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Twelve Kingdoms Premium Box I [DVD] [2005] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Region 1 encoding (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

Note: you may purchase only one copy of this product. New Region 1 DVDs are dispatched from the USA or Canada and you may be required to pay import duties and taxes on them (click here for details). Please expect a delivery time of 5-7 days.

Product details

  • Format: Animated, Box set, Colour, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD-Video, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: Japanese, English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Anime Works
  • DVD Release Date: 27 Sep 2005
  • Run Time: 550 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B000A2XA5A
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 398,224 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
This anime is based on the first four of six novels by Fuyumi Ono. The plan was to have sixty-eight episodes covering these novels and then as more novels came out, expand on that. Sadly, the producers decided to end the series on episode 45; and it looks like it is not likely that they will go further. The author of the novels has also moved to other interests, so it is unlikely we will get more of those either. I am happy to say, that even with these problems, the forty-five episodes that we did get compose one of the best anime I have ever seen. The fact that there are four story arcs across these episodes, that contain a fairly separate tale, even though they are interrelated, help with this. When the episodes are over we are not left with a lot of unanswered questions. Though there are a few.

This tale starts when Youko Nakajima and her two high school friends, Yuka Sugimoto and Ikuya Asano, are transported to a fantastic world. The emissary that takes them there is Keiki, a tall lean man with long white hair, and who treats Youko as if she is his queen. Upon entering the new land, Youko experiences many surprising situations; for example, she receives a creature in her mind that allows her to wield a sword with ease and speak the language. But things are not easy, since many people in the 12 kingdoms think that what they call Kaikyaku, people that come from the "human world", are a bad omen.

The creative aspects of the series are magnificent, with esoteric creatures that have great skills for fighting and extremely cool looks. Also, the graphics are astounding, with proficient use of bright colors and crisp drawings. This definitely helps with immersing us in this fantastic setting.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
63 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, Captivating Series and Set! 12 Oct 2005
By W. Scott Heitman - Published on
I've seen a good deal of anime (read: way much more than I responsibly should have). It ranges from train-wreck-bad to truly inspiring. This anime falls so close to the latter category that it belongs in my top 3 series. Very few animes can captivate a viewer to the degree where they don't even stop to look at the time, where they don't really expect the story/episode to stop. Every time I finished an episode, it always surprised me- I was so caught up in the story. The series is based on a number of well-crafted books which create a well thought out Tolkien-esque world. While developing this world, the series also finds time to develop its very interesting cast of characters. The music is also quite fantastic. The animation wins no superlatives, but it accomplishes its task quite well. The fight scenes, especially, are well animated. The one thing I worry about is the incompletion of the series. At 45 episodes, the story of the 12 Kingdoms is incomplete. I have been told that the 45 episodes effectively finishes the story of the main character- so some closure is reached. But 23 more episodes were apparently planned to reach an ultimate fate of the 12 Kingdoms- sadly, these will probably never be made. Still, this series is absolutely fantastic and not to be missed!

As far as the set goes...Animeworks never fails to impress, but they've truly surprised me this time. The case is very sturdy and features beautiful art from the series. The inside is just as impressive...more artwork from the series and a little glossary (yeah, the series is pretty detailed). It is clear from looking at the set that Animeworks cared about the job they were doing in bringing the series to the states. This is a very rare many U.S. anime companies spit out dvds with no respect for the original material, but Animeworks is clearly different.

Finally, the set is selling for a very reasonable price. If you pay between 70 and 100 for each of the sets, you're getting 45 episodes for somewhere around 170 bucks.....for a series of this caliber, that's a bargain.

I cannot recommend this series enough....its many beauties remain with you long after viewing the series. And can purchase the series knowing that the original material has been treated with all of the respect it deserves.
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An epic anime series 18 Oct 2005
By eau - Published on
The twelve Kingdoms is based on a novel with the same title written by Ono Fuyumi and released by Kodansha. High school student Yoko Nakajima is one day suddenly greeted with a strange man named Keiki who calls her "lord". He takes her to another world along with her classmates but then they lost sight of Keiki. They wander the land of the 12 kingdoms as hunted fugitives, trying to survive the hash treatment and attacks from the local people and to find out why they were brought to this world.

The first premium box set (of 2) released by Media Blaster is simply beautiful. It is a digipak similar to the 4-disc Extended Edition of Lord of the Rings and has a textured feel to the box's paper. The front and back of the box carries the coverart of volumes 1 and 5 of the separate DVD releases respectively. The disc holders are transparent and showing the coverart of the corresponding volume when a disc is removed.

This is an excellent anime series that you don't want to miss. Plus the fact that the premium box sets are meticiously put together makes this show a must buy!
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fushigi Yuugi minus the romance plus the politics... 18 Sep 2006
By Rowena Wendy Lim - Published on
Judging from what was happening in the first few episodes, I was somewhat expecting The Twelve Kingdoms to be an anime along the lines of the classic girl-taken-to-another-world series "Fushigi Yuugi". Turns out I was half-right. The Twelve Kingdoms is somewhat like "Fushigi Yuugi" -- minus the romance, plus a whole lot of politics.

