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Twelve Kingdoms: V.1 Shoku (ep.1-5)

Mari Devon , Kate Davis    Unrated   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 29.99
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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars True Story Telling of the Highest Caliber July 15 2004
Seldom in animation does a story told through this unique medium reach the hights of the Twelve Kingdoms. This series demands a great deal from the viewers and rewards them with the kind of character development that is hard pressed to find. If you choose too watch this series you will learn the vocabulary of the Twelve Kingdoms but more than that, you will learn about yourself. Because the characters of the Twelve Kingdoms are so thoroughly fleshed out that you cannot help but identify with them. Enjoy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars extremely impressive. July 7 2004
By Kit
First of all, to start this off, I would have to disagree with the reviewer who wrote that there would be no characters in disk 1 to like to begin with. For me, it's not the matter of liking a character, so much as it is being able to relate to one. It's so much more meaningful that way. Nakajima Yoko is in the beginning selfish and despicable, yet despite that she's put in the role of heroine for a specific purpose. Juuni Kokki is one of my favorite anime because it has realistic characters, rather than your average damsel in distress or invincible superman. they face dilemmas that are far-fetched but nonetheless manages to grab your attention or belief that it is also realistic. acting on the voice actors parts are done EXCELLENTLY. well, the japanese audio, that is. i haven't heard the english one, and i don't think i'll ever want to, having had my taste of english dubs already.
Now onto my actual rating of the first DVD:
a bit lacking on the extras department, but what english version of any anime isn't, right? now now, i won't be too greedy. visual quality is excellent, as everything else is all-around nice. i won't comment on the subtitles, since i personally think the fansubbed vers. i downloaded and watched was better in terms of translation. i wish that this first volume did come out with a box for the whole series though, like the other anime generally tend to. or i would have to hope for a boxset, because i am a crazed collector of those things. comparing this to escaflowne is not a far-fetched comparison--they're both leaning towards the side of a female heroine, who eventually learn this and learn that, get transported to different worlds, the etc. bishounen. and juuni kokki plus side, beautiful music and beautiful art. lot of drama, political conflict.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Stick With It June 15 2004
You're reading this review, and you're thinking: "Is this going to be worth it?"
The sort answer is: "Yes, especially if you like medieval fantasy"
The long answer is, well, read on...
I own disks 1 through 4. Of all the disks, #1 is the hardest to sit through. This is because you are going to have a hard time finding anyone to like in the first disk. Stick With It: you'll find plenty to like in the rest of the series. There is character development. The plots are interesting. The artwork is great. A good value for the money.
The only downside to the disks is the vocabulary: not only are there a plethora of magical creatures (that have their own names), but a whole vocabulary about how those magical creatures relate to the "human" occupants of the lands of the Twelve Kingdoms. (You'll have to watch the episodes to figure out why I put the word 'human' in quotes...)
If this kind of detail drives you nuts, then this might not be your cup of tea. For my own part, I figure I'll put that part of my brain on "cruise control" and wait until the language lesson seeps in.
I plan to get the rest of the disks in the series, in case you were wondering.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Watch Your Back April 2 2004
Think: "The Wizard of Oz meets The Princess Bride". This first CD should have been subtitled "Betrayal", because our heroine gets sold out by pretty much everybody.
I'm typically NOT a fan of stories where the person we're supposed to be rooting for starts out behnd the 8-ball. And in the case of the first disk of "The 12 Kingdoms" our heroine should have succumbed to "Sidekick Syndrome" i.e. dead in the first 12 minutes of the story.
But she doesn't. In fact, you're left with a clifhanger worthy of Robert Louis Stevenson by the end of the DVD. You are either going to be hooked, or not. If not, no harm done, it's an interesting story. If you are, you are going to have to buy at least two more DVD's to get to the end of this story. This is anime, get over it. If you wanted a cheaper addiction, you should have tried drugs.
What really struck me was the "instructional" quality of the story: "O.K., here the heroine is really beeing too trusting for her own good, you can see how this will not turn out well from a mile away. Now here she's over-reacting to her previous bad experiences. She's just cutting off her nose to spite her face".
In short, what I didn't like about this DVD was more a matter of personal style than the content. Overall, it's very good. I'll give the series a chance...at least 2 more DVD's worth.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Unique April 1 2004
I was very fascinated by this anime. It's great, all through this first installment...the only problem is the other world that she ends up in. She is brought there by a mysterious man, 'Keiki', and his summoned beasts. The weird thing is that everything from this other world looks extremely cartoonish, and doesn't seem to fit. Once she enters that world, the animation is inconsistent. It resembles ancient China, and that all looks well. However, the way the beasts are done can leave you pretty skeptical at times. But--the story is really intriguing. Youko is well developed, and since she refuses to accept the world she has been dumped into, she grows slowly. The plot advances in every episode, and it's delightful to see Youko grudgingly drawing her blade (since you know she has to accept it sooner or later, apparently later). It's an unpredictable, exciting story.
My main problem is that randomly shoddy animation. I know the series is long and all, but they surely could've done a little better.
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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars A Lackluster Item
* In the beginning of the first volume of the THE TWELVE KINGDOMS, an
anime DVD series, we meet Youko Nakajima, a Japanese schoolgirl with
the ethnically unlikely feature... Read more
Published on Feb. 16 2004 by Greg Goebel
5.0 out of 5 stars i have rarely liked an anime this much
i bought this dvd because it looked interesting. i took it home and watched it and found myself howling at the end: "what?! they're leaving us here? no way! Read more
Published on Nov. 3 2003 by hkh-m
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful storytelling
Just found out it's 96 eps long which makes it about as long as Kenshin. This one's a little bit Fushigi Yugi & a little bit Kenshin. Read more
Published on Oct. 27 2003 by M. Hammond
4.0 out of 5 stars Looks great, cant wait for the whole series to finish.
First off I don't buy dvds until the whole series is out, that way I dont have to wait in anticipation for the release of each volume. Read more
Published on Oct. 25 2003 by DJ-H-OS
3.0 out of 5 stars A Wobbly Start
On first appearances this new series appears to be a more or less typical 'magical girl' clone. Youko Nakajima is a young student who comes from a strict, traditional family,... Read more
Published on Oct. 14 2003 by Marc Ruby™
5.0 out of 5 stars Lalaru
this is one of my favorit anime .. it have a wonderfull compination of evrything. and the most thing will attract u is the music . Read more
Published on Oct. 12 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars An elegant and gorgeous anime.
Twelve Kingdoms represents a singularly brilliant accomplishment in the world of anime. Incredibly addictive and wonderfully crafted, this is unequivocally the best anime series... Read more
Published on Oct. 6 2003 by Hans
5.0 out of 5 stars The Twelve Kingdoms/Junni Kokki/Juuni Kokuki
Twelve Kingdoms represents a singularly brilliant accomplishment in the world of anime. Incredibly addictive and wonderfully crafted, this is unequivocally the best anime series... Read more
Published on Oct. 6 2003
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