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Twelve Kingdoms

Before I started its anime adaptation, I got warned from some online reviews that the story was a bit slow pace and Yoko was not very likable in the first few episodes. They were right. Yoko basiclly was a low-self-esteem softheaded high schoolgirl who tried to please everyone but no one liked her. She dragged Yuka and Asano into the twelve kingdoms world when Keiki transported her and therefor was partially responsible for Asano's later death. Her lacking of common sense nearly got her and Yuka kidnaped and sold to brothel. She nearly went rogue and started killing after losing confidence to humanity. And even after she became a Monarch, she was still lacking of knowledge and naive in politics decisions.

It's really not likable but at the same time, it's very in character for a girl like her. Because basically, she's just a withdrawn schoolgirl. And later, she got really good development. Support from Rakushun tamed her anxiety and distrust of the world, reviving her kind nature. She learned from all kind of people and started really fighting for her own fate. When she found herself lacking of element in politics, she left her palace and went back to the mere mortals, used her withdrawn nature for undercover, studied, observed, and even participated in the “rebellion" and finally brought down the corrupted officials.

Best part of the anime is that, nearly everybody grows up. Yuka got rid of her fantasy-fate fantasy. Asano gained courage to fight back before his death. Kind-hearted Rakushun was still kind-hearted and inspiring, but he went to the bigger world and was no longer limited by people's discrimination of half-beast. Keiki at first was a pretty useless Kilin mostly doing nothing except for sighing and depressing Yoko, but later he helped running the goverment when Yoko was undercover and helped save a dying kid even the blood could cause him serious ill. Suzu no longer blamed her fate for everything and Shoukei learned to be responsible. The two girls above became the key to the success of the rebelion.

For more information, here's the link to WIKI and a review I found when looking for images:

Sorry I'm fangirling over here

Date: 2010-09-11 08:28 am (UTC)
lissa_quon: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lissa_quon
Ah 12 Kingdoms, one of the best fantasy anime I've seen in a long time. I'm really sad that this series never got more attention.

I remember being surprised at how good this series was. When I watched the first few episodes I expected it to turn into a Fushigi Yugi sort of piece, where girl enters fantasy world, she is hailed as the long lost heroine/priestess whatever and have some romance kick up and the cliches start flying.

Instead the series took the very gritty approach to the idea of an ordinary school girl sucked into a world she didn't understand. She and her companions are shunned, hunted, feared and pushed to a breaking point with no idea why they are even there. Yoko's development was quite awesome to watch.

The novels the anime is based on are quite good too, though in the novels her class mates do not go with her to the other world. The anime added them to give Yoko someone to bounce off of since in the novels you got alot of Yoko's internal narration which doesn't make good TV.

Re: Sorry I'm fangirling over here

Date: 2010-09-11 09:09 am (UTC)
lissa_quon: a super deformed V from V for Vendetta (chibi V)
From: [personal profile] lissa_quon
Well in 2008 she did actually write a short story set in the Kingdoms, so I like to take that as a sign she is going to get back to that setting sometime.

I'm starting to wonder if she is hung up on figuring out what happened to Taiki or something like that. Since that was one of the biggest mysteries in the series and thats where she stopped.

Aw Taiki, that part of the anime was so damn adorable.


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