At first, the set-up for Twelve Kingdoms is somewhat similar to Fushigi Yuugi: A very annoying whiny schoolgirl and her friends get sucked into another world similar to ancient China. They can't get back home, they get separated, and undergo a perilous journey full of danger and betrayal. But fortunately for us, the resemblance ends there.
The main protagonist Youko Nakajima develops from a very insecure and self conscious high school girl to a courageous and self-aware young monarch of the Kingdom of Kei. All the supporting characters including villains are complex and add to the multilayered storyline.
Twelve Kingdoms is a very detailed mythological fantasy world that's like an Asian version of Lord of the Rings or Chronicles of Narnia. The animation is gorgeous and the soundtrack specially the opening theme is epic in scope.
The best thing about this anime are the life lessons it teaches. It's just too bad the series is incomplete. Nevertheless this is one you should NOT miss.
Being the first of reviews I plan on doing on this site, I guess I'll be gentle.
That being said this review will be on both anime and graphic novel. Now "The 12 kingdoms" is one of those fantasy type stories and this already starts off as a plus for me for i enjoy seeing what the Aurthur can create. We are introduced to the young girl Yoko Nakagima, who suffers from strict father, useless mother, red hair, good grades, great figure...... oh wait sorry. Pretty much your normal high school student.
In the anime she goes to a normal high school yet the novels(which are better) has her in an all girl school. You even pity Yoko more as she was forced to go there since her father doesn't believe girls/women should have any rights, power, freedom, compete in sports, wear pants, etc; you get the idea.
Low and behold as her life was really starting to suck more a strange, tall, golden hair, beautiful man appears in her classroom. (Coming from a role player's P.O.V. magical appearances like this really piss me off) The man confront Yoko swearing his loyalty to her and like any smart person, high tails her behind out of the room away from the creepy yet beautiful man that just kneel swearing loyalty to you. (thumbs up Yoko)
The chase is on and while this is happening a demon bird shows up and lays a nice thick layer of havoc on the school grounds. The golden hair, sexy stud decides to explain to Yoko she is to kill this demon for he does not wish to shed blood. Now in the anime Yoko ends up on the roof of the school with two other members and all three leave together by force to the world of the twelve kingdoms. The novel however continues with Yoko and this I honestly feel is a much stronger story due to this fact.
The anime follows the novel pretty well with the exceptions of the other two characters.(1 who isn't even in the novels at all) Beautiful animation with a solid story. Loving characters and so much depth; The world of the twelve kingdoms is one of wonder which grabs you tight and refuses to release.
This Anime starts out awesome! but suffers from the same symptoms as most Anime. The animation is choppy and scrolls, yet there are well drawn scenes. Also the story line is confusing, yet still has a habit of engrossing you. The writing sounds like it was written by one of the characters from The Big Bang Theory making this almost classic rendition of what could be a more detailed Narnia, an overwhelming and bloated Narnia. Twelves strength is the topics that are carried on dramatically throughout; poverty, suffering, corruption, salvation, and loyal friendships. This series is like a roller-coaster ride, but it's a great one
This is still one of my very favorite anime series. I've watched it many times and read what novels I could get my hands on. I really wish some publisher would release the rest of the books in English. I'm dying to read the rest! I loved the anime, too, but I must say that the end seemed a bit rushed, didn't it? Perhaps that just because I really didn't want it to end. I want more and I always will. Twelve Kingdoms Forever!!!