All Juuni Kokuki released episodes
Shadow of the Moon, The Sea of Shadow - Chapter 1
The episode opens with Youko having a nightmare of a strange man showing her visions of monsters. Upon her arrival at school she is confronted by her friend Asano, then a girl named Sugimoto says hi but Youko ignores her... Later that day Youko feels bad and attempts to apoligize to Sugimoto but it would seem that Sugimoto isn't so forgiving. The next morning Youko is still having nightmares of the strange man. Youko is being nagged by her parents to get her hair dyed, but she ignores it and goes to school. That day at school Youko's teacher is giving her a hard time about rumors of her staying out all night and just then a mysterious stranger appears and bows down before her telling her to except her throne.. Just then a giant bird called a Kochou attacks the school. Youko and the stranger run up to the roof while innocent students get injured and killed by the Kochou. At the roof they are confronted by the Kochou and the strangers named is revealed.. He is Keiki and he gives Youko a
Shadow of the Moon, The Sea of Shadow - Chapter 2
The episode opens right where the first episode left off.. Youko is flying with Kaiko and just as she is giving her the situation they are attacked by a youma and Youko falls. Elsewhere Sugimoto is with Keiki's youma Jyuusaku and they too are attacked.. Sugimoto falls but is saved by a group of youma. Youko awakes on a beach only to find that she isn't in Japan anymore.. She looks over a sea that has several whirlpools within it. Youko then discovers she has a magic ball on her sword that allows her to heal wounds. While searching the landscape Youko comes across a small town. She goes around asking if anyone knows Keiki.. Only to get attacked by the townsfolk. Her hinman takes over and tries to fight the villagers but there is just too many. She gets tied up and taken to a prison. In her cell she finds Sugimoto, who has also been caught. Sugimoto reveals to Youko that her face and hair are changing since she arrived in this world. They get taken to meet with a council that tells them
Shadow of the Moon, Sea of the Shadow - The Third Chapter
The chase continues.. The youma chasing them are a pack of Kiki. They attack the man stearing and the wagons tips over. Youko, Sugimoto and Asano are still tied up. One of the guards unties them and tells them to run for it, just as he gets killed, but before the others can run they are surrounded. The hinman takes Youko over once again and makes her kill the Kiki. In a palace near by we see the King of Kou and the mysterious figure from before.. It is a woman named Kourin. King Kou tells her that the kaikyaku are a bad omen to the land and that she must use her shirei to kill them.. Kourin is depressed about this. The next morning Youko and the others are looking for food and they come across a town. They break into a house and look around. A woman named Takki arrives and calls them theives. Sugimoto grabs her from behind and tells Youko to kill her.. Youko can't do it and breaks down in tears.. Takki starts to feel pity for them and offers them to stay the night. During the middle of
Shadow of the Moon, Sea of the Shadow - The Fourth Chapter
Auzaru tells Youko that nobody cares about her, and how nothing would change if she were to die. He shows her a collection of masks.. With the faces of everyone in her life. He puts them on one by one mimicking the voices of Sugimoto and Asano.. Making Youko feel worthless. She says she doesn't believe him and he tells her to beware of Takki.. For she isn't who Youko thinks she is. Just then he dissapears and Youko finds herself inside a tent. She comes outside and finds Takki and the rest. They've all been looking for her. Later that night at a inn Takki tells Youko that the next morning Asano should stay behind in the room while they go to meet her mother.. That way less attention would get brought to them. Youko agrees. In the morning Asano watches out the window as the 3 girls leave.. He argues with himself about why Sugimoto is being so shy around him. Outside his room a old man heres him talking and walks in.. He understands what Asano is saying. Meanwhile in town, the girls arri
Shadow of the Moon, Sea of the Shadow - The Fifth Chapter
Kourin tells Sugimoto how it was her who saved her when she first arrived in this land. She tells her that there is someone that needs her help and to come with her. Sugimoto agrees gladly thinking that her time has finally come and she is the chosen one. Asano is still comforting Youko as Sugimoto walks up to get her bag. She tells them that she's going on alone and that Youko is the reason the youma have been attacking. Asano tries to stop her but its no good. Youko and Asano are now alone. They find a strange glowing tree and spend the night under it. The next morning they go to town to try to get some food but no one is willing to hire them. That night while in the woods Asano goes to try to find that tree again while Youko stays behind. Auzura appears before her again and shows her visions of her teacher and mother talking badly about her. He puts on a mask of Asano and mocks him saying that he is only using Youko for her abilities. Auzaru tells Youko to kill Asano, but just then
