Juuni Kokuki

The Twelve Kingdoms

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Alternative Titles

English: The Twelve Kingdoms
Synonyms: 12 Kingdoms, Juuni Kokki
Japanese: 十二国記


Type: TV
Episodes: 45
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Apr 9, 2002 to Aug 30, 2003
Premiered: Spring 2002
Broadcast: Unknown
Producers: Sogo Vision
Studios: Studio Pierrot
Source: Novel
Genres: ActionAction, AdventureAdventure, FantasyFantasy, MagicMagic, SupernaturalSupernatural
Duration: 25 min. per ep.
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or older


Score: 8.071 (scored by 3437534,375 users)
1 indicates a weighted score.
Ranked: #4462
2 based on the top anime page. Please note that 'Not yet aired' and 'R18+' titles are excluded.
Popularity: #1207
Members: 108,364
Favorites: 2,207
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Apr 27, 2007
Stormy_77 (All reviews)
This series is so good that when it ends at episode 45 you'll find yourself wishing for more, I know most who have seen it feel like this.

It starts off innocently with Yoko being accosted at school by a handsome man with long blonde hair who wants to swear allegiance to her. Before she knows it, monsters?!? are attacking her, she's being defended by Keiki, she won't leave her friends and suddenly Yoko and the 2 friends she won't leave have been sucked into another world. Thus begins our journey into the magical land of the 12 kingdoms.

I admit, after the dramatic beginning, I was read more
Feb 7, 2008
Washi (All reviews)
I decided to start watching the anime The Twelve Kingdoms more out of convenience than genuine enthusiasm - the character designs and the general look of the show lulled me into dismissing it as a generic fantasy anime - an uncharming mix of demon-slaying and silliness (like the terminally unwatchable Orphen). But I was proved wrong, as the show quickly enthralled me, with a beginning that may not have promised a sophisticated story, but which was loaded with hooks to capture its audience: immediately interesting characterisation, a sense of urgency and bewildered excitement, and some original fantasy ideas and elements. Firmly hooked, I embarked on read more
May 8, 2008
PeachPieWaffle (All reviews)
I started watching this series because so many people said it was like "Saiunkoku Monogatari" (which I love). But, it isn't. In fact, it's nothing like it. Sure they are both Fantasy, with Historical setting. But that's about it as far as comparisons.

At the start I was pretty turned off by the series. I found the lead character, Youko Nakajima, to be utterly annoying. It didn't help any that she cried and cried for like the first 12 episodes straight (okay, maybe 7). But when that was done with, and the new world that we are presented with is explored and explained, things started to read more
Nov 19, 2008
YourMessageHere (All reviews)
Juuni Kokuki

If an anime is cancelled before it finishes, can you still hold its lack of completeness against it? This is a question that I am groping for an answer for. The thing is, I can see a huge spread of problems with Juuni Kokuki but I can also see some real plus points too. For a series in which a character says “half of life is hardship, the other half happiness”, it certainly lives by its word.

An oft-repeated phrase when you look at any halfway decent review of this series is ‘character development’, and to a certain extent this is read more
Oct 21, 2014
Fear_the_Reefer (All reviews)
Yoko Nakajima is a timid, proper high school student with a lot of expectations on her plate. In her home life, her parents are strict, with nothing but the highest standards for her. Her school life is even worse, as she’s the class president, with teachers breathing down her neck and an entire class room looking up to her with equal parts pride and scrutiny. One day, a tall, mysterious stranger appears right in the middle of class, and kneels before her, proclaiming her to be his queen! Before she can explain this to her bewildered homeroom, a demon attacks, and read more
Jan 23, 2008
jaygold33 (All reviews)
Although it was cut short, this is definitely worth watching.

If you sit through the first couple of episodes you will be surprised. What seems like a typical story at first turns out to be far from typical.

I thought it was going to be another one of those magical girl animes where the main character, in this case Yoko, is an annoying high school girl that can't do anything on her own. Weak and useless, the kind of character you can't stand, at least I couldn't. I was about to stop watching, but . . .

Boy was I glad I didn't. I don't want to give read more
Feb 9, 2009
MagEarwhig (All reviews)
The first time I read the plot synopsis it seemed pretty underwhelming but once I gave it a try I was surprised how amazing the story was, the world of the Twelve Kingdoms was just so interesting and detailed that you can’t help yourself and just be engrossed with it. One small thing I liked how people didn’t speak the same language in the other world as the main characters seeing as most shows don’t care about such small details and even integrating it to the main story, I liked the fact that they put some thought into stuff like that.

The story had immense potential read more
Jan 29, 2020
Recynon (All reviews)
(Twelve Kingdoms as a story is best consumed by reading the first novel (found freely in English on Eugene Woodbury's blog) instead of watching the first arc of the anime and then watching the third arc of the anime. I will be talking about this story, not the pure anime story.)

To explain why this series is a masterpiece would take a 20 page paper as well as the right viewer. For most people, this series falls between a 6 and an 8. For those asking the right questions and willing to do intense personal reflection, it's life changing. That's because if you look at it read more
Aug 27, 2013
Tia22 (All reviews)
i enjoyed the first story and first arc of Twelve Kingdoms. Everything else after that went down hill.

The art is good as well as the sound in my opinion. However, the story is always the most important aspect of any anime i watch, and the story or should we say stories in Twelve Kingdoms, annoyed me a lot, and to no end. There were too many pointless diversions, and characters introduced that the viewer can just not care about no matter how much they are forced on us.

What annoyed me most was that the writer obviously overstretched the amount of trouble that Youko has read more
Jan 16, 2009
outlaw98 (All reviews)
Juuni Kokuki had great potential but was directed and written badly. Continue reading and I shall clarify what I mean.

