Fushigi Yûgi 5 by Yuu Watase: A-

From the back cover:
To save her newly adoptive country of Konan, Miaka must venture into the heart of the enemy’s capital. Her mission: to retrieve her true love, Tamahome; outwit the unscrupulous general Nakago; and confront Yui, the girl who was once her best friend but is now her vindictive rival!

Things have really started to come together in this volume, making it my favorite of the series thus far. In some respects, I wish I hadn’t seen the anime first, because I’d be free to be surprised by things again, but my memories of watching it (my first shoujo) are so fond, I can’t really wish too strenuously. Knowing what I do, I must question this choice of spoilery cover.

Miaka is actually not too stupid or annoying this volume, and I liked her scenes with Yui, especially. I actually felt for her at the end of the volume, which is rather unprecedented. In the squee department, I totally love Chichiri and Tasuki, and even Mitsukake’s kitty. It also seems to me, just from a few cute little panels where Mitsukake talks, that he might have more personality in the manga than the anime, which would be welcome.

This volume was good enough that I am considering a marathon read on this nice, long weekend. Perhaps I shall get all the way through the series.

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