Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Twelve Kingdoms - Chapter 4 - Reunion|
Actors: Mari Devon, Kate Davis, Houko Kuwashima, Mela Lee, Tomoko Kawakami
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Anime & Manga, Animation
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Child of the Storm
Marc Ruby? | Warren, MI USA | 03/15/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Twelve Kingdoms is a long running anime series (currently 39 episodes) that in turn is based on a series of fantasy novels by Fuyumi Ono. The story takes place on a mythical China separated from Japan by sea, storm, and magic. It is the tale of a young woman, Youko, who is deposited in the Twelve Kingdoms by a storm to become the Queen of Kei.At this point in the story, Youko has come to the sacred precincts of Mt. Hou to be officially enthroned. While she prepares she is introduced to the story of the missing Kirin of Tai, called Taiki. Now it is the duty of a Kirin to name and assist the ruler of its kingdom, so Taiki's absence is a very serious matter.The story shifts completely to Taiki's story. While he was born (as all Kirin are) in the Twelve Kingdoms a freak storm blew him to Japan where he was raised for ten years as a human. Finally returned to Mt. Hou, Taiki has no concept of his heritage. While he is the rarest of Kirin, a dark haired Kokki, he has never had the benefit of childhood as the unicorn-like form which is the true Kirin. As a result he cannot perform the transformations and actions that are natural to a Kirin.It is difficult not to empathize with Taiki. He is a pleasant and thoughtful boy who has to deal with expectations and responsibilities that would be daunting for an adult, let alone a young stranger in a strange land. But Taiki never gives up. He experiences all the fears and self-doubts that any one of us confront in life. But with the help of his friends manages to face each problem.As I have mentioned elsewhere, my appreciation for this tale has grown considerably once Youko was able to grow beyond her initial whininess. Taiki is a completely different central character, one with whom there is an instant bond of sympathy regardless of his youthfulness. Because the story is based on a series of novels it brings with it the rich complexity of a fully drawn world, which seems to unfold without end.This is an excellent anime series for most ages. There is some very slight nudity, mostly of the magical creatures in the story, and only a modicum of violence. In fact, there is very little focus on sexuality, because the people of the Twelve Kingdoms are born as the fruit of a tree. It isn't a coming of age story but a coming of responsibility story, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone."
Interesting but flawed fantasy
Jason M. Hubbard | Las Vegas, NV United States | 02/22/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This, the 4th disc of the Twelve Kingdom saga anime, gives faithful viewers a new story that only they can understand, since they've learned how the world of the Twelve Kingdoms work.The story's fascinating, but the way it's executed is slightly flawed, I think. Characters tend to explain things as if the audience is composed of children, which feels awkward considering its suggested 13-and-up rating. Some of the acting also leaves something to be desired. For that, I'll have to take off a star. I guess it can't be helped sue to the nature of the story.I feel compelled to write though because I do like it. Alongside all the melodrama and action, the show reveals a cute side as if it's from the House of Mouse or something along those lines. The animation is only minimal, but the art direction is very good; many scenes are wonderful to look at. The music, especially the folksy Japanese-like numbers, is beautiful and exotic.If only the acting weren't so stiff and occasionally cheesy, I'd give this DVD a full thumbs up--but then again, that's usually the nature of anime, isn't it?"
Sea of the Wind, The Shore of the Maze
Akira | USA | 05/08/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sea of the Wind, The Shore of the Maze is the second arc in the Twelve Kingdoms Series. Volume 4 deviates from the tale of Queen Kei and tells the story of Taiki, the Kirin of Tai. In this volume you learn about the Taiki's childhood and also more about the world of the Twelve Kingdoms. One of the things I liked about this volume was that it showed another side of the Twelve Kingdoms world, and its that kind of storytelling that makes the series good. The only thing that bothered me about this volume was that the characters have a habit of overexplaining things, but overall its still enjoyable and worthy of adding to your collection."