• Saiunkoku Monogatari
  • Writer: Sai Yukino ; Illustrator: Kairi Yura
  • Released: 2006
  • Hits: 1555

Saiunkoku Monogatari

Saiunkoku Monogatari
Main: Shuurei Kou, Ryuuki, Seiran Shi, Seien
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Historical, Romance, Shoujo

As always, this information will contain SPOILERS because it's info about the series.

My Comments:
A very heart-warming, intelligent series. It revolves around Shuurei, a woman who struggles to break down barriers for women in her society. She's surrounded by many loving, supportive, powerful and rather hot guys too.
 
However, instead of being the traditionally "weak" female anime character, Shuurei is a hard-worker. She doesn't depend on the guys to help her climb the ladder of success nor does she have to pretend to be male -- or take on male characteristics -- to break down those barriers.
 
It is one of the ANIMEOTA recommended animes
 

Online info:
Saiunkoku Monogatari (彩雲国物語; lit.Tale of the Land of Many-Coloured Clouds, often rendered Tale of Saiunkoku) is a series of Japanese novels written by Sai Yukino and illustrated by Kairi Yura.

The anime series, produced by Madhouse Studios, is directed by Jun Shishido. It began airing in April 2006. The series is currently slated to run for 39 episodes.

The story, which takes place in the fictional medieval empire of Saiunkoku, follows the adventures of Shuurei Kou, the princess of a noble family that has fallen on hard times.

Her father serves as librarian in the Imperial palace, a post which offers prestige and respect but little compensation.

Shuurei teaches in the temple school and works odd jobs to make ends meet, but her dream is to pass the imperial examinations and take a post in government.

The story details Shuurei's growing relationships with the Emperor and other members of the court, the intrigues that surround imperial politics, and Shuurei's commitment to better herself and her country.

According to legend, Saiunkoku was once infested by demons who threw the country into turmoil and made the people miserable. A brave young warrior named Sou Gen gathered together the eight Enlightened Sages of Colour and drove away the demons.

Sou Gen forged the nation of Saiunkoku and became its first emperor. After Sou Gen's death, the eight sages disappeared, but according to legend they still exist among the people.


Ruling Family info:
Ran (藍, Ran?, Indigo) — The most powerful clan in Saiunkoku
Kou (Kō?, Crimson) — Known as the second most powerful clan
Heki (Heki?, Green)
Kou (Kō?, Yellow) — Although pronounced the same as the 'Crimson' clan, the kanji means 'yellow'
Haku (Haku, White)
Koku (Koku, Black)
Sa (Sa, Brown) — Known as the least distinguished clan in Saiunkoku
Shi (Shi, Purple) — The family of the Emperor


Characters:
Shuurei Kou (Kō Shūrei), (Seiyū - Houko Kuwashima)
Shuurei Kou is the daughter and only child of Shouka Kou of the Kou clan, one of the two most powerful clans in Saiunkoku. She is sixteen years old when the story begins. As a descendant of the direct line, she has the title hime, which means 'princess' or 'lady'. Despite the high social status of her family, Shuurei grew up in relatively impoverished circumstances.


Ryuuki Shi (Shi Ryūki), (Seiyū - Tomokazu Seki)

Ryuuki Shi is the reigning emperor of Saiunkoku. He is nineteen years old when the story begins.

The youngest of six brothers, he was an unlikely candidate to ascend to the throne. Of his five elder brothers, four killed each other over the succession and one was exiled for treason.

As a child, Ryuuki was badly mistreated by his mother and his brothers. The only one who didn't treat him badly was his brother Seien. Seien seemed to be the only one who truly cared for him.

His other brothers and mother used to beat Ryuuki and lock him in a closet for hours at a time, telling him his birth order was bad and that he stole affection from his siblings. These experiences led to a lingering fear of the dark and sleeping alone.

Ryuuki often took refuge in the garden or the imperial archives, where he first encountered Shouka Kou. Shouka tutored the young prince and encouraged War General Taifu Sou to teach him swordsmanship.