Youko Nakajima is the quintessential unwilling heroine with zero self-confidence. After being whisked away to the world of the twelve kingdoms, Youko is forced to pick up a sword and defend herself from those who want her dead. But why would anyone want a regular schoolgirl dead? As it turns out, Youko is not as ordinary as she always believed herself to be. She is a taika, originally born in the world of the twelve kingdoms, but was somehow swept away to Japan. What's more, Youko is the chosen one, the next queen of Kei, one of the twelve kingdoms. The man she met is actually a kirin, sort of like the guardian of Kei. Each kingdom has its own kirin and ruler. The kirin chooses the ruler and pledges his/her total loyalty and submission to the ruler. Keiki is Kei's kirin, and he has chosen Youko as the queen of Kei.

If you think terminologies like taika and kirin are confusing, prepare yourself for more of these when watching The Twelve Kingdoms. A very detailed government system exists within the kingdoms, and as Youko comes to accept her destiny as ruler, she is further plunged into the world of political intrigue, betrayal, and deception. Everything is clearly explained however, you just have to make sure you're in the right state of mind when watching -- meaning this is not an anime wherein you can let your mind float off elsewhere and still get it.

One of the things I liked best about The Twelve Kingdoms was the diverse cast of extremely well-developed characters. I was amazed at how the series managed to effectively tackle and expound multiple character-oriented subplots, tying them up neatly in the end. What kept me from giving The Twelve Kingdoms a perfect rating was the non-resolution of the Taiki arc. It was as if the subplot and characters just vanished into thin air after being painstakingly shown, and until now I can't help but feel that there's a vital chunk missing in the series.

The art and animation are pretty impressive. The picturesque settings are like a cross between ancient China and Japan. Character designs are beautiful and distinct, and every scene is packed in such a way that there is virtually nothing irrelevant -- the sheer amount and detail of the events that unfold make it seem as if an episode is longer than it actually is, but you don't get the feeling that it's dragging... except maybe for the first part when Youko is still in denial with regards to her destiny. In terms of the audio aspects, the English dubbing is done nicely and the musical scoring fits perfectly.

The Twelve Kingdoms is overall an excellent and engaging series, one that will keep you popping in disc after disc just to see what's going to happen next. Now if only they would give us some closure regarding the Taiki arc...
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A few minor additions to previous reviews 7 April 2006
By C. Huynh - Published on
The anime for twelve kingdoms follows a line of literary works by Ono Fuyumi. Since I can't read Japanese, I can't say how close the anime follows the novels aside from the fact that the world of the twelve kingdoms is far deeper than the story arc of Youko portrayed in the anime. You will get the sense of this when the anime seemingly goes on a tangent and shows the story of the Tai kingdom. Although the anime was slotted for 68 episodes, the series was cut short because Youko's part in the novels only covered so much, and the producers made a wise decision in not continuing the story on their own. However, I have not seen a manga release since 2002, and I have no idea whether the project has been abandoned or what, but I can only hope that it hasn't, and more of this wonderful anime will be released in the not too distant future.

Admittedly, the characters in the beginning have ugly personalities, but they grow, and they grow into some of the most delightful beings in the realm of anime, complex and full fleshed. I have watched this series dozens of times and will continue to do so. Watch it, and I doubt that you'd regret the purchase.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Twelve Kingdoms 4 Jan 2006
By A&M Junkie - Published on
The Twelve Kingdoms is a brillant series, similiar in tone and storyline to Escaflowne and Fushigi Yugi, however much better than both (and as I love Escaflowne, I do not say that lightly). The story line is extremely addictive, the animation is above average and soooo beautiful, and the music is to die for. Although I have compared the storyline to the above-mentioned series, it is much more serious in tone due to its literary origins (it is based upon series of books by Fuyumi Ono). This is an epic story about three teenagers thrust into a foreign world in which they cannot speak the language. While they try to survive and find their own purpose in this new world they find themselves caught up in political intrigue, battles, and heavenly creatures. This story is grounded in a harsh reality in which people struggle to survive from starvation and stand up against corrupt officials. However, to counter-act the terrible scenes it shows, it also stresses the importance of friendship, trust, and courage.
When I first noticed the series on Amazon I was not sure what to expect regarding the style of the story. However, I cannot emphasize enough how good this series is - always gripping, surprising, and emotionally involving. The story continues in boxset 2.
The only one fault I can find with this series is that it only runs to 45 episodes and does not expand on one of the most interesting storylines. I read that the creators originally planned for the series to be 68 episodes. However, by concentrating on one main character (which the books did not) they did not have enough source material to continue for another series and are currently waiting for Fuyumi Ono to finish the series of books. However, please do not let that put you off as the series does have an exciting and satisfying finish to the story of the main character. Also, one of the problems with a story this good is that it could never be long enough.
The series comes in two gorgeous and well made boxsets, which look like books from the outside and have beautiful drawings inside and outside.
Buy this - you will not be disappointed. Absolutely the most breathtaking & involving Anime I have ever seen.
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