Saiunkoku Monogatari

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  • TV-PG
  • 2006
  • 2 Seasons
  • 7.6  (256)

Saiunkoku Monogatari is a Japanese historical fantasy anime series originally aired by NHK between 2006 and 2008. It is a 39-episode series that tells the story of a young girl, Shurei Hong, who dreams of becoming a government official in the imperial court of the fictional country of Saiunkoku. The show features an impressive cast of voice actors, including Matthew Leonhart as Ryuuki Shi, the young emperor of Saiunkoku, Michael Kopsa as Sa Sakujun, the powerful and mysterious advisor to the emperor, and Michael Adamthwaite as Seiran Shi, Shurei's loyal and protective bodyguard.

The show is set in a world inspired by ancient China and features a complex and detailed political system, complete with court intrigue, power struggles, and secret agendas. Shurei is a brave and intelligent young woman who is determined to break the gender barriers that prevent women from holding high office in Saiunkoku. She is offered a rare opportunity when she is appointed as the emperor's tutor. As Shurei begins to work closely with the emperor, she discovers the many challenges he faces in ruling a country that is beset with corruption, poverty, and unrest.

Through her interactions with Ryuuki and other members of the imperial court, Shurei learns the harsh realities of politics and the sacrifices that must be made to bring about change. She also begins to uncover the secrets of her own past and the mysterious circumstances surrounding her father's death. Along the way, Shurei faces many obstacles and enemies, including Sa Sakujun, a charismatic but dangerous figure who threatens to destroy everything she holds dear.

The animation in Saiunkoku Monogatari is stunning, with detailed backgrounds, colorful costumes, and fluidly animated characters. The show's soundtrack is also noteworthy, featuring orchestral pieces and traditional Japanese music that help to create a rich and immersive atmosphere. The voice acting is top-notch, with each actor bringing their character to life with nuance and emotion.

One of the strengths of Saiunkoku Monogatari is its richly developed cast of characters. From the emperor himself to his advisors, courtiers, and bureaucrats, each character is given depth and complexity, with their own motivations, flaws, and backstories. Shurei is a particularly compelling protagonist, a young woman who is determined to make a difference despite the many obstacles in her way. Her relationships with Ryuuki and Seiran are central to the show, and their interactions are filled with humor, tension, and emotional depth.

At its core, Saiunkoku Monogatari is a story about the struggle for power, justice, and equality in a world that is often cruel and unjust. The show tackles complex themes such as corruption, poverty, gender inequality, and the abuse of power, while also exploring the power of friendship, love, and personal sacrifice. Through Shurei's journey, viewers are invited to witness the growth and development of a strong, inspiring female protagonist who refuses to be limited by the confines of her gender or social status.

Overall, Saiunkoku Monogatari is a beautifully crafted anime series that blends historical intrigue, fantasy, and drama into a compelling and thought-provoking narrative. With its striking visuals, top-notch voice acting, and well-developed characters, the show is a true masterpiece of the genre. Whether you are a fan of historical anime, political dramas, or epic fantasy sagas, Saiunkoku Monogatari is sure to delight and inspire.

