Comics News
TOKYOPOP Brings "The Twelve Kingdoms" to the U.S.
By Leroy Douresseaux
January 20, 2007 - 18:04




First Volume of the Hit Japanese Fantasy Fiction Series Makes U.S. Debut March 2007

TOKYOPOP has announced the first ever in English language editions of the best-selling hit Japanese novel series The Twelve Kingdoms.  This is the latest addition to the company's rapidly growing line of serialized youth novels, published under the company's Pop Fiction banner.  The Twelve Kingdoms is an epic saga which the company describes as "in the vein of Lord of the Rings, full of drama, complex mythology, exciting battle sequences, and a masterfully executed, character-driven plot."

The series focuses on Yoko, a shy high school girl thrust into the role of reluctant hero when she's swept away into another realm that she is told she's destined to rule.  The first volume in this planned seven-volume series is The Twelve Kingdoms: Sea of Shadow

Created by Fuyumi Ono, the Japanese Twelve Kingdoms novels have sold more than 7 million copies worldwide, but have never been available to U.S. audiences in the English language until now.  In Japan, the series consisted of 11 novels and one short story collection.  Studio Pierrot ("Urusei Yatsura," "Yu Yu Hakusho," "Naruto") created a 45-episode anime series that was originally broadcast in Japan from 2002 to 2003.  The anime is available in the U.S. on DVD from Media Blasters.

Rife with civil and political upheaval, The Twelve Kingdoms: Sea of Shadow, is set in a world reminiscent of ancient Chinese mythology, taking fans on a wild ride that will leave readers questioning the boundaries of reality and fantasy.  Sea of Shadow marks TOKYOPOP's first-ever hardcover novel and includes all-new, exclusive cover art created especially for this English edition by Akihiro Yamada, the series' original Japanese illustrator.

Except for her red hair, Yoko Nakajima is a typical, obedient Japanese high-school student.  Her life is fairly ordinary-that is, until Keiki, a unicorn in the guise of a young blond-haired boy, tells her that she is his master and must return to their kingdom.  When the boy mysteriously vanishes, Yoko is left alone, confused, and wandering through a foreign land with nothing to help protect her save a magic sword and a magic stone.  Lost in a strange land and with demons on her trail, Yoko begins her quest for both survival and self-discovery.

According to Nicole Monastirsky, Pop Fiction Senior Editor, "Fuyumi Ono is a master storyteller who has combined equal parts teenage realism with mythological fantasy to create a tale so complex and beautiful that it leaves the reader speechless.  TOKYOPOP is honored to bring this extraordinary epic to English-speaking readers everywhere."

The hard cover edition of The Twelve Kingdoms: Sea of Shadow, with English translation by Alexander O. Smith (Vagrant Story, Final Fantasy X), is priced at $16.99 and will make its U.S. debut in bookstores everywhere in March, 2007.