Shadow of the Moon, Sea of the Shadow - The Sixth Chapter
In Kou, King Kou is yelling at Kourin for not allowing Sugimoto to finish off Youko. King Kou sends Sugimoto off to a house out in a field where he will allow her to live. Back in the forest Youko awakes in a house.. She is greated by what seems to be a giant talking rat.. His name is Rakushun and he tried to get her to eat. He finally gets her to eat some peaches. When he leaves to go get some water, Auzaru appears and tells her not to trust the rat. Rakushun comes back in. Youko asks him if he knows Keiki, but Rakushun doesn't know him. Just then a officer comes to the door and Youko hides. He tells Rakushun how their looking for a man and woman (Asano and Youko) and that theres a reward. He tells them he knows nothing of it. Youko asks him why shes doing this and he says because he wants to help her. Later that night Rakushun tells Youko about the twelve kingdoms and how it was created. That night when Youko is alone in her room, Auzura appears and tells her the rat will betray her.
Shadow of the Moon, Sea of the Shadow - The Seventh Chapter
The group of Kochou attack and Youko kills them. Rakushun gets trampled by the villagers and knocked out during the action. The guards come running out and Youko thinks about killing Rakushun before she leaves so he won't turn her in.. But she runs away instead because she is afraid the guards will give her a hard time for being a kaikyaku. Back in the woods Auzaru appears and asks her why she didn't kill Rakushun.. She replies saying he was her friend. He puts a mask of Rakushun on and says he will turn her in. He tells her that she cares about nothing and she only cares about herself. She finally stands up to him and tells him that she will do whatever she wants and he doesn't control her. She is fed up with him and approaches him with her sword. She tells him she is glad she didn't kill Rakushun. He calls her a fool and she slashes him with the sword as he falls lifelessly into a bush.. She has finally freed herself from Azura. She goes back into town to find Rakushun but no one see
Shadow of the Moon, Sea of the Shadow - The Eighth Chapter
Sugimoto is shown talking to King Kou.. Turns out he wants to her service once again. He gives her a sword and tells Kourin to place her hinman on her again. This changes Sugimoto's appearance making her look different. As she is ready to set out she realizes Kourin has fallen ill.. She runs out of the room. Sugimoto arrives at the dock where Youko is and she goes on the same ship as Youko will be traveling on. As the ship takes off she realizes Youko isn't on it. Youko purposely stayed behind because she didn't wanna involve the nice family who helped her anylonger. She goes on a smaller boat that will catch up with ship later. While on the ship Sugimoto meets a hanjyuu who is traveling to En so he can live freely. Youko catches up with the ship and boards it. She ends up standing in the same area with Sugimoto but she doesn't reconigze her due to her hinman. Just then a group of men are harassing the hanjyuu, commanding him to turn back into his human form. Just as they are about to
Shadow of the Moon, Sea of the Shadow - The Ninth Chapter
The episode opens in En. We see Youko getting off the ship.. As she's looking around she hears a familiar voice call her name.. It's Rakushun. He tells her he is glad she made it and how he has been waiting for her. He tries convincing her that the Kochou inncindent was his fault.. She cried and hugs him. Elsewhere in town Sugimoto is shown looking around, she runs into a group of men who know she is a kaikayu, and they take her to the government office. There she meets with a woman, it turns out this place helps kaikayu in En get a home. Enki walks in and recognizes her and decides to help her out. Youko and Rakushun check into a inn for the night. Youko tells Rakushun more about Keiki and how he brought her there. The next day Youko and Rakushun come across a school.. There they meet the teacher named Heki, he tells them he too is a kaikayu. He tells Youko about Reboku trees and how babies are born from them. While going in depth about her story of Keiki they realize that Youko was c
Shadow of the Moon, Sea of the Shadow - The Tenth Chapter