When Ryuuki ultimately rose to the throne, he avoided any involvement in politics or government, wandering the palace for hours so no one would be able to find him.

He even spread rumours that he preferred the company of men to fuel speculation he could not produce an heir. Ryuuki secretly hoped that someone would eventually tell him to send for Seien, his beloved older brother. Ryuuki's avoidance of responsibility came to an end when he met Shuurei


Seien / Seiran Shi (Shi Seiran), (Seiyū - Hikaru Midorikawa)

Seiran Shi is a low-ranking army officer and the sole remaining retainer in the Kou household. Seiran was taken in thirteen years ago by Shouka Kou, and he has made a vow to spend his life repaying that kindness.

He helps the Kou family by protecting them at their home, performing repairs on the family estate, and taking small guard jobs to earn money. He is a very skilled fighter and swordsman and is usually found following Shuurei to guard her, even when she doesn't know it.

When Grand Master Shou asked Shuurei to enter the Imperial Residence as the Emperor's consort, Seiran was assigned to be a captain of the Emperor's personal guard as part of the deal.

As the series begins Seiran claims to be 21 years old, but in reality he is several years older. Seiran's true identity is Prince Seien, the second oldest of the six royal brothers who was known as the "flower" of the royal princes before he was exiled for treason.


Kouyuu Ri (Ri Kōyū), (Seiyū - Noboyuki Hiyama)

Kouyuu Ri holds the rank of Secretary in the Civil Affairs department, serving beneath Reishin Kou. Kouyuu was an orphan living in the streets before he was adopted by Reishin thirteen years ago; he survived by selling tickets to a street lottery of his own design in which the prizes included branches of plum blossoms and bags of salt.

Kouyuu became the youngest person ever to pass the official examinations at the age of 16, taking the top ranked "Jougen" spot. As the series begins, Kouyuu has been assigned directly to the Emperor, a position that infuriates him because the wandering Emperor never carries out his duties and can rarely even be found.

After Ryuuki agrees to be tutored by Kouyuu, however, and begins taking an active role in government, Ryuuki offers Kouyuu an iris flower as sign of trust.

Kouyuu openly accepts the flower as a token of his loyalty and his belief that Ryuuki is a worthy Emperor. Kouyuu often works closely with the Emperor and revises the work that Ryuuki does, such as written proposals.

Despite his reputation as a genius, Kouyuu is notorious for having no sense of direction. He gets lost in the palace within 30 steps and it sometimes takes him two hours to get to a destination that only takes 15 minutes for another person


Shuuei Ran (Ran Shūei), (Seiyū - Toshiyuki Morikawa)

The General of the Shaorin army. Part of the Ran family, one of the two greatest clans. The fourth oldest of five brothers. A very skilled swordsman and is usually calm, but likes to tease others. He was supposed to be guarding the Emperor with Kouyuu, but since Ryuuki was nowhere to be found, he and Kouyuu were left in the library for a month being bored.

He claims to be Kouyuu's best friend, though Kouyuu keeps denying it. Shuuei is usually the one that gets Kouyuu all riled up by mentioning things like his lack of direction and his woman-hating ideals. Unlike Kouyuu, Shuuei is a womanizer. He often mentions how nice it is to spend time with women and was seen surrounded by a horde of women after winning the fighting tournament. He's also a regular at the Red Light District and usually spends time with the number one woman in the number one brothel.

Along with Kouyuu, Shuuei also receives a flower and swears his loyalty to the current Emperor, establishing Ryuuki's reign since he is now backed up by the top two upcoming officials of the palace. He knows Seiran's true identity.

Shuuei often flirts and sleep around with the palace ladies. He does this in the hope of attracting the attention of Shusui. It was love at first sight when Shusui helped him once in the past. Although, Shusui does not remember the meeting between them.



Shouka Kou (Kō Shōka), (Seiyū - Shuuichi Ikeda)

The oldest of the Kou Family and Shuurei's father. He also took in Seiran into his home thirteen years ago. After turning down the position of being the head of the Kou family, he was kicked out of the main household. He then moved to the capital where his younger brother, Reishin, got him a job in the Palace.

