Most of you are probably wondering at his point just what the hell is up with the pink fuzzy anime you have come to expect of FY. Truth is, this anime is far darker and far more serious than it initially portrays itself as being. Personally speaking, I like this aspect of FY because I find it to be more realistic. Sad, nasty things happen to people, especially when hatred and bad feelings abound. People who deserve to live often die, and people who deserve to die often seem to be doing just fine. Sacrifice is not nearly as glorious as it is made out to be, as Miaka found out. These are the ironies of life that Miaka and her friends have to face. I don't think it was cheesy or stupid, the way the Miaka rape episode was handled. In fact, I think it was done superbly. One of the easiest ways of neutralizing a Miko is by taking away her virginity, and while this is crass and pretty low, the characters in this story are living in times of war and extreme stress. People who are basically nice at heart end up doing things or threatening to do things they normally would condemn in the strongest terms because they stand to lose so much. It is a question of how far each person is willing to go to see his or her personal goals and duties carried out. Duties to different people or beliefs often conflict, and those conflicts require tough decisions made under duress. Miaka is not a levelheaded, mature adult to begin with. That is the whole point, I believe. She made a stupid decision, and suffered hideously for it. But that in itself would not have affected her as much as the realization of how deeply it hurt Tamahome. The supposed rape episode is fundamental in Miaka's growing up process. It taught her responsibility with the harshest of lessons. And it showed her that she had to be strong and wise in making her decisions because the results affected lots of people, not just herself.
I truly admire the way Yuu Watase brings together the emotions and events in this story. In a lot of ways, this story is like Eva and Escaflowne because the underlying theme is the growing up process of the main character. The current episodes deal very closely with personal guilt and how different people deal with their past ghosts. For Miaka, everything is going wrong -- she failed to summon the Suzaku because she burnt up the Book of the Four Gods Heaven and Earth, Nuriko died, she lost the Shinzaho, she feels betrayed by Taiitsu-kun, she was raped by Nakago, Tamahome knows of her shame, Yui still hates her, and since Amiboshi is still alive, only she has actually lost a seishi. It's hard to think of things going worse for Miaka, actually. Is it really a wonder that she ran away? She is a 15-year-old junior high student, not terribly bright, thrown into a world on the brink of war, suddenly finding herself responsible for not only herself but a whole nation as well. And she is failing miserably at her tasks. Is it really so surprising that she can't think clearly, that she feels a blind need to run, and that she wants to just give up?
Overall, I think that FY is done very well. The anime is slightly dated compared to KareKano, but the story is superbly well-thought out and the characters have a depth rarely found elsewhere. The manga for FY is actually my personal favorite, and I have reread it almost as much as I have The Lord of the Rings, which is saying a lot. Don't let the adult themes in FY turn you off -- not all anime is meant to be happy happy. And keep in mind that just like Final Fantasy VIII, the main underlying theme in Fushigi Yuugi is love. So sit back and let the story unfold; it will move you to tears in the last episode.