One of my earlier and still one of my favorite (in the Top 3) anime is Fushigi Yuugi
. FY is very famous but for those who don't know, FY is about a 15-year old high school candidate Miaka, a Japanese girl who ends up trapped in a magical and dangerous world of a book she finds by accident in a library. The world of the book is a fantasy take on ancient China and Miaka fits the description of a prophesied priestess (anyone coming through the book of the right age and gender would have worked) who is desperately needed. Can Miaka save the Kingdom in which she ended up by embarking on a dangerous quest and surrounded by seven "warriors of Suzaku" whose job is to protect her? Well, sit back and watch.
I adore FY beyond words. It has everything: hair-raising danger and adventure, a twisty plot, a heroine I like and generally a cast of characters I adore (Hotohori, Nuriko, Chichiri, Tasuki and of course Tamahome, are all among my fave anime characters, period). It has hilarious meta-comentary on itself (it pokes fun and comments on its own drama even as it indulges in the hugest melodrama imaginable), a cheeky sense of humor, even interesting things to say about the entire exerience in a meta way (yes).
But above all (is it any surprise knowing my tastes?), what I love in FY is my OTP: Miaka and Tamahome, who is one of the warriors of Suzaku. Tamahome is the first person Miaka meets in this odd new world. He rescues her from slavers, quite heroically and then...promptly demands payment for his services. From that point on, I knew I would love him. Miaka is brave, selfless, cheerful and strong-willed. She is also not the brightest bulb out there, a glutton, and can be very heedless. Tamahome is heroic and strong, but also money-obsessed and rough-around-the-edges, very 17-yr-old boy.
I ship Miaka/Tamahome quite desperately (but luckily for me, so did the author). They are so imposibly and star-crossedly in love and desperate about each other, and they face so many obstacles, starting from the fact that the Priestess is not supposed to be romantically or physically involved with anyone, and ending with the fact that she is a modern Japanese girl who can't give up her family and her life to live in a book, and he is a book character who cannot exist in her world. And there is the fact that even the successful completion of the quest is likely to leave her dead, and the fact that the chief bad guy, Nakago, who is powerful and smart, will stop at nothing to prevent her winning, not to mention has glommed onto Tamahome as some sort of bizarre emoional and physical guinea pig for breaking.
Anyway, they are pretty awesome. And the best part? FY gives us moments of high melodrama with them, but it also pokes fun at it at the same time. Perfect.
Here is a cool M/T vid I found (youtube has TONS, yay!). The song is super-over-dramatic, which fits just right :)
A word or two of warning if you plan to watch FY: (first a small one) it's an older anime and you can tell in the style (it was done around 1996, I think). That doesn't bother me, but it depends for you. And now a big one: FY is like a Bollywood movie in that it starts feather-light, all puns and fun and funniness and then gradually descends into heart-break territory. There have been episodes which made me cry, and I ended up literally bawling
for eps near the end. Some of your very favorite characters may not make it. Do Miaka and Tamahome (separately and as a couple)? Seeing that the resolution of the story was one of my favorite anime moments ever, do you think I'll spoil you?...Of course. Just ask and I will :P
Oh, and another note, though I can't see this would be off-putting to anyone of my flist. There is a lot of slash, both subtext and text. Outside of yaoi and probably Peacemaker
, this remains the most slash-friendly anime I've seen. ( Another shippy vid )
If you want to read all my ravings about FY, I posted about it a lot. Here are all my posts
. I probably have a 100 posts on the show, especially when I first watched it :)