Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Twelve Kingdoms
The Twelve Kingdoms, known in Japan as Juuni Kokki (Japanese:十二国記 Jūni Kokuki, also known as 12 Kokki or Record of 12 countries) is an 45-episode1 anime series produced by Studio Pierrot in 2002 and adapted from a series of eleven novels and a short story collection by Fuyumi Ono . She published the first of the novels in 1991 and the last, so far, in 2001. Recently, the anime has been released on DVDs in the United States by Media Blasters company. The story is a fantasy genre based loosely upon ancient Chinese mythology.
The story in the anime centers around a girl named Yoko Nakajima from Japan who is suddenly transported to another world where she begins a journey that leads to the throne of the kingdom of Kei. This is the same story that begins in the novel "Tsuki no Kage, Kage no Umi" (Shadow of the Moon, Sea of Shadow). The anime is notable for having a complex and well developed world background. Several important plot threads are a result of the government structure, for example. The story also demonstrates a more realistic reaction to finding yourself in a different world. Not all the characters can cope with the change.
Some of the more apparent themes thoughout the story are the will to live and accepting responsiblity. Yoko must learn the will to live in order to become Kei Empress. Shokei learns that she had responsibility as the princess of Hou and because she did not live up to that responsibilty, she assisted in events that lead to the end of the late Hou Emperor.
At the beginning, the anime had cast Yoko in the role of main character. However in the novels, Yoko is only one of many characters. The anime focuses on Kei and the events surrounding it. Several of the other countries are introduced, the most prominate being En and Tai. Kyou, Hou, Kou, Sai and Ryuu are introduced but play a minor role compared to the other three. Some of the countries are only introduced by name and a brief description of the current emperor and taiho.
At this point the anime has used most of the content containing Yoko and is divided into the following parts:
- Tsuki no Kage, Kage no Umi (Shadow of the Moon, Sea of the Shadow), episodes 1-14
- Kaze no Umi, Meikyuu no Kishi (Sea of the Wind, Shore of the Labyrinth), episodes 15-21
- Shokan (Correspondence), episode 22
- Kaze no Banri, Reimei no Sora (A Thousand Miles of Wind, The Sky of Dawn), episodes 23-39
- Jougetsu (Ally of the Moon), episode 40
- Higashi no Wadatsumi, Nishi no Soukai (Sea God of the East, Azure Sea of the West), episodes 41-45
The anime ended abruptly at episode 45, although the initial plans were made for 68 episodes. The company animating Twelve Kingdoms, Studio Pierrot, decided to stop production, since some lead characters designers have fallen ill and until further novels are released by the writer. As of March 2005, there has been no news of further release.
There are eleven novels in total, all written in Japanese, with some unofficial online translations in English. The covers and the few illustrations per book are drawn by Akihiro Yamada.
- Mashō no Ko (魔性の子) "The Demonic Child" (Taiki's story in modern Japan.)
- Tsuki no Kage, Kage no Umi (月の影 影の海) "Shadow of the Moon, The Sea of Shadow" (Youko becomes Empress of Kei.)
- Kaze no Umi, Meikyū no Kishi (風の海 迷宮の岸) - "Sea of the Wind, Shore of the Labyrinth" (Taiki chooses the Emperor of Tai.)
- Higashi no Watatsumi, Nishi no Sōkai (東の海神 西の滄海) - "Sea God in the East, Vast Shore in the West" (The Emperor of En suppresses a rebellion.)
- Kaze no Banri, Reimei no Sora (風の万里 黎明の空) - "A Thousand Miles of Wind, The Sky at Dawn" (Youko, Suzu and Syoukei free Wa Province in Kei.)
- Tonan no Tsubasa (図南の翼) - "The Aspired Wings" (Syusyou becomes Empress of Kyou.)
- Tasogare no Kishi, Akatsuki no Sora (黄昏の岸 暁の天) - "The Shore at Twilight, The Sky at Daybreak" (Risai meets Youko to request help in summoning Taiki.)
- Kasho no Yume (華胥の幽夢) - "The Dream of Prosperity" (Various short stories, set in Tai, Hou, Kei, Sai and Sou.)
- Kasho (華胥)
- Toei (冬栄)
- Shokan (書簡)
- Kizan (帰山)
- Jogetsu (乗月)
Konami has released two games based on Twelve Kingdoms, both produced by Takashi Shimomichi. They are Juuni Kokuki: Guren no Shirobe Koujin no Michi and Juuni Kokuki: Kakukakutaru Oudou Kouryoku no Uka. Both games contain footage from the anime and many stills of the characters are used during conversation and during battle. The game is sprite-based, with small sprites used on screen and larger, highly animated sprites used during battle.
Juuni Kokuki: Guren no Shirobe Koujin was released for Playstation 2 on August 28 2003. It following Yoko's journey to becoming Kei Empress. While classified as an RPG, it's often described as an adventure game. The game was re-released in Konami's The Best lineup on June 9 2004. Yoko is capable of summoning Keiki's Shirei into battle as well as have additional party members.
Juuni Kokuki: Kakukakutaru Oudou Kouryoku no Uka was released for Playstation 2 on April 4 2004 and is a sequal to the first game, continuing with Yoko's problems after she becomes Kei Empress. Game data from the first game can be loaded into the second. This game contains more rpg elements than the first with party/menu based battles becoming standard. Many of the event scenes are pulled from the novels but there are also scenes made just for the game.
- The licences length is 68 episodes. See 'Anime' section for details why the current series length is 45 episodes.
- Official U.S. site
- Series and Production Details
- AnimeNFO entry
- Official Japanese site
- Official NHK site
- Official Taiwan site
- Offical Australian site
- Official Juuni Kokuki: Guren no Shirobe Koujin no Michi site
- Official Juuni Kokuki: Kakukakutaru Oudou Kouryoku no Uka sire
- Review and small English encyclopedia/maps
- Fansite novel FAQ and translations of "The Dream of Prosperity", and partial "Son of the Demon", "Shore in Twilight, Sky at Daybreak" and "The Sea God in the East, The Vast Sea in the West"
- Partial translation of "Sea of the Wind, Shore of the Labyrinth"
- 12 Kingdom Project fansite and partial translation of "Shadow of the Moon, a Sea of Shadows" - Seems to be on hiatus
- Translation of "Shadow of the Moon, a Sea of Shadows"
- Episode summaries at TvTome
- The Twelve Kingdoms Forum
- Kirin Care for Beginners fansite
- 12 Kingdoms Encyclopedia in Japanese
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