Saiunkoku Monogatari
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Season 2, Episode 39
39. Season 2, Episode 39
March 8, 2008
Summary is not available.
Season 2, Episode 38
38. Season 2, Episode 38
March 1, 2008
Summary is not available.
The Eyes are the Mirror of the Soul
37. The Eyes are the Mirror of the Soul
February 23, 2008
Summary is not available.
36. TBA
February 16, 2008
Summary is not available.
Crossing a Dangerous Bridge
35. Crossing a Dangerous Bridge
February 9, 2008
Summary is not available.
Bluer than Indigo
34. Bluer than Indigo
February 2, 2008
Summary is not available.
33. TBA
January 26, 2008
Summary is not available.
A Painful Reluctance
32. A Painful Reluctance
January 12, 2008
Summary is not available.
One Reaps What One Sows
31. One Reaps What One Sows
January 5, 2008
Summary is not available.
The Silent Firefly's Body Consumed by Love
30. The Silent Firefly's Body Consumed by Love
December 22, 2007
Summary is not available.
Toozakaru hodo omoi ga tsunoru
29. Toozakaru hodo omoi ga tsunoru
December 1, 2007
Summary is not available.
Peaches And Chestnuts In Three Years, Persimmons In Eight Years
28. Peaches And Chestnuts In Three Years, Persimmons In Eight Years
November 24, 2007
Summary is not available.
Better To Be The One That Waits Than The One Waited For
27. Better To Be The One That Waits Than The One Waited For
November 17, 2007
Summary is not available.
Even The Wisest Will Flee When They Are Fools
26. Even The Wisest Will Flee When They Are Fools
November 10, 2007
Summary is not available.
Even With Trouble, Youth Is Sufficient Enough To Pay
25. Even With Trouble, Youth Is Sufficient Enough To Pay
November 3, 2007
Summary is not available.
One Good Turn Deserves Another
24. One Good Turn Deserves Another
October 27, 2007
Summary is not available.
Misery Loves Company
23. Misery Loves Company
October 20, 2007
Summary is not available.
An Insect In A Lion's Body
22. An Insect In A Lion's Body
October 13, 2007
Shūrei and company learn that Banri was tricked by two men into doing the paintings, while Shin Suou reveals his amazing insight on how his father is part of the painting forgeries but is not involved in the money counterfeiting. But before they can do anything, someone else had sent soldiers from the Imperial Palace arrest Shin Suou and his father on counterfeiting and forgery charges, which carries the death penalty. Shūrei goes through the official procedures and with some "persuasion" from Seiran, convinces Shin Suou to help lower the penalty on his father. Shūrei meets with Ryūki and watches the first Sakura blossoms from the tree, with Shūrei venting her anger on "Ryūki" for the suspension.
A Frog's Child Is A Frog
21. A Frog's Child Is A Frog
October 6, 2007
As they continue searching for forgeries, Shūrei and company discover that prices for everyday household prices are slowly rising and ask for the help of Sai Rin. Shin Suou is baffled why Shūrei tries so hard even though she is suspended, while Karin comes back to the Kogaro and recognizes the painting Kochō has put up for display. Karin goes to the place on where the painting is situated from and is found by Ryūki and company. Shūrei and Company arrived minutes later and discover that the place is Shin Suou's home. Shin Suou leads them to a locked building, then opens the door to reveal Banri, Karin's son, painting the forgeries.
All Is Lost That Is Given To A Fool
20. All Is Lost That Is Given To A Fool
September 29, 2007
Karin, the name of Kochō's guest, finds Shūrei to be quite cute, then leaves when she sees the painting. Shūrei and company find out that the paintings are fake and find counterfeit coins while still in the Kogaro and dashes off to find out who did it with the help of Shin Suou, one of the guys who proposed to her and is also an official. Shūrei and company find a lot of forgeries in the shops around town, while Seiran notices that someone is following them.
Don't Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch
19. Don't Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch
September 22, 2007
Seiran delivers a message to Ryūki from Shūrei, stating that their next meeting would be when the Sakura Bloom. Ryūki offers Yūshun Tei the position of Prime Minister, but Yūshun only accepts if the Emperor accepts the ten conditions he has set. Two men try to propose to Shūrei while on the way to the Kogaro to meet Kochō about a painting, and is greeted warmly by Kochō's guest.
A Long Way After Dark
18. A Long Way After Dark
September 15, 2007
Past events are shown: The journey to Kōringun, the operation on the sick villagers, successful entry to the hideout of the Jasenkyo and the capture of its members, and Eigetsu coming back from the dead. Ryūki wonders whether his decision to have Shūrei unemployed would cause her to slap him.
Up And Down Seven Times
17. Up And Down Seven Times
August 4, 2007
