In Review: Juuni Kokuki

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The 36th review item, after 3 years of blogging, is Juuni Kokuki.
Nakajima Yoko is class president and an honour student. At home, she is a good daughter, always obedient to her parents. She pleases everyone around her to the extent of ignoring herself due to her lack of confidence. She has nightmares daily and a unique hair colour that cause some friction at home and suspicion at school.On a day like any other at school, a strange man named Keiki appears before her. He kneels and swears allegiance to her, promising to protect her and never leave her side. Thereafter they are pursued and attacked by demon-like beasts. In this mix enters two of her classmates who unfortunately happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. To escape the onslaught, Keiki transports them to his world. Unfortunately during the journey they are ambushed and end up separated from one another.

Now they have to learn how to survive in a new land, one with magic, swords, demon-like beasts and immortals.

This anime is based on text novels written by Ono Fuyumi. It features a complex fantasy world with a rich mythology behind it. The series tells us not only Nakajima Yoko’s story, but also stories about other people who came to live in this world.  Anidb

Twelve Kingdoms, as this series is called in English, was painful to watch at the beginning, mainly because I hated the personality of the main character, Youko Nakajima.  But I am glad I persevered in watching this show, because I was rewarded with new lovable characters along the way.

Our heroine becomes a reluctant empress.  Yes there’s something wrong with the personality of our main girl, but, when she finally overcomes those handicaps and realizes her responsibilities, the good parts begin.  The struggle to regain and control her kingdom is the highlight of this show for me.  Along the way we witness the story of 2 other girls, and I really like how Youko and the 2 other girls realize things and change for the better.  And that’s really what I like about this show.  A lot of characters change for the better, and although it is disappointing that there could have been time allotted for awesome fighting, I still like the story as it was presented.  (Note that I have not read the novels yet.)

Recommendation

Recommended for those who like shows with mythology and interesting characters.

  • Animation at 0.5/0.75.  I don’t know how to rate this, but I can’t say it’s top-notch.
  • Characters at 1/1.  The driving force of this show.  And I never thought a very large mouse could be so cute.
  • Music at 0.5/0.75.
  • Story/Plot/Dialogue at 1/1.  Absorbing.  Only a few kingdoms were really covered here.  I would have liked to know more about the other emperors (especially the youngest one), but that would stretch the series unnecessarily.
  • Entertainment value at 1.25/1.5.  I would have loved to see more awesome bear fight.
  • Total: 4/5

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