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The Twelve Kingdoms

The Twelve Kingdoms anime is an animated television series adaptation of the novels written by Fuyumi Ono, with illustrations by Akihiro Yamada. The Studio Pierrot production aired on Japan's NHK from April 9, 2002 to August 30, 2003, totaling 45 episodes.

The entire anime series has been released on DVD in the United States by Media Blasters.

OverviewEdit

The anime casts Youko Nakajima, a Japanese girl who is suddenly transported to another world and eventually discovers that she is the ruler of the kingdom of Kei, in the role of the main character. In the novels, Youko is only one of many main characters and her story is focused upon in only two novels; as a result, Youko narrates and acts as a framing device to whom the story is told for arcs that do not feature her in the novels.

Like the novels, Taiki, Shoryu, Enki, Shoukei, and Suzu are key characters in the anime, with others like Keiki and Rakushun, as important supporting characters. The anime also introduces the characters Ikuya Asano and Yuka Sugimoto to accompany Youko to the Twelve Kingdoms. Their role is to externalize some of Youko's problems that were internal in the novels.[1]

The anime focuses on the Kingdom of Kei and the events surrounding it. Several of the other countries are introduced, the most prominent being Kou, En and Tai, while Kyou, Hou, Sai and Ryu play a minor role compared to the other three. The rest of the kingdoms are only introduced by name and a brief description of the current ruler and taiho.

Several events and existing characters in the series were expanded in the anime series, though the series general maintains the overall plot and themes introduced in the novels. Notably, the anime introduces the events of the fourth novel, The Twelve Kingdoms: Skies of Dawn, before the third novel, The Twelve Kingdoms: The Vast Spread of the Seas.

Episodes Edit

Main article: Episode Guide

The anime closely follows Yoko and is divided into the following parts.

  • "Tsuki no Kage, Kage no Umi" (Shadow of the Moon, Sea of Shadow), episodes 1-13
    Yoko travels to the world of the Twelve Kingdoms, develops as a person and starts to embrace her new destiny.
  • "Kaze no Umi, Meikyuu no Kishi" (Sea of Wind, Shore of the Labyrinth), episodes 15-21
    Partial story of the black Kirin, Taiki.
  • "Shokan" (Correspondence), episode 22
    Yoko and Rakushun correspond by bird, and we see how they settle into their positions in Kei and En. Based on the short story Shokan 書簡.
  • "Kaze no Banri, Reimei no Sora" (A Thousand Miles of Wind, The Sky at Dawn), episodes 23-39
    The story of Suzu, Shoukei, and Yoko as they struggle with a rebellion in Wa Province of Kei.
  • "Jougetsu" (Ally of the Moon), episode 40
    Short closing of past events in the Kingdom of Hou. Based on the short story Jogetsu 乗月.
  • "Higashi no Wadatsumi, Nishi no Soukai" (Sea God of the East, Vast Sea of the West), episodes 41-45
    A story from the past about the King of En and his kirin, Enki, suppressing a rebellion. Episode 45 is mostly a recap of the previous four episodes.

The original scope of the series included adapting the sixth novel, Tasogare no Kishi, Akatsuki no Sora (featuring Youko leading the Twelve Kingdoms to find Taiki); elements of the sixth novel had already been alluded to throughout the second arc of the series.[2] However, the series was cancelled after the completion of the arc featuring Shoryu and Enki's past.

