The Twelve Kingdoms (Juuni Kokuki)

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The Twelve Kingdoms (Juuni Kokuki)

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Postby Rosenakahara » Sun Dec 07, 2014 3:59 pm

SPOILER: Show
Image


Copy-pasting my rant from the previous thread this was in and adding onto it, figured it could get more people to discuss/watch it if it was it's own thread, plus it saves the mod having to split a tangent for this if that does happen.
I will only be going over some of the first season, the second season is even better but im not spoiling that because its so good.

So you have probably never heard of this anime, or if you did you saw it a few years ago and more popular anime were out so you ignored it, Twelve kingdoms came out at a terrible time, Naruto was coming out, Ghost in the shell SAC was popular as fuck and Gundam seed was a thing so nobody payed much attention to this gem.

The thing is the first few episodes don't help matters much either, it partially has the same "problem" (in some peoples eyes) that eva had, it starts out with a very strong leap then slows down to examine the characters, or just character since at the start of both series the people around youko and Shinji don't matter as much as how they affect said characters.

THE PLOT

To get down to the basic plot given in the first episode youko is a normal high school girl just living everyday life with her friends until one day a strange man appears to her in class asking her to accept some strange contract she does not entirely understand and is attacked by this crow-like being, eventually Youko and her friends Yuka Sugimoto and Ikuya Asano (who only exists in the anime) get dragged into a strange world that they do not totally understand, Youko's apperance drastically changing in the process.

CHARACTERS

See the reason i am comparing Youko to Shinji is because Youko (by her own admission later) starts off as a very VERY weak character, she is mostly helpless (and only manages to survive because of gifts other people have given her) and spends a large amount of time crying about how it isn't fair that things happen to her, this is in total contrast to her friend Yuka Sugimoto who jumps at the opportunity to be the "hero" of this new world and is very easily manipulated because of her complex about it, she grows to despise Youko because everyone is concerned about her and how well she is doing despite how weak and useless she is (in her eyes), but there is justification for this, Yuka is constantly teased at school and left alone because people consider her "creepy" so she uses fantasy books as an escape, imagining herself as a great hero and youko only ever hung around with her when the other girls were not looking, she was too concerned about her image.

Next we move on to Ikuya Asano who was solely invented for the anime, unlike most OC anime characters though, he is actually half decent, he creates a driving wedge between Youko and Yuka because even though Yuka is his girlfriend she is much stronger than he is and while he is mostly a nice guy you can read into his lines that he feels his masculinity is at stake when he is around her so when he see's that Youko is feeling sad and alone he moves right in there (believe me he is a nice guy he's just a fuckup) which only adds fuel to Yuka's fire, cant say much more without jumping into season 2 stuff so i leave it at that.

Finally onto Youko herself (post start of series), god i love this woman.
Youko starts off as mentioned before however after Yuka leaves the party she and Asano slowly become more hungry and more desperate, they have been lied to and betrayed several times at this point and Youko considers robbing a Mother and her daughter for thier food when they see them near the river but cant go through with it, eventually Asano is gone and Yuka comes back only to try to kill her and Youko just completely loses trust in people (not helped by Aozaru tormenting her with visions).
And that's where im going to leave it because im not ruining her character dev, though i will say her first major growth as stated in my sig is one of my all time favourite scenes in anime, right up there with the Asuka fight in EoE and the transformation scene in Akira.

Oh and watch the dub, it is imo the definitive version of the anime, the sub is good but the dub is just superb.

DUB REVIEWS

First off we have Dorothy Fahn as Youko, you probably know her best as Meryl from Trigun, Kaoru from Rurouni Kenshin or Lilymon from Digimon, she is just amazing in this role and tracks the character perfectly see the reason i prefer this over the Japanese is that in the Japanese version Youko's voice is good and fits her but doesn't really alter that much throughout the series, with Dorothy you can tell the changes Youko is going through by voice alone, she starts off very quiet and reserved ranging to self pity and even being very cold when Youko is left alone at the start and as the character grows her voice becomes more powerful and commanding while at the same time keeping the compassion of the character in there and never letting it leave her.

Major shout out to both Richard Cansino and Kosuke Okano for the dub and Japanese version of Aozaru respectively, they both do an amazing job with the character and it almost feels "joker-ish", you can tell he enjoys every second he torments and berates Youko and his anger at losing control over her was just amazing.
Also hearing kenshin himura as a crazed monkey man is amazing.

Karen Strassman as Yuka Sugimoto does sound a little bit off in the first 2 episodes I'll admit but after that she really gets into the swing of things and you can almost feel the delusional "hero" coming off the screen, my favourite line from her is in the finale she just sounds so..........broken by the experiences, its chilling.

