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REVIEW: The Twelve Kingdoms Blu-ray


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Top Gun



Joined: 28 Sep 2007
Posts: 3351
PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:27 am Reply with quote
The Twelve Kingdoms is a spectacular series, and like Theron said, Yoko winds up growing into one of the strongest female protagonists in anime history. I have the Media Blasters Blu-ray sets, but there's a part of me that feels like double-dipping out of appreciation for the series being available again. I wish to God we'd had more material animated, or at the very very least that someone could rescue the original novels, since the old Tokyopop versions were reportedly a mess.
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k_dawg_3484



Joined: 18 Feb 2007
Posts: 18
PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:18 pm Reply with quote
We need more Twelve Kingdoms. As TG said, it's an interesting world with unique characters and character progressions. Unlike anything I've ever seen. And there's so much more material out there from the author since the series ended. Thousands of pages of material.

We also need more Spice and Wolf. Same deal. Massive amount of post-anime material to work with. And it's finished. If we could get more Kino's Journey after so many years, we can get more Twelve Kingdoms and S&W.
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HannoX



Joined: 30 Apr 2012
Posts: 75
PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:41 pm Reply with quote
The Twelve Kingdoms is a fantastic series that is crying out for a remake with the additional material available also animated.
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Weazul-chan



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 617
Location: Michigan
PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 1:33 pm Reply with quote
To be fair only one of those two novels continues the story (the other flashbacks to the story of another character) and ends at a point that's been intensely frustrating given how long the novels have been on hiatus. We're talking so many unresolved problems left I'd say it was a good idea to not adapt it to anime. At least the anime felt like it had a decent resolution, the last novel before the hiatus definitely doesn't.
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yuna49



Joined: 27 Aug 2008
Posts: 2988
PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:04 pm Reply with quote
I recall reading that Ono took ill during the production of the anime which resulted in the abrupt shortening of the final arc to just six episodes. Perhaps this is apocryphal.

Twelve Kingdoms was one of the first anime series I ever watched, and it still remains one of my all-time favorite series. When I recently discovered it had been released on Crunchyroll, I took the time to watch it again. (I own the DVDs and a *cough* fansubbed version as well.) Despite its traditional artwork, it still stands the test of time. I nominated this series in the recent "what would you like to see remade" thread since it would benefit from the widescreen format and more modern production techniques.

Amazon Prime is also carrying this series but, unlike on Crunchyroll, it is incomplete. I don't really understand the rationale for decisions like this. There are a few episodes of the NHK's live-action version of Moribito on that service as well as the NHK's Yae no Sakura. I had to resort to "other means" to watch them in their entirety. Moribito is gorgeous. Ayase Haruka plays the lead role in both series, and while she's good as Niijima Yae, her performance as Balsa is especially compelling and believable. The supporting cast in Moribito is also excellent.


Last edited by yuna49 on Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:11 pm; edited 1 time in total
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ValkyrieZeroZeroOne
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Joined: 06 Apr 2005
Posts: 385
Location: Brisbane, Australia
PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:09 pm Reply with quote
While the headline on the front page refers to this "finally being on Blu-Ray", it was actually released on Blu-Ray a number of years ago by Anime Works, which I bought as soon as it came out. The big problem with it though was that there were authoring issues with massive disc skips in various places with those discs (unfortunately including in that epic Episode 39). I sent one volume back and got it replaced, and the replacement still had the problem in multiple players.

Thus, I'd be extremely keen to get this new Discotek release. Were there any problems with disc skip on these discs?
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zrdb



Joined: 16 Apr 2006
Posts: 617
Location: Who-me? Am I supposed to be somewhere?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:27 pm Reply with quote
I own the original Anime Works bluray sets and I never had any problems with any of the discs skipping. It could have been a problem with the earlier bluray players. I love this series for it's world building and character development, better than almost any other anime series I've ever watched. I would like to see some additional episodes based on the newer material but as this is all we'll ever get I'll gladly accept it.
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Barciad



Joined: 11 May 2004
Posts: 108
Location: St Andrews
PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:14 pm Reply with quote
Best single character arc anime that I have ever seen. It's not so much seeing a girl go fro nothing to invincible, awe-inspiring badass. It's the fact that it happens organically. Each time she grows as a person it is due to her reacting to the events around her. Till eventually, she's not reacting any more. It's her driving events, and the change happens so slowly, so subtlety, you hardly notice.
That is some damn fine story telling.
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FireChick



Joined: 26 Mar 2006
Posts: 1513
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:44 pm Reply with quote
Modern isekai anime: THIS is how you do isekai, not wish fulfillment fantasies with harems and overpowered blank slates who have no personality.
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Galap
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Joined: 07 Apr 2012
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 7:46 pm Reply with quote
Man I really wish that the whole story was animated. Some of the arcs were more interesting than others, but the ones I liked I liked a real lot.
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NeverConvex



Joined: 08 Jun 2013
Posts: 851
PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:29 pm Reply with quote
Never did watch The Twelve Kingdoms -- got distracted after the first episode. Good reminder to go back and watch it properly.
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John Thacker
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Joined: 28 Oct 2013
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:50 pm Reply with quote
FireChick wrote:
Modern isekai anime: THIS is how you do isekai, not wish fulfillment fantasies with harems and overpowered blank slates who have no personality.


Sugimoto provides an interesting counterpoint as the person who loves fantasy novels and wants to be in an isekai situation, only to completely get screwed over by the world because she's not supposed to be there. I tend to feel sorry for her, even if she's the kind of character who in a different show would be getting her wish fulfilled.
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zztop



Joined: 28 Aug 2014
Posts: 424
PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:58 pm Reply with quote
FireChick wrote:
Modern isekai anime: THIS is how you do isekai, not wish fulfillment fantasies with harems and overpowered blank slates who have no personality.


In fairness, isekai novels like these ones were written by experienced authors who care enough to put effort into their writing.

The recent bunch of wish fulfillment stories originate from webnovels, mostly written by novice authors who write for fun, stress relief, or to earn extra money. Most don't take their stories seriously enough to consider putting quality or grow beyond templatism.

A lot of those types of stories that get published rely on popularity numbers drummed up by an established webnovel fanbase who tend to enjoy these types of stories and are less critical/casually apathetic to the sameness of it all.

As a Japanese WN reader mused in this reflective essay:

Quote:
Barring the small minority of genuinely interesting stories, most of the stuff you find here (on WN site Syosetsuka ni Narou) are ripoffs (of each other/of better written WNs). https://frogkun.com/2019/07/01/i-tried-thinking-about-the-common-isekai-slave-circumstances-realistically/#more-44699
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escahime65
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Joined: 04 Sep 2005
Posts: 83
Location: Iowa
PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:24 pm Reply with quote
Great review! I'm so glad Twelve Kingdoms didn't get forgotten by distributors and more people now have a chance to see it. This series is in my top 5 favorite anime series for all the reasons people have mentioned. Now if only the novels could be re-released with a better translation. One of the novels Tokyopop released was missing an entire chapter!
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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
Posts: 2465
PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:25 pm Reply with quote
FireChick wrote:
Modern isekai anime: THIS is how you do isekai, not wish fulfillment fantasies with harems and overpowered blank slates who have no personality.


I think it's been proven beyond any doubt that there is a very clear demand for overpowered blank slates who have no personality. That fact that those character are generally written to act as self insert is probably one of the most disturbing thing to come out of anime.
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