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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 Because basically, she's just a withdrawn schoolgirl.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When she found herself lacking of element in politics, she left her palace and went back to the mere mortals, used her withdrawn nature for undercover, studied, observed, and even participated in the “rebellion" and finally brought down the corrupted officials.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:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Twelve_Kingdoms
http://www.darkmirage.com/2009/06/09/twelve-kingdoms/

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