As King En is introducing himself to Youko, they are attacked by a second force of youma. Youko takes out the leader of the pack and the rest withdrawal. King En then takes Youko to his personal inn. She tells him her story and how she doesn't think she is a queen. King En explains to her how her sword creates illusions and unless she learns to conquer it, it will continue to haunt her. Just then Enki walks in, Youko is shocked and has realized she has seen this boy before. King En tells Youko to come to his palace with him. She agrees. She goes to get Rakushun but he is hesitant to go with her now that shes going to be a queen.. Finally she talks him into knowing that nothing has changed. They arrive at the palace just before night hits. Youko enjoys the view of the sea from the top of the palace. King En shows them around and after Youko takes a bath she comes out to find Rakushun.. As a human. Finding him attractive, Youko feels embarassed after the way she treated him as a rat. The
Story - 9Alright, here's how I can explain it...Youko Nakajima and 2 friends, Asano and Sugimoto, come to the Twelve Kingdoms place. Stuff happens. All this confusing mumbo jumbo vocabulary is said from Keiki, who is Youko's guy-thing. Youko learns about the 12 Kingdoms and her destiny, yadda yadda. Okay, I'll be honest. It was hard to keep up with the story and vocabulary - it had a good story though, don't get me wrong. Art/Animation - 6I really, really didn't like the animation. It felt weak, bland and it irritated me to no end. It just didn't work for me. I was glad when it was over and done with, I don't think I could handle another 20+ episodes of this animation.Sound - 5The music was just weak as well. However, the opening score is probably what made me forgive the rest of the soundtrack. I was hoping for something a little better. Character - 9Twelve Kingdoms is practically a character-driven show. If you want character dramatics, this is the series to go to. Backstabbing and various other activities occur between all the characters in this series. Youko Nakajima is easily one of the best and strongest young women in anime history, she's no weakling.Enjoyment - 1I'll admit - I didn't enjoy it. It felt like a chore to watch it. To be fair, I only got excited like 4-5 times throughtout the series. It felt like an even bigger task to remember all the words and vocabulary. It was just very annoying and frustrating.Overall, I have to give Twelve Kingdoms an 7/10 because it was good story/character-wise despite the fact it wasn't memorable - at all.
Ambitious and epic, this is one anime that doesn't shy away from grandeur. Set in a richly designed land that resembles ancient China (but with significant differences), it brings together elements of fantasy and politics on a mind blowing scale. I hear that this kind of settings is quite an over used one, but it's the first of this kind that I've come across. And even if the premises is over used, an anime of such caliber as "12 Kingdoms" is surely one of the standard bearers of the genre. First of all, let me just say that the design of the world that the story take place in is simply amazing. The society, the emperors and their kirin etc give birth to many imaginative concepts. Not all of it is good though, for example I'm not too keen on the emperor selection process. I thought the whole point of letting the gods do the choosing is so that the emperor would be suitable... so why are some of them so screwed up? Oh well, if things didn't go so wrong, it wouldn't make much of a story, right? The "12 Kingdoms" series has a structure comprising four clearly defined story arcs, each with their own title. The first one sets the scene but didn't really get me excited all that much. Maybe it was because being thrown straight into this world with so many exotic concepts is a little overwhelming, and I found it a bit too much to absorb all at once. The second arc is entertaining and open to further development, but alas, "12 Kingdoms" finished prematurely, so they never got around to revisiting the second arc and resolving it. However, despite the improvements upon the first arc it was still lacking that certain spark that would really engage my attention. It didn't help that at the time, I was experiencing a waning interest in anime, with matters not being helped by watching that cack known as Nadesico that, despite only 26 episodes long, felt like a marathon of boredom. Because of this, something really special was needed to revitalise my motivation in watching anime... ...And that special something came in the form of the third story arc. My GOD what a magnificent piece of work it is. The third arc climbs heights unscaled by the others. It skillfully, almost flawlessly weaves together several strands of storyline into one big, complex, emotional rollercoaster ride full of excitement, political intrigue and profound character development. The last arc is short and sweet, but rather complicated. I'm not sure I fully comprehend all that happened in there. Even though the story is fantastic and full of twists, it is still