First off I will explain a few of its many faults.
1. Often very predictable



4. This anime was not planned out properly. When an anime explains something that has already happened like a characters past, it usually only takes 1 or 2 episodes, but in this show it takes like 8. And one of the stories (About a black haired Kirin) could have been completely removed from read more
Mar 11, 2010
kekekeKaj (All reviews)
Ambitious and epic, this is one anime that doesn't shy away from grandeur. Set in a richly designed land that resembles ancient China (but with significant differences), it brings together elements of fantasy and politics on a mind blowing scale. I hear that this kind of settings is quite an over used one, but it's the first of this kind that I've come across. And even if the premises is over used, an anime of such caliber as "12 Kingdoms" is surely one of the standard bearers of the genre.

First of all, let me just say that the design of the world that the story read more
Mar 2, 2016
Nervin (All reviews)
Teenagers being send to a fantastical, foreign world is a concept that has been vastly explored in both the manga and anime, often playing out in a very similar manner in which protagonists dominate the scene through sheer overpowering of the characters themselves. In numerous cases this results in a boring and typical narrative, which isn't bad on its own. Although Juuni Kokuki, or its english title "The Twelve Kingdoms", is not innovative setting-wise, it has in fact more to offer in terms of characterization as well as story, which are enriched with the lore and the presented world. However, there are some issues with read more
Sep 26, 2012
_Rika (All reviews)
The Twelve Kingdoms is a series of light novels by Fuyumi Ono (Ghost Hunt, Shiki). It began publishing in 1992 with the final volume releasing in 2001, totalling to 11 volumes. Later in 2002, it received an anime adaptation that spanned 45 episodes.

The anime begins with a timid high school girl named Yoko Nakajima who along with her friends is dragged into an alternate world that is poles apart from the one she is familiar with. Although the idea of a naïve, clueless protagonist being transported into another world is nothing innovative and rather typical, The Twelve Kingdoms takes this very idea and turns read more
May 18, 2008
TheDeadServ (All reviews)
One of the finest anime's I've ever seen. DON'T BE FOOLED by the apparently average/low quality animations and art. In time you'll realize that what draws you to this anime is not that, but rather the story that it tells, like every other anime should be!

The story has an UNPREDICTABLE AND AMAZING DEVELOPMENT. There's no guessing what'll happen next, and it always surprises you leaving you yearning for more.

The characters are amazing. The main character alone develops in ways I've never seen a single character in anime do before. Starting off as a shy character, it develops in ways that, at times makes read more
Jul 8, 2018
Johan_Liebert_ (All reviews)
Do you know how to spell disappointment? T-w-e-l-v-e K-i-n-g-d-o-m-s; this is how to do it. The anime started off pretty good actually introducing the characters and the world to us, but, alas that lasted for 3-4 episodes. It goes downhill really quickly.

Plot - 4/10
Our protagonist, Youka, along with her two friends, Sugimoto and Asano, is taken to another world by a man named Keiki. At first the anime pretends that it has some grand story planned out for our characters, but it was just a "Oh I brought you to this world because you're destined to be king" kind of story. The pacing is all read more
Jun 4, 2013
kubagami (All reviews)
I don't know if I'll ever be able to fully express how unique and inspiring this anime is.
12 Kingdoms starts out in a very cliche way. School girl ends up in another dimension, special powers, nothing I haven't seen before. What truly make this anime stand out is how much the characters grow and develop. All the characters you meet in the first episode completely transform into someone else by the time the anime is over. Some change for the better, some for worse. This makes the show very relateable. It's really all about growing up. Facing overwhelming obstacles in your life and dealing read more
Oct 15, 2014
tdwyer (All reviews)
I started to watch this anime with the anticipation that it would be a series I would enjoy. At the 'end' I am left with mixed feelings.

To a certain point I was right, this was an anime I would enjoy.

I watched the first arc, Sea of Shadow Arc, with great enjoyment.
I did not expect such complexity, but found this fact to be true for the arc, in regards to it's plot and characters. As a viewer, the theme of an ordinary character finding themselves to serve higher purposes or be to special, is not uncommon- Juuni Kokuki does a splendid job in bringing it's own read more
Dec 4, 2015
LouiseValierre (All reviews)
I started watching this anime because I was very curious in Historical anime since there are a lot of amazing historical manga. When I started this anime the story was okay, the main character, Yoko's story was interesting but then after her story came to an end, more like after she achieved her goal, another character's story came out of nowhere. The other character's story was interesting but it just didn't connect. After that came more stories of another characters which Yoko wasn't really involved with except for Asano. And that I didn't like. They focused more to the other characters and the details of read more
Jul 27, 2020
GrandEgotist (All reviews)
First of all, Twelve Kingdoms is an extremely interesting show, so regardless of how positive or negative I am in this review, I do believe you should watch it for what genuinely phenomenal aspects it does have. That being said, the show has a lot of problems that keep the whole package from being outstanding.

Story: 8
The story of Twelve Kingdoms is either extremely simple or extremely complex, depending on where you draw the line between lore/worldbuilding and story. At it's heart, it's an isekai anime about a teenage girl destined to be a queen in another world, and her personal journey to accept herself as read more
May 11, 2016
Prezzix (All reviews)
This is my first review btw!

This anime... Where to begin even.

So the first episode, I wished for the main character to die. She was so fucking whiny and like OH NO, I CAN'T DO THAT, EVEN IF I DIE WHEN I DON'T DO IT, I STILL CAN'T DO THAT.
I was going to give up on this anime, but I read in reviews that she was going to get better, so I trusted them and continued watching. And as the anime goes on, it gets better.

I am so amazed someone could think of something this wonderful, to be honest. Everything gets explained to you.
I guess the read more