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Thread: The Twelve Kingdoms - ONO FUYUMI

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    The Twelve Kingdoms - ONO FUYUMI


    Title: 十二国記 (Jyuunikokuki)・The Twelve Kingdoms
    Author: Fuyumi Ono
    Genre: fantasy
    Release Date: September 25th 1991 ~ present
    Publishers: Kodansha, Shinchousha
    Adaptation: anime

    Overview (from Wikipedia): The Twelve Kingdoms is a series of novels that focus on a world inspired by Chinese mythology, where twelve kingdoms exist under the rule of an individual chosen by the Heavens. The series does not exclusively focus on one character, though the stories of Youko Nakajima, the protagonist of the first novel, and Taiki, the protagonist of the second book, are most prevalent in the series.

    Novels
    • Demon Child・魔性の子 Mashou no Ko
      September 1991
    • Shadow of the Moon, Sea of Shadow・月の影 影の海 Tsuki no Kage, Kage no Umi
      June 1992 (Volume 1); July 1992 (Volume 2)
    • Sea of Wind, Shore of the Labyrinth・風の海 迷宮の岸 Kaze no Umi, Meikyū no Kishi
      March 1993 (Volume 1); April 1993 (Volume 2)
    • Sea God in the East, Vast Sea in the West・東の海神 西の滄海 Higashi no Watatsumi, Nishi no Sōkai
      June 1994
    • A Thousand Miles of Wind, The Sky at Dawn・風の万里 黎明の空 Kaze no Banri, Reimei no Sora
      July 1994 (Volume 1); September 1994 (Volume 2)
    • The Aspiring Wings・図南の翼 Tonan no Tsubasa
      February 1996
    • The Shore at Twilight, The Sky at Daybreak・黄昏の岸 暁の天 Tasogare no Kishi, Akatsuki no Sora
      May 2001 (both volumes)
    • The Dream of Prosperity・華胥の幽夢 Kasho no Yume
      September 2001
    • The Birds of Hisho・丕緒の鳥 Hisho no Tori
      July 2013

    Main Story
    Last edited by Asarii; May 13, 2014 at 12:06 AM.

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    Re: The Twelve Kingdoms - ONO FUYUMI

    This thread should receive more love.
    Well, considering how it's on hiatus, probably it is just as well that it's kinda quiet.

    But this series is just too amazing to be left like this!
    Is there no one who will share their opinion about this series..?

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    Re: The Twelve Kingdoms - ONO FUYUMI

    This looks interesting, I'll be sure to check it out at some point.
    for anyone who likes my HxH mots, find em all here! and here too! My blog


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    Re: The Twelve Kingdoms - ONO FUYUMI

    Please do, thatguy3331! If you like fantasy, I'm sure you'll like TTK.

    It's a good idea to reread this series while it's on hiatus. The world is so rich with political intrigue so I have to admit that I need to refresh my mind on those.

    Quote Originally Posted by yukihime03 View Post
    But this series is just too amazing to be left like this!
    Is there no one who will share their opinion about this series..?
    I love it! I hope the author hasn't completely abandoned the series- although by the looks of The Birds or Hisho published this year, the series is thankfully not forgotten.

    My favourite characters are the twelve year old girl who becomes the queen (I forgot her name!), Taiki, Enou and Enki.

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    Re: The Twelve Kingdoms - ONO FUYUMI

    I was randomly sifting through my bookshelf when I realized that there was a copy of The Birds of Hisho that my mom bought who knows when. I found it interesting how it was published through a different company instead of Kodansha. Perhaps the reason why things took so long was because Ono had some troubles with the publisher?

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    Re: The Twelve Kingdoms - ONO FUYUMI

    Quote Originally Posted by Asarii View Post
    I was randomly sifting through my bookshelf when I realized that there was a copy of The Birds of Hisho that my mom bought who knows when. I found it interesting how it was published through a different company instead of Kodansha. Perhaps the reason why things took so long was because Ono had some troubles with the publisher?
    Probably, and I also notice that Shinchosha reprinted the other novels of Twelve Kingdoms. But, I'm more on the line of thinking that maybe she has problem with her writing. I mean, it has been so long, and lately she only wrote short stories for Twelve Kingdoms, but no continuation of Tasogare no Kishi, Akatsuki no Sora.

