Ranked #1728

Souten Kouro

Alternative Titles

English: Beyond the Heavens
Synonyms: Soten Koro
Japanese: 蒼天航路


Type: TV
Episodes: 26
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Apr 8, 2009 to Sep 30, 2009
Premiered: Spring 2009
Broadcast: Unknown
Producers: VAP
Licensors: None found, add some
Studios: Madhouse
Source: Manga
Duration: 23 min. per ep.
Rating: R+ - Mild Nudity


Score: 7.451 (scored by 2,084 users)
Ranked: #17282
Popularity: #2773
Members: 8,499
Favorites: 29
1 indicates a weighted score. Please note that 'Not yet aired' titles are excluded.
2 based on the top anime page. Please note that 'Not yet aired' and 'R18+' titles are excluded.


Souten Kouro's story is based loosely on the events taking place in Three Kingdoms period of China during the life of the last Chancellor of the Eastern Han Dynasty, Cao Cao (155 – March 15, 220), who also serves as the main character.

The Three Kingdoms period has been a popular theme in Japanese manga for decades, but Souten Kouro differs greatly from most of the others on several points. One significant difference is its highly positive portrayal of its main character, Cao Cao, who is traditionally the antagonist in not only Japanese manga, but also most novel versions of the Three Kingdoms period, including the original 14th century version, Romance of the Three Kingdoms by Luo Guanzhong. Another significant difference from others is that the storyline primarily uses the original historical account of the era, Records of Three Kingdoms by Chen Shou, as a reference rather than the aforementioned Romance of the Three Kingdoms novel. By this, the traditional hero of Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Liu Bei, takes on relatively less importance within the story and is portrayed in a less positive light. Yet, several aspects of the story are in fact based on the novel version, including the employment of its original characters such as Diao Chan, as well as anachronistic weapons such as Guan Yu's Green Dragon Crescent Blade and Zhang Fei's Viper Blade.

A consistent theme throughout the story is Cao Cao's perpetual desire to break China and its people away from its old systems and ways of thinking and initiate a focus on pragmatism over empty ideals. This often puts him at odds with the prevalent customs and notions of Confucianism and those that support them.

(Source: Wikipedia)


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Related Anime

Characters & Voice Actors

Cao, Cao
Cao, Cao
Miyano, Mamoru
Miyano, Mamoru
Sun, Quan
Liu, Bei
Seki, Tomokazu
Seki, Tomokazu
Bu, Lü
Bu, Lü
Koyama, Rikiya
Koyama, Rikiya


Tominaga, Tsuneo
Tominaga, Tsuneo
Honda, Yasunori
Honda, Yasunori
Sound Director
Ooba, Hideaki
Ooba, Hideaki
Episode Director
Takayashiki, Hideo
Takayashiki, Hideo
Script, Series Composition

More episodes Episodes(0/26)

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Opening Theme

"909" by Tribal Chair

Ending Theme

"Pinhole" by Ogre You Asshole

Write a review | More reviewsReviews

Apr 11, 2009
If you dislike blood and graphic violence, do not watch Souten Kouro. If you demand fanservice, panty shots, etc. there are none to be found here. If you like historical dramas, this is a good show for you.

This anime is about as GAR as it is possible to be without breaking the fourth wall. (It doesn’t quite equal the manliness of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, which is so GAR that it defies reality, but it is completely serious about it.) If the viewer didn’t already know from the fact that it is derived from Romance of the Three Kingdoms, the opening makes read more
I found this review Helpful
Jul 25, 2009

Based off Luo Guanzhong's 14th century Romance of the 3 kingdom novel, which is considered one of the 'Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature', it's one of the most well known and most adapted stories in China.

If you've seen John Woo's Red Cliff, played Dynasty Warriors, or any of Koei's ROTK games and enjoyed them, i'm sure you'll be familiar with the character names in the description, but just in case you missed it, well, now you know. This is ROTK, and you will most likely also be interested in this. Not much more else to say really, it's one of the most read more
I found this review Helpful
Dec 14, 2009
Ah, Romance of the Three Kingdoms. It is truly one of the classics of Chinese literature. It is an amazing story of war, bloodshed and honor. However, Souten Kouro seems to take this classic and make it much more uninteresting than it truly is. It stars Cao Cao, often portrayed as a cruel and merciless tyrant, as the hero of the story. After watching the first 11 episodes of the series, I truly know what the Chinese idiom "speak of Cao Cao, and Cao Cao comes," truly means.


Story: The story begins with Cao Cao's early life. The story itself generally follows the read more
I found this review Helpful
May 10, 2014
Most adaptations of the Romance of Three Kingdoms portray Cao Cao as a power-hungry villain. Souten Kouro is a little different -- he is the hero in this version, and it makes for an interesting take on this ancient tale. The animation is really, really cheap at times but if you're willing to look past that, it's a great show.

The other thing that makes this show interesting is that it talks about a few things that most ROTK adaptations skip over or condense -- namely, Cao Cao's childhood, the fall of the Ten Attendants and the Yellow Turban Rebellion.

I wouldn't recommend this show as an read more
I found this review Helpful


Anime: Sengoku Basara
There is war. There are kingdoms. There are leaders. There are GARness and EXTREME fights. Cao Cao looks like Nobunaga. So, yes. both series are about wars. Both set in different countries and time. 
reportRecommended by Kyo_Kagami
Anime: Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu
Story about great generals and their brilliant minds. Military strategy at its best, put into action in breathtaking battles. If you are looking for an anime with good character development: watch these two series! 
reportRecommended by ashura
Anime: Kingdom
Both are action filled historic series based on ancient China, with very similar settings.  
reportRecommended by grklein
Anime: Death Note
The MC's are similar in their moral ambiguity, uncompromising ideals and the-ends-justify-the-means philosophy. 
reportRecommended by Pullman
Anime: Yokoyama Mitsuteru Sangokushi
Based on Romance of the Three Kingdoms
Tons of epic moments
Similar character designs
Different moments:
Souten Kouro has better animation
Souten Kouro tells story of Cao Cao, Sangokushi - about all characters of Romance
reportRecommended by Gokudo-kun
Anime: Code Geass: Hangyaku no Lelouch
The MC's are similar in their moral ambiguity, uncompromising ideals and the-ends-justify-the-means philosophy. 
reportRecommended by Pullman

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Poll: Souten Kouro Episode 1 Discussion
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Poll: Souten Kouro Episode 22 Discussion
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