Sorry Kim Strauss but im actually kinda glad you don't voice act much any-more, his performance as Keiki works......but thats about all it does, overall the role is just sort of forgettable which in this dub is kinda bad.

Joshua Seth as Ikuya Asano is great, he doesn't do much here but he provides an extremely sad yet dangerous performance later on and it makes me sad he doesn't do much voice work any-more.

So yeah that's just the first few episodes im talking about here, i wont talk about the whole series right now unless someone else wants to :ritsuko_mug:
"She had better march back here and try again! I only send people off on my terms! ...Or in a casket."
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What is going on is a concerted effort from anti-progressives to silence anyone who disagrees with them.-Bagheera 2016
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Postby Ray » Mon Dec 08, 2014 1:11 am

So it's Avatar, meets Narnia, by way of dragon age?

I can dig it.
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Postby Rosenakahara » Mon Dec 08, 2014 2:27 am

EDIT: i just realized that's what you meant with "by way of dragon age" im a dumb.
I just realized Youko's mother is named Ritsuko, must resist Eva reference..........
"She had better march back here and try again! I only send people off on my terms! ...Or in a casket."
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What is going on is a concerted effort from anti-progressives to silence anyone who disagrees with them.-Bagheera 2016
The Twelve Kingdoms discussion thread

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Postby Ornette » Mon Dec 08, 2014 12:48 pm

Note that there's a recommendation made in the rec thread: post/34561/Anime-Recommendations-Thread-READ-RULES-BEFORE-POSTING/#34561

But it's really the only long-running show that suddenly stops that's still worth the watch.
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Postby Rosenakahara » Mon Dec 08, 2014 1:29 pm

I made this more for the series to be discussed if i do convince someone to watch it, so far only ray has responded but im hoping i can get more people talking about this.
"She had better march back here and try again! I only send people off on my terms! ...Or in a casket."
I don't need a scabbard to sheathe my mind
What is going on is a concerted effort from anti-progressives to silence anyone who disagrees with them.-Bagheera 2016
The Twelve Kingdoms discussion thread

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Postby IronEvangelion » Tue Dec 16, 2014 4:52 am

I've still got at least one unfinished series on my backlog, but after I finish it I'll probably check this series out. I like the art style already.
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Postby Rosenakahara » Tue Dec 16, 2014 6:40 am

^ Awesome

So i just finished Book 3/Season 2 (as book 2 only got half an adaptation) again, i should get sick of this having watched it so much but..........this series is soooooo good, and i love how well thought out the universe, politics and language are, i consider the anime adaptation superior to the books but only because the things the anime added gave it a layer of depth while staying very faithful to the book besides those additions.
Oh and a little tip: watch the recap episodes, they less recap the episodes beforehand and are more like a politics lesson/refresher which helps a lot if you cant remember names.
"She had better march back here and try again! I only send people off on my terms! ...Or in a casket."
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What is going on is a concerted effort from anti-progressives to silence anyone who disagrees with them.-Bagheera 2016
The Twelve Kingdoms discussion thread

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Postby IronEvangelion » Mon Dec 22, 2014 4:15 am

Ok I've sufficiently cleared out my backlog now, so I watched the first episode. The animation is beautiful. The story is... pretty much nonexistent at this point, but that's probably to help the audience feel what the main character is going through. Random '80s hair band dude appears out of nowhere and gets creepy with girl, summons a variety of bizarre magical beings with little or no explanation... and then the girl decapitates a giant crow. Yeah, pretty crazy so far. :lol:

The girl with the short dark hair is my kind of woman. I can easily see myself reacting to the situation in the same way she does. :marihearts:
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Postby Rosenakahara » Mon Dec 22, 2014 6:55 am

Yuka is meant to be more relatable to the standard anime watching audience, in the books she was just a side character and Youko went to the other world alone.
And yeah first few episodes are..........kinda crazy to put it lightly.
There are 13 episodes each season in case you wanted to know, season 1, season 1.5 (side story), season 2, season 2.5
"She had better march back here and try again! I only send people off on my terms! ...Or in a casket."
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What is going on is a concerted effort from anti-progressives to silence anyone who disagrees with them.-Bagheera 2016
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Postby IronEvangelion » Tue Dec 23, 2014 3:14 am

Finished episode 4. I think I've got this world figured out now: Inside the towns, everybody is trying to exploit you. Outside the towns, everything is trying to kill you! -o-;

At least Youko is taking initiative now and fighting of her own free will instead of being compelled by the magical cum-spirit that burrowed into her skull in the first episode.