    ---------- Post added at 12:36 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:22 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Asarii View Post
    My favourite characters are the twelve year old girl who becomes the queen (I forgot her name!), Taiki, Enou and Enki.
    You mean Shushou? I guess you read Tonan no Tsubasa then?
    I love Enki, Shouryuu, Youko, and strangely Keiki. I still can't believe why I am rather fond of him. Probably because of his constant but amusing sighing? Well, actually there are more characters that I'm fond of, I find that many good characters in this series have their own charms.

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    Re: The Twelve Kingdoms - ONO FUYUMI

    Quote Originally Posted by yukihime03 View Post
    Probably, and I also notice that Shinchosha reprinted the other novels of Twelve Kingdoms. But, I'm more on the line of thinking that maybe she has problem with her writing. I mean, it has been so long, and lately she only wrote short stories for Twelve Kingdoms, but no continuation of Tasogare no Kishi, Akatsuki no Sora.
    Ono has been writing other novels so it might be the issue with getting back in to the "world" of the Twelve Kingdoms. The world building and characters are quite intricate so it's going to take some time to get used to them again. (I'm not sure whether you follow A Song of Ice and Fire series, but I'm sure GRRM will face similar problems if he wrote other things in between the series.)

    Quote Quote:
    You mean Shushou? I guess you read Tonan no Tsubasa then?
    I love Enki, Shouryuu, Youko, and strangely Keiki. I still can't believe why I am rather fond of him. Probably because of his constant but amusing sighing? Well, actually there are more characters that I'm fond of, I find that many good characters in this series have their own charms.
    Ah, yes. Shushou. I've indeed read Tonan no Tsubasa and was upset that the anime didn't adapt her storyline. Unlike other rulers, she chose destiny for herself by going to the kirin himself so that's one of the reasons why I like her.

    A lot of characters are well-developed so one can't help being attached to all of them!

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    Re: The Twelve Kingdoms - ONO FUYUMI

    Quote Originally Posted by Asarii View Post
    Ono has been writing other novels so it might be the issue with getting back in to the "world" of the Twelve Kingdoms. The world building and characters are quite intricate so it's going to take some time to get used to them again. (I'm not sure whether you follow A Song of Ice and Fire series, but I'm sure GRRM will face similar problems if he wrote other things in between the series.)
    Ah, yeah. That's probably the reason, but really... it has taken so many years. I'm really dying to know what Youko and Taiki will do next...

    Quote Originally Posted by Asarii View Post
    Ah, yes. Shushou. I've indeed read Tonan no Tsubasa and was upset that the anime didn't adapt her storyline. Unlike other rulers, she chose destiny for herself by going to the kirin himself so that's one of the reasons why I like her.

    A lot of characters are well-developed so one can't help being attached to all of them!
    Ah well, the anime producers must had their reasons. If anything, it might have to do with the fact that the anime pretty much focuses on Youko, Shouryuu, and Taiki. Shushou does not exactly contribute much to the current storyline.
    I'm still in the middle of reading Tonan no Tsubasa. Shushou is a pretty interesting character there, though she doesn't look so endearing in Kaze no Banri. The whole time I read about her in the book, I kept thinking, "Poor Kyouki". But when I read Tonan no Tsubasa, I think I'm starting to understand why she is the way she is.

    Indeed! Not to mention that the character development is just so well-written. I used to hate Shoukei and Suzu at the start (who won't, with their attitude..), but after finishing the book, I really love them, especially when they interact with Youko. These three have really underwent great change and they have become better people. Some other characters are pretty adorable from the start, like Koshou and Sekki.
    Another amazing thing about the characters is the diversity. It's just nice to see many different characters because that way, we can learn a lot more about the nature of people.

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    Re: The Twelve Kingdoms - ONO FUYUMI

    Quote Originally Posted by yukihime03 View Post
    Ah well, the anime producers must had their reasons. If anything, it might have to do with the fact that the anime pretty much focuses on Youko, Shouryuu, and Taiki. Shushou does not exactly contribute much to the current storyline.
    That could be it. I was still hoping for a little something like an OVA in between the long break between the books.