Shūrei and company throw a feast to celebrate the revival of the cities in Kōrin, when they are visited by Governor Kei the next day, Governor Kei handing the gift entrusted to him by Ryūki to Shūrei. As Shūrei and Seiran depart for Kiyou, they are sent off by all the people in Kōrin. After arriving home, they witness the first buds from the Sakura tree they got from Ryūki, with Spring now approaching.
Light Before The Wind
16. Light Before The Wind
July 28, 2007
As Kōrin falls ill from the shock, she is brought to Sekiei village to recover, while Yōgetsu is visited by the spirit of Kashin, and is requested a favor from Dr. Yō, who is one of the Eight Sages in disguise. As dawn breaks, Kōrin is visited by none other than Eigetsu, who tells her Yougetsu has once again given him life, enough to die of old age. Meanwhile, officials at the Imperial Palace are outraged that the outbreak has been resolved, and try to prevent the credit from falling to Shūrei. Ryūki is forced to demote Eigetsu, and Shūrei is suspended to Joukan, or a rank in name only. As Sekiei village begins reviving, Shūrei and company receives a letter from the Palace, informing them of their demotion.
A Short Amount Of Time
15. A Short Amount Of Time
July 21, 2007
As Shūrei and Ensei place the fake Dōshu and his men under arrest, he tries to buy time to make Shūrei step on the trap, but is surprised when he discovers that all the villagers are gone, and his men are replaced with men from the Sashu army, with Serian leading them. As Shūrei takes a step forward towards Senya, activating the trap, and is set immobile. But before the trap fully activates she is rescued by Riō, who tells fake Dōshu who is actually a boy called Ren that he was betrayed by his own people and doesn't have a body to go back to. It seems like Ren is actually Riō's relative. Eigetsu asks Kōrin and Ryūren to bring him near Kashin's body, before collapsing and to be replaced by Yōgetsu.
Enter The Lion's Den
14. Enter The Lion's Den
July 14, 2007
While Kōrin starts the rescue operation, Ryūren tells a sleeping Shūrei that he'll go ahead to meet Eigetsu. After a touching reunion(and a long one at that), Eigetsu urges Kōrin to save the villagers rather than him. Seiran and Ryūren infiltrate the Jasenkyō hideout in different ways, with Seiran rescuing the villagers and Ryūren helping an unconscious Eigetsu back up. Meanwhile, Shūrei and Ensei walks inside the hideout and meets with the fake Dōshu whose body possessed by a boy, oblivious to the trap set before them.
Hurrying Leads To Mistakes
13. Hurrying Leads To Mistakes
July 7, 2007
While Ryūki unsuccessfully tries to invite the head of the Hyō Clan to some tea, the fake Dōshu waits for Eigetsu to die or Yōgetsu to appear. Ensei heads to Sekiei Village ahead of Shūrei and meets up with Seiran in the village. Seiran refuses to accept the sword Kansho from Ensei, telling him that until everything is over, he is to keep it by his side. While Shūrei and company formulate a plan to infiltrate the Jasenkyō hideout, a tired and normal clothed Ryūren shows up in their camp. Kōrin gets gets help from Shūren, enabling her to be reunited with her special person.
If Justice Is Not Allowed To Be Seen, There Will Be No Heroism
12. If Justice Is Not Allowed To Be Seen, There Will Be No Heroism
June 30, 2007
After successfully entering the town, Dr. Yō and the rest of the doctors prepare and begin treatment on the sick people while Shūrei and Ensei make sure to prepare everything that is needed or lacking. As more patients enter the town, the doctors continue to operate nonstop, saving most of them. As Shūrei and Dr. Yō prepare to leave for Sekiei Village, Shūran and Riō joins the group to guide them, while Seiran finishes preparations to go to Sekiei Village as well. Meanwhile, Eigetsu discovers the intentions of the Jasenkyō while Ryūki comes face to face with the head of the Hyō Clan.
The Husband Is Always The Last To Know
11. The Husband Is Always The Last To Know
June 16, 2007
Shūrei arrives with the doctors but becomes faced with much resistance from people of Kōringun who still blames her for the disease. They are thrown in a pinch as these people, headed by Shuon, rebel against Taishu’s orders and is determined to prevent them from entering the town. Will Shūrei and the doctors be able surpass this hurdle to save the people in time?
The Awaited Person Finally Arrives
10. The Awaited Person Finally Arrives
June 9, 2007
The story moves on to explain the meaning behind Shūrei's request to Ensei, and why she's worrying over being blamed for the disease when she's clearly not the one who caused it. Preparations for the treatment are being done by the doctors on the side of Shūrei, while Shuuran leads the people of Sekie village to Kōringun to speed up the treatment process. Shūrei and her company however receives some harsh welcome as they enter Kōringun, with people still believing the rumors spread by the Jasenkyō.
