The following is a list of all the characters in ''TheTwelveKingdoms''. Given that there are '''[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin twelve kingdoms]]''' it's not a shock that over time the cast grows [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters quite large]].

Also included below is a short rundown/glossary of the various fantastical creatures found throughout the world that have tropes associated with them but are not named, as well as tropes that apply to specific groups of people.

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Immortals and creatures]]

!!Nyokai and Shirei
* {{Familiar}}: Especially the nyokai, born just as a Kirin Ranka is formed, and devoted mothers to their kirin until the end. Normal youma act as this to the Kirin who capture them, though they serve completely loyally up to the point of death. Should the Kirin die of any cause their shirei will eat the body.
* {{Mons}}: Kirin can "catch" youma and force them to obey their will, but it's a risky process since it boils down to a contest of wills that can take hours or days and could end with a dead kirin.
* MonsterLord: Captured youma, known as shirei, tend to be able to lead packs of similar youma on behalf of their kirin.

!!Sen-nin
* TranslatorMicrobes: Becoming a Sen-nin removes all language barriers.
* {{Immortality}}: Of the ageless and immune to disease types. It even takes special enchanted weapons [[spoiler: and beheading]] to kill one.
* PerpetualMotionMonster: Even if starved or dehydrated, a sen-nin ''will not die''. This becomes demonstrated when [[spoiler:Atsuyu imprisons his father]] in the castle dungeon for decades.

!!Rulers
* CantLiveWithoutYou: A ruler can never truly outlive the death of the Kirin who chose them. At most, they will live a year or two before dying.
* CoolSword: Some kingdoms have relics for the ruler, Kei has a sword that grants visions.
* FisherKing: The absence of a ruler causes a WorldWreckingWave to affect their land, raises the number and severity of natural disasters, and causes a rise in the number of wild nyokai. Just their existence improves all of these and causes a less flashy WorldHealingWave. Insane or evil rulers can be just as bad or worse as the absence of one.
* {{Immortality}}
* MadeOfIron
* OneManArmy: With their hinman and great physical prowess, rulers can cut their way through many ordinary humans with ease.
* SuperStrength
* TranslatorMicrobes

!!Kirin
* AllergicToEvil: Sort of. Blood is a poison to Kirin, and the mere smell can sicken them.
* {{Animorphism}}: Between their true Kirin form and human.
* TheBeastmaster: Given their ActualPacifist nature, Kirin generally rely on their ''shirei'', tamed youma, to protect themselves and their rulers.
* TheChooserOfTheOne: Kirin can recognize a ruler, but don't technically choose them, heaven does.
* TheConsigliere: They often act as advisors to their Monarch and in some kingdoms they are also technically a provincial lord like in Kei and En.
* {{Flight}}: When in Kirin form, and can be a CoolHorse.
* FisherKingdom: On the receiving end, just like the land, to their emperor's FisherKing effect.
* FriendToAllLivingThings: Their compassion knows no bounds.
* IncorruptiblePurePureness
* {{Immortality}}
* {{Misblamed}}: As in TheChooserOfTheOne, a kirin is more of a messenger of the gods than the one actually selecting a monarch. However, angry citizens can blame the kirin if they "select" a particularly bad ruler for them.
* MyCountryRightOrWrong: With a dose of {{Geas}}, Kirin cannot ever disobey an order from their ruler, the only exception being to bow to someone who isn't their ruler.
* NeutralFemale[=/=]NonActionGuy
* StupidGood
* {{Synchronization}}: Along with FisherKingdom, they will suffer a debilitating sickness that will eventually kill them if their king becomes evil or insane. Only the repentance, death or abdication of their ruler can cure them. However, unlike how the kingdom suffers in the absence of a ruler, Kirin have no such problems in a ruler-less interim.

[[/folder]]

!Named Characters

[[folder: The Court of Kei]]
!!Youko Nakajima (Queen Sekishi)
[[quoteright:191:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/12k_Youko_new_200px.jpg]]

--> '''Voiced by:''' Creator/AyaHisakawa (JP), Creator/DorothyEliasFahn (EN)

Youko is just your average shy Japanese high-school girl. That abruptly changes when a mysterious golden-haired man drops into her classroom and pledges his loyalty to her as his master, dragging her into the alternate realm of the Twelve Kingdoms.

She is actually the displaced ruler of the Kingdom of Kei, and after reclaiming her throne from a pretender, she seeks to renew it to its former prosperity and glory.

* ActionGirl: Youko may whine a bit when she first drops into the Twelve Kingdoms, but one wouldn't want to be a demon when she gets going with her sword.
* AdrenalineMakeover: From a mousy ClassRepresentative to a full-on [[GodEmperor God Empress]].
* [[spoiler:BroughtDownToNormal]]: [[spoiler:In the anime, Youko gives up her Hinman for one fight with Yuka, to drive in the point that Yuka was never meant to be a part of the Twelve Kingdoms.]]
* ClassRepresentative: For several years during her school career, and a part of her initial StepfordSmiler personality.
* DarkSkinnedRedhead
* [[spoiler:DrivenToMadness]]: [[spoiler:Youko starts to lose it after being betrayed repeatedly by anyone she tries to trust, and the torment caused by the monkey spirit isn't helping things. When she hits rock bottom she's convinced she's as much a monster as the youma attacking her.]]
* ExtremeDoormat [[AdrenalineMakeover -->]] ActionGirl and TheWomanWearingTheQueenlyMask [[CharacterDevelopment -->]] TheHighQueen
* GodEmperor
* HeroicSelfDeprecation: "I'm such an useless Queen...!"
* IChooseToStay: To save Kei, she renounces any plans to return to Japan. It doesn't help that, if she returned, she'd weaken and die in a few years.
* ImpaledPalm: It leaves her defenseless long enough for Rakushun to gain some semblance of trust.
* ImplausibleHairColour: Youko has red hair, despite supposedly being full Japanese ([[ChangelingFantasy she's not, of course, but no one knows that]]). A deconstruction, though everyone thinks she dyes it, which therefore makes her a {{Delinquent}}. This, despite the fact that she has absolutely ''no'' other delinquent qualities, and was a spineless wimp until she reached the Kingdoms. Her parents actually want her to dye it, to make it look like she doesn't.
** Naturally-redheaded Japanese do exist, it's just ''ridiculously'' rare (as in, one in a million), and most of them dye their hair black due to the same issues Youko goes through.
* KingIncognito: Travels the lands more than once after being crowned, disguised as a traveling ActionGirl named Youshi.
* ParentalAbandonment: We ''are'' shown Youko's parents back in Japan worrying about her, but this is played depressingly straight when her [[StayInTheKitchen stodgily traditional father]] disowns her after being convinced she ran off with a gang.
** Done more sympathetically in the novels. Her father is still overbearingly authoritarian towards her, but it is clear that the disownment stems from his own grief and denial at her disappearance. ''"Don't you know from watching the news?! In such cases [abductions], have you ever heard of one where [the child] was still alive? That's why I say, she's just run away!"''
* RedEyesTakeWarning: In the anime, Youko's eyes are green, but when using her Hinman or shirei, her ''pupils'' will flash red. In either case, it means she's about to kick your ass.
* {{Red Headed Hero}}ine: Amusingly enough, her red hair was the source of trouble for her earlier, since everyone assumed she dyed it as a sign of being a trouble-maker.
* RefusalOfTheCall: The Call drags her kicking and screaming toward adventure
* ShrinkingViolet: In the very beginning. She [[AdrenalineMakeover shred her shyness away]] [[CharacterDevelopment as the story unfolds]].
* StepfordSmiler: Starts out as a junior version of this in regards to her home and social life; she reveals later the fear that there was truly nothing inside.
* TomboyAndGirlyGirl: The GirlyGirl to Yuka, the {{tomboy}} to Rangyoku, Suzu and Shoukei.

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!!Keiki
[[quoteright:191:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/12K_Keiki_v2_200px.jpg]]

--> '''Voiced by:''' Creator/TakehitoKoyasu (JP), Creator/KimStrauss (EN)

The ''kirin'' of Kei. He traveled to Japan in his quest to find Kei's new ruler, and found what he was seeking in Youko. He is stern and rather awkward socially, but cares for others deeply, like all ''kirin''.

When Youko is seated on the throne of Kei, he serves as her confidant and tutor.