Production Credit[3]Edit

Japanese StaffEdit

  • Director:
    • Tsuneo Kobayashi
  • Script:
    • Seiya Fujima (eps 41-45)
    • Shou Aikawa (eps 1-40)
  • Storyboard:
    • Hiroshi Yamazaki (ep 41)
    • Hiroto Tanaka (ep 13)
    • Junichi Takaoka (5 episodes)
    • Katsuhito Akiyama (eps 27, 30)
    • Kentaro Nakamura (ep 43)
    • Koji Yoshikawa (ep 6)
    • Makoto Moriwaki (ep 35)
    • Masato Suma (7 episodes)
    • Masaya Fujimori (ep 11)
    • Nagisa Miyazaki (eps 10, 20)
    • Ranta Ushio (ep 18)
    • Sakura Yoshizane (eps 18, 24)
    • Shigeru Ueda (eps 28, 33, 38)
    • Shinji Satoh (8 episodes)
    • Takuya Satō (4 episodes)
    • Tetsu Kimura (4 episodes)
    • Tetsuhito Saito (8 episodes)
    • Tetsuji Nakamura (ep 4)
    • Tsuneo Kobayashi (ep 1)
  • Unit Director:
    • Atsushi Yano (ep 19)
    • Chiaki Kon (ep 31)
    • Hiroshi Yamazaki (eps 41, 45)
    • Hiroyuki Tsuchiya (5 episodes)
    • Junichi Watanabe (ep 42)
    • Keiichi Sugiyama (ep 24)
    • Kentaro Nakamura (7 episodes)
    • Koji Yoshikawa (4 episodes)
    • Masakatsu Ōyagi (eps 3, 8, 13)
    • Masakazu Obara (ep 5)
    • Masato Suma (eps 14, 21)
    • Mitsutaka Noshitani (eps 11, 23, 30)
    • Nagisa Miyazaki (eps 10, 20)
    • Shigeru Ueda (4 episodes)
    • Shinji Satoh (5 episodes)
    • Tetsuji Nakamura (eps 2, 4)
    • Tsuneo Kobayashi (ep 1)
    • Yuuzan Takeyama (ep 29)
  • Original Character Design:
    • Akihiro Yamada
  • Character Design:
    • Hiroto Tanaka
    • Yuko Kusumoto
  • Animation Director:
    • Hiroshi Saitou (6 episodes)
    • Hiroto Tanaka (5 episodes)
    • Katsuyuki Kubo (10 episodes)
    • Keiko Shimizu (eps 4, 31)
    • Kumiko Horikoshi (eps 24, 29)
    • Minako Shiba (eps 23, 28, 33)
    • Minoru Yamazawa (4 episodes)
    • Naoki Murakami (6 episodes)
    • Noriko Otake (eps 8, 13, 18)
    • Satoru Kobayashi (6 episodes)
    • Shinya Uchida (ep 42)
    • Takashi Hasegawa (ep 35)
    • Yoko Kadokami (7 episodes)
    • Yoshiaki Tsubata (4 episodes)
    • Yoshinori Tokiya (4 episodes)
    • Yuichi Endo (11 episodes)
    • Yuko Kusumoto (eps 31, 36, 39)
  • Sound Director:
    • Tsutomu Kashiwagura
  • Director of Photography:
    • Atsuho Matsumoto
    • Atsuo Matsumoto
  • Executive producer:
    • Atsuko Kashiwagi
    • Isao Yoshikuni
    • Toshio Watanabe
  • Producer:
    • Ken Suekawa
  • Animation producer:
    • Chigira Hirakawa (9 episodes)
    • Daisuke Hosoda (ep 5)
    • Hiroshi Nagano (4 episodes)
    • Kaori Murakami (5 episodes)
    • Kazuteru Oshikiri
    • Kouichi Mikami (eps 23, 28, 33)
    • Kouji Nakano (ep 6)
    • Manyo Oshikiri
    • Masako Shinozaki (ep 33)
    • Masashi Matsui (35 episodes)
    • Michiyuki Honma
    • Miyuki Tsuchiya (ep 44)
    • Naohiko Matsuzawa (6 episodes)
    • Shinya Kawabata (7 episodes)
    • Tetsuya Koiso (21 episodes)
    • Yuka Misawa (ep 19)
  • Assistant Animation Director:
    • Hiroshi Saitou (ep 4)
  • Background Art:
    • Emi Haraguchi (14 episodes)
    • Eri Nakamura (eps 40-41)
    • Hideyuki Ueno (6 episodes)
    • Hiroki Matsumoto (25 episodes)
    • Hiromi Shirahase (22 episodes)
    • Hiroshi Igaki (25 episodes)
    • Hisaharu Iijima (11 episodes)
    • Hitoshi Nagasaki (4 episodes)