Meeting The Buddha In Hell
9. Meeting The Buddha In Hell
June 2, 2007
Eigetsu is helping the ill villagers, but is lured away by a cloaked man who looks identical to the deceased Dōshu. Flashbacks to Eigetsu’s past are shown. In the present, Eigetsu awakens tied up inside of a cave after being beaten. After seeing the man again, Eigetsu immediately realizes that he is not Dōshu. Kōrin runs away determined to find Eigetsu. Shūrei’s group with Shūei as her escort arrives in Korin but are denied entry. Luckily, Ensei and Shō Sai force the gate open and the group makes camp inside. Shūei gives Ensei Seiran’s Kansho before departing. Shūrei asks Ensei that if the time comes to perform an extraordinary act.
Exhausting Human Abilities, One Waits for Heaven's Will
8. Exhausting Human Abilities, One Waits for Heaven's Will
May 26, 2007
Shūrei’s drastic actions causes her to be summoned by the Imperial Court to justify them. Ryūki orders that the Imperial Army deal with the mountain cult, but Shūrei openly refuses. Realizing how in the process a great deal of lives could be lost, Shūrei convinces him to allow her to deal with the cult on her own despite the risk to her own life. After everything was settled, Shūrei breaks down under all the stress, but she recovers in time to bid farewell to Ryūki and promise him that she will return safely.
Wholeheartedness Penetrates Stones
7. Wholeheartedness Penetrates Stones
May 19, 2007
As the doctors go over Dōshu’s texts, they stumble upon the cause and treatment for the illness. The only way to cure it is for the patient to undergo surgery. Unfortunately, none of the doctors present knew how to perform it. Shūrei hears of one who can and remembers that he is an old family friend. Dr. Yō agrees to go to Sa Province and to also train all the doctors along the way. Using Dōshu’s texts as an incentive, Shūrei gets the Merchant’s guild to agree to send aid as well.
A Peal of Thunder In A Blue Sky
6. A Peal of Thunder In A Blue Sky
May 12, 2007
Shūrei meets with Governor Kai, who tells her of Eigetsu’s past. He also gives her some medical texts written by Eigestu’s former caretaker Dōshu, who was the legendary doctor Kashin. During their meeting, Shūrei receives letters from Eigestu and Ensei informing her of all the occurrences in Sa Province. She immediately summons all the doctors to the palace and gives them the texts which held a great deal of information about the current epidemic. Shūrei convinces the head doctor in Kiyo to order as many doctors as possible to Kōringun village. Eigetsu meets with Ambassador Hei and assures him that Shūrei will come with the help that they need.
Love Is Not Stingy In Giving
5. Love Is Not Stingy In Giving
May 5, 2007
Before the man could approach Shūrei, he’s interrupted by Shōka. It is revealed that the man is Riō Hyō, the head of the Hyō Clan. Riō had taken an interest in Shūrei, who reminds him of his Bara-hime. Seiran gets Ryūki to start an investigation into Riō and the Hyō Clan. Shūrei and Kōyū talk but are interrupted when Yūshun arrives with a letter from the Governor of Koku Province. Eigetsu, knowing that his life is coming to an end, decides to leave for Kōringun village and bids farewell to Kōrin.
If Winter Comes, Can Spring Be Far Behind?
4. If Winter Comes, Can Spring Be Far Behind?
April 28, 2007
Kurō comes to the Hong residence to discuss Shūrei’s martial future with Shōka. Upon hearing that the head of merchant’s guild in Kiyo refused to met with her, Shūrei runs to find Yūshun. As she makes her way around the imperial palace, Shūrei is confronted by a mysterious man. Back in Sa Province, Ensei receives another letter saying that a snow fox was discovered near Kōringun village, the site of the strange epidemic which triggers past memories for Eigetsu.
Birds of a Feather Flock Together
3. Birds of a Feather Flock Together
April 21, 2007
Ensei receives a letter from an old man (from Koringun), informing them of a strange movement of a certain cult, founded by someone that goes by the name ‘Li Senya’. As Shuurei goes home, Ryuuren once again does his hideous flute playing, and Kokujun actually thinks it’s beautiful. Reishin discusses Shuurei's marriage opportunities with Shouka.
Life Goes On Despite Tears and Laughter
2. Life Goes On Despite Tears and Laughter
April 14, 2007
Summary is not available.
There's no Place Like Home
1. There's no Place Like Home
April 7, 2007
Winter continues from the last season; Shuurei is still in capital city while the New Year celebrations goes on. Kouyuu is informed about Kurou's plan of getting him to marry Shuurei, and becomes awkwardly shy around her. Seiran goes to the demon's party and gets incredibly drunk. Meanwhile, Shuurei needs to tidy up the house when she discovers she is going to have some important guests, but her friends are no help...
  • Premiere Date
    April 8, 2006
  • IMDB Rating
    7.6  (256)