- Trailer: Fan-made trailer
- What it’s about: The Twelve Kingdoms starts out as your standard High Fantasy novel – an unhappy high-schooler and her friends are whisked away without explanation to a new world. Chased by deadly monsters and with no idea whats going on, the trio have to adapt to survive, all the while trying to discover the reason behind their journey.
- Why you should watch it: The highlights of the series are in its worldbuilding and character development. By the end, none of the protagonists end up resembling anything like what they were at the start of the story, and the world itself is intriguingly different to the Earth we know. The story also doesn’t end at the usual height of the “Hero’s Journey” arc. Once their “destiny” is fulfilled, there’s still over half the story left to spend exploring what happens afterwards, as they settle into their new lives. As a nice touch, the language barrier that you’d *expect* to be an issue with world-hopping is actually made a plot point here.
- Caveats: The protagonist is almost unbearably whiny for the first few episodes. Its a believable reaction to her circumstances, and she does snap out of it, but that doesn’t make it any more fun to watch. The animation is *just* on the edge of starting to look dated.
- Themes: Leadership, privilege and responsibility.
- Similar works: Seirei no Moribito, Romeo x Juliet