He works in the Palace as the head of the Royal Archives even though the pay is cheap. Ryuuki often visited Shouka in the Royal library when he was young because Shouka seemed to be one of the few people who treated him with kindness.

His job is only that of a librarian, but he is highly respected by everyone.

At first, he just seems like a caring, gentle librarian who can't even make a proper tasting cup of tea, but it is later revealed that he is the legendary killer, The Black Wolf. He leads the group called the Wolves of the Wind.

This was a group full of expert assassins that served the previous Emperor. He has the deadliest fighting skills, as seen when he slashed down nearly ten thugs in an instant to protect Seiran.

His identity as the Black Wolf is still a secret to everyone except for Taishi Shou, Shusui, and Reishin. Shouka said that he actually disbanded the Wolves of the Wind.



Ryuuren Ran (Ran Ryūren)?, (Seiyū - Hidenobu Kiuchi)

The youngest of the five brothers of the Ran family. He is eighteen years old. It is said that, out of his four older brothers he was the most worthy of the name Ryuuren Ran because he is a genius. He calls his older brothers foolish and doesn't call them by their name, rather: Shuuei = "foolish elder brother the fourth".

He does things on his own time and is quite impulsive: when he was going to buy ingredients for chicken stew with Shuurei, he ended up buying soy beans, then he traded that for boiled eggs, then traded the eggs for spring onions, then the spring onions for wood blocks, then flowers, then fish, then straw, and then he gave away the straw to a little girl and just ended up with one stalk of straw.

He also pulls out his flute and plays it without warning, often off key. Since he can't be easily told what to do and is very unpredictable, he's necessary in the Ran family.

Although, because of this behavior many find him weird and annoying, so they usually distance themselves from him. Shuurei was the only one who put up with him, so he said that she's now his good(soul) friend.



Ensei Rou (Rō Ensei), (Seiyū - Kentarou Itou)

First seen as a traveller who was taken in by Shuurei when she saw him passed out, due to a summer heat wave, near the entrance of her house. She invited him into her house to eat.

He recognized Seiran, who also recognized him, when he came home and called him "The Little Whirlwind". He seems to be an old acquaintance of Seiran, but Seiran doesn't seem to like his presence even though they seem to have a friendly relationship. Seiren assigned him to be Shuurei's temporary bodyguard while he's off fighting bandits.

Also assigned to be the temporary administrator for the Department of Treasury and Taxation by Kijin. Seiren finds out he's been defending against the thieves from Brown Province every night.

He used to be the Governor of Brown Province. He was not an official since he didn't take the examination. High officials from the Brown Province were assassinated or bribed so no-one wanted to become an official there anymore.



Reishin Kou (Kō Reishin), (Seiyū - Mitsuaki Madono)

In charge of the Civil/Public Administration Department and has been head of the Kou family for nearly fifteen years. Shouka's younger brother, Shuurei's uncle, and Kouyuu's boss as well as adoptive father.

He said his reason for adopting Kouyuu was because his older brother adopted a child so he wanted to adopt a random child to share his brother's experience. Although, Shouka later revealed to Kouyuu that Reishin really does think of him as his own child.

He's good friends with Kijin since he's allowed to be around him when he's not wearing a mask. He's also the one making all those different masks for Kijin.

Kijin describes him as being crafty, coolheaded, and coldhearted, but Reishin is usually seen very cheerful, easy-going, and sometimes childish. He sometimes plays tricks on other officials.

He decided not to publicly reveal that he is the head of the Kou Clan, so only a few know of his status.

He even hides the fact that he's Shuurei's uncle from her because he believes that she blames him for kicking her father out and becoming the head of the family. In fact, he's been trying to protect his older brother ever since he found out that Shouka adopted the exiled prince, Seien.

He turns into a completely admiring "little brother", though, when he's around his older brother.

Other Names

  • Tale of the Land of Many-Coloured Clouds

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Saiunkoku Monogatari