* ActualPacifist: Like all kirin, he is unable to fight directly and gets weak in the presence of blood.
* TheConsigliere
* HairOfGoldHeartOfGold: Like all kirin.
* [[spoiler:IllBoy: After Joukaku went nuts, he was stricken with ''shitsudou'' the fatal illness that affects kirin when their rulers reign poorly.]]
* JamesBondage
* {{Kuudere}}: Seems to have a hard time getting close to people, but is a really sweet guy once he opens up.
* MrExposition: Does a lot of the explaining for Youko when he drags her into his world.
* MysteriousProtector: [[spoiler: ...For exactly one episode.]]
* NonActionGuy: Although he can order his Seirei to fight for him, blood is a lethal poison to him, so he can't fight personally at all.
* PoorCommunicationKills: He's not very good at explaining things properly, which can often lead to needless drama for all involved his flawed explanation to Taiki about how to choose his king, for one, and also his not bothering to tell Youko anything about ''why'' he's there when they first meet. Youko herself teasingly lampshades this quality of his.
* [[spoiler:ShapeshifterModeLock: Gets stuck in kirin form as part of Joei's usurpation plot. With his horn bound, he's unable to talk or transform back into human form (thus, he can't reveal that Youko is the real queen) until Youko rescues him.]]
* TheStrategist: Tries to be anyway.
* WeaksauceWeakness: Like all kirin, blood is poisonous to him. He also sickens and, eventually, dies if his ruler rules badly.

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!!Queen Joukaku
[[quoteright:244:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Joukaku_3992.jpg]]

--> '''Voiced by:''' ToshikoFujita (JP), Melodee Spevack (EN)

The timid daughter of a merchant family, and former Queen of Kei. [[spoiler:After the stresses of rule drove her to slaughter half Kei's population and bring her beloved Keiki to the brink of death, she relinquishes the crown and is struck down by the Heavens.]]

* AchillesInHisTent: She's so terrified of her queenly duties and insecure about her performance that at one point she locks herself in her room, despite Keiki's pleas and attempts to calm her down.
* [[spoiler:FairestOfThemAll: In the depths of her madness, Joukaku banished all the other women from her kingdom so that she would be the most beautiful and there would be no chance of Keiki paying more attention to them than to her. Those that would not or could not leave were executed.]]
* {{Foil}}: She has a lot in common with Youko, especially [[ShrinkingViolet the lack of self-confidence]]. This is most telling when Youko becomes frustrated with Keiki and acts almost the same way Joukaku once did, and Keiki is clearly disturbed by the similarity. Fortunately, [[spoiler:Youko [[CharacterDevelopment gets better]].]]
* [[spoiler:GodSaveUsFromTheQueen: Jokaku [[{{Yandere}} went insane]] with love for Keiki and slaughtered/exiled most of Kei's female population.]]
* [[spoiler:HeroicSacrifice: She gave up the crown and immediately died rather than let Keiki succumb to illness, ultimately saving him and the land and opening the path for choosing a new monarch.]]
* IJustWantToBeNormal: The eldest daughter of a simple merchant from Kei, Joukaku never really wanted to be the Queen and felt she wasn't up to the task.
* [[spoiler:LoveRuinsTheRealm: Her insane love for Keiki led Kei to ruin. Given that monarchs are clinically immortal, her edict to banish all women would end Kei in a generation.]]
* [[spoiler:MyGodWhatHaveIDone: When she realizes how her madness has made everything worse ''and'' identifies Keiki's illness as ''shitsudou''.]]
* [[spoiler:{{Yandere}}: While normal at first, Jokaku falls madly in love with Keiki. Already unstable from the stresses of an empress job she doesn't feel qualified for, her jealousy makes her snap, prompting her to either exile or execute all other women in Kei in order to remove "competition". Keiki is then struck with ''shitsudou'', making her snap back into sanity. Ultimately, Joukaku is ridden with guilt and decides [[RedemptionEqualsDeath to sacrifice herself]] [[MustMakeAmends to fix what she had done]]. [[FromBadToWorse And that's when the civil war starts...]]]]

-----

!!Joei
[[quoteright:244:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Joei_3211.jpg]]

--> '''Voiced by:''' Creator/MamiKoyama (JP)

Jokaku's younger sister. She was terribly jealous of her sister having been chosen as the Queen of Kei, believing herself far more capable. This led to her striking a deal with the King of Kou in his schemes, and being installed as a pretender empress.

[[spoiler:When Youko allies with the Kingdom of En to retake her rightful throne, Joei is proven a false queen and is killed.]]

* BigBadWannabe
* {{Envy}}
* {{The Evil Prince}}ss
* [[FakeKing Fake Queen]]
* GodSaveUsFromTheQueen: She was a pretender to the throne, and attempted to steal Youko's rightful place by kidnapping and enchanting Keiki and plunging the nation into civil war.
* SmugSnake

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!!Aozaru

--> '''Voiced by:''' KosukeOkano (JP), Creator/RichardCansino (EN)

A mysterious monkey-like creature that follows Youko around, taunting her with the hopelessness of her plight.

[[spoiler:He is the spirit of Youko's sword, set loose when she lost the sheath in the chaos of her touchdown in the Twelve Kingdoms.]]

* CynicalMentor: Much like TricksterMentor, it could be seen that [[spoiler: his advice for survival is just playing to this trope. In a way he serves as a {{Foil}} to Keiki for the ruler of Kei since his cynicism is directly opposed to Keiki's idealism.]]
* [[{{Tricksters}} Trickster]]: He falls under almost every category -- he actively tries to get Youko to kill herself, while also giving her sound advice for survival and tipping her off when someone is going to betray her.
* TricksterMentor: [[spoiler:While it's unclear whether he's doing it deliberately, by the end of the series it's clear that this is the intended purpose of having him sealed into the sword. He does at least seem bored and irritated whenever it seems like Youko is giving up in the face of his manipulations, while getting excited and laughing gleefully whenever she stands up against him. Enho's reaction when Youko decides not to seal him again implies that this was the purpose of sealing him in a sword in the first place, so his taunting could ensure that a leader would have to confront their flaws and mistakes.]]
* ManipulativeBastard
* [[ManiacMonkeys Maniac Monkey]]

-----

!!Seikyou

--> '''Voiced by:''' SeijiSasaki (JP), Creator/KirkThornton (EN)

A high-ranked retainer in the court. Actually, a total asshole.

* EvilChancellor
* SmugSnake
* [[spoiler:ManBehindTheMan Behind The Man: Most of the crimes Youko faces while incognito are the results of his actions.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder: The Kingdom of Kei]]
!!Enho [[spoiler:(Roushou)]]

--> '''Voiced by:''' TomomichiNishimura (JP), Creator/MichaelMcConnohie (EN)

The wise elder of the town Youko has chosen to study and train in. [[spoiler:He is actually the legendary sage Roushou.]]

* CoolOldGuy
* DistressedDude: [[spoiler:He spends the latter part of Youko's second arc kidnapped; several of Youko's short-term goals are based around rescuing him.]]
* MrExposition: Spends lots of time explaining the setting to Youko, although not as much as Rakushun.
* MysteriousPast: [[spoiler:He used to be a great sage... and he was the one to seal Aozaru in Youko's sword.]]
* OldRetainer
* SecretKeeper: He knows about Youko's KingIncognito identity as Youshi the ActionGirl and keeps his mouth shut about it.
* WizardBeard: [[spoiler:And yep, he's the closest thing the setting has to a wizard.]]

-----

!!Rangyoku

--> '''Voiced by:''' Creator/TomokoKawakami (JP), Creator/MelaLee (EN)

Enho's housekeeper. A young woman determined to provide a good life for her younger brother in the recovering Kingdom of Kei. [[spoiler:She is killed by assassins searching for Youko.]]

* [[spoiler:DyingMomentOfAwesome: Poor Rangyoku got cornered and horribly killed, yeah, but she still managed to hide the [[MacGuffin Seal of Kei]] from the assassins.]]
* EveryGirlIsCuterWithHairDecs: Wears a big yellow bow in her hair.
* GirlNextDoor
* [[HeroicBystander Heroic]] InnocentBystander
* PromotionToParent
* [[spoiler:SacrificialLion]]
* [[spoiler:StuffedIntoTheFridge]]
* TeamChef and TeamMom: As Enho's housekeeper.

