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Story of Saiunkoku 1


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$24.98 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Story of Saiunkoku 1 + The Story of Saiunkoku, Vol. 8
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Product Details

  • Actors: Story of Saiunkoku
  • Directors: Jun Shishido
  • Format: Animated, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English, Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Geneon Entertainment USA
  • DVD Release Date: August 28, 2007
  • Run Time: 125 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000Q7ZLTM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #232,417 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Saiunkoku is a country with eight powerful houses governed by one emperor. However the new leader Ryuki Shi cares not for his new role and is rumored to spend his days chasing after noblemen in his court. Enter Shurei Hong, a princess whose family has fallen upon hard times. Her dreams of becoming a government official are unattainable since she is a woman, but a twist of fate gives her the chance of a lifetime. If she agrees to become the emperor's consort and turn him into a respectable ruler, she will be greatly rewarded...

Amazon.com

The elaborate shojo (girl's) romance Story of Saiunkoko (2006) is set in a fictional kingdom modeled on Tang dynasty China. The daughter of an impoverished noble family, Shurei Hong becomes the consort of the young king, Ryuki Shi. The council of elders has been looking for someone to reform Ryuki, who's notoriously idle, stupid, and gay. They picked the right girl. Shurei is a veritable bundle of energy: she reads voraciously, knows the organization of the royal government, embroiders beautifully, advises Ryuki on economic policy, plays the erhu (a Chinese stringed instrument) exquisitely--and still finds the time to bake sweet bean jam buns. She enchants Ryuki, who turns out to be industrious, smart, and heterosexual. The elaborately overdressed court and large contingent of bishonen (beautiful boys) in Story of Saiunkoko may appeal to fans of Fushigi Yugi. But the story is so over-the-top, it's unintentionally funny. (Rated 13 and older: risqué humor, suggested homosexuality, minor violence) --Charles Solomon

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 12 customer reviews
Story of Saiunkoku is one of my favourite anime ever.
Enaam Khayat
Shuurei is a delightful character--unabashedly smart, practical, sternly virtuous with a deep core of compassion, and a great sense of humor.
Karin W.
So she accepts a deal to become the emperor's consort and teach him to be a true ruler.
D. Schall

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Keroberus on August 17, 2007
Format: DVD
Saiunkoku Monogatari is based in a universe that is like ancient China (Tang/Heian period) but it's a land where gods still walk among mortals and magic is still used. In many ways, Saiunkoku is like a hybrid between The Twelve Kingdoms and Fushigi Yugi. (HINT: Not a lot of action and not a lot of romance, but a good story and you need to pay attention.) The best thing going for the series is that the heroine is a thoughtful, educated, smart girl you can grow to like. She can be a little too naive sometimes, and her obsession with money is hilarious, but her selflessness makes her unique.

It is a little misleading in the first story arc when we are introduced to our spunky heroine Shurei and the Emperor, Ryuki. Hard core shoujo romance enthusiasts will love the interaction between the Emperor and Shurei during the first 8 episodes. Truthfully though, that is as far as you are going to get with these two in terms of romance. The rest of the series is a tangled web of intrigue and plots and counter plots enough to make your head spin. You simply can't tell if Shurei will EVER fall in love by the end of the first season (episode 39). Thank goodness the 2nd season is still running strong as of April 2007 (another 39 episodes or more) in Japan and the fans in the US are dying to catch up!

There's certainly enough bishonen male characters to go around. Is it possible to have too MANY bishonen male characters? Nah! Let's just say Ryuki will have plenty of competition. Fushigi Yugi fans will be overjoyed to hear the talented voices of Tomokazu Seki, Midorikawa Hikaru and Koyasu Takehito together again on the Japanese track.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Karin W. on June 24, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
So, for the first time in a long time, I actually started watching anime series that both hooked me, and which proved to be clever in its execution. I've seen a number of series lately that fell into the "okay" but not "wonderful" range, and had been wondering whether I was burning out on my anime viewing.

In fact, I stayed up until 3am one night, finishing the first eight episodes of "Saiungoku Monogatari" (The Tale of Saiunkoku), which constitute a fairly complete story arc. It's a josei (women's fiction) series set in fantasy ancient China, and the premise, while drawing on classic fairy-tale romance elements such as "Beauty and the Beast," is executed with a fresh touch.

Shuurei is the scholarly daughter of a noble but impoverished family. Smart and civic-minded, she had ambitions to enter the Imperial civil service, but because of a ban on women taking the civil service examinations, was forced to turn her energies to teaching at the temple school.

After the death of the old Emperor, an extended civil war left the kingdom in ruins while the emperor's many sons vied for the throne. Through a process of attrition-by-bloody-warfare and assassinations, the youngest son finally ascended the throne after the death or exile of his older brothers.

The problem is that he's a foolish, idle youth, dedicated to leisure and the pursuit of pretty young men, and unwilling to take up the reins of government. So, his advisors come up with a scheme to offer Shuurei the money her family desperately needs if she'll take the role of Imperial Consort to teach the Emperor how to govern, and to instil in him a sense of responsibility.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By phoenix phan on July 18, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
With gorgeous animation, beautiful costumes, stunning scenery, a spunky heroine, and the most glorious men in all of anime, Story of Sauinkoku has everything I love about anime.

The story reminds me of my favorite Jane Austin novels. An intelligent, ambitious young woman stuck in genteel poverty struggles to keep her family fed. Then a court official makes her an offer she can't refuse. If she can give the new Emperor enough on the job training to make him fit to run the country, she'll get enough money to restore her shabby family manor to its former glory. The only drawback - she'll have to pretend to be the Emperor's consort. Good thing he's rumored to be gay...

I have the entire 1st season on fan sub copies - but I love this so much I intend to buy it for real. And although the target demo for this is clearly female, the great animation, interesting characters and storylines make this one of my husband's favorites as well.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By sanoe.net VINE VOICE on September 1, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I bought Saiunkoku Monogatari (The Story of Saiunkoku) on recommendation from a friend who called it a Regency-Chinese-flavored fantasy and after seeing DVD 1, I can see why.

Shurei Hong (Kou in the original Japanese) is the practical-civic-minded daughter of a nobleman who is the court archivist. Shoka, her father, is respected but poor. The civil war that broke out after the death of the Emperor left their family destitute.

Tired of being poor, Shurei agrees to a deal with one of the elder advisors of the court that will give her family 500 gold coins. The catch? She is to become the emperor's consort.

Like any good heroine of certain breeding, she is horrified and dismayed but ultimately sees the bright side to her situation.

Ryuuki, the youngest of late emperor's son, has become emperor by default and seemingly uninterested in governing.

Until, of course, Shurei enters his life and nothing is quite what it seems and yet exactly as it seems which only increases the intrigue and the fun.

Although Shurei and Ryuuki are the "main" characters, the supporting cast is solid. The banter between Shuei, a general, and Kouyo, the emperor's secretary, is particularly enjoyable.

I look forward to the following this series. I hope that the rest of series lives up to the promise of the first 5 episodes.
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