Twelve Kingdoms Review – B
A high school girl is transported to a different world and becomes a queen.
There are a lot of good things that really make this anime stand out from other fantasy series. Perhaps most notably is the way Twelve Kingdoms builds its world. It develops it slowly and without obnoxiously excessive amounts of infodumping. It also helps that I found the Twelve Kingdoms universe interesting. Silly at some points occasionally, but creative and memorable. Another one of the anime’s biggest strengths is its soundtrack. The opening instrumental theme is absolutely gorgeous and the score is also orchestral. Lots of great songs to be had.
Finally, the third thing that puts Twelve Kingdoms above other fantasy-adventure series is its characters. All of the protagonists, whom are all women, receive staggering amounts of character development. Our central heroine, Youko, starts off weak willed and eventually gets stronger, of course. But the good thing is that she still holds fears and doubts and does not become an indomitable force.
But there are two main things that hindered my enjoyment of the show: The first being the characters. They may have had excellent development, but they were all, at some point or another, extremely irritating to watch. Too much angst and yelling and drama. The other thing is the length. Forty-five episodes, three of which are recaps, is long. A few arcs just felt way too dragged out. Lastly, what really brings Twelve Kingdoms down is the second rate animation, courtesy of Studio Pierrot. I also didn’t find the art style too great anyway.
Though in the end, I’d say the series’ strengths outweigh the flaws. It’s definitely quality and engrossing stuff once you get past the annoying cast.
- Story – B+ – Engrossing for the most part, but a bit lengthy
- Characters – B+ – All the mains had great development, but many got annoying quickly.
- Art – C – The style is alright, the animation is second rate.
- Music – A – A gorgeous orchestral soundtrack
- Enjoyment – C – The length was my main issue.
- Overall – B
Recommendations: Seirei no Moribito, Escaflowne: a Girl in Gaea