-----

!!Keikei

--> '''Voiced by:''' ChiemiChiba (JP), Creator/JulieAnnTaylor (EN)

Rangyoku's cheerful younger brother.

* [[spoiler:DistressedDude]]
* FanNickname: "Cakey"
* InfantImmortality: [[spoiler:Downplayed. He never dies but he still gets some pretty upsetting injuries, like ''getting shot in the chest''.]]
* InnocentBystander

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!!Gahou

--> '''Voiced by:''' KazuhiroNakada (JP), Creator/DaveMallow (EN)

The longtime Governor of Wa province, he takes a back seat while his underlings turn the province into a fascistic hellhole.

* TheDragon: to [[spoiler:[[ManBehindTheMan Seikyou]].]].
* ManBehindTheMan: to [[spoiler:Shoukou, while he himself has another man behind him in turn.]]

-----

!!Shoukou
[[quoteright:145:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Shoukou_4099.jpg]]

--> '''Voiced by:''' Creator/ToruOkawa (JP), Tom Wyner (EN)

The magistrate of Shingetsu village and immediate subordinate to Gahou. He gets his jollies from mercilessly abusing the people he's supposed to be protecting.

* TheDragon: To Gahou.
* [[spoiler:FaceDeathWithDignity: He shows no fear when it appears Asano is about to kill him, and outright demands that Youko execute him in the name of divine justice when he realizes who she is.]]
* [[spoiler:ForTheEvulz: He's in this only to commit lots of atrocities. Lots and lots of them.]]
* GoodEyesEvilEyes: Just look at them and tell me which side he's on.
* [[spoiler:GracefulLoser: Once he realizes that he has lost, he submits willingly.]]
* TheHeavy: For much of the third story arc.
* HuntingTheMostDangerousGame: One of the many evils he mentions doing is [[KickTheDog hunting humans for sport.]]
* [[spoiler:NotSoDifferent: One of his aims in life is to find out if the Heavens exist. Later it is shown that Youko has the same dilemma.]]
* SmiteMeOMightySmiter: Ouright dares the Heavens to strike him down for his misdeeds. His first reaction after recognizing Youko as the Queen was to treat her as the instrument of Heaven's Vengeance.

-----

!!Koukan

--> '''Voiced by:''' Creator/KenjiNomura (JP), Creator/TerrenceStone (EN)

The much-maligned governor of Baku province. He is openly disliked by nearly everyone else in the royal court. May be a traitor after Youko's head. [[spoiler:He isn't; in fact it's quite the opposite.]]

* [[spoiler:LastEpisodeNewCharacter: Although his deposition has been a major plot point, he doesn't show up until the last episode of the arc. And only for like three minutes.]]
* [[spoiler:MaliciousSlander: He's the ''victim'' of it, as he wasn't the traitor that Youko heard he was. In fact, he was the only Kei governor who did NOT support Joei.]]
* [[spoiler:ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Not only he was loyal to Youko's plight, but he was kind to marginalized groups like the hanjyuu.]]

-----

!!Kantai

--> '''Voiced by:''' YasunoriMatsumoto (JP), Creator/PaulStPeter (EN)

A roguish Kei military leader who is supportive of the resistance effort. [[spoiler:He is fiercely loyal to Governor Koukan, who is one of the only non-anti-hanjyuu officials in Kei, and who gave him a chance as his lead officer.]]

* [[spoiler:{{Animorphism}}: Born a hanjyuu, he can turn [[BearsAreBadNews into a massive bear]].]]
* BladeOnAStick: A ridiculously thick stick, and a very large blade.
* IOweYouMyLife and UndyingLoyalty: To [[spoiler:Koukan]]
* LaResistance
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: A military leader from Baku province, as well as NumberTwo to [[spoiler:Governor Koukan]].
* ShipTease: With Shoukei. He [[KnightInShiningArmor helps her run away from guards after Youko saves her]], takes her in as his housekeeper, and then lets her into LaResistance.
* TallDarkAndHandsome

-----

!!Koshou

--> '''Voiced by:''' RintaroNishi (JP), JamiesonPrice (EN)

A large, boisterous man who is a member of the resistance and a protective older brother to Sekki.

* BladeOnAStick
* BoisterousBruiser
* TheBigGuy
* HumbleHero: He never demands any rewards once LaResistance triumphs. His only request is a scholarship for his little brother Sekki, so he can have an education and a good future.
* PromotionToParent: Apparently, for Sekki.
* LaResistance
* RebelLeader
* SleevesAreForWimps

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!!Sekki

--> '''Voiced by:''' Creator/KenjiNojima (JP), Creator/YuriLowenthal (EN)

Much more sensible and thoughtful than his older brother Koshou, he is the brains of the resistance.

* {{Bishonen}}
* LaResistance
* TheSmartGuy
[[/folder]]

[[folder: The Kingdom of Kou]]
!!King of Kou
[[quoteright:191:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/12k_KingOfKou_200px.jpg]]

--> '''Voiced by:''' Creator/TakayaHashi (JP), Creator/BobPapenbrook (EN)

The ruler of Kou, and the one behind the Kei usurpation plot. [[spoiler:His insecurity regarding his own performance as king led him to grow envious of the prosperous, taika-led kingdom of En, and caused him to lash out at Youko.]]

[[spoiler:In the anime, he dies shortly after accidentally killing Kourin in a rage. The novels have him die after Kourin dies of shitsudou.]]

* [[spoiler:BetaTestBaddie: His feelings of inferiority towards the taika king Shouryuu lead to his attempts on Youko's life, as he fears that another taika-led kingdom would overshadow his.]]
* [[spoiler:DeathSeeker: Dying, knows it, but instead of trying to mend his ways and stave off the oncoming Shitsudou, the regression of his country and his subsequent death, goes on to make life more difficult for his rivals.]]
* FantasticRacism: Hanjyuu and Kaikyaku in Kou tend to have a ''very'' bad life as a result of his laws.
* ManipulativeBastard: Particularly in the anime, where he successfully manipulates Yuka into going after Youko.
* [[spoiler:MyGodWhatHaveIDone: After accidentally stabbing Kourin in his berserk rage against Youko, the full weight of his actions throughout the arc seem to settle in.]]
* TheExtremistWasRight: Spreads rumors around Kou that Kaikyaku bring cause or invite disaster. A lot of the more levelheaded from in Kou disbelieve this. [[spoiler: The King and Kirin of En later confirm, that travel via Shoku causes natural disasters and it becomes one of several reasons Youko doesn't return home.]] The prosecution was needless and from a --practical standpoint: pointless.
* TheRival: Considers Shouryuu and Youko this.

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!!Kourin
[[quoteright:191:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/12k_Kourin_v3_200px.jpg]]

--> '''Voiced by:''' Creator/YukoSasaki (JP), WendeeLee (EN)

The ''kirin'' of Kou. She can only helplessly carry out the King of Kou's orders, no matter how evil. [[spoiler:In the anime, she dies by protecting Youko from her king's sword; preventing him from making such a horrible mistake. In the novels, she dies from shitsudou.]]

* HairOfGoldHeartOfGold: Like all kirin.
* MyCountryRightOrWrong: As a kirin, she physically can't disobey the King of Kou, no matter what he does or what she feels.
* [[spoiler:TakingTheBullet: One from her king, in the anime. Also a bit of ICannotSelfTerminate, as she had ''[[IllGirl shitsudou]]'' thanks to his actions.]]

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!!Rakushun
[[quoteright:191:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/12k_Rakushun_200px.jpg]]

--> '''Voiced by:''' Creator/KenichiSuzumura (JP), Jim Taggert (EN)

A kind, intelligent hanjyuu from Kou. After nursing the half-dead Youko back to health, he accompanies her to En, and eventually manages to get her an audience with Shouryuu and Enki one he pieces out that she was chosen by Keiki.

After Youko is installed as queen, they maintain friendly correspondence while Rakushun attends En's top university.