eclipsed by the characters. They are memorable, colourful, and are extremely well developed. Unlike a lot of anime that may contain a couple of outstanding characters, there are a lot in this one. Featuring a cast of delusional, kind hearted, self centered, spoilt characters to name a few, the range of personalities is immense. And what's more, they are VERY dynamic - a few of the personalities i mentioned actually belong to the same people as they evolve throughout the series. I'm also impressed to see a kind of parallel character development taking place where several of them begun in similar situations, but dealt with their predicaments in very different ways. And what's more, perhaps what I like most about is that I see the characters, through the influence of the other characters that touched upon their lives, gradually change from ones that I loathe to ones that I really like and can sympathise with. It really is remarkable and something that I rarely experience in anime. Because it's easy to care about the characters - even the side characters - it's so easy to get emotionally involved while watching this. When misfortune befalls on someone, it can really tear at the heart strings. Now we finally come to some negative points, and there isn't really all that many. Animation was great most of the time, but sometimes goes a bit weird. The initial character designs seem a bit dodgy. The drawing of the faces are occasionally inconsistent, and the movements of characters are almost comical at times. Overall, the animation is one of the weakest parts of the "12 Kingdoms", and it is by no means bad - that gives you some idea of just how impressive this series is. The characters, though nothing short of amazing, are not quite perfect either. For example, I found it hard to believe a spoilt princess who played in the palace without a care in the world is able to perceive the underhand politics that goes on in the place. Also, the recap episodes were annoyingly frequent and sometimes seem misplaced. Even so, there are good points about the recaps as well - they are usually very cleverly done, and are utilised VERY well to move the story along just a bit further and are also used as an opportunity to explain things more clearly. So they are by no means just recycled material, making them a lot more tolerable to watch. In fact, other than the frequency and timing issues, they are probably as good as recaps can get. The above mentioned points are all minor complaints, the one real point that serious dents the credentials of "12 Kingdoms" is the ending. It's a shame, simply a crying shame, that it was left unfinished. Though the last featured arc itself is finished, the series feels far from complete as a whole. The slightly tedious 15 episode set up to the whole saga probably would have seemed more worth it had this followed through with the full 75 episodes that it was intended for. This is probably the only obstacle preventing "12 Kingdoms" from being a masterpiece.
The Twelve Kingdoms is a series of light novels by Fuyumi Ono (Ghost Hunt, Shiki). It began publishing in 1992 with the final volume releasing in 2001, totalling to 11 volumes. Later in 2002, it received an anime adaptation that spanned 45 episodes. The anime begins with a timid high school girl named Yoko Nakajima who along with her friends is dragged into an alternate world that is poles apart from the one she is familiar with. Although the idea of a naïve, clueless protagonist being transported into another world is nothing innovative and rather typical, The Twelve Kingdoms takes this very idea and turns it into a captivating story that quickly drew me in. Slightly reminiscent of prehistoric China, the world of the Twelve Kingdoms is a fascinating one. Here monarchy prevails; each kingdom being under the rule of an emperor who is chosen through the ‘will of the Heavens’ that is regarded as the ultimate authority and the ultimate cause of the very existence of the world. Despite the fantasy setting, the facts that punishment is inevitable for the wrong doer and that we reap what we sow are, needless to say, prevalent in both the worlds. Similar to our world, the society is riddled with politics, discrimination, the thirst for power and subsequent corruption. The universe of the Twelve Kingdoms is intricately detailed that is both intriguing and convincing. Though Yoko’s struggle to survive in the uncanny world she has been dragged into is central to the series, she is not always under the spotlight. Several other characters also have their own stories to tell, a few of whom are more memorable and relatable than the protagonist. There are four arcs in total of which the first arc basically sets the stage. My personal favourite is the second one, the Black Kirin arc which is unrelated to the actual story. Unfortunately, this arc suffers a loose end which is never tied up