    Quote Quote:
    I'm still in the middle of reading Tonan no Tsubasa. Shushou is a pretty interesting character there, though she doesn't look so endearing in Kaze no Banri. The whole time I read about her in the book, I kept thinking, "Poor Kyouki". But when I read Tonan no Tsubasa, I think I'm starting to understand why she is the way she is.
    We also have to remind ourselves that she's only twelve years old. She can be a great ruler considering her age (she was chosen after all), but there will be times when her childish nature comes out. :P I don't recall what happens to one's mental age when they stop aging so it's possible that she will stay the way she is forever.

    Quote Quote:
    Indeed! Not to mention that the character development is just so well-written. I used to hate Shoukei and Suzu at the start (who won't, with their attitude..), but after finishing the book, I really love them, especially when they interact with Youko. These three have really underwent great change and they have become better people. Some other characters are pretty adorable from the start, like Koshou and Sekki.
    Another amazing thing about the characters is the diversity. It's just nice to see many different characters because that way, we can learn a lot more about the nature of people.
    I love your last line. The thing I love about Twelve Kingdoms (and what I recently began to appreciate) is the fact that female characters are just as capable as male characters. This is true for the Twelve Kingdoms society as a whole where IIRC there is little to no gender inequality, and it's nice how Ono makes a conscious effort do develop her heroines just as much as the men.

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    Re: The Twelve Kingdoms - ONO FUYUMI

    Quote Originally Posted by Asarii View Post
    That could be it. I was still hoping for a little something like an OVA in between the long break between the books.
    But since the original anime itself doesn't really sell, our hope may stay as a mere hope.

    Quote Originally Posted by Asarii View Post
    We also have to remind ourselves that she's only twelve years old. She can be a great ruler considering her age (she was chosen after all), but there will be times when her childish nature comes out. :P I don't recall what happens to one's mental age when they stop aging so it's possible that she will stay the way she is forever.
    Indeed, it's just that it doesn't help her image much if she seems like a brat. But despite that, Shushou always has good and mature reasons, I suppose, for the things she does. She may also keep acting like that so that people underestimate her, who knows? I just pity Kyouki who has to bear the brunt of her actions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Asarii View Post
    I love your last line. The thing I love about Twelve Kingdoms (and what I recently began to appreciate) is the fact that female characters are just as capable as male characters. This is true for the Twelve Kingdoms society as a whole where IIRC there is little to no gender inequality, and it's nice how Ono makes a conscious effort do develop her heroines just as much as the men.
    Yeah, I also love how developed the world of Twelve Kingdoms is, and despite the big differences, it tells a lot about our own world. I was pretty surprised too to learn that the fact that no woman has to bear children there contributes to the fact that no woman is considered less. Oh, and that the Twelve Kingdoms' world has always a balanced number of kings and queens. That's really interesting. Aside from gender equality, I love the philosophy and politics of the world and the people. When Youko is learning with Enho, I actually learned things along with her.

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    Re: The Twelve Kingdoms - ONO FUYUMI

    I'm re-reading the series and just finished The Shore of Twilight; The Sky at Daybreak so I can contribute without relying solely on memory. I also added Demon's Child to the original post since it technically counts.

    Quote Originally Posted by yukihime03 View Post
    But since the original anime itself doesn't really sell, our hope may stay as a mere hope.
    Aww, it didn't? I would have thought the anime was popular.

    It seems to me that with Shinchousa republishing the series, Ono is trying to re-market to a wider audience. White Heart (Kodansha) is a publishing division that's primarily aimed at a junior/senior high school age group. Kanji for names had the hiragana beside it for obvious reasons, but kanji such as 膝 (hiza; knee) and 崩れる (kuzureru; to crumble) also had hiragana even though they are common words.

    Quote Quote:
    Indeed, it's just that it doesn't help her image much if she seems like a brat. But despite that, Shushou always has good and mature reasons, I suppose, for the things she does. She may also keep acting like that so that people underestimate her, who knows? I just pity Kyouki who has to bear the brunt of her actions.
    I'm reading Tonan no Tsubasa right now, and Shushou's primary reason for going to Koukai is because no one was doing anything about the ruler less kingdom. It's still unclear what kind of people get chosen as rulers given that many were unfit to be one in the first place, but it seems as if Shushou's willingness to do something about Kyou's dire situation helped.

    I also pity Kyouki since he seems the most compassionate out of all the kirin. Rulers and their kirin tend to be opposites whether in age, sex, appearance and/or personality- Shushou and Kyouki differ in every category.