* {{Animorphism}}: As a hanjyuu, he can turn into a big rat. Or, since he spends nearly all his time in rat form, it might be more precise to say that he's a big rat that can turn into a very {{bishonen}} human.
* BigBrotherMentor: Becomes one to both Youko and Shoukei.
* FlatEarthAtheist:
* MrExposition: The audience gets most basic information about the world from him.
* NiceGuy: His kind nature brings out the best in Youko [[spoiler:and later on, in Shoukei.]]
* OddFriendship: With Youko and Shoukei, not to mention Enki.
* PlatonicLifePartners: With Youko, ShipTease notwithstanding.
* SouthernFriedGenius: He has a bit of a hick accent, coming from backwater Kou. He's also brilliant.
* ScholarshipStudent: Even with his incredible mind, his poor background and hanjyuu birth made it hard for him to seek schooling in Kou. Thankfully, after migrating to En and gaining the friendship and patronage of Youko and Enki, he is able to attend a top school.
* TheSmartGuy
[[/folder]]

[[folder: The Kingdom of En]]
!!Komatsu Saburou Naotaka (Fuukan, King Shoryuu)
[[quoteright:191:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/12k_Shoryu_v2_200px.jpg]]

--> '''Voiced by:''' MasakiAizawa (JP), Creator/LexLang (EN)

The cunning, charming King of En. He is a taika, born in the age of Feudal Japan as the son of a samurai lord. After being spirited away from a losing battle by Enki, he takes the throne of En, and has ruled it ever since.

* [[ActionHero Action]] GuileHero: Very skilled and badass fighter. Very cunning manipulator.
* AlternateCharacterReading: "Shoryuu" comes from an alternative reading of his Japanese first name, "Naotaka".
* BigBrotherMentor: To Youko.
* HandsomeLech: What he seems to be.
* KingIncognito: His favorite pastime. He stays up-to-date on the goings-on in and his kingdom by hitting up bars and brothels in disguise.
* ObfuscatingStupidity: The main way he defuses national crises.
* {{Samurai}}: What he used to be. We actually see him wearing armor and all in the flashbacks regarding how he came to be the king.
* TallDarkAndHandsome
* TrappedInAnotherWorld: He was a [[FallenPrincess fallen war lord]] from feudal Japan, before Enki brought him to this world.
* VitriolicBestBuds: With Enki.
* TheWisePrince: In the flashbacks to his past in Japan.

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!!Enki (Rokuta)
[[quoteright:191:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/12k_Rokuta_v2_200px.jpg]]

--> '''Voiced by:''' Creator/KappeiYamaguchi (JP), Creator/DaveWittenberg (EN)

The ''kirin'' of En. Similar to his king Shouryuu, he was born a taika in Feudal Japan however, he was born to a desperately poor peasant family, and saw firsthand what the horrors of war can do to the common people. He came to distrust government figures as the ones who start wars, but eventually warmed up to Shouryuu once he proved his devotion to the welfare of En's people.

* AdorablyPrecociousChild: Has tried to play up his youthful looks to get out of doing his paperwork, though it rarely works all the government workers know full well he's [[OlderThanTheyLook older than he looks]].
* AdultsAreUseless: Thinks this way due to his bad experiences with authority figures in the past. Shoryuu generally disabuses him of it, though he's still not too fond of people in power.
* BrattyHalfPint
* DeadpanSnarker
* [[spoiler:DistressedDude: Catches a BIG DistressBall in the arc towards the end.]]
* IncorruptiblePurePureness
* ParentalAbandonment: He was abandoned by his human family in the woods during a time of famine. His nyokai managed to find him before he starved to death, and brought him back to the nyosen at Mount Hou. [[BreakTheCutie The psychological damage was already done, tho.]]
* [[spoiler:PowerLimiter: The magical cord he gets put on towards the end, which seals his horn and powers away. Ribi manages to cut it off, only to die.]]
* TrademarkFavoriteFood: Loves to loudly munch on peaches while talking to people.
* VitriolicBestBuds: With Shouryuu.

-----

!!Atsuyu
[[quoteright:191:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/12K_Atsuyu_200px.jpg]]

--> '''Voiced by:''' Masaaki Ohkura (JP), Joe Cappelletti (EN)

The beloved, accomplished governor of En's most prosperous province. He has little faith in the newly-installed Shouryuu's competence as king, and is concerned for En's future. [[spoiler:It's all mostly thanks his massive ego and superiority complex deluding himself into thinking he'd be a better king. After years of manipulation and abuse of everyone in his surroudings (and ''specially'' of Kouya and of his own father), he is killed while cheating in a duel against Shouryuu.]]

* [[spoiler:AmbitionisEvil]]
* [[spoiler:BitchInSheepsClothing]]
* [[spoiler:DeathByIrony: He manipulated Kouya into killing people with his demon, so he could gather power and usurp Shoryuu. When he is finally unmasked and snaps, ''Enki's shirei'' deals him a fatal injury, so Shoryuu has to MercyKill him.]]
* [[spoiler:EvilMentor: To Kouya.]]
* [[spoiler:EvilRedhead]]
* TheRival: To Shoryuu.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: [[spoiler:Or so he'd like you to think.]]
* SarcasticDevotee: [[spoiler:What he ''seemed'' to be. In reality, he is a...]]
* [[spoiler:SmugSnake]]
* StepfordSmiler: His province is the picture of order and prosperity, and he himself cultivates an image of saintly wisdom and acceptance. [[spoiler:Nope.]]
* [[spoiler:VillainousBreakdown]]

-----

!!Kouya [[spoiler:(Genrou Shinkun)]]
[[quoteright:191:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/12K_Kouya_200px.jpg]]

--> '''Child Kouya:''' Creator/EmiMotoi (JP), Creator/MeganHollingshead (EN)
--> '''Adult Kouya:''' AkiraIshida (JP), Scott Page-Pagter (EN)

A cunning, manipulative young man in the service of Atsuyu, who saved his life when he was young. [[spoiler:After years of psychological abuse from his master, Kouya finally comes to terms with his master's evil ways, and self-exiles himself to Mount Hou to wait for Shouryuu to make a kingdom where both he and his youma friend are welcome. During his stay there, he has become the God of Travelers, Genrou Shinkun.]]

* [[ChekhovsGunman Chekhov's Gunman]]: He is introduced as a minor character in Taiki's arc, and then he is not even mentioned until his backstory is fleshed out in the last arc.
* TheDragon: To Atsuyu.
* EvilCounterpart: To Enki.
* [[spoiler:KarmaHoudini: Played with. He ''did'' repent of his horrible actions in the end, but Shoryuu and Enki let him go without any punishment. However, he '''did''' self-exile himself to the very dangerous Mount Hou, so even if he wasn't punished by others [[TheAtoner he]] ''[[TheAtoner is]]'' [[TheAtoner seeking for punishment himself]].]]
* KidWithTheLeash: Regarding his demon.
* [[spoiler:MyGodWhatHaveIDone: His reaction after his first kill. Of course, Atsuyu tells him it doesn't matter.]]
* ParentalAbandonment: Similar to Enki, he was abandoned in the woods as a child during a time of famine. He was raised by a youma and eventually found and taken in by Atsuyu.
* [[spoiler:PoisonousFriend: Kouya appears to be one to his mentor and leader, Atsuyu. He murders dissidents regularly (like Ribi's best friend, the girl who helps Enki escape from Atsuyu's manse) and claims to have "exiled" them when Atsuyu asks. It's subverted, as Atsuyu is actually a ManipulativeBastard who abuses Kouya's extreme loyalty to get away with atrocities while keeping his own hands clean.]]
* PsychoSidekick: Kouya could also be considered this in regard to Atsuyu, [[spoiler:if Atsuyu wasn't evil himself.]]
* [[spoiler:ReleasedToElsewhere: His favorite method of exiling people is through the digestive system of his demon.]]
* UsedToBeASweetKid: The sweet boy whom Enki befriended grows into a very cruel teen. [[spoiler:He gets better.]]
* WeNamedTheMonkeyJack: After befriending Enki, Kouya starts referring to his demon with Enki's human name, "Rokuta", to not forget the name of his first real friend.
* WildChild: He was abandoned in the woods during a time of famine and raised by a youma. Before being taken in by Atsuyu, he could only communicate in animal noises.
* WalkingTheEarth: After [[spoiler:Atsuyu's defeat and death.]]

-----

!!Ribi
--> '''Voiced by:''' MasakoKatsuki (JP), Melodee Spevack (EN)

A calm, intelligent civil servant, and very loyal to Shouryuu. [[spoiler:She is imprisoned as part of Atsuyu's plans, and sacrifices her own life to free Enki.]]