    • Junko Sakurai (eps 31-45)
    • Keita Suzuki (ep 20)
    • Ken Arai (15 episodes)
    • Kenta Shimizu (14 episodes)
    • Kohichi Gonda (ep 8)
    • Makiko Hirasawa (eps 32-41)
    • Masako Okada (ep 4)
    • Masato Itou (12 episodes)
    • Mie Kasai (ep 4)
    • Miho Kasai (ep 41)
    • Miyuki Onodera (22 episodes)
    • Naruyo Kiriyama (ep 4)
    • Nobuaki Ishihara (19 episodes)
    • Norihiko Yokomatsu (ep 12)
    • Reiko Shibuya (22 episodes)
    • Rie Nakamura (eps 32-39)
    • Ritsuko Murakami (14 episodes)
    • Sachie Abe (eps 40-41)
    • Sawako Takagi (ep 12)
    • Shinichi Uehara (ep 4)
    • Shinsuke Ooshima (ep 8)
    • Sho Itomitsu (eps 40-44)
    • Tohru Sugawara (ep 8)
    • Tomoko Sasaki (ep 20)
    • Tomoko Takahashi (eps 40-44)
    • Toshiyuki Tokuda (11 episodes)
    • Yayoi Okashiwa (eps 32-39)
    • Yoshinori Doi (ep 8)
    • Yoshiro Kajiwara (11 episodes)
    • Yoshito Watanabe (ep 20)
    • Yuka Ohashi (22 episodes)
    • Yūko Kobayashi (4 episodes)
    • Yuko Orikasa (ep 8)
    • Yutaka Ito (ep 8)
  • Color setting:
    • Hiromi Kobayashi (6 episodes)
    • Reiko Kitajima (5 episodes)
    • Tomomi Asawa (12 episodes)
    • Yuki Kase (18 episodes)
    • Yuuko Satou (8 episodes)
  • Conceptual Design:
    • Atsushi Wakabayashi (eps 5-18)
    • Haruo Miyagawa
    • Keiko Shimizu
    • Yasuhiro Morimoto
  • Digital Paint:
    • Hiroko Ueda (eps 6, 12)
    • Hiroto Tsuchida (ep 35)
    • Hisako Tamada (ep 21)
    • Hitomi Shimoganna (15 episodes)
    • Izumi Murasaki (eps 1-20, 22-43)
    • Kaori Ishikawa (33 episodes)
    • Kaori Kawashima (eps 21, 31)
    • Kaori Shirato (eps 3-4)
    • Koyuri Takagi (33 episodes)
    • Kyoko Fukuda (7 episodes)
    • Makiko Doi (5 episodes)
    • Mami Tsuibun (15 episodes)
    • Masako Yagibashi (9 episodes)
    • Mayumi Kamada (eps 3-4)
    • Megumi Matsui (33 episodes)
    • Michiko Ikushima (33 episodes)
    • Miku Tamura (eps 3-4)
    • Miyoko Yoshida (33 episodes)
    • Nanae Hashimoto (25 episodes)
    • Nao Tsutsumi (11 episodes)
    • Naomi Takahashi (33 episodes)
    • Natsue Sasaki (5 episodes)
    • Reiko Kitajima (eps 17, 24, 29)
    • Shinnosuke Nagare (15 episodes)
    • Sumiko Ozawa (eps 3-4, 6, 12)
    • Terumi Narita (eps 3-4, 6, 12)
    • Tomoe Imamura (ep 36)
    • Tomoko Matsubara (eps 24, 35)
    • Tomoko Toki (eps 3-4, 6, 12)
    • Tomomi Asawa (5 episodes)
    • Toshie Ui (11 episodes)
    • Toshiko Iwakiri (33 episodes)
    • Yoshiko Shimizu (43 episodes)
    • Yukie Matsuzaki (15 episodes)
    • Yukiko Tanishima (15 episodes)
    • Yuko Ueda (eps 17, 24)
  • Editing:
    • Seiji Morita
    • Yuka Yamagishi
  • Effects:
    • Shizuo Kurahashi
  • In-Between Animation:
    • Aki Konbo (eps 41, 43-45)
    • Akira Yamauchi (17 episodes)
    • Ayumi Tanaka (eps 7, 10)
    • Chiharu Tashiro (13 episodes)
    • Chihiro Yagyuu (12 episodes)
    • Etsuko Kimura (20 episodes)
    • Hideto Tanaka (6 episodes)
    • Hiroko Tezuka (9 episodes)
    • Ikuma Fujibe (ep 42)
    • Ikuo Yoshida (ep 42)
    • Kazue Tsunoda (24 episodes)
    • Kazuki Itou (ep 42)
    • Kazunori Higuchi (eps 6, 12)
    • Kei Umahiki (ep 35)
    • Keiko Horise (6 episodes)
    • Kousuke Tomita (ep 8)