    Quote Quote:
    Yeah, I also love how developed the world of Twelve Kingdoms is, and despite the big differences, it tells a lot about our own world. I was pretty surprised too to learn that the fact that no woman has to bear children there contributes to the fact that no woman is considered less. Oh, and that the Twelve Kingdoms' world has always a balanced number of kings and queens. That's really interesting. Aside from gender equality, I love the philosophy and politics of the world and the people. When Youko is learning with Enho, I actually learned things along with her.
    There are a variety of female characters as well: female kirin and Shoukei are traditionally feminine, and they contrast with Youko and Risai who fit the Action Girl trope.

    Instead of having a character who was already born and raised in the Twelve Kingdoms, it's a great approach to have a Youko (a kaikyaku) be the main character so we can learn along with her.

    How much have you read/watched, Yuki? I'd love to discuss some spoiler-ish things with you.

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    Re: The Twelve Kingdoms - ONO FUYUMI

    Quote Originally Posted by Asarii View Post
    I'm re-reading the series and just finished The Shore of Twilight; The Sky at Daybreak so I can contribute without relying solely on memory. I also added Demon's Child to the original post since it technically counts.
    Oh yeah, I've forgotten about Demon's Child.

    Quote Originally Posted by Asarii View Post
    Aww, it didn't? I would have thought the anime was popular.

    It seems to me that with Shinchousa republishing the series, Ono is trying to re-market to a wider audience. White Heart (Kodansha) is a publishing division that's primarily aimed at a junior/senior high school age group. Kanji for names had the hiragana beside it for obvious reasons, but kanji such as 膝 (hiza; knee) and 崩れる (kuzureru; to crumble) also had hiragana even though they are common words.
    No, sadly it's not. Probably has to do with poor art quality.

    Is that so? Then I hope that means this series will gain more readers...

    Quote Originally Posted by Asarii View Post
    I'm reading Tonan no Tsubasa right now, and Shushou's primary reason for going to Koukai is because no one was doing anything about the ruler less kingdom. It's still unclear what kind of people get chosen as rulers given that many were unfit to be one in the first place, but it seems as if Shushou's willingness to do something about Kyou's dire situation helped.

    I also pity Kyouki since he seems the most compassionate out of all the kirin. Rulers and their kirin tend to be opposites whether in age, sex, appearance and/or personality- Shushou and Kyouki differ in every category.
    I keep forgetting to continue reading Tonan no Tsubasa.
    Yeah. Probably it's her conviction that made her chosen as the Queen. Not many adults possess conviction, yet a child like her does.

    Well, the best pair is the one that comprises of two people that complete each other, so I think that's why Rulers and their Kirin tend to be opposites. Even though En-ou and Enki can be quite similar, aren't they?

    Quote Originally Posted by Asarii View Post
    There are a variety of female characters as well: female kirin and Shoukei are traditionally feminine, and they contrast with Youko and Risai who fit the Action Girl trope.

    Instead of having a character who was already born and raised in the Twelve Kingdoms, it's a great approach to have a Youko (a kaikyaku) be the main character so we can learn along with her.

    How much have you read/watched, Yuki? I'd love to discuss some spoiler-ish things with you.
    Yes, indeed. Feminists will have a field day with this series. Haha~

    I wonder if that's exactly what Ono-sensei intends, so that the readers won't be lost in the expositions.

    I've watched and read everything, except for Tonan no Tsubasa (which I haven't finished reading) and the short stories Rakusho no Goku and Seijou no Ran.

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    Re: The Twelve Kingdoms - ONO FUYUMI

    Quote Originally Posted by yukihime03 View Post
    Oh yeah, I've forgotten about Demon's Child.
    It's very sad to see what Takasato has to put up with when he's in Hourai. He was very self-conscious as a child, and as an adolescence, he has to face his classmates and even family members turning against him based on circumstances he can't control. His only sympathizer in the novel, Hirose, is most likely what inspired Sugimoto in the anime.

    I wonder what people's first impressions were when they read The Demon's Child when it was initially published. There are a lot of terms that would make sense to those who read The Twelve Kingdoms first but would sound foreign to someone who wasn't familiar with the series.

    Quote Quote:
    Is that so? Then I hope that means this series will gain more readers...
    Someone who was Youko's age when Tsuki no Kage first came out would be in their late thirties now. I think Shinchosa is trying to bring back old fans and attract a newer audience at the same time. This cover seems a lot more modern compared to the cover in the original post.

    There were actually many older people/men who were interested in reading the series at the time but felt uncomfortable purchasing something that came from a "shoujo" publisher. They were given covers like this, which definitely has a masculine feel to it.

    Quote Quote:
    I keep forgetting to continue reading Tonan no Tsubasa.
    Yeah. Probably it's her conviction that made her chosen as the Queen. Not many adults possess conviction, yet a child like her does.
    Continue for Rikou at least! There was a place that was mentioned near the conclusion that would be a shame if Ono-sensei didn't go back to expand on.

    Quote Quote:
    Well, the best pair is the one that comprises of two people that complete each other, so I think that's why Rulers and their Kirin tend to be opposites. Even though En-ou and Enki can be quite similar, aren't they?
    Shouryuu and Rokuta are both extroverts and carefree even though they wouldn't want to admit they're similar. I think the main quality they share is that they both hate being tied down.

    Quote Quote:
    I wonder if that's exactly what Ono-sensei intends, so that the readers won't be lost in the expositions.
    Since The Demon's Child came before Tsuki no Kage, Ono-sensei could have gone in chronological order and went straight to Taiki's perspective during Tasogare no Kishi. However, that would be too difficult to write because not only does she have to explain what the foreign names were in TDC (e.g. Houzan, Sanshi, Renrin), she would have to write about what happened to Taiki when he was spirited away and why he returned to Hourai.

    In a way, Taiki could be seen as the true protagonist of the series whereas Youko is a device to develop the setting/politics of The Twelve Kingdoms. Personally I do see both of them as protagonists, but I can see why Ono-sensei decided to create an entirely new character for world building.

    Someone on 2ch suggested that everything leading up to Tasogare no Kishi was to expand on what had happened in The Demon's Child. Now that Ono-sensei already reached that point -i.e., Taiki's return from Hourai- she ran out of steam, and it's why she hasn't published anything since.

    A lot of people complain about George R. R, Martin not being quick enough to publish his sixth novel in A Song of Ice and Fire, but at least there's confirmation that he's still writing! The status of Ono-sensei is unknown, and I'm hoping that changing publishers and the release of Hisho no Tori implies that she's working on her series again.

    Quote Quote:
    I've watched and read everything, except for Tonan no Tsubasa (which I haven't finished reading) and the short stories Rakusho no Goku and Seijou no Ran.
    Rakusho no Goku had quite a mixed opinion for Japanese readers, and I'm curious to see what your opinion of it is when you get around to it.

    The reason why I want Ono-sensei to work on The Twelve Kingdoms again is because there are several loose threads that need to be tied up:
    1. Where did Gyousou go?
    2. Where did Houki go? Please don't tell me he's in Hourai/Konron or else it will be Taiki Part II all over again.
    3. Why is Kouka/Kou's new kirin taking so long to hatch?
    4. Where do youma come from? Why are they all male? How do they know when a country is starting to fall apart?
    5. Who exactly is Tentei? Why does he choose rulers who end up being incompetent/oppressive?

    If Ono-sensei still feels motivated after Taiki's tale, hopefully she can work on a story where the purpose of the twelve kingdoms and heaven is explored.

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    Re: The Twelve Kingdoms - ONO FUYUMI

    I need to point out that I was quite surprised to see this very long reply.

    Quote Originally Posted by Asarii View Post
    It's very sad to see what Takasato has to put up with when he's in Hourai. He was very self-conscious as a child, and as an adolescence, he has to face his classmates and even family members turning against him based on circumstances he can't control. His only sympathizer in the novel, Hirose, is most likely what inspired Sugimoto in the anime.

    I wonder what people's first impressions were when they read The Demon's Child when it was initially published. There are a lot of terms that would make sense to those who read The Twelve Kingdoms first but would sound foreign to someone who wasn't familiar with the series.
    I actually read Demon's Child after I read Youko's arc, so at that time, I did not have any idea that it was related to Twelve Kingdoms at all. Only after when I got to the ending that I figured that out (because of Shouryuu). And only after reading Taiki's arc that I realized the whole connection. It really has a different atmosphere than the Twelve Kingdoms series, which is understandable since it was written as a horror story, not a full-scale fantasy.

