First impressions: Saiunkoku Monogatari

A lot of anime bloggers have written such intelligent reviews about the under-subbed beauty that is Saiunkoku Monogatari. Allow me to contribute a less than verbose review.

I downloaded Saiunkoku without knowing what it's about – except that it had one heck of a difficult name to pronounce. 😛

My best friend D and I watched it together, expecting nothing much. Here's how we responded when we saw the opening theme:


Oh, nice.

Oooooh, very nice. Giggles.


Ooooh, sigh! So romantic.

(Stares at the men) Giggle giggle giggle

Lawd, they're all so pretty! Tee hee


So that's how we decided that it's one of the best anime we've ever seen.

Just kidding.

There's of course, the story. Besides the pretty people, the story is important, yes? 😉

I have, fortunately or unfortunately, read the summary of the first volume of the novel and I can tell you that nobody is who they seem. There are lots of twists and turns, and I'm excited to see how it's going to be shown in the anime.

Shuurei, for one, is a very likeable heroine. She doesn't have that high pitched squeaky voice, and she's a capable, tough gal with a soft side. And the Emperor, Ryuuki, being voiced by Seki Tomokazu (Sagara Sousuke in Full Metal Panic!) doesn't hurt one bit either. Ah, that smouldering voice. Sigh.

I'm in love with the OP and ED, especially the ED. Can't stop listening to it. I like how real Chinese music is being used as the background music. My only complaint is that almost all the guys look the same except for their hair colour. 🙂 And of course, their costumes.
Saiunkoku is honestly more than a bishie fest. It has political intrigue, secret identities and love-love 😉 It's just too bad that so few fansubbing groups are subbing it and at such slow speeds too. (Ep 3 is out, but there's Ep 8 raws out there.)

I know, I know, stop complaining – at least it's being subbed, ne? But I wonder whether a prayer to the fansubbing gods will help? Have more fansubbing groups pick this project up. Please! (Sobs)

PS: I personally prefer We Suck fansubs as they do a nicer job at the translation. Ryuuki, for one, refers to himself with the royal "we" and Shuurei is the High Consort, not the Empress. I like little detailed touches like that.


25 Responses to First impressions: Saiunkoku Monogatari

  1. hopeless says:

    SaiMono, in my opinion, is easily part of the exalted handful of great shows this season. While I decided I’d adore it after the first time I saw the OP due to the oriental style, when I watched it I realised that it is probably the show of the season with the best developed characters and most intriguing and political plot.

  2. Haha, this show was awesome( I mean the bishies *squels like a fangirl*). Haha, did I say that out too loud? I saw this in TheStar newspaperpaper the OtakuZone section. You reviewed this show and I watched it. It was really nice though I only watch it till episode 3. T-T I need to watch more of it. I like the opening song. It was really nice especially with all those Ershu sound in the background. Dowmloaded the MP3 and I’m listening to it now too. ^^

    I hope I can see more of your review there. I have been finding some good anime for some times now. Keep up the good work. Really like it.

  3. Alexis says:

    I downloaded this anime just to enjoy the bishis and because of Tomokazu Seki (whom I love as Yzak Jule in Gundam SEED), but I was smithen by the beauty and the plot of the anime. So I am now vogorously following it. I liked all eps so far, but ep 5 was kind of a filler so I was not that happy about it.

    And I know this might not be wise to ask, but if you can, please share where did you find the summary of the first volume, I am desperate for information.

  4. Atazure says:

    If it wasn’t for your review i’d probably never pick it up 3

  5. Atazure says:

    If it wasn’t for your review i’d probably never pick it up And that would have been sad for me, without me actually knowing. I was afraid that this was yet another fushigi yuugi and then i watched ep 1, and then 2 and 3 and now am awaiting more (and drooling over raws :D). I hope that We- Suck will release more episodes. I totally agree with you, this is one of the more interesting series out there and i DO want to see all 39 eps subbed Let’s have our fingers crossed 😀

    *edit. sorry for double posting the first one got deleteeed (atleast half of the message :I)

  6. Kitty says:

    Wow, so many comments! 😀

    Atazure – wow, it’ll be a tragedy if you didn’t pick it up. I’m glad to be of service! 😛 For me – Fushigi Yugi knock off or not, I’d pick it up just for the bishies. I’m shallow that way. 😉

    Alexis – I should’ve linked the summary of the first vol of the novel. 🙂 Thanks Crickee for filling it in. Hey, you and I picked it up for the same reasons – Bishies and Tomokazu Seki. and the pretty animation too. 😛

    Hopeless – I second that, hopeless!