* BrainyBrunette
* GoodIsNotDumb: Trusts Shoryuu a lot, questions Atsuyu more than once. [[spoiler: And is imprisoned because of that.]]
* {{Guile Hero}}ine
* [[spoiler:HeroicSacrifice: In the last arc, she and Enki are wearing magical red cords that react to each other, [[PowerNullifier with Enki's cord sealing his horn and his powers.]] To free him, Ribi snaps Enki's cord, clearly knowing that this will tighten her own cord and fatally injure her. Once she does so, [[OffWithHisHead the cord slices her head in half]], killing Ribi instantly. .]]
* TheOjou
* NervesOfSteel: So calm and collected that [[spoiler: she released Enki, also a prisioner, at the cost of her life.]]
* [[spoiler:SpannerInTheWorks: By releasing Enki at the cost of her own life, she derails a good part of Atsuyu's plans.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder: The Kingdom of Tai]]
!!Kaname Takasato (Taiki)
[[quoteright:191:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/12k_Taiki_v2_200px.jpg]]

--> '''Child Taiki:''' RieKugimiya (JP), Terry Sutton (EN)
--> '''Adult Taiki:''' KousukeOkano (JP), JohnnyYongBosch (EN)

The ''kirin'' of Tai. His dark hair marks him as an incredibly rare black kirin; a herald of prosperity. He is a taika, and was spirited away from his abusive family by the efforts of Enki and the Mount Hou nyosen. He struggles to come to terms with his power and identity as a ''kirin'' in an unfamiliar world.

[[spoiler:After being attacked by a treacherous general during a usurpation plot, he was flung back to Japan with a damaged ''kirin'' horn and amnesia of his time in the Kingdoms. After years of further confusion and abuse, he was finally located by an international search squad organized by Youko and brought back to the kingdoms. Whether or not he will find the missing Gyousou and save Tai is, unfortunately, an ongoing cliffhanger.]]

* AbusiveParents
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Terrifyingly powerful youma or not, if you threaten his king, prepare for a showdown.
* BadassAdorable: See above.
* DemotedToExtra: In the novels, he and Youko share the mantle of main character, and get roughly the same amount of books. In the anime, he gets a five-episode arc that is never properly concluded.
* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: When the yet-untamed Gouran threatens Gyousou, Taiki becomes the first ''kirin'' to ever conquer and tame a toutetsu.
* ExpositoryHairstyleChange: He's got shoulder-length hair as a kirin, but when he's trapped in our world, he wears it much shorter.
* EverythingsBetterWithSparkles: He puts on quite the light show when transforming into ''kirin'' form...
* FriendToAllLivingThings: He charms vicious animals, bloodthirsty demons, and socially inept ''kirin'' with ease.
* KidWithTheLeash: Regarding his shirei, Gouran.
* NaiveNewcomer: Since he lived 10 years in Japan, the poor kid was incredibly lost when he was returned to the kingdoms. This causes him ''lots'' of angst.
* EeriePaleSkinnedBrunette: Actually a plot point, as he's one of the ''very'' rare dark-haired kirin.
* ParentalAbandonment: With a dash of AbusiveParents. [[spoiler:Though he still lives with them for the majority of ''Demon Child'', the Takasatos have all but abandoned him thanks to the jinx that seems to follow him which is actually his shirei lashing out in insane panic at anything they perceive as a threat. His mother says that she wants nothing to do with him right in front of him, and regrets not having killed him outright in an inner monologue. After Hirose takes Taiki in, though, Gouran and Sanshi settle their business with his parents... ''bloodily'', to say at least.]]
* ShrinkingViolet
* StaringDownCthulhu: Taiki triumphs over Gouran after one hell of a staredown.
* TrappedInAnotherWorld
* [[spoiler: TraumaInducedAmnesia]]: [[spoiler:The reason why he can't remember his stay in the Twelve Kingdoms. He was attacked by a treacherous general, resulting in his ''kirin'' horn the source of his power being cut off. He managed to escape back to Japan before the physical trauma wiped out his memory. Feeding a kirin meat, as his father insists on, doesn't help.]]
* [[spoiler:TraumaCongaLine]]

-----

!!Saku Gyousou
[[quoteright:191:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/12k_Gyousou_200px.jpg]]

--> '''Voiced by:''' Creator/KeijiFujiwara (JP), Chris Kent (EN)

A highly-respected general in Tai, and the man Taiki chooses to be its ruler. He is a skilled and shrewd leader, though a bit impatient, and is confident in his ability to restore Tai to prosperity.

[[spoiler:His hastiness to purge the government of long-standing corruption makes him a lot of enemies, which leads to an usurpation plot led by a rival general. Though he is still alive, his whereabouts are currently unknown.]]

* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: Thanks to being a badass general before being chosen as king of Tai.
* CoolSword: Won as a prize from Shoryuu, for being the only person who almost managed to defeat him in a duel.
* DarkSkinnedBlond
* [[spoiler:DirtyBusiness: The mass purges of corrupt officials in the Tai court.]]
* FourStarBadass
* [[spoiler:KnightTemplar: When he is crowned king, his eagerness to purge the court of Tai of long-standing corruption leads him to order mass dismissals and executions although it needed doing, Gyousou's hastiness made him lots of enemies, which led to the usurpation...]]
* MoralityPet: Taiki serves as his, balancing out his sternness. [[spoiler:Gyousou's desire to keep Taiki's adoration leads him to hide the government purges from him by sending him on a diplomatic trip to Ren.]]
* PantheraAwesome: Is commonly associated with tiger imagery, especially in the books. In both the books and anime, he is the proud owner of a massive white tiger that serves as his [[CoolHorse mount]] in battle.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: [[spoiler: Though he does tend to [[KnightTemplar go]] [[JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope too far]] at times.]]
* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: An utter workaholic. He immediately starts hammering through budget and government reforms when he takes office, and during his first year in office he manages to pray to Heaven to ''create a new plant'', just for Tai, that burns well enough to serve as a superb source of heat in the icy land.
* RedEyesTakeWarning: Lampshaded, then averted. Taiki is initially afraid of Gyousou because of the man's red eyes. In reality, Gyousou is a pretty nice guy, and his red eyes are not a mark of anything evil...it's just all part of the Twelve Kingdoms' [[{{TechnicolorEyes}} technicoloring]] [[{{YouGottaHaveBlueHair}} scheme]].


-----

!!Haku Sanshi

--> '''Voiced by:''' MasakoKatsuki (JP), Creator/JulieAnnTaylor (EN)

Taiki's nyokai and surrogate mother. She is utterly devoted to his care and protection.

* GodivaHair
* HybridMonster: Torso, arms, and head of a white-haired girl. Fish eyes. Leopard lower body. Lizard tail. [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Haku_Sanshi_201.png Here]] [[http://12kingdoms.wikia.com/wiki/Haku_Sanshi she is]], ladies and gentlemen.
* MamaBear: For Taiki. Justified, as nyokai are specifically bred and trained to be {{Parental Substitute}}s to young kirin, even before their eggs hatch; as soon as she was born and learned about her mission, [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming Sanshi was seen hugging Taiki's]] ''[[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming ranka]]'' [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming egg and happily saying his name.]] [[spoiler: But as she and Gouran panic and get corrupted on Earth, that brings a lot of trouble: they attack ''everyone'' and, since they're invisible to humans there, poor Taiki is blamed for it.]]

----

!!Gouran

--> '''Voiced by:'''

A changeling demon known as a toutetsu; horribly powerful by any standards, enough to make even a PhysicalGod think twice about tangling with him. Taiki brings him under his control as his shirei when he threatens Gyousou and Risai in his lair.

* {{Hellhound}}
* EldritchAbomination: Several of the forms he enjoys phasing into can be described only as this.
* PapaWolf: Very protective of Taiki, whether out of fondness or duty. [[spoiler:As in Sanshi's case, this goes horribly, horribly wrong when the amnesiac Taiki gets stranded in Japan.]]
* PreciousPuppies: Taiki usually wills him into being a Shiba Inu puppy instead of his more impressive form.

