The Twelve Kingdoms

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Name: The Twelve Kingdoms (十二国記 Jūni Kokuki), Juuni Kokki
Abbreviation(s): 12K
Creator: Ono Fuyumi
Date(s): 1991-2001
Medium: light novel, anime
Country of Origin: Japan
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The Twelve Kingdoms are a series of light novels written by Ono Fuyumi. It has been adapted into a 45-episode anime series.

The series is mostly set in a fantasy world, which is linked via occasional portals to Earth. The kingdoms are inspired loosely by historical China and Japan, but do not replace the existence of modern China and Japan on Earth.


The most active portion of the English fandom appears to be relatively small, creating just over one hundred fics on AO3 and over 200 on Gen is popular category on AO3, making up roughly half of the fics there. Slash and het each represent about a fourth of the total. Saku Gyousou/Taiki aka Takasato Kaname is the most popular ship on that archive, thanks to the incomplete arc animated for the anime series.

At the time of the series's airing there was a bit of controversy over Gyousou/Taiki ship thanks to the kirin Taiki looking like a pre-pubescent child when in human form in the world of the Twelve Kingdoms. This is the result of the nature of Twelve Kingdoms's kirin, who appear to stop aging at different points in their 12 Kingdoms!human form (in their kirin form they all seem physically mature). On Earth a kirin's human appearance might differ again; for example Taiki, after he reappears there, looks like a teenager. As the series and novels have not inspired a large English fandom, the conflict has not approached the level of vitriol seen in more active and recent fandoms.

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