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:
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.
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.