriko's soul (caused by Nuriko pulling faces at him), Roukou is determined to protect his treasure at all costs. The Seishi break into Nuriko's home, for Nuriko wants Taka to have his memories, however they are caught when Taka touches the ball containing the gem and the parasitic demon inside of him stirs, causing him to scream out in pain. Roukou takes the ball and runs for the temple, and Miaka and Tasuki go after him, but Miaka drops off Tasuki's horse when Tasuki questions why she cares so much about someone who's hurting her. Tasuki is bitten by a snake and in helping to cure him, Miaka realises a way of saving Taka's life, too. Meanwhile Nuriko has put the physical form of his bracelets to good use, forcing Roukou back home. In the end, Roukou finds the courage to help Taka, and in doing so, is able to see and communicate properly with Nuriko for the first time, laying his grief a little at rest. And Taka at last is able to remember Nuriko.

Tenkou makes his move, using Miiru (lets call her that for now) to attack Taka (lets note that at this point Taka GETS THE ONI MARK even though he has not got all of his memories!) and when that fails, he takes matters into his own hands, attacking Miaka and Taka at the Chou home. During this battle he uses Miiru as a shield as Nuriko attempts to shoot Hotohori's shinken into him. He then kills both Miiru and Shigyou, enraging Miaka and allowing Tenkou to absorb her negative energy. He also steals Taka's already gathered memory gems, apparently destroying them before him. Taka is devastated, and almost wondering why he needs them so much to be with Miaka anyway.

Meanwhile, Tasuki gets drenched with strange water that makes him act on the feelings that have been buzzing within him since the OVA 2 began. This is essentially his episode from the series, for he attacks Taka, challenging him and telling him he's taking Miaka because Taka is not the Tamahome he knew. He then spirits Miaka away (with an unusual amount of manipulative deceit, it must be said) to a town where he gets her drunk and hires out a room, intent on taking her as his in more ways than one. Miaka fights him off, and then Taka appears, and there is further confrontation between them. When Taka reminds Tasuki that he's one of the Suzaku Seishi, however, Tasuki's attitude changes and it becomes clear that he's been under a spell, for he fights against it, trying to take his own life rather than betray his friends. He is saved in the nick of time by Mitsukake, and grovels at Miaka's feet. Of course, Miaka forgives him! (This is handled in a little more detail in the manga - it's my belief that it has a pretty deep impact on Tasuki, actually, and Tamahome plays more of a rescue role in the manga than he does in the anime, which I'm mentioning simply because Tasuki's lines towards the end when trying to prevent Taka from leaving actually add up better with the manga version than the anime. Go figure...)

The episode ends with a further wash of strange water, bringing us into Chichiri's episode. I have to say that this episode is strictly lacking "na no da" or "ya know" from Chichiri's speech as for once he is completely serious. For the first time, Chichiri is not the support mechanism but the weakness, as he realises the being behind the water magic is his former best friend Hikou, the man he slew years ago for taking his fiancee. Tenkou has manipulated Hikou's resentment,, making him kidnap Miaka in the process and Chichiri is stumped - how can he fight his friend and kill him a second time? It is Mitsukake's wise words and Taka's honest appraisal of Chichiri's importance that makes him realise he has to, but when the battle commences, he is ready to give up his own life to bring down Hikou, saying that this time he won't let go of his friend's hand. Thanks to tactical play by Taka and Tasuki, however, Hikou is defeated and Chichiri and Miaka are both safe. Chichiri manages to make peace with his old friend before Hikou slips away once more to death.

Finally, the ultimate feature episode is Tamahome himself. When Tamahome apparently turns up, after claiming to be in suspended animation in Suzaku's care, everyone is a bit confused. Especially Taka, who begins to believe he's a fake and that he's just going back to the real world to die. However, once there, he realises that the other Tamahome is really not all he seems. Miaka seems to know it too, withdrawing back to the real world to be with Taka (and I do mean BE with Taka) before they both head back for the final battle. Meanwhile the other Seishi realise that the Tamahome there is not the real one - just the final of Tenkou's Kings of the Earth with the memory jewels belonging to Taka. There is a standoff between Tamahome and Taka, in which Miaka dives between them, to prevent Taka from getting hurt. She is, effectively, killed by this act, but her spirit is strong enough to communicate with Taka and give him strength to beat and then combine with the false Tamahome, making his own memories and powers complete. As Tenkou takes the book world into the real world once more, Taka and Miaka combine their forces to summon Suzaku and defeat Tenkou, revealing that he's not a God, but a human ghost driven mad by his own ambition.

Taka and Miaka's bodies are destroyed in the final effort to raise Suzaku, but their spirits are strong enough to withstand it and Taiitsukun tells them they can live in any world. The other Seishi tell them to return to the real world, since that was the one they were both born to exist in. Taka and Miaka are returned to their real world with physical form, Taka now finally knowing he is Tamahome...and the dead Seishi can at last be reborn.

The titles of the series show the reborn Seishi in their child forms as they are seen in Eikoden...and the epilogue is Taka and Miaka with a small child excited as she looks at the stars.

There are a lot of Fushigi Akugi moments at the end of each episode, with scenes being taken and warped. Probably the most amusing (aside from the ongoing battle between Taiitsukun's voice actress and Shigyou Ren's) is the one from the final episode, where Miaka's child is shown (wild red hair, impetuous and hyperactive) and Taka is asking, "er, are you sure nothing happened that night (with Tasuki)?"