WHAT IT IS

The Twelve Kingdoms book series was written by Fuyumi Ono, and illustrated by artist Akihiro Yamada. It was adapted into an anime series in 2002 by Studio Pierrot, which was put on indefinite hiatus after 45 episodes (out of an intended ~70) to wait for more book material to be published.

The works linked below are online fan-translations of novels, short stories, and spoken dramas in the series. Please feel free to e-mail me links to any translations that I've missed!

A note on the organization of the 12K books: for several of the stories, Fuyumi Ono split the story into two separate volumes. So, for example, "The Shadow of the Moon, the Sea of Shadows" was actually two separate books: "The Shadow of the Moon" and "The Sea of Shadows." This was done to confuse everyone and make her resume look bigger. Presumably. Joking aside, this is pretty common in Japan when publishing long books; they do it to make them easier to carry around. Make friends with an Asian Studies major to learn more.

The series was licensed in North America and Germany by TokyoPop in 2006, with Alexander O. Smith (who also translates for video games in Square-Enix's Final Fantasy Twelve universe) translating. TokyoPop intends to release the series at a rate of about one book per year.

The series was licensed in France by Milan Eds. in 2007. They're releasing the books at a steady clip of about two or three a year.


DISCLAIMER

The works linked below are not-for-profit fan-translations. I do not claim credit for any of them, aside from the ones noted otherwise. Do not repost any of the content of these translations without permission of the original translator.





LAST UPDATE: Dec 4, 2008

INDEX

Novels
Short Stories
Spoken Dramas
Timeline



Novels


Masho no Ko (Demon Child)
First published 1991.
[Completed online translation.]
Featured characters: Hirose, Taiki. Also featuring Gouran, Sanshi, and Renrin.
Summary: Gather round, children, and I'll weave you a tale of Taiki's life of misery in Japan. The first book in the Twelve Kingdoms universe (though bizarrely not always billed as part of the main series), this book details what Taiki's life was like in Japan after he mysteriously disappeared from Tai.


Tsuki no Kage, Kage no Umi (The Shadow of the Moon, the Sea of Shadows)
First published 1992. TokyoPop English edition published 2007. Milan French edition published 2007.
[Completed online translation.]
Featured characters: Youko, Keiki (&shirei), Rakushun, Shouryuu, Enki. Also featuring Kourin (&shirei), King Kou, and Jokaku.
Summary: Or, "Me and My Annoying Monkey Conscience." The first book set in the Twelve Kingdoms themselves, and details how Youko was swept to the Twelve Kingdoms and became Empress of Kei. Basically, what amounts to the first arc of the anime series.


Kaze no Umi, Meikyuu no Kishi (The Sea of the Wind, the Shore of the Maze)
First published 1993. TokyoPop English edition published 2008. Milan French edition published 2007.
[Completed online translation.]
Featured characters: Taiki, Sanshi, Gyousou, Youka, Keiki, Risai, Shouryuu, Enki.
Summary: The prequel to "Demon Child." Tells how Taiki was first swept to the Twelve Kingdoms, his struggles with his kirin abilities, and his selection of the Emperor of Tai. Basically the second arc of the anime series.


Higashi no Wadatsumi, Nishi no Soukai (The Sea God of the East, the Vast Sea of the West)
First published 1994. Milan French edition published 2007.
[Incomplete online translation.]
Incomplete translation (to Chapter Three).
Incomplete translation (to Chapter One).

Featured characters: Shouryuu, Enki, Kouya (&"Rokuta"), Atsuyu.
Summary: Ono Fuyumi's brief foray into romance novels. Takes place at the beginning of Shouryuu and Enki's rule (i.e., 500 years before present book events). The swarthy warrior-king Shouryuu must save his fiesty bride Enki from the clutches of kidnappers (one a dear friend from ages past, seduced into an abusive relationship with a power-grabbing noble), all while navigating a tangled web of political intrigue. If you object to this summary I challenge you to compose a more complete one. The fourth arc of the anime series.


Kaze no Banri, Reimei no Sora (A Thousand Leagues of Wind, the Sky at Dawn)
First published 1994. Milan French edition published 2008.
[Completed online translation.]
Featured characters: Youko, Suzu, Shoukei, Rakushun, Keiki.
Summary: How Youko became a competent ruler and how Suzu and Shoukei got over themselves, and how they all managed to gather in Kei to stop a rebellion. The third arc of the anime series.


Tonan no Tsubasa (The Wings of Dreams)
First published 1996. Milan French edition published 2008. [Incomplete online translation.]
Featured characters: Shushou, Kouya, Rikou, Kyouki.
Summary: Details how the imperious twelve-year-old Shushou went on a shouzan and became the Empress of Kyou.


Tasogare no Kishi, Akatsuki no Sora (The Shore in Twilight, the Sky in Daybreak)
First published 2001.
[Complete online translation.]
Eugene Woodbury's work. Complete.
Another version. Less complete (first book only).

Featured characters: Youko, Keiki, Risai, Shouryuu, Enki, King Han, Hanrin, Renrin, Taiki, Gyousou, Asen.
Summary: Youko puts together a multi-kingdom search party for Taiki after listening to the refugee Risai's plea to save Tai. Also gives backstory as to what in the world happened to Taiki that stranded him amnesiac in Japan.





Short Stories

Kasho no Yume (Dreams of Kasho)
The "Kasho no Yume" book (published 2001) contained five short stories set in the Twelve Kingdoms universe. I assume that the title of the book is an allusion to the plot of the "Kasho no Yume - Kasho" story.

