Nakajima Youko is your average somewhat timid high school student. One day, a strange man named Keiki appears before her, swearing allegiance. Before she could properly register what was happening, demon-like creatures attack Youko and her friends, after which they are pulled into a different world. A world unlike what she has ever known. Separated from Keiki, Youko and her friends must do whatever they can if they wish to survive in this new world.
– Doce Reinos (Spanish)
– Dwanaście królestw (Polish)
– Jūni Kokuki (Japanese)
– Les 12 Royaumes (French)
– Двенадцать королевств (Russian)
– 十二国記 (Japanese)
– 十二國記 (Chinese (Taiwan))
– 십이국기 (Korean)
– 12 Kingdoms
– 12 Kokuki (Japanese)
– 12 Reinos (Portuguese)
It’s hard to believe that The Twelve Kingdoms anime is from 2002 and still hold up exceptionally well.
The animation is beautifully dark, conveying a gorgeous world that is wrought with danger. The colors are somewhat muted. The superb art style is quite distinguished and easily recognizable. Unfortunately, the 3rd arcs we start to see some laziness in the animation as some scenes are stiff and basic.
The music of The Twelve Kingdoms is also beautiful and haunting. I am normally is not a fan of the non-vocal tracks but this anime BGM got me hooked. Most of the music has the traditional Asia style that mostly comprised of string instruments.
As much as I do love The Twelve Kingdoms, some of the writing logic is a bit baffling, especially the third story arc. So some corrupt lord killed someone, so we must go kill the queen in order to bring justice? It’s a bit of a stretch where the writing is trying to force a connection between different characters. The earlier story arcs were very good, while the later arcs have questionable logic.
I highly recommend this anime to anyone who wants a deeper anime that focus on the characters and politic of the world and not just the action set piece. The Twelve Kingdoms contains moderate graphic violence and some mature situations. Intended for young adults.
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The Twelve Kingdoms
A collection of notable music and song from this series.
- “Juunigenmukyoku” composed and arranged by Kunihiko Ryo
- “Getsumei-Fuuei” by Mika Arisaka
The Twelve Kingdoms
A collection of notable videos, ranging from a fan-created trailer, music video, opening, and ending clip.
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Photo by Nicolas LB, Jon Flobrant, and Yvette de Wit on Unsplash.