-----

!!Risai

--> '''Voiced by:''' Creator/NaomiShindo (JP), Creator/MichelleRuff (EN)

An up-and-coming military officer in Tai. She is determined to see Tai restored to its former glory, and is loyal to Gyousou and Taiki.

* [[spoiler:AnArmAndALeg]]
* CoolBigSis: To Taiki.
* GracefulLoser: She's not chosen as the Queen of Tai, but takes it pretty well.
* LadyOfWar
* [[spoiler: ScarsAreForever: In the books she loses an arm after her flight from Tai to Kei.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder: The Kingdom of Hou]]
!!Shoukei
[[quoteright:191:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/12k_Shoukei_200px.jpg]]

--> '''Voiced by:''' HoukoKuwashima (JP), Creator/KateHiggins (EN)

As the daughter of its former ruler, she is the deposed princess of the Kingdom of Hou. Spoiled, haughty, and incredibly out of touch with the reality outside the palace, Shoukei must adjust to her new life as a peasant and come to terms with her father's tyrannical reign.

* TheAtoner: Her life after Hou having realised what a selfish brat she'd once been, she becomes determined to make something of herself and do some good in the world.
* BreakTheHaughty: First she loses her parents and princess status, then she's forced to live as a peasant and is almost excuted when discovered, only Shushou's intervention saving her from an horrible death. And that's just the beginning...
* BroughtDownToNormal: Shoukei experiences this, going from a life of luxury to one of poverty, starvation, and near-merciless persecution almost overnight. Not to mention going from being eternally-thirteen (for thirty years, natch) to being mortal again. She'd grown to sixteen (physically) by the time she left Hou. Symbolically, she herself later reflects on the fact that she'd been a "doll", herself. [[spoiler:Presumably, she is given her {{Immortality}} again when Youko takes her into her service.]]
* DaddysGirl: The apple of Chuutatsu's eye. Boy, did that screw her up in the end though...
* DamselInDistress --> ActionSurvivor: She initially couldn't do anything by herself. Several years of intensive labor and a series of adventures later, she's holding up with the best members of LaResistance.
* DefiantStoneThrow: A defining mark of her growth, as she does so to [[spoiler: save a man from his unfair execution.]]
* EarnYourHappyEnding: After all her hardships and all the experiences she went through for good or bad, [[spoiler:Youko listens to her plight and takes her in as a lady-in-waiting.]]
* FallenPrincess: The spoiled and willfully ignorant princess of Hou had her parents, status, and everything short of her life ripped from her in a violent revolution.
* FamilyUnfriendlyDeath: Almost. She was about to be ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dismemberment dismembered]]'' by angry peasants when Shushou saved her.
* ImmortalImmaturity: She considers herself to be "about the same age as the Queen of Kei" as well as the (chronologically over 100) Suzu, despite the fact the she herself is chronologically in her mid-40s.
* IronicEcho: Her peasant caretaker, Gobou, once told her how her son was killed for protesting against an unfair execution by throwing stones at the executioners. Shoukei herself does ''exactly the same thing'' later to stop a man's crucifixion, and Youko has to save her.
* MoralityPet: Is implied to have been her father's. King Chuutatsu kept from her not only his rather brutal policies but also the ugly side of ruling a country. A character notes that the King wanted her to be thirteen forever, a beautiful and pure doll that was the image of his idealized sinless human being.
* OldShame: InUniverse, she becomes ashamed of her attitude as the king's daughter and even grows the hate her old favourite song which she'd previously sung to herself as a form of comfort because of how unconsciously it paralleled her own life as an unaware "doll". When she hears that Gekkei wanted her to know he liked her old song, she broke down in anguished remorse.
* PrincessInRags: Even when [[spoiler: she's barely saved from a CruelAndUnusualDeath and taken in as a retainer of the Queen of Kyou]], she doesn't lose her arrogance and entitlement, and it's only after she escapes from Kyou and then travels with Rakushun that she starts straightening up her act.
%%* PurpleEyes
* RoyalBrat: Pre-CharacterDevelopment. Spoiled and sheltered by her KnightTemplar father, the Emperor of Hou, the BreakTheHaughty that followed hit her hard and it took her a LONG while to get better.
* ShelteredAristocrat: Due to being kept away from all of the DirtyBusiness her father got up to, she knows nothing about how to run a kingdom, or anything else for that matter. Rakushun calls her out on this, saying how embarrassing it is that a foreign peasant like him knows more than the princess about her own country.
* TookALevelInKindness: From an ignorant and selfish SpoiledBrat and PrincessInRags, to a much more sensitive and level-headed [[spoiler: member of LaResistance.]]
* WhatTheHellHero: Attempts to deal one to Gekkei after he orders her to be spared from the peasants. [[InsultBackfire He calmly takes it and just tells her to leave Hou.]]

-----

!!Sonken (King Chuutatsu)
--> '''Voiced by:''' Creator/TakayaHashi (JP), Michael Forest (EN)

The former King of Hou. His KnightTemplar behavior led him to enact incredibly strict laws, which eventually led to his deposition.

* AllCrimesAreEqual: His form of judgement by the end of his thirty-year reign. In the last year ''alone'', hundreds of thousands of people had been executed regardless of how severe their crime was they just had to commit one.
* BlackAndWhiteInsanity
* JadeColoredGlasses: As a SelfMadeMan government officer, he witnessed ''such'' corruption in his years before becoming King that he went...
* JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope: Over the years. He steadily became a...
* KnightTemplar: His absolute sense of justice caused him to slaughter a large portion of his own population for [[{{AllCrimesAreEqual}} minor offenses]]. He, his wife, and his ''kirin'' Hourin were eventually overthrown and killed.
* OffWithHisHead: His standard reaction to crime and in the end his own death. A necessity in this case, as it's one of the few for sure ways to kill a ruler.
* OverprotectiveDad: He kept his daughter Shoukei completely sheltered and shielded from all the hardships that Hou went through. [[BreakTheHaughty Wow, did that fuch the girl over once he was executed.]]
* UnholyMatrimony: With Kaka, whose petty jealousy and vindictiveness made her as bad as him.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Ultimately his quest for absolute justice was unchecked by compassion and he had over 300,000 people executed for every minor offense he could think of.

-----

!!Queen Kaka

--> '''Voiced by:''' Rumi Ochiai (JP),

The wife of the former King of Hou. Self-centered and haughty, her actions are among those that [[spoiler:bring Sonken's fall.]]

* DrivenByEnvy: Kaka ordered one of Shoukei's ladies-in-waiting and her mother (one of her own court ladies) imprisoned and executed '''solely''' because the poor girl was prettier and more talented than Shoukei, falsely accusing the mother of corruption while knowing that both of them would get offed because of that. Gekkei does ''not'' forget [[WhatTheHellHero to call her out on it]] before he has her killed, and Kaka's FamousLastWords are her denial of such accusations.
* GodSaveUsFromTheQueen: A spiteful woman who had a young girl and her family executed because she was prettier than her daughter. It's implied that she did this all the time.
* NoblewomansLaugh: And not the funny kind either. Emphasizes her haughty (and heartless) nature.
* [[OffWithHisHead Off With Her Head]]: How she was executed. ''[[HarmfulToMinors In front of Shoukei]]''. Even more meaningfully, Gekkei did this ''deliberately'', too, in the hopes that it would [[BreakTheHaughty help Shoukei empathise with those who her parents had previously had killed]]. Despite the brutality of it though, given what eventually happened with her it might just have been for the best.
* UnholyMatrimony: With Chuutatsu, see his entry for the shared reason.

-----

!!Hourin
--> '''Voiced by:''' Miyuki Matsushita (JP),

The former ''kirin'' of Hou. She is killed during the deposition of the king, as punishment for having chosen him in the first place.

* FaceDeathWithDignity: When Gekkei is about to behead her after killing the royal couple, she accepts it quietly and even seems to be a little relieved, just closing her eyes as he nears to her...
* HorribleJudgeOfCharacter: King Chuutatsu was not the first king she chose that proved to be an utter failure in the worst possible way. Heck, it was the first king's utter corruption that that turned Chuutatsu into the KnightTemplar he was. Thanks to completely botching the judgement part of picking a king twice she paid for her horrible judge of character twice, as she was executed right after him for letting the kingdom go to hell.
* IllGirl: She already was in the last stages of ''shitsudou'' when Chuutatsu died.
* HairOfGoldHeartOfGold: Like all Kirin.
* {{Misblamed}}: The people of Hou blame her for giving them a KnightTemplar for a king. She actually chooses according to the will of the gods and had no conscious ability to deny King Chuutatsu his throne.
* [[OffWithHisHead Off With Her Head]]: The for sure way to kill a kirin is how she meets her fate.