and this is one downside to the anime. The third arc introduces a few other characters and is centred on three females, Suzu, Shoukei and Yoko herself. The fourth arc is again hugely unrelated and although its story by no means is bad, it was sort of disappointing for me. Why? Because, considering that it’s the final arc, I was expecting the anime to be wrapped up in a decent manner but the ending, I felt, is rather abrupt and that immediately calls for a second season for the rest of the novels to be adapted. However, it appears that a sequel any time soon is highly unlikely. The anime is sometimes criticised for its tendency to be slow paced at many parts. As for me, I thoroughly enjoyed it and seldom felt bored. One thing is initially daunting though and that’s the bunch of assorted terms thrown right off the bat that you require to have at your fingertips or you’re most likely to feel lost through the narrations and conversations between the characters. However, the terms shouldn’t be a problem after a couple of episodes. One of the assets of the series is the characterisation. Each individual has an appealing personality and something to offer, no matter how trivial their role is in the story. They’re easily relatable, and you can’t help but sympathise with them as they go through their difficult times and feel contented when they make out of their tribulations. You can actually learn a thing or two from them. Rakushun, Taiki, Shoryu, Rokuta and Shoukei are my favourites among the supporting characters. On the other hand, Asano and Yuka failed to leave any deep impression on me. They could have been used in a better way to stimulate Yoko’s story in my opinion. Speaking of the protagonist Yoko, her character has been well handled for the most part except certain instances where I couldn’t help but be put off. For one it is a bit unnatural to see a crybaby turning into an outright bold young lady at the drop of a hat, as is the case with Yoko. Secondly, her constant whining about how ‘incompetent’ she is is downright annoying though that’s pretty much justified on a second thought. Apart from that, her inner conflicts and the lessons she draws from her experiences through the course of the series are delivered in the most conceivable manner. With regards to the visuals, ‘old school’ is probably what describes The Twelve Kingdoms the best. Character designs are pretty good as well though the characters’ faces seem a bit off at some scenes. Speaking of the OST, the anime has some of the best background soundtracks I have heard in a while and aptly fit the situations in which they are played. The opening theme is an instrumental music that starts off slow and captures the audience with its transition into an epic, battle-like piece halfway. To wrap up the review, it seems that The Twelve Kingdoms is a somewhat underrated show. If you’re looking for a decent fantasy anime with a historical feel and political intrigue, I see no reason why this show shouldn’t be given a try. It has its flaws but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying what it has to offer.
Well this Anime is great in every area it tackles, The Story is wonderful eventhough it is unfinished and Fuyumi Ono (the writer) postponed the writing of the continuation until further notice but the good news is that she revealed that she is planning to continue the story in the future (don't expect it to watch the continuation before many years have passed "if produced"). The art is fascinating the anime includes 3d scenes, wonderful colors, spectacular Music (WoW Actually), the character development is well thought of (Sometime may reflect situations you have faced during your life). Enjoyment, well don't ask, it is a 45 episodes series that you will rally through during a couple of days. Note: Complicated philosophical,Political and social story that contains a lot of terminologies and lots of character names
A great anime with a slow start, but with 45 episodes its pacing is worth the wait. Character development really shines as our heroine struggles to survive in a new world. In a world heavily influenced by Chinese mythology, what bizarre encounters will our heroine face? If you're into an adventure, action, and a little bit of slice-of-life, this anime is worthwhile.
First arc - 85/100 - very enjoyable fantasy with some exceptional world-building and character development. Second arc - 63/100 - far from bad, but I wanted to see more development of Youko's storyline instead of a completely different side story. Dropped because I read that the third arc only decides to really focus on Youko again in the last few episodes. A great shame, and a missed opportunity. It may have been something special if the entire anime had just focused on Youko. Ah well.
Episode Director, Key Animation
Theme Song Performance
Theme Song Composition, Theme Song Arrangement