The series is pretty awesome so far. I can't wait to see what happens next.
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"Oh no, Haruka! My butt's already split! I think my whole team's butts are split!" -Minori (Senran Kagura: Estival Versus)

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Postby Rosenakahara » Tue Dec 23, 2014 5:10 am

Well from the main trio's perspective: pretty much, all they have run into so far are horrible, horrible people and that sucks.
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What is going on is a concerted effort from anti-progressives to silence anyone who disagrees with them.-Bagheera 2016
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Postby IronEvangelion » Thu Dec 25, 2014 3:50 am

Now I'm 10 episodes in. Man, did Yuka ever take a flying leap off the deep end! Did she actually get turned into a boy for a while there? It looks like some action is coming up now that Youko knows what she really is!
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Postby Rosenakahara » Thu Dec 25, 2014 5:43 am

She didn't turn into a boy its just her face became more masculine, i mean depends are you watching the Japanese version? cause i think she might in that version but since i love twelve kingdoms dub its been years since i watched the sub and cant remember.

As for going off the deep end...........yeah at this point she wants to stay in this world so much rather than go back to her old life so she will do just about anything for that.

As for the series in general, i hope you enjoy learning how this world works cause season 1.5 is basically that.
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What is going on is a concerted effort from anti-progressives to silence anyone who disagrees with them.-Bagheera 2016
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Postby IronEvangelion » Mon Dec 29, 2014 2:59 am

Actually I find the world to be even more interesting than the characters, so I'll enjoy learning more about it.

Just finished episode 15. Even the clip shows in this series are interesting! I really love how it's going into detail about the Kirin and Mt. Ho now. Can't wait to see what the black Kirin looks like in his Kirin form. That sure is an... interesting bodyguard he has! -o-;
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Postby Rosenakahara » Mon Dec 29, 2014 6:42 am

I dont know if this was already explained yet but the Nyokai are a special type of Youma that is born just before a kirin is, as Kirin do not have mothers and the servants at Mt. Ho can only provide so much the Nyokai acts as a pseudo-mother for the kirin until it reaches full maturity, after which it becomes a standard Shirei, unlike most Shirei however the Nyokai's life is tied to the kirin so when the kirin dies so does the Nyokai.
So the chimera type thing isn't really a bodyguard.
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Postby IronEvangelion » Tue Dec 30, 2014 3:38 am

Finished episode 20. I see how the Nyoukai is more of a mother than a bodyguard now. Taiki has become my favorite character, I think I like his story even more than Youko's now. His Kirin form is glorious, as is appropriate for a guy who's badass enough to be a unique black Kirin as well as have a chimera for a foster mother and tame an untameable Yoma, all before he hits puberty.

I'm going to predict that
SPOILER: Show
Taiki will choose Yuka to be the next queen of Tai.
I can see it coming.
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Postby Dr. Nick » Tue Jan 06, 2015 8:16 am

View Original PostIronEvangelion wrote:Finished episode 20.


Prepare your anus, because the really good arc is starting soon. In order to perhaps encourage more people to watch this fabulous show, I'm just going to repeat what I've said before: the third arc, A Great Distance in The Wind, The Sky at Dawn, is a great political thriller that just happens to take place in a high fantasy world populated by human-animal hybrids and brodents. And yes, all the suffering in the first arc does have a point, as will become apparent here.

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Postby Rosenakahara » Tue Jan 06, 2015 8:28 am

^Basically this, the third arc is one big pile of awesome.
also iron if you ever want to know what happened to taiki just ask since the arc was aborted before it got.............depressing.
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What is going on is a concerted effort from anti-progressives to silence anyone who disagrees with them.-Bagheera 2016
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Postby IronEvangelion » Tue Jan 06, 2015 1:40 pm

Sounds great, I'll have to watch some more tonight. One thing I'm wondering about: In the latest summary episode, they said there was one kingdom where both the King and Kirin were killed in a popular uprising and a general took control of the country. If so, why is there only one Kirin ranka (the next Koki/Korin) growing on Mt. Ho? There should be one for the other kingdom as well.
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"Oh no, Haruka! My butt's already split! I think my whole team's butts are split!" -Minori (Senran Kagura: Estival Versus)

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Postby Rosenakahara » Tue Jan 06, 2015 1:43 pm

they did mention it is a complete mystery why there is only one growing, im not sure if it was covered in the books but something obviously odd was going on there.
the kingdom in question will be covered in arc 3.
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What is going on is a concerted effort from anti-progressives to silence anyone who disagrees with them.-Bagheera 2016
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