-----

!!Gekkei

--> '''Voiced by:''' MasahikoTanaka (JP), Creator/MichaelMcConnohie (EN)

The leader of the coup against the former king of Hou, and formerly one of the most high ranked government officers there. He genuinely wishes for what is best for the kingdom, and is ''not'' proud of the blood on his hands.

* {{Cincinnatus}}: Hou sighs in relief when he finally lets himself be convinced that he should rule the kingdom until the next king is chosen.
* IfYouKillHimYouWillBeJustLikeHim: What he tells to the people who almost executed [[spoiler:Shoukei.]]
* JerkAssFacade: To Shoukei, who he feels needs to be treated firmly if she is ever to break out of her misplaced pride and self-pity.
* KnightInSourArmor: Very, ''very'' bitter in regards to his rebellion and execution of the late king.
* [[spoiler:ManlyTears: When he gets a letter from the OlderAndWiser Shoukei, in which she tells him about her adventures in LaResistance.]]
* NecessaryEvil: His executing of the king, queen and ''kirin'' and the subsequent revoking of Shoukei's immortality.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: More just and reasonable than old King Hou ever was. The only genuine complaint (Shoukei's constant criticism don't count) against him is that he isn't more of an authority figure, long believing he doesn't have the right to rule the kingdom as acting king because of his role in the rebellion.
* RebelLeader: Sort of. He was a governor in Hou, then led the uprising against the King to save the realm.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: The Kingdom of Kyou]]
!!Shushou
[[quoteright:191:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/12k_Soshou_200px.jpg]]

--> ''Voiced by:'' Creator/WakanaYamazaki (JP), Creator/JulieMaddalena (EN)

The ruler of Kyou. Physically just barely a teenager, she was the youngest chosen ruler when she came to the throne. Despite her youthful looks, she is a shrewd ruler, and has led Kyou into great prosperity.

* AChildShallLeadThem: Despite being eternally thirteen, she is the highly competent queen of Kyou.
* BrattyHalfPint: Even with her competence, she's still a young girl at heart and sometimes exhibits rather childish behavior, like kicking off her NiceShoes while discussing things with Kyouki.
* CorporalPunishment: She sometimes slaps Kyouki around, though only when extremely upset, like when [[spoiler: Shoukei steals some of her jewelry and clothes before running away from Kyou]], and is soon back to her much gentler self ([[spoiler: she caresses Kyouki's face after hitting him, and immediately forgives both him and the OldRetainer that was in charge of Shoukei]]).
* EveryGirlIsCuterWithHairDecs: Especially her crown-hairband-hair tie thing.
* TheHighQueen: As said above, she's a great Queen despite her youth.
* JadeColoredGlasses: She's a good person at heart, but she lectures Kyouki for being too compassionate and kind for his own benefit.
* ManipulativeBitch: She may have influenced the [[spoiler:Hou noblemen to revolt against their unfair king]], so refugees wouldn't come to Kyou and overwhelm the country.
* NoSympathy: To Shoukei, thinking she's just a foolish little girl who did nothing to help the people of Hou and [[SternTeacher wanting to both punish and toughen her up.]]
* TheOjou: As the daughter of the richest merchant in Kyou, Shushou was this before becoming queen.
* PluckyGirl: Especially in the novels. Let's put it on perspective: she made a ''very'' dangerous journey through her beast-ladden country's fields, reaches the spot where sovereigns are chosen, and ultimately passes the tests needed to become queen. ''At age 13''. In her own words:
--->"No one shall rule this country but me!"
* ShadowArchetype: To King Chuutatsu. Like him, Shushou is a proud and stern monarch with a strong [[CharacterAlignment lawful bent]]. However she tempers those traits with wisdom, insight and mercy. She is the first ruler that Shoukei meets after leaving Hou, showing the erstwhile princess that her KnightTemplar father was not ''necessarily'' wrong in his ideals, but rather his execution (no pun intended). She is also a living example of what Shoukei ''could'' have accomplished at thirteen had she not been a SpoiledBrat.
* SuperStrength: Can make Shoukei bow forcibly to her... using only two fingers.
* ReallySevenHundredYearsOld: Despite looking thirteen, she is over a hundred years old rulers stop aging once they're chosen, and Shushou ''was'' a thirteen-year-old girl when she became one.
* {{Tsundere}}: A Type A, due to her child-like mood swings. In the novels, at one moment she dumps hot soup on her maid for questioning her repeatedly, then begs for her forgiveness and lets her borrow one of her own dresses to make up for it.

-----

!!Kyouki
[[quoteright:191:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/12k_Kyouki_200px.jpg]]

--> ''Voiced by:'' Creator/ToruOkawa (JP),

The ''kirin'' of Kyou. His quiet, thoughtful demeanor is in great contrast to his Empress' bombastic outbursts.

* TheConsigliere
* HairOfGoldHeartOfGold: Like all kirin.
* HugeGuyTinyGirl: A platonic version. Unlike most kirin, he's a pretty solidly built guy; as a result he towers over Shushou, who stopped aging when she was thirteen. (Shushou's said that she wishes he was short like Enki, so it would be easier to smack him when he irritates her.)
* NiceGuy
* OddFriendship: He's the counselor of a girl who goes between TheHighQueen and a BrattyHalfPint.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: The Kingdom of Sai]]
!!Queen Chuukin / Koukou
[[quoteright:191:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/12k_Chuukin_200px.jpg]]

--> '''Voiced by:'''

The wise and kind ruler of Sai. Despite her elderly look, she's actually one of the youngest rulers in the [=12K=] world (of the currently-sitting royals, only Youko is younger)

* TheHighQueen
* TeamMom: For the whole kingdom the people of Sai call her Koukou, which means "golden mother-in-law".
* YamatoNadeshiko: With emphasis on the subtle will of iron, as she convinces Riyo to let Suzu go with words alone.

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!!Sairin
[[quoteright:191:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/12k_Sairin_200px.jpg]]

--> '''Voiced by:''' RuriAsano (JP), Jessica Stenuis (EN)

The ''kirin'' of Sai. She is very calm, cultured, and dainty, even for someone of her kind.

* TheConsigliere
* HairOfGoldHeartOfGold: Like all kirin.
* IllGirl: When the previous King Shishou ([[spoiler:Chuukin's adoptive son]]) governed ineffectually, she got ''shitsudou''. The King then [[HeroicSacrifice renounced to the throne and killed himself]], which let her get better and choose [[spoiler:his mother]] Chuukin as the new sovereign.

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!!Seishuu

--> ''Voiced by:'' Creator/AkikoHiramatsu (JP), Creator/YuriLowenthal (EN)

An ill, orphaned young boy that Suzu befriends.

* BreakTheCutie
* [[spoiler:DiedInYourArmsTonight: Youko's, then Suzu cradles his dead body.]]
* GetAHoldOfYourselfMan: When Suzu loses herself in angst, he calls her out on how she's not the only one suffering.
* IllBoy: Due to an old head injury, he gets severe headaches and later loses his sight.
* ParentalAbandonment: When he was a baby, he and his parents ran away from Kei during Jokaku's chaotic reign. They were good to him and he loved them... but then his father is killed by youma, then his mother gets sick and dies while waiting for the ship to Kei to arrive.
* [[spoiler:TrampledUnderfoot: How the poor kid dies. More exactly, he gets trampled by Shoukou's carriage because the JerkAss didn't bother to tell the driver to change paths at the sight of a blind boy in their way.]]

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!!Lady Riyo
--> ''Voiced by:'' Creator/MinamiTakayama (JP), Juli Grossman (EN)

A vain, tyrannical woman who takes Suzu under her wing to serve as her maid.