Kasho no Yume - Toei (Dreams of Kasho - Winter Glory)
[Complete online translation.]
Full translation; the English is a little hiccupy.
Eugene Woodbury's translation, complete.
Translation of the final scene between Taiki and Gyousou.
Featured characters: Taiki, Gyousou, Renrin, Seitaku, Seirai.
Summary: Taiki makes a diplomatic visit to Ren to thank Renrin for her help in returning him to Mt. Hou.


Kasho no Yume - Jougetsu (Dreams of Kasho - By Moonlight)
[Complete online translation.]
Featured characters: Gekkei, Kantai.
Summary: Kantai visits Gekkei, the general who deposed the tyrant king of Hou in "Kaze no Banri, Reimei no Sora." Inspired the anime episode of similar plot.


Kasho no Yume - Shokan (Dreams of Kasho - Correspondence)
[Complete online translation.]
Featured characters: Youko, Rakushun.
Summary: Youko and Rakushun exchange letters. Inspired the anime episode of similar plot.


Kasho no Yume - Kasho (Dreams of Kasho - Kasho)
[No translation available.]
Featured characters: Sairin, Kasho (posthumous Emperor of Sai), Koukou.
Summary: The story of how Sairin's first king went wrong.


Kasho no Yume - Kizan (Dreams of Kasho - Home to the Mountain)
[Incomplete translation.]
Featured characters: Shouryuu, Rikou (& later the rest of the Sou family).
Summary: Shouryuu and Rikou shoot the shit in Ryuu. We then get to meet the rest of the Sou ruling family.



Hyouhaku (Drifting Ship)
First published 2002; released in the booklet of the anime soundtrack of "Higashi no Wadatsumi, Nishi no Soukai (The Sea God of the East, the Vast Sea of the West)".
[No translation available.]
Featured characters: Shouryuu, Enki, En's Ministers (Itan, Seishou, Shukou)
Summary: Shouryuu and Enki play hooky while the ministers attempt to make them do work.



Hisho no Tori (Hisho's Bird)
First published 2008 in YomYom magazine.
[No translation available.]
Featured characters: Hisho, Keiki, Jokaku, Youko.
Summary: The story of an immortal artisan of archery targets in the kingdom of Kei, who is attempting to overcome his distrust of the new Empress (Youko) and his crippling artist's block to come up with a masterpiece for the upcoming coronation ceremony.



Spoken Dramas


There have been several dramas released; most of them are included on the soundtrack CD of the appropriate season of the anime. There are dramas available for "Tsuki no Kage, Kage no Umi," "Higashi no Wadatsumi, Nishi no Soukai," and "Masho no Ko." There is also a CD containing three original dramas, though it is unknown as to whether Fuyumi Ono herself wrote the scripts.

The Twelve Kingdoms CD Drama: A Dream in Three Chapters
First released 2003.
Notes: The three stories are framed as being narrated to a curious classmate by Rakushun.

Chapter One: Eight Kirin
[Complete online translation. Link to the audio included.]
Featured characters: Enki, Taiki, Keiki, Kyouki, Sairin, Hourin, Kourin, Renrin, Gyoukuyou.
Summary: Gyoukuyou invites all the kirin to Mt. Hou to celebrate the fact that all kingdoms now have a kirin, as well as to inquire after their kingdoms' health. Only seven kirin show up (the others are absent due to country troubles), everyone starts arguing, Taiki bursts into tears and everyone chills out, sort of. God, it's just like every family reunion I've been to.

Chapter Two: Sister Empresses
[Complete online translation. Audio.]
Featured characters: Jokaku, Joei, Keiki.
Summary: Tells of how Jokaku was chosen by Keiki, and her sister Joei's poisonous jealousy.

Chapter Three: Among Beasts
[Complete video translation. Video.]
Featured characters: Rakushun, Kantai.
Summary: Rakushun gives Kantai a hanjuu-to-hanjuu pep-talk.




Timeline


For the confused, here is a rough chronological timeline of the books and dramas. They span about 500 years of history in the 12K universe, and very rarely correspond with publishing order.

"Higashi no Wadatsumi, Nishi no Soukai (The Sea God of the East, the Vast Sea of the West)"
"Hyouhaku (Drifting Ship)"
"Kasho no Yume - Kasho (Dreams of Kasho - Kasho)"
"Tonan no Tsubasa (The Wings of Dreams)"
"A Dream in Three Chapters - Sister Empresses"
"Kaze no Umi, Meikyuu no Kishi (Sea of the Wind, the Shore of the Maze)"
"Kasho no Yume - Toei (Dreams of Kasho - Winter Glory)"
"A Dream in Three Chapters - Eight Kirin"
"Tsuki no Kage, Kage no Umi (The Shadow of the Moon, the Sea of Shadow)"
"Kasho no Yume - Shokan (Dreams of Kasho - Correspondence)"
"Hisho no Tori (Hisho's Bird)"
"Kaze no Banri, Reimei no Sora (A Thousand Leagues of Wind, the Sky at Dawn)"
"A Dream in Three Chapters - Among Beasts"
"Kasho no Yume - Kizan (Dreams of Kasho - Home to the Mountain)"
"Kasho no Yume - Jougetsu (Dreams of Kasho - By Moonlight)"
"Masho no Ko (Demon Child)"
"Tasogare no Kishi, Akatsuki no Sora (The Shore in Twilight, the Sky in Daybreak)"