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Old 03-08-2008, 10:07 PM   #1   [permalink]
MeMyself
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Question The Twelve Kingdoms

I just finished disc 1, episodes 1-5, of The Twelve Kingdoms. This is a rather long series, so I won't be finished with it for a while.

Let's see. Youko has a crush on Asano, who really likes Yuka. Keiki shows up to bring Youko to an alternate world. Why we haven't been told yet. Anyway. Youko is a kind hearted girl, well-behaived and an honor student. But after her arrival in the new world, she undergoes some changes. First, her face changes -- although I could not see the difference. Next, she goes from whining to a bit over the edge. Well, I don't blame her. Oh, and she has inside her some sort of water thing that allows her to fight with a sword.

There's also some naked lady with wings, but no one seems to notice that she is naked. And you can tell from the beginning that Yuka is probably up to no good. I won't say anymore because I don't want to give away the story.

So far the series is nicely done. I like the artwork and the animation. But there are a few continuity problems. Some you can overlook -- like when Asano is seen in an inn barefoot, and in the next shot he is wearing shoes. But some involve the storyline. I can't get into it now because it would involve a spoiler.

Anyway, the jury's still out on this one. I will watch the next one or two discs before I decide to continue with the series.

If anyone else has a comment -- PLEASE NO SPOILERS!
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Old 04-08-2008, 03:18 AM   #2   [permalink]
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Twelve Kingdoms is based on a bunch of books or novels or whatever. The story isn't finished. So if you're the type who hates wondering "and then what!?", well, you should watch it anyway because its a great series. I thought it was way slow and boring at first but it gets good.

Some might think it is very Fushigi Yuugi or Inuyasha-ish, but if it is, its the advanced version. Where reality is just a tad more gritty than being "the highschool student in old school land!"
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Old 06-08-2008, 11:07 PM   #3   [permalink]
John Faulkner
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This isn't going to be a model-student-turn-angsty-superhuman-misanthrope-as-an-allusion-to-growing-up type story is it?
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Old 07-08-2008, 02:00 AM   #4   [permalink]
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Sort of. However I tend to focus on the interesting mythology and comparisons between the modern (chaotic) world and a world where order truly existed.
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Old 07-08-2008, 11:25 PM   #5   [permalink]
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I got through episode 7, and for a while I was thinking, "This is what Inuyasha would be like if Kagome were a paranoid psychotic." But the plot just took another turn.
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Old 07-08-2008, 11:59 PM   #6   [permalink]
John Faulkner
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Originally Posted by MeMyself View Post
I got through episode 7, and for a while I was thinking, "This is what Inuyasha would be like if Kagome were a paranoid psychotic." But the plot just took another turn.
A psychotic, paranoid Kagome = Kikyo.
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Old 08-08-2008, 05:23 PM   #7   [permalink]
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I don't think that Kikyo was psychotic or paranoid -- just a bit pissed. Who could blame her? But if she was, she still had nothing on Youko. For a while, I thought Youko was about to go postal. But to say more would get into spoiler territory, so I'm not going to comment on this part of the story any further.
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Old 09-08-2008, 04:19 AM   #8   [permalink]
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Yeh, except that Inuyasha is cheap trashy entertainment and Twelve Kingdoms is at times quite poignant. Im not saying all anime has to be gritty, but Kagome doesn't even change her clothes to suit the environment, nor does she behave as though she truly understands what the world is like when an ambulance and police service is more than several centuries away.

Think about it. If you were in Inuyasha's world, could your psyche really cope with the differences? Could other people really understand you, not just your language, but your cultural beliefs?
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Old 10-08-2008, 11:44 AM   #9   [permalink]
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You forgot to add that Inuyasha began repeating itself after the first 70-80 episodes. That's when it really became booooorrrrrringggg!

Still it would have been more interesting if one of the characters, not necessarily Kagome, had a mental breakdown.

As far as Kagome's schoolgirl uniform goes, I think that was just to appeal to the fantasies of middle-aged male sex perverts.

Enough about Inuyasha. I will return later once I finish disc 2 of The Twelve Kingdoms.
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Old 11-08-2008, 10:49 PM   #10   [permalink]
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OK. I've finished disc 2, episodes 6-10. As indicated above, things are not going well for Youko. I don't want to post any spoilers. Let's just say that those in the new world that she trusts turn against her. She loses one friend, and is betrayed by another. Tormented by visions of a monkeyman who taunts her, Youko reaches the breaking point. Determined to survive she decides to come like those who pursue her, even betraying one of the few people in whom she can trust (a giant talking rat). Will she totally break and become what she despises, or will she be true to herself. Youko chooses, and then learns who she really is.
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Old 12-08-2008, 01:36 AM   #11   [permalink]
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OK uhm, are you auditioning for role of announcer or something?
BTW, Youko is only a small part of the Twelve Kingdoms story (apparently even less so in the novels)
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Old 13-08-2008, 06:48 PM   #12   [permalink]
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I am just giving my impressions. Isn't that what this forum is here for?

Anyway, the story so far has centered around Youko, but if there are other characters who will take on central roles, that is fine with me. There are several interesting characters, such as the King of En. I forget his real name. I will have to start taking notes.
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Old 16-08-2008, 11:59 PM   #13   [permalink]
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I finished disc 3, episodes 11-14. Episode 13 ends Youko's story. Episode 14 was just a dull recap of the first 13. Based on the preview, it looks like the series will now go off in another direction, although it leaves a few loose threads. Maybe they will come back to Youko later.

Anyway, my impressions after watching 30% of the series:

Good artwork.
Good story.
Good characters.

I at least recommend the first three discs.

I don't know when I will get disc 4. There is some sort of hangup at Netflix.
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Old 26-08-2008, 10:25 PM   #14   [permalink]
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It took a while to get disc 4 from Netflix, but it finally came.

The focus of the series has changed. It is now focused on Kaname, who at the age of 10 was taken from his home in Japan to the land of the 12 kingdoms. Kaname is really Taiki, a Kiren. A Kiren is a supernatural being who chooses and then serves the rulers of each kingdom. But Kaname/Taiki does not feel up to the task. Plus the life of a Kiren is full of danger.

The series is starting to get a bit confusing at times. I can follow the basic storylines easily enough, but there are multiple names and titles for many characters, and names and titles that are shared. You can't just watch each episode once. I watch each episode in English and Japanese, and there are still things that I don't fully understand.
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Old 27-08-2008, 07:02 AM   #15   [permalink]
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Feel free to ask. I understand how that feels. I have been reading the "Vampire Knight" manga and got frustrated at my inability to tell different characters apart (cos sometimes they are referred to by first name rather than surname, sometimes by title, etc).


There are also words/terms that mean different things to us. For instance, the 'god' of the inner sea or whatever that area is called, who guides travellers..was originally mortal. Not one of the Tentei or whatever the creators of the world are called.


I feel confident that I can explain the different individuals/terms/titles without giving spoilers. So ask away. I think the inside covers of the DVDs also contain a wealth of knowledge...which netflix probably dont provide.
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