Around 1800 years ago in China, the ruling power of the Han dynasty became weakened and the flames of war spread throughout the land.
Liu Bei was a young, poor straw-mat seller from the countryside of Hebai Hsing. After pledging eternal brotherhood with the two heroes, Guan Yu and Zhang Fei, Liu began building his idea of a righteous kingdom that would aid citizens who suffered from persecution.
Romance of Three Kingdoms, for those not versed in Asian cultures, is the Illiad of the East, A giant epic set around the fall of the Han dynasty in 189 A.D...
This particular version of Three Kingdoms is not a straight adaptation of the novel, but a version based upon Sangokushi, a manga by the famed mangaka Yokoyama Mitsuteru (Gigantor, Little Witch Sally, Giant Robo) in a whopping 60 volumes of tankoban between 1981 and 1987. Despite this, the story remains the same, much to the series' benefit. Yokoyama's designs are generally good, if somewhat 'old-fashioned' in comparison to character designs of the period. The characters
are more archtypes then fully fleshed out people, but this also occurs in the novel. The only bonefide standouts are Cao Cao and Zhuge Liang, who chew screen time with great aplomb. The series becomes a bit of a slog towards the end just before the 'last battle', which hurts on a certain level. Unfortunatly the story is 'unfinished', with this particular anime series ending around chapter 50 of the novel. Yokoyama never finished his manga version of Three Kingdoms anyway, ending it about three-quarters of the way through the novel. A good series that could have been truely great with better execution, the strength of the source material still stands out nonetheless.
An interesting curio for any anime collection, and should be of particular interest to anime fans of Chinese descent. Also provides a distinct cultural flavor as well.
Yokoyama Mitsuteru Sangokushi 横山光輝 三国志 Romance of the Three Kingdoms Review
Story (10/10) Masterpiece
The story follows the Romance of the Three Kingdoms story rather well as I would consider myself really knowledgeable on the story. If you don't know the story of RToK before watching this you are definitely not going to appreciate is as much as some who is well knowledgeable is. The accuracy and adaptation quality and pacing all for a anime that came out in the earlier 90s, I can't help but praise the efforts of Studio behind adapting Yokoyama Mitsuteru's manga.
Art and Animation (6/10) Fine
More Specifically (6.75/10)
Obviously almost everything back in the 90s that went for over 35+ episode isn't going to look amazing and the art style and animation for the anime is definitely dated and didn't age well. Certain scenes although the art style would drastically increase looking really really nice but majority of of was obviously dated so nothing much can be said when it comes to this, it wasn't ugly just dated and it didn't really bother since I already know what I was getting myself into, I wasn't here for this category.
Sound (7/10) Good
More Specifically (7.5/10) Good
The opening, BGM and JP VA all were good in the anime adaptation it fit the Sangoku era really well and I really don't have any complaints about it. It didn't blow my mind but it fit this type of anime well.
Characters (10/10) Masterpiece
These are based off of ancient Chinese characters of history and their personality where definitely portrayed perfectly as far as we remembered. Liu Bei is virtuous, Zhang Fei is hot headed and rash, Guan Yu is loyal and strong, Cao Cao is ambitious and courageous, Zhuge Liang is a genius and laid back it's all here. I didn't feel anything wrong, inaccurate or out of place.
Enjoyment (8/10) Very Good
As a fan of the Sangoku era I am glad I took the time to sit down and watch this classical anime right here. It definitely refreshed my memory of have great the story of RoTK is and I wish it continued. It went from the Yellow Turbans Rebellion and to the end of the Chi Bi battle. The version obviously focus majority of it's time on the rise of Shu and I don't mind that because when it came to that aspect I didn't felt they missed anything.
Overall (8/10) Very Good
More Specifically (8.45/10) Very Good
The anime really make me want to just watch a bunch of war related anime which I indeed will. Souten Kuoro and Kingdom are next on my list. Sangoku lore will never get old to me so no matter the time the anime came out I didn't matter because I know if they stayed accurate to it I'll love it and I did. I definitely recommend this anime to any Sangoku fans out there everyone else it depends on if you like War anime because other than that I can't recommend it for it. There's a lot of politics and talking behind this one so if you aren't engrossed or knowledgeable about Sangoku history before diving in you most likely will get bored fast.