The Twelve Kingdoms (2002– )
"12 kokuki" (original title)

TV Series  |  Animation, Adventure, Drama
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.2/10 from 1,306 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 1 critic

High school student Yoko Nakajima is approached by a strange man who claims he's been searching for her and that she is the rightful ruler of his kingdom.

Watch Trailer
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

"Hand of God" - What to Watch

IMDb sits down with the cast of the thriller drama "Hand of God," including Ron Perlman, Julian Morris, Garret Dillahunt, and Alona Tal.

Watch our interview

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 23 Jul 2012
a list of 29 titles
created 21 May 2013
a list of 45 titles
created 08 Aug 2013
a list of 23 titles
created 27 Jul 2014
a list of 42 titles
created 2 months ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Twelve Kingdoms (2002– )

The Twelve Kingdoms (2002– ) on IMDb 8.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Twelve Kingdoms.




2003   2002  



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Animation | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

The Second Empress hires a spear-wielding woman to save her son from the Mikado (emperor) who believes the young prince is possessed by a water demon foretold to bring a terrible drought upon the land should he live.

Stars: Mabuki Andô, Naoto Adachi, Kôji Tsujitani
Witch Hunter Robin (2002–2003)
Animation | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Witches exist, and it is the mysterious organization STNJ's job to hunt them down. Robin is a recent trainee who joins up, and begins unravelling the secrets of both the witches and STNJ...

Stars: Akeno Watanabe, Steve Blum, Paul St. Peter
Haibane renmei (TV Mini-Series 2002)
Animation | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A young girl is reborn as an angel-like creature called a haibane, with no memory of who she once was.

Stars: Ryô Hirohashi, Junko Noda, Eri Miyajima
The Count of Monte Cristo (TV Series 2004)
Animation | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Trying to escape his uneventful life, Albert, the son of a renowned general from Paris, makes a journey with his friend Franz. During his travels, he meets an immensely wealthy nobleman ... See full summary »

Stars: Johnny Yong Bosch, Erik Davies, Jun Fukuyama
Last Exile (TV Series 2003)
Action | Adventure | Animation
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

It's the dawn of the Golden Age of Aviation on planet Prester, and retro-futuristic sky vehicles known as vanships dominate the horizon. Claus Valca - a flyboy born with the right stuff - ... See full summary »

Stars: Mayumi Asano, Chiwa Saito, Paul St. Peter
Planetes (2003–2004)
Animation | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

In the year 2075, mankind has reached a point where journeying between Earth, the moon and the space stations is part of daily life. However, the progression of technology in space has also... See full summary »

Stars: Joe Cappelletti, Nao Nagasawa, Kazunari Tanaka
Wolf's Rain (TV Series 2003)
Action | Sci-Fi | Animation
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

In a post-apocalyptic future where humans live in domed cities surrounded by wasteland, wolves are assumed to be two hundred years extinct.

Stars: Mamoru Miyano, Kenta Miyake, Akio Suyama
Escaflowne (TV Series 1996)
Animation | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Hitomi is a girl with psychic abilities who gets transported to the magical world of Gaea. She and her friends find themselves under attack from the evil Zaibach empire, and the Guymelf ... See full summary »

Stars: Maaya Sakamoto, Tomokazu Seki, Shin'ichirô Miki
Animation | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

14-year-old Renton joins the rebel GekkoState ship, co-pilots the TypeZero with the mysterious Eureka, and unknowingly becomes part of a grand scheme.

Stars: Yûko Sanpei, Keiji Fujiwara, Kaori Nazuka
Kino's Journey (TV Mini-Series 2003)
Animation | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Kino and her talking motorcycle Hermes travel around the world, visiting different countries for three days each in order to learn about each one.