    Because I read Demon's Child before realizing anything, I was really confused with what's happening and I was kinda lost in the middle. I felt really bad for Takasato though. I knew how traumatizing his experiences are, but I did not realize how bad until I found out he's Taiki. I felt really sad that he had to endure that experience. He was such a sweet kid and full of hope. People expect great things from him, especially because he's a black kirin, but the cruelty of the people in Hourai has changed him so much, I am really afraid for him.

    Quote Originally Posted by Asarii View Post
    Someone who was Youko's age when Tsuki no Kage first came out would be in their late thirties now. I think Shinchosa is trying to bring back old fans and attract a newer audience at the same time. This cover seems a lot more modern compared to the cover in the original post.

    There were actually many older people/men who were interested in reading the series at the time but felt uncomfortable purchasing something that came from a "shoujo" publisher. They were given covers like this, which definitely has a masculine feel to it.
    You definitely know a lot about the publishing.
    I totally forget when and how I first encountered the Twelve Kingdoms series (I think it was during the last year of high school), but I suppose I was initially interested because of the good review and the premise of the story even though it was not popular. I think it was during the time I read Saiunkoku no Monogatari, so I was really interested in stories about fantasy kingdoms based on Chinese culture.
    Not everyone can read this kind of series though. Even though it is a light novel, the plot is really heavy with politics and cultures. Not the kind teenagers these days read.

    Quote Originally Posted by Asarii View Post
    Continue for Rikou at least! There was a place that was mentioned near the conclusion that would be a shame if Ono-sensei didn't go back to expand on.
    I did! I was already in the part when they have entered the Yellow Sea. I was really enchanted by the illustration of Rikou and his suguu in the book. He was definitely handsome.
    Hmm. I'll try to read some more after this. It might take a while until I can finish it though... I was still busy with other things.

    Quote Originally Posted by Asarii View Post
    Shouryuu and Rokuta are both extroverts and carefree even though they wouldn't want to admit they're similar. I think the main quality they share is that they both hate being tied down.
    I was quite surprised how Rokuta was different from other kirin in the series. Other kirins are more adult-like and they often seem so grim, but Rokuta was a mischievous one. Though there are times when he's serious and grim...
    I like how Shouryuu and Rokuta interacts with each other. People do say that those who are similar are often at each other's throats. Shouryuu and Rokuta have proved that words. Which is why, I can totally understand why the ministers would not think it possible for them to work together, but it turns out that their desire to go out is greater than their dislike of each other.

    Quote Originally Posted by Asarii View Post
    Since The Demon's Child came before Tsuki no Kage, Ono-sensei could have gone in chronological order and went straight to Taiki's perspective during Tasogare no Kishi. However, that would be too difficult to write because not only does she have to explain what the foreign names were in TDC (e.g. Houzan, Sanshi, Renrin), she would have to write about what happened to Taiki when he was spirited away and why he returned to Hourai.

    In a way, Taiki could be seen as the true protagonist of the series whereas Youko is a device to develop the setting/politics of The Twelve Kingdoms. Personally I do see both of them as protagonists, but I can see why Ono-sensei decided to create an entirely new character for world building.

    Someone on 2ch suggested that everything leading up to Tasogare no Kishi was to expand on what had happened in The Demon's Child. Now that Ono-sensei already reached that point -i.e., Taiki's return from Hourai- she ran out of steam, and it's why she hasn't published anything since.

    A lot of people complain about George R. R, Martin not being quick enough to publish his sixth novel in A Song of Ice and Fire, but at least there's confirmation that he's still writing! The status of Ono-sensei is unknown, and I'm hoping that changing publishers and the release of Hisho no Tori implies that she's working on her series again.
    In some ways, Taiki is indeed the true protagonist because he was the one for whom the whole series is written, but I suppose when Ono-sensei wrote about Youko, Youko grows to be a great protagonist with lots of potentials. I suppose since Taiki has changed from the sweet kid into traumatized teenager, we need a protagonist who's his opposite, a selfish girl into a mature Queen, or the story will be all doom and gloom.

    I think it was quite unusual though, how a horror story can span into an entirely fantastical setting of other world. But I suppose that's what makes it so interesting.