    • Kumiko Kawashima (9 episodes)
    • Mamoru Otake (eps 1-2)
    • Manabu Nii (6 episodes)
    • Masayuki Katou (16 episodes)
    • Masayuki Kouda (5 episodes)
    • Mifumi Tomita (22 episodes)
    • Miho Inoue (eps 41, 43-45)
    • Mika Ookubo (20 episodes)
    • Mitsue Akiyama (29 episodes)
    • Motonao Komiya (eps 17, 24, 35)
    • Retsu Ohkawara (9 episodes)
    • Rinako Nishihara (15 episodes)
    • Ryuuta Yanagi (6 episodes)
    • Sachiyo Takada (9 episodes)
    • Satoshi Uchida (ep 42)
    • Shigeki Kawai (eps 1-4)
    • Shinji Saruwatari (6 episodes)
    • Shoko Kushibiki (6 episodes)
    • Tae Su Kim (4 episodes)
    • Takato Fukuyama (5 episodes)
    • Tsukasa Ohira (4 episodes)
    • Yasuhito Nishikata (eps 1-2)
    • Yuki Yoshinomura (eps 6, 17)
  • In-Between Check:
    • Hiroko Tezuka (20 episodes)
    • Keiko Horise (6 episodes)
    • Mitsuko Toyoshima (19 episodes)
  • Key Animation:
    • Akihito Aoki (ep 7)
    • Akiko Nakano (ep 42)
    • Atsuko Otani (eps 40, 44)
    • Atsushi Komori (20 episodes)
    • Atsushi Ogata (18 episodes)
    • Atsushi Wakabayashi (eps 19-20, 23)
    • Ayako Ishihara (ep 17)
    • Ayako Karatani (11 episodes)
    • Chiharu Okina (eps 24, 29)
    • Eiko Saito (ep 26)
    • Eitaro Abe (4 episodes)
    • Emi Inoue (ep 29)
    • Fumiko Yoshida (eps 11, 15)
    • Fumino Fujii (11 episodes)
    • Haruo Miyagawa (9 episodes)
    • Haruo Ogawara (eps 1-2)
    • Hidehiko Okano (12 episodes)
    • Hideko Saito (eps 25, 44)
    • Hideo Maru (ep 43)
    • Hidetsugu Ito (ep 2)
    • Hideyuki Hamada (11 episodes)
    • Hideyuki Yoshida (ep 23)
    • Hiroaki Hanawa (ep 6)
    • Hiroki Ooue (eps 12, 17)
    • Hiroki Takagi (ep 8)
    • Hiroko Kazui (ep 44)
    • Hiroshi Mimata (ep 38)
    • Hiroshi Saitou (13 episodes)
    • Hiroshi Takaguchi (eps 5, 9, 11)
    • Hirotaka Kinoshita (4 episodes)
    • Hiroto Tanaka (4 episodes)
    • Hiroyuki Hashimoto (8 episodes)
    • Hiroyuki Notake (ep 3)
    • Hisatoshi Motoki (11 episodes)
    • Hitomi Ozaki (ep 1)
    • Ikuo Yoshida (ep 42)
    • Itsuko Takeda (ep 1)
    • Jun Arai (eps 9, 11, 22)
    • Jun Taniuchi (eps 38, 43)
    • Jun Watanabe (eps 2, 4)
    • Jun Yoshida (ep 44)
    • Junichi Watanabe (eps 6, 24)
    • Junko Komatsuzaki (8 episodes)
    • Kan Saitou (eps 2, 45)
    • Kana Ishida (ep 20)
    • Kaori Higuchi (ep 1)
    • Kaori Ikeda (ep 38)
    • Katsu Yoshioka (eps 17, 24, 35)
    • Katsutoshi Isshi (ep 1)
    • Kazuhiko Fukuda (eps 8-9)
    • Kazunobu Hoshi (16 episodes)
    • Kazuyuki Kobayashi (eps 21-22)
    • Kei Ajiki (ep 12)
    • Keiko Horise (ep 24)
    • Keiko Shimizu (ep 1)
    • Kinomi Sakurai (ep 3)
    • Kiyoshi Matsushita (9 episodes)
    • Kiyoshi Nohji (ep 3)
    • Koichi Nakaya (11 episodes)
    • Kotaro Sasaki (ep 17)
    • Kumiko Horikoshi (4 episodes)
    • Mamoru Otake (15 episodes)
    • Mari Nakatani (6 episodes)
    • Mariko Aoki (ep 44)
    • Mariko Iguchi (eps 11, 15, 25)
    • Masaharu Morinaka (ep 6)
    • Masahiro Neriki (15 episodes)
    • Masaki Hosoyama (ep 3)
    • Masashi Wakayama (ep 8)
    • Masatoshi Fukushima (ep 6)
    • Masatoshi Fukuyama (eps 3, 7)
    • Masayuki Fujita (eps 5, 16)
    • Mayumi Okamoto (eps 8, 16)