Stars: Kelli Cousins, Cynthia Martinez, Ai Maeda
Basilisk: Kôga ninpô chô (TV Series 2005)
Animation | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

At the dawn of Japan's Azuchi-Momoyama period (the late 16th century) two rival ninja clans, the Iga Tsubagakure and Kouga Manjidani... See full synopsis »

Stars: Laura Bailey, Nana Mizuki, Kosuke Toriumi
Claymore (TV Series 2007)
Animation | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

In a world rife with deadly creatures called "youma", a young silver eyed woman, Clare, works on behalf of an organization that trains female youma halfbreeds into warriors with the ability... See full summary »

Stars: Todd Haberkorn, Houko Kuwashima, Stephanie Young


Series cast summary:
Mari Devon ...
 Ritsuko Nakajima, Kaiko (45 episodes, 2002-2003)
Kate Higgins ...
 Shoukei (23 episodes, 2002-2003)
Houko Kuwashima ...
 Shoukei (22 episodes, 2002-2003)


High school student Yoko Nakajima is approached by a strange man who claims he's been searching for her and that she is the rightful ruler of his kingdom.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


See all certifications »


Official Sites:



Release Date:

9 April 2002 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

The Twelve Kingdoms  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The twelve kingdoms
26 June 2005 | by (Israel) – See all my reviews

First: I'm not an anime fan! I saw these series by a pure accident, simply because there was nothing else to watch on TV. Is it a masterpiece? Nah-h...I hate this word. Is it perfect? Again, by no means.

Is it wonderful in spite all it's flaws? Well, here my personal answer is a resounding YE-E-E-E-E-ES! This is not to everyone's taste, mind you.

It takes 45 episodes, 25 minutes each, of a true journey, this means the pace might be a bit slow for some. The show is overloaded with details and strange terms, which also may turn off many viewers. The animation, while very beautiful, is a bit lacking in movement department. You can see that for some seconds the picture stays still with only characters's mouth moving and many body movements are awkward and unintentionally ridiculous.

The story is, actually, just a fairy tale, which may turn off another part of the public and as for the anime/fantasy fans - the story sounds a bit too familiar and banal.

A young girl in modern Japan, Youko, suddenly finds out she actually belongs to another mysterious world, very reminiscent of ancient China, and some weird stranger takes her there, against her wish, apparently, to find her destiny. Which, of course, must be something special, because, why else this stranger named Keiki who commands some ferocious beasts, kneels before her and declares her to be his master? Yes, you've heard it hundreds times before and, definitely, will hear it another gazillion times - an ordinary man/woman finds out he's the chosen one who can save the world or whatever...bla-bla-bla...Matrix? Star wars? Lord of the Rings? Millions other versions?

Well, it's all the same all over again, i thought.Well, yes and no.

The "chosen one" here is a an insecure (and not in particularly sympathetic way)ordinary teenage-girl. She's a mumbling conformist of a worst kind, the one who's desperate to please everyone and ultimately fails on every level. Seemingly popular and "accepted" among her school friends, she's actually despised and used by everyone as a convenient mean to patch every uncomfortable hole. Youko will swallow every insult, hidden or open, will berry her head under the sand even before her parents, will do everything just to remain "a good girl" in the eyes of the others.

I won't tell you how exactly the things will flow from here on, and, yes, you can guess the general direction, but words can't describe the overall beauty of the wonderful, unpredictable (yes, i MEAN it) and very complicated storyline and fully realistic, flawed and human characters, which develop all along the series, coming a full circle of growth along with the viewer...

There's no triumphant endings, cheering crowds, big battles and sieges for 20 minutes each (well, there are some, but it's a relatively small part of the story). The ending is quiet and the whole feeling of the conclusion is very poignant, bitter-sweet and genuinely touching and rewarding.

It's about how life isn't a simple thing and its lessons are harsh and not always clear. And it's only your own responsibility which way to choose. While trying to please people you may take an easier path to became a "good" person in other's eyes, but there are things and principles that are worth fighting for, even when the closest to you don't share your opinion.

It's about the totally different world, which, at the end, appears to be not that different as it seemed. This is a movie about growing up and becoming a wholesome human being, who's ready to take upon himself not only the rights of grown-up life, but also a heavy load of the responsibilities that come with it and painful sacrifices.

Thanks to everyone involved in the production. Even without completing the whole 68 episodes as was planned, it's still a rare gem truly worth your time and money.

20 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
So many questions, has the show officially ended? shadowed_vandread
Music from Juuni Kokki stolen or stolen from? vwmw
Amazing elvisrule
Opening Instrumental Song insario_syiel
Her latest novella. o6asan
Song Question-Taiki mokara
Discuss The Twelve Kingdoms (2002) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: