P L O T
Set in the fictional empire of Saiunkoku, the story centers on Shurei Hong, a descendant of a noble family that has fallen on hard times.
Her father works as a librarian in the Imperial palace, a post which offers prestige and respect, but little compensation. Shurei 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, a path forbidden to women.
Shurei’s plans come to an abrupt halt when the Emperor’s Grand Advisor makes a startling offer for her to join the imperial household for six months as the young Emperor’s consort and teach the Emperor to be a responsible ruler. If she succeeds, the financial reward will be great.
The story details Shurei’s growing relationship with the Emperor and other members of the court, the intrigues of imperial politics, and her commitment to better herself and her country. (source: wikipedia)
T H O U G H T S
Never in my wildest dreams have I imagined actually watching this anime, but I’m glad I did…
As much as possible, I try to avoid shows dealing with history, ‘coz aside from the fact that I’d be bored, these shows often have tragic endings or the “supposed to be lovers do” not end up together.
However, since last week, I was desperately in search of a good anime to watch, I decided to give Saiunkoku Monogatari a try. Truth is, I’ve come across this title a lot of times before, but yeah, aside from it being historical, I thought it was a yaoi anime (me=anti yaoi).
Honestly, out of all the anime & dramas I watched, Saiunkoku Monogatari’s the best. I’m deadly serious.
There’s something about SaiMono that captured my attention, and all throughout the 39 episodes, I wasn’t bored. Given the setting & the events that happened, I actually enjoyed every bit of the anime – and that’s a first.
It was like love at first sight. LOL. When I first saw the opening, I fell in love with the song & the video. I may be a bit sentimental but that’s what I felt.
And so the story began. Then the love I have for this anime only gets deeper. I love the flow of the story and I like the way the characters were made (? can’t find the appropriate term).
From now on there will be spoilers (for those who haven’t seen it yet).
Probably, the reason why I love this anime is because of Shuurei and Ryuuki (the Emperor). I like how their personalities were the opposite of each other but then they complement each other well. The first few episodes have made my heart skip faster. I like how we have this childish Emperor who doesn’t seem to care for his throne and how this poor but determined girl changed the Emperor for the better. It was love at first sight for Ryuuki (or so I think), haha, their first meeting by the sakura trees (?) was magical, and their succeeding encounters were even better. It’s unusual for me to see the lead guy falling head over heels for a girl from the beginning ’til the end – even when distance sets them apart (I’ll deal with it later). And it’s amusing that Shuurei first thought of Ryuuki as a homosexual until he proved to her that he’s not (I adore that episode)
Another factor why I love SaiMono is because of the characters. There were a lot of bishies (lol), it’s prolly why I wasn’t bored, haha, just joking. This anime is the type where in aside from showing Shuurei’s journey towards life, there appears to be an arc dealing with different characters. There were a lot of characters in this anime that even up to now, I can’t remember them by their names, so at times I was at a lost on who they may referring to, haha. Every episode or two (or more) deals with a new character, and each character’s appearance contribute to the overall appeal of the anime.
A word of caution for those who thinks SaiMono involves action & such, sorry to disappoint you but it’s more on the “talkish” kind, and the fight/action scenes were minimal, so some say that they find the anime too slow and boring to some extent. But for me, this kind of genre best fits SaiMono, because looking through it, it focuses more on Shuurei’s dream to become a government official & the experiences she encounters on the way as well as development in her lovelife (I really hope there would be :D)
This review will shortly end, but before that, I’ll give pic spams ^_^
I swear that during the first episode, I find Seiran more attractive that Ryuuki (and I think he really is more attractive) but then after watching the first season, I liked Ryuuki more because of his dedication and personality. But isn’t it unfair to have these two brothers in one anime? Haha, Shuurei’s so lucky to have them both.
At first, I was against the Shuurei x Sakujun pairing, but yeah, it kinda grew on me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still for Ryuuki x Shuurei, it wil never change ^^
I survived all the episodes primarily because of these two. They weren’t together for mostly half of the series, but still it didn’t stop me from believing that they will be together at the end. What I love most was when they finally meet after Shuurei came back from Sa Province.
It was beyond my expectation. It only proves that this pairing will be the only one I’ll approve of. If their first meeting was magical, then this is epic, haha. And the setting was perfect, I dunno but this two are a match made in heaven, what made me squeal more was Ryuuki’s profession of love, haha, he never gets tired, and I hope he won’t. His love is so pure and innocent that I wish Shuurei will finally see that she couldn’t ask for more with Ryuuki by her side. This guy can move mountains for her 🙂
There you have it, my novel-length worth review of Saiunkoku Monogatari. If I love something, it deserves this much. Plus, I’m looking forward to see the second season, but I guess it’ll have to wait, and I’m kinda dreading the second season, seeing the spoilers, argghh, I hope everything will be fine.