* DomesticAbuse: ''Loves'' abusing Suzu.
* JerkAss
* HolierThanThou: Claims to be "punishing Suzu's sins". [[SarcasmMode Yeah, sure.]]
* [[spoiler:TheMistress: She once was a HighClassCallGirl before becoming familiar with one of the former kings of Sai, who made her his lover and an immortal. Chuukin uses this against her when she refuses to let go of Suzu, threatening her with revoking her privileges.]]
* NoblewomansLaugh
* RavenHairIvorySkin
* RichBitch: This is the reason she lives in her own estate far from the royal palace; everyone else just wanted to be rid of her.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: The Kingdom of Han]]

!! Go Ranjou
--> ''Voiced by:'' N/A

The King of Han, who has ruled for three hundred years[[note]] The anime gives us a different time-span, saying that he has been on the throne for 120 years (which the English subtitles and dub [[TranslationTrainWreck accidentally translated as twelve HUNDRED years]])[[/note]] and brought Han great prosperity. He is somewhat difficult to get along with, and butts heads particularly venomously with Shoryuu.

* AmbiguouslyGay
* DudeLooksLikeALady
* TheFashionista: Is an eager patron of Han's arts and fashion industry.
* PaperFanOfDoom: Hits Shoryuu with his fan for being impolite to Hanrin.
* WholesomeCrossdresser

!! Hanrin
--> ''Voiced by:'' N/A

The ''kirin'' of Han, (currently) nicknamed Risetsu by her king. She is a spunky and loyal partner-in-crime to her beloved king.

* DeadPersonImpersonation: Accidentally. She has a magical object that disguises her as someone the person looking at her knows; at least one person sees a dead friend.
* FagHag
* HairOfGoldHeartOfGold: Like all kirin.
* RegalRinglets

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Hourai (Japan)]]
!!Yuka Sugimoto
[[quoteright:191:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/12K_Sugimoto_200px.jpg]]

--> ''Voiced by:'' Aya Ishizu (JP), Creator/KarenStrassman (EN)

An anime-only character (sort of, see below) who is accidentally dragged into the Kingdoms when Youko is first swept over. She is convinced that she alone was meant to be brought over, and is incredibly jealous of Youko.

* AscendedExtra: Yuka existed in the original work, but was a mere otaku given only a few lines in the very first book, and certainly was never taken into the kingdoms with Youko.
* [[AllOfTheotherReindeer All of the Other Reindeer]]: Was bullied at school due to her obsession with fantasy worlds.
* [[AscendedFanboy Ascended Fangirl]]: Subverted. [[WrongGenreSavvy She thought she was one...]]
* BigBadFriend
* EasilyForgiven: [[spoiler:To her credit, she does help Youko once she's defeated, and finds the amnesiac Taiki after she goes back home.]]
* HorribleJudgeOfCharacter
* IJustWantToBeSpecial
* ImportantHaircut: [[spoiler:When she's seen again in Episode 15, her already short hair is even shorter, since she's cut off the bangs that framed her face. Her reasoning is that she 'didn't want to hide [her] face anymore' - emphasising how she's more open in real life and less absorbed in her fantasy stories after experiencing it firsthand.]]
* JumpedAtTheCall: [[spoiler:She jumps so hard she becomes an antagonist instead.]]
* OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent
* {{Otaku}}: She revels in being in a world like the fantasy novels she obsesses over.
* PoisonousFriend
* PsychoSupporter
* RavenHairIvorySkin
* TheRival: To Youko. [[spoiler:After losing to her, she helps Youko rescue Keiki from Joei, and is finally sent back home.]]
* TrappedInAnotherWorld
* WrongGenreSavvy: Yuka is ''very'' savvy about fantasy novels... but is convinced ''she'' is the main character.

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!!Ikuya Asano
[[quoteright:191:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/12K_Asano_v2_200px.jpg]]

--> ''Voiced by:'' Creator/YujiUeda (JP), Joshua Seth (EN)

An anime-only character who is accidentally dragged into the Kingdoms when his old friend Youko is first swept over. He is terribly out-of-place in the unfamiliar world, and does not adapt as well as Youko and Yuka. [[spoiler:After being separated from them, he is gradually driven insane from being isolated from all he's ever known.]]

* CanonForeigner: He was specially written into the anime storyline; he never existed in the novels.
* ChildhoodFriend: Youko's, since they've known each other since childhood.
* [[spoiler:DespairEventHorizon: As time goes on, the strains of being TrappedInAnotherWorld take a HUGE toll on Asano's sanity, to the point of having him losing all reason to keep on living.]]
* DesperatelyLookingForAPurposeInLife
* [[spoiler:DiedInYourArmsTonight: Shoukei's.]]
* [[spoiler:ExpositoryHairstyleChange: He has normal short hair at first, then lets it grow shoulder-length.]]
* FaceHeelTurn [[spoiler:--> HeelFaceDoorSlam]]
* FanNickname: [[spoiler:"TheGunslinger from Kei", due to his WeaponOfChoice being a Western gun.]]
* [[spoiler:GoOutWithASmile: Even if it's an ironic one.]]
* [[spoiler:SanitySlippage]]
* [[spoiler:ShootTheShaggyDog: As he really is just an OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent TrappedInAnotherWorld, he is ultimately ineffectual in doing any good for himself or for his friends in this strange new world. He eventually becomes a patsy of the enemy. Just when it looks as though [[HeelFaceTurn he's about to redeem himself by performing a vital, heroic mission for the good guys]], he gets intercepted by the villains, who kill him in spite of his being armed with a gun, while they only have primitive weapons. To further rub salt into the wound, Asano, before he dies, learns that his mission was ''completely unnecessary'', since reinforcements were already coming to help the good guys. [[TheChewToy Harsh.]]]]
* TrappedInAnotherWorld
* UnluckyEverydude
* [[spoiler:WhatTheHellHero: Given to him by Youko, after they finally find each other during her days as Youshi.]]

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!!Suzu Ooki
[[quoteright:191:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/12k_Suzu_v2_200px.jpg]]

--> ''Voiced by:'' NaomiWakabayashi (JP), Creator/MelaLee (EN)

A kaikyaku from [[ImperialJapan Meiji-era Japan]], she was swept over in a shoku while she was leaving home to work for a local nobleman that she was sold to as a maid. Separated from all she's ever known, Suzu seeks her place in this strange new world.

* AccidentalMisnaming: "My name isn't Mokurin! I'm Suzu! SUZU!"
* ActionSurvivor
* ButtMonkey: NOT PlayedForLaughs.
* BreakTheCutie: Her mistress, the sen-nin Riyo, was an absolute bitch to her for more than 100 years. [[spoiler: She left to live with Queen Chuukin of Sai, but when she went to search for Youko, things went to hell.]]
* [[ChekhovsGunman Chekhov's Gunwoman]]: Suzu gets a short scene in Taiki's arc, is then left alone for a while and reappears with a vengeance.
* DesperatelyLookingForAPurposeInLife: She initially latches onto ideals and people with very little provocation, and changes her beliefs very suddenly.
* [[spoiler: DespairEventHorizon: She comes ''this'' close to it because of the already mentioned harships. Manages to escape, though barely.]]
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: A woman bound to an abusive person because of fears of being cast out without any resources or ability to make a living. [[DomesticAbuse Hmm...]]
* [[spoiler: EarnYourHappyEnding: After all her hardships, Youko listens to her plight and takes her in as a lady-in-waiting.]]
* ExtremeDoormat: A retroactively self-identified flaw. She thought her like would improve if she just became a doormat, but it didn't actually until she learned to take action herself.
* FaceHeelRevolvingDoor: As a result of her DesperatelyLookingForAPurposeInLife, she switches beliefs and allegiances very often. It's a subtle example because she often doesn't take extreme action, at least until her CharacterDevelopment.
* ImmortalImmaturity: Considers herself a teenager despite being over a hundred years old, chronologically.
* ShrinkingViolet
* TranslatorMicrobes: Avoided. Not being a sen-nin means that, when spirited away, Suzu couldn't understand the language of the kingdoms until she was taken in by Riyo. That's actually the reason why she put up with Riyo's abuse; in return for her service, she had Suzu's name added to the heavenly roster. One of her favorite taunts for Suzu was that she was free to quit at any time, but would lose her senninhood and therefore her ability to communicate, which after ''years'' of experiencing just that [[AdultFear was Suzu's greatest fear]].
* TrappedInAnotherWorld: Was a poor farm girl from the Meiji-era Japan, then arrived in the Kingdoms via shoku.
* {{Unlucky Everydude}}tte
[[/folder]]

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