    • Mieko Ogata (eps 15, 20)
    • Miho Otsuka (8 episodes)
    • Mikio Fujiwara (ep 7)
    • Minoru Kibata (5 episodes)
    • Minoru Yamazawa (eps 5, 25)
    • Misa Kuwabara (ep 42)
    • Misako Nomura (ep 23)
    • Miyuki Inoue (eps 5, 9)
    • Motonao Komiya (4 episodes)
    • Motonori Nishibe (8 episodes)
    • Naoki Murakami (eps 29, 31, 35)
    • Natsuki Egami (6 episodes)
    • Noriyasu Murata (eps 6, 17, 29)
    • Ooki Kusumoto (4 episodes)
    • Osamu Kibata (ep 35)
    • Rie Fujiwara (ep 43)
    • Ryoji Ikematsu (15 episodes)
    • Sachiyo Takada (ep 38)
    • Sai Yamane (5 episodes)
    • Satomi Matsuo (4 episodes)
    • Satoru Kobayashi (ep 40)
    • Shigefumi Shingaki (ep 20)
    • Shingo Suzuki (eps 5, 7)
    • Shinji Fukuyama (ep 25)
    • Shinji Saruwatari (15 episodes)
    • Shinji Satoh (eps 1-2)
    • Shinya Takahashi (ep 1)
    • Shoko Kushibiki (ep 24)
    • Shunsuke Kanou (8 episodes)
    • Sumihiro Koyama (10 episodes)
    • Tadakatsu Yoshida (17 episodes)
    • Tadashi Fukuda (10 episodes)
    • Takaaki Chiba (eps 26, 32, 43)
    • Takahiro Chiba (ep 38)
    • Takao Sano (ep 12)
    • Takashi Hirabayashi (7 episodes)
    • Takashi Ikari (ep 23)
    • Takashi Satou (4 episodes)
    • Takashi Yokoyama (eps 35, 42)
    • Takato Fukuyama (12 episodes)
    • Takayuki Chiba (eps 38, 43)
    • Takeshi Imai (eps 11-12)
    • Takuya Suzuki (ep 3)
    • Tatsuya Suzuki (ep 3)
    • Teruaki Tokumaru (ep 1)
    • Tetsu Inoue (8 episodes)
    • Tomoaki Sakiyama (ep 3)
    • Tomohisa Shimoyama (4 episodes)
    • Toshie Fujiwara (9 episodes)
    • Toshiya Washida (ep 11)
    • Tsukasa Ohira (eps 24, 29)
    • Tsunenaka Nozaki (9 episodes)
    • Yasuhiro Saiki (ep 5)
    • Yasutake Ogawara (eps 5, 9)
    • Yoko Ikekawa (eps 16, 20)
    • Yoko Kadokami (5 episodes)
    • Yoshiaki Mizuno (ep 3)
    • Yoshiaki Yanagida (ep 1)
    • Yoshiharu Fukushima (ep 9)
    • Yoshihiro Taniguchi (eps 5, 9, 12)
    • Yoshinori Kanada (ep 8)
    • Yoshinori Tokiya (4 episodes)
    • Yuichi Endo (eps 11, 37, 41)
    • Yuichiro Miyake (ep 6)
    • Yuji Takahashi (eps 6, 12)
    • Yukie Suzuki (eps 26, 32)
    • Yukihiro Kitano (eps 16, 20)
    • Yukiko Miyamoto (ep 7)
    • Yuko Kusumoto (ep 1)
    • Yuuichi Nihei (ep 3)
  • Photography:
    • Hiroshi Yoshida (14 episodes)
    • Hisako Tamada (25 episodes)
    • Kaori Kawashima (25 episodes)
    • Katsuyoshi Kishi (14 episodes)
    • Kazuhiro Tagura (8 episodes)
    • Kazuko Koyanagi (18 episodes)
    • Kohichi Gonda (14 episodes)
    • Masaki Nakai (4 episodes)
    • Miyoshi Tashiro (15 episodes)
    • Nanae Hashimoto (16 episodes)
    • Naohisa Haijima (14 episodes)
    • Naomi Wada (eps 40, 43)
    • Norikazu Yamaguchi (10 episodes)
    • Shinji Yaginuma (24 episodes)
    • Shinsuke Ooshima (eps 2, 5, 8, 11)
    • Takako Kimura (5 episodes)
    • Takashi Ueno (15 episodes)
    • Tohru Sugawara (14 episodes)
    • Toshio Kaidoh (ep 4)
    • Toshiyuki Sadamatsu (9 episodes)
    • Yōhei Ueno (15 episodes)
    • Yuji Shirai (14 episodes)
    • Yuka Nakatani (ep 10)
    • Yuki Toyonaga (10 episodes)
    • Yuko Orikasa (14 episodes)
    • Yumiko Morimoto (14 episodes)
  • Recording:
    • Fujio Yamada

