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YMMV: The Twelve Kingdoms
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Shushou doesn't appear all that much but she is very well-loved in the fandom for her snark, badassery, intelligence and hyper-competence all while being a little girl. She also gets bonus points for trying to set Shoukei in her place.
  • Les Yay: Rangyoku seemed pretty interested in Youko disguised as "Youshi", even after she learned that "he" is a "she"...
    • Risai has quite a bit in the novels, with fellow Gyousou-loyal judge Kaei.
  • Love It or Hate It: There aren't too many people who are neutral about this series, due mainly to Youko's whiny attitude for the first five episodes (and first third or so of the novel). Regarding the anime, the general rule given to newcomers seems to be... watch the first seven episodes; if you don't hate the series at that point, you're going to like the rest of it.
  • The Scrappy: Suzu is far whinier than Youko was at beginning of the series and thus unbearably annoying for the overwhelimng majority of the fanbase. She was a Kyoukai with no special skills whatsoever but was allowed to travel with a Shuusei troupe for 4 years upon arriving. Despite this, she never makes any effort to learn about the language or culture of the Twelve Kingdoms. She is later given the ability to speak the language, never fall ill, never starve and immortality after being registered as a Sen-Nin by her mistress. Although having lived in the Twelve Kingdoms for at least 105 years because of Sen-Nin status, she is still very ignorant and quite the idiot with some of the decisions she makes. She forces her mistress' Sekko, which was trying to protect her from danger, to take her to the Sai Kingdom by screaming and kicking at it. Although her mistress did treat her poorly, she exaggerates the abuse and she often causes many of the mistakes in the first place with her absent-mindedness. One of her main sources for her angst are people calling her "Mokurin" instead of Suzu. She constantly compares her struggles to those of other people under much harsher conditions and believes that the she is somehow the most unfortunate person to ever exist. Suzu never does anything to solve her problems, she just wants other people to pity her and she liked feeling sorry for herself. Her creepy fantasies about the Kei-Ou, with the belief that she will manage to instantly befriend her because she is also a Kyoukai to live her days in luxury in the palace, certainly do not help.
    • Shoukei is also quite a scrappy. She is ignorant, selfish, greedy, prissy, spoilt and rude. She continued to act this way even after living in poverty for 3 years. Most people would be grateful for being spared from execution when their parents were ruthless tyrants but she only whines. Even after being offered a place in Kyou palace, she actually has the nerve to steal the royal treasures and escapes from working. Shoukei refuses to accept anything as her fault and believes that she is somehow more important than everyone else.
  • Strawman Has a Point: Shoukou has a point when he points out that the system where kingdoms' rulers are decided by a kirin is silly, especially since the kirin's choices are NOT infallible and most rulers eventually wind up hurting their kingdom.
    • Justified Appeal to Force: Without a kirin's direct demonstration of the monarch's receiving the Mandate Of Heaven (or without the latter's literal Contractual Immortality), victories such as Youko's re-subordination of her own illegally-dispatched royal army, and subsequent 'major alterations' to her previously corrupt court would have been all but impossible due to human nature, especially as regards politics. Bottom line: if she hadn't been made a God-Empress, possessing the fealty of even supernatural beings, Youko wouldn't have been able to escape being a Puppet Queen. Strawman conveniently forgot to mention that failure to live up to the divine responsibility necessarily results in fatal judgment, or that a strong-willed, good, absolute monarch can cleanse a land of corruption/evil approximately infinity times faster than democracy. Eventually, Youko herself explains to her court, and even Keiki, what she has decided the real problem is: an entire culture encouraging terror at the prospect of challenging, but especially speaking out against, wrongdoing by superiors. Kei doesn't get better until she forces it to do so.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • Youko's reaction to poor Rangyaku's horrible death.
    • Suzu's backstory...well if you like her that is but most people really don't.
    • Taiki's entire life...
    • Shoukei throwing stones at the Wa executioners, just like the son of the old peasant woman. Quite the turning point in her Character Development.
    • Asano's death in Shoukei's arms, and when Youko, Shoukei, and Suzu mourn together for him.
      • Especially when you consider that Asano really did die for nothing, and he knew it.
  • Wangst: Suzu gets plenty of it. It's no wonder she's The Scrappy.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Badass?: Face it, fandom. If Youko had not been "a coward", "a pushover", and a "zero whiner and unsympathetic lead", she would have not grown into the physically/mentally strong yet still kind and sensitive Action Girl we love. It's repulsive to see people whine and complain about how Youko starts out as a total moron, refusing to see that she was raised in a very exigent household (specially thanks to her very demanding father) as well as subjected to lots of pressure, so it's very understandable to see her stumble and be terrified at first. Dissing and badmouthing the flawed and insecure Youko from the beginning is NOT the best way to praise how she develops through the series.
  • The Woobie: Taiki
    • Suzu could count, given all the crap she went through, although she whines about it (a lot) thereby making her less sympathetic.


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