    KyuubiPandoraChan – I do wonder whether you’re referring to the blog or OtakuZone. 😛 Since both kinda applies to me! 😉 Don’t worry, I’ll be reviewing more in the future. However, I tend to do reviews of entire series rather than the episode per episode thing that most anime bloggers are doing. No time for that! Agh …

  7. Atazure says:

    Ha ha ha! I see nothing wrong with licking Fushigi Yuugi, i just don’t 🙂 And you know, now whenever i see that opening i start laughing remembering how you said that they all look the same ‘cept for the hair xD

  8. thejackass says:

    ok i m a fan of mostly action anime but recently i m getting more intrested in romatic ones i some other romatic animes and fairly i was lil disapointed with their story, plot, and setting because most of them were similar but this is anime is a change it has a historical setting which i have always like and the story is orignal and in its own way it is funny and cute. one of the best animes of this season . i squeled like a lil fanboy when i watched the first episode and i want more .. i hope more fan subbers pick up this anime

  9. cagalliyamato says:


    oooommmmmgg… episode 6 is out.. We Suck is so good and fast ahhhh…..

    Quick Watch….lol all questions are answered

    seiran nooo….

    Go go ryuuki…ur so kakoi with the sword

  10. ryublade says:

    This is definitely one of the better shows with an interesting plotline and characters which has been under appreciated this season. Excellent heroine who is not annoying (which was a big minus in Fushi) Side characters with interesting quirks and mysterious backgrounds adds depths to their characters. (I want to know more about Kouyuu’s and Ran’s past in the court – the youngest to pass in their year. Also, Kouyuu is in civil and Ran was in military so how did they even become such good friends? And what about Seiran’s past before Shouka found him and after he was exiled.? Aah, so many questions!!!)

  11. JaneyJuuniKokki says:

    I’ve seen the 8 episodes so far and they’re really good…I can’t wait for the rest of the episodes to be subbed. It is hard to find anime like this nowadays with a tolerable female heroine and lots of very good looking men. LoL. Too bad I have to wait so long to watch the rest of this show…I hope people finish subbing this show fast! Everywhere I look, it’s man on man action, girl on girl action, or guy likes girl. Does anyone know of any sites or animes where it’s all female heroine love stories?

  12. iztoy says:

    Hi there! My first time here while I was looking around for a review on this anime and found yours. I’ve watched 8 episodes (from :P, and the shops here are selling episode 1 to 6 already) and I think they are great. Of course, there are the bishies, and I like the heroin, who’s unlike Miaka from Fushigi. Hahaha… I knew this anime by accident, where I bought a manga magazine, and saw the poster of the four Ryuuki, Kouyuu, Seiran and Ran. It was love at the first sight.. Ahaha.. Unfortunately, the poster is without the title of the anime. So I asked my friend to look for it, based on the only clue that we got, which is the anime surely has historical setting in it, and voila, found out it’s actually Saiunkoku Monogatari. And the OtakuZone that KyuubiPandoraChan refers to is a section from our local newspaper, The Star. They do reviews on anime and manga every Sunday. I love the opening and ending songs. By the way, do you have the full version of the ending song Saikoi no Kataomoi? I can’t find it anywhere and gendou don’t have it, save for the tv size version. Have a nice day!

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  14. anna says:

    where can i watch episode 27 that hav english sub. youtube hav it unsubbed n crunchyroll doesnt hav it and i checked a lot of places.

  15. hazel says:

    hi do u guys know where to get the manga which is in english if possible?

  16. miyuha says:

    u can download from baka updates episode 1-35

  17. Rose says:

    I’am looking for the Saiunkoku Monogatari MP3’s but cant find them if you guy’s can help i like to Main theme song alot.

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  22. rafsanzo26 says:

    to rose,
    the mp3 can be found at its free but u have to register first! hope u enjoy it!

  23. Ivanna says:

    Hmm..I didn’t think I’d like this anime that much..very romantic..

  24. lindsay says:

    can someone please tell me what saiunkoku 2 is?

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