English StaffEdit

  • ADR Director:
    • Lex Lang
  • Translation:
    • Michael Yamamoto-Davey
  • Executive producer:
    • John Sirabella
  • Producer:
    • Eric P. Sherman
    • Kaeko Sakamoto
  • Additional Translation:
    • Duane Johnson
  • ADR Writer:
    • Lex Lang
  • Assistant producer:
    • Mami Okada
  • Casting Director:
    • Kaeko Sakamoto
  • Dialogue Editing:
    • Humberto Zamores
    • Rick Tetzlaff
  • Dialogue Recording Engineer:
    • Humberto Zamores
    • Justin Kohler
    • Rick Tetzlaff
  • DVD Author:
    • Stephen Poole
  • Editing:
    • Justin Kim
  • Engineering Assistant:
    • Deb Munini
  • Graphic Design:
    • Merideth Mulroney
  • Post-Production Assistant:
    • Akiteru Adachi
    • Dean Ray Johnson
    • Deb Munini
  • Post-Production Manager:
    • Scott Marchfeld
  • Production Assistant:
    • Stephanie Takemoto
    • Yoshihiro Watanabe
  • Production manager:
    • Frank Pannone
    • Scott Marchfeld
    • Sean Molyneaux
  • Production Supervision:
    • Sean Molyneaux
  • Re-Recording Mixing:
    • Humberto Zamores
    • Rick Tedzlaff
  • Sound Supervision:
    • Patrick Rodman
  • Spotting:
    • Addie Akemi Kohzu
    • Mami Okada
    • Stephanie Sheh
    • Tetsuya Fujita
    • Yuka Juta
  • Translation Manager:
    • Anna Yamamoto

MusicEdit

Main article: Music
  • Opening Theme - "Juunigenmukyoku"
    • Composed and arranged by Kunihiko Ryo
  • Ending Theme - "Getsumei-Fuuei"
    • Lyrics by Keiko Kitagawa
    • Composed and arranged by Tomohiko Kira
    • Performed by Mika Arisaka
  • Other music in the series was composed and arranged by Kunihiko Ryo.

Collected ReleaseEdit

Main article: Twelve Kingdoms DVD Collection

The entire Twelve Kingdoms series has been compiled and released on DVD in Japanese and English. The series has also been released onto Blu-ray sets in Japanese.

ReferencesEdit

  1. "Translator Notes by Yamamoto Davey", Twelve Kingdoms - Chapter 3 - Coup, Media Blasters.
  2. [1]
  3. [2]

External LinksEdit

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