    Yeah, people often complains about things like that, not realizing how luckier they are than other fandoms that are dying. I really hope that she will write a true continuation though. These days she mostly write short stories. Not that I don't welcome it, it's just that they do not contribute much to the main story.

    Quote Originally Posted by Asarii View Post
    Rakusho no Goku had quite a mixed opinion for Japanese readers, and I'm curious to see what your opinion of it is when you get around to it.

    The reason why I want Ono-sensei to work on The Twelve Kingdoms again is because there are several loose threads that need to be tied up:
    1. Where did Gyousou go?
    2. Where did Houki go? Please don't tell me he's in Hourai/Konron or else it will be Taiki Part II all over again.
    3. Why is Kouka/Kou's new kirin taking so long to hatch?
    4. Where do youma come from? Why are they all male? How do they know when a country is starting to fall apart?
    5. Who exactly is Tentei? Why does he choose rulers who end up being incompetent/oppressive?

    If Ono-sensei still feels motivated after Taiki's tale, hopefully she can work on a story where the purpose of the twelve kingdoms and heaven is explored.
    I'll read that one after I finish Tonan no Tsubasa.

    Actually there are more loose threads than those you list, but I suppose with series this complicated, some things may remain to be mystery. I am also interested about what's happening in Ryuu. There are so many hints that something bad is happening there, but so far no clue as to what. If Ono-sensei deems it important to insert these hints in the main story, then I hope she will resolve this.

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    Re: The Twelve Kingdoms - ONO FUYUMI

    Quote Originally Posted by yukihime03 View Post
    I need to point out that I was quite surprised to see this very long reply.
    Sorry, I get really excited when discussing 12K. I'm trying to introduce my friends through the anime though.

    Quote Quote:
    I actually read Demon's Child after I read Youko's arc, so at that time, I did not have any idea that it was related to Twelve Kingdoms at all. Only after when I got to the ending that I figured that out (because of Shouryuu). And only after reading Taiki's arc that I realized the whole connection. It really has a different atmosphere than the Twelve Kingdoms series, which is understandable since it was written as a horror story, not a full-scale fantasy.

    Because I read Demon's Child before realizing anything, I was really confused with what's happening and I was kinda lost in the middle. I felt really bad for Takasato though. I knew how traumatizing his experiences are, but I did not realize how bad until I found out he's Taiki. I felt really sad that he had to endure that experience. He was such a sweet kid and full of hope. People expect great things from him, especially because he's a black kirin, but the cruelty of the people in Hourai has changed him so much, I am really afraid for him.
    I actually wish I read The Demon's Child before reading Kaze no Umi so I could have had the same "A-ha!" light bulb moment like you did. The connections Takasato makes with words made sense for me, but it must have been a mystery for someone who had no idea.

    It's especially sad when you consider his own family has practically disowned him. His mother was the person he cried out for when he felt homesick at Houzan, and it's heartbreaking to find out that she wishes he were dead in a monologue. Sanshi and Gouran were trying so hard to protect him from physical harm, but it ends up emotionally scarring him instead.

    Quote Quote:
    You definitely know a lot about the publishing.
    It was actually my mom who got me into The Twelve Kingdoms so I got some insights from her as she was reading it. Right now it's 2ch, and most people on 2ch are adult men.

    Quote Quote:
    I totally forget when and how I first encountered the Twelve Kingdoms series (I think it was during the last year of high school), but I suppose I was initially interested because of the good review and the premise of the story even though it was not popular. I think it was during the time I read Saiunkoku no Monogatari, so I was really interested in stories about fantasy kingdoms based on Chinese culture.
    Ooh, I heard about the similarities 12K has between Saiunkoku (and to a certain extent, Fushigi Yuugi as well). In one of the afterwards, Ono-sensei mentions how there was a Three Kingdoms boom as she was writing the series so there's definitely an influx of light novels/manga/anime related to Chinese culture and mythology.

    Quote Quote:
    Not everyone can read this kind of series though. Even though it is a light novel, the plot is really heavy with politics and cultures. Not the kind teenagers these days read.
    I agree. There's also no romance in the novels, which might be a good thing for the periphery demographic but might be disappointing for younger readers if they don't understand the heavy politics.

    Quote Quote:
    I did! I was already in the part when they have entered the Yellow Sea. I was really enchanted by the illustration of Rikou and his suguu in the book. He was definitely handsome.
    Hmm. I'll try to read some more after this. It might take a while until I can finish it though... I was still busy with other things.
    Rikou is very handsome, and it's too bad that he hasn't made an anime appearance. In the unlikely event that another season will happen, I could see Kamiya Hiroshi being his seiyuu.

    Take your time to finish.

    Quote Quote:
    I was quite surprised how Rokuta was different from other kirin in the series. Other kirins are more adult-like and they often seem so grim, but Rokuta was a mischievous one. Though there are times when he's serious and grim...
    I like how Shouryuu and Rokuta interacts with each other. People do say that those who are similar are often at each other's throats. Shouryuu and Rokuta have proved that words. Which is why, I can totally understand why the ministers would not think it possible for them to work together, but it turns out that their desire to go out is greater than their dislike of each other.
    Rokuta is definitely the more boisterous kirin out of the bunch. There are times when he does exhibit signs of compassion though such as when he thanked Shouryuu for forgiving Kouya. In response, Shouryuu told Rokuta that he should be feeling compassion for Ribi, Ekishin and the baby instead. It reminded me of Shushou scolding Kyouki for showing compassion towards the wrong person- i.e. Shoukei.

    Ha ha, that's true. The ministers treat their king and saiho in the same manner, and it actually helps Shouryuu and Rokuta stay on the same page. It's the opposite in Tai where people treat Gyouso and Taiki differently and understandably so. Both kings are military men and the kirin are children in appearance; however, the way the En and Tai courts treat their respective king & taiho are completely different.

    Quote Quote:
    In some ways, Taiki is indeed the true protagonist because he was the one for whom the whole series is written, but I suppose when Ono-sensei wrote about Youko, Youko grows to be a great protagonist with lots of potentials. I suppose since Taiki has changed from the sweet kid into traumatized teenager, we need a protagonist who's his opposite, a selfish girl into a mature Queen, or the story will be all doom and gloom.

    I think it was quite unusual though, how a horror story can span into an entirely fantastical setting of other world. But I suppose that's what makes it so interesting.
    You're right: having Taiki be the protagonist post-The Demon's Child would be tough to write, and it's probably why the novel followed the narrative of Hirose. If we're getting a new novel about Tai, it will most likely follow the POV of Risai.

    The character development that Youko undergoes is phenomenal. The way she carries herself now is so different from the way she started out in the first half of Tsuki no Kage. She became a lot more masculine, which I find pretty funny.

    Quote Quote:
    Yeah, people often complains about things like that, not realizing how luckier they are than other fandoms that are dying. I really hope that she will write a true continuation though. These days she mostly write short stories. Not that I don't welcome it, it's just that they do not contribute much to the main story.
    Ever since Shinchosa hinted at a 新作 (new work) being published after their version of Tasogare no Kishi, fans have been feeling antsy and are anticipating a new novel soon. The 2ch thread (sorry for bringing up 2ch all the time) is relatively active and are still getting several posts a day.

    I don't mind her short stories either, but I do wish she wrote something that contributed to the main story. The recent short stories that were published in Hisho no Tori were mostly events that happened in the past. Even a short story about Shun, which we know nothing about, would be nice.

    I actually really want to read a short story about Asen and how he felt being compared to Gyousou. It would be a great lead up to the novel that would resolve the situation in Tai, and it might also give some insights as to why he rebelled against Gyousou in the first place.

    Quote Quote:
    Actually there are more loose threads than those you list, but I suppose with series this complicated, some things may remain to be mystery. I am also interested about what's happening in Ryuu. There are so many hints that something bad is happening there, but so far no clue as to what. If Ono-sensei deems it important to insert these hints in the main story, then I hope she will resolve this.
    Yeah, there are A LOT more loose ends that haven't been tied up yet. It seems as if Ono-sensei wanted to use those loose ends for other plot points after Taiki's story. As I'm looking at her Wikipedia page, there was a huge gap between 2003 and 2012 where she didn't publish a single novel so there was something that hindered her from writing anything, period... let alone a complex series like the 12K. Hopefully Shinchosa re-publishing the novels would get her motivated again.

    Ryuu is an interesting situation, and I'll let you finish Rakusho no Goku first before going further. Once again, there's no rush.

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